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Old 07-13-2013, 12:24 PM   #26
twelveoone
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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 was afraid of that, it was an extended metaphor, here is my issue, you have a world of talent, but you haven't learned to back off, ruminate,
1 have you ever heard a butcher indulge in Psychobabble? More likely psychotic babbling.
2 I'm not sure you considered the intent of the poem and the effect of the poem on the audience.
As is, it is fine with me, you took a nightmare and turned it into a garish celebration (yes, Sweeney Todd) but you need to work on alignment and to anticipate audience reaction, as an example, read the comments on mine, I know if you accept the word 'azurite' you will accept the word 'damask', (I also know it will fail for most, where mine fails totally is nobody picked up on the apprehension, it was written three or four days before Superstorm Sandy), where your's fails (at least for me) is the underthought of 'Psychobabble'.
I am going to restate this in bold again:
you have a world of talent, but you haven't learned to back off, ruminate,
that is a very important rung or level
as far as the audience, take a look at the one "H" over in new poems, that is an audience I do not want, I don't think you do either, you've shown a real talent for avoiding that crap.
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:58 AM   #27
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I was hoping the term psychopbabble, would give the context to the entire poem being a metaphor, as opposed to making it read more like a horror story. I appreciate the compliements from yourself, and everyone else. All we can do is keep working at it. I am enjoying writing immensely something I didn't think I would do.

I haven't really considered the intent of any of my poems until now.
I have simply had a thought typed it out, tried to correct any spelling or grammer errors, copy, paste and post. This is the first poem I have asked for a critique on
This last two months is actually the only time I have tried to write anything that wasn't a necessity.

Last edited by todski28 : 07-14-2013 at 01:59 AM. Reason: the wor actually appeared 4 times......dear god why?
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:56 AM   #28
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welcome to the forum, todski

looking at your piece and considering how to strengthen your use of metaphors (rather than interact with that horrific memory of yours), i feel it would be better to cut out a lot of the references to your mother, and touch only lightly on yourself and brother. make it all about the butcher, the meat, the tenderising, the brittleness of bones . . . so all about the prepping of the meat (blood/gristle/smell/sound), with just enough mention of the family members to add the pointer.

as for the butcher, i'd have him remain exactly that: for the purpose of this write, to give it the impact and strength required in the short space available, it serves him up to the reader. makes him less human, more a caricature. in truth, the reality may have been different, children all too often loving those who hurt them, but for this poem i believe it's enough (at least for now) for you to concentrate honing the enormity of this character's aggression.

so - make the butcher huge (by making him the focus)
cut out a lot of the stuff like the mother calling him a bastard
make the two children smaller still by the barest reference to them as people - they are, in the butcher's eyes, just cuts of meat.

*The smile of breaking*

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

i like your title. it's different and, with the context of the poem, horrific in itself. however, if you used something like 'mummy wore red', then you remove the line from the body and it also points the way into the poem.

you could lose the first and third lines:

Over torn bread
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
you could make these two parts shorter and focus on the breaking of bone, the wet snap, the blood, the grind, however you choose to display it. i get that the mother is shown hoping to protect the boys with words - maybe keep the 'be strong' part, maybe have it whispered through deformed or quasimodo lips.

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
ok, here i'd work with something along the lines of the customer can't choose which lamb to sacrifice kind of thing, with him babbling happily over his work

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”
i'd incorporate most of the sentiments within these last parts back up with him wondering which small, tender cuts to select as he babbles away, insanely.

the reality isn't something i can contemplate easily; how someone who's experienced it handles things is beyond my own knowledge. to make a poem strong, make it its own truth. that truth might not be the actual reality, but it needs to conjure the crux.

look forward to reading more from you. saying that, this piece feels familiar, so i don't know if i've read it elsewhere, or the story behind it - sadly, for those involved, it's not a unique tale.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:48 AM   #29
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Thanks butters, your suggestions actually make it more brutal and macabre. It is a pretty twisted memory in and of itself. I don't know if I could take it to that level and not suffer some form of flashback into that day. To me at that point he truly did look like a butcher slaughtering a cow. He is a pretty big man, 6ft1 and about 220lbs so at the time he was a giant. I think a re-write is in order as I like your suggestions.

You get over it with time, lots and lots of time, we had worse than that. My mother went through far worse before my brothers. and I were born. In terms of the poem, I think that I was attempting a snapshot into that brutality.

I don't think you could have read it elsewhere, maybe you are thinking Sweeney Todd also? I haven't seen it personally so I don't know what it's about??

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Old 07-14-2013, 10:19 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by todski28 View Post
Thanks butters, your suggestions actually make it more brutal and macabre. It is a pretty twisted memory in and of itself. I don't know if I could take it to that level and not suffer some form of flashback into that day. To me at that point he truly did look like a butcher slaughtering a cow. He is a pretty big man, 6ft1 and about 220lbs so at the time he was a giant.

You get over it with time, lots and lots of time, we had worse than that. My mother went through far worse before my brother and I were born. In terms of the poem, I think that I was attempting a snapshot into that brutality.

I don't think you could have read it elsewhere, maybe you are thinking Sweeney Todd also? I haven't seen it personally so I don't know what it's about??
as writers, we discover just what we can use from our personal experiences and what we can't. i don't envy you that choice in this instance. i have some experience but nothing to the level you have, and a lot of it was psychological rather than physical. i found metaphors worked better for me than facts; everyone deals with shit in their own way.

please don't misunderstand me, todski - i'm not suggesting you've used another's work or anything like that. i am pretty certain, though, i've read someone else use this specific metaphor (the butcher) before, and how the mother took the worst of the attacks to try to save her children. as i said, it's not an uncommon thing to hear of such domestic brutality, and the butcher image works so well to convey the power, size, and 'meat' of the scene. no, i wasn't thinking 'sweeney todd'.

you have to do whatever works best for you. good luck with your future writes.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:30 AM   #31
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I suppose the butcher image is so visceral in and of itself, it brings fourth images of blood splattered apron and knives or cleavers, that it works as a psychotic figure. I really liked your suggestions. I didn't think you were accusing me of plagerising work
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:21 AM   #32
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Todski - I see you posted this today. I think the posted version is better, but I'm going to pass on voting (not sure if you care, just to let you know). I should have commented before, but better late than never.

There are aspects of this poem that I think will mystify most readers. The bit about the torn bread for example. I don't really know what torn bread is (a ripped roll? Do you mean just sitting down to dinner and breaking bread?). Is this man actually a butcher in real life? What is an obscure angle? And most importantly, why is this butcher being qualified as "jolly"? There is something about that that just doesn't seem to fit - at least for me. How about the "family" butcher?

All just my opinion of course. Oh - and I think I am going to invent a special Todski challenge: write a poem with no violence ( )
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:43 AM   #33
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Mum literally had her jaw punched at almost a right angle to her face over tearing a hole in a piece of bread that she presented to my former step father. He wasn't really a butcher but he looked like it splattered in mums blood. He justified it all by happily telling us he loved us.

As for the second part, how do you expect me to write anything under those conditions.

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Old 07-16-2013, 10:13 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by todski28 View Post
Mum literally had her jaw punched at almost a right angle to her face over tearing a hole in a piece of bread that she presented to my former step father. He wasn't really a butcher but he looked like it splattered in mums blood. He justified it all by happily telling us he loved us.

As for the second part, how do you expect me to write anything under those conditions.
torn bread works on another level, there is a term 'breaking bread'
torn plays wildly against it
that actually was a high point for me, sorry to see it was a literal choice, I had read it as a cliche subversion

ah, the problems of poetry
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:38 PM   #35
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I did use it for both instances and knew the double meaning, for me it was literal as well as the import of breaking bread to sit down for a meal. I was just explaining the full meaning to Desejo since she asked. at least in this forum you can ask about things you don't understand and have it clarified rather than boggling your mind on which possible intended meaning it could be, but there in is also the beauty of poetry for me. finding that little gem of something, regardless of whether it was intended or not that you relate to, or you get.
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:36 PM   #36
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re: comment
http://www.robertwservice.com/
you may instead try the free verse route
http://www.poemhunter.com/charles-bukowski/

or if you really want to break your balls

http://classweb.gmu.edu/rnanian/Byron-Dedication.html
Bob Southey! You’re a poet — Poet-laureate,
And representative of all the race,
Although ’t is true that you turn’d out a Tory at
Last, — yours has lately been a common case;
And now, my Epic Renegade! what are ye at?
With all the Lakers, in and out of place?
A nest of tuneful persons, to my eye
Like “four and twenty Blackbirds in a pye;

BTW note Poet-laureate, out a Tory at,
Byron noted for that, horrible rhyme when he needed at

what ever route, none are fucking easy
you're case - recommend Buk, get the timing down
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:41 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twelveoone View Post
re: comment
http://www.robertwservice.com/
you may instead try the free verse route
http://www.poemhunter.com/charles-bukowski/

or if you really want to break your balls

http://classweb.gmu.edu/rnanian/Byron-Dedication.html
Bob Southey! You’re a poet — Poet-laureate,
And representative of all the race,
Although ’t is true that you turn’d out a Tory at
Last, — yours has lately been a common case;
And now, my Epic Renegade! what are ye at?
With all the Lakers, in and out of place?
A nest of tuneful persons, to my eye
Like “four and twenty Blackbirds in a pye;

BTW note Poet-laureate, out a Tory at,
Byron noted for that, horrible rhyme when he needed at

what ever route, none are fucking easy
you're case - recommend Buk, get the timing down
I was gonna put Buk in that list in Ask a Poet. But you know me: I'm a fool for Hughes and Berrigan.

Actually Todski if you can stand some old shite, read a Robert Browning dramatic monologue. The form (which I don't think has a particular meter requirement although Browning rhymed and used a repeating meter in his), is one in which the poem's narrator tells a story that, by the end, reveals as much about the narrator as the characters in his story. Browning wrote a number of these. The most famous is My Last Dutchess. When I read your butcher and Tavvy poems, I was reminded of him and that form.
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:36 PM   #38
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I was gonna put Buk in that list in Ask a Poet. But you know me: I'm a fool for Hughes and Berrigan.

Actually Todski if you can stand some old shite, read a Robert Browning dramatic monologue. The form (which I don't think has a particular meter requirement although Browning rhymed and used a repeating meter in his), is one in which the poem's narrator tells a story that, by the end, reveals as much about the narrator as the characters in his story. Browning wrote a number of these. The most famous is My Last Dutchess. When I read your butcher and Tavvy poems, I was reminded of him and that form.
...and if you really, really want to break your balls
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:01 AM   #39
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Loved Robert services stuff I got put onto his work by another literally 2 days ago, his rhythm, cadence and rhyme are impeccable, I don't think I can make the Tavvy Tales fit that criteria it is a massive amount of work especially when you read it aloud, holy shit!

My last dutchess seems to be more the way these thing may end up, it seems like a cop out to take that rout, but my head hurts enough as it is at this stage

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Old 07-18-2013, 06:03 AM   #40
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too much prose and no poem

SHOULD WEAR GLOVES (A Tavvy Tale)

On the door,
Armour of a bouncer
Tight black Polo shirt
White label emblazoned on the chest
Biceps ringed in white
Pitch black slacks
I prefer a loser fit
Polished dress shoe

Doorman duties for the night
I hate the door
Much prefer the hustele bustle
Of the removal team
Chicks in tight skirts
Cheekily pinching your arse
Get to stang almost arrogantly
Aloof of the partying

Watching, waiting
Adrenaline on a slow burn
Chew gum to stop the butterflies
of anticipation
a small surge at an arm raised too quick
relax , adrenaline drops to steady
my whole world on edge

For now on the door
The drone of drunken jokes
Repeated almost like a mantra

Two people fightin off in the distance,
Stupid fools
A momentary urge to rush over and do battle

Chained here to the door
Duty, watching for
Sneaky under agers
People too drunk
Or alcohol being brought out of premesis
(Sigh)

One of the men from the fight
Is making a bee line for the door
A small grin, maybe I’ll see some action

I immediately deny him entry
“Can’t come in you were just fighting”
He tries the denial method
“Wasn’t me mate”
(Pathetic)
“Bullshit do you think I’m blind?”
Next pleading
“C’mon man you gotta let me in”
(Shaking my head)
“I don’t gotta do anything, time for you to move on”
Right at this point
A patron walks through the door with a drink
I turn to her,

As soon as I am distracted
Bam, I cop a dog-shot straight in the mouth
Teeth meet lips, lips split
Spitting my own blood and vitriol
“YOU FUCK HEAD”
He turns to flee,
No time for that sunny,
I grab his collar and yank him back
As he stumbles backward I strike
Right cross straight at his head
Didn’t account for physics,
Inertia or gravity
His head has whiplashed back

My blow lands straight in his teeth
I strike again two shots in quick succession
He falls to the ground semi-conscious,
He lost eight teeth
I found one of them lodged in my hand
Split my knuckle in two
Had to pull it out with pliers.
I was gracious enough to give it back to him
Should have kept it
Massive infection nearly lost my hand
Punching Teeth sucks!
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:29 PM   #41
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so much door, doorman, at the front end. no door at the end, just teeth. pardon the pun, where is the punchline?

On the door,
Armour of a bouncer
Tight black Polo shirt
White label emblazoned on the chest
Biceps ringed in white
Pitch black slacks
I prefer a loser fit reason for this line? in context of the point, I know the other
Polished dress shoe

On the door
As a bouncer
Tight black Polo shirt
White label on the chest
Pitch black slacks
in polished dress shoes

ok what do you have, that appeals to me?

A zebra of a target

the armour of a penguin

again a pun, adding a bit of colour, eh?

what I'm getting from this as is
It's a bitch, being so macho
who is the audience? either make it funny or make it art

now to paraphrase; all critique is good, and it is great if you can use it
and we would all be less, unless we pay attention to what is around us

Cheekily pinching your arse good line

stop the butterflies
of anticipation cliche

Two people fightin off in the distance,
Stupid fools
A momentary urge to rush over and do battle
would rewrite to something like this
Two people fightin off in the distance,
fools, I fight the urge to join in

Now despite the never use the same word twice credo, the operative word is fight, this also begins to tie you in to the idiot, before the tooth and knuckle part

what details do you really need, this isn't a police report, nor a play by play, poetry and/or comedy, less said the better, and the less said part must say more, bit of a riddle, but it's not fucking easy
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:07 PM   #42
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Todski - I think the Tavvy tale actually loses something without the rhyme. And I normally do not like rhyme much.

I think you should write all of these stories down in whatever format that feels right to you, and then think about what to do with them (edit down, convert to prose - whatever). Keep your original versions. I can almost see these in a graphic novel - WITH the rhyme.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:27 PM   #43
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At the moment I have nearly 60 titles for this series. The looser fit line is unnecessary for this poem but is relevant in a previous story, I have in which I split my pants from crutch to arse in an altercation humorous stuff get to spend the whole night with an air hole, it should definately be culled here. Without the rhyme they seem to end up this flat blank story, so the rhyme forces me to be far more creative to make it work. I think the details are important in these stories as they add the full feeling of being there. maybe that is just my mind at the moment? some poems give me really stark images and others are just so much random text that I don't get it at all.

I guess my ambition and capabilities haven't aligned yet far to much ambition, not enough capability. I was hoping the repetition of door would give you a sense of how much dislike there was for that particular job. I like your take on the penguin suit 1201 most amusing, I am still thinkin in way too literal and chronological lines with everything I do in writing. which leaves me in this a predicament, flat blank story, or rhyming verses. I feel that writing at the moment is helping to build up my abilities.

I know 1201 suggests think, think, think but I am so new to this that without the effort of write, write, write to get feedback I don't know where I'm going. hopefully your guidance will help build me into a poet, instead of a barely adequate user of a keyboard.
How many bad poems did you fling out there before you actually found your way 1201? Desejo? Angeline? any one else that may enter this thread for a look around?

I love how open and frward you all are.

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Old 07-18-2013, 07:30 PM   #44
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How many bad poems did you fling out there before you actually found your way 1201? Desejo? Angeline? any one else that may enter this thread for a look around?

I love how open and forward you all are.
you have a good attitude towards being open to learning, open to growing as a writer. it'll be interesting watching you develop

as to this question, hundreds. and i still throw out bad ones - not as bad as they were, hopefully. none of us are the finished product - we're all learning, developing, moving along. when you stop moving, you stagnate.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:35 PM   #45
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My dear Todski (you are dear: you're one of us now and there's no getting away!), you can safely assume that for every poem I wrote that you read and think is decent, there are at least 50 pieces of crap. And not only that. I also have at least 50 rejection letters from aborted publishing attempts. Another poet here once told me that when I can paper my walls with rejection notices I can start calling myself a poet (or at least a bad poet I guess ).

You probably have better odds of winning the lottery than you do of being a "famous poet." You'll never make money writing poetry and chances are if you do get published it won't be in one of the better journals or magazines or even ezines. You might, but again you probably have a better chance of winning the lottery.

I know all that and I've known it for at least 20 years but I still keep plugging away, trying to improve and push myself in new directions. And I have published, a few rather decent credits and a lot more publications in lower-rung ezines. But nobody is beating down the door to spread the word on Angeline the great poet. I doubt anyone ever will.

So. You know what? I don't give a flying dog fuck (as we say in my very sophisticated hometown--not--in New Jersey). I write poems because I love doing it and I get satisfaction from figuring out this puzzle of how to communicate something meaningful in a way another person can feel and understand. I can't imagine why anyone would have any other reason for doing this. It sure isn't easy.

I think "write, write, write" is the way for you to go now. Read and see what appeals to you and when you write, try to imitate what you think is good. You do that over time and you improve, especially someone like you who has a natural gift for narrative. You're now in the process of discovering what works for you and out of that your poet's voice will come. The more you write, the better you'll be able to recognize what is good and what is just posturing.

I also agree with Desjo (what can I say: she makes a lot of sense) about the rhyming. You're good at that now and you need to work in a framework where you can succeed. As you grow in confidence, you'll naturally want to push yourself in new directions. I used to write a lot of poems about jazz because I love it and I'm good at it. But I don't write jazz poems too often anymore because I feel that I have nothing new to say about it. That may change, but my point is you will know when you're ready to take on something new.

Trust me. I am the queen of overthinking stuff. Thinking is good but writing practice is better. The thinking will come along anyway.



PS I have to add (cause if I don't 1201 might beat me up, but also it's true lol) that giving feedback on other people's poems is a great learning technique. There is actually research that shows people learn more from correcting others' mistakes. Just try to say why you did or did not like a poem. The more you do it, the easier it will get to identify those things and be articulate about them. And don't worry about saying the wrong thing or looking like you don't know whatever. We have all done that, plenty of times.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:29 PM   #46
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:31 PM   #47
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And in all things have fun
Ditto. That's the most important part.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:05 PM   #48
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Thanks Harry, that makes the most sense out of it all doesn't it? You have no fear of me trying to publish anything Angeline, I own my own business so this is all a personal endeavour into something that I have found to be pretty damn fun. Started out as a fleeting thing and has now morphed into an almost second job lol.

I have some amusing and fun tales to tell and this is a fun way to share it. most people haven't experienced what I have and so I think this can give every one an insight into it. plus it's a little bit of ego isn't it?

Learning is critical Butters, I like to push and challenge myself in different avenues, life isn't fun unless you have a passion and drive.

Last edited by todski28 : 07-19-2013 at 02:24 AM.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:54 AM   #49
twelveoone
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Originally Posted by todski28 View Post

I know 1201 suggests think, think, think but I am so new to this that without the effort of write, write, write to get feedback I don't know where I'm going. hopefully your guidance will help build me into a poet, instead of a barely adequate user of a keyboard.
How many bad poems did you fling out there before you actually found your way 1201? Desejo? Angeline? any one else that may enter this thread for a look around?

I love how open and frward you all are.
I am extreme in the other way, I rarely write poetry. I'm not as enthusiastic as some as far as reading poetry. I have read somewhat more than most about the actual process of the reading and writing of poetry. (And you will be surprised as to what other so called non-poetical or even non writing techniques transpose rather well into poetry)
As far as 'bad poems' readers determine that, for some I've yet to write a good one. I think I got 3 E's (means some editor liked them) the first year I was here (2 remain) and I was writing a lot more crap then.
Think, think, think, means how will the audience react, what is it's inner logic, how do the words and phrases resonate with another, what voice am I giving this, this is the inner structure. All of these things are incremental, you build upon what you learn.
Over the past three years, I can justify most every word I've wrote. I make mistakes, bad choices, and still a little amazed at how well they do. My work is very non-standard, sometimes the material is bizarre and maybe about a fifth of them are because some one said it was a bad idea to do it this way, I am testing the limits.
You don't write that way, if you wanted too, I would advise against it, what I say to you is merely something to think about. There are 10,000 tools but things start to fall into place when you know only three or four of them.

I'll give you an example, In my poem "A walk on the path" (which you should read, cause its funny, eh?) there is a repeated phrase "Fucking Pink, Fucking Pink" it's a paint color. it can either be said with a falling tone or a rising tone, that is the difference between recollection and reliving, all well and good, but I also need it there twice (Psychological impressment) because it is a vital part of a punchline. Some words, some phrases actually are there for three and even four reasons. You don't need it for most purposes, but every little bit helps.

Read the comments, also, any poem you read, read the comments, if Des or Ange say something that looks right, agree with them, but don't be afraid to disagree.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:39 AM   #50
todski28
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Originally Posted by Angeline View Post
PS I have to add (cause if I don't 1201 might beat me up, but also it's true lol) that giving feedback on other people's poems is a great learning technique. There is actually research that shows people learn more from correcting others' mistakes. Just try to say why you did or did not like a poem. The more you do it, the easier it will get to identify those things and be articulate about them. And don't worry about saying the wrong thing or looking like you don't know whatever. We have all done that, plenty of times.
There is no way that any one will mistake me knowing what I am doing
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