Litkicks Message Board Archive

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Posted to Poetry




First off, if there's anyway, please change the font so that we can see the line breaks. It seems that they're there, but the format is a bit disconcerting. I'd just like to read the work the way it's supposed to be seen on the page. No biggie, though.

>I whisper to my deepest self as I walk by the courtyard of the world.

What do you whisper? Where is the "courtyard of the world". More detail needed.

>The grey cloud of desolation walks aimlessly, chasing the >urges within that amount to nothing; Their urges are >fireflies.

"desolation", "urges", "amount to nothing", etc. need to be stronger. Add images. "Their urges are fireflies". Whose? The urge's urges?

>The courtyard smells like dust and ashes;

Good, but needs more. Add potency. One or two words to really drive this home. But good. Appeals to smell are uncommon in poetry, and probably something that needs to be explored.

>The grey crowd breathes it in again and again, forgetting >the smell altogether.
>I am instructed by my inner self to stay on the edge, but >I slowly I inch my was into the middle of the courtyard.
>The dissonant crowd mills about me, and I allow them to.

Need more here. What exactly do you see, smell, taste, hear, etc. EXACTLY being the key word in that sentance.

Poet's mantra: Exactly. Exactly. Exactly.

>Subtly, cruelly they tear my White cloak of amnesty.

Adverbs should become part of the verb, or shown with an image, i.e., subtly how?

>I am ridiculed by this tattered white covering, so I hide >it well.
>I become one of them, one of the faceless, nameless crowd, >brainwashed by the stench of grey around them.
>I am handed a bottle and put it to my lips, not caring >what it says; its briny taste of death is well-known to >this soulless multitude.

Lots of "(adj.) (noun) of (abstract noun)" in this piece. Allegorical, yes, but tends to allienate the reader. Focus on the tangible, and let the abstractions be there, and speak for themselves.

>Close to me, and yet infinitely far,

Ehhh...cliche. Show this.

>I see a White One moving through the crowd, untouched by >their wares.
>Her lips move like mine, but sadly mine are wrapped around >the bottle;

Teetering into prose, almost. Focus on the images.

>it is difficult to pray when your mouth is only concerned >with death.

Good. Keep this line. But surround it with so many images that the reader can hold onto it.

>Oh, how I wish a White One would save me from this place >with a hand or kiss! But that is futile.
>The power to patch my tattered cloak, my torn wall, is >within me; the answer was in me all the time.
>A moment of clarity.
>A voice within tells me to stay in the crowd just a little >while longer; another firmly instructs me otherwise.
>I realize what I must do.
>I throw the bottle to the wind, and hope for the best.
>The Hero's words should not be second-guessed.

The allegory of this piece is strong. However, I'm not sure it's working. Too many abstractions. Tighten them up with images, or, possibly, work on this as a prose piece.

Suggested reading:
Galway Kinnel's "Book of Nightmares"--lots of allegories (Vietnam stuff, especially) and whatnot, but he never loses the poetry, or the image.