poetry critical

online poetry workshop

you're here, i have you

i have you,
fine lines and thick
thighs like cornhusks
like the silk beneath them.
so here,
your lengths
unwrapped in my hands.
hell-bent to move.
don't run yet, capricious you.
you will tomorrow,
tonight, even,
however devoted
to this breath
i bear you
water filling a metal basin
injured and exhausted like the moon.
i graze your surface,
i feel my reflection.
so full of makeshift tragedies,
yet all i wanted was to be full of you.
you'll demand rebirth,
i know.
you'll avoid and bury
as you fold into someone else's womb,
the way you were.
but i won't abide.
i'll learn to raise an army.
i will sing of you.
and when i do,
i will sing you electric.

10 Mar 10

Rated 10 (8.1) by 3 users.
Active (3): 8, 10
Inactive (15): 1, 1, 1, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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I can't tell if you're talking about a lover or a newborn child. Either way i love it.
 — justagirlx3

This is BODACIOUS! I love it, love it, love it, love it!
And the last stanza, "raise an army" I love lines like that...
 — mandolyn

 — SarahMichele

i wonder if it's not possible to think that whitman was writing a kind of 'cinematic prose' and not really 'poetry'? that his constructions of contrast and conjunction reflect photo-album reality -- where a picture, for the first time in history, is one of many such pictures, instantaneous images, not slowly painted or drawn? and, so many images, side by side in a photo album, have you wander from one time reality to another -- the illusion of time. i think that whitman intuited that it's the juxtaposition of images that make prose work as art, and poetry is such a plastic thing that breaking up his re-invented prose into line-break sensitive text -- and, labeling it 'poetry' so that it would be accepted, way before a time when prose was free enough to work on several dimensions, gave him a 'product'.

copying the surface of a text -- the content -- can't give the poem a magic of its own. it's always in the style, and the style is the way you're embedded in your own feeling. what comes out is really 'you'. this piece is a document of construction, but not a poem yet. sorry, but just because it says nice things doesn't make it 'poetry'.
 — bmikebauer

if you want a more concrete image of what i'm thinking about this, think of someone hearing the ending of the 'beethoven ninth symphony', grabbing the theme, and working it as a country-western song, saying that it was 'inspired by beethoven', when really it was just that there was a catchy tune to pick up on.
 — bmikebauer

ok. now drop the whitman
 — unknown

this is beautiful! so curvy and sensuous. i love the last stanza - i love it all.
ten :)
 — unknown

That last line is superb.  I applaud you, this is a beautiful evocation.  In my mind it's the new born.
 — crimsonkiss

wow, thank you :)
 — _fallenleaf

problem witht he last line is it's from a song.

I sing the body electric.I celebrate the me yet to come.

FAME I'm gonna live forever.
 — Solstice

yeah, i knew about that one. the line's also been used as the title of a weather report record. before that, it was a line in a walt whitman poem. i'm using it in a different context, though. here, i thought electricity could mean volume, as in, not just telling a story in a subdued way, but by shouting it from the rooftops. i think that, sometimes, in an effort to erase the appearance of trauma and emotional affectation, we can push an experience away, and write it off as unimportant or harmless.
i also think i wanted to write a poem about the refusal to let relationships, or even physical encounters, slip into the great abyss that is memory, or the retelling of what makes us who we are. that everything helps shape us, that we should call upon our pasts from places of strength and pride.
i felt uncomfortable citing whitman, the musical, or w.r. because i didn't think we were using "i sing the body electric" in the same ways. i don't know, though, maybe      i tried to wrap up too much in such a well known line?
at any rate, i recognize that i wasn't the first to put these words together in this way. i do like the way this looks and sounds.
 — _fallenleaf

That's fair enough, and it's a fine poem. Just me myself, I try hard not to use anyone elses lines. But I do see how you used it in a different context.
I didn't realize Whitman used it thanks for that tidbit
 — Solstice

Oh for heaven's sake.

Someone named a bucking bull Bodacious, so shame on Mandolyn for plagiarising in a comment line, and I think her name's an instrument, and an instrument could be a pen, or a hot shot, or a poetic device.

Language is everywhere. We soak it up. That's how we learned to talk! So I'll do you the respect of talking about what your poem is, as opposed to what it is not.

It is a voluptuous harvest of imagery. Bravo.

Last line fix: If you like electric, and want to make it more your own, why not reincarnate it but bring your cornfield into the works? EG silk husk electric, that kind of thing. You can use that or try your own.

Love all the feeling in this write. Thanks for posting.
 — NicMichaels

There is a big difference between someone using Mandolyn as a screen name, as opposed to say someone using "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness" in a poem. And I do belive I said I liked the poem, just not a fan of the last line, is all.
He don't gotta change it just cause I said something about it. It's fine as is.
Sorry to the aurthor I didn't mean to comment on someone elses comment on your poem. I won't do it too you anymore.
Nice poem.
line 22 and 23 are beutiful.
 — Solstice

Solstice: Didn't mean to sound like I was busting your chops. Just feel for the writer here. Point taken. Don't see anything wrong with commmenting on comments, either, as long as it stays on subject and is part of the workshop process. My my point is that language is a dynamic exchange, sometimes one syllable at a time, sometimes a phrase at a time. Maybe the "electric" coop just needs an attribution.
 — NicMichaels

I <3 this.

Great closing.
 — laura352

My favorite part is the last line "I will sing you electric."

Ooooh, that's a bit nice. xD
 — irisiis

OH!  This is maJESTIC!  Great job!  :-)
 — starr

I agree I love the last three lines
 — psychofemale

I think that if you got rid of some of the extraneous commas, this would be even better.  Maybe a few other extra words, such as line 25.  You don't need that line at all, it simply is filler.  Take out the filler and this is tight and lovely, very romantic.  
 — Isabelle5

hmm. better?
and thank you :)
 — _fallenleaf

so. good.
 — dazlious

I like the mood, it's so clearly about a lover very loved and admired.   I love the part about escaping you by being born first.  Electric?  Eternal?  
 — Isabelle5

yes! exactly. preserved, permanent. eternal, but w/out the sunday school flashbacks, haha
 — _fallenleaf

I thought it was beautiful. However I agree that the last line could be reworked so it is stronger.
 — Callisto

Will sing you eclectic.
 — unknown

you're erotic.
 — unknown

Ahhh beautiful beautiful. I prefer the "newborn child" interpretation but I also love that it's ambiguous.
 — eurydice

another good one.
 — RGJohnson

Crap! This is so freaking good.
I still love it.
 — mandolyn

Hard to get away with an ending line ( or any line for that matter)  that so closely resembles
I sing the body electric.
 — unknown

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 — dongbei