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FILE:/home/kvdbreem/forest/path/where_i_go

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fractal007
Member Elite
since 06-01-2000
Posts 2032


0 posted 12-17-2003 12:07 AM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for fractal007

A path straight and narrow
gray at the beginning
dark at the end
allowed only one
direction
not knowing where
I go but forward
and straight knowing            I've got to write
                                a poem about this
                                so on other dark
                                paths I'll know
                                I'm not alone with
        God but also with       my own experience
        the fear I'll find
        myself in the wrong
        place where I should't
        be and couldn't stay
        held by passion
        moved away by logic     telling me off
                                like a father
                                to bind my life
                                and self away
                                from anything I
hope I'll reach that I          love as my own
hold as my sole purpose
a dark end to this
allowed only for one
person
not knowing where
he goes but forward
straight and knowing


2+2=5 for sufficiently large values of 2
--Smit
My Creations

[This message has been edited by fractal007 (12-17-2003 12:09 AM).]

© Copyright 2003 fractal007 - All Rights Reserved
Yu Lan
Senior Member
since 04-13-2000
Posts 1486
New Zealand


1 posted 12-17-2003 12:50 AM       View Profile for Yu Lan   Email Yu Lan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Yu Lan

he goes but forward
straight and knowing

It's interesting wehat you've done with the layout of this one.. How would you read it out loud? Or is it purely a visual one..

the fear I'll find
myself in the wrong
place where I should't
be and couldn't stay... I eally like this. I'll have to come back to this one Fracta, there is so much in it.

[This message has been edited by Yu Lan (12-17-2003 01:19 AM).]

Alicat
Member Elite
since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


2 posted 12-17-2003 09:07 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Interesting format application, as the verses can be read as is, or in the case where the last line of one verse is level with the next, can be read across. Nice!

Alicat
Local Parasite
Deputy Moderator 10 Tours
Member Elite
since 11-05-2001
Posts 2929
Transylconia, Winnipeg


3 posted 12-17-2003 06:25 PM       View Profile for Local Parasite   Email Local Parasite   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Local Parasite's Home Page   View IP for Local Parasite

*** harsh response warning ***

Confessional, colloquial, trendy, no punctuation, no format, little direction (despite your imagery).  This is one of the reasons I dropped my creative writing course after the first two classes---because I could tell it was going to do this to me.

If you go for it, then hey, more power to you.

Enjambment will almost always make pauses, especially when you're writing with such short lines.  Take those into account when you select line breaks.  It's become way too popular in poetry that people make line breaks here and there without thinking about anything save for how darn cool it's going to look.  Is there some method amid the dodgy line-to-line shifts?  Am I missing something?  I know it's the case with this kind of poem (the gimmick you're going for) that you must keep your lines blocky.  Know what's good for that?  Meter.  Yeah, you knew I'd say it.  

This is dry compared to most of the other things I see you.  Gimmicky, but dry... I'm looking at your meaning, which you've placed conveniently on the surface of this, like a sticker that, when you peel it back, shows you only the glue marks and maybe a faded outline.  I much prefer the poetry that you write in the wake of revelation---the ones where you discuss some problem of the universe and disclose its nature.  There's little or none of that in this poem, and that's the main reason I'm turned off.

I'd also encourage you to return to punctuation.

By the way, Kev... I'm not trying to offend you---I respect you enough to slap you and say "snap out of it!"  In case you're wondering, I personally think this is one of your least plausible efforts, and it frightens me in that it seems like you might be going in the wrong direction with your writing.  Gimmick is okay, by all means, go for it... but make sure it has purpose.  There's not much to be said for art for art's sake.

Nice to see you around again.  Take care.

Brian

Faith is a fine invention
When gentlemen can see
But microscopes are prudent
In an emergency.
~~~Emily Dickinson

fractal007
Member Elite
since 06-01-2000
Posts 2032


4 posted 12-18-2003 02:42 AM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

LP:

Well, I can't say I'm offended.  I am glad that you did try to get me to "snap out of it."  However, I will not go without defense.  

It should be noted that the enjambment was a product of the blockiness with which this poem was written.  Indeed, when read aloud(well at least by myself) the poem has no pauses, but rather is a continuous reading from beginning to end, and the speaker finds himself quite out of breath after reading it.

Now onto my responses/defenses/agreements with your critique:

Firstly, one man's gimmic is another's treasure.  I intentionally made the "stanzas" blocky so as to create the sense of double meaning.  The poem is vaguely readable in two different ways - the one in a linear fashion, the other "block" by "block."  Granted the blocks need to be read relative to one another.

Secondly, I am unsure that your critique of creative writing courses really has any ground, unless of course all such courses follow a strict curriculum whereby the student is required to conform to the deleterious foolery you seem to be discussing here.  I must confess that I did not spend a lot of time reading the required text for the poetry unit for our creative writing course, and so I cannot confirm or deny any of the problems under discussion with any amount of certainty.  This poem was part of a program of experimentation to which I applied myself for the sake of hearing a professional opinion on my writing.  

Now, I do agree that this is certainly a departure from my normal form.  I did enjoy working on this piece and I feel that it is a good poem.  However, it is quite likely that my satisfaction derives from the obvious fact that, as the writer of the poem, I identify with and know intimately its content, and as such do not fully grasp what is required to enable the poem to spread that content to those who are not within my own self.

Finally, it seems that you, with your critique of my placement of the meaning in this poem, speak along the same vein as those who critiqued the poem for its abstractness and lack of any concrete imagery that might have helped support something more complex like a metaphor or a progressive storyline.  

Thus, in sum, my only defense against any of the crimes of which I may be accused of having committed with this piece is my having amused myself by fiddling with the blocks of text presented here.  However, I will not at this point condemn or praise the poem any further, for the sake of letting it stand for now.

2+2=5 for sufficiently large values of 2
--Smit
My Creations

Local Parasite
Deputy Moderator 10 Tours
Member Elite
since 11-05-2001
Posts 2929
Transylconia, Winnipeg


5 posted 12-18-2003 03:40 PM       View Profile for Local Parasite   Email Local Parasite   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Local Parasite's Home Page   View IP for Local Parasite

Thank you, Kevin, for regarding me with zero hostility.  I truly appreciate it.  

The only thing I feel the need to respond to, in your comment, is your lack of understanding for my feelings on the creative writing curriculum.  What I found when I got into that course wasn't a lesson on how to write what has historically been agreed upon as good poetry, with any supporting theory or readings relating to it, but rather a study in what publishers today are likely to praise or condemn in your writing.  

It was basically a lesson in selling out to common prejudice.  Being the kind of person that I am, I couldn't throw all of my knowledge out the window and go with a stupid/contemporary style of writing just because that's the only kind (apparently) that publishers will take notice of.  That would basically be like taking a course on how to sell out.

It's false to confuse trends and standards, and that's exactly what's being done in the creative writing education system.  People are being praised for all the wrong things, because they are being taught based on a gradual decline in understanding.  You can imagine the chain reaction.

And that leads us to today.

Hope that clears up a few of my points.  By the way, this isn't an attack on the "poem" you've written here, but on my own experience in the creative writing educational system.  

Boy, I need some friends...

Ciao Kev.

Brian

Faith is a fine invention
When gentlemen can see
But microscopes are prudent
In an emergency.
~~~Emily Dickinson

fractal007
Member Elite
since 06-01-2000
Posts 2032


6 posted 12-18-2003 09:52 PM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

LP:

I am glad you clarified this for me.  The course that I took I will confess did not talk much about what publishers want.  We did spend some time making fun of Christian publishing houses with their mamby pambiness and their stringent policies against realism(or at least allowing one's characters to speak in the way that human beings speak rather than in the way that perfect white conservatives do).  However, the rest of it consisted of workshopping(indeed the body of one's work throughout the course constituted 90% of the grade received) and critical analysis in the tradition of literary analysis and writing.  I must confess that the course did open my eyes to the apparent difference between the style of poetry and writing seen here(especially on the part of people like you, me, and BSquirrel, though certainly not exclusively them for I have not spent enough time, unfortunately, critically reading many others here than yourself, Squirrel, and perhaps Yu Lan) and the so-called literary style of poetry seen in the canonical poets studied (hopefully, as I am making a huge gamble by speaking from the level of a lowly undergraduate) in most universities.  That difference was most strikingly clear when my writings were criticized for being much too abstract in parts.  Furthermore, I could sense that what I was writing and what the other students were writing were in many ways vastly different from one another.  I suppose that I am resigned to conclude that I and the so-called literary form do not mix.

However, all concerns about our own experience with creative writing courses aside, I have heard about the crap being espoused in creative writing courses like the one you mentioned.  However, I have only heard about such things taking place on the romance front(and romance, unfortunately, is the farthest from my mind at this point in my writing career).  However, it does give me no small amount of anger to hear that that is what was being forced down your throat in the course you took.  I would certainly have something to say to whomever taught that course were I to come across him in the world of academia.  

I especially would rail against the common prejudice part of the whole problem, as you mentioned it above.  I have had my fair share of bad experiences with common prejudice(though in the form of common sense), with its unquestioned dogma and uncritical thought.  Perhaps you might like to consider writing a few satirical pieces on it if you have not already.  

Thanks for starting up an interesting discussion, and look forward to hanging out here later on.  

2+2=5 for sufficiently large values of 2
--Smit
My Creations

 
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