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Thread: Magical Realization

  1. #1
    Registered User miyako73's Avatar
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    May 2009

    Magical Realization

    When she left in a hurry,
    Her quick steps failed
    To go down the stairs
    Silent and unnoticed.

    The floor shuddered,
    The thatched wall trembled
    From the endless worries
    Of her heavy feet.

    She shook and woke me up
    In my screeching crib,
    A prison to defaced dolls
    And hanged wingless insects.

    I learned by myself
    How to stand, how to walk,
    Capture a sudden chance,
    And unravel the spirit's magic.

    The needle she used to sew
    Holes and hems, lacy veils,
    And monks' saffron robes
    Pointed me to the East.

    I tied both of my hands
    Onto the end of its thread
    She span from hemp and gold
    In her dreams and self-hypnoses.

    They pulled and led me first
    To the valley of paddy fields
    Of munias and black sparrows
    On the stalks chewing grains.

    I only saw the vanishing prints
    Of her wet diabetic feet-
    Thumbless and deformed
    From wounds and gangrenes.

    Next we went to the sea
    Swelling calm waves at noon,
    Pushing bubbles and froths
    To the barren, salty shore.

    I did see our red canoe
    That bore her rosy name
    Laid peacefully on salt and sand,
    But its paddle was now gone.

    They dragged me everywhere,
    To the moss-covered rocks,
    To the yellowing foliage,
    To the crickets I did not hear.

    I begged them to stop
    And steered the thread
    To turn the stubborn needle
    Towards my mother's home.

    We followed the fish scales
    Scratching my bare ticklish feet
    And walked on drips of blood
    Staining grasses and clay.

    Then I saw the chaffs-
    On the road bursting open,
    Abandoned and left to decay,
    Flying lifeless in the wind.

    The needle tumbled in the air,
    The thread swayed into a dance,
    I hopped, slid, and ran,
    We finally reached her home.

    From the stairs outside,
    I traced the baffling scents
    Of fermenting milk and detergent,
    And perfume and pungent garlic.

    They brought my excited steps
    Into the kitchen, by the stove,
    Near the pots, to my mother,
    Who steamed rice and boiled stew.

    The thread loosened itself,
    Became a feather, and flew,
    While the needle disappeared
    Among spines, swords, and thorns.

    As for myself who could now talk,
    Blow embers to make fire,
    I finally found what I had lost,
    The bosom for my inaudible words.
    Last edited by miyako73; 04-26-2012 at 06:12 PM.
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

    --Jonathan Davis

  2. #2
    Registered User Hawkman's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
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    OK miyako, there’s a problem with the first Stanza. The first three lines read as though “she” failed to go down stairs. So, she stayed upstairs then? The last line is just awkward syntactically. You seem to be trying to spread a small amount of information with too many words, or convey too much information in too few words. It’s difficult to make it fit coherently into the structure. There are just better ways to convey the concept, but you might try this:

    “She left in a hurry,
    Quick steps loud
    And clattering
    As she ran down stairs.”

    I’m not keen on “failed… to go silent and unnoticed” as it just seems a very long-winded way of saying she was noisy. By tweaking the verse as I have I feel it runs more smoothly into S2.

    There is a problem with S2, but it kind of depends what concept you are trying to convey. “Worries” indicates concerns or preoccupations and it’s kind of difficult to imagine feet having any, unless they are corns or bunions. If however you mean worry as in the way a dog worries a bone, then it kind of makes more sense, but would be better as “worrying” in context, but I’d replace, “from” with “to”.

    S3: Again you have problems with expression here, i.e., “screeching crib”: was the crib really screeching or was it you? I don’t think you need to say “She shook me and woke me up” You need to reword the stanza along the lines of:

    “She woke me
    Screeching in my crib
    A prison (of/for) defaced dolls
    And hanged, wingless insects.”

    (love that last line btw, great image)

    There’s not much of a problem with S5, but I could suggest tightening it up a little. Do we need monks’? for me “saffron robes” immediately conjures up the image of them anyway, and the “me” kind of puts in an extraneous beat. Like this it just reads better to me.

    “The needle she used to sew
    Holes and hems, lacy veils
    And saffron robes
    Pointed to the East.”

    With S6 I think you can safely drop one of the personal pronouns. We know you are talking about “her/she” so it isn’t necessary to repeat it so often. I’d also be inclined to cut a few syllables. You don’t really need to say, “I tied both of my hands” most people only have two and by saying hands we know you’ve got more than one You can safely dispense with the on in onto. I’d also change the plural hypnoses to hypnosis as it tightens the stress on the last syllable. It just doesn’t sound nice.

    “I tied my hands
    to the end of the thread,
    spun from hemp and gold
    by her dreams and self-hypnosis.

    S7: Who are “They”? In context “it” would make more sense. I assume you are suggesting that the dreams and hypnosis are pulling you, but the association of the thread, which was made the subject of the preceding verse, confuses the issue. So, is it the thread which pulls you or the dreams. You might want to clarify this.

    S8: “Diabetic feet”? are only “her” feet diabetic, and what has a medical condition preventing the body’s production of insulin got to do with it? As for being thumbless, most feet are, so I wouldn’t consider it a deformation. Gangrene doesn’t have a plural, it is a condition, in and of itself.

    S9: bubbles and froth would seem to be mildly tautologous, again, lose the “S” on froth here.

    S10: “I did see…” should be “I saw”

    S11: “To the crickets I could not hear.”

    “I begged them to stop
    And steered the thread,
    Turning the stubborn needle
    Towards my mother's home.

    Why “my mother’s home?” isn’t it yours too? You might want to change this to, “toward home.” But it’s not essential.

    S13: Why “The” fish scales?” The definite article makes these specific and there has been no mention of fish up to now. Omit “the” and the sentence is fine. You’ve introduced a tense change with “Scratching” leaping into the present when all else is past tense. Try, “which scratched my bare feet” I’d be inclined to drop ticklish. Again, staining is present tense. “That stained” would be grammatically correct in context. Grasses is also dodgy for a couple of reasons. Grasses implies more than one type of grass, which is all very well, but it doesn’t read well because of the extra sibilant syllable.

    S14: Chaffs causes me some problems here. I have difficulty getting my head around the concept you are trying to convey. Chaff is chaff and can’t have an “S” and as it’s what’s left after grain has been threshed I can’t imagine it splitting open. I initially thought you meant chuffs, a coastal cliff-dwelling corvid which kind of works with the subsequent lines of the verse. (if a bit grim)

    “The needle tumbled in the air,
    The thread swayed, dancing,
    while I hopped, slid, and ran
    till we finally reached home.”

    S17: I’d cut the pots, they are irrelevant.

    “They lured my excited steps
    to the kitchen, to the stove,
    to my mother,
    Who steamed rice and boiled stew.

    The rest is fine.

    OH, and for the record, If you want me to do an in depth crit in future, could you write shorter poems? This has taken hours! LOL.

    Generally, I quite like the idea behind this and the imagery is strong. You paint vivid pictures.

    Live and be well - H
    Last edited by Hawkman; 04-26-2012 at 01:51 PM.

  3. #3
    Something's gotta give PrinceMyshkin's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Montreal, QC
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    I haven't the patience (or the expertise) to do as detailed a critique as Hawkman did, so I willl confine myself to an appreciation of the surrealist, nightmare quality of this.

  4. #4
    Registered User miyako73's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Thanks a bunch, Hawk. I tested my patience and poetic fortitude in this one. I think I should stick with minimalism-easy to control. I'll post the short version with a different title soon. Thanks again.
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

    --Jonathan Davis

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Wow, liked it. And Monsieur Hawk really put some work in to sorting it out, what a guy.


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