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Old 12-28-2014, 12:51 PM   #1
legerdemer
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The Courtesan - is it really a 1?

I'd like some feedback on my very recent "poem" submission. So far it garnered a "1" - does it suck as bad as that? Don't pull any punches, folks.





Old and young smile, and frequently say
Her age and experience hold reign and sway,
She lends her skin to sinning trespassers,
And her grace surely goes a long way.

She bows her ear and murmurs, sweet-voiced,
Assuaging all who will pay.
With little remorse, a simple recourse,
Her forgiveness inducement to pay.

For relief she'll grant you a drink and a touch,
Appeasement, indignity, wounded pride,
Where do they go, the sorrow bereft,
Once shed and forgotten behind?

Not a tear does she waste, nor a drop of liqueur
Falls near the glass, on the table aside.
She sucks it all in, swallows all with a moan,
When she coaxes the juices to fly.

The many who leave heavy hearts at her door
To sad, lonely nights fallen prey,
Trading guilt and some dollars, less than you'd think,
To float so much lighter away.




http://www.literotica.com/p/the-courtesan-1
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Old 12-28-2014, 02:37 PM   #2
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ignore the 1, and remember this time of year is generally pretty slow on feedback for most people.

personally, i'd give this a 4.

like the premise, easy enough to follow, but had issues with your rhythm. you set up a precedence in the first stanza that vacilates throughout the following but not in a way that benefits the write, imo. if you're going for the story aspect, the patterning you start off with (or the variations you use) works to make it more easily absorbed - but when you chop and change in a way that adds little, if anything, and those changes intrude on the read enough to distract, then it's not serving you or your write well.
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Last edited by butters : 12-28-2014 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 12-28-2014, 09:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butters View Post
ignore the 1, and remember this time of year is generally pretty slow on feedback for most people.

personally, i'd give this a 4.

like the premise, easy enough to follow, but had issues with your rhythm. you set up a precedence in the first stanza that vacilates throughout the following but not in a way that benefits the write, imo. if you're going for the story aspect, the patterning you start off with (or the variations you use) works to make it more easily absorbed - but when you chop and change in a way that adds little, if anything, and those changes intrude on the read enough to distract, then it's not serving you or your write well.
Thank you, Butters. Clearly still have much work to do on it to maintain the rhythm, as well as some of the wording. And I futzed with the order of the some of the stanzas quite a bit.
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Old 12-28-2014, 09:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Not a tear does she waste, nor a drop of liqueur
Falls near the glass, on the table aside.
She sucks it all in, swallows all with a moan,
When she coaxes the juices to fly.
She wastes not a tear, nor the drop of liqueur
Which falls near the glass, on the table to the side.
She sucks it all in, and swallows all with a moan,
She can't contain when the juices let fly.


I decided to tweak this verse since it's really evocative and pretty delectable imagery. I hope you don't mind.

The poem is, as butters said, easy enough to follow but you do great disservice by the slips in rhythm which could be corrected by keeping your tense steady and being sure the sentences inside the story maintain a constant structure. I'd have no problem giving this a 4 but if I knew that you'd been writing a while and had lots of feedback and still produced this piece, I'd certainly rate it a 3. It's not a poem that's deserving of a 1 score but to counter that, it's not a 5 either.

Thanks for posting your work and allowing my critical view a chance to try to be constructive. Keep writing and certainly, keep reading.
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Old 12-28-2014, 09:55 PM   #5
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I appreciate the constructive feedback you've offered this novice.
The bar is high, and I hope to meet the challenge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by champagne1982 View Post
She wastes not a tear, nor the drop of liqueur
Which falls near the glass, on the table to the side.
She sucks it all in, and swallows all with a moan,
She can't contain when the juices let fly.


I decided to tweak this verse since it's really evocative and pretty delectable imagery. I hope you don't mind.

The poem is, as butters said, easy enough to follow but you do great disservice by the slips in rhythm which could be corrected by keeping your tense steady and being sure the sentences inside the story maintain a constant structure. I'd have no problem giving this a 4 but if I knew that you'd been writing a while and had lots of feedback and still produced this piece, I'd certainly rate it a 3. It's not a poem that's deserving of a 1 score but to counter that, it's not a 5 either.

Thanks for posting your work and allowing my critical view a chance to try to be constructive. Keep writing and certainly, keep reading.
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Old 12-29-2014, 12:15 AM   #6
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I too would give it more than a 1 but either you're going to rhyme or not. If you go to the pinned post The Thread of Forms you'll find several forms you could practice with.
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legerdemer View Post
I'd like some feedback on my very recent "poem" submission. So far it garnered a "1" - does it suck as bad as that? Don't pull any punches, folks.

http://www.literotica.com/p/the-courtesan-1
DISCLAIMER _ This is the first time I read your work--all three positions from your archive. I've never rated your work, am not going to do it now, and will never do in the future.

So, let's relax. I am critical of your poems (the meter is the least of your problems, as important as it is). I can provide both general and specific (local) comments. I want to double check--if you're still willing, then let me know. In either case, enjoy your holidays and the entire 2015.

Last edited by Senna Jawa : 12-29-2014 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 12-29-2014, 10:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senna Jawa View Post
DISCLAIMER _ This is the first time I read your work--all three positions from your archive. I've never rated your work, am not going to do it now, and will never do in the future.

So, let's relax. I am critical of your poems (the meter is the least of your problems, as important as it is). I can provide both general and specific (local) comments. I want to double check--if you're still willing, then let me know. In either case, enjoy your holidays and the entire 2015.
Of course, shoot!
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Old 12-29-2014, 11:35 AM   #9
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An edited version

Old and young smile, and frequently say
Her age and experience hold reign and sway,
She lends her skin to those passing by,
And her grace surely goes a long way.

Bowing her head, she murmurs, sweet-voiced,
Soothing the need of all who will pay.
With little remorse, offers simple recourse,
Her forgiveness inducement to stay.

For relief she grants men a drink and a touch.
Appeasement, indignity, wounded pride,
The sorrows divested, where do they go
Once shed and pushed to the side?

She wastes not a tear, nor the drop of liqueur
That falls near the glass, on the table, aside.
She sucks it all in, swallows all with a moan
That escapes when the juices let fly.

The many who leave heavy hearts at her door,
To sad, lonely nights fallen prey,
Trade guilt and some dollars, less than you’d think,
And float so much lighter away.

With thanks to champagne1982, I adopted some of her suggestions.
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Old 12-29-2014, 11:08 PM   #10
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You're still rhyming some stanzas and some not
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They say a smile is a gift which is free to the giver and precious to the recipient.
But giving the finger is free, too, and I find it more personal and sincere.
If at first you don't succeed....skydiving is not for you ....
If you don't pay your exorcist .... do you get repossessed?
I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.
....But I, being poor, have only my dreams, I have spread my dreams under your feet,Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.......
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderYourSpell View Post
You're still rhyming some stanzas and some not
The sounds do rhyme, though the words on paper may not. At least when I say them.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legerdemer View Post
The sounds do rhyme, though the words on paper may not. At least when I say them.
Some people call it a "near rhyme", or "lazy rhyme" and some peoples say aside and fly don't rhyme.

Form poetry involves the rules of the form and you can't bitch when someone knocks off points for breaking form. None of this really matters, except when your work will be graded. If you're in an English class, follow the rules, and you get a good grade. If you enter a contest, follow the rules and you might win.

A Lit vote is not a grade and anyone who treats it as such will eventually have to drop out, if for no other reason than the disappointment.
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:56 PM   #13
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Voting system on Literotica blows. It's a popular vote and holds no bearing on actual quality. Un-toggle voting and allow Public Comments when submitting work.

Disconnect; you'll enjoy writing and your poetry will be better for it.
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Old 12-31-2014, 02:00 PM   #14
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I would never have given your original poem a one. You obviously know your way around words. I agree with Neo that it's not good to focus on the voting system here. Explore writing here on the forum. You will find lots of support.
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Old 12-31-2014, 02:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
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...on the forum. You will find lots of support.
And guys, don't forget about asking your aunts.
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Old 12-31-2014, 02:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
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And guys, don't forget about asking your aunts.
Did you see the link I put in I am Music? It's wonderful stuff.
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Old 12-31-2014, 03:03 PM   #17
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Did you see the link I put in I am Music? It's wonderful stuff.
I am listening to it right now. Beautiful !
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Old 01-04-2015, 01:34 AM   #18
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Hi legerdemer, sorry for my musical distraction. (It happens to me very rarely, sorry again).

You call yourself a novice but I don't think that you are. The main issue is what you and so many others accept as poetry. You are in a very eminent company. Just let's look at a recent example of Tzara's thread In memoriam, 2014 (I had immediately an uneasy feeling about it, a premonition). And indeed, the very first poem posted was St. Francis and the Sow written by Galway Kinnell. Greenmountaineer liked this Kinnell's poem, but to me this poem is pathetic graphomania (where the accent is not on the etymological mania but on the very poor writing). BTW, I like greenmountaineer's poetry!

For a contrast with Kennyll's text, you may check the Moonglasses thread. If you still like St. Francis and the Sow poem then perhaps there still be a possibility to discuss things but we will never reach any conclusion.

Thus if you like me to go on in your thread (without any further musical distractions) then we may compare Moonglasses with the Kinnell's poem to provide a frame.

Regards,
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:50 PM   #19
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I think it's okay to diverge from a strict pattern of rhyming, at least temporarily. Some great poems have a a simple ABBA ABBA format and then in the middle they'll be some a stanza where it breaks. That's okay, if it's only a stanza and it's isolated.

I had a harder time with the rhythm of the poem. There were some parts where it stuttered and broke. Otherwise, I thought it was good. Definitely better than a 1, although I'm new here so I don't know the rating system yet.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:37 PM   #20
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[quote=Senna Jawa;63940003]Hi legerdemer, sorry for my musical distraction. (It happens to me very rarely, sorry again).

No apologies necessary. And anyway, musical distractions are always a great cause.

You call yourself a novice but I don't think that you are.

I am not being coy. Not sure how you would define a novice, but at the time I posted the poem in the OP, I'd written fewer than a dozen in my entire life (I'm well into middle age now). Most of them were for my eyes only, and some dated from my teenage years. I've read poetry over the years but have never taken a poetry class, nor a history of literature course. My humanities are largely self-taught, but I've discovered I find it a nice way to try to express myself, and would like to get better at it. When it's done right (not yet by me), I like its spareness, its immediacy and punch, and its lyricism.


The main issue is what you and so many others accept as poetry. You are in a very eminent company. Just let's look at a recent example of Tzara's thread In memoriam, 2014 (I had immediately an uneasy feeling about it, a premonition). And indeed, the very first poem posted was St. Francis and the Sow written by Galway Kinnell. Greenmountaineer liked this Kinnell's poem, but to me this poem is pathetic graphomania (where the accent is not on the etymological mania but on the very poor writing). BTW, I like greenmountaineer's poetry!

I did not care for Kinnell's poem either, or at least not all of it, though I also have read some of greenmountaineer's poetry and liked it a lot. Thank you for pointing me towards the Moonglasses thread - it has several outstanding poems that I really enjoyed. Other threads have some great poems as well.

I need to develop my ear, and practice. I find that, as much as I read, the examples of others take me only so far. Ultimately, I have to try my hand at it and practice failing until I succeed (hopefully). Any help along the way from the accidental audience here is much appreciated.

I find it much easier to critique stories than poems, so I haven't done much commenting on others' poetry. It's easy to say what I like and what I don't, but much harder to say why I like what I like. Or even the opposite.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:41 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L2Read View Post
I think it's okay to diverge from a strict pattern of rhyming, at least temporarily. Some great poems have a a simple ABBA ABBA format and then in the middle they'll be some a stanza where it breaks. That's okay, if it's only a stanza and it's isolated.


I am curious - do you tend to like poems that abide by a form more than those that are freeform?Of course form adds a huge level of difficulty, but does it also always add quality? Just curious to know, since you posted here.

I had a harder time with the rhythm of the poem. There were some parts where it stuttered and broke.
Thank you muchly for your clear feedback.
Something concrete for me to work on (it was mentioned by at least one or two others as well).
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:41 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legerdemer View Post
Thank you muchly for your clear feedback.
Something concrete for me to work on (it was mentioned by at least one or two others as well).
I'm one of a few people here that don't understand why form poetry is difficult. I've done a few Teach ins that you might like to check out (nothing like banging your own drum lol ) But not that many people these days (well at least on here) are that interested in learning. Join us in the thread 'Would you?' I promise to set you off easy!
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Blessed are the cracked for it is they that let in the light
They say a smile is a gift which is free to the giver and precious to the recipient.
But giving the finger is free, too, and I find it more personal and sincere.
If at first you don't succeed....skydiving is not for you ....
If you don't pay your exorcist .... do you get repossessed?
I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.
....But I, being poor, have only my dreams, I have spread my dreams under your feet,Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.......
Nil Caborundum illigitimi
Sestina slut
Annie submits
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Old 01-05-2015, 04:26 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legerdemer View Post
I need to develop my ear, ...
... and taste.

Quote:
I have to try my hand
Chess masters tell patzers: a wrong plan is better than none. You need a compass to guide you. The needle of that compass is what poetry is.

Legerdemer, your poem is (to me) trivial, carries no poetry, and the 4th stanza, seemingly sexual, is--in the given scene--simply disgusting for no good reason, it doesn't buy anything artistically or in any other sense. One may have poems about different people, about prostitutes and whoever, but let there be a person, not just a banal cliche.

*****************

Let's read the start of the poems: K (St. Francis and the Sow, L1 (The Courtesan), L2 (Denying) and L3 (Too young then...).

K:

The bud
stands for all things,
The first line (when it is the first line) sounds like a beginning of a wikipedia article . The second line is truly pathetic. Word stands has no biological or any poetic sound or meaning. This word is an awful anthropomorphizm, or even worse, it is some kind of logization. And horrible language. You can't be more poetically impotent when you use word things, and it is still unbelievably worse when you say all things.

L1:

Old and young smile, and frequently say
Her age and experience hold reign and sway,
L, you're talking about some general, non-descriptive old & young. Your word frequently has no poetic value, is wasted, is boring. Description reign and sway is another generality. Nothing is learned from these two lines. One word courtesan covers much more than your two lines, and they leave the reader with something in a sense magical. Then you come with your 2-line banality and you kill the whole effect.

L2:
One day a door closed,
And another opened.
L, do you really believe that this is an eye-opener, a smooth and interesting phrase, that one door is opened, and another is closed (or one day it is open, and another--closed)? C'mon! And how poetic is this? Oh, no, the door is open or closed!

DIGRESSION (general): in this poem the 2 meanings of the above phrase are just a small drawback, no big deal. But in another poem this could be an interesting poetic motive! One could build around it. This shows how difficult it is to have an intelligent conversation about poetry when people don't have good will. They would find moments which are not relevant in the context of the given discussion and will divert arguments endlessly and thoughtlessly.

L3:
We were too young then, twenties still...
Caught in a web of our own making,
Word too is an imposition by the author, that's not the way the (good) poetry communicates with the reader. You use general and bureaucratic descriptions of the characters: young then, twenties still. That's how they talk in a tax office. These lines are poetically wasted. Instead, one could indicate the age. Possibly there are thousands of ways to pass this info to the reader; and it should never be just any arbitrary way, just to satisfy your Literotica critic. The info should be integrated with the whole poem, and should contribute to the poetry.

the second line (Caught...) is just a cliche. No specific anything to the line, once more.

These words (pronouns etc.):

We were ... then, ... still...
...our own...
are nothing, do not contribute to poetry. And the word making is another one which avoids poetry (this one is really bad ).

**************

You'd assume that the rest of the beginning of each poem will get better. It got worse!

Best regards,

Last edited by Senna Jawa : 01-06-2015 at 04:16 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-05-2015, 04:42 AM   #24
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About the discussion in general

It is important for the sake of a sensible discussion not to jump from a local pond of a specific poem straight into the all possible lakes and oceans. One common exception to about every idea in poetry is the usage of a character's voice, including the voice of the of the lyrical subject (who talks as "I" without being quoted). Sure, a character can say all things or similar without any penalty for the author.

One needs to distinguish carefully between the author's voice and the lyrical subject's voice. Also, most of the time the character's voice should be only indicated, should not be overdone (remember about restrain and good taste--I am talking here about the author's restrain, not about the character). Certainly, the character's voice should not be abused.

Last edited by Senna Jawa : 01-05-2015 at 07:33 PM. Reason: object or subject? :)
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:42 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angeline View Post
I would never have given your original poem a one. You obviously know your way around words. I agree with Neo that it's not good to focus on the voting system here. Explore writing here on the forum. You will find lots of support.
I agree with Ang. Posting here and now in the PFD? You've already received the best feedback you could want on Lit.
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