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Author Topic: Love in Seasons  (Read 137 times)
Ki-chan
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Love in Seasons
« on: November 07, 2007, 03:31:13 PM »

This was sticking to the back of my head for all of October and I have Nicole to thank for getting it out with a lovely picture of autumn leaves turning red in her lj. Comments and critiques are always appreciated. I'm sure it still needs plenty of work. This is not a very refined version of it, it's still pretty much in it's first draft form. I've only tweaked it a little, otherwise this is how it came out.

Autumn carries flames
through the sunlit sky.

The trees are catching fire now.
It starts high in the branches,
tipping the leaves
in a red that soon devours it whole,
spreading down like kerosene
until the entire tree is inflamed,
fiery.

The branches drop their brittle foliage;
careless feet crunch through the debris,
leaving powdered glass shards in their wake.

They crumble away,
the jagged edges cut at her veins,
warm and full of butterflies
and ice cream
and long sandy beaches.

Summer withers and dies.

She pours her blood out on the pavement,
and the fallen leaves bathe in it.
The soak it in, red and wet
And then slowly brown and shrivel away.
With a last gasping breath
She exhales a cold wind that wraps itself around the world.
It blows all the warmth away.

Autumn, my Reaper,
so full of life but only bringing death.
She covers the foliage in fire.
She leaves the trees as standing skeletons
that rattle their bones in the cold wind.

Autumn takes from me the hot, sticky Summer
that wrapped me in passion and sweat,
that kissed my lips with sugar and salt.

Autumn takes her from me.
She leaves me a cold bed and empty sheets
that are ice on my skin.
And even she never stays.

With three wind swept months
she leaves me with an even colder mistress.
Even as she sweeps through the world
she ushers in the Winter
that blankets everything in a white ash.

And death is all the company I have
in a world of moaning winds
and sharp, icy tears that fall from a mourning sky.

My heart will grow still and frozen as the earth
and only the soft caress of Spring will melt it.
It’ll lie in waiting
until the warm breeze blows away the wreckage Autumn left,
that Winter covered in soot.
Until the flowers spring forth
and the bony limbs of the trees have the strength
to unfurl their new leaves
and cover themselves in green.
Then I will be born anew, as all creatures of the earth.

Then I shall be ready to embrace Summer once again.
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I know in my heart
I've fallen into a home
of wingless angels.
The people I love
the memories I have here
I'll never forget.
Nephtys
Love cake
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I have t3h connection, biatch!


« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2007, 08:33:07 AM »

Just so you know this has not gone unnoticed, here's a placeholder. I'll get around to giving you a crit, probably by mid next week. Patience, young padawan.
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I have been assured that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.
Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal
Ki-chan
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Re: Love in Seasons
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2007, 09:17:09 PM »

I look forward to it.
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I know in my heart
I've fallen into a home
of wingless angels.
The people I love
the memories I have here
I'll never forget.
Nephtys
Love cake
Administrator
scd cult

Offline

Posts: 1654


I have t3h connection, biatch!


Re: Love in Seasons
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2007, 09:16:18 PM »

Phewee. Took me ages to actually get around to this. Sorry about the delay. Without further ado:

For this, I’ll stay on a general basis, because I think that there’s quite a bit here worth playing with. I’ll be brutally honest with you and tell you straight away that while you have a lot of potential here, my advice to unlock this potential will be to strip your current poem to the bare bones and draft a more concise version. Like a phoenix out of the ash. Or a new spring following upon winter, as it were.

The seasons as a life and death cycle have very often been done in poetry. Therefore it is difficult to pull a poem like yours off without drifting off into cliché. I feel that you were aware of that danger while you wrote your piece and did your best to avoid clichés. Kudos for that. I’ll try and nudge you in the right direction where I feel you could use a little help. Mostly that means I’ll try and give you the confidence to be a little more oblique. Trust your readers to “figure it out.” In particular I’m thinking about lines like these:
Quote from: Ki-chan
Autumn, my Reaper,
so full of life but only bringing death.

As I said, the seasons mirroring the cycle of life is so much a part of most Western cultures that these lines come off as extremely cliché. Patronizing, almost, if you see what I mean. Also, there is no need to capitalize the seasons.

My advice then would be this: Right now you’re amalgamating the seasons with the story of a love who spends time with the narrator over the summer. Autumn comes to bode a separation in the immediate future. Winter – the narrator is alone. Spring – the loved one returns. The poem uses the seasons to illustrate the relationship. Instead, what would the poem look like if the seasons symbolized the relationship? You could rely on your readership’s knowledge of the symbolism of seasons and carry your point across without ever mentioning a relationship.

Essentially, I am talking about turning the whole of the poem from simile to metaphor. To help you get a grip on this idea, try and remove both the lyrical I and Her from the poem. Try to work around it.

A second point I wish to touch upon is wordiness. I think the word count of this poem can be reduced quite a bit. That’ll make it more crisp and snappy. The root of this problem, I believe is two-fold.

Firstly, the poem sometimes feels like it’s rambling on, re-iterating very similar points in merely slightly varied language. Let me give you a few examples:

Quote from: Ki-chan
Autumn carries flames
through the sunlit sky.

“carries flames” already gives me the idea of a “sunlight sky”, so this can be just one line:
“Autumn carries flames through the sky”

Quote
and the fallen leaves bathe in it.
The soak it in, red and wet
Bathe, then soak. That’s saying the same thing twice, essentially.

“Cold”, “wind” and “cold wind” re-appear quite a lot in the second half of the poem.

Quote
My heart will grow still and frozen as the earth
and only the soft caress of Spring will melt it.
It’ll lie in waiting
until the warm breeze blows away the wreckage Autumn left,
Here’s another instance where basically the same thing is said twice in a row.

The second piece of advice I have on making the poem shorter and snappier is to try and remove unimportant words like pronouns and prepositions and conjunctions, wherever possible. Couple examples:

Quote
the jagged edges cut at her veins,
-> jagged edges cut at her veins
Quote
and the fallen leaves bathe in it.
-> fallen leaves bathe in it.

I hope this helps, and I hope I didn’t come across as harsh. As I said, you’re onto something good here. Just keep at it. Ganbatte.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2007, 08:49:17 PM by Nephtys » Logged

I have been assured that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.
Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal
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