poetry critical

online poetry workshop


years before
the oak
in  my neighbor's yard
let in light
garden plants, poorly kept,
gushed tendrils
up, out, back to earth,
getting whatever stake, whatever stick,
whatever support I gave
now the oak gives giant shadow
nothing grows
why can't those tendrils be
your arms?  here again?
giving me all I want?

16 Feb 07

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(define the words in this poem)

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i'd kill 12-14. and get rid of 'giant'. i don't think you need a superlative.

an option if you would consider:

now the oak shades
and nothing grow.

here's a complete edit [i have too much time]:

garden plants, poorly kept
gushed tendrils up
and back to earth,
with whatever stake,
whatever stick,
whatever support
i gave

now the oak
in my neighbours' yard
gives shade
and nothing grows.

i would retitle this 'my garden plants', or something to lay attention on your plants instead of the oak's shadow.
i got rid of the last three lines because, personally, i think that without the mention of 'you' and 'me', the emotion is stronger.

 — varun

i agree with varun.  or i would suggest finding a way to rewrite 12-14, it doesn't quite work, however I like the tone of desire and desperation.
 — sarahjoie