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Thread: I Remember

  1. #11
    For me personally, I consider the ability to connect with someone else and hopefully create a dialogue the goal of anything I write. If I can do that I feel that what I have written is a success. That is why I really appreciated this piece.

    As you remembered ages and events, I also remembered similar events at similar ages. I liked how, as you went on you included emotions with the physical event. And the last line, I said "Oh my gosh!" out loud. It was stunning.

    You said so much so simply and it had quite an impact on me.

    This was very good.


  2. #12
    There's a similar series of poems by Joe Brainard set out like this, and it's interesting how he does them, that I would suggest. Rather than set out the memories in a linear way (from age 6 to 65), it might have more of an emotional effect on the reader if your speaker remembers the childhood he had with his love while he's older. What Brainard did was select a series of random memories. He could go from remembering college to remembering when he was a little boy, and then back to high school. Remember that nothing has to be chronological, and in fact, making time non-linear can have a very fantastic, abstract effect.
    If a lion could speak, we could not understand him - ​Ludwig Wittgenstein

  3. #13
    I will look up Joe Brainard. Siill, in this particular poem I didn't want am abstract effect, I worked to keep the details solid and clear.

    nerot, thank you, you got exactly what I was after, and the final reaction too.
    The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

  4. #14
    Member Sita's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Inside your mind.
    This is rather... amazing. I adore the way you twisted the ending. You let the reader's hope rise, then dropped them right to the ground again. That's what I like about the poem. The emotion is communicated clearly. Good work, comrade.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Chicago Suburb
    This is hard hitting... knocked me over with the ending. Beautifully composed, and gives a wide overview of life in just a few meaningful events. Love it.... really do.

  6. #16
    I made a new edit of this and I'm not sure yet that I have the full effect I'm after, opinions?
    The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

  7. #17
    sorry Prof, but I do not like this at all. It's repetitive, it's a 'me, me, me' poem without any attempt to connect the me to the us. It lacks any use of structure or technique except to repeat a pattern - when, I when, I. Is it a poem or is it just a series of sentences? I'm probably leaning towards the latter, in fact it reminds me a bit of the sort of 'poetry' children are taught to write in schools, as if poetry is nothing more than prose with funny lines to break it up. I think poetry is a lot more than that.

    The most interesting fact is that every (or often) on July 4th you write a suicide poem - that's the poem I'd try to construct.

  8. #18
    I didn’t see this the first time around. I like it. I like it very much. I didn’t think I would but I did. The emotion works so well in this. I found myself taking on a smile at the beginning, then very gradually the smile changed into something else, something more serious, as it progressed. It may have been just a series of sentences but it worked for me. I do not like “The gun is in my pocket.” at the end. It was shocking and unpleasant to hear that after you evoked and displayed such wonderful lifetime memories. I’d replace it with something less jarring. At 65 you still have much life to live. Things may be different now, your love may be gone but life can still be lived and new memories made. It was a neat read.
    Always have a dream that is longer than a lifetime.

  9. #19
    Overall an effective poem, though I think there are places where it falters. First of all, I suggest removing all instances of "I remember" except for the final mention. Otherwise it is redundant in most cases. We know he remembers because he is telling us about it.

    When I was 7 I stepped on a nail. I remember the stabbing pain as it went through my foot.
    'stabbing pain' is cliche. There is a better image out there that brings home the experience of stepping on a nail. You haven't found it yet.

    When I was 10 I fell out of a tree. I remember bouncing down from branch to branch and hitting the ground hard.
    Somewhat amusing image, him bouncing from branch to branch. Is he a ball now? Perhaps better is 'crashing through'.

    When I was 17 I got hit by a car. I remember the sound of screeching breaks and a thud. I woke up in a hospital.
    I most of all remember the smell of that hospital.

    From time to time your writing becomes vague. This is one of those times. What is the hospital smell? Be concrete. Is it bleach? Vomit? A combination of the two? Hospital smell is generic, vague, gives no lasting impression.

    When I was 18 I met you. I remember----oh, so much, so very much. All wonderful. No pain. Just you.

    When I was 22 we married. I remember our life together almost as a fairy tale.

    This is where your poem falters, in my opinion. You go from very specific imagery to this ... which is nothing. The lack of imagery here, compared to the rest of the poem, really stood out to me. I suggest focusing on one image that conveys this wonderful feeling, and this 'fairy tale' life. It doesn't have to be grandiose. Sometimes the best moments seem the most trivial.

    When I was 63 you went away. All I remember anymore are the painful events of my life.
    Last line should go unsaid. The poem will be stronger without this kind of bald exposition. I suggest another image here. For example, when did she pass? Maybe a seasonal image would work well here.
    "The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough, that they didn't invest enough heart, didn't love enough. Nothing else really counts at all. It was a saying about noble figures in old Irish poems—he would give his hawk to any man that asked for it, yet he loved his hawk better than men nowadays love their bride of tomorrow. He would mourn a dog with more grief than men nowadays mourn their fathers.

    And that's how we measure out our real respect for people—by the degree of feeling they can register, the voltage of life they can carry and tolerate—and enjoy.

    Live like a mighty river: a letter from Ted Hughes to his son, Nicholas

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  10. #20
    Dannyboy: thank you for taking the time to critique my poem. I intended the I remember to remind one of a tolling bell, guess I'll have to try again. Of course it's "me" poem, It's "me" who is suffering. I originally wrote it without the gun, frankly I thiki it's better with the gun. Oh and as for writing a suicide poem, no, that isn't my aim. Read my "You hit me Hard Today, That was another July 4th poem, I'm after a mood and I have not got it yet..

    Gardening Girl; Thanks, sorry you didn't like the ending, but as I wrote above, Originally I wrote it without the gun, but I think it's better with it.

    JohnMG; Thanks for responding. I don't agree with everything you say but I can see your point on each one. In order First, I do like the "I Remember", It is indeed redundant, but so is a tolling bell. Second, you are right about the "stabbing pain" being a chiche, How do you like the change? Third, I really did bounce from branch to branch, I even straddled one bot I left that out. Fourth, I think everyone has a different idea about hospital smells, but they would all; agree there is a distinct smell to a hospital. Fifth,I agree in part and am dropping the "almost as". Your last point I think I covered above. Again. thanks for your time.

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