poetry critical

online poetry workshop

beggar sitting outside a shop of spectacles, coughing

summer breathes
against my face, but never
is it warm, i carry
winter in my pockets.
in eyes i have dreams;
and so, nights
are never too dull.
neither are days
in the deserts
of squandering time.
cloak soaks in
monsoon rain, i
carry fire
in the palms of my hands, so
i am not too cold. and when
spring is coming, or
even autumn seems close,
i sleep longer hours
to keep from
feeling too alone.

29 Apr 07

Rated 8.3 (8.5) by 12 users.
Active (12): 3, 3, 5, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10
Inactive (2): 9, 10

(define the words in this poem)

(7 users consider this poem a favorite)

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i feel i've seen this beggar before
 — idontknow

his name, but i find him in different places in the city.
he recognizes me, and i, him. we share smiles, and sometimes we talk.
 — varun

i like the image of carrying winter in your pocket - i feel the chill of that line - the inversion, especially in comparison to the beggar who wants the warmth. interesting image. i mention that one as it my favourite of the images. i certainly enjoyed this. although i'm not sure i like the fact the title is refering to a beggar, but in the poem, you are the beggar - it feels a little confused. but maybe that's just me looking at it from the wrong angle.
very nicely written Varun,
 — Esoteric

thanks for the comment, esoteric.

yes, the angle, gotta get, gotta get the
angle, the angle right, the right angle. yes.
 — varun

i hate right angles. there's something too rigid about them. right angles=the geometry of bland.
 — Esoteric

the right angle could be acute. or obtuse. mathematics is assumptive. i don't assume i know mathematics or that it knows anything at all. :}
glad you read my pome, esoteric.
this is the beggar story by varun. thanks.
 — varun

too warm does not exist. it's like asking for an extra-medium steak.
i think your poem could benefit from some line break tweaks.
 — unknown

yeah, perhaps spacing would ease the readability. i personally would like to see that with just a few more words. as it is, though ... good.
 — listen

isn't it
it's too warm, it should be a little cooler?

i will re-break. i agree.
thanks, unknown
and listen.
 — varun

what kind of spectacles? i'd rather know about the spectacles.
 — unknown

i thought you might.
the seeing kind of spectacles. for those who can't see.
 — unknown

summer crashes?

mmm doesnt seem right.
 — unknown

the title is distracting. brevity might help its lacking gravity.
 — unknown

so, not spectacles of the curio variety: dogs on stilts with ruffs, penguins on rollerskates, bears on tricycles, armadillos juggling pineapples.

damn shame that. not keen on the tittle either it made me want more titillation

the orange witch
 — unknown

i know you're wanting to replace the ones that have the nose peeling off... but this guy just gave me a revelation; that i could never see him.
thought summer was too hot to crash. might erm.. change it to
something else.
and agree about the title, it's too long. i was thinking
of changing that too. let's see if i can come up with something.

thanks, to the orange witch and
to the unknowns...

 — unknown



too is a funny-looking little word.
it would be neat if you could get them all at the
just a funny little idea
 — unknown

TOO oot
too OOT
 — unknown

 — varun

how about 'eye speak'
'he spoke with signs'
'this time, i heard the beggar'
 — varun

a man/ indigent for all seasons

 — unknown

 — varun

   Excellent work; this poem is so focused, just the narrative voice and implied 'other,' with no distractions context or setting, it is almost frightening.  Kudos.
    My only suggestion involves lines 15-17, "...so/even snow is never/too cold."  While I adore the idea of "i carry/winter in my pockets," and feel the references to Spring and Autumn are necessary for closing the poem, the second reference to snow makes the poem lean toward a list/catalog of seasons.  I think the poem would be stronger without the 2d snow.
 — mikkirat

brushes does not work in my mind either.
 — unknown

how's about burns? summer burns against/on my face.
summer leans against my face.
summer claws at my face.
summer steams against my face.

hmmmm.... i shall leave it till i really have something.

mikkirat, thank you kindly for your comment.
when i wrote this, i too felt the second winter coming too strong.
i think the only solution is to take that phrase out.
 — varun

How about

"presses" or "pushes"?
 — dandy

wow, thought this was rixes. nice poem.
 — hank

came l22 i fought them.
they won.
 — unknown

Hello Varun,

I really, actually started to like your beggar as I was reading.

Nice Poem,
 — PollyReg

dandy, i was thinking 'heaves'. thanks for the suggestions.

it's the second time today i was told that i write like someone else. mmm. i thanks hank.

thanks, unknown. [i remembered to thank you this time, eh? :P ]

hello pollyreg, thank you for your comment.
 — varun

thanks for putting in your favourites.
and what say about the second word?
 — varun

Well... "breathes" seems very passive to me, which doesn't feel right...
 — unknown

breathes is wrong.

summer dances upon
summer simmers

 — unknown

breathes is right
if giving the image of a summer breeze,
which is what i got from it.
i likened it to the breath
on skin from (a) lover.
 — unknown

tis too passive. yes.

bologna, i thought you weren't going to comment on my poems, ever?
thanks for the thought.

summer isn't my lover. i love summer, though.
but it heaves.
 — varun

hey Varun - this is wonderful. i see the cracks in his hands in winter and the sun beating on his face. is he content?
 — stout

thanks, stout.
is anyone ever content?
 — varun

magic? spectacular, v.
i wouldn't have guessed that this was you off a first read. it's a different
style for ya. more concrete than usual. i'm definitely a fan.

i don't have any nits for ya aside from maybe line 18. "is in the coming"
seems a little too awkward to me. it caught my eye and made me stop and reread
my first time through this poem. comprehension wasn't completely natural.
but on the other hand, that could just be my deficit. :)

i guess i'd just nix "in the" and leave it as "is coming". awesome work though.
definitely a new favorite of yours.

 — midare

thanks midare.
how's it going?
 — varun

I see small but numerous flaws to fix.
Would you like an illustration of suggestions?
 — netskyIam

a terrible title
 — unknown

yes, please reid. thanks.
 — varun

1-4 lose commas. let the reader read. trust.

dull belongs on line 8.

13-17 have probs. never is used twice, first inverted phrase then not. choose 1. match phrase or dont repeat nevers and too.

good poem. 8 as is.
 — jumpoline

I respect jumpoline's taste and intellect.
There are many ways to divvy the poem.
What I'll show here will be of my taste.
You look at it carefully and see where you may agree.
Aside from content, which this poem has in good order,
the importance of line breaks and punctuation can't be overstated.
All these details help to add poetry and clarity and pow factor to a poem.

L1 is most critical, right? Well, look at what it should be, and this is quite certain, imo:

summer breathes
against my face, and never
is it warm, because i carry
winter in my pockets.

I'm gonna stop there and let you think:
what has just been gained?  Was anything lost?
Beware the weakling word, "but".  I sin with that word too much myself.

More later if you like, BUT (heh!), I know you see now what I would like.
Wouldn't you like it too?  Your call.
 — netskyIam

the best
 — onklcrispy

jumpoline, netsky
thank you both very much.
your suggestions are spot on.
in the process of edit now, come back and take a look soon.

onkl is the best.

 — varun

i upped you. very nice.
 — jumpoline

last crit: change never too in  7 to seldom, rarely, perpetually, relentlessly anything but a second never if possible.
 — jumpoline

some changes.
your help has been very critical.
thank you both very much, netsky and jump.
any more suggestions?
 — varun

I don't know why I was blind when I wrote before;
consider now dispensing with some commas?

"against my face but never
is it warm because I carry
winter in my pockets"

PS: I liked breathes better.  And "because" for sure, not "for".

Them's my votes.  The poll ain't rigged.
 — netskyIam

the title is bad

and heaves is so wrong

the rest is gd.
 — unknown

squite good.
 — jumpoline

 — varun

no, its crap.
 — unknown

good poem, bad title
 — unknown

no, it isn't.

yes it is, no it's not.
 — varun

I have reconsidered this poem and it is still crap. It is just too poemish. Do you ever read  a poem and think that someone is trying to write a poem, here it is.
 — unknown

pretence. or being pretentious.

when i'm writing a poem, i'm trying to write a poem. yes.
 — varun

It means to write a poem in the sense of what you think others want to hear in a poem, not with the honesty within the poet, superficial.
 — unknown

I'm glad you were trying to write a poem, I'd have to slit my wrists if something this good came out by accident.  I am still trying to understand the image of laughing spectacles in the context of this poem.
 — skinnyJon

Sorry, coughing spectacles -- I'm an idiot, the poem's still good.
 — skinnyJon

"i carry winter in my pockets"...

the voice here is unbelievable, it all starts with that line for me.
Absolutely wonderful,
I can't believe i hadn't read this sooner,
what a beautiful poem,
and I love to read of the seasons.

(hi varun),
 — jenakajoffer

unknown, do people want to hear about what i think a beggar said to me?

skinnyjon, thanks for the comments. there's a comma there, somewhere, and it changes meaning. somehow. language is weird. menh.

jen, hi. how are you?
glad you like my poem.
 — varun

You are as dense as a black hole.
 — unknown

oh, wicked! thanks.
oh, no. no thanks.
 — varun

not so bad
 — greenmantle

beautiful, original description. it made the reader know EXACTLY what you were refering to, and as idontknow said- it was as if the reader has seen this beggar before. you did a great job at depicting this character's story and helping the reader envision him or her. the only thing i thought could be revised about this was the ending. it's likely just me but i personally feel that the ending could be strengthened, but i still shall immensely adore this poem if you keep it as is. nicely done. rock on.
 — lanezfairy

thanks you kindly.
 — varun

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