poetry critical

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'you used to write about beauty'

'Led instead
by presence,
not the unseen and unsaid'
would be
too ambiguous.
It was then that I
started again:
Eighteen and with conviction
like that of priests,
I had stood unshaken in
the face of any aberration
in my eyes.
But before colours could be
vividly lucid,
horizons darkened,
  death slayed hope
    and fruit burnt desire.
  I never pondered on the play,
  the design, the sketch of life like
  I do now;
  a believer then and
  now a cynic; another battle.
  Calloused lips, bleed, speak
  of nothing at all.
Yesterday Sam said, with a hint of real regard,
'seems you always wrote of beauty',
  and all I could do
  was fake a smile; in an empty room,
  an empty shell of me.
  My complacence sighed,
  I remembered that I
     had once believed
     in beauty too.

18 Aug 06

Rated 9 (9) by 2 users.
Active (2): 9, 9
Inactive (2): 8, 9

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varun - thank you for remembering my words.

Would it not be better to delete my name and just put 'she'? It allows the readers to draw their own conclusions as to who said it and makes it less personal.

Another sad one but still with beautiful word choice. My only crit would be the line breaks. Some feel too random and that is not your style.  

I am out of time right now but I will be back to read again.

 — unknown

hello sam. thank you for commenting.
yes, the line breaks are a little weird.
but when i speak it, it speaks....
i would agree with 'she', but then it would make it more 'one to one' centric, rather than as open as it is now... 'she' would make it sound like a mmmm... mmmm. girlfriend? maybe... or mother, i don't know.... this is more definite, i like it like that... because it is like that....
which ones seem to random?

thanks for coming...
 — varun

i have changed them around just a wee little bit...
 — varun

haha, i read this earlier and didn't connect the dots.
this is a solid read, varun.

first stanza is a fine set-up: crisp, concise.
breaks are good too.

two lines work well for a second stanza.

third stanza is where this poem really begins to pick up pace and dictate itself.
you have good internal and external rhyme and rhythm.

for some reason line 18 sticks with me.  i 'unno.
maybe it's the word "game".  i'm not sure if you should change it or not.
um... maybe something like faith.  i think that would work.

the rest of that stanza is superb.  rolls right off your tongue.

i think lines 31-34 are a little wordy?
" ... I remembered that I, once, had believed, like in many other things, in beauty too."  hm.

maybe put ( ) around (like in many other things) so it seems more detached,
less like a huge long string of commas.  i 'unno.

varun, as always, there is writing, and there is WRITING.
you, my friend, are a WRITER.

 — midare

l 32, cut the last 'in'
 — unknown

thank you midare.
you pointed out the two things that were bothering me as well...

i'll take being a WRITER as a compliment then... :)
 — varun

ooh.  i like the revisions.  'specially changing "game" to "play".
good call.

 — midare

i like 'calloused lips'
thanks for coming back midare.
 — varun

a very important 'had' was missing... in line 10.
 — varun

do you think line 12 is redundant?
 — varun


it kinda is.  but you need it at the same time.
let me try to explain.

it's redundant in that "in my life" is already implied by the rest of the stanza.
so if that were the only issue, then i would wholeheartedly suggest cutting it/
rephrasing it.


it just so happens that line 12 is a very important line for the second stanza,
in that the stanza's rhythm and beat would be thrown off if you removed it.
it's a good lead into the dropping "horizons darkened/death slayed hope/and fruit burnt desire. ..."

so, to sum up:

it would read right if you removed line 12, but it wouldn't read right.
does that make any sense?

 — midare

ps. this reads better and better every time i see it.
 — midare

Well, I like it. Can't properly critique as yet but a rating will suffice for now. Keep coming out with it, i'll keep reading it :)

'or strife' instead of 'in my life'... ?

 — unknown

i'm not sure.
up to you, v.
 — midare

it is. how sad. how confusing.
 — unknown

nice poem.
 — hank

hey tyler. long time. hope you're doing okay. thanks for the nicety.

midare, i think i solved the riddle of line 12.
 — varun

more commentary?
 — varun

i like the change to line 12, v.  it works very well, especially considering
the enjambment of face/eyes.

but what about lines 28-32?
i think there's something about the punctuation in line 28 that's throwing me off.
maybe remove the period and make it a comma,
then uncapitalize the My.

and then i think you might change the comma in line 29 to a period.
hm.  i'm not sure though.  i think there's just something about the cadence
in that last stanza that's throwing me off... and the easiest way to change
cadence is through line breaks and punctuation.

so, maybe something like this:

"and all I could do
was fake a smile; in an empty room,
my complacence sighed.
I remembered that I
  had once believed
  in beauty too."

hm.  as an aside, i really like line 30.  the duality of the I's is appealing.
this gets better every time i read it.  wonderful, v.

 — midare

hello again midare.
thanks for the suggestion for 27-33.
i had removed a line [line 29 now], which i have re-inserted.
i think i need that line. not in terms of content, but in terms of a line being there...
this line is too dramatic for me. so i'm thinking of options.
 — varun

don't you hate revising? :p
 — nightengale

actually, nightengale, no.
especially with help of people like sam, midare, slancho and others.
nothing is ever complete. or satisfied.
 — unknown


amazing. I escpecially like last half. lines 18-33.
 — nilo

thanks nilo.
 — varun

This poem is so hard to love because of what i perceive as absolute bitterness, and yet so beautiful itself.
 — Stellaella

thank you stella.
three words that can mean so much; absolute, love, beauty.
what a comment :} thanks.
 — varun

it does sound better out loud than it looks on paper
 — aurelius

did you print it out?
 — varun

Hi varun,

This poem is really beautiful.
I love the rhythm, the perfect flow, the subtle alliterations, the unique imagery.
I especially like the harmony of lines 1-3 and the rhythm of lines 8-9. A great poem about "a believer then and/ now a cynic":-) I wouldn't change a thing.
 — sparrow

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