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Passions in Poetry

Another attempt at free verse

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Not A Poet
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since 11-03-1999
Posts 4427
Oklahoma, USA


0 posted 12-11-2001 05:54 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

I watched you slowly make your way around the room
in friendly conversations with so many others there,
your face perhaps a little red and splotchy,
right eye and a corner of your mouth
drooping ever so slightly,
the obvious effects of too much gin.
No my dear, you were not at your best and
it had been such a long time and
I found myself almost able to think,
yes, she is certainly still an attractive woman
but maybe not the goddess I always thought she was.
Could it have been just some magic spell after all?
I found no pleasure in that revelation,
only a small sense of satisfaction
that I might finally be slipping
out from under your spell.

Then you started toward someone behind me
and I couldn't help but hope that
you might just stop to say hello,
but I didn't look around.
Suddenly, there you were,
draped over my shoulder,
whispering something in my ear,
your body pressed against my back.
I can still savor its imprint.

You said something
but, stunned, I was unable to speak.
It was an eternally long blank moment,
as if time stopped its relentless advance.
It was at that moment I must have realized
you actually are that goddess I always adored.

Then, as I still enjoyed the soft warmth
of your body pressing firmly against mine,
with an unexpected quick kiss,
you were gone as suddenly as you had come
and I never really said anything at all.
Oh, there was so much I wanted to say
but sadly, none of it would come out.
I wanted to feel you touching me,
I wanted to return the kiss,
I wanted to hold you,
but it was too late,
you were gone,
once again.
That's what I mean.
I wish you could understand.

[This message has been edited by Not A Poet (edited 12-12-2001).]

© Copyright 2001 Pete Rawlings - All Rights Reserved
aries_luv_ppl
Senior Member
since 09-20-2001
Posts 1479
Universal Mind


1 posted 12-12-2001 12:06 PM       View Profile for aries_luv_ppl   Email aries_luv_ppl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit aries_luv_ppl's Home Page   View IP for aries_luv_ppl

I feel the mood of the poem by your words The content is good. I like it! Hey if you have time, would you check out my more recent poems and see whether I've improved?

~Flower lasts so an hour, yet spring will brings her back to life again.
~Just when I thought it is too far away, opportunity knocks the door

Shou-Lao
Member
since 10-12-2001
Posts 101


2 posted 12-12-2001 05:07 PM       View Profile for Shou-Lao   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Shou-Lao


Free verse isn’t really my forte (poetry in general isn’t some would say), that said I do have a couple of suggestions.

The first is the double use of spell, the effect of the second seemed diminished by the first a few lines earlier, could you find a replacement?

The second suggestion is a little drastic.

While reading what came across was the narrators inability to communicate all the intricate things he was thinking about to the person he most wanted to tell. That, and the ending, made me think about all the times when the moment is missed and you’re left wishing you’d jumped in with both feet.

You could extrapolate that ‘missed moment’ feeling by starting with a piece of dialogue (a simple Hello type line), then go into the narrators thought process and finish with another piece of dialogue (Goodbye type line). What you’d end up with is a complete rendition in freeze frame of that missed moment feeling encapsulated within the hello-goodbye dialogue.

Of course I could be completely mad, if so please ignore the above.  
Not A Poet
Member Elite
since 11-03-1999
Posts 4427
Oklahoma, USA


3 posted 12-13-2001 09:25 AM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Hi Aries,

The mood was what I was trying to get across. Looks like it worked, at least for you. Thanks. Come back to CA and give us the pleasure of your writing. I have been so busy lately that I just can't find time to keep up with any of the other forums.

Shou,

Thanks for pointing out the repetition of spell. That one slipped by me somehow. I will fix it. On your other comments, I'm still thinking. I think I see what you are talking about but I'm not so sure I see how to implement it. It would help if you could elaborate just a little to educate me some. Thanks for the advice.

Pete

Never express yourself more clearly than you can think - Niels Bohr

Shou-Lao
Member
since 10-12-2001
Posts 101


4 posted 12-13-2001 03:48 PM       View Profile for Shou-Lao   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Shou-Lao

Pete

I think you may be looking in the wrong direction if it’s education you’re after, I could teach you how to write as badly as I do, but reading your stuff it would be an uphill struggle and take almost forever to achieve.

Describing what I meant might be a little less difficult – picture the scene:

Two people meet, perhaps they reach for a door handle at the same time, they touch and she says something. It could be something as innocuous as “sorry”, this spark starts the mans thought process, in real time it’ll last a split second but you can slow it down. Detail everything he’s thinking or ever thought about the woman, you can take as long as you like and at the end normal time can be resumed by the woman saying something as simple as “after you”.

I know it seems to bear little resemblance to your original but that’s the sort of overall “missed moment” feeling I got when I read your piece for the first time. I don’t know whether that was intentional on your part but that’s the impression I got, my mind being the altar upon which many an idea has been sacrificed just extrapolated it to the nth degree.

As I said earlier please feel free to ignore my ramblings if they don’t make sense.  

[This message has been edited by Shou-Lao (edited 12-13-2001).]

strbbux
Member Elite
since 12-19-2001
Posts 3975


5 posted 12-19-2001 07:19 PM       View Profile for strbbux   Email strbbux   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for strbbux

Well I am not as good at crituqing as some of these more seasoned poets are, but I will say this, I enjoyed reading it, I didnt get at all bored as sometimes happens with a not short poem. I kept thinking through it all that you could maybe write a book, because your writing compelled me to finish it.. thats as good as i can come to saying ,, great write. strbbux
Not A Poet
Member Elite
since 11-03-1999
Posts 4427
Oklahoma, USA


6 posted 12-20-2001 10:05 AM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Hey Shou,

I'm sorry, I know I got back to you on this a few days ago but I guess I must have failed to click the submit button Anyway, I think what I said was, Thanks for the suggestion and don't sell yourself short. I really believe we all can learn something from everyone here. Now, I do like your suggestion and it may even inspire another poem. In this case though, I was not trying to present a "missed moment." Instead I wanted to convey the frustration and disappointment of a summary of lost rather than missed moments, a very different scene.

Thanks again for your suggestion and I do think I feel another poem coming on as a result.

Hi Strbbux,

Thanks for commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Pete

Never express yourself more clearly than you can think - Niels Bohr

Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith
Member
since 02-12-2000
Posts 200
Cincinnati, Oh, U.S.A.


7 posted 12-20-2001 01:53 PM       View Profile for Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith   Email Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith

I liked this one (even though free verse is not my favorite form). Your portrayal of the 'missed moment' is quite accurate. I have been through this more times than I can count.
I agree with the comment about the repeated use of 'spell'. Perhaps 'enchantment' would be a good substitute for the second instance.
At the end of your line: 'in friendly conversations with so many others there' I would change the comma to a period.
I love the line: 'I can still savor its imprint.' I love that feeling too!

I notice that you have not titled this piece. Do you have a reason? or have you just not gotten around to it? If you don't have a title but want one, My suggestion would be 'A Moment of Silence'.
Thanks for the good read.

Sing while you may
  -The Prophet Qa'sepel

Your pain is for you alone, As it is, As it was, As it will be forever, Amen
   -The Prophet Qa'sepel

Not A Poet
Member Elite
since 11-03-1999
Posts 4427
Oklahoma, USA


8 posted 12-20-2001 06:09 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Thanks Ian,

Yes, I don't know how I let spell slip by me. My choice, however, was to replace the first occurrence with enchantment rather than the second.

If I changed that comma to a period, I would have to rework the next few lines to fix what would then be a sentence fragment.

The reason I did not title it was that I just couldn't come up with a suitable one. I like your suggestion but think I might want to change it to "A Silent Moment."

Thanks for commenting
Pete
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


9 posted 12-20-2001 10:10 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Let's see how much of this I can get through:

I watched you slowly make your way around the room

--Pretty standard beginning. I've lost count of how many times I've started a poem like this. Believe it or not, I'm not sure that's such a bad thing; it sets up the scene, creates immediate questions for the reader, and generally gets someone to keep reading. It's not a grabber, but it's not a stopper either.

in friendly conversations with so many others there,

--I'm not sure why 'friendly' is necessary. I'd also think about dropping 'there'. You probably want to focus on the actual conversations or on the speaker's emphasis on 'others'.

your face perhaps a little red and splotchy,

--'splotchy' doesn't work for me and doesn't send the right message for the rest of the poem.

right eye and a corner of your mouth
drooping ever so slightly,

--I like this. I think the 'ever so slightly' actually adds to the feel here.


the obvious effects of too much gin.

--What about giving the speaker more of a voice here? This seems like dry description but what about trying to keep the same sound you get with 'ever so slightly' (the phonetic version of a half-smile if you will): "Ahhh, the gin and tonic in her hand." or something like that.


No my dear, you were not at your best and

--Not big on direct address but can you see how this and the 'slightly' line create a better effect if you work on the 'gin' line a bit more?


it had been such a long time and
I found myself almost able to think,

--not sure these lines are necessary.

yes, she is certainly still an attractive woman
but maybe not the goddess I always thought she was.
Could it have been just some magic spell after all?

--A little wordy but I think these fit the style.

I found no pleasure in that revelation,
only a small sense of satisfaction
that I might finally be slipping
out from under your spell.

--I think the speaker should keep talking to himself rather than describing what the thoughts were.

Then you started toward someone behind me
and I couldn't help but hope that
you might just stop to say hello,

--I think you missed a chance to build some tension here. Try to capture that moment where you think she's actually coming to you, and also the disappointment when she goes past you. You telegraph too much here in that first line.

but I didn't look around.

--This fits in pretty well, but I might drop the 'but.'


Suddenly, there you were,
draped over my shoulder,
whispering something in my ear,

--I like this part. I might drop 'something'.

your body pressed against my back.
I can still savor its imprint.

--Argy, aaah, uhhhh, this part is so key. Expand this, explore this point. C'mon, there's nothing quite like that moment when a women is barely touching you from behind, that wispy feeling just explodes on you (it does me), and it's for all intent and purposes impossible to play on because you can't talk about it, you're never quite sure if it's an accident or on purpose of if she know it's on accident or on purpose. Play on the whole flirtation without flirting moment here.

You said something
but, stunned, I was unable to speak.

--keep the balance here, drop 'stunned' and play with the speaking that means nothing, and the nothing that comes from not speaking.

It was an eternally long blank moment,

--Uh, don't you think this is overkill?


as if time stopped its relentless advance.

--nah, you don't need this.
It was at that moment I must have realized
you actually are that goddess I always adored.

--Okay, but I think you should try to parallel this line in some way, I'm not sure how yet, with the previous 'goddess' -- show a connection stylistically as well as plot-wise.

Then, as I still enjoyed the soft warmth
of your body pressing firmly against mine,

--So much potential is missed with these lines -- almost like you're afraid to re-experience that moment yourself.

with an unexpected quick kiss,

--okay, but I think you should go further and explore some of the same things I've mentioned with the behind pressure.


you were gone as suddenly as you had come

--I think direct would be better here. One 'suddenly' per poem is usually enough.

and I never really said anything at all.

--No, no, you said nothing. She said nothing at all.

Oh, there was so much I wanted to say

--We already know this.

but sadly, none of it would come out.

--You can play with this. I don't know, something like, "Where did my larynx go?"

I wanted to feel you touching me,
I wanted to return the kiss,
I wanted to hold you,
but it was too late,
you were gone,
once again.

--I feel like you're running out of steam here.

That's what I mean.

--I think this has a quality all its own here and drop that last line.

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

I like the scene and some of the minimalist lines but I don't think you've taken full account of what could be done here.

Play with it a bit more, don't forget the freedom that free verse can really give you. You might try metering it once, then putting back into free verse to see if it can pull you in new directions.

Thanks, Pete,
Brad


Not A Poet
Member Elite
since 11-03-1999
Posts 4427
Oklahoma, USA


10 posted 12-21-2001 10:00 AM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Hey thanks Brad. You made some very good points there, particularly in dropping some of the unnecessary words. I also agree with your thought on expanding the touching thing. Thanks for taking so much time to work on this for me. I'll go back to the well and see what improvements I can make.

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


11 posted 12-22-2001 12:08 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Just a quick note: This has stayed with me over the last couple of days. That's a good sign.

Brad
Not A Poet
Member Elite
since 11-03-1999
Posts 4427
Oklahoma, USA


12 posted 12-24-2001 12:52 AM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Thanks Brad,

That is indeed a good sign. Damn, you have made me think and that too is a good sign. I don't know what it was but I think I finally understand what you were trying all along to tell me, well, you and kris and several others but it never really soaked in until now. At least, I didn't recognize it until now. I will revise this one and repost. I'm all excited aboutthis new-found knowledge now.

Thanks,
Pete
lizzyluv
Member
since 12-27-2001
Posts 53
nh, usa. we suck.


13 posted 12-27-2001 10:27 PM       View Profile for lizzyluv   Email lizzyluv   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for lizzyluv

i really liked that. the first little bit didn't really draw me, but the lst 15 or so lines were right on the mark. i enjoyed that a lot.

"everyone is broken by something they love and worship"- Francesca Lia Block
*lizzy*

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