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Poetry critique
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I'm trying to figure out how to put Aaron's poem here so that I can give a couple of minor suggestions but so far all I have is a blue link saying "post" that doesn't seem to work (nothing happens when I click on it, though maybe when I post it will put Aaron's poem in this post. I can't tell so I'm going to have to cut and paste Aaron's poem here in order to work with it. I sure hope I'm not breaking any THINQon rules by doing a cut-and-paste. I'm just not quite sure how else to proceed.

So here's Aaron's poem.  My comments about the poem will be in italics, right in among the lines of the poem itself. Again a caveat: I am only a person who likes poetry. I am not a poetry teacher or an expert in any professional capacity. However, as Aaron has expressed his willingness to hear my opinions, I offer them. There's not a lot about this poem for me to say, but I thought that I might be able to help to tighten it up a bit.

Dreaming heavy dreams of Atropos, flashing silver reminders
             This first line seems overly long. It's much longer than the other lines of the poem. I'd break it
             into two lines--probably by dropping the word "of" and then putting "Atropos" at the beginning of
              a second line. That puts the name in a powerful position, as the first word of a line.
of the curse her fair form holds;
To choose the thread that at that time must end.
                I'd cut out the words "at that time."
Still she sighs for at the end of all
standing with an empty hand,
and empty heart; without a friend.
                   These three lines were what originally caught my mind and made me want to give this poem a
                   critique. Grammatically, these lines don't quite work. You have the verb "sighs" in the first
                   clause but then, starting with "standing" (a gerund, not a verb) you begin a second clause but
                    there is no verb. When I read this it made me stumble some and lose the magic of the poetry.
                    Somehow these lines need to be rewritten. You could add in a verb, something like "she is
                    without a friend" but that would mess with the rhythm. You could cut "and empty heart" (which
                    is somewhat redundant anyway) and then replace those words with a phrase containing a verb
                    ("she is..."  or hopefully something better). Anyway, something needs to be done with these
                    three lines.

At her feet the tapestry lies
tatters and rags woven with lives
so with her ancient duty done
The Aeons passed by in blur
her heavy dreams are softer now
she wakes gently to the sun.
               I find the rhyme somewhat distracting. I think that's because it's irregular. You rhyme the two
               first lines here but then change to an a-b-c-a pattern. In your first stanza you also have an
               a-b-c-a pattern for your last four lines, though there the word "hand" is close enough to "end"                
               and "friend" to be a distraction. Here, in this stanza, "blur" and "now" are not at all close to
               "done" and "sun" but the pattern overall (a-b-c-a) is one that is slightly awkward, at least for me.
               And unlike the first stanza, in this group of lines you start off with a rhyming couplet. I may be                                unusual in my reaction but I find myself more distracted than charmed by the rhymes. Again, I
               stress, that may be simply me. Others may appreciate the rhyme more and not be bothered by
               its pattern or change in pattern from one stanza to the next.
               Not thinking of rhymes, I can say that I liked this stanza. The image of the tapestry in tatters
               was really good. I like the Aeons being personified with the capitalization. I liked the "heavy"
               changing to "softer" and then "gently." The whole image of Atropos  as a young woman,
               somewhat reluctant to do her job, is wonderful. Is this idea your own or did you see Atropos                                   portrayed this way somewhere else? I'm curious.

               
Again, thank you, Aaron, for your openness to a critique. I hope it's been helpful and not merely irritating.
Postscript (March 21, 2010 at 10:28 AM):
I had a lot of trouble with the formatting of this post. Indenting my comments in the midst of the poem was difficult on this platform. Next time (if there is a "next time") I'll try some other way but hopefully, the somewhat irregular indentation that I ended up with here won't be too distracting.
Hmm, this gives me quite a bit to think about. The blur line definitely needs to be reworked, and the restructuring suggestions feel like they clean it up very nicely.Still she sighs for at the end of all
standing with an empty hand,
and empty heart; without a friend.

I've never heard of a gerund before, the grammatical notes are very much appreciated. Looking at those three lines again they have a good lyrical beat and they do add some meaning. I'll need to rewrite it to convey the same feeling with a greater consistency and focus though.



I like personifying the, commonly perceived to be, negative traits in such a way that you feel empathy for them. When Atropos was mentioned I looked up who she way and saw this description:

Atropos was the oldest of the Three Fates, and was known as the "inflexible" or "inevitable". It was Atropos who chose the mechanism of death and ended the life of each mortal by cutting their thread with her "abhorred shears". 
No one does anything out of evil, people aren't inspired through maliciousness. The most awful acts in human history were dreams of a perfect world and though we must remember the consequences we have to look at them and truly appreciate them from every side. Why would Atropos choose to cut each thread? What knowledge might a god hold that makes her dreams of a perfect world reality through the ending of every mortal life? Everyone deserves a happy ending.

It wasn't hard at all to follow and I really appreciate the amount of effort you put in.
(I agree that it's a bit challenging get the format to show as you want, hopefully it wasn't too frustrating)
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Poetry games - Poetry games

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