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Passions in Poetry

In My Garden (repost from Dark 2 with revisions)

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


0 posted 12-20-2001 01:35 PM       View Profile for Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith   Email Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith

In My Garden

In my garden, angels stand in carven stone.
Obelisks and pyramids surround me on the garden paths.
I smell the scent of new-mown grass
And in my garden I walk alone.

I walk between the wind-swept towering trees
Alone but always searching in this garden of despair.
I brush aside an errant hair
Blown by the midnight’s dying breeze.

The moon casts shadows on the cobbled stone.
Nightmare shapes assail me from the whispering dark.
They bite but never leave a mark,
Here within my garden all alone.

In my garden, I was once a noble king
With my loving subjects lying star-scattered on the lawn.
They’d play for me until the dawn
And hymns to me they’d sweetly sing.

I see the place where once her love was known.
Where wine was spilled upon the grass and promises exchanged.
The landscape has been rearranged
In my garden where I walk alone.

The garden gate has been rusted shut with tears,
For no one comes to walk within this garden by my side.
Yet still I play the troubled guide
Within these walls so many years.

Within my garden where angels stand in stone,
Where midnights pass without the comfort of another’s smile,
I stand, remembering life awhile.
And in my garden I walk alone.


This piece was ripped to shreds (rather mercilessly) on another site. It got a little personal (which is why I don't go there anymore). Unfortunately, some of my detractor's comments were valid. I have worked and re-worked this piece and am ready for some more input. If you hate it, please tell me why. How can I make this piece better?
One main question: do you understand where the narrator is and why? It's clear to me (obviously since I wrote it) but it doesn't seem to come across to others sometimes. Also, it is in a rather strict meter. That is intentional and I would like to preserve that.
Any input (constructive, please) is appreciated.

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

© Copyright 2001 Darren Lausa - All Rights Reserved
Not A Poet
Member Elite
since 11-03-1999
Posts 4427
Oklahoma, USA


1 posted 12-20-2001 06:05 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

Ian,

Overall, I enjoyed this one. I do see some points that I would do differently. One this is for certain though. Whatever criticism you might get here will not be personal. Sometimes it can seem almost brutal, but never a personal attack.

First, I like your rhyme. It was pretty consistent and fit pretty well. IMHO, the longer lines of each stanza seemed a little hard to read. Most of them were 7 or 8 feet which must be done very carefully, if at all. Finally, the meter seemed to jump around a bit more than I would have liked. In a longer poem, such as this, I think it often helps to have an occasional metric break or small change but it seemed to me like you had too many here. This just made it a little hard to read without really adding anything.

To answer your other question, the only scene I see is a garden. Sorry. Someone else may be more perceptive than I am, however.

I think that, with a little editing work, you would have a pretty strong poem here.

Thanks,
Pete
rich-pa
Member
since 02-07-2000
Posts 325
New Orleans, Louisiana


2 posted 12-20-2001 08:48 PM       View Profile for rich-pa   Email rich-pa   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rich-pa

hey, Not A Poet about said it on the meter and stuff, and...I don't care for love poems personally (even though i have been in the position of writing them *shudder*)but the poem, in the style it is written in, i think, is far from a bad poem, you have a pretty good use of imagery and the language...i see the garden as a metaphor for life...i see lotsa metaphors actually, hey though, as far as it matters that's as right as what you meant and as right as it is justa  garden...anyways, don't sweat the haters, it's good stuff

"freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose..."  -janis joplin

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


3 posted 12-21-2001 02:51 AM       View Profile for Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith   Email Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith

Pete,
Thank you for the comments. I have never had the sort of attacks here like I had on that other site (which shall remain nameless). That is why I am here again. I don't mund brutal critique, in fact I welcome it.
About the rhyme, thank you for the compliment. I seem to have a gift; it comes pretty easily to me.
As to the long second lines in each stanza: that was an intentional device that seems to not go over very well. I, having written it, have no problem with it because I know how it should flow. Others, it seems, have a difficult time with it. I'm not quite sure how (or even if)I want to change it. I'm rather fond of those lines.
As to the meter jumping: hmmm... after re-reading it with that in mind, you are right. When I first wrote it, the meter seemed to be much more rigid. Perhaps I've not edited it carefully enough.

Rich-pa,
Uh...it's not SUPPOSED to be a love poem. Hmmmm....Is that really what it seems like?
You actually came close with your 'metaphor for life' comment. Love enters into it but it is not meant to be just that.

SPOILER:
Here is what the 'garden' actually is:
a graveyard. The narrator is a ghost walking through what he supposes to be his garden at night. He is lamenting the things that he misses from his former life, not knowing why they are gone.
I hope I haven't ruined the game for anyone reading this after my reply.

Thank you both for the critique,
Ian

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

rich-pa
Member
since 02-07-2000
Posts 325
New Orleans, Louisiana


4 posted 12-21-2001 04:29 PM       View Profile for rich-pa   Email rich-pa   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rich-pa

sorry, i saw the one stanza about love and my bias took over, that's my fault..i see the graveyard know...but i still say it's a metaphor for his life...a the beauty of interpretations....it's a good piece, i dig it alot more now

"freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose..."  -janis joplin

Englishpoet
Member
since 12-18-2001
Posts 54
Birmingham, England


5 posted 12-22-2001 12:24 PM       View Profile for Englishpoet   Email Englishpoet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Englishpoet's Home Page   View IP for Englishpoet

Hi
I don't know why this poem was ill treated at the other site. To me, it’s a wonderful poem about loneliness in our life that is full of material things. I like this poem very much. The best line to me is "in my garden I walk alone"

The 2nd stanza you could omit and still keep the power of this poem. Although i like "graden of despair"

I would like to suggest that you consider the following:

The place where once her love was known.
Where wine was spilled upon the grass and promises exchanged.
The landscape has been rearranged
In my garden where I walk alone.

Next
The garden gate has been rusted shut with tears,
For no one comes to walk by my side.
Yet still I play the troubled guide
Within these walls so many years.

Best wishes
Asif

strbbux
Member Elite
since 12-19-2001
Posts 3975


6 posted 12-22-2001 01:12 PM       View Profile for strbbux   Email strbbux   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for strbbux

I love this poem. I first read it days ago and I saw it as a graveyard and I was so afraid to comment on it for fear I was wrong and would look the fool...so I see I was right. It has a lonely sound to it. a sadness, and yet there is hope. I really liked it. And I am not that good of a writer to comment on the structure as I am still learning...strbux
Pilgrimage
Member Elite
since 12-04-2001
Posts 3905
Texas, USA


7 posted 12-26-2001 11:00 PM       View Profile for Pilgrimage   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Pilgrimage

Dear Ian,
I must be blind. I read it and never saw the graveyard until I read your comment. Then I went back and reread it, and there it is. I like the rhyme scheme, but I have to agree with the bad people-that long second line is awkward to me. Sorry. Anyhow, I like the poem overall. It's very good.

Nan

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


8 posted 12-27-2001 12:48 AM       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 really have to stop being so subtle! Many people miss the graveyard scene until I explain it to them. And I haven't met anyone yet who likes the long second line. Ah well, time to revise...
Thanks Englishpoet and strbbux for your comments and Pilgrimage, they're not bad people...they're just misunderstood.
Ian


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

[This message has been edited by Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith (12-27-2001 12:48 AM).]

wordancer
Senior Member
since 07-30-2000
Posts 746
CT


9 posted 12-27-2001 12:31 PM       View Profile for wordancer   Email wordancer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for wordancer

Ian, actually I got the graveyard from the first two lines…but, then again,  I do have a ‘thing’ for wandering in cemeteries and you do have the atmosphere down quite well. ..a fine haunted, lonely  feel to this.  Strangely, I didn’t find it all that subtle, and I wouldn’t change that aspect of a poem because it is not ‘gotten’ right away.  

The only thing that struck me, besides the longs lines that we already mentioned,  was the constant repeats of ‘in my garden’, which I don’t think are needed and tends to distract from the poem.  



-Wordancer, the poet who writes to the beat of a different drummer

[This message has been edited by wordancer (12-27-2001 12:32 PM).]

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