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The Labyrinth

by promptlyby12

A sailor, out at sea

A storm due east- The Labyrinth's tyranny. 

East he goes - past the squall

Escap'd hath he the Labyrinth? 

A mockingbird, under a tree

The Labyrinth's bane - now mocks thee. 

Its Heart - burnt to the ground

Escap'd hath he the Labyrinth? 

A larch, in the firmament 

Come touch the either - the Labyrinth calls. 

The larch elates - finds the spire. 

Escap'd hath it the Labyrinth? 

All dwell - confined amongs't the Labyrinth

How Art Thou Escaped The Labyrinth???. 

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24 Reviews

Points: 27
Reviews: 24

Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:58 pm
magiccharm2002 wrote a review...

Hello! this poem was a very interesting read! I like the slight rhyming and the rhythm is decent. Over all, I'd say its pretty good.
Now down to the actual review. The rhythm is decently solid all the way through. Although, it becomes confusing when you come to lines such as "Escap'd hath he the Labyrinth?". To me it just doesn't work. One question I would like to ask you is, did you do your research on old English and the specific dialects you used or were just improvising? You want to be careful when you write in dialects so that you can do it properly and notice if a word truly fits or not. Besides this, I like your use of dialect it's just the fact that certain words just don't seem to fit in the rhythm and timing even though they work in the sentence.
Over all, it's a good poem and I'd love to read more of your work.

promptlyby12 says...

Thanks for the review! Well i was just playing around with old english here, to see what works. I did not use any specific dialects, just random things that came to my mind. But i will surely take your suggestion into account, and try to make it less distracting and more fitting. Also, have you posted any poems yet, I would be interested to read them!
Thank you!

Okay! and yes, I have posted a lot of poems actually.

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1238 Reviews

Points: 35807
Reviews: 1238

Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:01 pm
niteowl wrote a review...

Hi Aniwriting9162! Niteowl here to review.

So to try to get at the meaning of this poem, I'm going to split it up into stanzas of four lines with the couplet at the end.

In the first stanza, we have a sailor facing a storm, which is part of the Labyrinth. He gets past the storm, but has he truly escaped?

In the second stanza, there's a mockingbird, which is somehow more powerful than the Labyrinth. It's also mocking a "thee", which brings this poem into the second person. The mockingbird's heart burns, implying that death may be the only way to escape the labyrinth.

The third stanza is about a larch, which I had to look up to find is a type of tree. This tree is either in the heavens or has reached the heavens, but again the narrator wonders if that is enough to escape this labyrinth.

The final couplet states that none of these characters-the sailor in peril, the dead mockingbird, or the tall tree, have truly escaped the labyrinth. The final line then brings the second person back, asking how "you" can escape the labyrinth.

Based on your description, the labyrinth is a metaphor for life itself. It's certainly an interesting concept, but I don't feel like it's being used to its full potential in this piece. If I were writing a poem about the labyrinth as a metaphor for life, I'd probably start by refreshing my memory on the myth of the Minotaur where the labyrinth comes from in the first place, then seeing what parts of that myth I could build upon as symbols in my poem. Right now, the only character that's sort of tied to the myth is the sailor, which could be Theseus on his way to defeat the Minotaur. The mockingbird and the tree don't have any obvious connection, so I would consider replacing them with symbols more tied to the myth.

Another issue I'd like to address is the use of old-fashioned language. In my opinion, this is a tool that can work if used sparingly, but often it obscures meaning and distracts the reader. A good example is the last line, where I'm pretty sure "How Art Thou" is incorrect grammatically and it's distracting. The modern equivalent would be "How are you escaped the labyrinth?" which doesn't quite make sense. Honestly, I don't think much would be lost if you rewrote this with a more modern language, with perhaps the exception of the refrain (though "Has he escaped the labyrinth?" would also sound good). Generally, I write in more plain language and then examine word choice to see where I might want to "dress up" the wording. That way, the ideas get the attention, not the unusual language. Right now, I feel like the language is taking up so much space in the reader's head that the ideas aren't coming through as well.

Overall, I think the concept is interesting, but I would consider using the labyrinth mythology more and using more clear language to make your ideas stand out. Keep writing! :D

promptlyby12 says...

Thanks for this review!!! (This is my first work)
Well i had separated the poem into 3 stanzas and a couplet, but it somehow came out without stanzas upon publishing.
Secondly, I am not aware of the myth surrounding the Labyrinth : i just knew it was a maze and had something to do with Greek mythology (i came across it while reading Looking for Alaska) But i will be sure to look it up!
About the old english : i was honestly just playing around with that, because this is the first proper poem i have written (others were just for school and not thought out at all : i'm more interested in writting stories). But i'll be sure to take your opinion into consideration and improve my work.
Again, thanks a million!!! %uD83D%uDE00
Also, in the second stanza 'bane' implies that the bird is dying, not that it is deadly for the Labyrinth, and thee is used for the bird( which i realise probably doesn't make much sense)
Also, (forgot to mention this above) i've taken three interpretations of the Labyrinth : Life, struggle, and our goals in life. The first stanza signifies struggle, the next life and the third is a metaphor for goals and aspirations.

niteowl says...

Yes, the stanza spacing is a known bug. How to Format Poetry this could help you get around it.

Yeah, the "bane" sentence is sort of odd. As written "The Labyrinth's bane" implies that the mockingbird is the bane of the labyrinth. The more accurate way of saying what you mean might be "the labyrinth is its bane, now mocking it" (I would not switch POV in this case because that's hard to follow). It seems like you have some interesting ideas. Keep writing! :D

You have to be a bit of a liar to tell a story the right way.
— Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind