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Used to Be


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#1    Miss Shadows

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:35 AM

In terms of writing, poetry is my weakest of weakest, so thanks for bearing with me here


You used to be mine, you used to be a man
You were supposed to love me, till the hourglass ran out of sand
But life came with a hammer, and put a crack in your heart
I really fell for you, but things just fell apart.

You used to be mine, you used to be a man
But songs and books tell lies, imagine that if you can
You were a dream before the nightmare, over before it began
You used to be mine, imagine that if you can.

You used to be mine, you used to be a man
How that ever changed, I'll never understand.

Edited by HeartsAreForBreaking, 18 January 2013 - 06:04 AM.

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#2    V0ID

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:52 AM

I'm sure you can do better! :P


#3    Miss Shadows

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:03 AM

View PostV0ID, on 18 January 2013 - 05:52 AM, said:

I'm sure you can do better! :P
Lol, I think I am, thanks.

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#4    Jessica Christ

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:54 AM

If you want to improve your poetry avoid rhyming every couplet and the use of common figures of speech such as the "hourglass ran out of sand." Instead  you can use more alliteration and less commonly used or even unique metaphors.

Until the oceans ran out of water or until the shoreline ran out of sand brings across the same point but with more profundity for example.

The feelings are real which is good but framing them in typical sing-songy rhyme trivializes them.

Also repeating the same line over and over should be used sparingly as well to emphasize an important concept but overdoing it weakens said concept. With such a small poem repeating it just once would be adequate.


#5    Miss Shadows

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:09 AM

View PostI believe you, on 18 January 2013 - 06:54 AM, said:

If you want to improve your poetry avoid rhyming every couplet and the use of common figures of speech such as the "hourglass ran out of sand." Instead  you can use more alliteration and less commonly used or even unique metaphors.

Until the oceans ran out of water or until the shoreline ran out of sand brings across the same point but with more profundity for example.

The feelings are real which is good but framing them in typical sing-songy rhyme trivializes them.

Also repeating the same line over and over should be used sparingly as well to emphasize an important concept but overdoing it weakens said concept. With such a small poem repeating it just once would be adequate.

Hm, thanks for the advice.

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#6    qwertyportne

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:29 PM

Oh, no doubt you can and will write better (more evocative) poetry and "Used to Be" is good evidence for that prediction because...

1) You are willing to stand in the spotlight, naked, heart open, telling the truth--real poets always tell the truth;

2) You went beyond the diary dumping (writer centered) angst of "I am so sad I could die." (which merely tells us ABOUT your emotional state) to something more like "She stood on the edge of the cliff, weeping, watching the waves crash on the jagged rocks below." (which shows us the SYMPTOMS of your emotional state so we can experience those feelings ourselves).

3) You gave it a title to set the stage for what was coming--most would-be poets forget that the title is the first line of a poem;

4) You are open to the ideas of other poets;

Here are some ideas you might consider for your revision:

Less is almost always more. Go back and test every word in your poem. Is it really necessary? Does it explain too much? Leave nothing for the reader's imagination? Synonyms are semantic fiction, because every word is a commentary on what all the others leave unsaid. Find the right word so you can say exactly what you mean, with all the obvious and subtle richness of the English language. Make every word count. Delete those which do not carry their weight. Use nouns that don't need adjectives to be specific and sensory, verbs that don't need adverbs to convey action and adjectives that don't interpret the image for the readers.

Explore ways to do more showing and less telling. The advice "Tell, don't show!" is not absolutely true in my opinion. Poets should show AND tell but choose carefully where each belongs in a poem. When you want your reader to see what you are thinking or feeling, use a metaphor--they are visual But go beyond simple metaphors like "My love is like a rose." (which is actually just a simile) to more complex ones like "My love blossomed pure red, long-stemmed and lovely." or verbal metaphors like "The skunk perfumed the fox." which paint sharp, focused, dynamic images of real things in action.

Don't sacrifice sense to sound. Use rhyming words that mesh with the unfolding story without sounding forced, that don't call too much attention to themselves. And don't distract your readers with annoyingly repetitious end rhyme. Use internal rhyme where possible. Learning how to break your lines for emphasis and flow can help you do that.

Read your poem aloud. Let it rehearse YOU. It may sound goofy, but when I began performing my poetry at open mic venues, I quickly learned it was more true that the poem was writng me than I writing it.

THEN choose your title. One that grabs your readers' attention, leverages them into your poem. Titles should ignite curiosity without giving away too much. But be careful it isn't false advertising. Remember, it is the first line of your poem. It better fit like a glove. Or at least better than a loose sock!

Hope some of this helps you...

Bill


#7    Miss Shadows

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:29 AM

View Postqwertyportne, on 18 January 2013 - 11:29 PM, said:

Oh, no doubt you can and will write better (more evocative) poetry and "Used to Be" is good evidence for that prediction because...

1) You are willing to stand in the spotlight, naked, heart open, telling the truth--real poets always tell the truth;

2) You went beyond the diary dumping (writer centered) angst of "I am so sad I could die." (which merely tells us ABOUT your emotional state) to something more like "She stood on the edge of the cliff, weeping, watching the waves crash on the jagged rocks below." (which shows us the SYMPTOMS of your emotional state so we can experience those feelings ourselves).

3) You gave it a title to set the stage for what was coming--most would-be poets forget that the title is the first line of a poem;

4) You are open to the ideas of other poets;

Here are some ideas you might consider for your revision:

Less is almost always more. Go back and test every word in your poem. Is it really necessary? Does it explain too much? Leave nothing for the reader's imagination? Synonyms are semantic fiction, because every word is a commentary on what all the others leave unsaid. Find the right word so you can say exactly what you mean, with all the obvious and subtle richness of the English language. Make every word count. Delete those which do not carry their weight. Use nouns that don't need adjectives to be specific and sensory, verbs that don't need adverbs to convey action and adjectives that don't interpret the image for the readers.

Explore ways to do more showing and less telling. The advice "Tell, don't show!" is not absolutely true in my opinion. Poets should show AND tell but choose carefully where each belongs in a poem. When you want your reader to see what you are thinking or feeling, use a metaphor--they are visual But go beyond simple metaphors like "My love is like a rose." (which is actually just a simile) to more complex ones like "My love blossomed pure red, long-stemmed and lovely." or verbal metaphors like "The skunk perfumed the fox." which paint sharp, focused, dynamic images of real things in action.

Don't sacrifice sense to sound. Use rhyming words that mesh with the unfolding story without sounding forced, that don't call too much attention to themselves. And don't distract your readers with annoyingly repetitious end rhyme. Use internal rhyme where possible. Learning how to break your lines for emphasis and flow can help you do that.

Read your poem aloud. Let it rehearse YOU. It may sound goofy, but when I began performing my poetry at open mic venues, I quickly learned it was more true that the poem was writng me than I writing it.

THEN choose your title. One that grabs your readers' attention, leverages them into your poem. Titles should ignite curiosity without giving away too much. But be careful it isn't false advertising. Remember, it is the first line of your poem. It better fit like a glove. Or at least better than a loose sock!

Hope some of this helps you...

Bill

Hey, thanks so much Bill, a lot of what you said I can register with right away, and constructive criticism is always more than welcome. Thanks again, nicely put, and I especially can realize what you're saying about utilizing a language. Being of an upbringing so that English is not my true vernacular, my use of actual vocabulary and my syntax could always use a little tweaking.

Appreciate the advice,
M

American with an accent, Christian with a tat, sociopath with a heart, child with no mother, Lover with no Lover, confidently doubting, amused but not laughing, woman but child, feisty yet caring, sweet when not bitter.

#8    Raven_Tear

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:08 AM

I say write what you want to write, how you want to write it. Writing is like art. Not everyone will like it or understand it, not everyone will find it correct or structured by the book, but so what? If it comes from inside of you then that's all that matters. Keep writing, never stop. :-*


#9    Miss Shadows

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:29 AM

View PostRaven_Tear, on 19 January 2013 - 02:08 AM, said:

I say write what you want to write, how you want to write it. Writing is like art. Not everyone will like it or understand it, not everyone will find it correct or structured by the book, but so what? If it comes from inside of you then that's all that matters. Keep writing, never stop. :-*
Thanks ;)

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#10    Still Waters

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:39 PM

View PostRaven_Tear, on 19 January 2013 - 02:08 AM, said:

I say write what you want to write, how you want to write it. Writing is like art. Not everyone will like it or understand it, not everyone will find it correct or structured by the book, but so what? If it comes from inside of you then that's all that matters. Keep writing, never stop. :-*
I agree wholeheartedly with this :tu:

I'm not a poet by any stretch of the imagination but I do write poems now and then. I was told to write what I see and how I feel. Poems are very personal and like you said can mean a lot more to the person who wrote it, than the person reading it afterwards. I also like simple poems that are easy to understand.

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#11    qwertyportne

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:50 PM

View PostStill Waters, on 19 January 2013 - 04:39 PM, said:

I agree wholeheartedly with this :tu:    I was told to write what I see and how I feel. Poems are very personal and like you said can mean a lot more to the person who wrote it, than the person reading it afterwards.

Yes, write with your heart.

But re-write with your head, THEN click submit.

Why? Because the moment we click submit, our poem leaves the world of self-expression and enters the world of readers, the world of author/audience, convey/evoke, imply/infer. Keyboarding raw emotions onto a computer screen as we feel them, then punching the post button ignores the person at the other end of our click. Why send it to anybody else if we only care about ourselves?

Poetry is a gift from author to audience. They may not be thankful we found the courage to send our thoughts and feelings to strangers, but we should be thankful to have somebody to receive them.

And prove it by taking the time to write and wrap our poetry with care.

Every audience has a range of preferences and abilities, so their expectations should be one of our considerations when we string words together and click Post. And we can have our cake and eat it too, because our audience doesn't rule us absolutely. A carefully crafted poem can satisfy both author and audience if we choreograph the dance between conveying and evoking skillfully.

My guess is that what I just posted doesn't work for everyone here in this forum, but it is certainly advice I give to myself. I'm also guessing that one night in front of a live audience will motivate most poets to take another look at how and why they are stringing words together and calling it poetry.

PS Thanks "M" for allowing us to use your poem as a platform for commenting on poetry in general. Most forums would discourage that immediately.


#12    Jessica Christ

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 07:09 PM

View Postqwertyportne, on 19 January 2013 - 06:50 PM, said:

Yes, write with your heart.

But re-write with your head, THEN click submit.

Why? Because the moment we click submit, our poem leaves the world of self-expression and enters the world of readers, the world of author/audience, convey/evoke, imply/infer. Keyboarding raw emotions onto a computer screen as we feel them, then punching the post button ignores the person at the other end of our click. Why send it to anybody else if we only care about ourselves?

Poetry is a gift from author to audience. They may not be thankful we found the courage to send our thoughts and feelings to strangers, but we should be thankful to have somebody to receive them.

And prove it by taking the time to write and wrap our poetry with care.

Every audience has a range of preferences and abilities, so their expectations should be one of our considerations when we string words together and click Post. And we can have our cake and eat it too, because our audience doesn't rule us absolutely. A carefully crafted poem can satisfy both author and audience if we choreograph the dance between conveying and evoking skillfully.

My guess is that what I just posted doesn't work for everyone here in this forum, but it is certainly advice I give to myself. I'm also guessing that one night in front of a live audience will motivate most poets to take another look at how and why they are stringing words together and calling it poetry.

PS Thanks "M" for allowing us to use your poem as a platform for commenting on poetry in general. Most forums would discourage that immediately.

It really depends doesn't it?

Some write poetry purely for it's therapeutic value or some other aspect but not with an art form in mind. The creative process and end product are different for all and poetry just meant to be simple, rhymy, and at times very silly is just another product. Not really what I prefer but to each their own.

I rarely offer advice because rarely are others open to it. Hopefully HAFB was open to advice, her statement that her "poetry was her weakest" was a cue for me that she was open for it although it was a guess on my part as well and I could be wrong.

My favorite part is talking about poems with authors who are interested in allowing us into their creative process. Others do not care for such discussions or that type of poetry but prefer a simpler product one could just be friendly over, to get what is inside out, and because some are compelled to write even if they do not particularly care for form but do so only for function.


#13    Miss Shadows

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 06:09 AM

Well I can see the truth in nearly everything everyone said, minus the bit about what I 'have to' or 'should do', and 'wrapping'. I appreciate everyone's thoughts, really, but there's also a place for people who write for whatever reasons to share their thoughts. It's called the writer's and artists forum of UM. If you don't like your 'gift', constructive criticism I'll always gladly receive, but there's also this neat little button on the page that's kinda like a gift-reciept. It's called the back button, and if something rubs you the wrong way, feel free to use it :)

Again, thanks everyone for sharing, much much appreciated. I don't know if anyone else wants to go here and talk about their 'process', but personally when I write I either draw directly on my life, or I take a set of characters created on people and such I really know. I like my familiars, and I think the subjects that come up most in my direct life writings are time spent in Mexico, past troubled relationships, and about 3 or 4 particular people.

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#14    Jessica Christ

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:57 AM

View Postqwertyportne, on 19 January 2013 - 06:50 PM, said:

Yes, write with your heart.

But re-write with your head, THEN click submit.

Why? Because the moment we click submit, our poem leaves the world of self-expression and enters the world of readers, the world of author/audience, convey/evoke, imply/infer. Keyboarding raw emotions onto a computer screen as we feel them, then punching the post button ignores the person at the other end of our click. Why send it to anybody else if we only care about ourselves?

Poetry is a gift from author to audience. They may not be thankful we found the courage to send our thoughts and feelings to strangers, but we should be thankful to have somebody to receive them.

And prove it by taking the time to write and wrap our poetry with care.

Every audience has a range of preferences and abilities, so their expectations should be one of our considerations when we string words together and click Post. And we can have our cake and eat it too, because our audience doesn't rule us absolutely. A carefully crafted poem can satisfy both author and audience if we choreograph the dance between conveying and evoking skillfully.

My guess is that what I just posted doesn't work for everyone here in this forum, but it is certainly advice I give to myself. I'm also guessing that one night in front of a live audience will motivate most poets to take another look at how and why they are stringing words together and calling it poetry.

PS Thanks "M" for allowing us to use your poem as a platform for commenting on poetry in general. Most forums would discourage that immediately.

It seems to be discouraged by the author herself now because instead of feedback there was pushback. It does take time to learn where your particular style of comments will be most appreciated especially if you take care or time in posting them, and post at length, only to be greeted with a few word response, and that can happen quite often as you test the waters to see who you might be able to connect with on  an artistic and literary level.

Not blaming anyone specifically because when two different styles meet the results can be less than ideal but I will never stop reaching out posting via the way I feel comfortable and that is to attempt passionate conversations over our works.

I enjoyed your comments qwertyportne and could learn from them myself. Hopefully they will litter these forums more often.

There is potential for W&A to be more than just a place for, "people who write for whatever reasons to share their thoughts." There has to be a few who care about pushing their art form to the next level, not just in a teacher-student or mentor-mentee role, but as peers who care about encouraging and learning from each other. But you can also clearly see where that is not welcome and simple politeness, telling someone their work was good but never explaining how it made you feel, or ever finding out what made the artist tick, but simply having them respond "thank you" suffices.

Sorry, it does take time to figure out who you can relate to or not.


#15    Miss Shadows

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:30 PM

View PostI believe you, on 20 January 2013 - 11:57 AM, said:



It seems to be discouraged by the author herself now because instead of feedback there was pushback. It does take time to learn where your particular style of comments will be most appreciated especially if you take care or time in posting them, and post at length, only to be greeted with a few word response, and that can happen quite often as you test the waters to see who you might be able to connect with on  an artistic and literary level.

Not blaming anyone specifically because when two different styles meet the results can be less than ideal but I will never stop reaching out posting via the way I feel comfortable and that is to attempt passionate conversations over our works.

I enjoyed your comments qwertyportne and could learn from them myself. Hopefully they will litter these forums more often.

There is potential for W&A to be more than just a place for, "people who write for whatever reasons to share their thoughts." There has to be a few who care about pushing their art form to the next level, not just in a teacher-student or mentor-mentee role, but as peers who care about encouraging and learning from each other. But you can also clearly see where that is not welcome and simple politeness, telling someone their work was good but never explaining how it made you feel, or ever finding out what made the artist tick, but simply having them respond "thank you" suffices.

Sorry, it does take time to figure out who you can relate to or not.

Again, I appreciate 'everyone's' advice, and I can respect and learn from yours as anyone else's. I encourage and appreciate your feedback, and am personally an advocate for the open exchange of ideas, versus a pupil/teacher type set up. I agree, this forum is not just for creators, but for other people or creators who want to give input on the works here. Yes, it is indeed much more helpful to get other's thoughts on 'how' to improve something, versus just 'nice job', as the latter may be kind words, yet they do not offer a lot of real feedback in total. It's unfortunate if you misunderstood, and please don't twist my posts; when I mentioned the back button I was not discouraging open feedback, constructive crit, etcetera, which is hard enough to really come by most places. I was stating that much like a song on the radio or a program on TV, if something really bothers, offends, or disheartens you, you certainly have the option as well of going onto something you personally would enjoy more.

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