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Author Topic: Do My Uni Work!  (Read 2075 times)

Eris

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Do My Uni Work!
« on: 13 May 2009, 03:28 »

Not really, but some help would be nice! Each week for my Creative Writing class, two people give out some writing they have done and we have to tell them how they can improve when we see them the next week. One girl gave out two pieces of poetry, and I think you guys are just what I need. First we have:

A black hole of pain

There is a black hole that is dragging me through my past.
I thought I had got through this, but it turns out my pain is here to last.
I cry all the time, each time I feel so weak.
I attempt to talk, but when I open my mouth I cannot speak.

It's like my pain has no voice.
It feels like I am breaking slowly and I have no choice.
I feel like I am falling apart and there is nothing I can do.
I'm starting to believe that the life I love is through.

I'm like a mirror falling to the ground.
Being so fragile I will shatter and the pieces of me will consume all that surrounds.
And I know this time that maybe I cannot fight back.
The truth is that upsets me, I never thought it would end like that.

Maybe it's the end of me being the phoenix that forever rises from the ashes of her past.
Maybe this time the pain will not be able to be forgotten, maybe this time it is here to last.
I question where he is, dad why aren't you here?
I want to hear his answers but what if he says what I fear?

I hope, I want to believe that his absence is temporary, but I am not sure any more.
I want to believe that he loves me, from the bottom of my heart, but he is still gone.
I don't know if I can hold it together, if I can cope if he tells me that he loves me not.
But I have to be strong, be positive, have hope because really he is the only parent that I've got.

His absence will be forgiven because a part of me understands.
I just need him to know that a part of my heart has been placed in his hands.
Will I be waiting forever just for him to call?
Will I always be questioning if he loves me anymore?

I just need him to know that I will wait.
Because he is my father, that is more than fate.
We have a connection that cannot be broken or taken away.
But the truth is to me it's more than our shared DNA.

The tell me I'm just like you, everything I do.
And all I can say is, dad I am the person I am because of you.
But if you turn me away I will just have to live.
Just know that no matter what I will always love you and I will always forgive.


Wow, that was longer than I thought; Ah well. Thoughts? Comments? Favourite lines? Suggestions for improvement?
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David_Dovey

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Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #1 on: 13 May 2009, 03:35 »

Oh dear
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MadassAlex

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Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #2 on: 13 May 2009, 03:43 »

My goodness
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Tom

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Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #3 on: 13 May 2009, 03:45 »

Oh my goodness
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a pack of wolves

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Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #4 on: 13 May 2009, 03:52 »

The clichés remove any specificity that could otherwise be present in the relationship between the poetic voice and the father. More individual imagery would present a more individualised relationship. This also has a negative impact on the use of a tight structure in the length of stanzas and rhyme scheme: it could otherwise create a sense of confinement in the relationship between voice and father, but as it is the principle effect is one of adherence to a form because it is what is expected, without a critical engagement. It could also benefit from forcing the reader's attention to the structure by breaking it at a critical moment.

Honestly though, whoever wrote it should be barred from the use of a pen for the rest of their life.
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Allybee

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Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #5 on: 13 May 2009, 04:12 »

if this is the work of a girl in your class, maybe it shouldn't be on the forums? like if I were getting critique from my classmates on something, I wouldn't want them asking all of their friends, too. especially because so far, only one out of five people has offered advice.
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David_Dovey

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Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #6 on: 13 May 2009, 04:13 »

WELL MAYBE SHE SHOULD'VE THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE SHE SUCKED AT POETRY HUH

If everybody considered the feelings of others then the Internet would be a much duller place.
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BeoPuppy

Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #7 on: 13 May 2009, 04:21 »

It's ... rather full of used up imagery. The rhyme is simply annoying. And it's a little too long, I feel that if the artist tried to concentrate her efforts in a smaller piece the result ould be 'punchier'. Right now, I'd say: Reader's Digest.

But break it to her gently. It seems she has some feelings invested.
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Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #8 on: 13 May 2009, 05:18 »

It's four times too long; I'll take two verses max in that style.  To succeed at any greater length it would need some form of development to give the reader a reason to move on through it.  It's also rather ungrounded, as there is no hint of the reason for the father being missing (and where's the mother, as the father - though absent - is described as "really ... the only parent").
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Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #9 on: 13 May 2009, 05:25 »

It's rhyming couplets but there is no attempt to actually give it any sense of flow or rhythm. I'm sure these are the wrong terms but you know what I mean- one line is ten syllables long and it's rhyming partner is twenty-five.
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Christophe

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Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #10 on: 13 May 2009, 07:41 »

The meter is incredibly inconsistent. When writing poems that use a regular AABB (or similar) rhyme scheme meter is incredibly important. If there was a pattern to the meter and the line lengths, or it was presented in an interesting fashion, maybe it wouldn't be a problem, but this person is all over the place.

Also, everything is too long. Way too long. The lines are long, the poem is long, the metaphors are long--this girl could learn from Haiku--condensing your thoughts into something that doesn't read like a chore. There's nothing wrong with being long, of course (that's what she said har har har), but when I was just starting out writing songs I had this problem--overwriting. Not everything that needs to be said about something should be said about something in a single line, and nothing needs to be so crammed into a single line. In fact, I'd probably say that this girl is saying a lot less with a lot more.

And, of course, everyone's comments about the images in the poem. She oughta tone it down with the cliche.

(Personally, I took an upper-division poetry course just the past semester, and most of the stuff I wrote was in free-verse, so I am biased in that respect.)
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Alex C

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Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #11 on: 13 May 2009, 09:06 »

That's worse than NIN lyrics.
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Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #12 on: 13 May 2009, 09:25 »

Reminds me of this.
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Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #13 on: 13 May 2009, 09:29 »

I think the most offensive thing about this is that it's stunningly mediocre. It's not good, and it's not so completely bad as to be amusing. It's just bland.

AND NOW FOR SERIOUS CRITICISM!!

Cliches. They suck. I find them all the time in revising my own work, and it pisses me off to no end. Every single bit of imagery and every single metaphor in this poem has been used, abused, beaten to death, and resurrected only to be beaten again. The subject matter is a touchy subject because it's so personal, and I'm a firm believer that writing can be cathartic, but it you're writing something for public viewing that deals with a topic as overdone as a father abandoning a child, then you damned well better do it in such a way that sets it apart from all the thousands upon thousands of other poems that have been written about the exact same thing.

If this was something someone wrote in a journal for personal reasons, then I fully support it. Diary writing should never worry about holding up to criticism. This, however, was written for an audience, and the audience deserves better than teen angst.

I personally don't care for rhyme in poetry at all, but that's a matter of taste. However, these rhymes reek of laziness. It seems as though no effort whatsoever was put into creating this, and it was just word vomit. Also:

Quote
Will I be waiting forever just for him to call?
Will I always be questioning if he loves me anymore?

This line, being the single part of the poem that has no rhyme at all, sticks out and not in a good way. Breaking meter is a fantastic way to draw attention and give profound impact to a specific line in a poem; this just leaves me as a reader going..."Meh."

I have a hard time really critiquing work that is meant to be written and read, since what I do is much more performance based, but this is quite cringeworthy.
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Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #14 on: 29 May 2009, 13:36 »

I'm also fairly biased towards free verse (or using very, very strict rhyme and rhythm schemes) but I can see the merit in what she's tried to do. I'll agree that she needs to work on getting her lines a little more evenly lengthed. One of the things I do to improve the structure of my poems is read each line aloud and twist it round until it rolls off the tongue and the length is correct. Poetry, in my opinion, is meant to be read aloud. It doesn't matter if it's only ever read in the mind, it is the sound and the feel of the words that matters. That's what makes poetry different from prose.

I'm going to stick my neck out (cliche!) and say that I disagree about the imagery. There are places where I feel she's put in a fairly tired phrase in order to suit the rhyme and that doesn't work, but there is nothing wrong with using phrases that other people have used before if it's to create a particular effect. Very famous quotes from other works (and well-known cliche) can be used as a reference to something else which gives the poem a whole other layer of secondary meaning; I'm not suggesting that she go through her poem and fling in some lines from Yeats and Shakespeare to give it "depth" but just that she considers whether or not a particular phrase is adding anything to the meaning.

I'd say that she has two options: to stick with the uneven line lengths and dispense with the rhyming, in order to make it free verse (this would involve careful consideration of caesura and endstop) or to keep the rhymes but work on the lengths so that it feels more rigid. With a stronger structure and some trimming of the surplus words I think she would be forgiven for some of the more angsty, slightly hackneyed phrases because it comes from the heart.

(Sorry I'm a little late on this one but I love poetry, I didn't want to pass up a chance to blether on about it for a while!)
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

Eris

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Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #15 on: 29 May 2009, 17:00 »

Well in the class she was made to read this poem out loud for the rest of the class. The was she read it sped up a lot of the longer lines, so the beat didn't sound so awkward. She basically continued afterwards to give us entirely too much information about the situation of the poem, and tried to justify not being able to rewrite her poems because "It's covering three issues, so I can't really change what I've done".

My teacher (a poet in her own right), was very diplomatic, saying there was a good skeleton of a poem, it just needed work on how to bring out the stuff about her father or whatever. The girl is a big fan of Sylvia Plath, and apparently you can hear that in some of the lines if you take out some of the superfluous stuff and simplify it. I dunno, I'm not big on poetry.

She's going to fail the class anyway, because she turned up to maybe 3 classes, two of them she had to because of this workshop.
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Trollstormur

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Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #16 on: 01 Jun 2009, 10:14 »

is this your classmate?

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Joseph

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Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #17 on: 01 Jun 2009, 20:37 »

The girl is a big fan of Sylvia Plath

Never would have guessed.
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MrBlu

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Re: Do My Uni Work!
« Reply #18 on: 01 Jun 2009, 22:16 »

Well, that certainly is a bunch of words.
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