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Missed You

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divine chaos
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since 07-09-2006
Posts 605
dancing 'neath the moon


0 posted 09-29-2006 09:19 PM       View Profile for divine chaos   Email divine chaos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for divine chaos

I'm sure this can be improved, I'm not sure what would make those improvements though.Does it need more little verselets?(I don't know if they're stanzas or strophes, so I'll use my own word hehe) .. What does it need to give the last line the kick it needs?

I'm not ready to set y'all loose on my others, so figured I'd start with this one


While puttering
in my flower bed
Clods of dirt
held in my hands

I saw on the street,
a silver flash
your foot to the floor
you went by fast,

The dirt clods
shattered on the lawn
I realized
that you were gone
and I missed you

In the store
moving down the aisle
there you were,
that walk, that smile

the can of corn
crashed to the floor
and like so many times before,
I missed you

Several times I have been tempted
To sit and write a letter
to let you know I've missed you

~but~

my aim is getting better.
© Copyright 2006 Sheli Carmichael - All Rights Reserved
hunnie_girl
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since 06-18-2006
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1 posted 09-30-2006 12:22 AM       View Profile for hunnie_girl   Email hunnie_girl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hunnie_girl

OMG i LOVED this it had such a nice flow this is my first time reading a poem from this part of pip but now i am determined to read more of your work good post... hope to read more soon...
hunnie*

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war and a time for peace   ~Ecclesiastes 3:8~

moonbeam
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since 12-24-2005
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2 posted 09-30-2006 03:41 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Hunniegirl

It's unfortunate that some people here seem to think that saying a poem has good FLOW is useful criticism.  "FLOW" is however at best a vague generic word and is really just a lazy way of saying very little while appearing to be profound.  

Think about whether your comment is really helpful to the poet?  Did you learn anything from this poem yourself.  Read this and then maybe comment again:

Why critique a poem?

To help the poet!

In commenting on a poem you are trying to help the writer decide whether he/she has succeeded in what he/she set out to do in the poem.  

It’s therefore important not only to say whether you like or dislike something but also to say specifically WHY.

However, sometimes it’s not always easy for people doing their first critiques to identify precisely WHY they like or dislike a poem, so below are some elements of poems that you might like to think about together with suggestions that you should follow for your first few critiques:

1 Read the poem aloud several times, at least three, and try and focus on what you thing the overall message or meaning is.  Write this down as your “Poem Summary”

2 Don’t just type your message straight into the reply window.  Preferably print out the poem and carry it with you for a few hours (or even days!), making annotations as ideas about it come to you.  In other words - DON’T RUSH!

3 Now, bearing in mind your “Poem Summary”,  work through the poem starting to try to identify the individual elements of the piece that stand out for you. You could think about:

a. Sound, Syntax and Diction  - In reading the poem aloud hopefully you will have formed some idea of whether you like the way it sounds.  How easily it trips off the tongue.  Are the sentences awkwardly or elegantly constructed (syntax). Do the individual words used (diction) seem to “fit”.

b. Voice - Quite often poems have a specific speaker or “voice”.  It may be an old man from Burma or a child or no specific person, just a genderless voice, yet still one which is important to the poem.  Listen for the “voice” and see if you think it is convincing in the context of your Poem Summary.

c. Action - Think about the action in the poem. Is it clear to you what’s happening, and how it’s happening.  

d. Things! - This may seem like an odd heading, but poems can often be a bit like paintings.  It’s quite a rare poem that is successful by being vague, so look for clear descriptions of objects and people.  Look for clear IMAGES. Beware abstract concepts. If someone says in a poem, “I loved him”, look to see if the poet is showing you a PARTICULAR KIND of “love”.  If he/she isn’t, then ask yourself if that’s good enough for you in the context of the poem.

e. Metaphors and similes - See if you can identify any places where a poet is saying such and such is “like” something else e.g. “She was like a beautiful swan” or “He’s tall as a beanstalk”.  Those are similes. Tell the poet if they work for you or not.  Metaphor can be an even stronger way to show characteristics; the poet transfers the actual identity of something on to something else, as in: “The surface of the water was slate”.  Obviously the water isn’t real slate, but by stating it like that the poet immediately transfers a picture of the water to the reader.  Does that work for you?  Let the poet know.

f. Lines - Look at the way the poet has arranged the lines of the poem.  Short lines usually slow up reading speed, long lines often speed it up.  Is that working?  What about the places that the lines break onto the next line.  You may think that lines that keep ending on “weak” words like “a” and “but” disrupt the poem, but then again there may be good reasons for it.  Think about it in context.

g. Conciseness - Poems often benefit from cutting down the word count.  If there are lots of “filler” words such as “the”, “a”, and  “because” for example it may be that some can be removed with no loss of meaning.  Look out for this.

h. Cliches - You will often hear people saying that a poem is no good because it contains clichés.  Clichés are phrases or words which have been used so often that there is a danger that they have lost their original force or meaning.  There are of course times when it’s appropriate to use a well known phrase, and probably, unless the poem is overwhelmed with clichés, you’ll be able to find more interesting, but perhaps less obvious, problems with the poem.

Remember, anyone can spot a cliché, but it takes a close and observant reader to pick out the more subtle problems with a poem.

4 Now write out your critique starting with your Poem Summary - what you think the poem is about.

Go on to say whether you think that the poet has succeeded in your opinion in achieving what you think he/she set out to do.

Then the important part:  say WHY you liked or disliked it, or part of it, and pick out at least one or two of the headings (a-h) above to comment on or support your statements.

If you don’t understand bits of the poem then ASK the poet what was intended.

5 ABOVE ALL  be absolutely honest.  People in this forum want the truth about their poems.  If you like something, say so, but equally, if you find an aspect that really doesn’t work for you, you should point this out too.  It is not helpful to be harsh or cruel, but saying you don’t like something will assist a poet in improving a poem just as much as making positive comments.

divine chaos
Senior Member
since 07-09-2006
Posts 605
dancing 'neath the moon


3 posted 09-30-2006 06:11 AM       View Profile for divine chaos   Email divine chaos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for divine chaos

hunnie girl, thank you for your response but, moon is right, on this particular board we post for critiques   I'm glad you liked it and if you want to read more of mine, you can find them in the archives on Open38 (I think?) whichever Open board was the last one lol

Moon!  I gave you something of mine that's not overwrought and head-casey .. and you didn't critique it!! *sniffles*
moonbeam
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since 12-24-2005
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4 posted 09-30-2006 04:56 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Thanks for reinforcing what I was trying to point out to hunnie.  Been short on time Sheli.  I will be back to look at this soon I hope.  

But you see the problem with "flow" - it's basically a licence to avoid detail comment.

More on "flow" later too.

M
cynicsRus
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since 06-06-2003
Posts 599
So Cal So Cool!


5 posted 10-01-2006 01:04 AM       View Profile for cynicsRus   Email cynicsRus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit cynicsRus's Home Page   View IP for cynicsRus

OK, I don't know how extensive a critique your really wanted. Here's a basic one.
I think you were mainly going for Tetrameter in this, though not completely Iambic nor Trochaic. Thus, I laid it out as a series of couplets, and refer to it as such, only for the purpose of critique, to see how it’s working overall. I’ll deal with meter only, because it’s obvious to anyone that this piece doesn’t rhyme completely. I don’t feel it necessary to over-analyze this anyway. We must remember it’s a simple little, ironic whimsy. Therefore, IMO, some allowances can be made.

In the first line:
‘While puttering,’ is not an effective way to begin this. Someone else may feel differently, this is just my opinion but I think there’s a better way for you to say this, to give your reader the feeling, at the beginning, that he’s going to read something serious.

“I saw on the street, a silver flash”

This line should be smoothed out a bit: First of all, when ‘saw’ and ‘on’ are read in a sentence it always sounds like SAWN. In poetry, each of your words should be more distinct. Secondly, in order for this line to approach Tetrameter, you’d have to read it as SAWN, which is awkward at best.

“your foot to the floor…”

This part sounds too colloquial and again, awkward. Not sure if this is like saying “pedal to the metal” but I think you should find a more direct way of stating someone is “making a mad dash for the exit,” to put it in clichéd terms. It consists of four uneven metric feet: The first Iambic, the next two anapest then two more Iambs.

“The dirt clods shattered on the lawn”

Normally, I’d say, eliminate ‘The,’ since it’s usually just a filler. But in this case, I’d leave it. It’s not quite as bothersome to me as ‘and’ is in the next line, which I think you should remove.

“In the store moving down the aisle”

This line is really bumpy. I read it as: Three feet consisting of two anapests and an Iamb. Thus, it throws your overall meter off.

“the can of corn crashed to the floor

This line’s not necessarily perfect metrically and ‘crashed’ sort of twists the tongue after ‘corn’, but this doesn’t bother me so much since I know the effect you’re going for is an allusion of canned corn falling to the floor, when in fact—as we find out in the end—it was thrown.

“and like so many times before,
I missed you”

This ‘and’ doesn’t bother me so much either.

“Several times I have been tempted
To sit and write a letter
to let you know I’ve missed you
but, my aim is getting better.”

Your final lines should be brought closer together to show the intentional rhyme. Lengthen the second line to mirror the forth metrically.


I actually got a kick out of this poem. I was caught off guard, thinking it was about a sort of klutz continually missing opportunities to meet his/her true love. Your arrangement of short lines didn’t really bother me either. Everyone’s still going to read it his own way and in such short whimsies, the readers usually make allowances if the poem is effective overall. I feel this was. Some will disagree but, such is life.
If you get into more serious poetry though, you will want to tighten up your form. There are fewer allowances made for such extensive divergence in rhyme or meter.

Thanks for posting

Sid
divine chaos
Senior Member
since 07-09-2006
Posts 605
dancing 'neath the moon


6 posted 10-01-2006 08:31 AM       View Profile for divine chaos   Email divine chaos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for divine chaos

Sid,

I've made a couple of the changes you suggested, and I do agree with the others, but I'm still thinking about the best ways to implement them.  Here's a re-post of what is done so far.  

I'm not sure about the first line, "While puttering" .. perhaps "While working?"

Do you think it would work better as couplets, instead of the 4-line arrangement?  

I know this is pretty bumpy overall, it was written quickly while I was in a silly mood, but I liked the overall effect when I was done with it.  ;-)   Should it be longer -- to make the last line a real zinger, or will it have the same effect even in being this short?

I do write more serious poetry most of the time, and will post one after this one has been worked over.

Thank you for posting  

~Sheli

**************

While puttering
in my flower bed
Clods of dirt
held in my hands

I saw on the street,
a silver flash
your foot to the floor
you went by fast,

The dirt clods
shattered on the lawn
I realized
that you were gone
I missed you

Wandering down
the grocery aisle
there you were,
that walk, that smile

canned corn clattered
to the floor, and
like so many times before,
I missed you

Many times I have been tempted
To write to you a letter
to let you know I've missed you

~but~

my aim is getting better.

*************************
or ... as couplets:

While puttering in my flower bed,
Clods of dirt held in my hands

I saw on the street, a silver flash
your foot to the floor, you went by fast,

The dirt clods shattered on the lawn,
I realized that you were gone

I missed you

Wandering down the grocery aisle
there you were, that walk, that smile

canned corn clattered to the floor,
and like so many times before,

I missed you

Many times I have been tempted
To write to you a letter
and let you know I've missed you

~but~

my aim is getting better.
divine chaos
Senior Member
since 07-09-2006
Posts 605
dancing 'neath the moon


7 posted 10-01-2006 12:25 PM       View Profile for divine chaos   Email divine chaos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for divine chaos

*grumbles*  Moonie, since you don't have an email listed .. please feel free to email me with your critique.  I hate that you spent so much time and now refuse to post it.  I was looking forward to seeing what your suggestions on my little whimsical poem.

~Sheli
hunnie_girl
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since 06-18-2006
Posts 2539
Canada


8 posted 09-15-2009 05:53 AM       View Profile for hunnie_girl   Email hunnie_girl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hunnie_girl

Well if it didnt take me a few... years to get back to this post. and i am finally going to attempt to respond.
I enjoyed this poem a lot... the reason was probably the last line it shows a great deal of personaly growth from the beginning of the poem to the end. from being the person missing someone to finding the strength to do the best thing...
i find however the first three paragraphs arent much like the rest of the poem. you definately have to give more thought to the forst three then the rest is very straight forward and easy to understand. you can take so many different meanings out of the first three paragraphs i can mold it into a few different meanings(ways to change the way the visual image appears inside my head)  now the last three are set in stone and i see only one way to see it. now for the beginning i might not even have the right meaning!!! also you have some stanzas that have a semi rhyme to them some that do ryme and some that dont it makes it harder to read the constant variations in the flow or things...
well my brain is def. working overtime now lol i really enjoyed your poem and should def. check on more of your work. Thank you for sharing Sheli
 
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