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Author Topic: Silver String  (Read 1415 times)

LadyBug

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Silver String
« on: October 07, 2011, 11:26:56 pm »
One of those random poetic moods just hit me and all I could do was follow it. I wrote a poem and had no clue what to do with it, so I thought to post it here and see what you all thought about it. Maybe getting a little constructive criticism would help me to improve! :D:


Its 11:11 and I'm thinking of you.
Eyes like the Earth we live on,
Green and brown and grounded.
A smile like no one could believe,
When you smile true.
It shines as bright as the summer sun,
As, in my eyes, you do.

My heart aches and calls for yours,
And not for those around it.
I strain to recall where I was,
When you took my heart and bound it in a silver string.

Silver as the Full Moons glow,
No thicker then a spider's web,
And delicate like no one else has known.
Yet my heart can't beat around it.

I think of you with every breath.
Your eyes, your smile, your touch.
Every moment you live in my mind,
My heart can't help but rush.

And so this poem has passed the time,
While thoughts of you race through my mind.
These words were not to difficult to find,
And I hope you would agree.

Every moment I think of you,
I can't help but wonder.
Do you ever think of me?

Or have I cast the line and missed,
My silver string falling away from you,
While yours clings on to me?

Shawnee

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Re: Silver String
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 11:39:37 am »
Quote from: LadyBug;24453




I think it is very pretty. I can think of times back when that I could relate to feelings expressed.

SunflowerP

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Re: Silver String
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2011, 04:32:39 am »
Quote from: LadyBug;24453
One of those random poetic moods just hit me and all I could do was follow it. I wrote a poem and had no clue what to do with it, so I thought to post it here and see what you all thought about it. Maybe getting a little constructive criticism would help me to improve! :D:

 
The thing that springs immediately to my eye is, you seem - or the poem seems - unable to decide for sure whether it's free verse, or wants more rhyme/rhythm structure.  (I've found that, quite often, writing poetry feels like it's less about me making it, and more about the poem already existing in some nebulous place, and my job as a poet is to choose the words and structures that will house it best in this world.)

That's rather vague/broad, but I don't see a way to be more specific until that's resolved - any suggestions I might make would be at enough of a small-detail level that they'd depend on the form.  You've got a lot of really good lines; it's possible that, if you can synchronize them to a particular form, I might only have things like alternate word choices or punctuation tweaks to suggest.

It's not for me to decide what form is right, since it's your poem, but it does seem at this point that the parts that are more free verse (or that have a softer, less distinct rhythm structure) are working better than the more strictly structured parts.  That could be an experience issue, rather than a matter of whether the poem "should" be free verse - the use of rhyme and rhythm is a learned skill, and it can take a lot of learning/practice to become adept; this reminds me a bit of my own results when I was in my late teens, so I'm suspecting you might be at a similar point of skill development.

Sunflower
I'm the AntiFa genderqueer commie eclectic wiccan Mod your alt-right bros warned you about.
I do so have a life; I just live part of it online!
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
"Nobody's good at anything until they practice." - Brina (Yewberry)
My much-neglected blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough"

LadyBug

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Re: Silver String
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2011, 11:29:36 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;25504
The thing that springs immediately to my eye is, you seem - or the poem seems - unable to decide for sure whether it's free verse, or wants more rhyme/rhythm structure.


It jumps from free verse to rhyming as I'm writing it. Its almost like the poem wants to write itself and its having some kind of identity crisis. I guess I need to take control over the words alittle?

I've never actually understood how one can force a poem into a format though. Maybe its just my mind but I think it might be that I can't find a format that I can wrap my mind around. Would you have any format suggestions at all?

SunflowerP

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Re: Silver String
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2011, 01:28:42 pm »
Quote from: LadyBug;25531
It jumps from free verse to rhyming as I'm writing it. Its almost like the poem wants to write itself and its having some kind of identity crisis. I guess I need to take control over the words alittle?

I've never actually understood how one can force a poem into a format though. Maybe its just my mind but I think it might be that I can't find a format that I can wrap my mind around. Would you have any format suggestions at all?

 
Yeah, that's kind of how it works - if poems knew enough about our world to be able to take shape here by themselves, we wouldn't need poets.  The trick is to figure out how to control them just enough to allow them to take the shape they need, without forcing - if you have to actually force it to fit, it's the wrong form.  General advice:  try different things and see how they fit, and don't be afraid to edit - the first draft is often just an approximation.

It's okay for it to have parts that rhyme and parts that don't, so, since that's what's happening so far, let's stick with it and see if we can get it to flow as well for the reader as it did for you when you were writing.

The first verse works really well - it doesn't have a steady, regular metre, but it does have rhythm in a softer way, so the touch of rhyme works without either seeming out of place or demanding more rhyme.  The absence of regular metre makes it tricky to use as a template, since we can't count feet (or not usefully), but since it does work so well, it makes more sense to go with the tone it sets, rather than mucking about with it.

(Side note:  I don't know how well you know the technical terminology - I wasn't very clear on that when I started learning to use rhyme and rhythm; I'd been taught about it in school, but it didn't stick very well until I was actually applying it.  I'm still not perfect with it - I'm going to be using my rhyming dictionary, which has a good glossary of poetic terms, if I can find it - but it's awfully helpful to talking about these things, even though you don't have to know the talking-about-it terms to do it.  If I say something you're hazy on, let me know and I'll try to clarify.)

Second verse - there might be something that can usefully done by being more specific in what you're saying.  F'ex, I'm not sure just what the second line means; I think it's mainly a pronoun-referent unclarity - if the "it" refers to "my heart" from the first line (and not to "yours", or to something more indefinite), I read it as meaning that your heart aches for that one not-present heart, and as a result doesn't feel a call to the hearts that are present, of (presumably) friends and family.

The final line of that verse is a thing of beauty, though - great imagery, very emotive without being sticky-sweet, and near-perfect iambic hexametre (not quite perfect, because the first foot isn't an iamb - but that slight irregularity makes the flow more natural, so "not quite perfect" refers only to metre, not to poetic quality).  My rhyming dictionary - which I found - tells me a line with six iambic feet is called "alexandrine".  That line's a keeper - so much so that, if the mix of rhyme/rhythm with free verse doesn't work out, I think trying alexandrine is Plan B.

Verse three starts off with two very good lines in iambic tetrametre - my gut expects this to be a regular-rhythm verse, possibly with rhyme, but the third line is iambic pentametre, and the fourth, while I really like the word choices, has trochees instead of iambs (both have two-syllable feet, but in an iamb, the accent is on the second one, and in a trochee, it's on the first one... and I may be enjoying Hey There's A Word For That a bit too much:)).  I'd say, see if you can reframe the third and fourth lines to match the first two in rhythm - but if you think of something else to try instead, go for it and see what happens.

Fourth verse - very straightforward alternation between four-foot and three-foot iambs, with a pretty good slant rhyme ending the second and fourth lines.  Too straightforward - it's a bog-standard rhythm, and prone to sounding trite... especially when as in this case, the third line doesn't quite scan (try it - for rhythm's sake - as "every hour you live in my mind"... or, wait, not "hour" but "breath", since that better matches the constantness of it, and find something else for the first line instead of "every breath").  I'm betting this is the part you're least satisfied with.

Fifth verse - more iambic tetrameter, all with end rhyme (and scansion issues in the third line again; "hard" would fit better than "difficult"), followed by a trimetric iamb (from which the "and" could be dropped without losing either meaning or rhythm, and it'd be better for both grammar and scansion).  Classic but not bog-standard, which is good, but it looks like you had a bit of "transmission failure" (poem not transmitting well from Where The Poems Live to your head) on the last two lines and had to fill in the gaps as best you could.

The last two verses, we're back to free verse (or very nearly; I'm getting some sense of metre).  The second-last one is a bit cheesy (though it's honest cheese - I can tell it's genuinely what you feel), and could probably be rewritten almost from the ground up; I'm thinking, "same ideas, different wording, who knows what'll happen to the form," but don't have any more specific suggestions at this point - it'd probably be best to leave it until you see what happens with reworking the rest of it, which might well provide a direction for this bit.

The final verse works, I think, very well as a final thought, and free verse seems right here (I can see why it does, but I don't have the words to explain why - something about how free verse contrasts with rhyme/rhythm, and about its shortness being suitable).  In general, I like the words you used, though a bit of polishing might be good (idle thought:  perhaps "even though" instead of "while"?  Or some other similar substitution?).

Something I didn't consider earlier was, are the verses/thoughts in the right order?  When I look it over for that, what springs to mind is that the second-last verse is almost a repetition of that troublesome fourth verse, though expanding into whether the absent loved one thinks of the poet/you.  So I'd say, drop the second-last verse altogether, and use it as spare parts for repairing the fourth verse (ideas, more than specific words) - that'll give you more meat to work with in verse four, and the contrast between the preceding rhyme/rhythm and the free-verse finale will be kicked up a notch or several.

Otherwise, the ordering of the thoughts/verses seems fine.

I'll probably have more - if not suggestions for improvement, then praise - once you've applied the above.  And by "applied", I don't mean you have to follow exactly what I said; let it give you other ideas, do what seems right to you, and generally let it be a springboard.  After all, the point here is to improve your poem, and your poetic craftsmanship, not to have me take your poem over.

I hope this isn't more nitpicky than you wanted - I'm usually really reluctant to dive into this kind of nuts-and-bolts critiquing, because a lot of people post poems more just to share, or for lighter critique, and find this sort of thing harsher than they had in mind.  As I learned when I moderated the writing areas on the BBS I used to help run, not everyone who is visited by the poetry-writing muse is visited by the poetry-improving muse.  But you sounded like you were one of the latter, and you offered up a poem that was already good and thus well-worth doing the nuts-and-bolts thing with, so dive in I did.

Sunflower
I'm the AntiFa genderqueer commie eclectic wiccan Mod your alt-right bros warned you about.
I do so have a life; I just live part of it online!
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
"Nobody's good at anything until they practice." - Brina (Yewberry)
My much-neglected blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough"

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