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~ Critique Series ~

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Miss_Sub
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A topic close to my heart. Glad this has been thrown out there for all

poet Anonymous

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JohnnyBlaze
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Anonymous said:<< post removed >>

I respectfully disagree in regards to certain writers who believe that whatever guts spill out on the page is nothing short of poetry. Because that's what poetry is to them, be it "woe is me" emotional venting or stream of consciousness pissed.

They will most likely take offense at any critique shattering the illusion of already having successfully written what could only have been written in that particular moment by them and no one else.

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Ahavati
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JohnnyBlaze said:

I respectfully disagree in regards to certain writers who believe that whatever guts spill out on the page is nothing short of poetry. Because that's what poetry is to them, be it "woe is me" emotional venting or stream of consciousness pissed.

They will most likely take offense at any critique shattering the illusion of already having successfully written what could only have been written in that particular moment by them and no one else.


I agree with what you've said completely. However, I didn't say "every writer".  Even if there's only one out of ten that become successful because of an encouraging (yet honest) critque, it will have been worth the effort, imho.

Really looking forward (and am grateful) to your participation in this series.

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JohnnyBlaze
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Ahavati said:
Really looking forward (and am grateful) to your participation in this series.


Perhaps a seasoned member or two could volunteer a poem they are struggling with or are insistent can't be improved upon. I would gladly savage them.

I meant to say, provide in depth critiques.

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Ahavati
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I agree and will talk to the facebook team. I know we're going to have a critique comp after the series ends this week. That's going to be exciting!

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JohnnyBlaze
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My moostache is waxed.

I am ready.

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Ahavati
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Okay, folks! Here we go! We'll begin below with two HONEST critques as examples.

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Ahavati
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I've always wanted to return and edit this one because I never felt its form was right.  I tried numerous times but never knew which way to go with it.  I wrote it years ago.

Christmas in Vietnam
1964 - Second Tour  
 
Christmas lights in Vietnam  
were automatic weapon fire  
 
blinking within the perimeter  
while back home in America  
 
I broke the leg of my first Barbie  
bending it too far back, my cow-
 
licked pixie at morning attention
transmitting code-aviation across
 
a cracked oatmeal bowl, a crippled
doll, a divided country, an ocean,  
 
a continent, a gulf, a peninsula,  
and Cambodian border to intercept
 
and slit the throats of ricocheted  
bullets fiercely craning their necks
 
for my father, who was looking out  
over a munition's crate desk  
 
from his makeshift tent while writing  
me about duty and love, feet  
 
rotting from jungle and words
trailing with irony at the beauty  
 
of sparklers hopping toward him  
like a warm holiday memory,  

or childhood nightmare of captured  
fireflies: forgotten POW's dying  

in a foreign country of glass jar  
beneath dirty clothes on his bedroom floor.  
 
~

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JohnnyBlaze
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Ahavati said:I've always wanted to return and edit this one because I never felt its form was right.  I tried numerous times but never knew which way to go with it.  I wrote it years ago.

Christmas in Vietnam
1964 - Second Tour  
 
Christmas lights in Vietnam  
were automatic weapon fire  
 
blinking within the perimeter  
while back home in America  
 
I broke the leg of my first Barbie  
bending it too far back, my cow-
 
licked pixie at morning attention
transmitting code-aviation across
 
a cracked oatmeal bowl, a crippled
doll, a divided country, an ocean,  
 
a continent, a gulf, a peninsula,  
and Cambodian border to intercept
 
and slit the throats of ricocheted  
bullets fiercely craning their necks
 
for my father, who was looking out  
over a munition's crate desk  
 
from his makeshift tent while writing  
me about duty and love, feet  
 
rotting from jungle and words
trailing with irony at the beauty  
 
of sparklers hopping toward him  
like a warm holiday memory,  

or childhood nightmare of captured  
fireflies: forgotten POW's dying  

in a foreign country of glass jar  
beneath dirty clothes on his bedroom floor.  
 
~


I feel this part needs medical attention.

to intercept
 
and slit the throats of ricocheted  
bullets fiercely craning their necks
 
for my father


First, the idea that a bullet could have a throat to slit is asking a bit too much of the reader.

Next, you are not allowing the reader to pause and catch his mental breath with such a long run on sentence train of thought. I understand that the narrator is reliving childhood memories and children have a capacity to ramble nonstop, which gives the poem an authenticity - but sometimes it is necessary to bite the bullet and give the reader a chance to process what is being read as it is being read in "real time".

I think you are needlessly shoe horning the entire piece into two line stanzas that are of no benefit to the reading; except in regards to

bending it too far back, my cow-
 
licked pixie at morning attention


which leaves me with the humorous impression that the narrator was literally licked by a cow.

As for the rest, I suggest removing the spaces and then looking for opportunities to insert pauses where it feels most natural. Forms are not necessary and should only be used to enhance the reader's experience.

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Ahavati
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Thank you! I have always known something was not right about this one. When I originally wrote it I was thinking transmission of Morse code (dot dot dash...), and I think I wanted to convey the erratic nature in this write. But you're absolutely right, by the time you finish you're out of breath, and more happy to breathe than reflect on what was just written.

LOL @ bullets having a neck to slit - it's definitely how I felt about them, and wanted to do to them from a child's perspective. But maybe it's too abstract an idea, even for a child. Down in the deep south (not sure about elsewhere) it's called a cow-lick and literally does refer to being licked by a cow!

I appreciate this greatly, Johnny. This one is a special memory for me - and I'd like it to be right in honor of that memory. I'm going to revise per your suggestions and then garner additional feedback if you're okay with that?

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JohnnyBlaze
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Ahavati said:Thank you! I have always known something was not right about this one. When I originally wrote it I was thinking transmission of Morse code (dot dot dash...), and I think I wanted to convey the erratic nature in this write. But you're absolutely right, by the time you finish you're out of breath, and more happy to breathe than reflect on what was just written.

LOL @ bullets having a neck to slit - it's definitely how I felt about them, and wanted to do to them from a child's perspective. But maybe it's too abstract an idea, even for a child. Down in the deep south (not sure about elsewhere) it's called a cow-lick and literally does refer to being licked by a cow!

I appreciate this greatly, Johnny. This one is a special memory for me - and I'd like it to be right in honor of that memory. I'm going to revise per your suggestions and then garner additional feedback if you're okay with that?


Sounds good to me.

Just keep in mind that the end of the day, it is your poem. If you feel strongly about bullets with necks, then keep them in.

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