poetry critical

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All because Ellen wore the wrong lipstick

Mrs. Browne next door did not wave this morning,
and at the bus stop Ellen dropped her files.
of course the coffee maker was in a temper,
and her office chair creaked and slid all day.
At home the cat had run off again,
and her organic milk had grown sour.
the man of her dreams had forgotten to call,
and she was all out of bourbon creams
When she curled up in bed that night,
and asked herself why her day had gone wrong,
it came to her, it should have been peach not pink:
and Ellen never wore the wrong lipstick again

19 Jul 06

Rated 8.4 (8.4) by 7 users.
Active (7): 7, 7, 8, 8, 10
Inactive (2): 1, 9, 10, 10

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and they all lived happily ever ever.
 — unknown

Witty! As a woman, I can identify with this one. You know it doesn't make sense, but sometinmes you feel that make-up can have an effect on your day! Oh, don't I just hate days like that...
 — icepineapple

by the way unknown Im pretty sure callingcartd meant this poem to be humourous, so your sarcasm just doesn't wash.
 — icepineapple

 — propoet50

I like this poem but I'd change the title as it kind of gives away the ending, which is very well done.
 — propoet50

I'll have a think about that one, as i'm not sure if readers will keep reading past the first verse if they don't have the title in their mind. Also, I am aware that an interesting title will get your poem more views.  but I'll see what I can come up with. Thanks for your critique!
 — callingcard

Spell check your title, please.

Need period end of line 2, end of line 4, end of line 6, end of line 8, end of line 10, end of line 12.   Unless you're ee cummings, don't try leaving out punctuation.  lol

Very simplistic poem and one that most women might relate to now and then.  If only it were the color of the wax we wear!
 — Isabelle5

Or the sweep of your bangs or the way your eyeliner went on that morning or the cut of your collar....we do like to blame the small things!
 — Isabelle5

thanks for letting me know about the title! I'm not too bothered about punctuation, not thatI don't know how to do it properly(have a top English degree), I just feel that even though there are rules when to use them can also be subjective. I'll go through your suggestions when I have more time, and change some then. Thank you.
 — callingcard

Isabelle5, what is a period, a comma, a full stop, which? or something else. Guess you can get away without learning much in college...
The poem is simplistic, and that was how it was meant to be taken.
 — callingcard

It has a nice quality - the details are good - i like the personification of the inanimate objects - line 6 is nice - I think the end wraps things up a bit too quickly, but that's a restriction of the quatrain form you've chosen - maybe look at line 12 again?
 — opal

Okay, although I like the poem, I have to say again (and again and again!) that this is a site where the point is to make the poetry better.  Punctuation should always make a poem better.  Lack of it nearly always does not make it better.

You majored in English and you do not know this?  4 years of college, typing papers for classes and you did not learn this?  That's amazing.  Most 2nd and 3rd graders do not get away with avoiding the rules of language, why do poets think they are exempt?  I just never get that part.

Simplistic was not meant as a slight but as a remark about this making a point without having to be "deep" about it.  Light and airy and fun.
 — Isabelle5

 — callingcard

it's a bloody thing and a full stop.
 — unknown

was 99% sure it meant full stop. I see what you mean about punctuation, the breaks are not obvious to the reader otherwise, I will fix them tomorrow with your guidelines, Isa5, thanks.
 — callingcard

I love bourbon creams
 — unknown

hey. it's cool. i can just picture her in a mess. it's comical. good work:)
 — miss_minx

I like this, its fun and every day and i can totally relate.
 — bleach

Lol.  I like it.  Up until the last couplet (cuz I don't wear lipstick ;-)  j/k - I do), I thought that it reminded me of some of my worst days... when you have a bad day, it seems it's never one huge thing that goes wrong, but rather a whole string of inconsequential things.  Keep writing!  And, thanks for reading, My "Friend," and for liking it :-)  
 — FemmeInLA

thanks FemmeInLA! And thanks to everyone else, i didn't not expect so much response, I wrote red-poppied infertility at the same time, it was the one i thought was good, this wasjust light-hearted, I feel like an Ellen every day!
 — callingcard

It loses rhythme in a couple of places but has some really cool observational touches. It is a really bad feeling when you run out of bourbon creams and my tip is buy double and put one packet in the little gap between the teas maid and the copy of Sinatra's Songs For Swinging Lovers.

Larry Domestique Lark
 — larrylark

hmmm, so

Ellen does not exist she is a figment of the reader's over active imagination, an invented persona.
 — unknown


sorry but how old are you...
 — unknown

"Ellen" may not be a real person I know, but this poem is real to me since I live the feeling(and happenings) of this poem almost every day!
I didn't know there was some rule about not being allowed to use your imagintion!
Pity you post as unknown, I'd love to see how true to your life to the endth degree they are!
 — callingcard

As to my age, I'm 21. In Ireland we don't use the word period in relation to writing, we use full stop, so I guessed what she meant but had no way to be sure, since i never heard it before.
 — callingcard

amen lol
 — unknown

Wrong lipstick is so trite. The poem lacks depth, but then so does the subject and the commentary. I'd love to see Ellen wake up.
 — Kita

I'd love to see you wake up! The poem is not supposed to be deep and meaningful, just an everyday commentary. Poetry doen't have to be heavy always. I for one would get bored of this site if every poem was "deep". have to say I do like deep poems myself though, but there's room for everything on this site. no personal offence meant by the first comment by the way, I like your poems in general.
 — callingcard

I take no offense. I try to see wakeful qualities in even the most ordinary. I am inspired to look for something, anything, that draws the reader in, to see the ordinary in a fresh way.
 — Kita

I just wanted to say:

you can leave out punctuation, even if you're not ee cummings (isabelle)

however, if you're going to leave it out, leave it out entirely.

don't go half-road with these few commas and not bother with periods.
 — theair

My question back has to be "Why would you want to do without punctuation?"  It's for the reader, to help them "hear" what you want them to hear.  It's elegant, it's lovely when used properly and it's part of the craft of wordsmithing.  

I just don't understand why people fight punctuation.  I really have to believe that people don't use it because they don't know how to use it.  Why else would you neglect to use a powerful tool?  It makes no sense.  
 — Isabelle5

changed it a bit, I`wanted it to read the way I had it, that was the flow. but if people like it better when everything is spelled out to them then thats fine. keeping the original on my pc though. Thanks for the comments, though they were snide, I appreciate them, by the way I`still like most ofr your poems isa5, this won't change that.
 — callingcard

My gosh, it is not PERSONAL when I comment, it's about how one person reads the poetry and the way it's put together.  I gave this a good rating, I think it's amusing, definitely not being snide!  

I would not expect my comments about the POEM to change what anyone else thinks when they read my own poems.  Blast away at the content, the grammar, the punctuation but not at ME.  Callingcard, it's the words, not the person.  I was taught English from 2nd grade through 12th, we had to diagram sentences, take tests on spelling and punctuation.  I bring all that to my reading, it's hard to step down from the level of excellence demanded by my teachers.  Plus my mother is a writer, so it's ingrained.  Please don't take it personally, okay?  
 — Isabelle5

yes, I'm sorry. I just got carried away, I must work on grammer in the future, I guess when people read a poem they need to see where the pauses etc are to make sense, I just get excited about the content when I'm writing, and thats what I like peole to nitice. But you are right, this site is about people's opinions, and helping you improve if you like, so thank you overall, and i really am sorry, I just thought you and some of the others were being a bit mean, but reading back I see you weren't at all. keep the comments coming in future, and thank you.
 — callingcard

very clever, simple and concise yet infinitely descriptive at the same time (if that makes sense.) only one thing: please don't cap every line. nice.
 — unknown

I like this, its clever. I can see me here.
 — themorrigan

isabelle, you are not right to assume someone who chooses not to use punctuation in a piece does so because they can't use it properly. there are a lot of effects which can be achieved with proper punctuation, but there is also an effect that can only be achieved without punctuation in poetry. poems without punctuation can create a lingering feeling because without punctuation they never reach an abrupt halt, and line breaks can do wonders to the flow of a piece, even if it is devoid of commas, periods, or otherwise.

your statements that 'only ee cummings should write without punctuation' and 'people don't use punctuation because they don't know how to use it' are both blanketing and assumptive.

sorry to fill the comment box for your poem with this.

i'll say something more about it while I'm here: some of these images are great, particularly the organic milk, the office chair, the bourbon creams. this is a pretty good poem.
 — theair

thank you so much theair!
 — callingcard

i like it
 — lilz_3194

Please reconsider your use of punctuation. They are tools not rules and careful use or ambiguity can re-empower words and phrasing. This is, however, purely my opinion and I would generally only apply it to creative writing.

Just because you have two feet doesn't mean you have to wear matching socks, and it certainly doesn't mean everyone should where the same. So if you'd like to take your socks of for a bit... please feel free.
 — Free_d

I like this. It's a bit "Bridget Jones" ...
 — JustineCH

very cute poem. could you leave out Of course?  it's too early to say that. don't cap, as someone mentioned. gone is a better word than grown for milk I think.
 — catherine

 — unknown

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