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SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

... all the pronouns


Welcome to Daily Poetry 2013, kiddies.


I've come to a painful realisation: there aren't many poets around these parts. The usual fiction thread "ONE CRIT PER PIECE POSTED" doesn't really work because there aren't enough people who know their poo poo. Well I'm going to change that. I'm going to make poets out of you yet. So here's 2013's magical rule:


* YOU DON'T NEED TO POST CRIT TO POST A POEM BUT YOU SHOULD TRY TO ANYWAY.

That means you can post your poem straight up and not get chewed out. However, if you post thirty poems with no crits or have a regdate of yesterday and look like you're going to disappear the second you've posted, you're probably going to get ignored. I will try to crit every piece that gets posted but it may take several days or even weeks. If you want to post crit and not a poem, please feel free. Like, please do that.

The other rule is:

* IF YOU FIND YOURSELF SAYING "BUT MUFFIN I'M NOT REALLY A POET, I SUCK", MAN UP AND POST YOU PANSY.


This year's theme is PARTICIPATION. It's not a great theme but it's an advance on 2012. If you post your poem in this thread, it will get crit. If you take the crit in, you will get better at poetry. If you get better at poetry, maybe CC won't be so filled with grown-rear end men who are terrified of sonnets.


What are you waiting for? Get posting.

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supermikhail
Nov 17, 2012



Why would anyone want to get better at poetry,
and is there such thing as "better",
at least in contemporary poetry?
I personally don't get freeverse,
and don't intend to grow to get freeverse.
At least with rhymes you can do something...
like remember them.
Also, the author of a freeverse poem
had better to sound smarter than I am,
because everyone's measure of smarts is oneself.
Nuff said.

P.S.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

... all the pronouns


That doesn't count as a poem. In that vein though, new thread rule:


* GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT AND DISCUSSION OF POETRY CAN GO HERE. PEACE.




n.b.: I'm doing this because there are basically no poets around here and the poetry general thread almost never gets used.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


supermikhail posted:

Why would anyone want to get better at poetry,
and is there such thing as "better",
at least in contemporary poetry?
I personally don't get freeverse,
and don't intend to grow to get freeverse.
At least with rhymes you can do something...
like remember them.
Also, the author of a freeverse poem
had better to sound smarter than I am,
because everyone's measure of smarts is oneself.
Nuff said.

P.S.

Ugh.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Too Late

She pulled me down closer
and waited
for me to speak, or turn my head,
or lean so far in
she could taste my breath.

I held the tail of those seconds,
scratching to the later seconds
growing from her chapped lips,
from powdered skin
textured like an ant hill;
growing into wrinkles,
into a house a car and children.

Her lips spread
in tiny gaps
like whispering,
and I could hear us
far from now,
like radio voices
over static.

We'd lay in bed—
our things around us:
retirement plaque,
pictures of family,
fake plants,
an untouched guitar
grown old
in the same house we have,
asking each other
if we're happy
with the choices
we've made.

I'd stare at the foot of the bed
as if reviewing my life;
she would nod
saying we've done well,
ask if I think so too,
and I would lie.

She pulled me down closer;
but I got up and said
that I should go now.

budgieinspector
Mar 24, 2006

According to my research, these would appear to be Budgerigars.


The poetry class I took last semester drat near destroyed my enjoyment of writing. It's one of the reasons I haven't been posting (or even following) Thunderdome.

And I like writing poetry. I like reading poetry. I just had the extreme misfortune of winding up with an instructor who bridled at the idea that it could be fun, and who refused to consider that maybe, just maybe, writers who jizz out opaque nonsense are either having fun playing in a sandbox of words, or are utterly pretentious twats. No, no -- it is up to the reader to find meaning in the logorrhea. Sift through that poo poo, sonny -- I swear there's a pearl in that there outhouse.

Somebody please tell me that writing is a worthwhile way to spend my time.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


budgieinspector posted:

The poetry class I took last semester drat near destroyed my enjoyment of writing. It's one of the reasons I haven't been posting (or even following) Thunderdome.

And I like writing poetry. I like reading poetry. I just had the extreme misfortune of winding up with an instructor who bridled at the idea that it could be fun, and who refused to consider that maybe, just maybe, writers who jizz out opaque nonsense are either having fun playing in a sandbox of words, or are utterly pretentious twats. No, no -- it is up to the reader to find meaning in the logorrhea. Sift through that poo poo, sonny -- I swear there's a pearl in that there outhouse.

Somebody please tell me that writing is a worthwhile way to spend my time.

I literally bet my livelihood on it. If you want it, it's worth it.

So gently caress your loser professor and get your rear end putting that loving ink to wood immediately.

STONE OF MADNESS
Dec 28, 2012

PVTREFACTIO


Isn't half of everything post-1950 about vaginas and menstruation though?

[EDIT] hang on i'm turning this into a poem, wait

Half a century
goes by; vaginas discussed
in equal measure

STONE OF MADNESS fucked around with this message at Jan 9, 2013 around 08:12

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

... all the pronouns


after all that poo poo talk we fling in the 'dome, it's kind of weird seeing a vulnerable side of you. Overall thoughts: it's not bad as such but it's pretty pedestrian. It's too wordy for the ultra-sparse Sam Hunt sorta thing but too flat to be uh ... colourful? OK, let's take the last stanza:

quote:

She pulled me down closer;
but I got up and said
that 'I should go' now.
Stripped-down prose can be really beautiful but you have to fully commit to stripping it down. Here's the real trick though: that stanza will hit like a truck if the leadup is ornate and flowy. Going back to Sam Hunt, there's an amazing poem dedicated to his son, where he describes the world in the most overflowing, flowery way possible and ends

then I grabbed him softly by the hand and said

"son, you're hosed"


(or something like that)


Point is, the sparse stuff needs more built up stuff to make it really hit hard.

quote:

I held the tail of those seconds,
scratching to the later seconds
growing from her chapped lips,
from powdered skin
textured like an ant hill;
growing into wrinkles,
into a house a car and children.
This is quite a harsh stanza but it works. My only real issue is 'like', which you SHOULD NEVER USE OR YOU WILL DIE. Similes in poetry are like adverbs in prose: they're difficult to use well, easy to gently caress up and unless you absolutely know what you're doing, they're best avoided.

quote:

Her lips spread
in tiny gaps
like whispering, how do gaps whisper? You probably don't need to say that lips are tiny: poetry is an exercise in economy. Don't write "the stop sign shone redly on the roof."
and I could hear us
far from now,
like radio voices
over static.
TWO SIMILES IN ONE STANZA I WILL EAT YOU. The voices/static is a nice image though- try building it up a bit.

quote:

We'd lay in bed—
our things around us:
retirement plaque, bold stuff is too obvious
pictures of family,
fake plants,
an untouched guitar
grown old
in the same house we have,
asking each other
if we're happy
with the choices
we've made.
'Show don't tell' still applies in poetry.

quote:

I'd stare at the foot of the bed
as if reviewing my life;
she would nod
saying we've done well,
ask if I think so too,
and I would lie.
It comes across strongly enough. A big mistake junior poets make is assuming people won't get it and wasting time by explaining everything twice. Have a bit more faith in yourself.

It's ...

You've made no real mistakes but there's a lot of room for improvement, if that makes sense. It's workmanlike but you need to be bolder with your imagery and stricter with your editing. A good thing to do when editing a poem is go over every word and ask aloud "do I need [word]?" Even Ginsbergy screeds have a certain elegance; they use a lot of words but no more than they need to. Get chopping.


budgieinspector posted:

The poetry class I took last semester drat near destroyed my enjoyment of writing. It's one of the reasons I haven't been posting (or even following) Thunderdome.

And I like writing poetry. I like reading poetry. I just had the extreme misfortune of winding up with an instructor who bridled at the idea that it could be fun, and who refused to consider that maybe, just maybe, writers who jizz out opaque nonsense are either having fun playing in a sandbox of words, or are utterly pretentious twats. No, no -- it is up to the reader to find meaning in the logorrhea. Sift through that poo poo, sonny -- I swear there's a pearl in that there outhouse.

Somebody please tell me that writing is a worthwhile way to spend my time.
I hear this a lot and it sucks. My first poetry paper had a fantastic guy at the helm and is a huge part in why I still write. My only real advice is to not give up because of one bad apple.

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 3549 days!


I've got mad respect for SurreptitiousMuffin from Thunderdome, so here's my attempt to support this thread: something personal.

Etherwind posted:

Fallen

You died on a cold and rainy night
And I knew it when it happened;
How strange we must both have looked,
Me in my brother's bed, still needing,
You in a hospital bed, still, bleeding,
Both as alone as each other -
Though you were surrounded -
As we confronted the darkest fear
You had known, and I had felt.

I dreamed that a policeman came
To knock upon our door and take you
To the hospital-station, your knitted blanket
Thrown up like a wall between us,
Thrown like your cry of despair:
I awoke with one short word -
It must have been familiar -
That summarised every day since
Illness came, your life arrested.

The two last times I went to see you
I did not want to be there:
In either case I was too anxious
To be in the room with you, hearing you speak,
To be in the room with you, seeing you stilled,
And each time I pressed your cheek -
With a farewell caress -
I was not thinking when I next
Would see you, and be held dear.

Song of my soul, all words are late,
And all I dreamed your death has ate:
Every word, every fiction,
Each love and each hate,
All feelings but numbness
Are lost on this date.

I was told that you would stay;
I was told you were gone;
But never both.

areyoucontagious
Jun 13, 2007

Hell is other people.


Mangled in the gears of expectation
ground up despite your protestations

Drowned in the sea of doubt
faced with naught but inexorable rout

publish or perish, you were in peril
thoughts of yours were lifeless and sterile

you lacked true ethic
your efforts pathetic

your failure a lesson
that stresses won't lessen

so we lash to our oars
amid the master's roars

and while your fate sends shivers down my spine
all I can think is "gently caress you, got mine"

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

... all the pronouns



This feels more like a prose piece with linebreaks that poetry. Here's a piece of advice for everyone reading the thread: Don't start with free verse. It's not the easiest because it has no rules, it's the hardest. Without form to lean on, everything has to be absolutely perfect. My challenge for everyone reading is to try and write something in blank verse. Blank verse will make you a better poet.

quote:

You died on a cold and rainy night
And I knew it when it happened;
How strange we must both have looked,
Me in my brother's bed, still needing,
You in a hospital bed, still, bleeding,
Both as alone as each other -
Though you were surrounded -
As we confronted the darkest fear
You had known, and I had felt.
The bolded stuff is all massively overused in poetry. Cliche is a weird subject to deal with because cliches by their very nature are things that are important to us: they're things we've said so often, we've forgotten what they mean. It's a poet's job to find new ways of saying old words, so we remember why we made them cliches in the first place.

A love poem should never use the word 'love' and an elegy should never use 'death'. Both subjects are too big to deal with in just one word. It feels cheap. It's pretty obvious from the rest that someone's died and you cared a lot about them so there's no need to say it outright.

quote:

I dreamed that a policeman came
To knock upon our door and take you
To the hospital-station, your knitted blanket
Thrown up like a wall between us,
Thrown like your cry of despair:
I awoke with one short word -
It must have been familiar -
That summarised every day since
Illness came, your life arrested.
There's a nice interplay between the arrival of a policeman and life being arrested by illness but everything in between feels like padding. AVOID SIMILES. Consider whether to start each new line with a capital; capitals slow the pace down a tiiiiiiiiiny bit but it's enough for the reader to feel and it can throw the thing out of whack. I know it's a default thing for autocorrect to do but you can always go back and change them. Each line starting with a capital makes it feel like each line is its own independent sentence, which is death to pacing.

I've noticed everyone posting so far does the thing where each line is its own self-contained sentence. Play around with that a bit. I'm going to put some of my own poetry in the firing line here to show what it looks like.

quote:

from the ashtray

I have tried, gentle -
to calm embers with
words alone

they are lively -
but they do not live
burrow or burn;

they dry dark while
I wish my smoke
pushed soft in your lungs

and a cushion of you

and lick of you and bouquet of
sweat and jubilant cry

tonight, I have only paper
and fire
velvet winnower -
whisper on the tongue
to take the place of words.
Now that's not a perfect poem by any means but can you see how there's a flow from line to line? Think of a linebreak like a soft comma, rather than a fullstop.

quote:

The two last times I went to see you
I did not want to be there:
In either case I was too anxious
To be in the room with you, hearing you speak,
To be in the room with you, seeing you stilled,
And each time I pressed your cheek -
With a farewell caress -
I was not thinking when I next
Would see you, and be held dear.
The, I, In, To, To, And, With, I, Would. None of these are very strong words to start a line with, so the rest just falls away. You need vivid anchors every so often to keep the reader in and they shouldn't all come in the middle of the sentence. There's a theatre saying: "start well, end well and the rest will sort itself out".

quote:

Song of my soul, all words are late,
And all I dreamed your death has ate:
Every word, every fiction,
Each love and each hate,
All feelings but numbness
Are lost on this date.
Soul is the single biggest poetry cliche around, second maaaaaaybe to stars. Find another way to say this. Love, Hate, Numb, Death and Fiction are all pretty big offenders too.

quote:

I was told that you would stay;
I was told you were gone;
But never both
Well poo poo, now that I've torn it apart that's a pretty nice ending. Repetition is almost as hard to use well as simile but this is pretty nicely done- it's elegant and powerful. Maybe cut semicolon #1? Two semicolons together is a little ugly.



Overall thoughts: cliche is death to poetry. Try to find new ways to say things. Play around with linebreaks a bit more to create a greater sense of movement (this one applies to all of you). There's a solid emotional core there but its clothes are too dull and stiff.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Hook it to your internal organs, so that it rips out your guts and you die.


areyoucontagious posted:

Mangled in the gears of expectation
ground up despite your protestations

Drowned in thea? sea of doubt
faced with naught but inexorable rout

publish or perish, you were in peril
thoughts of yours were lifeless and sterile

you lacked true ethic
your efforts pathetic

your failure a lesson
that stresses won't lessen

so we lash to our oars
amid the master's roars

and while your fate sends shivers down my spine
all I can think is "gently caress you, got mine"

I usually hate rhyming couplets because they tend to sound contrived, but most of these work pretty well because of the way you used assonance and alliteration to make it sonically interesting beyond the mere fact of the rhyme scheme. That said, I'm not really a fan of the tone you have going on here -- based on the last line, I'm assuming you're aiming for a sort of biting, sarcastic feel, but the first two couplets make it sound more pompous and self-congratulatory than it needs to be.

Also, I feel like it's really missing something without a title or some other reference to the subject of the poem. There's no anchor for the sentiment, and so it just kinds of hangs in the ether, which makes it fall flat in the end.

Now, this is a piece that I'm thinking about submitting somewhere (anywhere, I don't actually know yet). As well as general critiques, there are two things really bugging me right now where I'd appreciate help/comments. One is the line "between a rock and the grand canyon", I want to change the grand canyon to something else, but I can't think what. Two, the penultimate line is too banal, but I want to change it rather than removing it, because I don't like the last line without something in between it and "the devil you know."

Edit:
Edited out my poem because I'm submitting it somewhere. Thanks for critting it Muffin!

Fanky Malloons fucked around with this message at Apr 6, 2013 around 04:07

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 3549 days!


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Overall thoughts: cliche is death to poetry. Try to find new ways to say things. Play around with linebreaks a bit more to create a greater sense of movement (this one applies to all of you). There's a solid emotional core there but its clothes are too dull and stiff.

You are for real-real when it comes to poetry, so expect me to toss some more complicated stuff your way in the future (I'm working on my prose right now). Most useful criticism I've had in a good while.

Regards the poem, the only thing I will say is that all those clichés in such a short section that breaks so utterly from the established scheme was absolutely intentional, though I'm guessing what I was going for didn't come across. Oh well! Never intend this one for publication, anyway.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

... all the pronouns


Etherwind posted:

Regards the poem, the only thing I will say is that all those clichés in such a short section that breaks so utterly from the established scheme was absolutely intentional, though I'm guessing what I was going for didn't come across. Oh well! Never intend this one for publication, anyway.
No, not at all. I don't like "it's intentionally bad" because it always feels a little bit like rear end-covering. If the poem's truly personal, it's a drat shame to fill up space with "ironic" writing. Be simple, be sincere.

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 3549 days!


I didn't mean it was intentionally bad, I said it was intentionally cliché. I didn't pull off the execution right.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

... all the pronouns


EDIT: post removed for publishing reasons. Good luck Fanky!

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at Apr 6, 2013 around 04:17

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Hook it to your internal organs, so that it rips out your guts and you die.


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:


OVERALL: it's got a (mostly) great flow and energy to it that work really well and I could never accuse it of being boring. It's a little to, uh ... bad self-aware. I know there's a word for that but I've forgot it. Like it's scared of people reading it so it tries to cover that with big, blustery handwaving. Try to capture that beautifully aggressive flow in a way that's a little less performative.

Thanks! This is awesome, and super helpful. I think a lot of the problems in the poem stem from the fact that it was originally written for an assignment where I was supposed to riff off a poet that I was studying in class at the time (Jeramy Dodds, if you're interested). So probably a lot of the stuff that doesn't work super well is where I was explicitly trying to mirror his style, which (obviously) he is much better at than I am, so it comes off oddly. However, I liked the theme and ideas of/in the piece, which is why I wanted to work with it to make it more my own. I'm assuming it's cool to re-post it when I have a new version, right?

Also, I will take up the challenge that you slipped in there at some point after this week's Thunderdome (if I manage to produce anything for that....)

budgieinspector
Mar 24, 2006

According to my research, these would appear to be Budgerigars.


So, for an earlier poetry class--one that didn't crush my joy--I came up with this for an assignment on persona. I like it, but I know it needs work. I offer it to the Muffinstructor for the ripping:


Pour Vatel, le maître des maîtres d’hôtel


Le Roi-Soleil sweeps in with his retinue.
Beneath the ermine, silk, and lace, there lies
an appetite to be tantalized.
I have the manor strewn
with jonquils, their petals
dust the marble floors with sunlight,
then, crushed underfoot, exude
this sharply-perfumed beatitude:
“Blessed are they who surround
themselves with splendor, for
they need not wait for heaven.”
C'est vrai, and I, the miracle worker.
As the Christ woke putrefying Lazarus,
so I resurrect the senses; as Muhammad split the moon,
so I shatter the expectations of the jaded.

But what divine conspiracy
has hatched to topple poor Vatel?
Six-and-twenty tables ringed around the banquet hall,
yet only twenty-four of these have any roasts at all!
For the evening’s entertainment,
I promised silver scarabs, crimson poppies,
azure harts and hinds,
bounding through the heavens
but the soaking mist that blinds
us from the starlight,
so douses all the fuses;
paper rockets, damp and ragged
as a toothless
pensioner's daily rye.
Each downturned eye
assaults me.
What Gods have I offended
that my penance be this rank;
as though Our Lord
stepped out upon the stormy sea
and promptly tripped and sank?

I shall rally!
Behold the ice armada,
a dozen ships fashioned
from an Alpine glacier,
which I shall fill
with the ocean's bounty!
From the merest brined anchovy
to swordfish à la poêle,
I shall raid old Neptune's cupboard
and once again Vatel
will bask in well-earned honor!

The fishmonger is prompt; he stands
in my cold kitchen like my father,
tightly clutching cap in hand.
His prickly jowls quiver
when I ask him for his wares.
He leads me to his cart, and there,
he offers two bushels of haddock,
stinking in the cool spring air.
He chews his lip and shrugs, "C'est tout."

I could strangle him.
Instead, I cross his palm with silver,
and hasten to my chambers.
For there, within the armoire,
is the medal of my station:
The sabre granted to me
with the greatest approbation.
With the hilt against the doorframe
and disgrace around my neck,
it takes three tries to get it right.
Poor Vatel: d'échec en échec.

Testikles
Feb 21, 2009


Because I barely ever post my own stuff, I'll submit something for once. I managed to whittle something down to this:

Addiction

Grab a beer
Bottle by the neck
Throw it up
High as you can and
Let it fall.

alternatively:

Grab a beer
Bottle by the neck
Throw it up
High as you can -
Let it fall.

Testikles fucked around with this message at Jan 14, 2013 around 04:04

areyoucontagious
Jun 13, 2007

Hell is other people.


Surreptitious, I touched on this in the Thunderdome thread, but I'm having real problems understanding contemporary poetry. I want to become a better poet, because I enjoy it as an outlet, but I feel that I won't be able to grow and improve until I can consume other people's poetry. I mention Versed in the TD thread, but I have the same problem with other poets as well. Do I need to take a class or something?

budgieinspector
Mar 24, 2006

According to my research, these would appear to be Budgerigars.


areyoucontagious posted:

Do I need to take a class or something?

Only if you've read the instructor's work and/or their syllabus, and can relate to what they're trying to do.

Seriously, do not drop money on a class you even suspect will disappoint you. You'll wind up even more confused than before.

I nearly took a class at UCLA Extension headed by Rachel Kann, but I learned that she doesn't allow negative feedback, and I'm in a space where I need to hear the hard truths. But I like her style and she seems to have the very opposite of a stick up her rear end.

Currently taking a class at Gotham Writer's Workshop headed by Matthew Lippman, but we're just one class in, so I don't know how it'll pan out. Enjoyed the previous course I took at Gotham headed by Michael Montlack, though.

Best I can suggest to get a sense of modern poetry is check out the online versions of various literary mags. You'll quickly get the idea about who publishes engaging work and who takes themselves too loving seriously. I tend to enjoy PiF and AGNI, but there are tons of other, more prestigious publications out there.

Sheepysaysmoo
Jun 12, 2005


code:
Refrigerator Love Story

A refrigerator is an end of a love story
    shared lives shared shelves
    they say
    we shop at a store at the top of our street
    to keep our shared shelves stocked

    A Marxist-Leninist walks into an analogy
where the train is late and everything is scarce.
The night is dark and sitting on a cold bench
the Marxist-Leninist struggles to stay awake.

To fall in love is to trip into a hole.

While doing some shopping we discover
Our favorite cashier has quit the job
    "Will we ever see you again" I ask
    "No" says the cashier.

   A Marxist-Leninist falls asleep on a train
and misses their stop. Then Our favorite cashier
gets on the same train and sits next to the
sleeping Marxist-Leninist.

The store at the top of our street
    is now understaffed. Their new hours
    are as short as winter sunshine.   
    We wake up after dark.
    Our end of a love story has empty shelves.

Our favorite cashier and a Marxist-Leninist
    leave the country and become adventure capitalists
    Their trail is a locusts'.

We keep digging holes in our back,
    then our front, yard. But to trip
    into a hole is not to fall in love.

   Two adventure capitalists are wolves
and the world is their caribou. The buy
a banana plantation in the Caribbean.

We went to the store at the top of our street
    and bought a bunch of bananas. Putting them
    on our shelves we found a note attached:
    "I told you you'd never see me again."

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

... all the pronouns


areyoucontagious posted:

Surreptitious, I touched on this in the Thunderdome thread, but I'm having real problems understanding contemporary poetry. I want to become a better poet, because I enjoy it as an outlet, but I feel that I won't be able to grow and improve until I can consume other people's poetry. I mention Versed in the TD thread, but I have the same problem with other poets as well. Do I need to take a class or something?
Uh ... it depends, honestly. I think some poets really do demand special attention to unlock (John Ashbery, Gertrude Stein) but sometimes it is just pretentious crap that's slipped under the radar and it's really hard to make that call because you're always going to be niggled by 'what if I just don't get it.'

To that end, I'll try my best to get into a poet but if it's not working after a week or two, I'll just skip their stuff in future. It's a fine line. Ashbery is a really good example, because each of his poems takes me days to really get to the heart of but once I've got the key figured out, they hit like a freight train. He uses a more impressionist style to pack his poems incredibly emotionally densely while they read just as lightly. I almost gave up on him though, because the amount of work to make his poems seem like anything but a toddler's logorrhea is huge.


EDIT: also, people except me are allowed to write crit.

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at Jan 14, 2013 around 22:09

Etherwind
Apr 22, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 3549 days!


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

'what if I just don't get it.'

Some of the best advice anyone ever gave me was that, when in doubt, to assume that other people really don't know any better than you until proven otherwise. Of course, the flip-side of that is recognising and accepting when they do...

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

... all the pronouns


Yeah, be open to the idea that you actually don't get it but don't just lie back and take that. If someone says 'you just don't get it', ask them why. Sometimes you'll uncover a terrible hipster who wants to sound deep and sometimes you'll be pleasantly surprised. Either way, it's a win.

areyoucontagious
Jun 13, 2007

Hell is other people.


Sheepysaysmoo posted:

pre:
Refrigerator Love Story

A refrigerator is an end of a love story
    shared lives shared shelves
    they say
    we shop at a store at the top of our street
    to keep our shared shelves stocked

    A Marxist-Leninist walks into an analogy
where the train is late and everything is scarce.
The night is dark and sitting on a cold bench
the Marxist-Leninist struggles to stay awake.

To fall in love is to trip into a hole.

While doing some shopping we discover
Our favorite cashier has quit the job
    "Will we ever see you again" I ask
    "No" says the cashier.

   A Marxist-Leninist falls asleep on a train
and misses their stop. Then Our favorite cashier
gets on the same train and sits next to the
sleeping Marxist-Leninist.
Up until this point I really liked the flow of the poem. Reading it aloud it flowed off the tongue until this stanza.
 I think it is because the stanza is too dense, or the use of "Then our..."

The store at the top of our street
    is now understaffed. Their new hours
    are as short as winter sunshine.   
    We wake up after dark.
    Our end of a love story has empty shelves.

Our favorite cashier and a Marxist-Leninist
    leave the country and become adventure capitalists
    Their trail is a locusts'.

We keep digging holes in our back,
    then our front, yard. But to trip
    into a hole is not to fall in love.

   Two adventure capitalists are wolves
and the world is their caribou. The buy
a banana plantation in the Caribbean.

We went to the store at the top of our street
    and bought a bunch of bananas. Putting them
    on our shelves we found a note attached:
    "I told you you'd never see me again."
Great ending

This was fun, with a touch of melancholy. I particularly liked "A Marxist-Leninist walks into an analogy". Besides the stanza I mentioned, the whole poem was very evocative. The digging holes metaphor for a couple clutching to broken relationship that is fizzling out was very powerful.

Another of mine, because poetry is fun and I love criticism. The thunderdome this week was fun, but I don't think I did it justice.

Bottle Up

A bitter heart inside of me beats
Furtive anger released in spurts of arterial blood, red and hot
Spittle bathing my wrathful words
but it's just impotence as I spasm
bobbing and jerking before the silent crowd
emptiness echoing back my cacophony of raging tides
an exercise in futility
and hopelessness

areyoucontagious fucked around with this message at Jan 14, 2013 around 22:36

budgieinspector
Mar 24, 2006

According to my research, these would appear to be Budgerigars.


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

'what if I just don't get it.'

I know intelligent, well-educated people who, when confronted in a museum setting by art that they don't understand, shrug and say, "Someone likes this enough to put it here. They must be smarter than I am."

That poo poo drives me nuts. What drives me even more nuts are the art-set people who propagate the idea. I firmly believe that making casual audiences feel stupid about art is a major reason why there's so little arts funding in the U.S., and why the NEA goes on the chopping block every single time a new legislative session convenes.

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

EDIT: also, people except me are allowed to write crit.

I tried prior to submitting. You covered every detail that I could possibly have commented on, and more besides. I could always post "^^What he said, but not as smart-like", if it makes you happy.

Incarnate Dao
Dec 2, 2012

Namo Yesu

I need help with learning how to critique. I've been following this thread, some of the 2012 thread, and PFFA but I know I still suck. I will be taking a poetry class this semester, so hopefully that too will help. In the mean time, could you glance at a small piece I've been working on for a while. I will post crits as I become more confident.


The Cultural Revolution

A civil servant
asks a daoist mystic to
cast the Leader’s lines.
“Look! Bodhidharma has gone
West! The People stole his cave.”

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


Incarnate Dao posted:

The Cultural Revolution

A civil servant
asks a daoist mystic to
cast the Leader’s lines.
“Look! Bodhidharma has gone
West! The People stole his cave.”

The title needs work. It's too blunt. You don't want an essay title.

As for the crafting of it, I can't say that I see an actual poem so much as a two-sentence quip with random line breaks. Kind of like the title, it lacks the subtlety that is the strength of poetry. New poets (and staunch critics of all poetry) often confuse obfuscation for subtlety. You have a message you want to transmit, which is the second sentence. Now, you need to mix it up with some other ingredients so that that idea isn't the only flavor.

My advice would be to take what you're trying to do here and write a 50-line poem, but every line/idea should have some sort of musicality and/or artistry to it. Meander a bit, explore, and read it out loud to hear the cadence of the words. Does it flow like a sentence or does it have its own, internal method of being spoken? Anywhere you can, use tools from the poetry toolbox: metaphor, simile, rhyme, alliteration. See what works and what doesn't work. Finally, once you've fooled around and found a good voice for the poem, you can cut it down and make your idea speak in that voice with fresh turns of phrase that will make the reader stop and consider your poem, thus sealing it in their memory.

I like to use this Pound poem as an example of all that. It's very short, but it executes its idea (an image that paints an emotional landscape) in an interesting way.


-----------------------------------
In a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

-----------------------------------

Ezra Pound studied Eastern poetry quite a bit, and he even emulated it. However, there is a distinctively Western approach to crafting the words. You can't read the translation of a poem in English and simply mimic it if you want to achieve the same effect. If it's written in a different language, there's so many other factors going on beneath the surface. So, you can adapt Eastern poetic concepts and make them happen in English, but you'll ultimately have to work within the confines of English and its poetic constructs.

I'd suggest reading lots of Pound to see what he did and what of that may be useful to you.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

... all the pronouns


budgieinspector posted:

I tried prior to submitting. You covered every detail that I could possibly have commented on, and more besides. I could always post "^^What he said, but not as smart-like", if it makes you happy.
I aint posted on every poem.

Spacedad
Sep 11, 2001
Probation
Can't post for 14 hours!


Hollywood Is Out Of Ideas - A silly mad magazine-ish poem created from a lucid dream by Spacedad that made him laugh in his sleep and wake up.


I wanted to go to the silver screen

Where all my memories and excitement have been

But lately, it feels as though my dears

That Hollywood is out of ideas

They put the same things on I saw long ago

In the darkened theater of the picture show

The soul and glamour dried up and died

The popcorn went stale and my inner child cried

Where the things I grew up on and enjoyed

Were ground into fodder to keep hacks employed

The truth is that it's all been too late

They've run out of ideas since '78

Spacedad fucked around with this message at Jan 15, 2013 around 19:05

budgieinspector
Mar 24, 2006

According to my research, these would appear to be Budgerigars.


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

I aint posted on every poem.

Yeah, but--


But--




Spacedad posted:

Hollywood Is Out Of Ideas - A poem created from a lucid dream by Spacedad that made him laugh in his sleep and wake up.

A WILD SPACEDAD APPEARS!

Okaaay. I get the feeling that you aren't really looking for critical feedback; that you just jotted this down, wanted to share, and figured that the poetry thread was the place to do it. If that's the case, and you missed the OP saying that he'd critique every piece posted in this thread, and you haven't noticed that the general role of the various writing threads is to help writers polish their work, here's the thing:

Announcing that you've literally put zero conscious effort into what you're about to share... isn't wise. It might protect your feelings if someone calls it poo poo, but no one will praise the literary prowess of your unconscious mind. Folks tend to expend their effort reading and critiquing if they feel that you're expending a greater amount of effort to create and improve.

It's the sort of thing that usually either gets flamed or ignored. I'd normally do the latter, but Muffin wheeled out , so I have to do this:


quote:

I wanted to go to the silver screen (okay? is something physically stopping you?)

Where all my memories and excitement have been (all of your memories and excitement? how do you get by in life? also, rhyme is tortured and passive)

But lately, it feels as though my dears ("[qualifier], [intro to a metaphor, indicating that a feeling shall eventually be described] [no comma] [diminutive address of the audience]" -- you've used this line to set up a weak rhyme, and nothing else.)

That Hollywood is out of ideas ("it feels as though that Hollywood has run out of ideas". aside from the grammar, aside from the metaphor not really going anywhere--this is your observation? it's the theme to a Jay Leno monologue*.)

They put the same things on I saw long ago (like what? with your first and last lines, you set up that you're nostalgic for the filmed entertainment of yesteryear; yet you're bitching about watching something you've seen before.)

In the darkened theater of the picture show (generally, "picture show" is used colloquially to mean both the movie theater itself and the film shown. "the darkened theather of the movie theater"? "the darkened theater of the movie we're watching"?)

The soul and glamour dried up and died (it died in your local movie theater?)

The popcorn went stale and my inner child cried (this line contains both the best idea in the piece--the comparison of yesterday's cinema to today's as being equivalent to that of fresh popcorn to stale--and the worst. invoking an "inner child" in 2013, only to exploit its tears for the sake of a hackneyed rhyme, is just criminal.)

Where the things I grew up on and enjoyed (like what?)

Were ground into fodder to keep hacks employed (are the hacks grinding the fodder? are they sifting the fodder? are they weighing it, baling it, loving it, jamming it up their puckered bungs?)

The truth is that it's all been too late (is that the truth? what is too late? the hack-employing fodder business? and do you say that things "has been too late"? "has come too late", though boring, at least suggests an effort to arrive on time. Even [I might] "have been too late" [to stop the bomb], while also boring, at least has the correct tense.)

They've run out of ideas since '78 (yeah? what happened in '78 that marks the end of the era? or are you saying that they had a stockpile of ideas in '78 that has since been exhausted?)


What you've got here is a tepid rant about the quality of modern cinema, low on imagery, sketchy on meter, boring in the rhyme department, and devoid of examples that might cause the reader to agree with your view that pre-1979 cinema is all that's worth watching.

You want to write better poetry? Take Muffin's blanket suggestion and do it in blank verse, using lots of concrete imagery, and don't tell us what you want us to think--make the reader reach your conclusion by creating a compelling mental picture of pre-1979 film that fills them with wonder and despair that those days are over.

*That is to say, "not the actual monologue itself", which, while of debatable humorous content, at least tries to tell jokes. This is only funny to people who laugh at the question, "And what's up with that airline food?" before the actual jokes start. I saw that you added a description of "A silly mad magazine-ish poem", but go back and read some of MAD's poetry sometime. Here's something from 1958:

I Wandered Lonely as a Clod

I wandered lonely as a clod,
Just picking up old rags and bottles,
When onward on my way I plod,
I saw a host of axolotls;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
A sight to make a man’s blood freeze.

Some had handles, some were plain;
They came in blue, red pink, and green.
A few were orange in the main;
The damnedest sight I’ve ever seen.
The females gave a sprightly glance;
The male ones all wore knee-length pants.

Now oft, when on the couch I lie,
The doctor asks me what I see.
They flash upon my inward eye
And make me laugh in fiendish glee.
I find my solace then in bottles,
And I forget them axolotls.

budgieinspector fucked around with this message at Jan 15, 2013 around 22:29

Testikles
Feb 21, 2009


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

EDIT: also, people except me are allowed to write crit.

The problem is that you're just so good at it! We all really want you to critique our poem because you're very knowledgeable and thorough, or at least can put your criticism into a graspable form.

What also might be the issue is that while everybody can very easily dip into poetry, it's a lot harder to come up with what sounds like a competent review. Maybe we could come up with a particular format or a certain style to help people form a stronger opinion.

areyoucontagious
Jun 13, 2007

Hell is other people.


Testikles posted:

The problem is that you're just so good at it! We all really want you to critique our poem because you're very knowledgeable and thorough, or at least can put your criticism into a graspable form.

What also might be the issue is that while everybody can very easily dip into poetry, it's a lot harder to come up with what sounds like a competent review. Maybe we could come up with a particular format or a certain style to help people form a stronger opinion.

This is pretty much how I feel. I'll attempt critiques, but I feel like I'm not really a good judge of what constitutes competent poetry, and it ends up being a blind leading the blind situation.

budgieinspector
Mar 24, 2006

According to my research, these would appear to be Budgerigars.


Give a Scotsman his due; Etherwind seems to know his poo poo, as well.

But yeah, I operate on about 90% instinct. I'm a reader, first and foremost. The classes I've taken have left me shockingly little knowledge about form, jargon, and convention.

Erik Shawn-Bohner
Mar 21, 2010

by XyloJW


I've been exploring Sound Poetry, and I'm currently working on my masterpiece, "Wub in the Time of Cholera".

It's a dub-step anthem tribute to Marquez. What do you guys think?

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

... all the pronouns


Testikles posted:

The problem is that you're just so good at it! We all really want you to critique our poem because you're very knowledgeable and thorough, or at least can put your criticism into a graspable form.

What also might be the issue is that while everybody can very easily dip into poetry, it's a lot harder to come up with what sounds like a competent review. Maybe we could come up with a particular format or a certain style to help people form a stronger opinion.
Dude, I've got almost no formal training in poetry. I wrote for years, then I did 1-trimester poetry course and a 200-level lit paper on Wordsworth and Byron. That's my full technical poetry experience. Like poetry, crit is something you can only get better at if you try. The reason we're not doing a 1-for-1 system is not only so new poets feel comfortable posting, it's so new poets feel comfortable posting crit without having to worry if their crit is 'good enough'.

If you say something completely left field that'll hurt someone's writing, we'll call you out on it but it's not going to be a verbal smackdown situation, it's going to be "actually, that's probably a bad idea and here's why". Take those crits to your critting the same way you take crits to your poetry: you're learning, it's ok to do stuff wrong so long as you're willing to grow from it.

Erik Shawn-Bohner posted:

I've been exploring Sound Poetry, and I'm currently working on my masterpiece, "Wub in the Time of Cholera".

It's a dub-step anthem tribute to Marquez. What do you guys think?
Stop talking and do it, bonerman.

Incarnate Dao
Dec 2, 2012

Namo Yesu


Thanks for your comments. I think in addition to what you've said I need to work on audience. No English speaking person gives a crap that I used Japanese syllabic form to call attention to cultural anachronism. Only I do, and I am an audience of 1. I really see what you mean about it just not sounding enough like a poem, I got too stuck on the cerebral and dismissed the sonic.

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SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010

... all the pronouns


Incarnate Dao posted:

Thanks for your comments. I think in addition to what you've said I need to work on audience. No English speaking person gives a crap that I used Japanese syllabic form to call attention to cultural anachronism. Only I do, and I am an audience of 1. I really see what you mean about it just not sounding enough like a poem, I got too stuck on the cerebral and dismissed the sonic.
I didn't pick up on the form thing because I'm not really familiar with Japanese poetry. What's the form?

I thought it was a lovely little poem, though I'll agree the title is too blunt.

The line 4 enjamb works really well to slide the anger in there: he's may have gone West but in practice he's just gone.

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