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Thread: Just a little one.

  1. #1
    Left 4evr Adolescent09's Avatar
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    Just a little one.

    Any comments/suggestions and criticism for my latest will be appreciated. This may be added to my progressing book of poetry depending on the comments it receives.

    Twilight dusk.

    An earth of browning shadow,
    beneath starry skies,

    is covered in violet mallow,
    where subtle beauty cries,

    Blue are those withered buds,
    when bipeds go away,

    dead stems sprout to life from mud,
    hence, the beginning of the dying day,

    The chirps of the feathered breasts abate,
    In a land so still and great,

    where the soft fruit begins to husk
    under the spell of the twilight dusk
    Last edited by Adolescent09; 02-23-2007 at 08:55 AM.
    My hide hides the heart inside

  2. #2
    Registered User rintrah's Avatar
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    This is a truly wonderful poem with compelling descriptions. It has an interesting rhyming structure, and as a sonnet it has a definite cyclic feel.

    But here the brevity of the cycle in the poem forces some confrontation between opposites, like bending a magnet to confront it's opposing poles. There is discord but this is vital to the power of the poem. The birthing and dying are compounded into one couplet, a couplet which draws together the opposing forces of 'dying' and 'day'; an interesting and arresting alliteration. This tension is crucial to why the poem operates so well. We have 'beauty cries' . . . perhaps from relief with the departing 'bipeds', perhaps from torment that the haven't departed sooner. But the notion of the beauty in sorrow, perhaps in childbirth, is another arresting motif.

    In some cases the brevity of opposing ideas is brought down to the microcosm of the single word. There are some interesting 'near-misses'; words which almost convey one thing, but in fact convey something else. For example, it is easy to mistake 'violet' for 'violent' - a little tension which is resolved by 'mallow' which is easily confused with 'mellow'. So we have violet mallow/violent mellow - a wonderful subversive reading which your text almost permits!

    The same thing with 'husk', which sounds harsh and unappealing in comparison to the soft fruit, yet the husk contains seed, and therefore represents regeneration and hope.

    I like the metonymy of 'feathered breasts' for birds. 'Bipeds' is a curious word, "two-feet". It is unusual and witty, wryly reminding us of our foot-print on the 'earth of browning shadow' - the soil of trampled ground. Bipeds operates to both convey the subject in question - people - but also their remaining marks, symbols of presence, absence.

    At the end the world is not left without hope, as the fruit husks, making more seed for a new generation of 'withered buds' (withered by stroking, by trampling, by mere observation?) and soft fruit (soft from bruising?). The poem leaves with a promise of regrowth. Thus the compound problem of the opening sestet ('beauty cries', 'withered buds') is resolved in the final sestet ('sprout to life', 'still and great', 'husk'), and is neatly brought back to the opening line - rather like a chiasmus.

    I am reminded of Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem 'God's Grandeur', which leaves me with the same sense that although bipeds 'have trod, have trod', and the earth wears 'man's smudge, and shares man's smell', nature is resilient, as at the close:

    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
    Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

    Forgive me for quoting other poem in responding to yours, but I found a similar sense of the robustness of nature in the face of human oppression - though weary, the violets and blues are still violet and blue.
    Last edited by rintrah; 02-23-2007 at 02:33 PM.
    Now comes the night of Enitharmons joy!
    Who shall I call? Who shall I send?

  3. #3
    Left 4evr Adolescent09's Avatar
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    Rintrah, I am truly astounded at how well you have interpereted my poem's meaning and thank you sincerely for the time and effort it must have taken to write all that. I am particularly interested in the way you contrasted the word "violet" with "violent" and "mallow" with "mellow".

    " 'Bipeds' is a curious word, "two-feet". It is unusual and witty, wryly reminding us of our foot-print on the 'earth of browning shadow' - the soil of trampled ground. Bipeds operates to both convey the subject in question - people - but also their remaining marks, symbols of presence, absence."

    This is a magnificent perception of my poem, though at the time of writing it I was completely oblivious of this effect. (the subject in questioning, which is us and the marks they leave in their wakes/paths) I must say you are correct; I do think it is very fitting. Thank you.

    " 'withered buds' (withered by stroking, by trampling, by mere observation?) and soft fruit (soft from bruising?). " I am glad you added the question marks in your brackets as if asking me if this is what I really meant. I can only reply by saying that not only are your construements of these lines accurate, but they go beyond what I had in mind! For example, soft fruit from bruising, is brilliant. I intended for "soft fruit" to mean smooth and unkempt but you took it to a whole new meaningful degree by construing it as soft from bruising.


    Although I must acknowledge I had little intention of conveying my poem so profoundly as you have put it, (I am a beginner at poetry-writing and am still very naive) your review has not only given me hope, but enlightened me.

    After it's all said and done, I really enjoyed reading (and answering for that matter) your reply and look forward to your opinions in the future. I can see you are very good at this.
    My hide hides the heart inside

  4. #4
    Registered User rintrah's Avatar
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    Glad you like my critique - I really do think it is an excellent poem. You have obvious talent.

    There are critical theories which explain the fact that the author can so often invoke meanings beyond those of which they are conscious. Some theories go on to insist that once written, meaning is given up by the author, and the text inhabits a new realm which is accessible by reader and author alike. Such theories break up the old author/authority connection, insisting that the text is the only authority.

    Perhaps I am repeating things you are very much aware of, but just for your interest, the technique I used to analyze your poem was New Criticism's close reading, developed by I A Richards, and used by critics such as T S Eliot, F R Leavis, and Cleanth Brooks. There are good wikipedia entries on all this. Again, one of the challenges of using forums such as this is that I cannot see your response to what I am 'saying', thus I don't know if I am covering things you already know of, so forgive me if I am!

    Keep writing!
    Now comes the night of Enitharmons joy!
    Who shall I call? Who shall I send?

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