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~ Critique Series ~

poet
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 1161

The heart of the sky
framed in limbs
A tree shedding
bark like skin

A kaleidoscope of leaves
swarms toward summer
My hair becomes planted
in a nest of dirt and fertlizer

Grilled smoke disipates
in the distance, a sacrifice
unto the god of taste

I hear it in the cricket's wings
their metronome allegro
134 beats per minute

"April, 'the cruelest month'
is fast approaching"

~

Better?  I switched the final two lines in S2 to better incorporate a clearer meaning and rhyme. Also ditched hyacinths (it didn't work switched). I'll save that for NAPO!

I love how month plays off allegro.

Now for a title and she's ready to post.

poet
JohnnyBlaze
Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 645

Ahavati said:The heart of the sky
framed in limbs
A tree shedding
bark like skin

A kaleidoscope of leaves
swarms toward summer
My hair becomes planted
in a nest of dirt and fertlizer

Grilled smoke disipates
in the distance, a sacrifice
unto the god of taste

I hear it in the cricket's wings
their metronome allegro
134 beats per minute

"April, 'the cruelest month'
is fast approaching"

~

Better?  I switched the final two lines in S2 to better incorporate a clearer meaning and rhyme. Also ditched hyacinths (it didn't work switched). I'll save that for NAPO!

I love how month plays off allegro.

Now for a title and she's ready to post.


You could do

nested in dirt and fertilizer

You still have Rooting or I'm Rooting For Her or even I'm Rooting For April.

Or back to Laid Back.

poet
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
38awards   profile   poems   message
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 1161

The heart of the sky
framed in limbs
A tree shedding
bark like skin

A kaleidoscope of leaves
swarms toward summer
My hair becomes nested
in dirt and fertilizer

Grilled smoke dissipates
in the distance, a sacrifice
unto the god of taste

I hear it in the cricket's wings
their metronome allegro
134 beats per minute

"April, 'the cruelest month'
is fast approaching"

~

You could do

nested in dirt and fertilizer


o O! Done.

You still have Rooting or I'm Rooting For Her or even I'm Rooting For April.

Or back to Laid Back.


None of those feel right. How about "Earthen"?

poet
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 1161

Or simply "April"?

poet
JohnnyBlaze
Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 645

Ahavati said:
None of those feel right. How about "Earthen"?


meh .....

Dirt Nap

Grounded




poet
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 1161

JohnnyBlaze said:

meh .....

Dirt Nap

Grounded





BINGO was His Name-O! *snap snap*

Phew!


poet
mel44
Thought Provoker
United Kingdom
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Joined 3rd Mar 2017
Forum Posts: 154

I would appreciate all feedback.

Finally Aware

My past I must embrace
As experiences do mould
An uneasy education
But worth its weight in gold

I cannot ignore
Years that helped create
Regardless of the pain
Their value shall not abate

No purpose in dismissing
Who or where Im from
A history departed
Shaping who I've become

Learning to love oneself
Not always a simple task
Looking in a mirror
Not observing a mask

Raw and exposed
Naked, completely bare
Unadorned I am me
Finally aware

poet
JohnnyBlaze
Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 645

For starters

mel44 said:I would appreciate all feedback.

Finally Aware

My past I must embrace
As experiences do mould -or- As experience does mould
An uneasy education
But worth its weight in gold

I cannot ignore
Years that helped create
Regardless of the pain
Their value shall not abate

No purpose in dismissing
Who or where Im from
A history departed
Shaping who I've become

Learning to love oneself
Not always a simple task
Looking in a mirror
Not observing a mask

Raw and exposed
Naked, completely bare <- repetative information
Unadorned I am me
Finally aware

poet
mel44
Thought Provoker
United Kingdom
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Joined 3rd Mar 2017
Forum Posts: 154

My past I must embrace
As experience does mould
An uneasy education
Worth its weight in gold

I cannot ignore
Years that helped create
Regardless of the pain
Their value shall not abate

No purpose in dismissing
Who or where I'm from
A history departed
Shaping who I've become

Learning to love oneself
Not always a simple task
Looking in a mirror
Not observing a mask

Raw and exposed
Feelings hard to bear
But unadorned I am me
And finally aware

Minor edits...Thank you JB:)

poet
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 1161

Excellent, you two. One thing I'd add:

But unadorned, I am me
And finally aware

A little uncertain about the comma. Whatcha think, Blaze?




poet
rabbitquest
Bunn
Dangerous Mind
Israel
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Joined 20th May 2012
Forum Posts: 1220

Dear mel44,

I experimented with
Your poem by a process of
Fiddling around with it,
then revisiting, several times.
I am pretty sure i killed it, alas.

Thanks for putting it out there .



My years flow behind
I no longer find joy
From a mask of Hide
my past dismiss
My hard won story
My gold my glory

Becoming is no simple
Task but finally I observe
No mask just raw exposed
Naked unadorned
love of me

poet Anonymous

Hi Mel, I'm not going to attempt to edit your poem, because rhyming isn't my thing and often edits can turn into a rewrite, which takes time and isn't often appreciated.  

But I will challenge you to think more critically when you write your next poem, by being more aware when you're using cliches.  Avoid using cliches if you can, it's kinda lazy for a poet to rely on these old phrase and images.  But if you can't find another way to express your feelings, then make the cliche your own by giving it a twist.  That's what creative writing is all about.

'Worth it's weight in gold...' I can think of thousands of alternative things that are heavy, beautiful and expensive.

'Shaping who I've become...' Why not think of a metaphor like a river or waves carving the shore? Try to be more poetic with your imagery.

'Looking in a mirror... observing a mask...' I'm sure I'm guilty of using these before, it's kinda a 'self improvement' slash 'the new me' poem trap.  

Another observation.  If you look closely at stanzas 1-4 the poem feels very repetitive in what you're expressing e.g. years, past, history, reflection, pain, learning etc.  I think you could either be a lot more concise or go into more specific details into how you got to where you are today.

I challenge you to rewrite your poem not using rhyme with no set structure and limiting yourself to a maximum of 50 words, purely as a writing exercise.

I'm sorry if I've come across as being a bit harsh and critical, but I try to be honest and constructive in my feedback, so poets can improve their craft.

poet
mel44
Thought Provoker
United Kingdom
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Joined 3rd Mar 2017
Forum Posts: 154

Dear Alex, Your critique is helpful and much appreciated. I will look at your challenge as I do like a rhyme and it is difficult to be outside my box. Thank you.

poet
JohnnyBlaze
Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 645

Ahavati said:Excellent, you two. One thing I'd add:

But unadorned, I am me
And finally aware

A little uncertain about the comma. Whatcha think, Blaze?





Comma seems unnecessary if you were to remove "me".

If "me" stays, so should the comma,


poet
JohnnyBlaze
Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 645

Where Her Passion Lies

She wore herself down until
she was almost invisible
and every time you blinked
you had to go find her again

She was like a wide spread pool
over every temperament and idea
and each time you thought you were
prying deeper you felt this rush of adrenaline
and out of the anticipation
you dove in head first
soon aware of the danger of the shallowness
that was just beneath
your plunging head
so you clenched your eyes
and embraced for contact
to another dead end.

and you woke up to find yourself
floating in undiscovered and unexplored places
of she who you thought brought clarity

and now youre addicted to this puzzle
who is the most distorted of masterpieces
you think you can try to solve
but once you latch two pieces together
and they seem to envelop and encompass one another
you try to expedite your venture
the same speed that shes changing
the course of the game.
and when one piece holds
one lets go, and it will never be apt again.

So you wade in the shallow pools of her thoughts
looking over the broad scape of allusion and reflection
not knowing where to start
and losing hope that there might be
one pool deeper than what youve discovered before

you spend your nights staring blankly
at the unseeable abyss of her mind
daydreaming of begging for breath
because you finally could descend farther
than your lungs can hold oxygen

Daydreaming that maybe drowning is worth the risk
of possibly discovering where her passion is
and the reason of why its sunk so far
and the monster that bounds and anchors it
more frightening than she cares to admit.
Written by Isgyppie_ (The_perpetual_journey_)
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Poet of the Week Honest Critique

The poem our Poet of the Week Isgyppie_ has selected for critique in my opinion provides both an excellent and beautiful metaphor, portraying a woman as a shallow body of water further examined with hope of revealing greater character depth and understanding as to why that dimension is kept hidden.

However, the poem suffers from an excess of wordiness which is usually habitual and thus there is likely habit at work behind the scenes that can be broken. Also, there is a second metaphor that distracts focus away from the initial regarding water.

So, I am going to remove "what I believe" is not vital the poem's survival.

Where Her Passion Lies

She wore herself down
almost invisible
every time you blinked
you had to find her again

rush adrenaline
anticipation
you dove in head first
aware of danger shallowness
just beneath
your plunging head
clenched eyes
embraced for contact
another dead end.

you woke up to find yourself
floating in undiscovered and unexplored places

and now youre addicted to this puzzle
who is the most distorted of masterpieces
you think you can try to solve
but once you latch two pieces together
and they seem to envelop and encompass one another
you try to expedite your venture
the same speed that shes changing
the course of the game.
and when one piece holds
one lets go, and it will never be apt again.
<- entire stanza to be replaced

So you wade in shallow her
hope that there might be
deeper pools

descend farther
than lungs can hold oxygen

Daydreaming drowning worth the risk
of possibly discovering where her passion is
the reason of why its sunk so far
and the monster that bounds and anchors it
more frightening than she cares to admit.




Next, I'm going to reorganize words and lines, as well as make slight modifications to language such as tense and add "my own substitutions" to complete the story.



Where Her Passion Lies

Every time you blinked
you lost sight of
a person with dimension
for s
he wore herself clear
as pure ocean


In an adrenaline rush
flush with anticipation
you dove in head first
aware of danger;
shallows just beneath
your headfirst plunge
eyes clenched
braced for impact
with a dead end

only to find yourself
floating in uncharted waters
less apt to spill through your grasp <- this line replaces the entire "puzzle metaphor" stanza

descending further
into her with more hope
than oxygen;

drowning in daydreams
worth the risk of possibly
discovering her passions
why these are sunken so far
into depths unseen

illuminating whatever leviathan
more frightening than she cares to admit
keeping her heart's desires
pirated away in a chest





My alterations are only meant to shed light on the poem's potential and are not written in stone; they are also open to alteration or can be completely dismissed by the author.

Stanza 1 still conveys the same notion of her having worn herself into something less than she could actually be to the point of losing opacity, while now perpetuating the idea of her wearing a surface layer in correlation to the metaphor of her being a body of shallow water that poses more than meets the eye.

Isgyppie_, thank you for allowing me to give your poem an Honest Critique. Hopefully it gives you insight into how you can write more efficiently.






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