poetry critical

online poetry workshop

How Do You Like Your Eggs?

I always loved sunny side.
I had them as a kid.
But one day my boyfriend decided:
"Let's have scrambled instead."
We never thought it would be such a wreck.
Now I'm lying there,
and he's bending over me,
struggling to untwist my neck.

30 Dec 06

Rated 7 (7) by 3 users.
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the verse starts ok, you're just trying to say too much! it's a great idea. if you'd think of it as a more simple and fun rhyme, you might find the poem in this.

even, "we never thought it such a wreck", if you can cope with the compression, if it doesn't sound phony to you. the fun of these kinds of poems is that they're obvious, and obviously contrived to sound cute. that's why they're cute!

you might show us the chaos of scrambling. there's a truth here of a succinct pun on "scrambled", where you say the word "scrambled" and then show how it made your brains scrambled. but that's not what you're doing i think.

i always loved the sunny side,
i loved them as a kid.

one day my friend said "scramble up",
and that's just what we did.

we popped some eggs, and then he paused,
"how doooo we make them crazy?" --

or is it merely, "wake up eggs!",
as though our eggs were lazy?

... more and etc. nice idea and, as it is, as you wrote it, your verse still makes me think of a very sunny kitchens and yellow eggs.
 — mikebauer

Well, you certainly have an idea that you want to work with here, and that's the most important thing. As you say, the execution is lacking, but that can be worked with.

I think that a big part of why the first two lines (and the first line/s are what set the tone for everything after) don't work is that they're very awkward. A certain part of that is because they're so flat, like statements without inflection. You can work around that, give them more flow, more motion, simply by working their structure in different ways. If they weren't both endstopped, it would help; they're not really complete, isolated thoughts, they relate to each other. Thus, they don't really need to be separated so much.

The other main flaw, I feel, is that there's very little transition between the two parts. The egg metaphor disappears entirely in the second half, and when it's the main device, that's a problem. I think in order to properly affect a reader, in a poem like this, a narrative in two parts, you need more cause and effect. It's not showing here, at the very least.

Overall, I think you could work with the main device here and maybe end up with something good. Fiddle with your structure and try to get a flow of words going, not so many unnecessarily isolated thoughts. Also, remember, there needs to be more than thematic connection between beginning and ending in a piece like this. I hope this may help

(Also, get rid of the footnote. Overtly explaining what you wanted and the different ways to take it is like showing a person a painting, then explaining the differences between colors and shades. Just unnecessary.)
 — dandy

i would suggest not explaining your poem to the people reading it and giving their critique.  if you explain it to them, then you can't be sure if people will "get it" on their own, or if it is too cryptic to understand the intended meaning.

i think you should abandon the rhyme scheme. let your words go wherever they will.  i like how you said "sunny side" and left out the "up."  the second stanza is a bit obscure...i can't be certain of what is going on.  the second line of the second stanza is kind of wild because you say "now" you're lying "there," which doesn't literally make sense.  to say that "now" you are "there," you would have to be viewing yourself from an out-of-body perspective, or from someone else's view.  i think it's kind of neat, but i'm not sure if you intended it.  that might be something to fix.

it's OK, but i agree that you need some work.
 — steveroggenb

"i think you should abandon the rhyme scheme." what would that allow? and this is a poem and the poet wanted to write a poem. do you think the author isn't up to it? i think redraven is, but i like poets. why don't you write a rhyme poem? or isn't it allowed, to your thinking. sometimes the rhyme messes up the poem because the poet has to make the rhyme "work". but, most verse is messed up by have to  look like verse anyway, no? where the verse loosy-loosy thing helps the author start writing, but doesn't help the author structure a thought out of it.
 — mikebauer

It's really wonderful the way I've already gotten so many well thought out critiques. Thanks to all of you.

mikebauer- I was kind of trying for something funny out of this. Someone once said that I should mentione a scrambled brain instead, too, but then it wouldn't be as litteral as I intended.

dandy- I knew the footnote would be over the top. I guess I wanted more of a disclaimer than anything and tried to conceal that with explaining the entire thing.
I'll find a way to make this poem flow better. I guess that's the main issue.

steveroggenb- It's interesting the way that you see "now" and "there". I understand what you're saying entirely, but it never stuck me that way. I tried to write this more like a person would talk, and forgot that in poetry people often take the words very literally and look for the meanings in every single one of them.

The rhyming thing is.. mostly just something I like for myself. It makes everything a lot more playful, which I usually do to try to conceal the more dark underlying meanings within.
Both of you are right, rhyming is great for learning to structure well, and free verse is just what it is, freedom to fully express everything. I'm just not sure which is more appropriate for this poem. While the rhyming was interesting, maybe it's just not working because free verse is just what it needs?

This is a lot more difficult than I thought. But I like a challenge.
 — RedRaven

I liked the poem alot but the only prob is that you said to much and I did not quite understand it well. But I REALLY REALLY LIKED IT!!!!!!!!!! It made me laugh alot.

 — unknown

this is your brain.

this is your brain on drugs.

this is your brain on drugs with a side order of bacon.
 — chuckles

LOL Try Poached with senna pods. You'll be on the toilet for weeks

Larry right behind Lark
 — larrylark