poetry critical

online poetry workshop

on mozart or beethoven and constellations.

i am turning now
in graceless motion
as i did
so many months ago.
i wonder:
what have you done?
where have you gone?
because this hour has stretched
for miles and for dreams
beyond my reach.
we wouldn't have known this, you
and i. we couldn't have predicted
how this separation
would fill
my imagination
to the point
of rupture.
i no longer dream in color
nor in picture
nor sound.
yet i see more deeply, further,
far enough into this
to connect constellations
out of my darkness
and string stars
toward each direction
i have never known.

1 May 07

Rated 9 (8.6) by 3 users.
Active (3): 9
Inactive (22): 1, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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i know this voice, yes. i do. i do.


it's getting dark, in here, or is it me? no, it's getting dark.
nice poem. yes.

for the title, would you consider 'and' instead of 'or'? or just one name instead?
or does the music not matter that much?

some suggestions? -- yes...

with the semi in line 5, i feel
that the
you have's should be have you's. without the questions.
distance in line 21, i can read it standing in its own line. :)

also, try 'never' instead of 'ever' in line 26.

 — varun

motion is active and therefore needs a "did" or a "was", not a "been" to create real action and sense of time elapsed between the two parts of the sentence.

such things as smoothness of language might also help what to me seems laborious presently, e.g.:

as i thought i had been
so many months ago

as i was/did
so many months ago

this slight lack of fluency is fairly consistent throughout. best of luck with where you next take this piece
 — unknown

 — listen

hi midare,

wonderful as usual.
the only thing that trips me is 'consistantly (consistently) consonant'.
in what way are you using consonant? word sound or agreeable?
if the latter than you are using one word to describe another with basically the same meaning?
if the former than i am not understanding the relevance.
 — unknown

thanks v and sam. :) i made a bunch of changes.

specifically, v:
i changed everything you suggested, switched around the you's/have's
and left the question marks because i like them there. i dunno why else. grin.
and the title is for a friend of mine. a little esoteric, yes. but so am i.

and sam! (i hope you're sam, if not i apologize):
thanks for pointing that out to me. i guess i was just waiting for someone to.
i wasn't too fond of it in the first place but i didn't know what to do with it until now.
so thanks.

if you guys could catch this and give it another look-over, i'd be so grateful.
i guess out of all the poems i've ever written, this one is up there for
"means the most to me."

 — midare

oh, first unknown. sorry, this slipped my mind.
i definitely considered what you wrote. i haven't made any drastic changes here
specifically on pc just yet, but i understand your point about my tenses. it's
something to work on. thank you.

 — midare

I think this should be banned.
'Mozart' offends me.
 — unknown

yeah, yeah, you're a champion of free speech, we're hypocrites, all that rag...

PC sees someone like you every couple of months, then you get distracted or fed up and move on

fischer-price revolutionaries
 — unknown

i would say there are many good reasons why this poem means a lot to you. it certainly deserves your attention. i like the light energy here, like a really powerful note of music. perhaps a comma after beethoven? you must be tired of suggested punctuation, but maybe that comma would give it some space?

i like your approach here. you have sensitivity to your topic, to this art you've captured for us.
 — listen

know, no comma after beethoven. i like the line feel in the title. i like how gone and done rhyme, i'm not sure why, i think it's because of the relaxed nature of it, maybe?

i'm sorry but this seems perfect to me. how is there flaw? i'd be happy to criticize your own version of unrest against parts of this poem you don't like. but until then i have no criticism.

nice work.
 — listen

Nice work!
line 2 'graceless motion' gave me psychedelic imageries.
lines 17, 18 and 19 ... refreshing.

Just like to say i have read most of your poems but dont have time to comment on them.
 — trochee

 — varun

This flows so well and gives the big picture of thought imagination , space and time. I got a feeling of vastness here and emotions that stretch across a cosmos without end but then maybe its only words. Fine work

Larry urban spaceman Lark
 — larrylark

thank you so much, everyone. this really means a lot to me.

lots of smiles!
 — midare

i get it now, the title that is... i get it... man, i'm slow. fuck.

hope all's well, mate.
 — unknown

 — skyline

This is Stephen Sondheim, not Mozart... I hate Mozart, this is really good. I mostly like that you don't worry about how the poem sounds to the reader, that you just plow through the words like a horse behind a plow. I suppose I get it, then -- that you're saying that Mozart and Beethoven were peasants, and I suppose that's true. I wonder what they saw and thought of when they looked up into the night sky? Bach? They wish.
 — joey

Too many commas but I like this in spite of my punctuational self.  

I love the image of the star necklace.  

Go back to dreaming in color and sound, please.  
 — Isabelle5

Punctuation has always been way of pausing the reader's reading, and helping the reader to read what we've written. Punctuation in poetry is for helping, not proving a point. Indeed, the point of the poem is the Poet, not the reader, and the reader has to read a poem very carefully. Your "punctuation self" is like a dressmaker with a hand full of pins I think and uncoordinated reflexes. But, what are pins for, if not to get in little pricks? ;)
 — joey

I disagree about the point of a poem.  If it's for the poet, no need to post.  If it's for the reader, we need to use the tools of our chosen craft as well as we can.

CRAFTing, not just writing down words.  Anyone can write words down, poets try to make the words perfect and meaningful or what's the point, right?  
 — Isabelle5

The poet always find a reader, and, even though a poem attracts no good readers at first, someone will find it -- Titles are so important in a Trade Show like "Poetry Critical". You're not saying that every reader doesn't need to learn to read, are you? You have your craft, but it's a trade-school mechanics, and you're not reading the poem, just reading your scripting. Your reading hasn't much flexibility. I'll have to read some of your poems now to see craft in action!
 — joey

Joey, since you don't know me at all, it's sort of strange that you label me and this place as "trade school," but the very nature of Poetry Critical is to show each other how the poetry is perceived.  No two people read it the same, there is room for every opinion but there are some rules of language that have been carefully constructed over a long period of time and they stay because they work.

Surely, a poet can ignore them all, say he is original.  Some of us will find that a lazy attitude unless there is also evidence that the writer knows also how to execute his craft.  It's not all about feeling, it's also about making it as good as it can be.  
 — Isabelle5

"Work" is the phrase that pops out in your comment. "Work", as in "Changing A Tyre", Trade School Skill. I wouldn't want you to re-engineer an Cummings poem, for instance, nor Piers Plowman, since these original wordings wouldn't register with your templates. Aren't you a little arrogant about your skills?
 — joey

Well, aren't we all a little arrogant?  We wouldn't be posting if we didn't have just a tinge of arrogance.  I have been a reader for many years, a writer almost as long.  I have as much right to judge poetry as anyone else here, Joey.  Yourself for instance.  POETRY CRITICAL, that's the name of the place and that's our task.  Provide critical insight, as well as we can.  That's what I try to do, don't you?

Geez, I gave this an 8 to begin with, I think that's a fair rating.
 — Isabelle5

I just get the impression that you're reading it like a story. How much a part of poetry is the story?
 — joey

Maybe we can discuss this on the message board instead of using this poets work to voice our differences, how about that?  Midare already knows me pretty well and I am familiar with her unique writing, we're cool.  
 — Isabelle5

joey, you really shouldn't bothered. isabelle gets worked up by something like this every couple of weeks, gets really mad and bothered on the forum, eventually starts talking about how long she's been at PC, then backs down and says she's not as much of a bitch as she appears.

there, saved you both a bunch of blather and bother.
 — unknown

Yes, this is the kind of poem that doesn't inspire much more than self-loathing. Thanks for the advice.
 — joey

 — midare

this astounded me when i first read it. even with the subtle massage of the sonics, the voice is quiet with this heavy inertia hovering over me.

three small nits:
commas on |2,18 can be cut.
|7; 'and' doesn't seem needed.
|19; shouldn't 'or' match 'nor' from the previous line? not sure about the grammatic correctness of that.
|20; consider saying 'deeper' instead, erasing 'more deeply' for tightening.

thanks a lot for posting this. it was a wonderful read.
 — Virgil

 — unknown

i would like to say this as inoffensively as possible: you have skill with words. however, all i see here is craft; if you are communicating something, i am not getting what it is.

just for craft's sake:

the 1st strophe needs so commas whatsoever. line 7 needs no 'and'

line 7 would be better broken in two after where.

consonant hymn doesn't make any sense.

commas in 17, 18 are of no use.

or should be nor in 18.

26 should be toward.

no rating.
 — jumpoline

thanks everyone who commented. i made a few changes.
tightenings? maybe. haha.

i guess i meant this to be about me.
maybe i wasn't blunt enough. hm.

i've been struggling with the death of a very important friend
for a very very long time. and only now, these days,
am i starting to feel
a bit better.

so i guess i meant to write about that.
apparently i'm still stuck.

 — midare

it helps to know what it is about. good.
 — jumpoline

simply beautiful.

your poem is in perfect harmony, line breaks just in the right moment, unique imagery (love line 25-26) and the title is really great.
 — sparrow

Maybe a 4, maybe, but higher than a 6, no way! I am shocked at the poems in the top rated. This poem is not even good, barely average. Go out and read almost any poetry book, clear your minds of this shit!
 — unknown

This is still so witless, dreary plodding and dry -- no music here worth paying attention to. If you'd substitued "Jack" and "Jill" for "Beethoven" and "Mozart" the joes here would get it, that you're just cloning off some word structures you've borrowed from the soaps.
 — joey

oh, i love this.  i love this i love this.

especially the last stanza.  i have suggestions, but they'll have to wait until later, 'cause i'm still trying to catch my breath.

beautiful.  it made me cry.  entirely for my own reasons, but it's your pen (or keyboard) that dredged the mourning out of me, so thanks.
 — spaces

nice poem...
but seriously, the title tricked me into reading it...and if your going to use Beethoven as a trophy to hold up high and smile seductively from your pedestal, or whatever box your standing on...well, you should recognize that you will get crushed.
Where is the music in this? I am not a fan of Mozart...but thou shan't use the lords name in vain...and so forth.
Gustav Mahler wrote "the Planets" right? Well perhaps thats a more suitable direction.
 — DeformedLion

"holst". mahler wrote smaller.
 — joey

Anyway this is hardly 'big' enough for mozart or beethoven...no granduer, no vicissitudes...no swells and dips.  Hardly classical, in the sense that that kind of music was the universe, the stars and darkness all togethor, this is more like a nicely framed picture of it.

More like Norah Jones, but without the voice.
 — DeformedLion

actually, for the people that like moz and beet, the interlinking of theme and development is what we like, not the loud. this verse has no mystery. if it's not sondheim, which was maybe too oblique of me, it's kenny g.
 — joey

..you and your Kenny G...
i wasn't saying loud...more like impact...it can hit you from multiple directions...multi-layered. This is more two-dimensional, limited by the "I".

Its obvious anyway, how non-beethoven like it is...even "moonlight" goes beyond this...in that the voice drives deeper. It just has more.
 — DeformedLion

you don't really know "moonlight" -- it's very multileveled and what is difficult with this one is that it's so obvious and bland, working with the obvious in an obvious manner, so kenny g.

the point of "i" isn't the problem, maybe. because there are times when you have to use that word as  the most authentic thing, the thing you have to say, and no one can judge a poem -- everyone says this, but don't really know what they mean by it -- that the words of a poem come in the particular instance of the poem's writing and to read the poem at all is to read the words as necessary. necessary is, like, "the only thing possible", and not just a menu choice.

you're maybe thinking of the way the moonlight looks as surface, a kind of ebb and flow, or maybe just not rhythmically interesting, but people like me who are really into classical hear certain performers and hear their sense of musicality pulling the real elements that beethoven probably heard. he wasn't a hack, didn't write for joe even when he tried to. the fact that the joe's learned to listen to him is the lession -- that we have to be absolutely real in our poetry for it to work... not what we say, but how we have to say it. in our case, it's letting ourselves out of the fuck of school writing, highschool norms of "culture" and "great writers". they're great, but not because they stand for safe neighborhoods and low interest rates.
 — joey

What I was saying by "Moonlight" was that although it is fairly simple as a composition, in that it has a few elements used to create its beauty...which contrasted against, say, one of B's symphony's. You are still hearing something complex. But still it is kind of simple in its construction, which is like this...there are few elements involved but still...they don't really go into making anything particularly defining...it don't stack up to 'Beethoven'.
So, you are right about the 'obvious and bland' bit. I was just saying that even in simplicity Beethoven has more...than this. Thus the title is just wrong.
 — DeformedLion

naw, i write this classical stuff, and the symphonies are kind of like sonatas orchestrated. look at the second in the seventh symphony, how it's made. in a sense, you might say that the moonlight is simply a reversal of the ordinary symphonic form, with the slow movement beginning the piece in second position. sorry, this isn't about anything, but i like to talk to musical people about music.

look at this though, this verse we're talking about...

"yet i see more deeply, further,
far enough into this distance" isn't a bad line, though sort of old fashioned. but the theme is old-fashioned masters and their values. it's just that this piece has the values of entertainment writing, stephen sondheim, and never writes itself out of verse, out of prose with rhythm.

anyway, just saying a picture of what mozart or beethoven sounds like to the author doesn't invent "mozart" and i think that's what we're both saying.
 — joey

Enjoyed this.
 — poetbill

 — unknown

guy lombardo
 — joey

we wouldn't have known
this, you and i. we
couldn't have predicted
 — unknown

that guy lombardo would have been invented out of idle gossip about mozart and beethoven? it would seem not, but it's actually in the american mall-suburb tradition to massively misunderstand that creative people at that level simply tell culture-vultures to fuck off. knowing moz and beethoven, they'd have been much more scatalogical about it than my modern sensibility needs show.
 — joey

I don't know if this 'does it,' not necessarily for me, but as a poem in general.

Yes, I do leave with a feeling of headlessness (which works in favor of the poem's topic, I suppose) but I don't see (or hear) anything being said. It's like I'm in a room, in midair (which is a great place to be, mind you), but only because there simply is no floor.

 — Rixes

moving, and absorbing, i need to return to this, to give it some proper reflection, but it connects somehow with something inside me. you don't need to know how it works. just that it does. wonderful. gorgeous. well done and thank you. it reminds me why i try to write. ,, ani
 — crimsonkiss

I've read this at least four times trying to find a reason to like it.  Non-capitalization of 'I' always reminds me of a baby's penis with a little dribble of pee coming out.  Look at it: i

All I see is the speaker floating in the equivalent of a think tank, pouting.  I guess I failed to arouse meaning or feeling.  And the relation to two famous composers?
Help me fit in with you popular kids.
 — aurelius

wonderful :)
 — FrayedSkirt

Ambiguous, sounds like a number of starry poems I've seen before... I can feel this one though, and I can't rate you poorly for a good poem with feeling.
 — technomancer

This has a lot of good stuff and a lot of baggage, I think.  Line 6/7 seem trite, the breaks in lines 14-17 I really don't like, and lines 18-20, although I like them, feel out of place.
 — Ossan

i wish i could help you critique this.

but it's far beyond my reach, and i love it just as it is.
 — shakeit

this does nothing for me.
 — unknown

works best when read slowly in a reflective frame of mind...
 — poetbill

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