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Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:37 pm
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Oh child of forbearance,
Your virtue is your temperance,
I cannot ascertain your purity.
For I am tainted to my core,
And a sick, perverted paradox vexes me.
Reach out your arms,
Your fingertips begging hopelessly for mine,
Until...finally it bursts forth,
Like an orgasm...pent up for so long,
And truth befriends me for a moment,
I see beyond the shallow horizons.
Together we become the protagonists of our life's story,
Not wallowing in some esoteric plot,
Stewing in our hatred, anger, and all untruthfulness .
Your eyes...like a crystal ball,
I conjure an occult vision from them,
Forbidden and sealed away...drowned in the sea of your soul.
Then we embrace,
And my pining spirit holds back nothing,
As torrents of pain flush from my essence into yours,
Foreboding memories creating a tenebrous omen in the sky.
My empty husk becomes saturated, like freeze-dried food when you add water
And finally I can feel the seed within me germinate,
Life that is but a sliver...however it is very precious.
We both know then...that love is a curse,
A poison that tastes so heavenly sweet,
And is that mystery that poets write in ages past.


Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:10 pm
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Location: Texas
This is a critique and analysis. Take it as one person's opinions and not an attack or anything of that sort.

I like the lines
"Your fingertips begging hopelessly for mine"
"And truth befriends me for a moment"

"Oh child of forbearance" sounds like trying to get someone's attention as they walk away. "Oh, One more thing". I think you probably meant "O, child of forbearance" because the lines appear to be addressing the "child of forbearance".

Some of the words don't add to the sound or rhythm, but are just more complex or difficult.
forbearance, ascertain, protagonists, esoteric, tenebrous
I didn't know the word "tenebrous". That doesn't mean much because there are lots of words I don't know. It's a style thing, but I try to use words that I think most readers will know or be able to figure out from the context.

There are a few places that are just a bit... yuck. They give a visceral feel of disgust, but I'm not sure that's what the poem was going for.
"Until...finally it bursts forth, / Like an orgasm...pent up for so long"
"My empty husk becomes saturated, like freeze-dried food when you add water"

How I understand the poem (analysis):

I get the idea that the "child of forbearance" is someone who has a lot of self control and that this is a "virtue" to the speaker. The speaker can't understand how the "child of forbearance" can be so pure because of the speaker's own impurity. The speaker is troubled by a "sick, perverted paradox".
The speaker commands the "child of forbearance" to "Reach out your arms" and the speaker gains a greater understanding of the "truth". Touching this truth, the speaker and the "child of forbearance" are able to become the principle characters in the combined story of their lives where nothing is hidden, putting aside evil. In this moment, the speaker sees something in the eyes of the "child of forbearance" that was hidden away and "drowned" in the soul of the "child of forbearance".
There is an embrace between the speaker and the "child of forbearance", and the "child of forbearance" actually takes the pain from the speaker into itself which makes a dark or confusing sign in the sky. This transaction is like refreshing water given to a dried-out husk or rain that causes a seed to grow for the speaker.
The speaker refers back to the paradox noting that the tiny bit of life granted by the transaction of pain for water is precious, and that love has severe negatives, being a "curse" and a sweet poison.

I think that the "child of forbearance" is Jesus because of the incomprehensible "purity", the taking away of the pain. Some problems with this are that the speaker commands Jesus to reach out, and that the "child of forbearance" has fingers begging "hopelessly".
The embrace is salvation because of the taking away of pain and the adding of water to make life. I don't understand the "Foreboding memories creating a tenebrous omen in the sky" in light of this because it's a negative image between the release of pain and the adding of water.


It's a good start. If it were my work I would simplify some of the wording to be more precise. I would try to strengthen some of the similes and metaphors. I would add more sound to the work with some updated word choices, rhythm, and word order. I would rework the punctuation.

Again, I'm not trying to tear your work apart, but to give you my thoughts. I have improved the most when people have told me things that they would change in my work (in music, graphic design, and writing) than people just telling me the work is good or what they liked.


Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:04 am
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Thanks for your constructive criticism..its good to know for future writing. I am a bit unorthodox with my writing, which is why I use confusing words and say things that are a bit difficult to understand. I don't really care about rhyme or rhythm, my work is usually based on what comes to me in its purest form and dare not shape it into something it isn't. It isn't my best work, but I'm still pretty happy with it. I'm glad someone said more then "its good" and gave me a detailed critique.


Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:03 pm
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Lady Sloth
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First of all, I want to say that i think you have a good instinct for rhythm and diction in a poem. Only one line here has a bad rhythm and it's the freeze-dried food line, which is not a very good line for more reasons as well... I mean, I can see the image you're going for but it's just not the right way to evoke it, I think.

You've got the mood, you've got the voice, you've got the atmosphere, you've got the rhythm, you've got the vocab. (I think foxbunny and i are gonna disagree over diction choices on a consistent basis, haha)

What you need to work on now is your imagery. Here the imagery is very vague and disconnected. You do more telling than showing, whereas the cardinal rule of poetry is to show rather than tell (and imply rather than show). You've got to pack your imagery into your words--sight, smell, sound, taste. And let your choice of vivid nouns, adjectives, and adverbs (listed in order of importance there, take note) tell the story for you.

The passion is so clear here. It needs to be taken to the next level now... the visceral level. I'll do a line-by-line critique below.

---

Oh child of forbearance,

- here you did mean "O child...". big difference

Your virtue is your temperance,

- wouldn't the child of forbearance's virtue be... forbearance? this is a weird segue

I cannot ascertain your purity
.

- bit confusing as well. if the virtue is temperance, then purity can be assumed? what is the narrator's stake in the child's purity? this is not clear.

For I am tainted to my core,


- ah I don't think you meant ascertain before. "ascertain" means more like discover, but I think you want something more like understand or comprehend. as in, the narrator cannot comprehend the purity because he's are so tainted, not that he can't discover the purity or decide whether it's there or not.

And a sick, perverted paradox vexes me.

- paradox is a powerful word, so it sets up powerful expectations. i do not, however, see a paradox in the following verses. unless you mean the whole "love is a curse" thing, which is pretty cliche, like.

Reach out your arms,
Your fingertips begging hopelessly for mine,
Until...finally it bursts forth,
Like an orgasm...pent up for so long,


- own your imagery here. metaphors are more powerful than similes. it's not like an orgasm it IS an orgasm so.

And truth befriends me for a moment,
I see beyond the shallow horizons.


- very vague. what shallow horizons?

Together we become the protagonists of our life's story,
Not wallowing in some esoteric plot,


- becoming protagonists entails becoming part of a plot... this is a confusing turn of phrase here.

Stewing in our hatred, anger, and all untruthfulness .
Your eyes...like a crystal ball,
I conjure an occult vision from them,
Forbidden and sealed away...drowned in the sea of your soul.


- you need to show, not tell. show us the occult vision rather than telling us that it's there. I want to see the image the narrator sees and not have to come up with my own vague one.

Then we embrace,
And my pining spirit holds back nothing,
As torrents of pain flush from my essence into yours,
Foreboding memories creating a tenebrous omen in the sky.


- no issue with the word tenebrous imho, but you need, again, to SHOW us the omen in the sky rather than just tell us about it.

My empty husk becomes saturated, like freeze-dried food when you add water

- sorry man but this line is terrible and it destroys the mood you've built so far.

And finally I can feel the seed within me germinate,
Life that is but a sliver...however it is very precious.
We both know then...that love is a curse,


-this has not yet been established by anything you've written thus far...

A poison that tastes so heavenly sweet,


- again...

And is that mystery that poets write in ages past.

- this kind of comes out of nowhere. I can't see how it fits with the rest of the poem here. you start out strong with the voice of your narrator crying "O!" ... and then end by distancing yourself as far as possible from that crying out narrator. what is the reason why we flee from that narrator here in the end? it may very well be much more powerful if you land us inside his heart instead.


Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:46 pm
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Didn't expect a line-by-line critique..guess I have some work to do before I attempt another poem. I don't really think of these things when I write..the poems..they are out in the ether, I reach out to them and guide them to a page..I don't question their authority, but I keep them as pure as possible. I think my problem is that I don't critique my own work before I put it out there, I just never feel like proofreading and re-writing..but I think its something I have to try to do.


Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:22 pm
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If you keep the criticism at heart, it'll make your next one that much better! Even if it takes a while.


Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:26 pm
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For me, most of my work is rewriting. I usually underline something as I write when I know I don't like something and it needs to be fixed.
Poetry tip of the day: writing formal poetry will improve your free verse immensely. It's like practicing scales and patterns to a metronome in music.


Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:33 pm
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Lady Sloth
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writing, and writing as much as possible without self-editing, is a huge part of poetry. feel free to write as many un-edited poems as you want--don't think that because one didn't turn out perfectly that you should stop writing until you can churn out perfection (...it never happens...)

the thing is, true writing is re-writing. editing, re-writing, re-envisioning, and changing things is a vital part of the writing process. so writing something to begin with is half way there... keeping at it, working on it, changing it and making it better is the other half.


Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:26 pm
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You have a certain fire when you write.
The poem is styled like the prayers of fire-and-brimstone preachers:
So full of passion, it scares me a little!


Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:04 pm
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No need to worry though..I'm a very gentle-spirited fur. I actually don't really like fire-and-brimstone preaching


Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:03 pm
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I don't like the content of fire-and-brimstone preaching,
But I admire the passion with which it's preached! C:


Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:22 am
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I hesitate to take on choices of words, because if the emotion is pure, the words really don't matter so much. However, I must concur at least on the "freeze-dried food" simile which definitely breaks the mood. Also, aside from being slightly shocking the "orgasm" simile/metaphor strikes me as being slightly inappropriate, if for no other reason than that not every reader (I hope) will be able to process it properly--that phenomenon cannot be understood until it is experienced.

One thing that could be made a little more clear, perhaps, is the identity of the "child of forbearance"; if a lover, the language of romance would be quite appropriate. I fear I am at a loss as to how exactly that would best be done...

Also, I would not sweat the "fire and brimstone" comparison, because while some preachers do try to scare people into repentance, others simply remind us of how powerful and righteous God is. If that truth is scary, it probably means the Spirit is reminding us of some sin we need to deal with.


Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:09 am
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