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E - Everyone

Ask Me This

by NathanRaux

When, when I thought it was naught but conspiracy,

That it'd be comic, a joke, not a would-be plea,
Who, who'd hit and break, swung, a shillelagh,
Hard wood strength, a bludgeon, a sequence, simply plainly,
What, what roots from prejudice so inclined to the contrary,
Brought harm to one's self, a broken goal to be free,
How, how the past, beyond belief, it'll truly see,
Deprecate the future held deep beneath seas,
And finally,
One last breath that awakens a crisp and unveiled gaucherie,
Picked like grapes in a heavenly vinery,
Why? You tell me.

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148 Reviews

Points: 9125
Reviews: 148

Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:39 pm
LittleLee wrote a review...

Hey there! Little's here for a review! It's been a long time since i did this, so forgive me for any errors!

Starting off, I can understand how you may have felt when this happened to you, seeing as how I've gone through something similar. However, I think you leaned way too heavily on metaphors and similes for this poem. Both allow you to express yourself pretty well and add a touch of mysteriousness to whatever it is you're trying to say, but frankly, you haven't used them very well. Everything is just way too abstract. While poems are almost never clear but opaque, smudging your thoughts too much can be... Unpleasant. For example, I don't think i would have understood what you are trying to say, or what this poem is even about, if you hadn't given us an explanation. It's just very vague. TOO vague to catch on to the actual topic.

Another thing that's sad to see is the rhyme scheme. I see that niteowl's already elaborated on this point, but i would like to add that a rhyme scheme often completely prohibits you from exposing your emotions in a clear manner. There are so many other, perhaps better words you could have used, but the rhyme prevented you from using them. Poetry does not necessarily have to rhyme. Poetry is an art of expression. If you force a rhyme scheme on a deep poem, it ruins it. What could be a masterpiece becomes any old painting.
To be honest, the last four lines are extremely difficult to understand. Why would a gaucherie be compared to grapes?

Well, overall, it's nice, but needs a lot of work, don't you think? I see a potential masterpiece, so try not to let it remain any old painting.

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1238 Reviews

Points: 35807
Reviews: 1238

Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:27 pm
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niteowl wrote a review...

Hi there NathanRaux! It looks like you've been a member for a while but are just now being active, so welcome again!

One thing I liked in this poem is the repetition of the "question words". I find that going back to these basic words helps you set the scene and bring in the concrete imagery that can make a poem truly compelling.

That said, I feel like this poem gets away from the reader and it becomes difficult to understand what you're talking about. I read the description

I made this after learning someone else had a crush on my ex-crush which I learned to be sexist. I still continue to ask myself about my feelings.

but even with this aid I'm having trouble understanding the poem. I think there are two reasons for this:

1) The rhyme scheme. Not only do you rhyme, but every line ends in the long "e" sound. Rhyming every single line with the same sound is going to feel overbearing even in the best case scenario. I also feel like the rhyme is forcing you to use words that don't quite fit what you're trying to say, like the future held deep beneath seas. That metaphor comes out of nowhere and it doesn't make any sense in context. I'd encourage you to try free verse, since you can then use the best words for your meaning without worrying about rhyming.

2) There's a lot of metaphor and abstraction, but nothing really tying it down. We have something being beaten by a shillelagh (which feels like a forced rhyme), but I don't understand what's being beaten or why I should care. We have a future held beneath seas, which seems like an idea worth exploring, but right now it's not really developed so it sounds out of place. Then we have a rude breath that's picked like heavenly grapes, which also just sounds strange. Metaphors and similes are awesome poetic tools, and these lines do present interesting concepts, but right now they're kind of lost due to a lack of concrete imagery.

So how do I suggest fixing this? It seems like the solution is in your poem with those handy dandy question words. Think about the Who, What, When, Where, and How in plain terms. What images come to mind? Also think about the senses in relation to these. Give the reader something to see, hear, touch, maybe even smell or taste. Once the scene is set, you can then bring in the metaphors that make sense with the Why that you're trying to get across.

Overall, I think there's some interesting ideas in this piece, but I'd love to see them feel a little more grounded in imagery and less focused on rhyme. Welcome back again and keep writing! :D

You are going to love some of your characters because they are you, or some facet of you, and you are going to hate some characters for the same reason.
— Anne Lamott