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Passions in Poetry

I want to be adult . . .

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Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


0 posted 08-22-99 05:43 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for Brad

I want to be adult about these things,
She said, her fingers wrapped around a cup
To warm her hands because she never drank
The coffee he was always paying for.

And what is that supposed to mean, he said.
His eyes remained on the dirty silver spoon
Hispanic hands were taking away; he heard
Glasses toasting some delight somewhere else.

It's not that you've been boring or bad to me,
She glanced across the dining room and smiled
At children running across the floor that led
Her back to where she didn't want to be.

At first, it was, you know, very nice.
She watched him snap his fingers angrily
At the high school boy who rushed to fill his cup
And then the waiter who picked up the check.

But I'm tired of watching the faces of others
When you are not looking at them.


© Copyright 1999 Brad - All Rights Reserved
JP
Senior Member
since 05-25-99
Posts 1391
Loomis, CA


1 posted 08-23-99 01:01 PM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

An interesting picture you've painted. Feel like I was eavesdropping on a conversation at La Bou's.

The last two lines are haunting me though, the plethora of meanings are rushing around in my head like a whirlwind. So much potential meaning in just those lines alone....

I like this one.

------------------
Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
JP


Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


2 posted 08-24-99 05:00 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Thanks for the kind words. If you really do feel like you're eavesdropping, then I'm a very happy man.
TheCandyMan_1
Junior Member
since 08-28-99
Posts 40
NY


3 posted 09-02-99 06:24 AM       View Profile for TheCandyMan_1   Email TheCandyMan_1   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit TheCandyMan_1's Home Page   View IP for TheCandyMan_1

Brad-
You have a way of writing. I like this one. Very good.

------------------
JA.Malone
-x--------->o<---------x-
"Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite - "Fool!" said my Muse to me "look in thy heart, and write!" - Sir Philip Sidney
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


4 posted 09-04-99 12:34 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Thanks for the kind words and the way you took my criticism on your poem (it seems there are such things as mature poets). I don't know if you will read this, so I'll post the same thing over on your poem.

Brad
Wolfgang
Member
since 05-24-99
Posts 124
Hamilton, Ont. Canada


5 posted 09-04-99 09:14 PM       View Profile for Wolfgang   Email Wolfgang   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Wolfgang's Home Page   View IP for Wolfgang

In plain and simple terms, "your poem is good" especially the last two lines, they pack a nice punch for me.
But! Could you define a mature poet for me?
This is not meant to be nitpicking, I would truly like to hear (or read) your opinion.
Thanks
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


6 posted 09-04-99 09:52 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Wolfgang, thanks for reading the poem. I didn't mean my 'maturity' comment that seriously although now that I read it again, it does come off a little like that. I did not mean that because Candyman seemed to like this poem, he is mature (what a strange thing to say but, believe it or not, I have heard stuff like that before).

My criticism toward a poem he posted here was a little harsh perhaps and I was impressed that he took it as I intended: just one man's opinion, to be ignored or used at his own discretion.

Personally, I think most poets (professionals and amateurs) are a petty, egotistical lot -- they have to be. Otherwise, why spend so much time on stuff that so few people will appreciate? How can you honestly believe that your writings could be actually enjoyed by other people?

A mature poet is someone who sees criticism in a more pragmatic light, just other people's opinions that may be useful or not to his or her own personal agenda. This may seem like common sense but I've personally responded to criticism very negatively ('You're a disgrace to writing," I was called. Well, we were drinking.) and I just don't think that's a good thing.

The other side of the coin is to avoid the worth of the poem, to avoid engaging it, and simply say,"Good job. Great job. Loved it." on everything you see (or post). This seems hollow and if you do this all the time, doesn't it eventually lose any meaning? Furthermore, a poet who receives such flattery all the time will react that much more negatively when they receive a critical comment.

It seems to me that we all should be critical of each other (say what works and tell people what doesn't from your point of view) but that those who receive criticism should take those comments, not personally, not authoritatively, but as simply one person with one opinion.

Candyman did that. Actually, most people here seem to do this (I like it.)In other places, I've met people who don't.

Brad
Wolfgang
Member
since 05-24-99
Posts 124
Hamilton, Ont. Canada


7 posted 09-04-99 10:47 PM       View Profile for Wolfgang   Email Wolfgang   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Wolfgang's Home Page   View IP for Wolfgang

Brad.
I wholeheartily agree with you and think you have put it in perfect perspective.
Thanks
Robin
Junior Member
since 08-07-99
Posts 48
Cardiff, Wales, UK


8 posted 09-05-99 10:15 AM       View Profile for Robin   Email Robin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robin

Brad,
What can I say? This poem is just excellent. The irrelevant detail that paints the picture and at the same time defines the characters so well. The dialogue is so compact and yet expansive. And the final lines, as JP said, a plethora.
I read this once, and liked it but couldn't think why. I read it again, and started to realise, and again for sheer pleasure. In fact, i think I'll read it again.

And your points in regard to the mature poet are spot in. I've been through a number of sites, and in fact the Open Poetry site is a bit like that. That's the beauty of having a site dedicated to critiquing.
And you're right, it is always just the writers opinion.

Well done

Robin
Christopher
Moderator
Member Rara Avis
since 08-02-99
Posts 9130
Purgatorial Incarceration


9 posted 09-06-99 05:06 AM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Brad- To the poem itself, I have a single question. It may be that I am reading it wrong, and if so please help me. I see that you've broken it up into four sections of four lines, and one of two. When I read it, I kept trying to find a "rhythm" to go with it. I found it in the first three sections, but not the last two. I don't know if you even meant for there to be a rhythm, but that is just how I saw it.
As to your response on maturity, I agree with you that it seems to be more prevalent here than in most other places. But I think that the maturity comes not from them being pragmatic poets, but from being decent humans!

[This message has been edited by Christopher (edited 09-06-99).]
TheCandyMan_1
Junior Member
since 08-28-99
Posts 40
NY


10 posted 09-06-99 11:53 PM       View Profile for TheCandyMan_1   Email TheCandyMan_1   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit TheCandyMan_1's Home Page   View IP for TheCandyMan_1

Brad -
I really only came in to read this one again. I really do like it alot. Then I paged down to see what other opinions you had on it...and wow, what a compliment I got. Thank you again!

I think of it this way, we all have different life experiences and perspectives on life. I post my works in critical analysis purposely to get those points of view. Sometimes even the smallest of opinions can point me in a whole new direction. I love it. Honesty is always the best policy. Please do always voice your opinions, good or bad. They are never wrong - for they are your opinions. They do help.

Again, great poem!

------------------
1999 JA.Malone


"Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite - "Fool!" said my Muse to me "look in thy heart, and write!" - Sir Philip Sidney
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


11 posted 09-07-99 02:16 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I don't know what to say with all the nice things being posted here.

Robin, do you have any idea how I felt after I read your post? How can comments like 'Great job' and 'liked it' compare to having someone actually see what it is you were trying to do with the poem. This is why engaging a poem is so much better than vague and overused comments. It's a better high.
Thank you.

Christopher, you mean you see the meter is 'breaking up' towards the end. What's the theme of the poem? I have no idea if it truly enhances the meaning of the poem or not but that was my intention.

Candyman, I will always try to be honest (and civil) in my comments to your and other poems. To be honest, this is one of my personal favorites which is why it was my first post here. As I post more, however, I do expect honesty from you as well. Like I said above, it makes the positive posts that much more enjoyable.

Thanks to all,
Brad
Christopher
Moderator
Member Rara Avis
since 08-02-99
Posts 9130
Purgatorial Incarceration


12 posted 09-07-99 04:09 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Well, I feel kind of silly! Thank you Brad, seen in that light, I must say that it adds to the feeling. I wonder why I didn't see it before...And I forgot to say it first time 'round, but I think that your last two lines have to be one of the most potent combination of words I've ever read. They express so much meaning, while still allowing the reader just enough to fill it in with their own experiences.
Thanks again for taking the time to explain!

[This message has been edited by Christopher (edited 09-07-99).]
jenni
Senior Member
since 09-11-99
Posts 511
Washington D.C.


13 posted 09-13-99 03:15 AM       View Profile for jenni   Email jenni   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jenni

very nice, brad, i really enjoyed this one. the little details on the man's behavior toward whom he sees as his "inferiors", details seemingly trivial, off-hand, or irrelevant at first reading, really set up the power of the closing lines.

can i make two suggestions though? there are several places in the poem where modifying phrases are a little ambiguous... for example when you write:

"... her fingers wrapped around a cup
To warm her hands because she never drank
The coffee he was always paying for"

it seems a bit like the woman's hands may be cold because she never drank the coffee. maybe you intended this? (perhaps the man's insistence on paying is yet another example of how his domineering ways leave her cold?) but i think what you mean is that she never actually drank the coffee whenever they were out together, but simply held the cup to warm her hands. i don't really have a good suggestion about how to make this more clear, perhaps:

"... her fingers wrapped around a cup
To warm her empty hands; she never drank
The coffee he was always paying for"

and secondly, when you write:

"...[she] smiled
At children running across the floor that led
Her back to where she didn't want to be"

it isn't clear what it is that takes her "back"; i think you mean it was the sight of the running children, but it reads as if it was literally the floor that led her back. maybe it should read:

"At children running across the floor who led
Her back to where she didn't want to be"

what do you think? please forgive me if i'm way off base here! i'd love to hear what you think about my comments, and feel free to tear apart my postings, i'm sure they could use it, lol. thanks for sharing this wonderful poem with us all, though; like i said earlier, i really did enjoy it.

Iloveit
Senior Member
since 09-02-99
Posts 1168
NM


14 posted 09-13-99 11:27 AM       View Profile for Iloveit   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Iloveit

gosh I never found a site like this that actually welcomed critiques.
I do love this, Brad, great poem. Its a great picture of how 2 people can be drawn together for the wrong reasons, and how it eventually falls apart, you can't leave your past when it lives in your heart....

would like to see your reply to the above post, the first verse, possibly could be rewritten, as Jenni suggested, but the verse with the children, *I* think the double meaning is left open for the reader's interpretation. It could be the children, but it could be the floor, and where it leads, memories are strange things, and little things like a floor, or a laughing child could call it up....

love this site, so glad I found you guys!
Sunshine
Administrator
Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


15 posted 09-13-99 01:38 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Hello Brad. You've captured quite well the acting/thought process that goes on when a couple who are not "a couple" are together. Bodies are there, but no one is home. I guess my only critique is that I would have had a different title, but I like the substance very much.

Thanks for the read.

------------------
Sunshine
Words will always express our feelings true. ~~~ KRJ
Look, then, into thine heart, and write ~~~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Iloveit
Senior Member
since 09-02-99
Posts 1168
NM


16 posted 09-13-99 03:05 PM       View Profile for Iloveit   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Iloveit

on second thought, I wouldn't try to reword it at all, it reads well as is, but possibly, depending on how specificly you want to lead the reader, you could add a comma in each of the lines in question, but one of the things that's nice in poetry is leaving it open for reader interpretation...as it stands, it is an excellant piece of work
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


17 posted 09-16-99 03:21 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Thanks to all who responded.

Thanks Craig. I don't do this on every poem I write but I'm glad at least one other person thought it worked.

Jenni, you have a point about the first stanza but I'm not sure (yet) if I want to change that. The ambiguity in the the third stanza is intended. And your never off base in giving me suggestions. I just don't have to listen.

Sunshine, the title, the title. Any suggestions?

Iloveit, your point about the commas is well taken. I've had other people complain that my phrasing can be confusing. Unfortunately, I'm not a big fan of end stop poetry. In a sense, I kind of want people to be at least a little confused -- Does he mean this? Does he mean that? Wait, he means both. Kind of thing. This may be something I still have to work out.

Brad
rachana.s
Member
since 09-16-99
Posts 59
madras,tamil nadu,India


18 posted 09-16-99 03:47 AM       View Profile for rachana.s   Email rachana.s   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rachana.s

dear brad,

This is my first time here, but your poem touched me especially the last two lines. what made the impact maybe was the finality that was somehow present.

Was it intentional?

The intent to finish, the emotionalism that came through even though there were no dramatic words used somehow gives me a feeling of being present there.

rachana
Seoulair
Senior Member
since 03-27-2008
Posts 776
Seoul S.Korea


19 posted 04-24-2008 07:39 PM       View Profile for Seoulair   Email Seoulair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seoulair

I want to be adult about these things,
Hint that he was kind of childish? or regret what she did before as childish?

She said, her fingers wrapped around a cup
Put in your personal experience as to make this a sign language.
To warm her hands because she never drank
The coffee he was always paying for.

Could he change coffee to tea or other drinks? He was a "single nerve" man.

And what is that supposed to mean, he said.
His eyes remained on the dirty silver spoon
Hispanic hands were taking away; he heard
Glasses toasting some delight somewhere else.

The sinking heart among other's happy cheer.
poor man.

It's not that you've been boring or bad to me,
She glanced across the dining room and smiled
At children running across the floor that led
Her back to where she didn't want to be.


where was the place that she did not want to be? Or merely meant the Childish behave?

At first, it was, you know, very nice.
She watched him snap his fingers angrily
At the high school boy who rushed to fill his cup
And then the waiter who picked up the check.

But I'm tired of watching the faces of others
When you are not looking at them.

being happy but could stand other's expression. (of course not acceptable kind)

So, when she wanted to be adult but actually she dropped him in a very immature excuse.

I like this one. very good.
 
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