poetry critical

online poetry workshop

Words Written in Raindrops on Windows

Poetry is more than just words.
Despite what has been said
by critics since the beginning of time
real poetry has nothing to do with rhyme.
In the type of poetry
that really touches us
with its sharp hint
of snow melting on our
bare skin,
as if they were written in
raindrops on windows in the spring time.
You know the type all too well.
The type of words that
resonate in your mind,  
and you can't
imagine how you ever
managed to let such a
simple truth
and obvious beauty
elude you.
Then comes a dab of simple subtle repetition,
repetition; that could make you inhale
twice without exhaling.
Poets write lines that are so enthralling that your pulse takes a two measure rest to allow your eyes time to reach the end of them all the while never realizing they are unnecessarily long.
We taste the poets' words
on our lovers' lips
and read them from the back
of our eyelids when we
finally close our
tired eyes each night.
A poet gives you lines
that you are
tempted to tattoo
across your forearm,
because they've become such a part of you.
If only you had the money or audacity.
When we meet poets in the street
we can read their words in their eyes.
They are everything we want to be;
the soft sombreness of eulogies
and the sweet sentiment of children.
They are the calloused keepsakes of memory
and the captivating cunningness of subtlety
all captured in beings painfully
aware of their own and this world's
Poems reverberate with the
natural voice of ink and paper,
spoken in languages we have
long since forgotten.
Sometimes it sounds lovely and perfect
like the sounds of an opera singer's
aria echoing down the stairwell.
Other times the voice is soft and raspy
like words spoken in between cigarettes
by gentle grandfathers,
on whose laps we sat as children.
Whatever the case, there is
always a certain beauty present.  
That same beauty that seems to underlie all
of existence, even the parts we have
shallowly classified as "ugly."  
And though they,
the same people that
can look at the last triumphant display
of a wilting rose's petals and see nothing
but deformation and decay,
may say,
that pictures
tell a thousand words,
I'd prefer a poem
any day.

28 Jan 06

Rated 9 (8) by 3 users.
Active (3): 9, 10
Inactive (25): 1, 1, 3, 3, 4, 4, 6, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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(27 more poems by this author)

(14 users consider this poem a favorite)

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gag me!
 — unknown

you ought to be more precise in line 1. instead of Poetry is more than just words you should say Poetry is more than just words to the poet. as far as im concerned they are just words
 — TheO1dCrow

I have to say, I was a little wary of this at the beginning, but as I read through it, I have to say that I fell in love with this poem.  It's gorgeous.
 — fallinforyou

i have to say i have to say i have to say
 — TheO1dCrow

How did you get the flow and off overlapping like that?
 — unknown

beautiful...and thoughtful. something that i do cherish and call a favorite.
 — cali86

Definitely a favourite. You put forth a point that I couldn't hope to fully comprehend unless I had actually read the subject matter. I'm not going to rate this, because I believe this poem deserves more than a simple 10.

 — teo_omega11

great detail.
 — pull_my_hair

well im a poet and photographer and i prefer pictures, i do - shoot me if you want. its just because i fall into a good photo like i fall into a pool of water. However pictures created in my mind by six of your words - Words Written in Raindrops on Windows - are worth/ are priceless.
The poem itself i realy was enjoying and then i found my self drifting cause i feel its a bit to long. But youve got talent and your funny (lines 28 n 29) amounst others do make me smile. thanks - 9
 — philoanon

This is pretty good. I agree with the sentiment wholeheartedly. A couple notes, L27 should be "elude". L65 "Whatever the case" sounds jarring and comes right at the point where a reader MIGHT begin to think you are being too longwinded.... it allows them to think they are right, and they are not. This is not too longwinded; don't make excuses for the length within the poem itself.
 — Ananke

line 27. perhaps you really do want the logical choice: elude  (?) Just checking.
 — unknown

I really like this poem, I think this is good because it's really thoughtful. That's definately a favourite for me.
 — Anonymous_55

while somewhat thoughtful it does not comment on how poetry can be used to express negative topics like abuse, power and hypocrisy.
 — unknown

i wuv wis

since i can't weed, i'm wooking at it like an escher

and its fantwastic:

somewon is wetting their wode go in a tunnel of tits


 — unknown

Ananke:  thanks for catching the typo.  I've fixed it now.

Thanks everyong for the comments
 — Resonanz

this is great, i like it
 — madderhatter

i agree w/ the guy at the top! gag me!
 — unknown

Thanks madderhatter.
 — Resonanz

i really really like the title. it sounds like something i would make up. and i enjoy the imagery you've used.
 — endlessdream

Thanks for the comment.
 — Resonanz

i love this. at first i was afraid it would play off as the cliche cry out of a poet...but i fell in love with this poem. it puts poetrys effect on the heart & mind ino beautiful words. **cheers**
 — notetoself

i like it.
 — listen

Thanks for the comments.
 — Resonanz

As one who's read you a number of years, this touched my heart as a fellow writer. I enjoyed it.
 — unknown

Lovely. I really enjoy L31, it is exquisite and really impacts, very very clever.

 — musicwords

you idiots, this sucks.
 — unknown

Thanks for the comments everyone. (except the unknown above of course)
 — Resonanz

waindwops keep falling on my head
 — unknown

wainwops... wainwops...
 — unknown

I don't know if I've commented on this before (I don't think I have, but I'm too lazy to check) but I love this.  I can't really say anything that you haven't already heard, but I thought I'd tell you anyway.  This is great.
 — fallinforyou

talk about lazy.... you already commented
 — unknown

toooo loooooooong
 — unknown

nice poem.
you posted on my birthday... that's awesome.
 — unknown

 — unknown

This is so sweet.  Yeah...we poets ARE really cool.  We see people, places, things and memories with a definitely heightened kind of awareness, don't we?  The mood(s)  of a poet's musings are evident and musical.  I would want nothing more in life than to continue to paint with words.  It's a very special thing and it takes a very special eye/mindset to effectively convey this through, as you say, "ink and paper."  Very nice.  Celebrate poetry always.  It's like Maya Angelou once said, "Poetry is the essence of a feeling."  Amen.
 — starr

meh... cheese.
 — unknown

 — unknown

All that's  false, goes to the light while the truth remains hidden in the shadows.
 — unknown

I loved the title, then I read the first stanza and was disappointed. I didn't bother reading any further.
 — unknown

very catchy title, but the first stanza made me begin to lose interest. it sounded like the begining of every other average poem posted. against my judgement, i read on. i am so glad i did. the poem dragged on a bit, but i loved the end. great work! truely beautiful.
 — luvscost

: )
 — fractalcore

i think i'll be sick.  you say all these things about what a good poem is, and your poem is none of them.  follow your own advice much?
 — smcyrone

I really enjoyed this.  I loved the smooth, and at times clever, structure and the calm tone of the poem.  The last stanza reminded me of Frost's 'The Road Not Taken' so much.  Nice work.
 — cualquier

jeeps, this is really bad writing. gold star for "best little boy with milk spilled down his shirt", but not for "poetry". why'n't you be real and write a little song with rhymes... it's what's in the back of your mind, what's bothering you... you know that poetry is the dance of life, but you want writing to be the fucking 12 commandments. until you can write a simple jingle, a la-la look at this, you'll never write serious poetry from the heart. right now, you shouldn't be afraid of looking silly, because, at this stage, you don't know how to write poetry.

did i offend you? write a poem about it.
 — joey

You'd have to understand that, while the poem isn't about feelings profound or something that might have been bothering the poet in the back of their minds, it takes a small aspect or observance and expands on it.  It may have not been in the back of one's mind bothering them, but people generally do tend to realise something they consider either enjoyable or fulfilling and when they do it comes like a brick to the head.  This poem does well to both express the the beauty of how something so simple as putting words on paper or on a screen (to be as general as possible) can carry such complex emotions or thoughts of the poet and evoke such things in the readers, and to express the poet's own feelings toward the subject at hand.  I consider this poem wonderful in its simplicity.  No, it's not a work of art that'd be timeless and would upstage anything else I've read, but it's enjoyable for the reason that it doesn't need to be anything more than it already is, and nor does it grasp for such a goal.  It's written, it's there, and it's what it is.
 — unknown

get back to me on that in a week. this is dreck writing and i think you must be slumming. or, it may be that you haven't been around poets, haven't talked with many kinds of poets and known what it is that they do and what they want from their writing. at a cobalt cafe reading, where the readers are all under 20 and trying to do hip hop, this, if it were read with spirit, might get a lot of attention. i don't think the author of this would be able to read it out loud though without feeling that it was fucked as writing. it's just too wordy and cliche'. maybe if it was re-written as a play-script and the speakers were well identified with a particular and parasitic thought -- like "spoon river" maybe -- then you could keep an illusion of importance going. but, this is like watching dishwashing, where the dishwasher isn't your friend.
 — joey

you know, joey, being the mascot of the poetry circle doesn't count for much. they scratch your chin, give you a bone, and tell you what a good dog you are, but still, they don't see you as anything but the mascot. i know, i was that chin scratcher, and you remain that dog.
 — unknown

In a week then, you'll hear from me again.
It seems to me, however, that the way you begin to judge whether something is of worth to even write in some sort of lyrical fashion is by taking your experiences or simply observations, thoughts, feelings, or whatever it is that you hold of most importance, and pinning what you see in the future against the information database you have readily stored.  The issue with this is that writing isn't based upon this, or at least it shouldn't be (both in my opinion and as a general thought).  I can argue the cliché stance that not all people are the same in thoughts and emotions, so that merits different opinions and different styles- and to an extent I will argue that.  True, you have me between the devil and the deep blue sea when you say that I haven't spent time extensively with other poets, but that's both partly due to the reason that I've a tendency to isolate myself both physically and mentally to spend elongated periods of time with others, and because I'm not sure what would or wouldn't fit your definition of a poet; as it does appear to me that you have fairly stringent guidelines on the issue.  People, in general, are poets, even though some don't even try to write anything.  One isn't born a poet, as far as I can see (and my vision is failing, admittedly), but the ability to write coherently does accumulate to something.  So, consistently using past experiences from some locked-away database to judge observations with observations isn't about as far as an autistic gets; as autistics don't have the ability to "mind-read" emotions or attain such from something they see.  I can't say I've ever been to such a cafe you describe, nor would I know if this poem would fare well in such a situation, but I do know what I want from, and in, my poems.  I can't say I have a knowledge of what others, or even you, do-- so I suppose I am autistic to an extent.  
Regardless, a week and counting.  
 — unknown

only people who write poems are poets. the joe who writes jingles for t.v. is a poet. there's nothing special about being a poet except that poets have the talent to make poems. when an "everyone is a poet" makes a poem, what does he make it of? isn't it a cloning off "mary had a little lamb"? and, here, a cloning off ginsberg or adrian rich? is saying something which sounds like a poem, actually making a poem? if i were five, and didn't know poetry, then everything here in p.c. would be poetry, and i'd be a good little boy around poetry. being a poet is like being musical, is like being queer... you don't get to chose, because the reality of wording or sperming forces the issue. i have to write, and you have to write too. how you write depends on how you learnt writing and how independent your inspiration is. you can write about puppies and write or you can write about the cosmos and the person you love. in that sense, we're both poets, but the feeling of being "poetic", of seeing a photograph as "poetry", is a learned thing -- someone told you to say this -- it isn't intuitive, since the world isn't a word-shape and a photo is a that something physical about which we write poems. work the poem from the primal biological, the urge to disappear in words, to make yourself one with something. stacking words into stacks of lumber, like this one, work to reduce yourself, but only by diverting the reader from seeing what you really are as a shining spirit. just saying you are doesn't work.
 — joey

What I meant by my comment in that people are poets, even though some don't write anything at all, is speaking more for capability than for someone's inherent nature to pick up writing.  I'm not sure if either I understand you or you me, but that's beside the point.  Of course the way one writes reflects the way one learnt to write, and in a way just how far the apple had fallen from the tree, that's understandable, and I do believe that someone who is dedicated to their work would feel a need to write rather than simply a desire to do so.  But, take it this way, the way your comment is structured gives me the impression that you're voiding the validity of this poem as a poem at all simply because it doesn't seem to hold deep, moving, or overwhelming emotions.  There are two main sources for expression, with the rest lying around here, there, and under my bed: mind and heart.  This poem doesn't possess images or descriptions, or really a feeling, that would throw anyone from ground and send them flying, but it displays the poet's feelings towards, not really a bothersome, worrisome, et al, issue, but rather an observation.  Such merits as much validity for poetry as deep feelings for the reason that feelings do the same, as do opinions, thoughts, and anything else that ends up conjuring a brick and sending it flying toward someone's head.  
 — unknown

Joey, I feel as if the more we continue this not so much a debate as it is becoming a discussion, the more that we're going to drive ourselves into the ground and theoretical outlooks that preside more in the field of philosophy.  Not that I'm bothered by a philosophical discussion, it's just that it could get messy, and I'm stubborn when it comes to cleaning things.  (Maybe I could have the dishwasher you mentioned earlier? It would take care of one area of cleaning).
 — unknown

it isn't beside the point. some people simply don't need to write a poem, just as some of us don't need to work out a fourier transform for the fun of it. it's a talent to use words, to write poetry. in the days, when only a few hundred joes could even read, only some five or six bothered with poetry. the assholes would say that that's because poetry was arty, but i think it's that those few people biologically needed to do that one thing which is "writing a poem". it's much more interesting than just forcing some kid in a classroom to "not write in rhyme, write what you really feel!". the point here is that you're showing that you want to write a poem. you can't trick me into thinking you're not trying to write one. this blog entry just doesn't happen to work as poetry -- it leaves no sense of its own form -- it doesn't invent a music behind it -- and, the words aren't friendly to each other. it makes the mind ramble, think of other things, just to keep the mind alive. stacks of dead phrases, waiting to burn on the ghat so that something beautiful might happen with them. but, not a poem.
 — joey

Yes, it is a talent, but as far as I see it, it's one developed rather than born with.  Taking my traditional middle-man approach to things: no, I don't believe that you'll see a Poe born that picks up poetry and eloquence with words from the beginning, but nor can everyone write poetry well.  People can try, yes, but it is something to be developed.  I'm not sure what you meant by your statement that the poem makes the mind wander, but in certain situations, such a thing is called for.  It's inherent because of either what the poem makes the reader feel, think, or simply when it points something out.  The message in this particular poem isn't vastly clever or wise, but you'd have to understand that it's not trying to be.  It's writing for the sake or writing, both through a desire and a need.  It's what people, "poets" in particular, have a tendency to do; express something when they're overwhelmed by either a certain emotion or thought.  No, I can't tell you that I JUST need to write.  I want to, I have a desire to, I admit that (how can I not?).  But the reason I want to is because I need to, and I need to because I want to and it is something, a skill if you consider it so, that I choose to continue with and further develop.  Perhaps this poem doesn't make music, it doesn't sweep people, animals, and the kitchen table off of their feet, but it does express something.  Not all poems can delve as deep into a person as others, but it depends on the subject that inspired the person.  And I do believe that something meaningful to a person, urging them to write in the first place, simple or complex, both elaborates on their own person and their skill.  If anything would ever do so, I think that would merit at least some respect for "how independent [the poet's] inspiration is."  
 — unknown

language learning means learning words and moves, but not the "language". it's with us. that a poem is "feeling" is a given, that it creates a feeling in the listener is "interpretation". that a smart reader who likes poetry and has the talent to read can read your poem and see it has feeling apart from the momentary posting, is simply how it has to work in a critical forum like this. my forum/site is a talking with very smart poets. i don't know what your forum/site is, but i suspect it's just safety in numbers. this is just a prose essay with funny line breaks. there's no invented world or frame around this, just the author's assertions. it's talk radio, skittery and evasive. if this were as honest as you're pretending, you'd have turned the dialog on yourself, and shredded everything in this. it would have made for a stronger poem, because you'd be talking about a poem you actually understood instead of just talking about "them".
have you read many of my poems?
 — joey

You can't frame something if it's a momentary observation or inspiration.  I'm not talking about "them" to avoid putting the conversation either on myself or anything in specific, but rather because the way you seem to judge this poem is by taking a stance as if you preside over everything and say the poem isn't a poem, or at least a good poem, for the reason that it doesn't reflect upon the intentions, desires, or simply what "they", or the "real poets" you speak of knowing, want from their poetry and what they get out of it.  I feel as if I'm pulling the "every person is different" card again, though I'm not trying to.  As for sites, I'm not even sure how that came into the discussion, but the assumption of safety in numbers as far as I understand myself is incorrect.  If by displaying your poetry you end up blending yourself in with the rest of the people, then I don't know how much of a human you can be, as you are throwing yourself and your observations/opinions/emotions out into the lions den to see if the animals would find it appealing or not, and such a description like "animals" isn't too far off.  As for interpretations, those come inherently simply by someone reading a poem.  Yes, you have to understand the actual language to get something form a poem more than just the literary dribble of word placed after word, otherwise the poem would be incoherent.  But, evoking something is part of actually displaying your poetry to other people.  You can't tell me that you write completely to yourself (or I suppose you can, but I'd have a hard time believing you).  Because if you did, I don't believe you'd write, or possibly structure your poems at all.  What people experience within themselves wouldn't be of any need to be structured if it were not to be interpreted by others because the person should have already interpreted and understood what they're writing before they began writing in the first place.  Without some sort of viable structure the message and the poem itself would become meaningless.  It's writing which expresses something the person sees (particularly in this poem), even if it reads more of an essay than a sonnet or whatnot.  I'm digressing though, particularly because I feel as if I'm beginning to try to indoctrinate you in some way, and I don't want that or even pretend to do so.  I am hypocritical, however, but that really is beside the point.  
As for your poems, yes, I've read them.  It was hard not to come around to reading them considering you're both one of the most outspoken people on this site (not that it's a bad thing by any means), and I have an outstanding curiosity.  I enjoyed some more than others, or at least the images/messages displayed in them, though many of yours have similar titles so I wouldn't be able to name off the top of my head; but nor is this really the place to converse about your poetry more than it is about this one poem.  I'll catch you there in probably a week's time as you said, as a comment for one of your own poems.
 — unknown

the observation and, indeed, the notion of "momentary" is the framing. the framing is multileveled, starting with the author's device and identity to the reader and then the setting of the poem, the background and whatever is understood as holding the plot. then there's the boundaries of the plot itself, the framing of time through the edge-moment of glimpsed motion... what the author tells us, and what we feel is actually happening, presents a boundary, a frame holding the poem while we search for interpretation.
 — joey

"It's your poem, there is no such thing as "doesn't work""

-- quote from mussolini?
 — joey

Well, I do like your description of frame.  I also agree that it is multi-leveled, but I'm curious: apply your means of frame to what this poem offers (or doesn't offer if you're still firm in your place on that opinion).  
 — unknown

well, maybe in the first stanza, there's maybe the frame of the reader's interest and limits as he starts reading, and the rest of "poetry is...", to the last word of the stanza, is one frame, and "critic" is the interior frame it devolves to. and while this goes on, we're watching the author think the poem out, and maybe seeing where some deflection into "interesting things" is happening. frame in frame.
 — joey

just revisiting.

: )
 — fractalcore

what critics say poetry is just words?

this has some original images in it (L29-30) is good.

But at times this can get ridiculously cheesy. The title itself makes me cringe.
 — joshcoops

Wow. I got so caught up in this poem it nearly made me late for physics... Well done, it's beautiful. :-)
 — unknown

great title, terrible poem.
 — unknown

Personally I think this poem is genius.  You spoke for all of those who can truly understand and enjoy poetry.  It's so much more than just words if it touches you.  
 — Mayuna

I agree Mayuna
 — larrylark

i like it.
 — unknown