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The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Poet's Corner : Critique my Poem > Me and You

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 Posted: Fri Aug 4th, 2006 12:23 pm
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nikip
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Mana: 
It was a lovely dance Edd.  And I have actually posted a little something this morning!

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 Posted: Fri Aug 4th, 2006 12:22 pm
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Edd
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Mana: 
Yeah, I got advice.  Go into Paddy's gym and write a one page play about whatever comes to mind.  Then write a two page play.  Then work yourself up to a 10 page play, which a lot of theatres are looking for.  After that the sky is the limit.  And now I feel like singing:

What good is sitting alone
In you room?
Come hear the music play.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret.
Put down the knitting,
The book and the broom.
Time for a holiday.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret.
Come taste the wine,
Come hear the band.
Come blow a horn,
Start celebrating;
Right this way,
Your table's waiting.

I was dancing too.  Sorry you couldn't see it.

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 Posted: Fri Aug 4th, 2006 08:10 am
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nikip
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Mana: 
Thanks Kate.  If only you knew how I sit here like a tortured soul day after day since I first posted thinking about writing drama!  Never done it!  Don't know where or how to start!  Any advice MOST welcome

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 Posted: Fri Aug 4th, 2006 08:05 am
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Kate
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Mana: 
Hi Nikip - that is a very strong poem.  I like your use of language: sparing, every word resonates - as does the ending.  As well as the sexual/violence divide, there's also a sense of high/low culture (Tony Harrison vs crap on TV & beer guzzling) that you use very effectively to show the expanse that's grown between these two people.  And the intimation that the narrator is striving to find a place in the world beyond this relationship that's gone sour, and the man appears resentful.  All this in such economic language.  It's always the sub-text that enriches. You should write drama!

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 Posted: Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 04:36 pm
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nikip
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Mana: 
Yes Paddy, I'm a woman!  I know your gender came as a surprise to Swann!  Thanks so much for your comments.  I will think about turning into dialogue.  Have to claim total novice at that, but definitely thought-provoking.

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 Posted: Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 03:56 pm
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Paddy
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Mana: 
Nikip.

 

Wonderful piece of literature!  Beautifully woven to the last gut-wrenching lines.

This is an example of a poem that very well might be a play.

I would love to see you try a short play.  It would be wonderful if you kept her voice poetic, and his, the bellowing voice of the hairy handed tv surfing Neanderthal scratching his hairy beer belly.

I'm assuming you are a women, and perhaps I shouldn't.  I, am, however, very much a women.

~smile~

Paddy

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 Posted: Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 10:09 am
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nikip
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Mana: 
Hi Edd, have read your poems thank you.  They are full of massive ideas, thought patterns and philosophies.  For me, I loved the computer one the best.  I thought the images were powerful and it had real "current" appeal.

What a tragedy that your other poems were taken.  Perhaps someone has spent a lifetime reading them and appreciating them.  Even a small, criminal audience is an audience!

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 Posted: Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 09:16 am
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nikip
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Mana: 
I like that too Mark.  Great poem.  Thank you for taking the trouble to respond.  I am going to post another poem shortly.  I wrote it this morning, so it really is a first draft!  Would be grateful for your comments.

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 Posted: Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 06:54 am
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Mark James
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Mana: 
This is very good. Your language is what language should be. Novel, striking, beautiful, and yet not obfuscating, not hiding the riddle of your thoughts.

There's a Bukowski poem, I think it's called Bee's Fifth that reminds me of this in its stunning frankness. It ends something along the lines of

and I told her I couldn't listen to it

and she asked me how I could not care

about something so much greater than myself.

"that's easy," I said.

And I sat in a red chair

and she sat in a green chair

and we never talked again.

Oh, bottles and botkins, my badly paraphrasing self! You get the point. I like this.

 

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2006 10:49 pm
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Swann1719
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Mana: 
Nikip, I don't know anything about Tony Harrison and the situation and the images resonated with me greatly.  Well done!  That's a great poem.

Paddy is a woman??? 

Thanks for posting it.  It was great fun to read a poem for a change, and that poem packed a lot of punch.

 

Best,

 

Your friendly neighbourhood Swann

 

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2006 10:16 pm
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nikip
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Mana: 
By the way, I will look at your poems tomorrow x

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2006 10:15 pm
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nikip
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Mana: 
I have nothing that is remotely finished.  One that continues the theme of the last, and one about a funeral of a child that I once attended, which is very different in style.  I will have a think about posting them tomorrow, but they are still quite raw.  Have a few others, but not necessarily ones ready for any sort of viewing. And thanks for your encouragement over this one Edd.  Means a lot. 

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2006 10:02 pm
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Edd
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Mana: 

I don't know if he is published or not.  We recently were on the same bill of short plays somewhere near Washington, DC

I call myself strictly a playwright.  It is how I don't seem to make any money.  Once I had a moving box with decades-full of poetry and a few early plays.  It was put out on the sidewalk along with everything else during an eviction.  Somebody grabbed it and ran.   Imagine the disappointment when they discovered what it was. This was pre-electric typewriter, an old Underwood, and there were no copies.   I no longer write poetry--maybe a haiku every now and then and one about spam a month or so ago.  In the full-length version of Tough Cookies one of my characters is a self-mutilating, bi-polar poet who shares many of her poems throughout the play.  Those were fun <grimace> to write.

If you want to visit my very few remaining poems:
http://www.geocities.com/edwardcrosbywells/poems.html

I'm most anxious to read more of yours.

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2006 09:39 pm
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nikip
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Mana: 
I have read some of Timmy's poetry.  It is very good.  Is he published?

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2006 09:04 pm
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Edd
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Mana: 

nikip,

While waiting for my mate to finish preparing our BLTs for a late lunch, I thought of something I wanted to say.  Your two responders are men.  I can't speak for Playfull, but I'm still reeling from it.   I can't wait to hear how women respond--especially my moderating partner, Paddy.  Timmy is a poet and I hope he gets to read this.  There's another and very powerful poet who visits here on occassion whose name is John Moreno (I think his screen name is BlackJohnny).  And don't let me humble you.  If anything, it ought to be from the power of your own poetry.

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2006 08:03 pm
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nikip
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Mana: 
Thanks Edd, said the humble voice!

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2006 07:46 pm
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Edd
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Mana: 

The question I really want to ask though, is does it have a value beyond the personal?  Why would we have responded the way we did if it did not?

Is it a piece of writing that would "speak" to other people?  I like to think that I am one of those "other people" to whom it spoke.

Are there any words that jar and don't flow?  Not for me.


And for any poets out there, does the form work?  Of course it works.  You were read, you were heard and you were felt

But I like my first response better.  It spoke to its affect.  :>)

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2006 07:19 pm
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nikip
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Mana: 
Thank you to both of you for your kind comments.  At least I know that the poem evokes emotion.  The question I really want to ask though, is does it have a value beyond the personal?  Is it a piece of writing that would "speak" to other people?  Are there any words that jar and don't flow?  And for any poets out there, does the form work? 

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2006 07:16 pm
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playfull
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Mana: 
Niki,

Sorry, I don't have a love of poetry, or any knowledge about structure and form and so cannot offer any constructive advice..............................

However i do know that i found the last two lines stunning. As Edd, i was struck immediately by the harsh and stark honesty of them. The effect of those two lines will stay with me for quite some while.

regards

playfull

 

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2006 05:53 pm
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Edd
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Mana: 
Oh my God!  The shock wave it sent through me!  The hairs on my arms are standing.  I cannot believe that anyone could have written that who has not felt that.  It rang with honesty and truth.  What exquisite, harrowing pain.  If any friend of mine wrote this poem now I would say, "quietly go upstairs, pack your things and run like bloody hell!"

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2006 03:43 pm
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nikip
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Mana: 

Just to put this poem into context, it was written several years ago at the end of a relationship.  It is deeply personal, and it pivots around my love for the poetry of Tony Harrison.  It probably loses something to the person who is not familiar with his works, but I would like any comments about characterisation, content, what it’s about etc, good or bad.  Some days this poem annoys me because it feels unfinished and other days I quite like it.


 

 

 

 

 

Me and You

 

 

                                    While I thumb the pages of Tony Harrison

                                    Reading his “Anthony” contrast

                                    With his gob-hawking Dad

                                    And crying for the gap,

 

                                    You swill your can of Kestrel,

                                    Your thumb on the remote

                                    Hopping the channels till they blur

                                    Like sentences without punctuation.

 

                                    As I read of Hera’s shrill voice

                                    Shattering the eardrums of her husband/Deity,

                                    The fragments scattering

                                    Into the empty space between them,

 

                                    The ash from your cigarette falls to the floor

                                    And your foot screws it into the carpet.

                                    The hot stench fills the space between me and you.

 

                                    As I ache for Florrie’s two year passed death

                                    With her still slipper-warming husband

                                    And feel the sticky rubber of the hot water bottle

                                    That scalds her now cold place:

                                    While I scratch my naked skin and it shrivels and shrinks

                                    From the poetic tale of voyeuristic bedbugs,

                                    You critique a different show.

 

                                    You laugh,

                                    A concrete laugh

                                    And look into my raw face

                                    And speak.

                                    “Reading again?” you ask,

                                    “A book, yer stupid cunt’s not worth a fuck.”

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