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Sangreal
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: the one place the Keebler Elves can't get him
Insane since: Apr 2004

posted posted 04-28-2004 04:32

Soul's Midnight
I thought that we just might,
Chase the Rain,
And inside a brilliant light,
Find the Devil's Bane,
Upon the Soul's Midnight.

You an innocent angelic victim,
Unsuspecting that they might have caused your blight,
You were not supposed to be with them,
On the Soul's Midnight.

A hero died last night,
The coroner said,
That it was the Devil's might,
That left him dead,
Upon the Soul's Midnight.

A lack of light,
Can create a stranger's conscious,
When kept out of sight,
A babe born in darkness,
Upon the Soul's Midnight.

norm
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: [s]underwater[/s] under-snow in Juneau
Insane since: Sep 2002

posted posted 04-28-2004 05:15

More adjectives and adverbs please.....Don't tell us where you are going, show us instead.

Sangreal
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: the one place the Keebler Elves can't get him
Insane since: Apr 2004

posted posted 04-29-2004 04:45

how, could you give me an example please?

Suho1004
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

posted posted 04-29-2004 16:02
quote:
Sangreal said:

how, could you give me an example please?



Um, simply put: no. Yeah, norm could probably whip up a little stanza for you, but would that help you write better poetry? I hate to say it, but no, it probably would not.

I'm going to assume that you don't have the option of taking a writing class. If you do have that option, go for it, but even if you don't you can still write good poetry. However, you do need to get a good grip on the basic technical aspects of poetry--things like rhyme, meter, rhythm. All of these things work together.

For example, you start out with what looks to be a clear rhyme scheme here: aababa. Not conventional, but a rhyme scheme nonetheless. Then you blow the rhyme scheme in the second stanza (I know you're going for abab, but victim doesn't rhyme with them because the accent in victim is on the first syllable). From there on it's all downhill. You can't just throw rhymes in haphazardly and expect them to work--especially when you use the same rhymes over and over again. It gets tedious.

Meter, on the other hand, is completely skewed here, so much so that you can't really say that there is a meter. As a result, it reads like a car with square wheels driving over corrugated iron.

So, before you start writing, you need to understand the mechanics of language and poetry. Once you've got those rules down pat you can toss them out the window and do whatever you want. But you have to know what the rules are before you break them.

You also need to consider the aesthetic aspect of poetry--the creative aspect as opposed to the mechanical aspect. You'll hear this over and over again: "Show, don't tell." If you do not know how to do this, you need to rethink your conception of creative writing. This is the heart and soul of creative writing, and if you don't have this, you don't have anything.

Despite what I said above, though, I am going to try to actually show you what I'm talking about, rather than just tell you. Let's take a look at the first stanza...

Soul's Midnight
I thought that we just might,
Chase the Rain,
And inside a brilliant light,
Find the Devil's Bane,
Upon the Soul's Midnight.


OK, I'm going to assume that you know what is going on here. However, no one else is going to have a clue, yours truly included. "Soul's Midnight"? Is that the title? If so, you need to but a blank line after it. "I thought that we just might/chase the rain." Um, OK, I suppose that I might be able to buy that after a few drinks. "And inside a brilliant light/find the Devil's Bane/upon the Soul'd Midnight." Now you've gone and lost me,. If I had to guess, I would say you are describing an obscure episode of Star Trek--it sounds like the crew has encountered one of the energy-based life forms that seem to be so abundant in the galaxy. Seriously, though, I have not even an inkling of a glimmer of an idea what this is supposed to mean. What brilliant light? What is the Devil's Bane? What is the Soul's Midnight? Why is Everything Capitalized?

The remainder is not much better--your grammar even starts to break down later on, making the "poem" very hard to follow. I would like to rework a stanza of this poem as an example of what I mean when I say "show, don't tell," but that would require me having a clue about what is going on. And that's precisely the problem. When you read a poem you should see, hear, feel, taste, and smell. The reader should be able to use their imagination to picture what is going on. As it is, this poem gives my imagination absolutely nothing to work with. It's like giving a potter a bowl of water and saying, "Make me a vase."

Back to that first stanza. The only two concrete images you have going there are "rain" and "light." That's all we really have to go on. Say you wanted to run with the rain imagery... you could talk about how the light from the street lamps glistens in the girl's wet hair (assuming that "we" refers to male narrator and female). You could talk about the intoxicating fragrance of rain and the scent of the girl as you bury your face in that hair and inhale deeply. She pulls back, and the rivulets of water run down her face and drip off of her open lips as she stares into your eyes. And then she takes you by the hand out of the rain and into an alley, and you crouch in the shadows by a pool of light pouring from a tenement window, and she... um, OK, I'll stop there, this being a family show and all. I think you get the idea, though, right?

Find yourself a favorite poet. Read a bunch of his or her poems and try to pinpoint what it is in those poems that makes you love them. If you need to, you can start out by trying to imitate a certain poet's style. In time, as you learn more about poetry, you will find your own style. Right now, though, you really need to take a step back and reconsider what you are doing. If you are merely doing this for yourself, then have a ball. But you posted your attempt here on a public forum, so I can only assume that you aspire to write good poetry. This aspiration is a good thing. Along with this aspiration, though, you need a little skill and knowledge.

You probably won't like me very much after having read all of this, but I have said what I honestly believe to be the truth. I hope that in some way it will help you.

___________________________
Suho: www.liminality.org | Cell 270 | Sig Rotator | Keeper of the Juicy Bits

Sangreal
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: the one place the Keebler Elves can't get him
Insane since: Apr 2004

posted posted 04-29-2004 23:51

I thank you for your comments and I realize that as far as poetry, the description of mediocre is a compliment, my problem is that I am a lot better at novel typ writing and just try to throw the same concept into poetry. You were right Soul's Midnight is the title what I was going for is that aways back people used to call 3 am the Soul's Midnight because for some reason that is when they decided that most people die of a natural death. as far as the victim/them thing is see what you mean and will try to fix that. As far as thrown together I know it was becasue that is my approach to everything. First throw together the basics and fix it later when i have more ideas. That's what I did with this I found stanzas that i liked in my brain and then threw them into a list on paper. As far as describing Star Trek I wasn't but if that's what you got out of it.........
What the hell is meter,
how do i add rythym.

If one match can start a forest fire then why does it take the whole box to start a BBQ Grill?

norm
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: [s]underwater[/s] under-snow in Juneau
Insane since: Sep 2002

posted posted 04-30-2004 01:08

think of meter as the 'beat' of a poem. Take a poem and Rap it to get an idea of it's meter.

Suho1004
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

posted posted 04-30-2004 14:55

Yes, "beat" is a good description of meter. If your poem has a meter, each line will be made up of a certain number of "feet." In English poetry, feet are generally two or three syllables. Of the two-syllable feet, there are iambs (unaccented syllable + accented syllable; e.g.: "compare") and trochees (accented syllable + unaccented syllable; e.g.: "focus"). Of the three-syllable feet, there are anapests (two unaccented syllables + one accented syllable) and dactyls (one accented syllable + two accented syllables). The name of the meter is determined by the type and number of feet. For example, Shakespeare wrote in iambic pentameter, which means that each line had five iambs. That might be a little too much information at this point, but Google for things like "poetic meter" and you should get the idea.

I'm afraid I must comment on this:

quote:
my problem is that I am a lot better at novel typ writing and just try to throw
the same concept into poetry.



So you mean that you are better at prose than poetry? I hate to break this to you, but the concepts I described above apply to prose just as much as they apply to poetry. In fact, there is less room for abstraction in prose than in poetry. There are certainly technical differences between prose and poetry, but a lot of the same principles apply (like "show, don't tell," for example).

Oh, and the Star Trek thing was a joke (kind of).

norm
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: [s]underwater[/s] under-snow in Juneau
Insane since: Sep 2002

posted posted 04-30-2004 16:46

Suho:

Good God man....have you written textbooks yet? Most impressive. I always thought that trochees were best served with chocolate syrup, and I distinctly remember seeing dactyls in Jurassic Park.


Sangreal:

Never forget the two goals of poetry ( metered or free-verse) are to communicate and to illicit an emotional response. The communication part depends on your ability to coherently express your idea or series of events. The emotional part can be much trickier, and while descriptive words are important, emotional tone is also set by the sound of the poem, it's meter and punctuation (and to some extent it's visual formating) all create a certain mood in the mind of the reader/listener.

(Edited by norm on 04-30-2004 07:47)

Sangreal
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: the one place the Keebler Elves can't get him
Insane since: Apr 2004

posted posted 05-05-2004 03:38

ok as far as beat I CAN'T RAP WORTH CRAP.
second of all when I write a novel type story i don't try for obscurity and this time i was. may be i should just lay off poetry.Since I am not good at it.

norm
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: [s]underwater[/s] under-snow in Juneau
Insane since: Sep 2002

posted posted 05-05-2004 05:51
quote:
....as far as beat I CAN'T RAP WORTH CRAP.


SO?
That's true for at least half the recorded rap artists in the stores... But they all have something to say, and they say it. As far as I'm concerned, the only reason (short of being a quiter) not to write any more poetry is if you have run out of things to say.

Most of us here at the Asylum did not make webpages worth a crap when we started. How did we get better? We made webpages....... So how do you get better at writing poetry? You write poetry.....


Please don't use the advice you have been getting here as an excuse to stop writing poetry, it was not meant to discourage you. It was meant to help.

Suho1004
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

posted posted 05-05-2004 06:44
quote:
Sangreal said:

may be i should just lay off poetry.Since I am not good at it.


Um, OK. If that's what you really want to do. I don't think it's the right course of action, though. As norm said, we all start off with crap, and we got better through practice.

I realize that I can be a bit harsh in my criticism, but I will not apologize for that. Why? Because I didn't climb in through your bedroom window, open up your poetry journal, and write comments all over the pages in red pen. You posted the poem here, ostensibly for crits, and I did my best to give you constructive (albeit perhaps a bit harsh) advice. What exactly were you expecting? That we would come in here and lavish praise and adoration on you?

Yes, I am being harsh again, and part of me feels bad about that. But there's another part of me that is absolutely disgusted at your attempts to get us to feel sorry for you and boost your ego.

More harshness there, I know, but it just had to be said. If you want honest criticism on your poetry and possibly some advice on how to get better, I'll do my best. If all you want is praise and ego stroking, the circle jerk is down the hall.

___________________________
Suho: www.liminality.org | Cell 270 | Sig Rotator | Keeper of the Juicy Bits

Sangreal
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: the one place the Keebler Elves can't get him
Insane since: Apr 2004

posted posted 05-12-2004 02:15

hey it's not your criticism believe me Ive had harsher it's just that I dont really want to do it anymore i figure I should leave it to somebody who really wants to.

If one match can start a forest fire then why does it take the whole box to start a BBQ Grill?

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