poetry critical

online poetry workshop

Lost City

Our route was faint as a bulldozed road,
lost among yellowing pages of ancient guide books.
To combat heat we soaked handkerchiefs in lime,
dined on melons, sucked salt from crustaceans sealed in brine.
“Tourists here have third class rating.”
Council elders tape totems, stabilize walls,
caulk fates and leaky roofs with tarpaulin, plastic sheeting.
All we can do is stand and pray for our sins,
for flights that will take us beyond the oceans rim.

16 Oct 06

Rated 10 (6.3) by 1 users.
Active (1): 10
Inactive (4): 1, 4, 5, 10

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A very apposite comment on tourism - which I think is so cleverly done - excellent the voice you give to the indigenous speaker and the atmosphere is almost menacing. Very good
 — opal

Thanks Opal.

I must say this is a fine crit but then i would say that , wouldn't I?

Larry home fires Lark
 — larrylark

What a great picture this paints.  A tribute of sorts to culture.  I got the feeling of days spent in the desert.  I love L3...handkerchiefs soaked in lime.  I'll have to try that next summer!  Thanks!  Great poem!
 — starr

Larrylark!  I read this and had no idea it was you until I rated it!  I just LOVE your stories!  Starr
 — starr

This poem took me nowhere. It said nothing new and was not very memorable. Tie these lines together with a scheme and maybe you'd have something. Not beautiful, not amazing, not new. But nonetheless a poem. 7/10
 — Henry

Dear Henry

Thanks for your searingly honest crit. I promise i will try harder in future.

 — larrylark

Dear Starr

I got this one straight out of a holiday brochure for a week end in Bagdad.

Larry far flung dangerous places Lark
 — larrylark

Great imagery. Sounds like a place worse than Bagdad ... Particularly like l 1-4.
 — JustineCH

Dear Justine

Thanks for the kind words. Actually its based on Cleethorpes.

Larry exotically cheap holidays Lark
 — larrylark

I think I'll give that a miss then ... :-)
 — JustineCH

Dear JustineCH

A place not visited is an experience missed.

Larry I wish global warming would come to Cleethorpes Shallow
 — larrylark

line 1- "a bulldozed road" this doesn't make sense to me. do you bulldoze a road? I thought it was more something with buildings. also, the image is not a faint path but a clear cut bulldozed one.

line 2- are the guidebooks ancient? indiana jones kinda. maybe just "Yellowing guide books", though I do like the images that "ancient" invokes

lines 3 and 4- these are great details. the arrangement of the words is not awesome but it works.

5,6,7 - The wording in this stanza changes, is more concise, less clear cut, which is fine, but i think you should keep it consistent with the rest of the poem, whichever way you choose. Also maybe the quotations are unnecessary.

8,9 - this didn't really tie anything together for me. introducing religion when it wasn't really anywhere else except maybe taped totems. and why is the ocean coming into play here? the ending needs work. maybe bring an idea from the beginning back to finalize or put more "prayer"/religious stuff earlier?

I do like the idea of this. The second and third stanzas are definitely something to build on but really this poem doesn't feel like a complete poem to me.
thanks for writing,
 — heidikmck