SEM 2, W3, #2: FOREVER IN DRAFT

All of you have turned in a significant piece of original poetry (along with 3+ rough drafts) this past week.

With that in mind, I’d like for you to share part of this poem with the rest of us…plus offer all of us a few elements that you’d still like to improve if you could continue with the drafting process.

Challenge:

  1. Copy/paste ONE stanza from your final poem into your comment here.  It is up to you which stanza you share.  If, however, you are not sure which stanza to share, pick the 1st one (that focused specifically on the scene in nature).
  2. Identify (5) things you’d like to improve or continue revising about this specific stanza.  Be specific in how you explain what you mean.
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44 responses to “SEM 2, W3, #2: FOREVER IN DRAFT

  1. Again I stand upon the brink of that (10)
    Breathtaking beauty, but for a more (9)
    Serious calling. The wind no longer (10)
    Whispers nor the red cardinal awakens (10)
    My heart, and the abandonment of youth (10)
    Never seemed so vast and strange. First snow has (10)
    Fallen, the stream frozen over, no (9)
    Longer a mirror but an icy barrier (12)
    Hindering my reach for the ruby gem. (10)
    My reason for wanting to touch the bird (10)
    Escapes my memory. And the sun no (10)
    Longer setting but long set, over the (10)
    Leafless trees. The silence of the scene, (9)
    An unnerving reminder of my (9)
    Evolvement from seasons of unfulfilling (11)
    Toil and despair. How did an honest (9)
    Living smother my spirit, replace my (10)
    Carefree happiness with a critical eye? (11)
    Pursuit of prosperity affords me (10)
    No enjoyment in these numbered days of (10)
    My existence. This nature, complete and (10)
    Surrounding cannot touch my soul. (8 )

    This is my third stanza. Actually it is what I thought would be the easiest part of the poem to write because it allowed me to dramatize about the subject.

    Well, I got a little carried away and at first it was almost funny how dramatic my language was (you would have thought I was a convicted criminal awaiting death 🙂 ) and still towards the end I believe the language I use might be a little dramatic.

    This is also the stanza that I had the most lines straying from ten syllables.

    Also (and this is hard to explain without the rest of my poem) but I restate my first stanza towards the beginning of this stanza and I wish I would have come up with a more creative way to get the point that ‘I have changed’ across.

    Also looking back on it now I wish I would have answered my rhetorical question in lines 17-18, or have just left it out.

    And lastly I seem to stray from concrete ideas a lot which makes this stanza not fit quite right with my other three(after line 14, when I stop describing the scene).

  2. Why be comforted, when that discomfort (10)
    Makes the memory real. Without the harsh, (10)
    Biting cold, nothing exists. Its touch brings (10)
    Memory to life, making it more precious than (12)
    Any other frigidity that could be felt. (12)
    As I revisit those days, I once again (11)
    See the gray as it overwhelms every (11)
    Sense, I can again feel the throb (8 )
    Of the pulse in my hand as I lose (9)
    Myself into the numbness of the (9)
    Biting cold. Imagining the powder as it (12)
    Brushes the fragments of my mind. (8 )
    I lose myself in memory when the world (11)
    Begins to pass me by and drown me out. (10)
    For hours I surrender into the (9)
    Wondrous cold; there, I can truly find (9)
    Myself. The joy that comes while beholding (10)
    Such a world again fires a deep (8 )
    Passion, sparking a longing for (8 )
    That place, kindling a need for the cold, (9)
    While replenishing an inner strength (9)
    To last until I may go back some day. (10)

    Things I would like to revise:

    1. I would love to spend more time with my poem and try to select my diction more carefully in order to have ten syllables in each line. I feel that a free verse poem that requires no rhyme scheme like ours needs to have some unifying force. A uniform set of syllables would create that unifying force that I find missing in my poem whenever the transitions from line to line feel awkward.

    2. I lose myself in memory when the world (11)
    Begins to pass me by and drown me out. (10)

    After looking at this line for the second time and reading it with fresh eyes, I would like to spend more time adjusting the language I use. Not only does the phrase “world begins to pass me by” read uncomfortably, having “begins” as the beginning of a line creates an unpolished feel. The slight pause naturally inflicted at the end of each line does not fit between “world” and “begins”.

    3. For hours I surrender into the (9)
    Wondrous cold; there, I can truly find (9)
    Myself. The joy that comes while beholding (10)
    Such a world again fires a deep (8 )
    Passion, sparking a longing for (8 )

    I feel that these lines need a better transition between the ideas in the first sentence to the ideas in the second sentence. The idea of losing yourself in the cold does not connect to a joy that comes to experience the memory. There needs to be some sort of idea or use of language that aids the transition between two different idea, and it is not there.

    4. While replenishing an inner strength (9)
    To last until I may go back some day. (10)

    I don’t like how I phrased these last 2 lines because I don’t think I was able to communicate what I really wanted to say in those words. I wanted to explain how that memory replenishes my inner strength and my inner peace. That memory has to last and still be lucid until I can go back to the real place of my memory and once again experience it physically, not through my mind. My memory replenishes an inner strength and that memory is strong enough and powerful enough to last for the years to come.

    5. Biting cold. Imagining the powder as it (12)
    Brushes the fragments of my mind. (8 )

    I also do not like my use of the word “imagining” here. I think that the verb ‘imagine’ is the right one to use, but the tense that I placed it in does not allow that line to connect to the lines preceding it. Before that line, I had been using phrases like “I once again can…”. Now, I wish I could rephrase that line to say something more along the lines of:

    “Biting cold. I can imagine the delicate
    Powder as it again brushes the
    Fragments of me mind.”

  3. My poem is titled, My Sanctuary Remembered. The first stanza is:

    Many years of aging passed, and again I see
    The trees of green spruce softly glimmering
    Through the wistful breeze of the unclouded sky.
    I feel the sepia-autumn leaves crunching
    Under the feet that tread upon them. The birds
    Are chirping to signal their successful
    Pilgrimage home. The squirrels are scurrying about.
    Recollections of the scents from fresh and exposed
    Wood lead my soul back to this special place. Within
    The serenity, I hear the lone ruffling
    Of tree tops and small animals foraging.

    I have reviewed my poem with a fresh set of eyes, a little more than a week since I completed my final version. In retrospect, there are several changes I would make to the drafting process.

    1) I would make modifications to all my stanzas, especially to the first stanza. 2) I would have described my nature setting in a more in depth fashion. 3) I would’ve brought in the many animals that seem to come out in the evening. 5) I should have also established the lake / water scenery which is part of the natural setting, however not presented in the poem. 5) Lastly, I would have ended the poem with a picture of nightfall to show the progression from daylight to night time.

    All these changes would have elongated my first stanza from 11 lines to 21 lines, making it the lengthiest stanza. Overall, I would have tried to capture the reader’s attention more aggressively.

    1) I would have replaced and expanded
    “Many years of aging passed, and again I see” with
    “Innumerable sunsets had bid farewell to
    The burnt orange horizon, and again I see”
    The meaning of the modified narration remains true to the original however the modified version is more expressive of the natural setting.

    2) I would have added
    “A swell of translucent skinks emerge at dusk” after
    “Of tree tops and small animals foraging”
    This addition would be an appropriate opening for the “colorful” semi-nocturnal and nocturnal creatures.

    3) I would have added
    “As the wild hares scamper in the dry creek bed.” after
    “A swell of translucent skinks emerge at dusk.”
    This expands the imagery of the animals in nature. It also introduces, for the first time, the thought of a water based scene (even though the creek bed is dry).

    4) I would have added
    “The fragile reflection emanating from the
    Stars illuminated the midnight blue lake” after
    “As the wild hares scamper in the dry creek bed.”
    These lines clearly emphasize the water scene. Additionally, it provides a foreshadowing of the impending dark.

    5) Lastly, I would have ended with
    “Just enough to see the shadows of the raccoons
    Lined up in perfect unison on the
    Retaining wall, as if posing for a family
    Portrait. Soon the silhouettes would
    Fade under the shroud of night fall.”

    This addition serves three purposes. It, again, expands the animal description to include a human-like quality (the “family portrait”). It also reinforces the significance of the lake with mention of the retaining wall. Most importantly, it brings the first stanza full circle, from the daylight (“…green spruce softly glimmering”) to the darkness (“…silhouettes would fade under the shroud of night fall.”)

  4. Here is my first stanza:

    The sky above opens to all, bright blue (10)
    Like electricity, striking, shocking. (10)
    Far away from everything that matters (10)
    So caught up in a cloudy wonderland. (10)
    Level rocks perfect for stopping to rest, (10)
    Seem made to look down at the distant ground. (10)
    The giant rock towered above the world, (10)
    Seeming to be an almost hopeless force (10)
    Above the path lined by thin blades of grass (10)
    Too tall and bright against the pressing wind. (10)
    Rocks tower above, at last the peak arrives, (10)
    From this point the soul is finally free. (10)
    Higher, higher, the world, smaller, smaller (10)
    Still shrinking as it keeps fading away. (10)

    1. I would change the order of the lines. The more I look at it, the less it seems to flow. I have messed with it a lot, but it still seems off. I might move lines 11 and 12 to the end.

    2. I would add more detail. I could bring in more about the weather, which was cool and damp.

    3. I would change line 6. It seems too plain. It doesn’t fit my memory enough. I need to think about something to make it fit better, but I’m not sure how to make it work.

    4. I might take out the lines about grass. Although they are a part of my memory, the lines don’t seem vital to my poem.

    5. I might mess with the language. I want to make it seem more dreamlike, or like a trance because it seems that way in my memory.

  5. Beauty fills the magnificent skies of
    The grand Appalachians with wonder and
    Awe, rippling sounds of serene waterfalls
    Soothe, creating sweet harmony to the
    Restless soul while the blazing winds approach,
    Whipping the grand evergreens amongst the
    Vast horizon; convivial clouds fill
    The heavens with splendid pleasure against
    The pastel sky. These visions of beauty
    Fill my heart with childlike joy, the soft dew
    That lies on the spring flowers brings glory
    To one’s eyes. The sun beams upon the harsh
    And rugged terrain that burns against bare
    Feet, illuminating the majestic
    Eagle that soars overhead, watching in
    Wonder those remarkable creatures that
    Inhabit the eminent Earth. As the
    Gleaming sun begins to depart behind
    The blunt mountain tops, an indigo sky
    Emerges. Even as sparkling stars submerge
    The heavens, I yearn to forget not the
    Marvelous sights witnessed on this day past!

    1. I would have probably tried to use more alliteration. I tried to use alliteration at least once in every line, but it was hard to do that and maintain only 10 syllables in each line. I think poems generally sound better with alliteration and that’s what style I wanted to pull off. In line 18, I would have liked to use an adjective beginning with the letter S to describe sun, but it was difficult.

    2. I would have liked to use more descriptive language. Throughout my whole poem, I used only certain words to describe things. I felt that some adjectives were repetitive. I also thought I could have used different nouns at some points, for example I would have changed the word glory in line 11.

    3. I would have ended it differently. I felt my ending was ok, but it had the potential to be so much stronger. If I had put a little more time into the end, I think I could have had a better poem overall.

    4. I would have made it shorter. This stanza is 22 lines, and my other ones are all shorter. This isn’t necessarily a really long stanza, but I wanted all of mine to be the same length. That would have been great if I pulled that off.

    5. On line 2, I said the grand Appalachians. I would have liked to rephrase those words. They sound alright, but the word Appalachians doesn’t flow with the rest of my poem. I wish I could have found another way to state that.

  6. Stanza 1

    Warm sunlight reflects off of the ocean (10)

    Causing specks of light to dance on the surface. (11)

    Waves rush from the sea to meet the dry sand (10)

    Then retreat back to where they came from. (9)

    Behind, trees sway to the rhythm of the wind. (11)

    The bluest of skies holds the beaming sun (10)

    That glistens in its land of shocking blue. (10)

    Specks of sand fly with a gust of wind (9)

    To land back on their blanket of grains. (9)

    A great current crashes onto nearby sand (11)

    Erasing the paw print that once was there. (10)

    1. A few times i chose words simply because the somewhat fit what I was talking about and made the amount of syllables per line work. I would probably like to put more thought into my words choice if given the chance.

    2. There aren’t any transitions in my writing, I’m simply stating phrases that don’t exactly have anything to do with each other except they are parts of a beach.

    3. I would like to talk a bit more about the sky, the ocean is important but I don’t think I showed how perfect the sky was in comparison to situation(a dog died).

    4. The way I mentioned the sand was weird, I felt that I needed to include the sand in the description because I was talking about a beach but I actually laughed when i saw “blanket of grains”.

    5. I would have put the last line somewhere in the middle of the stanza so it wouldn’t stand out so much. The paw print isn’t supposed to be the focus of the stanza but because it’s last it naturally draws attention to itself.

  7. – This is the second stanza:

    A cold rush pushes water over head(10)
    Noticing not the warm body within.(10)
    One sun perched high atop flowering trees(10)
    Highlights the turquoise escape beneath,(10)
    And though squinting eyes are drawn to look(10)
    They too miss the friend who ventures deeper.(10)
    Wishing this haven was everlasting,(10)
    Knowing reality would force one gasp.(10)
    The choice is made to slowly return,(10)
    To the world up above where boundaries(10)
    Are outlined by a rectangular shape,(10)
    Harshened by the forces of fog filled wind,(10)
    And yet softened by familiar hues. (10)
    As blue shades suggest another refuge(10)
    Harboring cream clouds content not to burst,(10)
    Softening this periwinkle pallet(10)
    Though unable to smother restrictions,(10)
    Surviving in the walls of cold buildings,(10)
    Present always in longing elder eyes,(10)
    Warmed not, by the intensity of light.(10)
    The mind that recalls these ingrained limits(10)
    Forces the friend to hinder an effort,(10)
    To revisit a place above wet warmth.(10)
    For beneath movement of crystal shadows,(10)
    Possibility and hope are granted(10)
    As relief to this child scorched by the place(10)
    Looming up above comfort filled waters.(10)

    1) I love the phrase ‘periwinkle pallet’ in line sixteen but I feel like it is forced. It feels like the phrase does not fit and was simply placed into the poem so that ‘blue’ would not have to be used again. I don’t think I could move this phrase but maybe increase the complexity of the language around it so that it does fit

    2) I am disappointed in line ten because that’s where a very smooth rythm is broken. The reader has been able to grasp the flow of the poem until this point because I wanted ten syllables and sacrificed what could have been a great line. If this line had been twelve syllables rather than ten then perhaps the rythm would not have been broken.

    3)Line seventeen with is too vague and big of an idea because of the word ‘restrictions.’ This implies an idea that is too ambitious for the second stanza and probably should have been presented in the third. I was trying to present the meaning of the poem early on but I feel like it is confusing and not clear what I was refering to.

    4) In line twenty six because I did not elaborate on the ‘scorched’ description I dont think a reader would understand that this was refering both to damage from the limits but also a simple sunburn from the hot summer sun. When I used this descriptive language I thought that was so clever but since I failed to complete the image the interesting idea was lost and this needs to be revised.

    5)Also this whole stanza is meant to be discussing a child swimming on a hot summer’s day but the language used does not create that picture. This was a major error because words like cold and fog do not describe a summer’s day but more along the lines of a fall day. In using these words I was describin how the wind felt to a warm body coming out of the water and that is cold. However it comes across as a description of the season and therefore was a wrong decision while writing.

  8. 1. This open land of sand, and roaming waters live in me. (14)
    2. Since this pass time of adventure in my life, (11)
    3. My moves are more accurate according to this (12)
    4. I live in a world of constant movement, rush (11)
    5. Though I stand in the center, my heart differs, (11)
    6. It moves to the sound of rushing waves (9)
    7. But stops at the breeze in motion. (8 )
    8. As a gift from heavens, I surround nature (12)
    9. Everyday, my steps walk into esoteric world (12)
    10. Yet the wind blows by, and my heart beats. (9)
    11. The rhythm in my ears take me back, (9)
    12. And im 3 years old again, staring at the waves. (12)
    13. The way they fight, i sence chicanery, (10)
    14. But the light against my face stops me, (9)
    15. And im on my way again, back to a world of motion. (14)

    Well, I guess the first thing I could have improved, was lines 6-7. They were a little bit shakey, and this was my 3rd stanza, second draft. I didn’t know any other way to word this at first.

    And the other would be sentence 10. I think I didn’t really need this sentence, especially since I had already sort of mentioned it in an earlier sentence.

  9. My title was “The Lost Heaven” it describes the sunset moment which was the heaven and my happy times. This is my second stanza; it is kind of talking about my feeling about the sunset.

    The big star started to fall into massif ;( 12)
    the cicadas started to whistle. (9)
    The hot air makes my skin and clothes wet, (10)
    and now I am on the way home, (8 )
    My mood is irritable and not calm, (10)
    but when the sunlight hitting on my face, (10)
    My eyes and my mind are suddenly closed, (11)
    I open my vision slowly, (9)
    In front of me was the beautiful sunset (11)
    that started to hide into the mountains, (10)
    As though Apollo is waving at me, (10)
    this motion attracts my focus, (8 )
    My bad feelings are disappearing, (8 )
    my not calm are flying away, (8 )
    my heart just like an amaranth that never fall. (12)
    I stand on the unsteady wooden bridge, (10)
    listened to the murmuring stream, (8 )
    Breath the fresh air that mixed with the flavor of leaves, (12)
    And watched the dismiss of the sun. (8 )
    Suddenly the sky became dark, (8 )
    I keep my feet moving back to the way home, (11)
    But I am not alone, the beautiful Artemis (12)
    And her angels accompany me, (9)
    Singing the lovely song saved me in the dark. (11)

    First I think is I kind of writing too short of this image, the sun are sunk too fast, I should spend more times to describe more about the sun, not soon the sun despair and moon came out, the point is the narrator was the “sun” not the moon.

    Second was the big problem, I should improve my language, vocab and grammar, that I can use more good sentences or words to make this poem more beautiful and perfect.

    Third problem was the whole poem, that at last two stanzas, I kind of flying away from the topic, so I think if I have time I will go change and fix some of the words or sentences, because just like I said this poem is not perfect yet.

    Fourth problem maybe just in my family, that they said they cant understand what am I writing about, what am I going to showed, what am I going to tell the readers, what is the big idea about this poem, I think those problem I long times, but I still cant find answer, because I think I use a lot of easy words in this poem, and it might be easy to understand, so I’m so confused, should I restart to write or just change few sentences.

    Fifth problem was I should read more books and listened to more songs, that can help me to become more experience to the English literatures and poem understanding. I think that will be good.

  10. This is my fourth stanza.

    These creatures in the dark, blue
    Depths of the water, deposited me
    In a small, amazed world, even among
    The tall, shiny buildings within our universe.
    Although we reason that our homes and cities
    Only count, think again, for the magnificent Earth
    Provides us those shelters we live in.
    She sustains our lives by existing here.
    We would not exist without her divine force.
    We must all be humble and gracious towards
    Nature, concerning for it; After all, she
    Is our towering support for all we do.
    In favor for her footing, we should also
    Consider her beauties within our lives.
    We should take care for her, please her.
    She isn’t our enemy and we are not hers.
    That does mean she must not be repulsed,
    But accepted as a dear friend, a comrade.
    Why should the Earth not deserve the same
    Treatment and pleasure we receive everyday?
    We should not let her decay, for if we do
    We will all suffer. We should let her burst and grow.
    She has the right to live and last, long and well
    Just as us human beings have done since born.

    Here are 5 things I would like to improve.
    1. I want that my forth stanza have more a flow in it. I really didn’t have much connection between the lines.

    2. I had two lines that were almost exactly the same. “We should take care of her” and “Let her burst and grow”. I wish to replace one of these lines with something that expanded my poem.

    3.I wish to have gone in more detail about my views within my poem, especially in the last stanza. A few more thoughtful sentences would be good.

    4.I wish to replace some of the words with words with more meaning and purpose. My language seemed somewhat casual and not “explosive”.

    5. I would have changed the last line, or add one more sentence. I think it wasn’t a line that was made to end a sentence, but keep the reader somewhat confused. Adding a sentence that wrapped up everythin I said would have been a good improvement.

  11. My poem is about a day in the snow…and this is my fourth stanza.

    How I hope for, long for, the childlike (10)
    Blindness…but was I blind? Perhaps not. (9)
    Perhaps I saw the world as it was, and (10)
    As it should be. Is that the real beauty (10)
    Of childhood? Is that why I long for (10)
    It, yet can never reclaim it? We (9)
    Never know just how lucky we are, how (10)
    Fortunate, how blessed. I gaze at children, (10)
    Feeling the hunger for innocence such (10)
    As I have never felt. Is this it? Is (10)
    This all? Escape the pressures of adulthood (11)
    When you can, because they will never let (10)
    You go unless you seek to break away. (10)
    The music may change, but you must continue (11)
    To hear the first tune, the original. (10)
    Lose that, and you lose yourself. Completely. (10)
    Don’t let yourself forget the feelings of (10)
    Clean innocence, the warm snow, the shining (10)
    Pureness of childhood.

    1) I think the first thing I wish I could revise is the fact that I feel too conversational in this section of the poem. I wish that I didn’t use such structured, stiff sentences.

    2) I think I use too much punctuation, almost. This goes along with number one. The punctuation makes it less free, in my opinion.

    3) I realized after I handed this in, that I played around with pronouns in a weirdish way. And I didn’t like that so much. I use ‘I’, and then ‘we’ and then ‘you’…what was I thinking???

    4) I don’t really like the music part. I think it isn’t very cohesive to the rest of the poem, and it doesn’t have much to do with snow. At all. So I think I’d probably remove that section, and tweak the parts around it.

    5) I think that if I had more time to edit it, and a little more of a backbone, I would change the cliche-ness of the ending. I think that it was the point I was trying to get across, but I think I could’ve worded it slightly better. It feels kind of forced to me, like I didn’t really word it with my heart.

  12. Thoughts of that mountain berth seize my mind in (10)
    A spell of brisk dreams that impels my soul (10)
    With wintry sovereignty. I stand, among (10)
    The groups of clamorous people, amidst (10)
    The thick, dark smoke of man’s prosperity, (10)
    Yearning to go back into that haven (10)
    Of bleached happiness. The place where I once (10)
    Felt the legacy of winter’s blessing. (10)
    Where I looked upon the chilly air with (10)
    Ecstasy. With the memory of that (10)
    Gift I can see the meaning of pure white. (10)

    1) I want to try and use words that make more sense. I feel like this stanza, well my entire poem for that matter, couldn’t be fully expressed the way I wanted it to be. Probably because I was so focused on trying to keep the ten syllables in each line consistent for the whole poem.

    2) Although I did manage to make each line of my poem have ten syllables in it, I want to try to make each line into a complete sentence that doesn’t just cut off and get finished off in the next line. I feel after reading this poem that, I did indeed put ten syllables into each line, but that was all I did, put ten syllables into each line. I just cut off the sentence I’d be writing on the tenth syllable and just continue it from the next line. I want to try and make it so that each line is its own individual sentence.

    3) I want to make the stanza longer. I feel like I am able to describe more than what I’ve done so far and length, to me, shows how much of an effort a person has made.

    4) In place of words that I used like “white” or “winter” I want to replace them with better diction. Using the same words or similar ones in my poem over and over again will make it seem kind of dull and my entire poem will not make as much of an impact to the reader.

    5) I overheard from one of my classmates that I shouldn’t use “I” so much when we were writing our poem so I’ll make sure that in the future, I’ll try to not use “I” so much if I can help it.

  13. Those thoughts that went through my mind
    when I was seven still haunt me to this day,
    for I know that those ideas shaped the mold
    that i am now. Nature is no longer
    a friend to me, but a passionless, unthinking
    beast that kills whatever stands in its way.
    Instead of looking at it with wonder as I did
    when I was seven, I now fear it, and am always
    the first to turn a wary eye to the sight of
    distant storm clouds on the horizon. I feel
    like that part of me that stood on the lake
    in Minnesota is dead, and I can never look
    at nature as a thing of beauty.

    First, I found that this stanza dark, a little too dark for my taste (even though I’m the one that wrote it).

    The second thing I would revise is the language. It’s just way too common for something like this.

    Third, I would think the part of “my lost innocence” is a bit cliched, so maybe take that out of the poem entirely.

    Fourth, I kinda exagerated with the whole “Nature Killing Machine” thing, so I would also like to tone it down a little bit to make it more believable.

    Finally, I thought that this stanza was a the best in the poem, and that my final stanza had a lackluster ending, so I would just kind of replace this one’s theme with the final stanza’s to make a blockbuster ending.

    But it’s too late for that. Or is it?

  14. Stanza III

    Ever since that day, the catalyst of
    My metamorphosis, things were different.
    Perspective and attitude changed just
    As personality. It was that simple
    Nudge that forced us to be different. He
    Used to stay quiet and let the other
    Take control. But now we are one.
    We distanced ourselves from the bindings of
    Society and accepted what was and is.
    The lack of confidence and self esteem
    Used to suck him into a void of
    Darkness. The cold feeling of being alone,
    Unaware of the entity near him.
    Nothing seemed to matter, He didn’t care,
    He Didn’t live. He attached his life
    To Objects of convenience, to easy living.
    He used to regret and take for granted
    Everything. As time continued, he
    Grew aware, but didn’t admit until
    That fateful day, the tipping point of what
    Is now us.

    1. I feel like this whole stanza is incomplete in some way. I can’t put my finger on it. The beginning seems to be very awkward to me. the words like metamorphosis.

    2. I kind of wish there was a different way to word some of my phrases. It was a bit difficult writing about myself and other self in a different perspective.

    3. I still think that I could elaborate even more on description and such.

    4. When I read this, I kind of think I’m crazy or on something. I don’t know maybe it’s just me. I personally think I need to change the tone slightly.

    5. This stanza needs a better beginning. It doesn’t flow correctly

  15. The name of my poem was “World of Wonders,” and this is my 2nd stanza.

    The frigid wind whispers in my cold ear,
    a beauteous song of the winter’s wonders
    sung by a chorus of angels from the heavens above,
    an easy rhythm that’s forever in my soul.
    The scenery paints a picture in my mind,
    of a world out there pure of all life’s troubles;
    the sparkle of the snow is now the sparkle of ones eyes,
    the snow flakes falling are no longer tears of sorrow,
    but instead tears of joy, the world’s secrets lie
    deep down, beneath the endless mounds of snow.

    1) I think I would change the repetition of ‘the’ at the beginning of those lines. It sounds to repeated, I would put another good connecting word.

    2) I like my ending line, but I would like to expand on it, a few better words could have been chosen. Or maybe even I could have added another flowing line after because it seems to just fall of a cliff.

    3) I also could have expanded more on the picture that was ‘painted in my mind.’ A few more lines could have shown more of the real picture I actually saw.

    4) I love my first 4 lines, but I feel like the rest of the stanza doesn’t give justice to it. Its so touching, and then the rest of the lines are just space fillers.

    5) Maybe I could have choose better punctuation, some of the lines don’t end for a while and seem to long.

  16. Someone was sitting near me but we were not talking
    To each other, we were just staring at the fire.
    When you are staring at the fire
    You need no conversation.
    Nothing could be seen, nothing could be heard,
    Only the fire that swallows you on sight,
    The trees, the clouds, the distance, the darkness,
    All separated me from any
    Civilization; I could not even see the stars.
    I finally felt that I truly was alone.
    Along with this solitude, came no heat,
    No cold, no noise, no burdens, No commotion,
    Just peace. I found that I can only be at peace
    When I am totally alone,
    Completely and utterly alone.
    Whenever I am surrounded by people
    In this hectic world, I think back to that place.
    I can imagine that dome of emptiness.
    I let that soothing loneliness Wash over me.
    This lonely calmness allows me to get
    Through my busy life.

    1. I hate the phrase I used, “to get through my busy life,” but I couldn’t think of a good way to wrap up the stanza.

    2. I wish I could have found more words for hectic world, world as in life not as in planet, although I used life and it doesn’t sound good. I also need more words for when I talk about this topic again later in my poem.

    3. Here, I use the fire to show distance between myself and the outside world, but later I show the fire giving me comfort. While contrast works well sometimes, this time I think these two portrayals just conflict with each other.

    4. This stanza has good description but I use all the words I can think of for commotion, civilization, and solitude. I have no words left to talk about these topics later in my poem.

    5. In this stanza I say, “I found that I can only be at peace if I am completely alone.” However later in the poem I say the fire gives me comfort when being alone is my threat. I think I should have been a little clearer.

  17. This is my 3rd stanza:

    A place once unappreciated, (9)
    Now holds wonder. The once naive eyes now (10)
    Spoiled by the knowledge of the world (9)
    Now I am caught up in the wind, (8 )
    Without a chance to rest. The place of peace (10)
    Even more appreciated, for now (10)
    It’s rarely visited. The carefree child (9)
    Who swung on stained white ropes, now constantly (11)
    Close to collapse. The bliss that came (8 )
    With ignorance now striped. This place reminds (10)
    Me of the good, when I no longer see, (10)
    The fascination lessens, only for (10)
    The appreciation rise. (8 )
    I may have changed, but that place, will always (10)
    Be my sanctuary, even if I (10)
    Never truly set foot there again. (9)

    1.Now that I read this again, I realize that some of it is definitely over dramatized. An example being “The carefree child/ who swung on the stained white ropes, now constantly/ close to collapse.” I admit that I am stressed some times, but I am rarely ever close to the point of collapse. I want to try to find better ways to express what I’m saying, yet I don’t want the poem to lose the power the overly dramatic language brings to it.

    2.This stanza is also my second shortest, and I think adding some lines and going into more detail about some of the dramatic statements would help improve this stanza.

    3. In this stanza along with the rest of my poem. I would like to focus on it again and try to get all of the lines down to ten syllables.

    4.I would also like to maybe add more ideas about how I’ve changed, since I last visited that place.

    5.Also some of my line transitions are just awkward so I would like to go back and change the ones that seem like I just picked a spot in a sentence and chose that to be the end of the line, while the rest would b continued on the next line.

  18. Purgatory
    Stanza #3

    That moment of culmination, in the water.
    I see the dark abyss below me,
    And the light from above shimmering
    Gently, so gently on my eyes; the chill
    That surrounds my being, holding me in
    Place. I float in the center, waiting, waiting,
    Even at the tender age of ten years.
    The dark figures float in the abyss, living,
    Feeding off the grimy black void; I am
    Blind to anything living above me. The
    Water slows my movements, slows
    My body as I try to wave my arms, but
    The water envelopes me, binds me, so
    That I may not escape; the longer I am
    Bound, the more I see the center, the
    Center between the darkness from
    Below and the gleaming light from
    Above. I see the pale blue that covers
    These walls on my left and right, how
    It goes on forever, touched by both
    The darkness and the light; I feel
    Dormant, isolated, looking into these
    Obscurities, the pit and the bright haven.
    I constantly hold my breath, knowing
    Both sides lead to an end, the end of
    My life as I die sinking to the bottom,
    Or the end of this glorious
    Experience as I rise to the surface,
    Tasting the bitter salt on my lips;
    These choices lead me away from
    This moment, this moment of absolute
    Mystery, obscurity, drifting in
    This wonderful purgatory.
    The dread that fills my heart as I blink
    To again see the dismal reality
    Is overwhelming, engulfing my soul;
    These streets of gray, lead me to my
    Journey’s end, but where is this end?
    That question that haunts me in this
    Prison called reality drives me to
    Long for that epiphany. The utter
    Sensation of suspension, lying awake
    Yet dormant gives me the stasis, the balance
    In my soul against all irrationality.
    It is as if I arose as I did
    All those years ago, and taste the
    Salt that formed on my lips, to
    Once again taste the ill-tasting future
    As I leave my watery haven.

    This is my third stanza of my poem, and I picked this particular stanza out, because I felt most with nature than the other stanzas, while also describing how life is in my real life.

    One of the things however that I would like to work on, is to describe in much more detail the contrast between the light and the darkness of the ocean. I tried to describe this contrast in my poem, to reflect the issues that at times collide in my life. I only truly described the light and the dark in only five or six lines, when I wanted this description to ultimately make up the majority of my poem.

    Another revision I would have wanted, was to take out some of the lines that are chopped up by commas. Overall, it would have made this stanza, and all the others throughout this poem, flow more.

    To fix this stanza, I could have possibly focused a bit more on the setting of myself floating in the ocean. I focused more of my attention on what I saw, rather than what I actually heard, felt, etc.

    One other fix I would like to add, is to describe more of the reality of my life today, instead of only using “streets of gray.” Although describing the nature in this stanza was supposed to do that job, I feel I could have been more direct about how my life is today.

    Finally, for Mr. Long’s sake, I definitely would have added the syllable numbers after each line, but I was so worried about all the other parts of the poem format, that it completely slipped my mind. If given the chance, I would even re-submit a version of my poem with the syllable numbers if he has not graded it already

  19. My First Stanza:

    To some, the ditch was ugly and dirty. (10)
    It only took away and left nothing. (10)
    This concrete canyon left many speechless, (10)
    It needed to be explored and admired. (10)
    This place was a creative breeding ground. (10)
    It was unseen, grime overpowered art. (10)
    They ignored the art, ignored the canvas. (10)
    Not a canvas of cloth, still, it was blank. (10)
    Creativity could explode for miles. (10)
    Cloth constricted the mind, concrete could not. (10)
    The art varied: murals, names, paint spills. (10)
    The city wanted to cover it all. (10)
    But no matter how often they painted, (10)
    Creativity would not be muted. (10)

    1.In all my stanzas, I focused more on making all the lines have 10 syllables than the words I used. In some situations, the change of my original words actually benefited the poem; but some, the words with fewer or more syllables were less powerful but I chose them anyway to fit the 10 syllables.

    2.I can also see the repetitiveness in some of my lines. The first and fifth lines are very similar as are lines 8 and 10. I would take more time on this and make each line and individual part of the poem that was different than the one before.

    3.The place in nature I picked wasn’t necessarily a part of nature, but something nestled in nature. Because of this, my description did not have much to do with nature, but the ditch. I believe this is alright because I saw the ditch as a part of nature. However, if I had picked something more obviously a part of nature, I would have enjoyed focusing on the little details that are a part of nature.

    4.I think I described how others saw the ditch too much. Instead, I should have simply described the ditch itself, not how others saw it. While I discussed the ditch, I wished I focused more on the beauty the ditch has and less on how the city wanted to cover it up.

    5.I wished I used stronger language. The language I used in the poem seems safe to me. If I had used a stronger vocabulary, I think the poem would have a larger impact on the reader.

  20. The valley bragging of its emerald lushness drags me
    back to it’s land again and again
    to whisper it’s secrets of life
    on her gloriously sacred mountain.
    Follow her pureness and welcome it:
    Follow her gravel paths coated with horse trails
    to the top where she will plateau leaving
    a desperate gasp to solve a personalized puzzle.
    Follow the deserted patches of grass which she gives
    views of a bird of waves of trees and hills.
    Follow her to sit for awhile and gaze at the earth below
    that is only a few miles down yet worlds away.
    A river flows beneath with banks of trees
    and filled with familiar faces unable to read,
    So close, and yet worlds away, remind you
    that you’re left to find your missing pieces alone.

    1) One thing I would want to work on is really trying to paint a better picture for the reader’s mind. It was alot harder than i expected to describe this place. I could see and describe it, but when I went back and read it, it wasn’t nearly the same as the actual place. It’s hard to describe nature to someone else, especially a very special place to you. Nobody else will ever understand it as much as you do or vision the same vision as you.

    2) Another thing I wanted to work on was my punctuation. I didn’t really know how to fit in the commas and periods in a poem. I also had a hard time dividing phrases into lines. Poetic punctuation feels like it’s completley different than normal punctuation. I just felt like I struggled with all my commas. I felt like they were all out of place, or I just guessed where they would go. I really didn’t know what I was doing with that.

    3) I also really wished I could have made it work where I would have the same number of syllables in each line through the whole poem. I think it would have been kind of like the cherry on top.

    4) It would have been alot stronger if I included how the sun felt against my face and the fresh air rejuvinated your senses. I feel like including sensory talk like that would have made it a stronger poem and made the reader feel like they were there. The sun beating down on you is something everyone can feel, so it would have helped them visioin everything.

    5) I chose a phrase to repeat for each stanza I didn’t really have one at first the the first stanza, but I used “follow her” a few times. I wish I would have kept that pattern more throught out the first stanza to keep the rythym in the rest of the poem. It made it seem like the first stanza was a poem on its own and the other stanzas were together. If I had a stronger repeating phrase I feel like it would have flowed better.

  21. Stanza Numero Uno:

    The sun peaks over the silent, sheer sea (10)
    As the sleepy shades of blue, green, and pink awake, (12)
    Illum’nating the world in a paroxysm of light; (11)
    Blending, mixing, fighting for survival. (10)
    The boisterous blue of the sea (8 )
    Melds with the sleepy shade of the heavens; (11)
    The delicate, flowering shades of pink (10)
    Vanquish the fields of bounding green. (8 )
    The waves toss and tumble, racing (8 )
    Towards an end they all united will meet. (10)
    The sticky salt of sweat on my skin (9)
    melts into the warm salt of the waves… (9)
    The hardened lava becomes irritated, (11)
    Its heat seeping through my feet, tickling, (10)
    Rubbing, chaffing, scraping my sole. (8 )
    The lava trembles; the lions are hungry. (10)
    They crash into the sea, beauty meeting beast. (10)
    The sounds of animals kindles in the air, (11)
    Grunting, groaning, chewing, snoring- (8 )
    The sounds of living, the sounds of the dying. (11)
    The sun watches over the land, (8 )
    Pleased with the life that he blesses, (8 )
    Always grateful, always thankful. (8 )

    1) I would change the word choice in my second to last line, I am not really liking ‘blesses’ right now- probably something more along the lines of how the sun helps the life survive…

    2) I would change the line “Towards an end they all united will meet”. I like the idea of it, but it seems a little awkward wording.

    3) I most definitely would include more descriptions of the actual animals on the island. I only really describe the sea lions, which are a pretty common creature, and do not do any of the unique species indigenous to the Galapagos enough justice.

    4) The lines “The sticky salt of sweat on my skin/ Melts into the warm salt of the waves… Again, the wording seems awkward, I think I would chunk the word ‘melts’ and replace it with something else like ‘blends’.

    5) On the line “The sounds of living, the sounds of the dying,” I might switch the ‘the’ so the line would read “the sounds of the living, the sounds of dying.” I think the living are more important than dying, as we will all die eventually, and so the distinguishing ‘the’ should be in front of ‘living.’

  22. Here’s my third stanza.

    I feel this burning flame of sorrow (9)
    Stir the dying embers in my aching heart. (11)
    My conscience fades as I deconstruct (9)
    All thoughts to nothingness. Feelings (8 )
    Are indescribable, words inconceivable (12)
    Only color stirs my heart, colors (9)
    Like the white streaks stained in the violet sky (10)
    Of my refuge. Lines have blurred, outlines (9)
    Faded, thoughts have shaped and dimmed within me. (10)
    My eyes have seen this Earth; boundless (8 )
    And striking greens stretched in every direction, (11)
    But none to match the beauty of that place (10)
    Of yore. I have felt the pain I had (9)
    Once never known; I have cast my eyes (9)
    Upon this Earth without the reigns of (9)
    Childish thought, I have seen everything (9)
    In new light. . . ideas, thoughts, have grown (8 )
    And died within me. I am born (8 )
    Anew, but one thing remains, untouched: (9)
    This memory, and the sorrow it brings. (10)
    As I sat upon that sloping hill, (11)
    In the rain of yesterday, I had wished (10)
    For that fabric to remain untouched, pure; (10)
    I had willed the sands of time to cease falling (11)
    Grain by grain, into the glass of tomorrow. (11)
    Yet, here I stand. . . I have watched as the (9)
    Gold-soaked afternoons of summer (8 )
    Have faded into the crispness of autumn. (11)
    Two winters, fled and gone, but I still (9)
    Believe, that of this Earth and of the chains (10)
    Of past, I have beheld no other place (10)
    That sparks these embers of hot flame (8 )
    So brilliantly within me.

    1) The first thing I noticed when I reread this was… it’s too long. After skimming a few lines, it seems like I’m ranting over and over. I should have wrapped it up faster and explained more briefly and in depth than just skipping over the surface of what I was trying to say over and over. In this stanza, I was trying to explain that although I’ve changed a lot since then, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the memory of the place. I’m a completely different person, you could say – I’ve learned a lot of things, changed my opinions, and perhaps conformed a little. However, I still view my place in nature exactly how I did 2 years ago and think it’s just as pure and beautiful as that night. I struggled with the third stanza’s outline because the point is to describe how your changes affect how you see the place differently, but in my case, even though I changed I still saw the place the same… so it was hard to carry out that prompt without stretching it too much.

    2) This is the stanza where I start straying from 10 syllables per line. The transitions seem a bit awkward, and there isn’t a natural flow from line to line like in my first stanza. This part in particular bothers me a lot:

    Upon this Earth without the reigns of (9)
    Childish thought, I have seen everything (9)

    That’s a terrible and rocky line break. However, I couldn’t edit it or stick another syllable somewhere else without it sounding worse, and it would in turn mess up the later lines following it. Line restrictions and syllable counts really messed me up. I’m not a good free-verse writer, and I always write in 7-8 syllable counts with rhymes. So, I struggled a lot with the composition and the balancing out of each line with the required amount of syllables. I can see the struggle I had with the syllables in each line as I read this stanza.

    3) The transition between this stanza and the last stanza are totally mismatched, like two different authors wrote them. I don’t know why, but I think I struggled more with the last stanza than this one. I didn’t have much to talk about in the last stanza, so I sort of glazed it over quickly. The result was a pretty in-depth analysis of my situation (this stanza and how I changed over time but my view of the place in nature is still bias) and a choppy and rough transition to the next one. I should have incorporated something at the end of this stanza that lead more naturally into the first sentence of the last stanza.

    4) I had willed the sands of time to cease falling (11)
    Grain by grain, into the glass of tomorrow. (11)
    Yet, here I stand. . .

    I know what I mean by this part, but I’m not sure all readers will get it. These lines are actually pretty important, and I as the writer understand what they mean. However, I don’t think I explained this part too well. What I was trying to say was that I wished time to stop back then with all my heart. Obviously that can (and never will) happen, as I am standing here today and typing this in the present, not the past. Basically, I’ve realized that no matter how much you want time to stop, it won’t. I was too vague in explaining this, and should have done a better job with it.

    5) My conscience fades as I deconstruct (9)
    All thoughts to nothingness. Feelings (8 )
    Are indescribable, words inconceivable (12)
    Only color stirs my heart, colors (9)
    Like the white streaks stained in the violet sky (10)
    Of my refuge.

    This part is overdramatized. I wanted to explain that I can’t describe the feeling I have when I think about the place… words and descriptions of feelings can only go so far, and the reader can’t experience what I did by a mere description. Kind of like how a photograph can’t ever live up to the real moment. The only things that CAN be described and invoke the same feelings of awe are the colors. However, the way I worded it sounds like I’m absolutely depressed and the only thing that makes me feel better is thinking about the pretty colors of what I saw before. Not exactly what I had in mind. I would mello this out a bit and explain it better if I had a chance to edit it.

  23. I walk across a busy street, (8 )
    Any street, they’re all the same, (8 )
    The same movement, the same chaos, (8 )
    All the sounds moving and crashing (8 )
    Into one another like a fatal car wreck. (12)
    Flashing lights, uneven pavement, (8 )
    Nothing can coexist in this place. (9)
    Inside sitting at my lonesome desk (9)
    A different isolation takes place (10)
    Not for pleasure, not creating pleasure, (10)
    Not for peace, nor creating peace. (8 )
    The whistle of an AC Unit annoys me (12)
    The sound pushes its way into my ears. (10)
    A magic wave of the copy machine (10)
    Can erase my already blank mind. (9)
    The same full mind that wanders deep, (8 )
    Down an endless street, Sunset Lane. (8 )

    1) With this certain stanza, I needed to go deeper into explanation of how this simple memory brings me to peace. I feel like I went into enough detail of how life can sometimes just annoy us all with the “Whistle of an AC unit” line, but I still needed to express more detail about how my place in natures sort of soothes that.

    2) I feel that the last two lines of the stanza is powerful enough to be the last two lines of the entire poem. Perhaps I should have saved them for my fourth stanza, relating back to Scott Adam’s quote “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” or move around to make a poem more powerful.

    3) Line 5, the car wreck, I feel like I could have gone deeper with this being that it is a very destructive situation. On the other hand I don’t know if I like it being that it is so harsh to the reader’s mind.

    4)”Flashing lights, uneven pavement, / Nothing can coexist in this place.”
    The flashing lights part makes no sense but I like the uneven pavement touch. Originally I had an vision of pavement cracking, the earth rising through the man made barrier.

    5) There was a lot of room for addition and explanation. The first stanza is much fuller than the additional three. I feel like I didn’t fully complete the second stanza the way I had intended too.

  24. This is my fourth stanza and i liked it bc it wrapped up the ending and bc i love the detail and description i use in it.

    As many search for the safety of a haven
    Like the pond, the security of the sunrise,
    I am the lucky one who has been blessed
    To receive the graceful presence of both.
    I am now the one who’s hair is free to blow
    In the vast wind,the sun shining through every string
    I can now voice to the world, the magic
    Of one drop, a drop of pure water
    Into the ever lasting life we live.
    I feel as if i have been blessed with wings
    To sore freely like a bald eagle.
    The pond may stay still in the earths core
    But will forever continue to move my heart.
    As life continues moving at a wicked speed
    I am the prosperous one who can sit
    On any given day and recall the moment,
    The moment that moved my life like a limb
    Hanging from the tree of fortune and good-will
    I was once the person who was so unsure
    One blink of an eye can rearrange your future
    I know it did mine, for sometimes
    Life comes at you fast and sporadically
    You cant always dodge the rigid bumps you hit.
    Someday we’ll all know the answer to happiness,
    For now, you can believe that over the hill
    Is a small pond waiting patiently,
    To be moved by ones unimaginable gift
    Its deranged how one quick night
    A night of serenity can clear your mind
    Allowing nothing but enchantment to be filled
    In the unbelievable sense of a young soul.
    At the time the soul was mine, and now
    I follow the breeze to where it blows
    And allow my heart to take control
    Of the curious winds that surround the world
    New and old, with calm, restless hope
    That someday not only will i return
    To the haven, but allow others
    To experience the safeness,
    The untouchable works of one small pond.

    This poem was unbelievable when i finished it because not only was i happy with what i did but it inspired me to keep going. I love it so much.

    i couldn’t tell you what i wanted to change really bc i have critiqued to the best of my abilities now but i think that the words could possibly still be a little larger and vibrant. I think that when one reads a poem it makes them look differently at the author bc sometimes the poem can speak louder than the voice of the creator ever imagined. I loved writing it and am still continuing.

  25. There were the promising days spent (8)
    Playing follow the leader with the entrance trail. (12)
    The trail that lead into the vast and (9)
    Wide open space where much time was spent. (9)
    Tall shade giving statures around the place. (9)
    Two stiff sticks strategically placed. (9)
    Short, soft green grass beneath my quick feet. (9)
    Calm and gentle winds that provided (9)
    Cool, calm, and comfortable weather. (9)
    Spontaneously and often (8)
    The clouds would part showing God’s smile (8)
    On the world…Still at play until He creates (11)
    A beautiful abstract painting up above. (12)
    Before rushing into my residence (10)
    I stop to admire His work. (8)

    I’m not the best poem writer, so I would change alot in my poem:

    1. In this stanza I could try not to use “I” in there.
    2. I don’t think it flows that well.
    3. I would try to use more metaphors and similes.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Partial credit; directions not fully followed (although it was a good start).

  26. Student Response #1

    I am responding to student #5.

    First of all, I applaud you for even trying to do alliteration in every line. Doing it once or twice a stanza is reasonable, but every line? That would indeed be an incredible feat. On your second criticism of your work, I have one word for you: thesaurus. Every time that I write something for this class I always have a thesaurus on the Internet up and I frequently consult it. Even though I don’t necessarily always find the right word, looking over a list of words can sometimes inspire you to think of some word to insert in some place that you had never even considered. I also think it is interesting that you wanted your stanzas to be of equal length. I hadn’t even considered trying to shape my stanzas into the same structure, I guess you like uniformity. Your criticisms of yourself were very sincere and intellectually based, which is always good because once you see yourself as perfect, you will never be able to improve.

  27. Student Response #2

    I am responding to Student #5

    You have painted an incredible picture of the sights and sounds of the Appalachian Mountains. You word choice and descriptive verbiage is remarkable. I especially enjoyed the “convivial clouds”, “serene waterfalls”, and the phrase “As the/ Gleaming sun begins to depart behind/The blunt mountain tops, an indigo sky/ Emerges.” If this stanza is indicative of the rest of your poem, you should give serious consideration to submitting this to “Calliope” for publication. In response to your self-critique:

    1) I agree that alliteration, used wisely, adds a special spark to (prose and) poetry. Your use of convivial clouds was catchy. In line 18, I think you could have used “scorching” preceding sun to accomplish the alliterative rhythm, instead of “gleaming.” This replacement adjective would not have altered your syllable count.
    2) For line 11, I think you could have replaced “glory” with the word “joy.” You also could have replaced “brings glory” with “is a spectacle / To behold.” “To behold” could have replaced “to ones eyes” and kept your syllable count constant.
    3) I liked how your poem ended with nightfall… “Even as sparkling stars submerge / The heavens, I yearn to forget not the / Marvelous sights witnessed on this day past!” This is a powerful ending and I have no suggestion(s) for improvement.
    4) I don’t think you can necessarily say this stanza is too long just because it is relatively longer than any of your other stanzas. It seems complete – not too long and not too short. To be able to make all your stanzas the same length is a great goal, but I guess “if you have something to say…say it.” And if that takes 22 lines or only 10 lines to say it, then so be it.
    5) I don’t know how else you could describe the specific mountain range without using the word “Appalachian.” You could have used “impressive” (3 syllables for a total line count of 12) instead of “grand.” You could have also chosen “imposing” (3 syllables for a total line count of 12) instead of “grand.” To keep with your alliterative desire, you might have also chosen “astounding” (3 syllables for a total line count of 12) as another alternative.

    Overall, you did a very commendable job!

    ***

    Mr. Long: As I said to my wife tonight (ask her; she’ll tell you that it’s true), “This is better than my own critiques.”

    Seriously, this sets a new bar for what is possible when students really take seriously the process of commenting on classmates’ work. I’m extremely humbled by the quality of thinking, the suggestions, and the profound level of respect. For what its worth, I’m quite impressed by both the poet and the reviewer. Thank you to you both!

  28. Student Response #3

    I am responding to student number two.

    Yes I can see where you are coming from on the diction part. You may be kicking the proverbial ‘cold’ dog a little 🙂 jk. But before you change the diction the simplicity of ‘cold’ holds something. It reminds the reader that you were here before when cold would be the only word you possessed to describe the scene. Also it is a feeling that everyone has experienced and can relate to giving your poem more meaning to the reader. As for the line you don’t like I actually think it is pretty good. Maybe if you still want to change it something to the extent of …allowing/the world to pass me by. Then the break wouldn’t hit before ’begins’. I actually love the lines you drew out on your third pointer. While they maybe could stand a re-wording, I love how the cold is making a passionate fire in you, that is so cool. Overall I think that this stanza is really good and I think that the only thing that you might want to do would be just going through and playing around with the wording like you did in number five.

  29. Student Response #4

    Response to Student #1.

    I don’t think you do yourself justice. This segment of poem is great. I wish I could read the rest of it. I’m no expert but I don’t think you need to change anything. However I guess it’s true; you are your worst critic. I like how you took what was probably one or two lines in your first stanza and explained that one point in this whole stanza. You did a really good job with this aspect of your poem, which think is really the most important aspect.

    However, I disagree with you on the 3rd stanza being the easiest; I definitely think the 1st stanza is the easiest because it is just straight concrete details.

  30. Student Response #5

    I am responding to student # 5

    First off I just want to say I love your poem. I feel like I could look up and those mountains would be before me. You said you wanted to change the length, but I think that it flows so well that if you took some out that it might lose some of the necessary description. That’s where your idea to use more descriptive language comes in. You probably could cut back on the length if you used super descriptive words every line. However that might make the poem seem forced. I also agree that it would sound cool with alliteration in every line, but that would be very difficult. But if you are that dedicated to your poem, I would say go for it.

  31. Student Response #6

    I am responding to Student #11

    First off, I think your poem is amazing! The language that you use really seems to fit the poem.

    I love that you ask questions throughout this stanza, it caught my attention as a reader. I personally like the punctuation use in this stanza, I think it make it more unique. I actually quite enjoyed the music part of your poem. The part about how music may change, but you have to hear the first tune is brilliant! To me it makes the poem sound better because you are adding an extra element to it. In my opinion, your ending sounds good with your poem. I agree with you that everything does sound better if you truly meant it from your heart.

    My favorite line from your poem is the second one. It sounds very philosophical when you ask if you were blind.

    Overall, I think your poem is magnificent! I love your use of words and the flow that it holds. If this reflects the rest of your poem, I would seriously look forward to reading it! Great job!

  32. Student Response #7

    I am responding to student #2

    I think that your poem is absolutely wonderful. You can tell by reading it that you really take pride in your work. Even your entry itself was very well written and organized. In your poem, I love the way that it speaks to the reader. You are bringing up an issue that is very true to real life and I think that any person could relate to it on some level. I also think that the message provides a degree of comfort in a way. I also think that you language flows very well and your imagery is great. Although there is always something that we can change and revise in all of our work, I think that you have something really special there.

  33. Student Response #8

    I’m responding to student #19

    First off, just by reading this stanza i want to read the rest of your poem.

    Concerning the greater descriptions of light and dark, i think its a great idea. I personally like what you already have, but what you described with how you wished to add more to that aspect sounds like it would make the poem even better and more interesting. When it comes to the commas, I don’t think you should completely take out those lines. Maybe just fix the grammar so you have fewer commas. The idea to add more about your life today is also a good one, but at the same time, being more direct might have taken the rawness out of the poem, for it would have taken away the readers room to explore with your language.

    Overall this was really good and I enjoyed reading it.

  34. Student Response #9

    I’m responding to Student #11.

    That is really cool about children not being blind but seeing things the way they are. They are the truly happy ones. As adults (or sophomores) we think we see things the way they really are now, and that when we were younger we were more blind. It’s like when you watch a movie again that you haven’t seen since you were little, and suddenly there’s this whole elaborate plot that you’d completely missed. But really, you hadn’t missed anything. You’d seen everything, and you’d picked up the feeling it portrayed. You just didn’t put it to words. You have to lose yourself, your logic, your analyzing mind, in order to get back to that.

    I also liked your line “the warm snow.” That’s very clever.

  35. Student Response #10

    I am responding to student #23

    I think that the focus on an urban atmosphere was an interesting way to steer your poem and this was a really cool idea . In relation to your first critique I am in agreement with the fact that yes you should have made the peace brought to you by nature more important throughout this stanza. When I first read this stanza I was very impressed with the phrases ‘whistling AC unit’ and ‘uneven pavement’ but I did not get a sense of the peace brought to you by nature, only the frustration brought to you by everyday technology. However I would argue that this stanza in itself could be its own poem because the images you created with your phrases are so clear and I can relate to what you are saying. I think you are correct in point 2 when you discuss the power of the last lines, and I love the way you incorporated an actual street name to make the reader’s understanding that much more clear. In critique three I think it is the right choice not to go into more detail about the car wreck because due to the purpose of this poem, to describe a place in nature, you would have to fight really hard to get that image of destruction out of the reader’s mind for the rest of the poem. On point 4 I disagree with you in that the flashing lights part made complete sense to me, I assumed you were describing car lights or street lamps. However I did not grasp the full implication of that line, but your intention with the earth coming through the man-made pavement is very creative. I would hope that maybe you could write a 5th stanza or even another poem just off of that idea because it is really unique and intriguing. And on the last point, I think you are right about additional explanation but I think it should explanation about how these images bring you back to that place in nature rather than why you dislike the dominance of technology.

    I was very impressed with this stanza though, and like I said earlier I think that this could be a really cool poem just by itself.

  36. Student Response #11

    I am responding to Student Number 10.

    First of all, I absolutely loved your stanza. It was insanely beautiful! I can tell you really care about the earth, which is something I care about as well. I thought you presented your opinion in a way that was almost veiled, in a sense. Giving an opinion through poetry is a great idea. I like how you were telling a story about creatures in the water.

    As for your corrections…I would say there was great flow in this stanza. The two lines that you marked as being very similar, to me, seemed to say something different and unique from the other. I think if you’d added more to the end, it would have taken away from the poem. I love it the way it is! And I think that simple language is sometimes the best!

    So, pretty much I love your poem the way it is, and I think you’re a great poet!

  37. Student Response #12

    I am responding to Student #6

    First of all, I thought your stanza was really poetic and pretty; I had a vision of the ocean at dawn and it made me want to go on vacation. I like the personification that you use throughout the poem, such as the sunlight dancing on the sea, the trees waltzing to the melody of the wind. Overall, I think it gives your poem more punch and adds to the ‘poeticness’ of it. I think I would change, however, the end of line 4, “then retreat back to where they came from.” I really like the word “retreat” because I don’t normally associate it with the powerful white-capped waves but then when I see that word, I realize the waves do retreat back into the sea. I just think I would change the last half of that because it doesn’t stand up well with the first half, it’s a little to vanilla compared to the chocolate with which you began the line.

    I personally like your line about the sand. I think it would kind of suck to be sand, as no matter how hard you tried, you would never stand out and only be one tiny grain out of billions. I had never thought of this before until I read that line of your poem and I think that’s pretty awesome your poem made me use my dusty noggin.

    I don’t really know if I would put your last line about the paw print somewhere else in the poem. If you said the memory you have is of the death of a dog, it would seem you would want to accentuate that vanishing paw print as opposed to making it dissolve in the rest of your stanza. I think that by having the paw print placed at the end of the stanza, it acts as a teaser for the rest of the poem, you know what I mean? Regardless of where you put it, the line itself is really poetic because as the sea erases the paw print, the soul of the dog vanishes from this world.

  38. Student Response #13

    I am responding to student #11.

    You are right about snow not having sound. But you can still keep some sound tied to snow. As rain just attacks windows sounding like rocks being thrown, or wind whistling through the trees, snow can also incorporate sound. Ex. “As the kid stepped in the snow on his lawn, he heard that familiar crunchy sound”. Or, when we people living in Texas step in the slushy “snow”. Many things can have sound attributed to it. Also, your punctuation made your poem flow through. The way it sounds with punctuation sounds good. The pronouns also contributed. I didn’t notice the change between them until you wrote it down. They also make the poem flow.

  39. Student Response #14

    student 23:

    I personally liked this stanza from your poem. It was obvious that you had explored that habitual life you experience and had been left dry and unsatisfied by that daily life. I want to read the rest of your poem to see the sharp contrast of this routine of a life and your ‘haven’. I’m guessing this is your third stanza?? I can agree that you might need a couple of more lines dealing with your special place, but I like how it takes you back to the apparent monotony in your life. I think it sets up for your fourth stanza depending on how you approached that specific stanza.

    I actually feel that the ”car wreck” and the next line of “flashing lights” play an important part in what you are trying to convey. It’s a very layered effect. On one hand, the flashing lights tie into the ‘car wreck’ of all the noises of the street, and reminds me of ambulances. It shows the severity of life without those safe havens to relax at and escape to. On another level, the flashing lights remind me of chaos and confusion, even deception. Even with the “uneven pavement” it throws yet another situation in there that might be a stretch, but I see it. The lights and unsmooth path reminds me of a fun house. Just the hopes of something out of the ordinary happening, yet having the knowledge of the typical illusions and deception that we experience in life. I am actually quite fond of those lines right there. 🙂 I also like your incorporation of the buzz of the AC and that scan sound of the copier.

    I really want to read the rest of your poem!! 😀

  40. Student Response #15

    I’m responding to student #22

    I really enjoyed this stanza of your poem. The descriptions of the sorrow really pulled me in. It feels like they’re coming from someone desperate, striving to express how they felt. I really don’t think it’s too long, either. As for your second point, if there was any way to put “childish thought” in the line above and edit the line below somehow I think it would’ve worked nicely. I know you said you couldn’t without being happy with it though, and your view on it is the most important thing. Oh just so you know, I love the line “In the rain of yesterday.” That’s just really beautiful.
    Thank you for explaining the lines in point four. It was only the last part where I didn’t know what you mean, the lines about the grains themselves were pretty clear to me.

  41. Student Response #16

    I am responding to student #21

    I really liked the visual imagery incorporated in this stanza. I like your choice for a place in nature. The picture that comes to mind is very clear. I like the alliteration how you used alliteration throughout the poem especially in line 11. Even though some of the wording is a tad awkward, the poem still flows nicely. Your word choice goes well with the whole poem. I like how you used the word “paroxysm” in line 3 to describe light. If the visual imagery in this stanza is similar to the rest of your poem, then your poem is very nicely done. Overall I think your poem would be very enjoyable to read.

  42. Student Response #17

    responding to 13

    I don’t know why, but I’m seriously drawn to this stanza. I don’t know why but I feel darker moods seem to convey true feeling the best. In all honesty if this were presented to me by itself, I think it could come off as a poem in itself. It talks of a great feeling that has been lost, and the pain you feel from losing the ability to fully love nature. I can really feel your sadness for losing touch with a place that was special to you. It is probably true for most that we have lost the feeling of the places we are all talking about in these poems, and that is a really depressing thing. These places should be part of our lives for a long time, they should be part of us as we grow up and change, and be part of that change. I think that is the sadness you are talking about here. I really love this stanza and would love to read the full poem.

  43. Student Response #18

    I am responding to student #10.

    I really want to know what the rest of your poem is. If the lesson in this stanza is about taking care of the earth, I want to know what experience made you come to this conclusion. I really like the eco-friendly theme. Your descriptions really portray the mutual need of humans and the earth. Now we only destroy nature for our need, but we will continue to need it when resources run out, so we have to take action now. You said you wanted to change some things you restated, but sometimes restating only makes things last in the reader’s mind. Other than a few word choices here and there, though, I wouldn’t change anything. I really enjoyed reading it.

  44. Student Response #19

    I am responding to student #22

    I like one of your stanzas of your poems. I like how you mentioned the ‘burning flame of sorrow.” I like how describe how someone feels. It is a good size for the poem. I like your language you used to decribe this thing. The final of your third stanza is the only part I didn’t understand. Overall you did a great job. Keep up the good work.

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