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Old 07-11-2013, 02:05 AM   #1
todski28
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an open invite to tear a poem to pieces

I am attempting my hand at metaphors to try and get away from my to literal thinking and trying to build better poems in general.

If anyone has anything to add, say comment please go your hardest. I am not upset by critique, however if you think this is shit please state why to help me grow as a writer.


*The smile of breaking*

Beating back laughter and happiness
Over torn bread
Dull thunks of meat
The jolly butcher pounds
His lump of flesh

jawbone at an obscure angle
Mummy normally looks pretty in red
An organic bib blooming
Growing larger by the second

Mushmouthed words
I ove ou oys e stong
(I love you boys be strong)
thunk, thunk, thunk
The hammering continues
Jolly butcher smiles
Mummy looks like Quasimodo

The butcher asks, maniacally
“choose your cut of lamb, madam’e?”
Screams of you bastard sound more like
Oo astard
A final thunk, mummy goes to sleep

The butcher continues talking
In
Punctuated
Psychobabble
To his cowering meat
Be happy coz the best cuts are well beaten
And pounded

He looks down on my brother and I,
Both small tender cuts of lamb
And says simply

“I do it coz I love you,
Which one is next?
Hurry on I have a lot of work to do today
Gotta tenderize that meat”
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:14 AM   #2
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i see this mushrooming into a musical
but looks pretty literal to me
this is a metaphor for....
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:47 PM   #3
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1201 is thinking of Sweeney Todd, I presume.

Tod, I'm not sure where the metaphors are in this poem (as 12 pointed out).

A metaphor is something that stands in for something else, right? Like if I say, "The Sun is butter," I'm using a metaphor. The Sun is not butter but it is yellow and butter can be hot and sometimes the Sun does look like it's melting. So while one thing is clearly not the other, they have enough in common to make the metaphor work.

The other thing that helps make a metaphor work is context. I once wrote a poem called 1942 about children in the Warsaw Ghetto, and I used the Sun/butter comparison. The context was children who were starving and wearing yellow stars. So there was context to tie the metaphor into the poem: the yellow was repeated in a few places (as Sun, as butter, as star) and they reinforced each other. I'm not saying that it was such a good poem, but trying to explain how I think metaphors can support a poem.

All I'm getting from your poem is a butcher murdering a woman while her two kids watch. Yikes! I have no argument with your subject. People should write what they want. But where's the metaphor? Is the murder really supposed to be just the mom buying lamb? Even then, it doesn't come across to me. The metaphor needs to be clear in what it's standing in for.

I think it's great you're experimenting with your writing and asking for critique. I hope this is helpful and if you have questions, feel free to ask. Gotta run for a while, but I'll be back later.

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Old 07-11-2013, 01:03 PM   #4
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I too don't really see where metaphors come into this but why worry it's strong enough to stand on it's own although more than a tad macabre!! Remind me not to upset you at any time!
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:25 PM   #5
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Back to hurting my brain with this. It was actually a memory of a happy fun time in my child hood, but alas, with no context if all appears too literal.
To explain further the memory, mum ended up having her jaw wired together, I got out of it with2 cracked ribs and my brother a broken arm, over a torn piece of bread. Every time I hear a meat tenderiser, I have flashbacks of that day.



By the way thank you all

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Old 07-11-2013, 04:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todski28 View Post
Back to hurting my brain with this. It was actually a memory of a happy fun time in my child hood, but alas, with no context if all appears too literal.
To explain further the memory, mum ended up having her jaw wired together, I got out of it with2 cracked ribs and my brother a broken arm, over a torn piece of bread. Every time I hear a meat tenderiser, I have flashbacks of that day.



By the way thank you all
I think you have quite a poem in the real story. And your poem, though not literal is strong, like Annie said. Why not just try writing the literal way first and then put it up for suggestions of how to add metaphor? Just a thought. It's good practice to write different versions of the same poem.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todski28 View Post
I am attempting my hand at metaphors to try and get away from my to literal thinking and trying to build better poems in general.

If anyone has anything to add, say comment please go your hardest. I am not upset by critique, however if you think this is shit please state why to help me grow as a writer.


*The smile of breaking*

Beating back laughter and happiness {laughter and happiness are not being struck with the fists]
Over torn bread
Dull thunks of meat
The jolly butcher pounds
His lump of flesh

jawbone at an obscure angle
Mummy normally looks pretty in red
An organic bib blooming
Growing larger by the second

Mushmouthed words [not really a mouth full of mush]
I ove ou oys e stong
(I love you boys be strong)
thunk, thunk, thunk
The hammering continues
Jolly butcher smiles
Mummy looks like Quasimodo

The butcher asks, maniacally
“choose your cut of lamb, madam’e?”
Screams of you bastard sound more like
Oo astard
A final thunk, mummy goes to sleep

The butcher continues talking
In
Punctuated
Psychobabble
To his cowering meat
Be happy coz the best cuts are well beaten
And pounded

He looks down on my brother and I,
Both small tender cuts of lamb [the brothers are human, not ovine]
And says simply

“I do it coz I love you,
Which one is next?
Hurry on I have a lot of work to do today
Gotta tenderize that meat”
This piece is lacking in poetic metaphor, but stands as a metaphor in itself. The image of a butcher, who slaughters and reduces animals to small parts is employed to demonstrate a man who abuses his family, all the while appearing to care for them and enjoying his work.

That said, something I notice in a lot of beginning poets is the tendency to use metaphor to obscure the meaning, not illuminate it. Poetry should not be a code which has to be deciphered. A metaphor should transform the words into an image or feeling in the reader's mind, not confuse them.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:11 PM   #8
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unless that is the authors intent to make another point
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:45 PM   #9
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Thank you bronzeage for that it is all helpful, I am sorry that you are all turning into teachers lecturing a child lol, the only thing I have to offer in return is much thanks and a hope that one day I will write something that is better.

Just curious bronzeage, have you heard someone try and speak with a broken jaw? it tends to come out as what I would think of as mushmouthed talk, as if trying to talk while holding something between the teeth. is there something you could reccommend in its place?

Thank you for commenting Harry, but that would be making the assumption that I am currently good enough to have intended that as a meaning. Others here and better poets than I currently am and probably ever will be, maybe. confusing ambition and capability is not something I am prone to do.

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Old 07-11-2013, 08:57 PM   #10
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Tod most everyone here has been where you are now. And I apologize if I sound like a lecturing teacher. I actually started out as an English teacher so maybe I can't help but get into preachy mode.

I--and I'm sure this is true of others here, too--am just trying to help. I personally never see it as onerous to help someone who is clearly just trying to learn. I sure don't know it all but I have been writing poetry for a long time. You, in my opinion, are going about this the right way. You experiment and you ask for help. If you are committed to reading and writing every day, you will be able to look back in even a few months and be amazed by how much you've learned and improved. Please feel free to ask for opinions and support anytime. That's really what this forum is all about.

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Old 07-11-2013, 09:12 PM   #11
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I liked it; the whys are varied, You took an idea and built on it with each verse/stanza in what I think was a clever way. Poetic content may be questionable. Subject is borderline to the rules of this site; you need to read the writers guide to make sure. just saying.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:31 PM   #12
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I liked it; the whys are varied, You took an idea and built on it with each verse/stanza in what I think was a clever way. Poetic content may be questionable. Subject is borderline to the rules of this site; you need to read the writers guide to make sure. just saying.
He's ok with the forum guidelines. As long as one's not writing about underage sex or bestiality and not threatening anyone or exposing anyone's personal info, their posts and submissions are in the clear.

The complete PF&D guidelines, which are basically the same as Lit's, are here. And I think we are all agreed about the poem's strength, but Tod stated he was trying his hand at metaphors and wants responses about that. I'm just impressed that he is willing to accept critique. Many newer poets are not.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:58 PM   #13
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An open invite to tear a poem to pieces

With the title of this thread, I am empowered to comment beyond mere metaphors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by todski28 View Post
I am attempting my hand at metaphors to try and get away from my to literal thinking and trying to build better poems in general.

If anyone has anything to add, say comment please go your hardest. I am not upset by critique, however if you think this is shit please state why to help me grow as a writer.


*The smile of breaking*

Beating back laughter and happiness
Over torn bread
slapped back from a happy table, indeed beaten back
Dull thunks of meat
The jolly butcher pounds
His lump of flesh.........................poor mummy

jawbone at an obscure angle
Mummy normally looks pretty in red
An organic bib blooming
Growing larger by the second...........allusion?

Mushmouthed words
I ove ou oys e stong
(I love you boys be strong)
thunk, thunk, thunk
The hammering continues
Jolly butcher smiles
Mummy looks like Quasimodo

The butcher asks, maniacally
“choose your cut of lamb, madam’e?”
Screams of you bastard sound more like
Oo astard
A final thunk, mummy goes to sleep

The butcher continues talking
In
Punctuated
Psychobabble
To his cowering meat..............................metaphor?
Be happy coz the best cuts are well beaten
And pounded

He looks down on my brother and I,
Both small tender cuts of lamb.............allusion?
And says simply

“I do it coz I love you,
Which one is next?
Hurry on I have a lot of work to do today
Gotta tenderize that meat”
..
not shit.....Have you posted it in NPs yet?
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:28 PM   #14
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With the title of this thread, I am empowered to comment beyond mere metaphors.


..
not shit.....Have you posted it in NPs yet?
Harry I'm not arguing your empowerment to anything. Do you suppose I am?
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:33 PM   #15
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... but Tod stated he was trying his hand at metaphors and wants responses about that...
..
felt the switch around my ankles, teach. Is there a full moon tonight?
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:36 PM   #16
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..
felt the switch around my ankles, teach. Is there a full moon tonight?
No switch. You misread me. I'm just here because I love to write and help people that ask for it. Maybe you need to check outside your own window.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:40 PM   #17
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That tod has to be a metaphor
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:02 AM   #18
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hahahaha! most amusing.

metaphorically, the poem itself which ever way you wanted to go, was open to be pulled to pieces and critiqued. I enjoy having my work scrutinised, it makes you take notice of the whole process. I can look back through and see where my little leaps of improvement have come and they wouldn't have happened without help and guidance. I will take your advice about writing it as a different piece, not the whole piece being a metaphor for an incident that happened.

apologise to underyourspell if it was too much
angeline I hope you did't feel self conscious, feel free to tutour me, I am ready and willing to learn, able to learn well, that is debateable

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Old 07-12-2013, 11:38 AM   #19
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I was somewhat hurt at the teachers lecturing a child remark after you had asked for critique, but that's by the by and I prefer it as it stands without the explanation of lesser macabreness (doubt that's a real word but I just invented it!)
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:11 PM   #20
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Thank you bronzeage for that it is all helpful, I am sorry that you are all turning into teachers lecturing a child lol, the only thing I have to offer in return is much thanks and a hope that one day I will write something that is better.

Just curious bronzeage, have you heard someone try and speak with a broken jaw? it tends to come out as what I would think of as mushmouthed talk, as if trying to talk while holding something between the teeth. is there something you could reccommend in its place?

Thank you for commenting Harry, but that would be making the assumption that I am currently good enough to have intended that as a meaning. Others here and better poets than I currently am and probably ever will be, maybe. confusing ambition and capability is not something I am prone to do.
Never apologize for invoking pedantry.

Cornmeal mush is a thin gruel made from boiled corn meal. "Mushmouth" is an old southern expression for someone who slurs their words. Instead of a wired jaw, imagine a person trying to talk and not spit out a mouthful of mush. The wired jaw metaphor may have been what you sought.

Famous Mushmouths:



There was a U.S television cartoon in the 60's, titled Deputy Dawg. Two of the Deputy's antagonists were a muskrat named Muskie and a possum(opossum) named Mushmouth. Mushmouth's speech was unintelligible. Think of Kenny from Southpark. The standard gag was Mushmouth making some totally incomprehensible statement, to which Muskie replied, "Sho nuff, Mushmouth."
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My beloved is perfect. He is strong, smart, well read, can & will do anything, tender, and totally adores me. The only thing that could make him better is if he was freak'n wealthy beyond words.
On the floor of a small room near the city wall, they found the source of the many fragments of wisdom this civilization had left the world.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:27 PM   #21
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As always the problem with the typed word is no emotional connection to the writers own meanings, so you are left with multiple interpretations depending on your own mood etc,

To explain the teachers lecturing a child line, it was more a comment concerning my own aptitude, as opposed to what I believe you interpreted it as
I think it may have come across more as a remark that I believe you are looking down on me?
I have the utmost respect for anyone teaching me of their own free will hence the thank you in almost every post when someone critiques my work. I meant no offence

Good of you to clear that up Bronzeage

I always thought the English language was organic so even though it isn't a dictionary be a dictionary word if you get the intended meaning it is enough of a word, poetic license

I haven't posted it the np yet, I was hoping I could strengthen my poems from now on, so far I am ashamed to admit that I have rarely edited a poem, save to correct a misspelled word, lurking around here you pick up what makes others works so great. Truly all of the ones I consider the best edit their work. It is strange to me that other people are so willing to share insight and help others, my life has not had a great deal of that, I had to fight for every lesson hence the gushing thank you's and child like glee at throwing around poems unformed and under done. Everyone that has commented has given me enough to get to what I feel is the next level for me.

It is like a family around here and I like that.

Dear god look at all that gushing sappy sentiment..... Cringe, shudder

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Old 07-12-2013, 05:55 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by todski28 View Post
As always the problem with the typed word is no emotional connection to the writers own meanings, so you are left with multiple interpretations depending on your own mood etc,

To explain the teachers lecturing a child line, it was more a comment concerning my own aptitude, as opposed to what I believe you interpreted it as
I think it may have come across more as a remark that I believe you are looking down on me?
I have the utmost respect for anyone teaching me of their own free will hence the thank you in almost every post when someone critiques my work. I meant no offence

Good of you to clear that up Bronzeage

I always thought the English language was organic so even though it isn't a dictionary be a dictionary word if you get the intended meaning it is enough of a word, poetic license
Sort of.

The meaning is in the reader's mind, not the poet's intention.

It is possible for the typed word to be intimately connected to the writers's own meanings. In a world where no one agrees upon the definition of a poem and beyond that, the differences between a good or bad poem, we are left with one standard and that is, did the poet communicate the meaning and even then, we can only judge our own work.

Poetic license allows us to change eyes from brown to green and place thunderclouds on sunny days. It is not an exemption from writing what we intend to say.
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Quote:
Originally posted by LostBaby
My beloved is perfect. He is strong, smart, well read, can & will do anything, tender, and totally adores me. The only thing that could make him better is if he was freak'n wealthy beyond words.
On the floor of a small room near the city wall, they found the source of the many fragments of wisdom this civilization had left the world.
bronzeageworks.blog spot.com
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:00 PM   #23
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I'm not offended. Just so you know.

I think writing poetry is all about finding ways to make emotional connections with words. I don't think everyone sees it that way, but I do. You're absolutely right that no two people will interpret your poem the same way and it's pretty rare, imo, for a reader to get exactly what the writer intended. And that's fine cause we all bring our own varied experiences to what we read. But, for me, if I can find words that will make a reader sense things--smell a flower or feel the heat in a poem about a hot day, for example--I feel like I've gotten something right.
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:36 PM   #24
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todski28:
Everyone that has commented has given me enough to get to what I feel is the next level for me.
..funny you should mentions levels, or rungs as they were. Look at this thread Level three please then find 1201 and ask him what he knows about poetry.
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:00 AM   #25
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Thanks for the recommend. I have read it three times not coz that is what was recommended in the thread but because it took that to get some grasp of what was being spoken about.
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