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Foxbunny help me. (input of othfurs welcome)


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#1 Thomas Maltuin

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Posted 14 December 2014 - 01:05 PM

Okay so after a night of 3rd shift spent with a blank mind, I feel I was being a brat yesterday. I do want my poetry to be better. What changes I make are up to me but in truth I should be more open to criticism especially when I seem to so Freely give it.

Foxbunny, you had some insight, and I was wondering if you had any more or would like to elaborate upon what was suggested yesterday.

And if anyone else has some constructive advice, feel free to share.
What do you like or dislike about the content, grammar, or structure of this poem, keeping in mind that it is intended to be a bit, shall I say, chaotic.

A poem
I was struck with inspiration at random per the usual and I must let it out before it fades away or dominates my mind.

What is,
A story without a plot,
A rhyme without reason,
Some times more beautiful perhaps
Ah I embrace the existence of some in all their frivolous nature.

However, I am quite perplexed at how many assume that some of the following can exist meaningfully without their mate and counter part

Would you divide true Gemini?
Or part the hand from his work?
For what is land without the water,
but a dull mass of dirt. Period. End of statement, not of song:

What is lyric without voice, free will without choice? Hmm... Oh my this brings more into my mind, I'll let it out lest I endlessly list the meaningless to myself in silence.

What is harmony without melody?
Paint without canvass? Medium without foundation? What a thought, true freedom without direction beautiful for a moment but a moment only. Perhaps this is the pitfall of my unfinished works. A temporary vanity that dissipates into a forgotten thought.

Don't mistake my meaning, (for I'm not sure if there is one.) there is an attractive quality about such creation, but it pulls toward a bigger picture not yet seen.

Perhaps, as memories, fragmented into minute pieces, that without the final sliver, will never be anything greater than

Spare change on a dresser

of value yet overlooked and long forgotten.

I ask you now what I asked myself,
In rhetoric none the less, but I ask,

What is a character without a story?
What is a tale without a single soul?
Which was first? chicken or egg?
Some say egg but I say nay for a chicken will survive without the egg but without a chicken, a simple elipse is without life and placed hardboiled into salad. Put them together and the egg lives, but the hen lives more purposefully.

Alas that fits more into the Grand scheme, a master theme which still lacks bearing on this nonsense I spew in abundance. What is a creator without

Creation.

Is a story worth writing without a character, or is it become a gentle background without a focal point?
Is a character void without a story in which to live?

Or was the story there all along, composed in the footsteps and wake of our beloved protagonist.

Or was the character shaped out of joys and hardships of her own history.

Who wrote who

The paradox of biography is revealed to me now.

What is white without black?


I think you have some good raw material there. Remember that everything in a poem means. Every punctuation mark or space or capital letter. And the first and last words of a line are also very important (the last mores than the first). Paring things down is very hard, but you end up with a much stronger poem.
You might change that section near the beginning by dropping some words, losing the punctuation and changing the spacing.
For example:

what is
plot without story
reason without rhyme
more beautiful
embrace
existence
frivolous

If you really want something to blow your mind you might look up "syncopated sonnet." Tyehimba is an absolute genius with poetry that I still can't even wrap my head around.


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#2 foxbunny

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Posted 14 December 2014 - 03:54 PM

I'm always happy to help (I'm planning to be an English teacher shortly).

 

The first thing to consider with poetry is the need to cut down language to the most necessary parts.

I've heard this called "making an efficient use of language."

In other words, you only want to say what needs to be said (maybe a little less).

 

Next you want to look at your ending words. These are some of the strongest means to convey your message.

These should most often be either be concrete nouns or strong action verbs.

You do a pretty good job with this already.

Some examples that could use a bit of a polish are "purposefully" and "than."

 

Now, for this piece in particular, I would suggest breaking it into a series of poems because there are a lot of ideas being explored.

 

You have a lot of really great raw material here.

While you're considering end words, consider words that are highly charged, ambiguous, and can convey tension.

The line "Spare change on a dresser" might be broken into two lines because both "change" and "dresser" can be nouns or verbs.

"Spare change" can be either a description of coins, or it can be a request.

 

Consider enjambment (the continuation of one line into the next without punctuation) when you capitalize. It's very unusual for contemporary poetry to have capitals at the beginning of each line. It's probably just a matter of having used Word or something similar to compose because it loves to put caps at the beginning of every new line. That's something you can fix manually.

 

Just like end words, punctuation needs to be planned. Should this have a comma? Is this one thought? Should there be a period? Every punctuation mark stops the reader or slows them down. Consider how that can be used to make meaning.

So instead of "rhyme without reason" you might try "rhyme, reason" or other similar changes.

 

In general you will want to avoid (or at least greatly limit) anything other than concrete language and also avoid "poetic" language unless you feel it is absolutely necessary.



#3 Thomas Maltuin

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Posted 14 December 2014 - 04:20 PM

In my mind this almost felt like the words of an eccentric character. An unknown voice speaking before a curtain is pulled back to reveal an opening scene. Seems my mind likes to express different thoughts with unique voice.

I want certain areas to express themselves poetically to a certain degree. Let me make an edit and see where we are.

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#4 foxbunny

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Posted 14 December 2014 - 04:54 PM

Look at the poem "Girl" by Jamaica Kincaid. That will give you some different ideas if you want to differentiate sections.

#5 Thomas Maltuin

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Posted 14 December 2014 - 06:13 PM

Okay I will. I'm going to write it out on paper first this time which should help too. It should be up tomorrow. :)

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#6 Direlda

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 06:41 AM

I recommend getting a copy of A Poetry Handbook: A Prose Guide to Understanding and Writing Poetry by Mary Oliver and potentially a copy of The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide by Robert Pinsky. Both provide useful overviews of aspects of poetry with examples of what they are discussing.

 

I'll read through your poem a second time tomorrow and get back to you on specific suggestions.


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#7 Thomas Maltuin

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 06:51 AM

I recommend getting a copy of A Poetry Handbook: A Prose Guide to Understanding and Writing Poetry by Mary Oliver and potentially a copy of The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide by Robert Pinsky. Both provide useful overviews of aspects of poetry with examples of what they are discussing.

I'll read through your poem a second time tomorrow and get back to you on specific suggestions.

Thank you Direlda

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#8 Thomas Maltuin

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 12:12 AM

sorry there was an image here, it was really big and it was text included in the post below


Edited by Thomas Maltuin, 16 December 2014 - 02:55 AM.

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#9 Thomas Maltuin

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 02:54 AM

Movement One

 

story    without    plot

  rhyme        no       reason

  they are beautiful                    I embrace them    

though frivoulous

 

perplexing

how

              you believe                   they have meaning

without existance       of         contrasting        

thought

 

 

 

 

Movement Two

 

would you part gemeni                    or                               

hands                    from 

                                     their work

 

without water

land they till

becomes dull

mass of dirt

 

End of Statement

Not of song

 

     what lyric                  without voice

    has freewill                  without choice

must I

                list      the       meaningless

forever

in

 

 

silence

 

 

 

 

Movement Three

 

what is

harmony without

melody

paint without

canvass

medium without

foundation

 

What a thought!

true freedom

without direction

majestic for a moment

 

only a moment

 

the pitfall of

my unfinished labor

makeshift vanity

dissapated into

forgotten dreams

 

make no mistake

such creations

bear certain

appeal

 

yet unseen

essence draws

them

 

into

 

the void

 

 

as memories

fragmented

in pieces

 

without one

final sliver

become

 

 

spare        change

 

 

on the table

 

overlooked

forgotten

though of value

upon assembly

 

 

 

 

Movement Four

 

what is a character                                             

without a tale?                                       

what is a novel                                       

without a soul                                     

to   speak   of   which   was   first

                                   chicken or egg

                                       to those who say

                                    egg I say "nay"

                                           a chicken will thrive

                                  without young

 

                                       the simple ellipse

                                      without a mother

                            hardboiled

                           in a salad

 

together they are whole

the one gains life

the other lives

abundantly

 

The Grand Scheme!                           A Master Theme!     

can there be             

                    a creator without

 

creation

 

 

 

 

Final Movement

 

Is a book worth writing without characters to fill it? or would it

be filled, with lands and backgrounds of ambiguity?

Is a person annulled without a life to speak of? or is he a mannequin with

a simple, painted, face

 

 

perhaps

    joys                                                                    stories

hardships                                                                    manifest  

        history                                                                    in footsteps-

  have shaped                                                                    the wake of     

 

The protagonist

who once wrote,

 

"I now understand,

paradox of biography.

what is white without black?"

 

 

 

 

~Thomas Maltuin


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#10 foxbunny

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 03:35 AM

Mind... Blown...



#11 Direlda

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 04:22 AM

You did a good job of tightening up this poem! Breaking it up into movements definitely helped. As did the removal/changing of the prose lines, which didn't feel like they fit into the previous version of the poem.

 

Some of the spacing seems more distracting than adding to the poem. For instance, line 13 of Movement Two: "list the meaningless" could probably do without the extra spaces within the line. The extra spaces break up the flow of the line, making the reader read each word as its own entity. I would recommend reading back through the poem and making sure you want the reader to pause everywhere you have added in extra spaces

 

In Movement Four, I feel that lines 1-4 should be alternating sides, such that lines 1 and 3 would be left-justified and lines 2 and 4 would be right justified. And lines 5-10 of Movement Four might be better as their own stanza. I understand that with this first stanza of Movement Four you are probably trying to show two halves that come together to make a whole--as seen by stanza three, which is centered. However, right now lines 1-4 and lines 5-10 don't feel like they belong in the same stanza.

 

In the Final Movement I want to read each half of lines 6-9 as their own unit as well as across. So I keep stumbling over that section.

 

Overall a good poem and I like where you've taken it! ^-^;;~


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#12 Thomas Maltuin

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 04:56 AM

Mind... Blown...

 

ummmm. thank you :3

 

You did a good job of tightening up this poem! Breaking it up into movements definitely helped. As did the removal/changing of the prose lines, which didn't feel like they fit into the previous version of the poem.

 

Some of the spacing seems more distracting than adding to the poem. For instance, line 13 of Movement Two: "list the meaningless" could probably do without the extra spaces within the line. The extra spaces break up the flow of the line, making the reader read each word as its own entity. I would recommend reading back through the poem and making sure you want the reader to pause everywhere you have added in extra spaces

 

In Movement Four, I feel that lines 1-4 should be alternating sides, such that lines 1 and 3 would be left-justified and lines 2 and 4 would be right justified. And lines 5-10 of Movement Four might be better as their own stanza. I understand that with this first stanza of Movement Four you are probably trying to show two halves that come together to make a whole--as seen by stanza three, which is centered. However, right now lines 1-4 and lines 5-10 don't feel like they belong in the same stanza.

 

In the Final Movement I want to read each half of lines 6-9 as their own unit as well as across. So I keep stumbling over that section.

 

Overall a good poem and I like where you've taken it! ^-^;;~

 

 

thank you,

 

i had the same thought about "list the meaningless" but i was unsure so i will edit that.

i see your point about the seperation of stanzas. i will look at that a bit more closely.

also in the final movement, i considered making it readable across as well, i'm not sure how to

fix it "as is" any suggestions?


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#13 Thomas Maltuin

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 04:32 PM

I decided to post a new copy for the edit so we can track progress. sorry it takes up so much space.

 

 

 

Movement One

 

 

story    without    plot

  rhyme        no       reason

  they are beautiful                    I embrace them 

   

though frivoulous

 

perplexing

how

              you believe             they have meaning  

without existance     of     contrasting          

thought

 

 

 

 

Movement Two

 

would you part gemeni         or                               

hands         from 

                           their work

 

without water

land they till

becomes dull

mass of dirt

 

End of Statement

Not of song

 

     what lyric                  without voice

    has freewill                  without choice

must I

                list the meaningless               

forever

in

 

 

silence

 

 

 

 

Movement Three

 

what is

harmony without

melody

paint without

canvass

medium without

foundation

 

What a thought!

true freedom

without direction

majestic for a moment

 

only a moment

 

the pitfall of

my unfinished labor

makeshift vanity

dissapated into

forgotten dreams

 

make no mistake

such creations

bear certain

appeal

 

yet unseen

essence draws

them

 

into

 

the void

 

 

as memories

fragmented

in pieces

 

without one

final sliver

become

 

 

spare        change

 

 

on the table

 

overlooked

forgotten

though of value

upon assembly

 

 

 

 

Movement Four

 

what is a character                                          

                  without a tale?                                    

what is a novel                                                

              without a soul                                 

                 to speak of    which was first    

                                   chicken or egg

                                       to those who say

                                    egg I say "nay"

                                           a chicken will thrive

                                  without young

 

                                       the simple ellipse

                                       without a mother-

                            hardboiled

                           in a salad

 

together they are whole

the one gains life

the other lives

abundantly

 

The Grand Scheme!                           A Master Theme!     

can there be             

                    a creator without

 

creation

 

 

 

 

Final Movement

 

Is a book worth writing without characters to fill it? or would it

be filled, with lands and backgrounds of ambiguity?

Is a person annulled without a life to retell? or is he a mannequin with

a simple, painted, face

 

 

perhaps

 

 

we find

     joys,           within   my           stories,

hardships,         experiences,         manifest  

         history,           living with            in footsteps-

     have shaped            Identity in            the wake of      

 

The protagonist

who once wrote,

 

"I now understand,

paradox of biography.

what is white without black?"

 

 

 

 

~Thomas Maltuin

 

 

 

 

in movement four i left "to speak of" & "which was first" in the same line to keep the thought moving while shifting to my metaphorical poultry

i kept "to speak of" in left alignment so as to finish the previous stanza while, optionally, starting the next thought.

 

the overspacing in "list the meaningless" is now gone

 

in the final movement i am attemting to make the split section readable down the center as well as on each side and accross. i think its possible, but it doesn't read smooth like it is. if anyone has a suggestion, i'm all ears.

 

if i can't get it to work i'll have to figure out something else and remove the center stanza, i like the left and right being seperate thoughts.


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#14 foxbunny

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 09:54 PM

A technique that you can try is a modification of cut-up.
You rearrange thoughts or words to create new meaning.

#15 Thomas Maltuin

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 04:41 AM

could you, by chance, elaborate on that?

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#16 foxbunny

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 02:34 PM

It's most often done with prose, but it can be done with poetry.

The literal method is to write out the text, cut the pages into strips and mix up the results.

Literal cut-up does not always use intent, but is arbitrary.

 

So for the above statements a modified cut-up might look like this:

 

Poetry

 

write out text

mix up results

literal literal

done

arbitrary

 

A more traditional cut-up might look like this:

 

Literal cut-up does not always use intent, but is done with prose—cut the pages into strips.

It's most often to mix up the results.
Write out the text arbitrary.
The literal method; it can be done with poetry.


#17 Thomas Maltuin

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 04:16 PM

thats an interesting thought...

i wonder if that will work without eliminating the meaning


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#18 foxbunny

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 04:53 PM

You can use it as a technique to explore meaning. Changing word order, making associations that you might not otherwise.
story without reason
rhyme no plot

Edited by foxbunny, 17 December 2014 - 04:54 PM.


#19 Thomas Maltuin

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 05:05 PM

 

 

 

perhaps

 

 

     joys,              within               stories,

hardships,         experiences,        manifest  

 

           histories,   that        {LIVE}        within    footsteps-      

    

     have shaped          the Identity in       the wake of      

   

The protagonist

 

 

i guess the ending will always be difficult


Edited by Thomas Maltuin, 17 December 2014 - 05:08 PM.

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#20 Thomas Maltuin

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 05:32 PM

ok lets see what we have

 

perhaps

the manifestation of  histories,  

    experiences, stories, of  footsteps           

within life, within joy, have  been  shaped                        

in the wake of hardships endured by     

 

The Protagonist

 

 

well its different thats certain

 

at this point, i'm not sure if your critiquing me foxbunny, or practicing for class when you get your students

to do things just for "the experience" :P


Edited by Thomas Maltuin, 17 December 2014 - 05:33 PM.

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