Member Rara Avis
Ok, JM-freeverse-poet-gator... i'm finally HERE! As you know, i'm really not that good at critique and try to stay away from giving too much advice to other people's poetry other than just the feel of it, and overall blanket suggestions.... but since you asked me specifically to take a look at this poem and give you some ideas about it... and the whole free verse writing thing ... here i am... and you told me by email that you would like me to show you an example to help with this poem.
soooo.....what i've done is a revision... trying not to in any way alter the content or message... also trying my best to keep YOUR style and voice... but this isn't easy because it's me doing it, so some of me is bound to show through. before i post the revision, i'll list some of the methods i used to get from your poem to here... assuming that that's the type of thing you're looking for from me (i hope i'm right!)
- first, i went through and eliminated superfluous words, words or lines which repeated or images which repeated because sometimes you can echo an image if you need to, but i don't think you need to say the same thing more than once
- then, i broke it up in stanzas... doing that, included separating the really important lines to make them stand out.. whether just on the next line or one line standing as an entirely separate strophe
- then, i looked at the words and tried to find the more vague ones which could be said better but that was hard to do because i didn't want to change the content too much... i ALWAYS have my thesaurus open when i write... always... and i'm never finished with a poem... lol... i have to finally sign my name to it and be done with it, otherwise i'll be looking for "better" words through eternity... geesh..
- then, i took the liberty of showing you how a couple of metaphors & similes could add to it... actually, lately, i've been trying to write using LOTS of metaphors and similes... and that ain't easy.. but i think the "illustration" of what a writer is trying to say hits people harder than actually coming out and saying it in every day language. the uniqueness of a piece of poetry is everything... and if you can see something which reflects what you want to say, and give that to the reader, then they can see more clearly through your eyes, i think, which is better than using words which are subjective feelings... this is where i had a problem in this piece because i really wanted to provide images for those "lessons" you listed, instead of just using the words you chose. but instead, i simply set them off by themselves because i didn't want to totally rewrite you
ok, i think that's about it... bottom line is, it's in the cutting, the taking out of what isn't necessary... and the WAY you say what you want to say... i also read all my work outloud... my family thinks i'm nuts..lol... i read it and change it, then read it and change it again over and over... often just muttering under my breath... but by reading it outloud, you can hear the flow of it better and certain lines, words, rhythms that don't belong or which could be improved to get across your message or feeling, become more evident..
ok, here it is... i hope i've helped some and THANK YOU for asking me... i was honored that you thought i might be of some assistance. and btw, this is an AWESOME first free verse write.. congrats! and welcome to the world of confusion... hehe
~Upon Finding Purpose~ (by Janet Marie- doreen's revision)
I saw him standing at the fray,
in gray edges just outside shadows
gifted, wounded, frail
as if loud voices
would cause him to
slip back into darkness.
omnipotent, piercing, jaded,
emerald sparks seeing
behind deep hidden layers.
He was flame pulling me,
despite fear of unknown futures,
He was curiosity, fascination,
need of things I didn't yet understand.
His eyes, discovery itself,
no awkward first moments.
A conduit, magnet, pure absorption,
he was silver etched,
the moon pulling my tides
and he whispered the changing of seasons,
my orange-glow sun rising and setting
Poet, prophet, empyrean --
his innocence taken too soon,
a scarred child, a wounded dove,
the important lessons --
And I'm still not sure if I found him
or he found me when fate found us
and when he touched down,
landing in my heart,
he quietly slipping my soul around him
like a comfortable shoe that fit perfectly
Now all has changed
within infinite moments since
he flowed through me, looking out from my eyes
granting me vision, clarity, perspective,
and I finally understand a reason for need
and all that implies
because when we blended,
he gave me purpose,
then gave me back poetry.
I watched him vanish on an echo
the eve of my new century,
taking a part of me with him --
I, renewed, reborn in hope
and in our dance of anticipation,
he was carried home,
free of a past that had crumbled him
and often owned him.
And now, he is in me
and I no longer look for reasons,
for it was in his grace that I found purpose,
and as I write him now, I realize
he is every verse to be written,
the rhythm, the reason I rhyme,
my poetic justice,
inspiration on high.
He is my poetry.
- all you can ever really ask out of life is a sincere apology and some decent poetry -
[This message has been edited by doreen peri (edited 10-21-2000).]