My Writers Circle

Poets Corner => Review My Poetry => Topic started by: MadDove on January 28, 2014, 10:00:11 AM

Title: { untitled poem }
Post by: MadDove on January 28, 2014, 10:00:11 AM

I chanced upon a feather
In a nest of snow,
An eloquent whorl
that unwound into a downy quill,
so like the half shape of a heart.
I gave my breath to lift it
but could not set it free.
Perhaps, clasping solitude,
This cameo of frost
cared not for the whistle of the wind
But for the echo of the breast
that beat there no more.


Please note: I do not like titles. I'm bad at them. If this is regarded as a strike against a poem, please explain.

Thank you for your comments!
Title: Re: { untitled poem }
Post by: Chizzy on January 28, 2014, 10:32:15 AM
Should you title a poem? Well, more often than not I'd say yes. There are forms, like haiku, which I believe are meant to remain untitled (or simply numbered) although many people go against this and title them anyway. A title is like a key to a poem in a lot of ways. A good title can very economically provide the reader with context or setting that would otherwise be missing or have to be provided (usually clumsily) in the text of the poem. As an example, I wrote a poem last year called The Things We Found on my Father's Videotapes. It was essentially a list poem but provided an insight into my father's life. The title gave the reader that context, and suggested that my dad had passed away. Without the title, I'm not sure it would've worked and there was no place for that context to be provided in the body of the poem.

Anyway. Moving on to your poem here. I rather liked it. You're a little inconsistent with caps and punctuation. Sometimes you give a new line a cap, sometimes you don't, and the ones that do have a cap don't always follow a line that ends with a full-stop. I loved "eloquent whorl" and "echo of the breast" and the white of the snow along with the white of the feather, which I get from the cameo of frost, creates a nice image. I think you do a pretty good job of giving a rather throwaway moment some heft and significance. Needs a title, though. ;)
Title: Re: { untitled poem }
Post by: Mark T on January 28, 2014, 02:42:26 PM

I agree with Chizzy about the titles - often it forms part of the piece itself by placing things in a context from the outset and sets the piece up for the reader. I never quite know where a piece is going to end up so I usually add a title afterwards but not always. This is well-written, good use of language, clear images and a progressive narrative. Stick around here and observe how to combine grammatical correctness with subtle poetic elements - only a short step away from where you are now. If all else fails title-wise, you can always use the first line. Welcome to MWC.
Title: Re: { untitled poem }
Post by: bri h on January 28, 2014, 02:48:03 PM
I like this. It's bordering slightly on PP. But not quite. There's lines in this I absolutely love and some that I'm not too fond of. But I think I 'get you.' As a title how about Snowbound? Good work on this. Bri.
Title: Re: { untitled poem }
Post by: MadDove on January 28, 2014, 05:10:55 PM
Chizzy, you are absolutely correct -- my caps and punctuation need tweaking. I became so immersed in rearranging the word of one of the lines, I lost sight of them. I pledge to be more mindful of that with my next effort. And while I certainly understand the function of a title, I can't help but feel the risk of it telling too much about the poem. I overcompensate by drafting titles that are obscure. Which is pointless. But I will keep trying. Thank you for your remarks!
Title: Re: { untitled poem }
Post by: bri h on January 28, 2014, 05:15:09 PM
Hey MD. get a couple of titles together and post them. Then ask the posters which they prefer. It's one way to get a title for your piece. B
Title: Re: { untitled poem }
Post by: Amie on January 28, 2014, 05:18:06 PM
Some people use the title like a first line of the poem. Would that work for you?
Title: Re: { untitled poem }
Post by: MadDove on January 28, 2014, 05:19:19 PM
Mark T, thank you so much for your comments and your welcome. If you could recommend any poems that exemplify what you refer to as "grammatical correctness and subtle poetical elements" ( which sounds way too sophisticated for my dunderhead  :D ), it would be very helpful and so appreciated. Thanks again for the encouraging words!
Title: Re: { untitled poem }
Post by: MadDove on January 28, 2014, 05:28:38 PM
Hi, Bri,

By PP, I'm guessing you mean purple prose? Perhaps I am unconsciously channeling Emily Dickinson as her poetry is all that I've been reading lately. I do think this poem has a quaintness to it that I trace back to her influence, but it was not deliberate on my part. And I actually like that quality (at least in this poem).

Could you tell me which lines you loved and which you didn't care for?  It would really help me to know.

Still mulling over options for a title. Thank you for your suggestions and review!
Title: PS Chizzy
Post by: MadDove on January 28, 2014, 05:31:51 PM
I would like to read the poem of yours you refer to, if I may. Where would I find it?
Title: Re: { untitled poem }
Post by: bri h on January 28, 2014, 05:39:21 PM
I chanced upon a feather
In a nest of snow,(loved this)
An eloquent whorl(and this)
that unwound into a downy quill, (you set up a good rhythm at the beginning)
so like the half shape of a heart. (but lost it here)
I gave my breath to lift it
but could not set it free.(back on rhythm here)
Perhaps, clasping solitude,
This cameo of frost
cared not for the whistle of the wind (lost it here)
But for the echo of the breast
that beat there no more. (Rhythm is almost gone here)

I chanced upon a feather
du  du    du du du du-du

In a nest of snow
du du du du du.

See what I mean? This is why I liked some of it and didn't like others. This doesn't mean your poem's not good. This is just ONE opinion. If you like it then it's fine. But like has been said to me in the past. "Who are you writing for?" If this is solely for you, then it's fine. But if you want to be read and liked then you have to work harder to make any connections, so that people will 'feel,' your words. Do you see what I mean? Keep going. You're doing fine. xbx
Title: Re: PS Chizzy
Post by: bri h on January 28, 2014, 05:42:16 PM
I would like to read the poem of yours you refer to, if I may. Where would I find it?

Is this directed at me MD? B
Title: Re: { untitled poem }
Post by: bri h on January 28, 2014, 05:44:22 PM
Btw. If you want to see how well your poem is being received, let me direct your eyes to the very top of the page. can you see how many times this page has been read? 50 times. What more proof do you need? ha ha. xbx
Title: Re: { untitled poem }
Post by: Chizzy on January 28, 2014, 05:48:59 PM
Chizzy, you are absolutely correct -- my caps and punctuation need tweaking. I became so immersed in rearranging the word of one of the lines, I lost sight of them. I pledge to be more mindful of that with my next effort. And while I certainly understand the function of a title, I can't help but feel the risk of it telling too much about the poem. I overcompensate by drafting titles that are obscure. Which is pointless. But I will keep trying. Thank you for your remarks!

Well, sure. Titles can certainly give too much away. Let's call them "bad titles". Just coz some titles can be bad isn't much of a reason to abandon them completely, rather a challenge to push yourself to find a good one.

And Bri, number of views isn't much of an indicator of anything. Neither is the number of comments, for that matter.
Title: Re: { untitled poem }
Post by: bri h on January 28, 2014, 05:52:54 PM
Nah, disagree with you Chizz. I think if the posters are coming to see the poem AND the crits and suggy's, it's a good indication of interest generated by either. Opinion respectively given of course. B
Title: Re: { untitled poem }
Post by: Chizzy on January 28, 2014, 06:00:02 PM
Or I could hit refresh 50 times and push the views to over 100. And what about the people who click on the thread, read the first couple of lines and then back up without commenting? And all the people who have commented and get an email notification and then come back to the thread to read the latest replies. You and I have probably contributed around 10 of the total views. Doesn't mean a thing.  Equally respectfully. ;)
Title: Re: { untitled poem }
Post by: bri h on January 28, 2014, 06:12:39 PM
Then respectively, shove this-  ::)

(tongue firmly in cheek)



I suppose so. I still like this poem and author though. I'll be coming back for more, so there's at least another 10 or 20 posts.  ;D  B
Title: Re: { untitled poem }
Post by: Chizzy on January 28, 2014, 06:18:23 PM
I still like this poem and author though.

Me too.
Title: Re: { untitled poem }
Post by: MadDove on January 29, 2014, 11:45:27 AM
Bri,

I'm glad I asked for specifics on what you did and didn't like. I assumed it was my phrasing. You're right. The rhythm isn't consistent. I am new to free verse. I cut my teeth on limericks (even though I took liberties with the conventional form) and feel much more comfortable inside a set meter and syllable limit. Writing free verse is like working w/o a net for me. It does not feel natural, but I will keep trying.  :)

Oh, and for now, I am going to take Amie's suggestion and simply call this "I chanced upon a feather."
I've been working closely on this poem for weeks. I need to regain some perspective before attacking a final title.  :)
Title: Re: { untitled poem }
Post by: bri h on January 29, 2014, 11:53:50 AM
Great title MD. xbx