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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Blind Review Friday

Blind Review Friday.

The author shall remain anonymous (unless they chose to divulge themselves in the comments.)

Those commenting are also welcome to remain anonymous if they wish.

Incendiary comments will be removed.

If you would like your piece thrown to the wolves send it to salinger@ameritech.net with "Workshop the hell out of this poem" as the subject line.

This week's offering (a day late - sorry) is from an established poet and in honor of the dads out there.

Fifteen

The boys who fled my father's house in fear
Of what his wrath would cost them if he found
Them nibbling slowly at his daughter's ear,
Would vanish out the back without a sound,
And glide just like the shadow of a crow,
To wait beside the elm tree in the snow.
Something quite deadly rumbled in his voice.
He sniffed the air as if he knew the scent
Of teenage boys, and asked, "What was that noise?"
Then I'd pretend to not know what he meant,
Stand mutely by, my heart immense with dread,
As Father set the traps and went to bed.




2 comments:

sara holbrook said...

I like this almost sonnet, but it makes me wonder what happened to the other two lines? The flow is very good with the thoughts that wrap around the line breaks -- one itsy bitsy glitch in the imabic pentameter in line seven: the beat of the line must come down on the accented syllable. A better choice might be "A thing" or a better one word adjective.

One of the missing lines could slide between the lines ending in snow and crow. It's just to come so close to the form and not follow it is a bit of a distraction to an otherwise spritely poem.

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

I have to say wow, I really like this. Love the line "glide just like the shadow of a crow."

It's very hard to pick any words that could be changed without changing the flow. With that said, though, the first sentence (which is the first half of the poem) is gramatically convoluted and has a wandering focus -- the nominal subject, "the boys", submerges in lines two and three, leaving the reader lost for a while about the subject. It would work better if the first six lines could be turned into two gramatical sentences, each with a clear focus, instead of one poorly-focused sentence.

But I'm not sure if it could be changed without doing damage to the poem, so I'd call this a criticism that doesn't apply here, but something to think about in constructing the next one.

I think I would switch the capitalization to only capitalize the starts of lines 1,7,8 and 10.

I'm afraid I'll disagree with sara (sorry!)-- I think the length is about right, and I'd be afraid to add anything for fear of subtracting from the punch. (It also doesn't have the point/counterpoint structure of a Shakespearean sonnet; I don't think making it a sonnet is necessary.)

Well done! Impressive piece of work!

Cited...

The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau