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Passions in Poetry

Some help please.

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New Member
since 06-02-2006
Posts 4

0 posted 08-21-2010 01:47 AM       View Profile for Ratri   Email Ratri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ratri

In my dreams, I see a sign,
Leading me to what is mine.
To a place I know not of;
Down a path thatís bleak and rough.

Through the valleys and over hills,
The sky is bright and the wind is still.
All I have is all I will,
All I know is what I feel.

Cuts and bruises coat my skin;
Mutilation by my lifeís sin.
I do not sense the pain acutely,
But continue on resolutely.

I trudge on, play through the pain,
Dodging bullets of ice cold rain,
Refusing to be a human stain
In the world that remains.

I cannot breathe, but pursue
The cold, hard path that leads to You.
My body, my vessel, to dexterity lends,
Is not required to see my Friend.

Life is hard and seems eternal,
But whatís unbroken is external.
We were not meant to be here long,
But in adversity, to be strong.
Any suggestions? Mostly I am unsure about the last stanza but after trying several different things it's the best I can come up with.
Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860

1 posted 08-21-2010 03:40 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Ratri,

          What I believe you've run into here is a problem with strategy.

     You're using a basic iambic tetrameter form, which is deceptive in its apparent simplicity.  The fact that each couplet is a closed unit in itself in terms of metrics and rhyme leads a poet to have difficulty in thinking of the place he wants the poem to go, to end, to finish.  It seems to suggest that any of these two line building blocks might be interchangeable, when if fact, they will probably not be interchangable at all, especially in a short lyric.

     At the first draft of this sort of poem, by the way, it's almost impossible to tell what the end of the poem is going to be in advance.  Some poets may be lucky enough to have figured it out, but it's not so easy.

     My suggestion is, as much as possible, to take the draft apart into its component parts, the two line couplets here,  and quite literally shuffle them around like pieces of a puzzle.  See which arrangements seem to suggest a progression, a sort of story or a plot to you.  Notice where these stories begin and end, and then arrange your next draft to follow that plot line.  The holes in the story will show up, and you should be pretty clear what you need to do to find the couplets to fill the gaps.  The ending should become more obvious as you get a better grasp of what the story actually is that your unconscious is presenting you with, albeit in a somewhat scrambled form.

     Individual poets tend to have themes that tend to fascinate them and which they find themselves returning to in one form or another.  As you get more experience with your writing, your personal obsessions and themes will start to reveal themselves to you, but for now, just try to shuffle the couplets about and see what the plot is that emerges.  It may be different than what you expect.

     As you get more comfortable with this sort of stuff, you'll probably want to work on fine-tuning your metrics a bit.

     There's a lot more to say, but I've probably said too much to be absorbed at any one sitting, and you may not have found the feedback useful anyway.  I hope you did.  If there's anything else I can do by way of being helpful, please let me know.

     All my best, Bob Kaven
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