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application - -The- Poetry Workshop
...Because life is not all a tale -- the better part of it is poetry.
1. Name: Arthur
2. Age: 20
3. Location: New England
4. Three favorite/ influential writers: Brautigan, Kerouac, Byron
5. *Preface to your poems: These poems range from recent [a few weeks old at most] to a few months. Nothing more than a year old.

6. Three poems:Today
Feet hit the sidewalk
Steady and expected
Like a heartbeat

I sit upon a grassy slope
Lay my guitar across my lap
And play

Theres a young woman
Outside the starbucks
With a bandaid over her
Botched eyebrow piercing

I sigh
And I sit
And look at her.

I wish I was in love.



Isn’t it funny how so many have died
Because some lizards died
And were buried
And rotted
In the desert?

Isn’t it funny how so many have died
Because they fell in love
With someone a little
Too much
Like themselves?

Isn’t it funny how sometimes

Homage to Margaret Atwood

I would like to watch you sleeping
To see you, comfortable
And oblivious.

Loving me and needing me.
Without ever knowing it.
Ignoring me.

I would like to watch you sleeping
Dreaming, and stirring
Happy in a world

Without me.

Loving me and needing me
Without knowing I was there
Loving me just as much as you love

the air
8 people spoke <-----> speak some truth
From: camillewaslike Date: December 21st, 2005 06:55 pm (UTC) (link me)


woah woah so it's been almost 2 months and you still haven't recieved any feedback ): *pats your back* heh, well i'm going to try and do my best, but it's almost 3 in the morning here in france, so i can't promise you anything.
get ready to hear/read my oh so very biased thoughts on those three poems, and what my tastes are advising you to do to get better at writing poetry (and well, i personally think i have really good taste, but that's even more subjective as i am judging those tastes according to my own tastes, if you follow me).

uh whateverz.

the first one
well, ok, so you were sitting there and then you saw that woman and it made you wish you were in love, now what? what is so exceptional about this one "today" that made you want to write a poem about it and NAME the poem after it?
to me, this is just a summary of what happened during the day, and it written the same way you would tell it to a friend, except it is broken into lines and stanzas and you sometimes try to use imagery. wait, you only use imagery once to compare the steps to a heartbeat, which is cliché.
then you describe what happens next. and that's it. you probably think the ending is clever (don't lie!), well i personally think you're wrong. let me explain you what i think was going on inside your head as you were writing this:
"ok so if i write this, this, this and that then i'll be able to end the poem with the line i wish i were in love, and who would think that the sight of a woman with a bandaid on her eyebrow would make me think of love, and who would expect this poem to be written by a lonely guy who's lacking romance in his life? yes yes, that is going to be the rox0rz."
well, just no.
you've probably heard a million billion trillion times that the last line(s) of a poem must either close the door shut or open it wide, but when you think of it, no matter what the last line of the poem is, it always opens or closes a door. here, you might think this ending is good because the reader might wonder what happened to the last girlfriend of the narrator of the poem, what is he going to now, what STOP this is not a novel or the first episode of a soap opera. this ending does give a new dimension to the rest of the poem, but in an incomplete, irritating way, not in a beautiful way.

oh yes, time to speak about what, to me, is the most important thing in a poem (well, in art and literature in general, but especially in poetry): b e a u t y.
i want you to strike me with beauty, i want the association of your words to surprise and tickle my synapses and build little houses of intellectual comfort around my brains. the things that affect me the most are the way you link your words, the relationship that you create between your adjectives and your nuns, i want you to show me you have your own style, your own special way of using vocabulary. take cummings for example, i am not speaking about what he did to grammar, but what he did to voacabulary, to the use of words themselves, i am speaking about his surprisingly, carefully chosen images, his sudden sentences that don't even need a syntax to make your heart beat faster. this, my dear,is why he's an absolute genius.
so this is what i like, and this is the way my metaphoric bells are rung somewhere deep inside my right brain, and then i read this poem. and all i see is an almost plain description which was written plainly and leaves me feeling plain, plain, plain and this poem is flat, flat, flat.

so i'll give this a 3.
chormin From: chormin Date: December 22nd, 2005 07:40 am (UTC) (link me)

one penny

Well, I was going for plain and flat until the end, in a way to say that even on a regular day, with nothing particularly interesting happening that love can just jump in. I called it today, because it could've been any day, or anyone.
From: camillewaslike Date: December 22nd, 2005 09:04 am (UTC) (link me)

Re: one penny

you were going for "plain and flat", huh? well "plain and flat" in poetry still has to be poetry, if you see what i mean.
take bukowski and how he always went straight to the point, how he didn't bother with complicated metaphors and obscure comparisons but still managed to write breathtaking pieces, this is what poetic "plain and flat" is.
because if it were that simple, then i could just write some crappy, common prose, and cut it into lines like this:

this morning
i wanted to go to
the store;
i got there

and they were closed.

and call it "poetry" and justify it by saying i wanted to show the reader how unpredictable a mere, average life can be.

oh and "love", you say? well my dear, love is so friggin 5 minutes ago; please please please, try to throw in some originality.
do you think the whole "omgz love is everywhere!" thing is deep of you? come on, you're 20, this is the kind of thing a 14 year old girl would be ashamed of saying, even to justify the poor quality of her writing. and the fact that it could have been "any day or anyone" doesn't do anything either: on the contrary, it just makes this piece even more uninteresting.

maybe i wasn't clear enough, so i'll say it again: people who read poetry don't want anything that common, they don't want anything so flatly dull; what they want are those tiny specific details that turn the boring words into magic, they want an obvious grace and a hidden irony or something skin deep and beautifully painted with delicate adjectives. personally, i am oh so tired of the cliché "devices" (eg "oh but it could have been anyone or anything, you don't choose to love and to be loved, how smart is that?") and dead metaphors (eg heartbeat). this kind of poem is to poetry what britney spears is to music.
so now, if you want to get published on the likes of poetry.com, then go on, you're taking the right way.

and don't pull the "oh but i'm just writing for myself so wutevz" card, because if you didn't feel like recognition, then you wouldn't have landed here in the first place.
From: camillewaslike Date: December 21st, 2005 06:56 pm (UTC) (link me)

3.7 part 2

second one

ok so this time it's not a description or anything personal. it sounds like you're trying to convey a message. i don't like the rhythm at all,
if you see
don't try to stick to a regular pattern inside the stanzas when it comes to meters, just let it flow, if something suddenly pops up in your mind then write it down. this is how i usually start my poems, a random line comes to my mind, i grab it and use it to write some more and in the end, the initial line usually ends up being either the first line(s) or the last one(s) of the poem. now you might tell me it is not genuine as i don't actually choose what i write about, well, i personally trust in freud's theories, and it's not as if my poems were just worthless automatic pieces of cognitive subconscious (no offense, my dear surrealists).

and well, i could repeat what i said about your first poem. this is dull and flat and plain as macaroni without cheese. then again, some people like eating them that way (some people even eat them raw, i suppose).

aaaaand i don't understand what is up with your last line, if you did it on purpose, well i'd like you to know this is somewhat ridiculous, otherwise i guess i'll have to give this a 3 for now, and i might change the score if it turns out you forgot to paste the end of the poem.

third one

i would like some more margaret atwood references in there, because ok, her name is in the title, but it could be an homage to any other woman.
once again, this is way too dull for my tastes, where is the beauty of the word, where is the style? i hate how you just keep using abstract verbs instead of words that actually involve action, something i could somehow feel or hear or taste. "love" and "need" are so common, they are all over the tvs, all over the radios, what i want is something new. you have to paint something new for me to see with those old, boring words. the only concrete element we have here is "the air", and what do i make of that, how does she love (ugh, again) this special air. let me know, let me know.

a 5 for this one.

i noticed that you often work with very short pieces. don't do this, it's hard to express anything accurate in very few words, don't set any rules before you start writing. pay more attention to the concrete dimension, the imagery. try to avoid clichés and easy devices. don't listen to what most people say about poetry. read more more more. don't be afraid to experiment with words, be daring. don't get lost in common sense.
dig the deepest crevaces or build the highest castle but don't let this stay flat, flat, flat
chormin From: chormin Date: December 22nd, 2005 07:46 am (UTC) (link me)

The rest of the two cents

Well, the second one is a bit choppy and disorganized, looking back on it, but the ending has always been a favorite of mine. Because, it just ends. Sometimes, "it just ends". It seemed obvious to people listenning to the poem, maybe it didn't translate as well in writing as I thought it would.

And the entire third poem is a margaret atwood reference. It is all [basically} an interpretation of variations on the word sleep, with words cut.
From: camillewaslike Date: December 22nd, 2005 09:16 am (UTC) (link me)

Re: The rest of the two cents

well, i guess you're rather inexperienced when it comes to poetry and that you have never read much poetry either (if you have then you musn't have been paying much attention), so i'm not surprised you like the way you ended this poem. trying to be all half experimental with this one, i suppose. well, it's just n o t w o r k i n g.

in the third one, i did get that you were speaking about sleep, but it didn't catch my attention in anyway, let me explain you why: the almighty lexical field of sleep

xdream world

this is basically the only element of the poem, and it is awfully boring, it reminds me of french class, when the teacher gave us a random word and we were supposed to find as many words we could link to this one initial word as possible. that's all you're doing in this poem, and as i already said, you're being way to abstract. where is the beauty? all i see is vocabulary sprinkled with a few clichés and words that bring nothing new to each other ("loving me/needing me" "without knowing/ignoring/without me")

take a poetry workshop or go read something, because you definitely need it if that's how you're going to justify why and how those were written.
chormin From: chormin Date: December 22nd, 2005 12:29 pm (UTC) (link me)

Re: The rest of the two cents

I'm sorry, my MLA rules aren't up to snuff, but by variations of the word sleep, I meant "Variations on the Word Sleep" or however your supposed to credit one of her more popular poems that apparently someone hasn't read. So, before you go on telling me to read things, even though I shjould, why dont you pick up almost any codex/notebook/collection of poetry and find that poem by Margaret. Or haven't you heard of her before?
From: camillewaslike Date: December 23rd, 2005 11:03 am (UTC) (link me)

Re: The rest of the two cents

this isn't about whether or not i know atwood/have read this poem (which i have): i think you need to know that writing a poem as an "homage" to a well known poet isn't enough for it to be a half-decent piece.

so now, reread what i said about your poem and you should understand why i think it is rather ridiculous of you to be so proud of your oh so precise knowledge of margaret atwood: this obvious "reference" of a poem it has nothing to do with atwood's delicate imagery.
you don't intend to give anyone the silver branch or the white flower, you're just running around and brandishing a page that reads I KNOW MARGARET ATWOOD!

so i personally think this is a worthless piece because
1. as i said, the words bring nothing new to each other, to their daily use.
2. it doesn't bring anything interesting to the vision one could have of atwood's work, or to the original poem. you like her, we got it, that was really poorly written. full stop.

look, i love cummings, right? and we all know you know like oh so much about poetry so you will get the mean joke if i say that your poem is to margaret atwood what this shit is to cummings, won't you? (i'm overexaggerating of course).

of ever-ever land i speak
yes, of ever-ever land
where everyone is mean
and no one truly free

down with hell and heaven
in ever-ever land people are dumb
because they go to church lol
and i don't believe in god

in ever-ever land, i think
that people suck because
they are all about money
and cigars, yeah

and that's what cummings said
and that was oh so good
but i'm butchering his masterpiece
cuz camille is not dumb

not like all the people
of ever-ever land lol
8 people spoke <-----> speak some truth