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When Alone (1 Viewer)

Llyralen

Senior Member
Thanks for the encouraging feedback. Here is the second pass using the material (original) below.

When Alone

Sometimes even a small brushstroke misplaced
creates a schism in the landscape
and your eye misinterprets the portrait I tried
and without trying sends me to the furthest outpost of alone

Here in the wilderness a weathered house
the moonlight caressing the jagged lintel
wind unabashed wuthering the yellowed grass
a forced intimacy within the empty house

Intimacy due to the lack of intimacy without
There is no one for miles! I arrive trapped
wrapped in a sweater grandmother made
No one can be here, my painting was insufficient

Someone else might feel the cloistered charm
with natural grace and purpose holding space
Here, someone else might feel at home and of use
like a beautiful vase displayed on a cabinet

But me-- I know I am a harp unplayed
The lone moon and wind create a tension
in that bare room a strung string poised but unplucked
silence forces a terrible intimacy

And I begin to crave small things that should be loved
broken unbeautiful things that others don't see.
I want a blind child to love so tenderly
so delicately would my fingers set her hair

I begin to feel desperate for necessities like earth
like body organs to be placed on pedestals and thanked
Without skin a horror but somehow wonderful too
all the incomprehensible kind things they do

all along they were there in that bare cabin
wanting to be remembered or found
It's like wanting Grace Kelly without grace
the black duck’s wing without the iridescent sheen

It’s the ache in my bones without the bones
but it’s not really wanting, is it? No.
It’s who I am
who I am
who I am
as the tears of Grace echo silently in the outpost in the wild

____________________________________________-
Original Rant

Tell me why
in the furthest outpost of alone
In the wild wilderness of certain circumstances
the emotional place where you cannot imagine
even with all my years’ command of words
not with any painters brush can I portray
or even the variation in 1000 photographs
Could you see
Even though you try valiantly
And arrived in that cabin
Wrapped in a sweater grandmother made for me as a baby
I then experience only me
only me with no infiltration
Im a harp not played, I know
where someone else might feel
at home like a beautiful vase
displayed on a cabinet
but me— I know I am meant to be played
So alone creates a tense silence
in that bare room
a string poised and unplayed
and it somehow forces
a terrible intimacy of self
There is nothing in that room
but a forgotten and broken harp
And I begin to want small things
things that should be loved
that others don’t see.
organs that must work
but that without skin are a horror, thanked
a horror but somehow beautiful too
all the incomprehensible things they do
displayed under garish circus tent lights
I want a blind child to love so tenderly
so delicately would my fingers set her hair
all along it was there in that hut
wanting to be remembered or found
And it’s like wanting Grace Kelly without grace
the black duck’s wing
without the iridescent sheen, plain
It’s the ache in the bone without the bone
but it’s not really wanting, is it? No.
it’s who I am
who I am
who I am
as the tear of grace echoes
silently in the outpost in the wild
somehow forming from its austerity
a tender self-intimacy from its lack
 
Last edited:

Darren White

co-owner and admin
Staff member
Co-Owner
I like your poem :)
I think it's a good idea if you edit your poem, to remove the strange characters in it. Did you copy if from Word or another program?
 

2020Syd2020

Senior Member
Hello,

Strange characters aside, I like this. You capture and articulate your speaker’s emotions well and the reader connects with that.

For me, I think structurally this would benefit from not being one great slab of writing, I think playing around with stanzas and couplets in places would really help break the piece up, giving it a lot more impact.

Hope this helps

Cheers

Syd
 

dannyboy

Friends of WF
yes some poignant moments but along with Syd's breaking this up I think it also needs a heavy cut. As an example, the last two lines

"somehow forming from its austerity
a tender self-intimacy from its lack "

I believe you do not need austerity and lack, just 1 will suffice.
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
This is nice feedback.... actually I didn’t think this posted. I had to go “back” because the forum had logged me out so I cut and pasted into my own notes for later as I wanted to work on it.
I was still playing around with themes of it today though.... so here is today’s rhapsody on the same theme

Sometimes I want to be
like someone else when they are alone
Like Rilke when alone—
As if a rain drop by study
became more than other raindrops
Even shook itself and shimmered
on the edge of a blade of grass
it shivered with delicious comprehension
of its separation from the cloud
I also see my friend’s stately grace
When she is alone
she is like a vase on a shelf
Holding space, promoting familiarity
When she is with others
She is like a vase on a shelf
the others interact with her
In the same careful and useful ways
It is enough for her to know her value
But me... I’m like a harp unplayed
I wait for the hands of a lover
and the silence doesn’t complete
Like it graces the vase
and is not a welcomed reprieve
as it would be for Rilke’s rain drop







 

Terra

Senior Member
I like it ... feels like the many different 'bits' of someone's psyche all trying to get along with each other, and with the person on the 'outside' ... the title When Alone speaks volumes ... that's my perspective anyway:)
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
yes some poignant moments but along with Syd's breaking this up I think it also needs a heavy cut. As an example, the last two lines

"somehow forming from its austerity
a tender self-intimacy from its lack "

I believe you do not need austerity and lack, just 1 will suffice.


I agree... both lines were tacked on after my initial emotional spill was over. Emotionally it had ended with the echo of the tear. (I tend to just write and send after the last period without doing many changes at first... because I'm not used to forums that actually take poetry seriously....which is probably not the way to go about things here. Anyway, tacked on because I wasn't quite sure I was making my point earlier and suddenly felt like the whole point needed to be made. After your feedback I realized it should have come earlier and it was the way to say it, basically... that because of a lack of intimacy outside yourself you have a forced intimacy within yourself.... and that's the way I meant the word lack in that sentence was short for "lack of intimacy".. See what you think of the changes, if you would please? When I got your feedback on it I thought "How did he know those were tacked on? " It could use more cuts for sure, but I'm not sure which lines reach other people well. I would appreciate you looking it over.
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
Hello,

Strange characters aside, I like this. You capture and articulate your speaker’s emotions well and the reader connects with that.

For me, I think structurally this would benefit from not being one great slab of writing, I think playing around with stanzas and couplets in places would really help break the piece up, giving it a lot more impact.

Hope this helps

Cheers

Syd

Syd, thank you! I made the changes (above). Let me know what you think. I think it could use more cutting, so I'm trying to think of an easy way to let me know what lines hit their mark best. Maybe cut and paste the whole thing and italicize the lines you like? either that or erase what could be taken out? I appreciate the feedback. It's nice to get. I am glad I've found a place where poetry is read and discussed. I'm very new here.
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
I like it ... feels like the many different 'bits' of someone's psyche all trying to get along with each other, and with the person on the 'outside' ... the title When Alone speaks volumes ... that's my perspective anyway:)

I feel so seen! Thank you so much for commenting! Feel free to also give me a critique of what lines you liked or didn't like.
 

2020Syd2020

Senior Member
Hello,

Fundamentally I think this revision is an improvement on the original. I do however think that you’ve went down the route of addition by addition, rather than the addition by subtraction that some of the commentators here wanted to see. For me I think you fall into a trap of forcing the imagery into feeling poetic and that then means some of the imagery just doesn’t work. I’ve left a few comments in-line below.

I hope this helps you.

Cheers

Syd

Sometimes even a small brushstroke misplaced I’d flip brushstroke and misplaced
creates a schism in the landscape
and your eye misinterprets the portrait I tried tried doesn’t work I’d use painted
and without trying sends me to the furthest outpost of alone The wording is a little confusing

Here in the wilderness a weathered house
the moonlight caressing the jagged lintel
wind unabashed wuthering the yellowed grass do you mean withering?
a forced intimacy within the empty house I think you’re over describing

Intimacy due to the lack of intimacy without confusing
There is no one for miles! I arrive trapped
wrapped in a sweater grandmother made
No one can be here, my painting was insufficient

Someone else might feel the cloistered charm
with natural grace and purpose holding space
Here, someone else might feel at home and of use
like a beautiful vase displayed on a cabinet

But me-- I know I am a harp unplayed
The lone moon and wind create a tension you use harp to describe the speaker so why not further strengthen the metaphor by alluding to musical tension between notes.
in that bare room a strung string poised but unplucked
silence forces a terrible intimacy

And I begin to crave small things that should be loved
broken unbeautiful things that others don't see.
I want a blind child to love so tenderly
so delicately would my fingers set her hair

Un-beautiful and un-plucked should be hyphenated for me. I do like the imagery of the child and the speaker here.

I begin to feel desperate for necessities like earth
like body organs to be placed on pedestals and thanked
Without skin a horror but somehow wonderful too
all the incomprehensible kind things they do

Fundamentally I think you’re over describing and in doing so what you want to say becomes oblique and hidden by verbosity.


all along they were there in that bare cabin
wanting to be remembered or found
It's like wanting Grace Kelly without grace I know what you’re trying to say, but I don’t think it’s an image that works
the black duck’s wing without the iridescent sheen

It’s the ache in my bones without the bones
but it’s not really wanting, is it? No.
It’s who I am
who I am
who I am
as the tears of Grace echo silently in the outpost in the wild
 

dannyboy

Friends of WF
Much stronger, really better end point.

"a forced intimacy within the empty house" - perhaps simply a forced intimacy within the emptiness? It removes the double use of house.

rather than "beautiful vase" (beautiful actually tells us very little, so a waste of a word) what about floral vase, or the colour of the vase, or shape?

"all along they were there in that bare cabin
wanting to be remembered or found
It's like wanting Grace Kelly without grace
the black duck’s wing without the iridescent sheen" - really like this.
 
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