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Passions in Poetry

Burning Red (rough draft)

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freeand2sexy
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0 posted 04-09-2009 02:35 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy


I seriously need critiques, so please let me know what's wrong with this poem and why and if you like it then tell me why you like it. Thank you for reading!


Vinaceous curtains dangled down its windowpanes,
Before the ashes covered its transparent door,
Then shattered by its keeperís fear and loss,
Escaping death by jumping out the second floor.

While claret stains, that laid there on its pallid rug,
Had shriveled up from the blazing demise of time,
Its every room, was swallowed by a blackened smoke,
And fiercely choked by lifeís malicious crime.

No fear had quivered its foundation, but it tried.
Its dread had scorched the crimson bedding, its soft shield,
And though a violent thrust had broke its entrance down,
A fiery blast erupted out and would not yield.

The eyeís of its poor master fell on vicious grounds,
To see his lifeís eviction notice, taunting fate,
As vivid, orange-yellow flames, then correspond,
With hidden blues and violets, indigos and hate.

"I can't see my forehead!" -Patrick

© Copyright 2009 Christine Juarez - All Rights Reserved
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1 posted 04-09-2009 09:19 PM       View Profile for SEA   Email SEA   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for SEA

this is really powerful in the emotions it evokes...

I thought it was amazing.
freeand2sexy
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2 posted 04-09-2009 11:46 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

Thank you!!!

"I can't see my forehead!" -Patrick

moonbeam
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3 posted 04-10-2009 04:41 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Christine

I think you put a lot of work into this and it shows.  It deserves more time and thought than I have right now.  I'll try and get back on it tonight.

Best.

M
freeand2sexy
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4 posted 04-10-2009 05:36 AM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

Oh yay, Moonbeam, you noticed my poem; I was screaming your name in my head in hopes that you'd respond.

Don't forget to let me know what my weakest area in poetry is.

And yeah, I worked hard on this poem, but I don't know if I worked hard enough. I like it and I think it's good, but I think my expectations for it were a bit higher. I really wanted it to be my best poem.

"I can't see my forehead!" -Patrick

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5 posted 04-10-2009 09:45 AM       View Profile for Falling rain   Email Falling rain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Falling rain's Home Page   View IP for Falling rain

Oh God! They say I'm good with imagery! You just blew my last poem outta the water! hahaha.
This was great. But now for critiquing,

"No fear had quivered its foundation, but it tried."

The "but it tried" part seemed a little too much an add on. The lines before didn't have add on and when I was reading it made me have to take a breath before reading that. It bugged me but its still good.

And I wasn't quite sure this poem was about. At the end of the poem I was like, "Hmm.. Is this poem about arson? 'Cause I saw flames and the 'master' look down in shame, I think."
It just left me wondering what else this was about.

"With hidden blues and violets, indigos and hate."

Get rid of the "and" and just put comma's. Except for the "and" between ingigos and hate. It just seemed like I was saying "and" too much while reading.

Over all I thought it was wonderful.

Keep up the great work!!

-Zach  

We all flirt with the tiniest notion of self-conclusion in one simple motion.  

freeand2sexy
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6 posted 04-10-2009 03:40 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

OMG, Zach, you are so awesome!!!! I donít think I've ever seen you critique like this, it amazing. Youíre my favorite person for today (shhhhh, don't tell Michaela)

Okay, I get why you don't like the "but it tried. " I didn't care for it that much either, but now that I see you had a problem with it, I'll have to see how I can replace it. But I don't understand what you meant by you had take a breath before you read it. Did you have the same problem with the second line, too, because they're the same? (in my opinion)

You're not sure what it's about, hmmÖ yeah, let me see if Moonbeam figures it out and if he doesn't then I'll let you guys know. I didn't think it was too hard to get, but I wrote it so how would I know.  

Okay so just a warning, if I seem a lil defensive it because this is my favorite line.

  "With hidden blues and violets, indigos and hate."

I understand what you're saying, if I were to write it in a more correct way, I would have to replace the first "and" with a comma, but there are two reasons why I didn't, which may be only one reason. First of all, I think it gives a bit more emphasis on the colors, and all so I think it gives some rhythm at the end. The second reason, which maybe the same as the first, is that if I took the "and" out, it would mess up the meter. I have to have an unstressed syllable in between "blues" and "violets" otherwise it won't work. Without the "and" it doesn't  flow well.

I understand that it has two "ands", but I didn't think it was too much. There isn't any other  "ands" in the stanza, so while I was thinking about it, I came the conclusion that it was okay, because of all the reasons that I've stated. If there were more "ands" in the lines before it, than yeah, it wouldn't work, because having to say "and" after "and" after "and" is annoying.

In conclusion,

You're way 2 sexy, Zach, lol and I only say that to those who truly are.

Thank you bunches!!!


"I can't see my forehead!" -Patrick
moonbeam
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7 posted 04-10-2009 04:05 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

(Ah, I see you've just posted a reply to Zach while I was writing this)

Christine

I suspect this will be one of those poems you'll look back on in a year or two and see as a large step along the poetic way.  I wrote something very similar about 10 years ago, and I remember how proud I was when I finished it.  Now when I look at it I am not ashamed of it in the way I am of some of my earlier efforts, because I see in it the dawning realisation of the power of metaphor and imagery.  What you've done here is what I did, you've worked very hard to produce some good images and you've also strived to maintain the metaphor throughout the piece, but, in a sense, I think you've done almost too well.  

Don't get me wrong, this poem projects you way beyond novice writing, because let's be clear, all the basics are right:

-  as you no doubt know, you've maintained the meter very well indeed, with just enough allowable variation from the iambic pattern to break the monotony.  

- your rhyme scheme is fine and the rhymes unobtrusive and in no way forced.

- your punctuation, spelling, grammar (with a couple of  possible exceptions - "eye's"?  and "broke"?) are all fine.

- it's not self-serving or self absorbed, it's not a "diary entry", it doesn't use hackneyed or overused phrases (apart from maybe "fiery blast!), and not one soul or angel or star or pain or heart or beach or rose or shard!!  Yay!

In fact to cut a long story short it's an interesting piece to read over and over, and a competent piece of writing you can be proud of ... can you hear the "but" coming ... ?

But ... you can move on now and do better.  In this poem as I said earlier you have mastered the use of imagery and extended metaphor, but you've perhaps "over-mastered" them.  In your anxiety to show that mastery you have done what all poets tend to do as they progress, over-egged the pudding just a little.  

What I mean is that good contemporary poetry tends to err on the side of conversational rather than the flowery or poetic.  Even in formal metrical work, the diction tends to err towards the patterns and sounds of ordinary speech.  So that if you find yourself writing too much stuff that you would not normally be comfortable with in day to day dialogue you should perhaps question why you are doing it.  Would you for instance say to your Mom: "Good grief Mom I'm suffering from a bad dose of the blazing demise of time"?  My guess is that she might look at you a little strangely.  I'm not saying that you should simply cut out all such language, but just be sparing, and scrutinise it carefully to see whether the same message couldn't be conveyed in a simpler, and perhaps more elegant way.  One thing you can do to help yourself recognise overly poetic writing is to look out for too many unnecessary adjectives or adverbs.  In your poem you maybe have a few:

Vinaceous curtains dangled down its windowpanes,
Before the ashes covered its transparent door,
Then shattered by its keeper's fear and loss,
Escaping death by jumping out the second floor.

While claret stains, that laid there on its pallid rug,
Had shriveled up from theblazing demise of time,
Its every room, was swallowed by a blackened smoke,
And fiercely choked by life's malicious crime.

No fear had quivered its foundation, but it tried.
Its dread had scorched the crimson bedding, its soft shield,
And though a violent thrust had broke its entrance down,
A fiery blast erupted out and would not yield.

The eye's of its poor master fell on vicious grounds,
To see hislife's eviction notice, taunting fate,
As vivid, orange-yellow flames, then correspond,
With hidden blues and violets, indigos and hate.

I've bolded some of the words and phrases that might be either redundant (isn't smoke always black?  Etc), or else over-written.  

The other main issue with this poem is the air of a riddle which it possesses and clings onto throughout.  Nothing wrong with a riddle poem of course, and perhaps you intended it to be so, but the subject it becomes so dominating as to be a little distracting.  I think the problem could be solved quite simply by not referring directly to "it" quite so much.  After all you have "it" in 9 lines out of 16 and sometimes twice in a line.  As for the riddle itself I'm not at all sure I "get" it; not that that's terribly important, but it might help to fill in some of the obscurities - for instance the sudden reference to the jump from the second floor in L4.  Because of that very concrete bit of description in L4 I finally decided to read the poem as a piece about a real fire in a real house, but also simultaneously a metaphor for the fear on the face of the owner and the way the face changes in hue from blazing red to deathly pale.  The inclusion of the final word "hate" made me pause for thought again though, because it took me back to "life's malicious crime", and I wonder whether in fact the owner of the face is full of emotion and hate for more than just the crime of arson, or whether in fact there is a real fire at all, and in fact the whole catalogue of imagery is simply metaphoric: the red curtains as bloodshot eyes; the ashes an ashen face; the transparent door the door to a heart or soul or simply the doorway of the eyes; the claret stains on the pallid rug the bright red blotches on white skin; the crimson bedding and soft shield, blood filled cheeks etc etc.  It works for me.

Also on the positive side the unusual word at the opening caught my attention - good start, and I thought the closure was just stunning:

"As vivid, orange-yellow flames, then correspond,
With hidden blues and violets, indigos and hate."

I loved the fire imagery and metaphor in this.  The way that in a fire the colour spectrum is such that the hot blues and indigos are "hidden" in the heart of the fire while the dancing and obvious orange-yellow but cooler flames are on the outside, perfectly mirrors the idea of the emotions on a face being blazoned in reds on the skin while deeper in the heart an even stronger passion burns in blues and violets (nice play of "violet" with "violent").  I think the inclusion of the emotion "hate" with the list of colours was a master-stroke - a perfect example of an abstract noun "hate" being used well.    

My advice is that you don't tamper with this poem.  It's lovely as it is, and like I say, a big step forward.  In your future writing you might like to consider some of what I say above, but really at this point in your writing Christine you could do with finding some contemporary poets who you like and then read read read read read read read read read.  You are definitely at the stage where your mind would absorb techniques and ideas from other good writers almost without you knowing it - and your poetry would benefit greatly as a result.  If you haven't got any contemporary poetry anthologies then you should try your best to get hold of some; library for instance.

Very good work Christine.

M

PS Did I remember to suggest that you read contemporary poetry.  
freeand2sexy
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8 posted 04-10-2009 09:32 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

First of all, not that this really matters, but no, smoke is not always black.

Hmm... I'm still processing this.

I think I'm going to take a break from poetry, then after my lil break I'll do more reading.

"I can't see my forehead!" -Patrick
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9 posted 04-11-2009 05:10 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Process away Christine

And you are right about smoke of course.  I think with modifiers, it's a question of degree and balance.  And you are also right, in relation to this particular poem it is not very important - which is why I suggested you leave it just as it is, as a very good piece, and move on.

A break is good, reading is even better

Take care.

Rob
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10 posted 04-12-2009 07:10 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Freeand2sexy,

          I was reading what Moonbeam had to say and I thought he was very good in his comments.  The poem was a very strong one, I felt, and showed that you put a great deal of work into it, and that you'd been working on picking up pieces of craft and using them in your work.  This is quite unusual,  Most poetry folk want to be poets, but they don't want to learn to be poets or understand how to go about it.  They want to think it's magic.  You seem to have the gift of curiosity and enough of the obsession with the stuff to make it work for you.  You should be pleased.

     I like the playfulness of your effort here, the fact that you're willing to play with using a big word is fun.  I don't think that it works here in the way that you'd like it to.  You might think about the notion of "willing suspension of disbelief," a notion from, I believe Keats.  Despite the age of the idea is got a wonderful usefulness.  What he means is that a poet is in the business of creating a relationship with his or her reader in which the reader feels so comfortable that the reader is willing to allow the writer to lead his senses around, to take temporary control of his eyes and ears, and to put the rest of his brain more or less on the back burner.  It's the poet's basic job to make sure that this relationship is created and continues undisturbed until the end of the poem, and that the reader actually feels pleased with this state of affairs; that it happens willingly.

     I hope I'm making myself clear here.  If not, let me know, and I'll try to make it clearer.  It's the most basic thing about poetry.  It's also the most basic thing about fiction and most movies, this creation in the reader or the audience of this willing suspension of disbelief.  That  they're willing to accept what you tell them and to continue on with you running the show.

     Anything that helps create this situation is the writer's pal.  Anything that gets in its way is the poet's enemy.

     For the most part, if you drop in a long and little known word at the beginning of a poem when you could substitute "viney" or some such, you get in the way of bringing the reader into the poem.  You may give the reader the impulse to put the poem down, which is an extreme example of the failure of willingness to suspend disbelief.  First lines are very important because that's where you're hoping to  kick things off, right? so you don't want to get in the way first thing off the bat.  After you get into the poem a bit, you might be able to work it out differently, depending on the level of trust you've built with the reader.  More one and two syllable words are better.  More anglo-saxon words are better, on the whole.  You can certainly use longer latinate words.  The test is whether or not your readers are still there in the poem with you afterward.  The test is always practical:  Does it work?  If it doesn't work, it has to go.

     Two things were very difficult for me to learn, and I can see you may be having some of the same issues here.  One is that you must be absolutely clear in your progress from subject to verb to predicate in every sentence that you write, so that it is absolutely clear what is going on.  You must be able to state who is doing what to whom with complete clarity.  It should be, ideally, as clear as the assembly manual you wanted to have for the toys you could never figure out when you were a kid.  It needs to be at least that clear.  You must be especially clear with nailing down what each and every "it" stands for, and where possible you need to go back and substitute the appropriate noun for the "it" so that this clarity is maintained.  If you do this at some point in the drafting of each poem for a while, you will, at least in the beginning, be shocked at how often you have yourself lost track of which "it" belongs to which referent.  Each of these difficulties will cause a reader to fall out of your poem, and most often not come back, unless they are your mother or a teacher or a significant other, all of whom are supposed to tell you you're great, and will feel terrible if they don't.

     You are, by the way, pretty good.  Nobody paid me to say that.

     The other thing has to do with time and sequence; what happened and when.  This can be a large pain in the butt, but it can also cause readers to fall out of your poem.

     You have a pretty good last couple of lines, too.

     Moonbeam is absolutely on target when he spoke about reading contemporary writers.  If you live someplace near a college or university and they have a reading series, go to the reading series and listen to the words out loud.  Poetry is a spoken art as well as a written art.  I wish that more folks went.  Heck, I wish they recorded more of it.

     I've tossed out a lot of stuff, and probably more than anyone could possibly digest.  Any comments, I'm interested in hearing.

Sincerely,

Bob Kaven

    
freeand2sexy
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11 posted 04-12-2009 10:45 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to read my poem and responding.

Everything you wrote was very clear; I understood it all.

The thing about the word ďVinaceousĒ is that I did know that it was little known and that not everyone would understand its meaning. I knew there was a chance that it might turn some people away. I had never even heard of it before, myself, let alone know what it meant. It was just a word of the day sent to my email, just another word to learn, but for some reason it inspired me to write this whole poem. Itís kind of absurd, but itís true.

When I was finished with what I have now, or at least when I convinced myself I was done, I really thought about replacing the word, but  I think I liked it too much, lol, which isnít a very good reason. Iím trying to let go of many of my old ways of writing, but I still have my old habits.

Everything else, I kind of knew a lot of already. UmÖ after reading my poem quite a few times, I did see the faults and realized that I had a lot of ďitísĒ and after reading what you wrote, I thought for a second and realized hey, I kind of know this already. In a way, itís obvious; itís just harder to actually do. For me, I think I can easily see the faults in my poetry, (at least most of them) itís easy to see whatís wrong, but difficult to actually fix or change. I think because of that, Iím really not that proud of my poem. I wanted to think that I did work hard on this, but I donít think I did. Iím not sure I can distinguish whether I worked hard or not.

I know I need to practice, and read more, so after my break, I will.


quote:
You are, by the way, pretty good.  Nobody paid me to say that.


Thank you, but I'm curious,

Am I pretty good for just a person?
Or
Am I pretty good for my age? (which is 17, just to let you know)

I think there is a bit of a difference.

Thank you again for reading and responding. It means a lot and I got to learn more, which is always fun.

"I can't see my forehead!" -Patrick
Bob K
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12 posted 04-12-2009 11:02 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

     You're pretty good for anybody starting out.  You're better than I was when I was halfway through college, and you'll better than that soon if you keep going.  You did work hard.  If you'd have actually already known the stuff that seems so obvious to you now, you wouldn't have done it; the reason it seems so obvious and so familiar is that, after you've had it pointed out, it seems to make so much sense that you feel like you've always known it.  That means you learn like a sponge in this area, and that you're working hard to fit the stuff you've just picked up into the stuff you already know.  Good not for a 17 year old, for a person of any sort.

     If you can take a break, go ahead.  In the meantime, the reading is good.  Actually, the reading is good all the time.

     Also, poets fall in love with words and tend to like playing with them.  The issue isn't you, it generic to being a poet.  Sometimes you need to cut the stuff that you dote on the most.  I've had to do it, and I'll have to do it again.  If it's really holding your poem back, you find that the poem heals around it, and you develop a new sense of what the poem is, so that you can revise the poem in that direction.

     Make sure you keep the part you cut in your notebooks.  Throw nothing you write away, it's all useful in the notebooks, where it can ferment and maybe set off something else in a year or ten.

Thanks for the quick response,

Bob Kaven
freeand2sexy
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13 posted 04-12-2009 11:11 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

I don't know if I can agree with everything you just wrote, but I understand what you mean and that's good enough for me.

"I can't see my forehead!" -Patrick

nehematala
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14 posted 07-01-2009 07:35 PM       View Profile for nehematala   Email nehematala   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nehematala

This is really good! even though I didn't know what Vinaceous meant I looked it up it helped me to understand the poem a little more.

I am not sure but it sounded to me like this poem is about life and death or maybe just escaping the clutches of death, but then again i am just stabbing in the dark

The number one thing in acting is honesty: If you can fake that you've got it made.

priyanka
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15 posted 07-03-2009 06:53 AM       View Profile for priyanka   Email priyanka   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for priyanka

now this is real powerful... and im not just saying to say something but it is good and infact very good for a 17 yr old... it does say a lot about you too...
Bob K
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16 posted 07-03-2009 10:49 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     More poems, Christine?

     I'm not overflowing with energy, but I like your stuff.
freeand2sexy
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17 posted 07-04-2009 09:02 PM       View Profile for freeand2sexy   Email freeand2sexy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit freeand2sexy's Home Page   View IP for freeand2sexy

Thanks guys!!!

More poems?

I have a few that I'm working on. I'll probably post them within a couple of days, hopefully.

The hardest part about writing poetry,
is trying not to write like everyone else.

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