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Literature. by Concrete-Love

Lit by 6Sanuye9


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September 27, 2011
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Running back and forth across the wind,
racing the very tides of change
as though you could turn back these last hours or even escape them,
but the grey light that filters through your billowing hair
is already getting sunny,
and the minnows in the pond below
are waiting for me to gift your body to them,
so even as your long-pitched cry of terror launches,
I throw out my hands to guide your fall,
and I hear now the cry of pain, and how suddenly it ends.
Oh my darling, do you not know
the beauties of a sunless throne?

September 27, 2011 Tuesday
age 18
when you scream.
~~~
For ~beyondborders's contest. [link] I'm probably going to draw or paint soemthing for this in the next year or so, the theme inspired me so much! (Kyrie, if you ever see this...ignore it and move on.)

Critiques:
Is my language clear? What do you see happening? Is the situation clear? Would it still be clear if the description "You're so cute when you scream" wasn't there, or would it be too ambiguous? What do you think is the "sunless throne?"Is there anything that can be fixed, rearranged, cut, etc? What would you rate this on a scale of 1-10?

Do not worry about being "too harsh," I love all critiques.
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:icontheglassiris:
TheGlassIris Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
:iconscribblers-anonymous: Thank you for submitting this to be critiqued. I'll be critiquing your work on behalf of the group.

There is a certain detachment in this piece that lends depth to the ideas behind it. It's a bit difficult though, to fully picture what is being meant by the language used. I'd say that while your diction is good, there are a few patches where a change in conjunction might make it smoother. I don't see how that would help with improving the image received by the readers though, as I honestly have no clue as to what you're trying to portray.

The ambiguity of this piece is becoming quite a driving point for it. If you believe it that it is an asset to the piece, then judging from the positive reactions from the commenters below I would say keep it. Still, I think there are several techniques you could try to better control reader perspective and to guide it in a more focused manner. The first would be to cut that enormous first sentence you have, comprised of lines 1-10, and split them up into more coherent pieces. This would be a technique focusing more on the structure and arrangement of your piece. Right now, reading it through a couple of times the words kind of run together with no coherency since they're so segmented and comma-fied. This gives you a long run-on sentence that's no fun to read because it makes the sentence sound like stream-of-conscious, with commas.

Allow me to elaborate:

This is what your piece looks like written in prose: "Running back and forth across the wind, racing the very tides of change as though you could turn back these last hours or even escape them, but the grey light that filters through your billowing hair is already getting sunny, and the minnows in the pond below are waiting for me to gift your body to them, so even as your long-pitched cry of terror launches, I throw out my hands to guide your fall, and I hear now the cry of pain, and how suddenly it ends. Oh my darling, do you not know the beauties of a sunless throne?"

Read that and tell me it doesn't need to be broken up.

Now, focusing on content, there's a second technique I would suggest that involves taking a more analytic approach. You have to ask yourself, "What do I want the reader to see on the first line? Then, how will I keep them reading? All the way to the second? Then the third? How can I keep their attention?" The key here is to better control reader perspective. With the content you have and the ambiguity you're aiming for, you have a really big fish to fit in the fryer. To better control that, for now work on structure. See what form the piece settles into first, then experiment with imagery and viewpoints (particularly those of a detached and almost apathetic manner) and see what content would suit the piece.

Concerning the "You're so cute when you scream" part, I think it's cute-creepy but I wouldn't say it necessarily suits the piece. With it I still think at first that the speaker is talking about a cat or something, I don't know. Maybe it's your avatar being so close to your title. Joking.

I honestly don't know what you mean by a "sunless throne". When I hear it I think of Burger King with solar panels. I don't know, just joking.

That would depend on you. For now I would suggest breaking up the sentence of lines 1-10. It makes it really monotonous, a run-on of that length in a poetry piece.

If this were actually being graded I'd give it a six. Definitely on the higher tier of student work but needs improvement and refinement. Basically, a potential-filled slab of dark meat just waiting to be served. With what, no one but you can figure out.

Hope you don't find offense with this. If you did, my bad. I'm sorry if I seemed rude.
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:icontheglassiris:
TheGlassIris Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
For some reason, this gives me the image of an Aztec virgin sacrifice for rain.
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:iconuberchick:
uberchick Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
1. Your language is clear, in a way. That is, the words themselves all stack up to paint a more or less coherent picture, but the intention behind them is hazy; the whole thing lacks context.

2. I see this: you are a misanthropic someone who is in the process of abandoning or detaching from someone for whom you cared. The first three lines are his or her memories and thoughts as he or she realizes what's going on. The fourth and fifth lines are description of the moment just before you do what you're going to do. The sixth and seventh lines are a metaphor for the depression and entropy that the person will experience once you're done with them. The eighth, ninth, and tenth lines are a depiction of the act itself, and the final two lines are your way of asking that person (semi-ironically) whether they understand why the act was so easy for you.

4. I think it would still be clear enough if it were sans "you're so cute," but the elimination of "when you scream" I feel would make it too ambiguous. "You're so cute" really just highlights the part of the speaker's personality, on which you don't focus too much anyway. The "when you scream," though, gives some indication of the tone of the poem, which is integral for its clarity.

5. The "sunless throne," I think, is a metaphor for the cold and disinterested perspective from which the narrator sees her relationships.

6. In the fourth line, I would change "filters" to something else, because that word gets a lot of use in similarly descriptive pieces of literature. In the eighth line, I would suggest changing "launches" to something else. It's a really awkward verb to apply to an intangible noun, ya know?

7. On a scale of one to ten, I'd give this a perfect five. It has some okay imagery, but for the depth of the topic, the descriptions you give are kind of lacking. Plus, the whole "lack of context" thing that I already mentioned.

3. The situation feels quite open to interpretation to me, but the language you use makes it seem like it's supposed to be clear. The incongruity there leads me to second-guess myself when interpreting it.
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:iconravenxwriter:
ravenxwriter Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2011
To be honest, I'm not quite sure what this is about. However, there's something I like very much about it. The fact that it's so ambiguous allows numerous stories to play out in my head about what might be going on. I'm sure I could come back to this in a few days and see something totally different.

I'm seeing a girl running, hair blowing around, until, finally, someone pushes her off a cliff and watches her plummet down to her watery grave. It feels like a bad dream, almost--some memory cherished by someone not quite right in the head.

Those last two lines are absolutely beautiful. I think a "sunless throne" might be that dark place in us all that we rule ourselves from. But it could be anything--that's the beauty of it.

I think clarity might improve this poem, but I do like it very much where it is. This, to me, has a similar effect to that old Hemingway story that's six words: "For Sale. Baby shoes. Never worn." It's simple and brief, but each word really carries its own weight--you have a fine story locked up inside this poem.

Fantastic job.
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:iconnekomarik:
NekoMarik Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
That's what I was trying to go for: a framework of bullet points as opposed to a solid story, but my problem is that I have a tendency to be either too ambiguous or too precise.

Yes!!! That's the base image I wanted to get at! Success (with at least one reader...).

Thank you for the feedback, and if you don't mind answering me, how do you think i could make it more clear?
Thank you once again for your time.
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:iconravenxwriter:
ravenxwriter Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2011
It's definitely difficult to strike that balance. I tend to stick to prose, because it's very hard to hold words back for me, so poetry is very difficult. I think you've struck a good balance here. Just keep rereading it and editing until it feels like it can't be fixed anymore.

Yay! Glad I could be of service.

I think, just after "so even as your long-pitched cry of terror launches,/ I throw out my hands to guide your fall," you might want to put something that further illustrates that she's being pushed--throw in a line or so about the actual fall, or the sensation of the push. Truly, though, I think this is a very well-written poem.
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:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2011  Student General Artist
Ooh, I like this. It puts me very much in mind of Browning's poems--creepy but not overtly so. And the last line is fantastic.
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:iconlily-inabottle:
lily-inabottle Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm not sure what this poem is about. I don't think the title or description help much in clarifying this for me. The first part seemed to be about aging, or the fear of aging. The second part seems to be about something completely different, perhaps a bug being fed to hungry fish. I like your imagery, but find it hard to understand. I agree that the last line is really great! overall I like your wording but felt your poem was hard to understand.
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:iconnekomarik:
NekoMarik Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
All of my work seems to have that problem. i tried to make the poem kind of clear, so thank you for telling me what made it hard to understand. The disconnect was supposed to show the speaker's thought process, but I can see I failed. I edited the piece, so I think it may be a bit clearer now. Could you please glance over it and tell me if it is? I hope you don't mind me asking for more help, I just seem to have a very severe case of writer's block right now.
Thank you so much for the feedback you've already provided!
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:iconlily-inabottle:
lily-inabottle Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
It is better, more cohesive now but some of the wording could still use work in my opinion. I don't understand or like the line "is already getting sunny" Not sure what that means. Consider rephrasing.

I feel like the lines are long winded.You are adding words that are unnecessary and don't add to the poem. Too many descriptive words can be a bad thing e.g. "so even as your long-pitched cry of terror launches," might sound better described with fewer words: "as you begin to scream" or something like that.
I think the last line is still not tied in very well but I find it to be the best line. What does a "sunless throne" mean in this context? How is it relevant to the rest of the poem? Try to make it more relevant. A single great line can make an entire poem good. Work with that line.

Sorry if I am giving too much advice. If you want to give me a harsh critique feel free!
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