Old 05-08-2011, 11:55 AM   #1
twelveoone
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The Focal Point

A gift for the poets - why I love literotica, you see things you don't often see elsewhere, these are a few of them. So allow me to revisit some I found noteworthy and say a few good things. Merely my opinion.

There are many ways to read poetry, We could start at the beginning as a linear fashion, or we could a little more psychological and look for the center, the point of the poem. Linear is best if it is a straight story and for the establishment of a rhythm, that will be followed to a certain extent. The first two lines are important. The first two lines also are the leadins for the reader.
A more psychological approach as reading and as a compositional strategy, I've always found to be more useful, as other structures come into play besides the two common ones of rhythm, grammar and form.

Some very easy things to look for: Half of writing is unconscious, a good writer is also instinctive.

Anything repeated is important.

Anything anomalous. Unexpected turns, unusual wording, rhythm, things that may at first just seem wrong. Often this is the focal point or key.

What is the "I" up too? The "I" is the biggest insidious creep a writer has to guard against, how is it handled? Some I plan to cover, have no "I".

The ending is more important than the beginning. This is where the reader arrives at, this should be where the writer wants to take you. You don't want the reader getting there before the writer does.

Poets play tricks, some things are counter-intuitive, and rarely is anything of interest straight up and straight though.

*********************************************************************
She Wants to be Amy Winehouse.

byvrosej10

vrose10, good sonics, good image, not a complex poem.


Here is the focal point:
With all these wiles, all the while; she is aware.

The line is total abstraction, or is it? Wonderful alliteration, but the line also contains a latent visual. Say it.Too bad, she couldn't figure out how to stick the long O sound in here.

This poem I thought about for days, cracking up, and amazed.


*********************************************************************
Evenings Out

byfridayam

I even out my life in evenings
out in the garden, making the most
of Summer, watching the
colour drain from things into
pools of black which
trickle slowly together to
drown the world in darkness,
like rock-pools on a beach into which
we stare at crabs and
starfish while the sea
cuts us off, and Autumn
swallows Summer.

First, fridayam starts out with a strong "!', most of his have a conversational tone, then balances with:
we stare, the sea cuts us off, A 2 to 1 ratio of inclusion. I had trouble reading this, until I noticed this:
The focal point, the key:
watching the
colour drain from things
having UU, slight pause, "the"normally would be considered bad enjambment but Eliot uses the same trick starting the Wasteland.This throws a heavy weight on colour, that he again takes away with "from things", one of those words some warn against using, this is counter-intuitive. Out, out, out, into the black pools, drowning in darkness.

This is no poem for poseurs.

*********************************************************************
Next up, two poems, by Kaishaku and Angeline, which are two of the more amazing things I've seen recently. Disquieting and also not poems for the faint
of mind.
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:10 PM   #2
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What strange machinery lies between her ears
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'tender hearted...
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:33 PM   #3
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:10 PM   #4
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:49 AM   #5
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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.......
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fridayam View Post
...blushes furiously.....
As long as you are satisfied with the reading...

now onto darker things


Quote:
Originally Posted by bulltlr View Post
*patiently waiting in the front row for teacher to continue*
I am not, you learn from better writers.

Last edited by twelveoone : 05-12-2011 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:57 AM   #7
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Both Kaishaku and Angeline have done away with the "I" in their poems, they have also done away with any of the easy hooks that some casual readers expect. They ask you to be the "I", the observer- participant, they also expect you to work. Both recreate mind places some of you otherwise might never experience. .
*********************************************************************.
Groyne


by Kaishaku
Noun 1. - a protective structure of stone or concrete; extends from shore into the water to prevent a beach from washing away

My reading of this seems to be at odds with most of the others, I did not find this "smooth"; the wording opens an ambiguous scanning for me. Pay attention to the diction, the roughed parts. Some of it seems to be deliberately choppy.

The groyne spoke
of a grey descent
into silent lapping –
ripples on possible glass.

into may not be stressed, what about of in line two? The in line one, probably not, but the same stress level in the last? How do you read a line like:

stood firm attention


I'll assume it is free verse.

The groyne spoke
of a grey descent
into silent lapping –
ripples on possible glass.
Long before the whisper
the breeze eased
into motion, a cadence
of waves began the sound.
The uniform posts
stood firm attention
listened for orders
the groyne spoke



First Kaishaku, encases the poem with "the groyne spoke". These are the prime lines, the first and the last. This has to be the focal point, everything is keyed to it. So what is it saying, speaking "of a grey descent" ? The thing that comes to my mind is something is heading south. L4 with iis sibilance "ripples on possible glass" fairly hisses at you. uniform posts is ambiguous, as we aren't quite sure as to the specific meaning, but they "stood firm attention".(notice no "at") Where are the stresses in that line? They "listened for orders" as if something either has, will, or may happened? We don't know. It ends on a note of irresolution "the groyne spoke" Like Frost's "miles to go before I sleep." Which if you want that effect, probably best to end with a verb.This poem, I believe is one of the best I've seen here, exceeding most of the recent things I've read from the MFA mills.

Anyone that has ever had a job that requires constant monitoring, and prays nothing will start to fall out of line, so you don't have to swing into action knows this feeling in this poem. Consider the recent tragedy in Japan.

Thank you, Kaishaku
*********************************************************************
This amazes me that someone would not score it a five and the readership here is not sufficient to generate an "H".
*********************************************************************
Still Life

byAngeline

is yet more difficult

Last edited by twelveoone : 05-12-2011 at 04:59 AM.
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:17 AM   #8
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I wandered lonely as a cloud,
then there were these flowers everywhere.
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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.
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bronzeage View Post
I wandered lonely as a cloud,
then there were these flowers everywhere.
Phrase it as a question.

Do you object to this, Bronze? Disagree?
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:35 AM   #10
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The groyne spoke
of a grey descent
into silent lapping
ripples on possible glass.
Long before the whisper
the breeze eased
into motion, a cadence
of waves began the sound.
The uniform posts
stood firm attention
listened for orders
the groyne spoke

I seriously would be interested in how someone else would scan this. And the why of some of the stress points.
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twelveoone View Post
Phrase it as a question.

Do you object to this, Bronze? Disagree?
It is too large a field to make a general disagreement.

My particular form of critique is examine the imagery and its meaning. The words have meaning in the mind of the reader and this forms the meaning of the poem. We cannot be certain of what the reader will see, but we must be certain of what we intend.

If the words have pleasant sounds, it's a bonus and sometimes this makes the difference.
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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.http://bronzeageworks.blogspot.com/
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bronzeage View Post
It is too large a field to make a general disagreement.

My particular form of critique is examine the imagery and its meaning. The words have meaning in the mind of the reader and this forms the meaning of the poem. We cannot be certain of what the reader will see, but we must be certain of what we intend.

If the words have pleasant sounds, it's a bonus and sometimes this makes the difference.
What's your take on "Groyne", my guess you are one of the few here that may be fully able to relate.
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twelveoone View Post
What's your take on "Groyne", my guess you are one of the few here that may be fully able to relate.
Quote:
The groyne spoke
of a grey descent
into silent lapping
ripples on possible glass.
Long before the whisper
the breeze eased
into motion, a cadence
of waves began the sound.
The uniform posts
stood firm attention
listened for orders
the groyne spoke
Amazing imagery. A groyne is a barrier constructed perpendicular to a shoreline. Its purpose is to catch sand and help create or preserve beaches. Some groynes are a row of posts, each set deep in the sand and the line extends until the posts disappear under the water. The tide comes in and the groyne seems to move into the water.

In this piece, the groyne is a platoon of infantry, ready to march into the sea, upon the orders of their commander. I do not like the "possible glass" image. It is too much of a cheating simile, where the metaphor is stronger.
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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.http://bronzeageworks.blogspot.com/
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:52 PM   #14
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Interesting, what did it say? Why does he have one of them speaking? The words do not conjure up pleasantness for me. A certain tenseness, yes.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twelveoone View Post
Interesting, what did it say? Why does he have one of them speaking? The words do not conjure up pleasantness for me. A certain tenseness, yes.
Once the metaphor of infantry is accepted, there are many levels of meaning. The voice if the groyne is a communal voice. It is not particular person. A row of soldiers await orders. There will be talk in the ranks of what is about to happen. In this battle, there is no charge. The soldiers stand in place and the fight comes to them. This is something which happens everyday, so we are watching a troop of veterans, perhaps jaded and resigned to another day's battle. In all their time, they won nothing and face the same fight again.

The last line breaks the feeling of communal voice, just for the sake of ending with the starting line. This is a case of sacrificing imagery for poetic sound.
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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.http://bronzeageworks.blogspot.com/
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bronzeage View Post
I wandered lonely as a cloud,
then there were these flowers everywhere.
Why is the cloud lonely? Daffodils come out in early spring when there are a multitude of clouds in the sky. I don't think this is a very good example of loneliness taking into account the time of year, am I the only one to question the rights and wrongs here?
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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.......
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderYourSpell View Post
Why is the cloud lonely? Daffodils come out in early spring when there are a multitude of clouds in the sky. I don't think this is a very good example of loneliness taking into account the time of year, am I the only one to question the rights and wrongs here?
Good point.

Of course, the allegory of the poem speaks to man's struggle to maintain his identity and feeling of self worth in an increasingly dehumanized industrial culture. *


*Generic one size fits all commentary, which can apply to every artistic creation since 1914.
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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.http://bronzeageworks.blogspot.com/
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bronzeage View Post
Good point.

Of course, the allegory of the poem speaks to man's struggle to maintain his identity and feeling of self worth in an increasingly dehumanized industrial culture. *


*Generic one size fits all commentary, which can apply to every artistic creation since 1914.
I suppose the poem wouldn't be so romantic if he was as lonely as a mole
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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
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Annie submits
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by UnderYourSpell View Post
I suppose the poem wouldn't be so romantic if he was as lonely as a mole
Romance is where one finds it.

I burrowed lonely as a mole
under meadow and through hollow dale.
The effort soon took its toll,
digging a way to my moley female.
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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.http://bronzeageworks.blogspot.com/
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twelveoone View Post
A gift for the poets - why I love literotica, you see things you don't often see elsewhere, these are a few of them. So allow me to revisit some I found noteworthy and say a few good things. Merely my opinion.

There are many ways to read poetry, We could start at the beginning as a linear fashion, or we could a little more psychological and look for the center, the point of the poem. Linear is best if it is a straight story and for the establishment of a rhythm, that will be followed to a certain extent. The first two lines are important. The first two lines also are the leadins for the reader.
A more psychological approach as reading and as a compositional strategy, I've always found to be more useful, as other structures come into play besides the two common ones of rhythm, grammar and form.

Some very easy things to look for: Half of writing is unconscious, a good writer is also instinctive.

Anything repeated is important.

Anything anomalous. Unexpected turns, unusual wording, rhythm, things that may at first just seem wrong. Often this is the focal point or key.

What is the "I" up too? The "I" is the biggest insidious creep a writer has to guard against, how is it handled? Some I plan to cover, have no "I".

The ending is more important than the beginning. This is where the reader arrives at, this should be where the writer wants to take you. You don't want the reader getting there before the writer does.

Poets play tricks, some things are counter-intuitive, and rarely is anything of interest straight up and straight though.

*********************************************************************
She Wants to be Amy Winehouse.

byvrosej10

vrose10, good sonics, good image, not a complex poem.


Here is the focal point:
With all these wiles, all the while; she is aware.

The line is total abstraction, or is it? Wonderful alliteration, but the line also contains a latent visual. Say it.Too bad, she couldn't figure out how to stick the long O sound in here.

This poem I thought about for days, cracking up, and amazed.


*********************************************************************
Evenings Out

byfridayam

I even out my life in evenings
out in the garden, making the most
of Summer, watching the
colour drain from things into
pools of black which
trickle slowly together to
drown the world in darkness,
like rock-pools on a beach into which
we stare at crabs and
starfish while the sea
cuts us off, and Autumn
swallows Summer.

First, fridayam starts out with a strong "!', most of his have a conversational tone, then balances with:
we stare, the sea cuts us off, A 2 to 1 ratio of inclusion. I had trouble reading this, until I noticed this:
The focal point, the key:
watching the
colour drain from things
having UU, slight pause, "the"normally would be considered bad enjambment but Eliot uses the same trick starting the Wasteland.This throws a heavy weight on colour, that he again takes away with "from things", one of those words some warn against using, this is counter-intuitive. Out, out, out, into the black pools, drowning in darkness.

This is no poem for poseurs.

*********************************************************************
Next up, two poems, by Kaishaku and Angeline, which are two of the more amazing things I've seen recently. Disquieting and also not poems for the faint
of mind.
Very interesting and helpful thoughts, twelvie. I've always thought when I read a poem that one way (maybe the main way) I can tell it's a good poem is that it has a "heart," one place, usually one line you can identify that is central to what the poet is trying to say.

And yes, repetitions are important imo, if only to add a sonic, echoey quality as are the counter-intuitive things. It's always more interesting to me to break a line and then have the next line go somewhere unexpected. It gives a reader more options for how to interpret what they read (and if you do it right it doesn't sound at all jarring, just new and different).

Hope you're faring well. Me, I still got a pinched nerve in my neck. It is seriously screwing with my keyboard/writing time. And my doctor tells me I am very not ergonomic. Oh well...

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Old 05-12-2011, 07:29 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bronzeage View Post
Romance is where one finds it.

I burrowed lonely as a mole
under meadow and through hollow dale.
The effort soon took its toll,
digging a way to my moley female.
oh dear ........... don't give up the day job
__________________

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 05-12-2011, 10:22 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by UnderYourSpell View Post
oh dear ........... don't give up the day job
This is my day job.
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Lesbian Schoolgirl Enema Bondage, Something for everyone.
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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.http://bronzeageworks.blogspot.com/
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:01 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twelveoone View Post
The groyne spoke
of a grey descent
into silent lapping –
ripples on possible glass.
Long before the whisper
the breeze eased
into motion, a cadence
of waves began the sound.
The uniform posts
stood firm attention
listened for orders
the groyne spoke

I seriously would be interested in how someone else would scan this. And the why of some of the stress points.
ok, this is how it reads to me.

it's all about the sounds that create the backdrop of music for the imagery to stand against.

e OY OH
o a A e eNT
i oo I ent aPP inn...


that sort of thing. there are waves of movement, ups and downs in the scale. to my mind this is probably done instinctively by the author as they visualise the movements of water and (as i read this as a dual-poem) the lapping/waves/motion of tongue/hips. I think this is an incredibly erotic poem. perhaps that's just me... i see the 'groyne' and 'the groin'; the 'grey descent' both as the physical image of the groyne/sea and as the grey-haired head of the lover moving down the body to the partners 'groin'.

those two lines:

a silent lapping
ripples on possible glass

are some of the most sensual i have read in a long long time, conjuring (for me) as they do the the overlaying of imagery - the groyne/sea and the oral pleasuring. above all that line 'ripples on possible glass' speaks to me of the sensations, the emotional and physical responses felt by the receiver of the 'lapping'.

take that sensual imagery, set it against a backdrop of grey sea, the scent of the sea, its primal nature, and the rest falls easily into place: the breeze eased... a cadence of waves... the waves being the sensations building in her body leading to orgasm and the release of the 'sound'... the firm attention of the 'uniform posts' is as good a phallic reference as can be found, 'waiting for orders' = waiting till she's reaching climax, and when 'the groyne spoke' is the 'yes i'm cumming, now now now' being the order for firm posts to dive into her sea.


if i have completely misread this poem, then perhaps i should offer an apology to its author, but i enjoyed it so much this way that i want to believe it was intentionally written for us to read it so.
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:29 PM   #24
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:16 PM   #25
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does it pay well and if so do you have any vacancies?
It pays so well, I could happily give you half my pay and never notice the difference.
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