Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Brainess, May 3, 2016.

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  1. I have been asked to do a Petrarchan sonnet and a lyric poem but I'm very very terrible at poetry (all those rhyming and meters blah!). I just finished making it and I'm not confident so I need help before I give it over...



    Somewhere deep, dark, and cold, I cower
    Somewhere deep, dark and cold, she follows
    She whispers and laughs; her voice echoes
    I hide and run, but I have no enough power
    The words she throws are sweets and flowers
    Yet they pierce you as painful as arrows
    You've always been with me, high and low
    But I wish you be sweep away like an ember
    I wish to end this and be drowned in silence
    But we're ribbons; we're each other’s bane
    We're puppets; we speak what you speak
    We're different but share the same appearance
    I stare at my own reflection in pain
    As I muffle my own cries and shrieks

    Lyric poem

    The sea (I love)?/???

    Here I stand in the sea shore to watch the sun set
    I see the sea and the sky together
    Like how the stars appear every night to gather
    I wish we could have the time be reset
    So we could capture everything in a cassette
    Before everything flies like a feather

    I close my eyes and feel the wind in my face
    It reminds me of your soft caress
    That always makes my heart race
    The warmth of the sea reminds me of your embrace
    That always makes me feel safe

    I open my eyes to see the sun gone
    Just like when you said we were done
    The sting of the sea reminds me of my heartache
    When I am awake
    And know you are gone

    I'm in 9th grade. If you were my English teacher, what would you give me out of 10? 1 - very bad to 10 - perfect
  2. I will respond! Just wait a bit, some folks are bi-zay
  3. Titles are your friend.

    I can comment on content, but right now I'll focus on form. This is a sonnet, and sonnets, like most poetry, do have rules -- if you're gonna break them, make sure you communicate that you actually know them first. As this stands, it seems you have some grasp of the rules, but you somehow donked up on execution.

    Sonnets are fourteen lines, yes, but they're also invariably in iambic pentameter, which this stumbles with too much to be decent (capital'd parts are stressed, otherwise unstressed; stresses should alternate per syllable, starting unstressed, ending stressed, although beginning with trochees (that is, STRESS unstress unstress STRESS and so forth) is acceptable, always for emphasis).

    SOMEwhere / DEEP DARK / and COLD / i COW/er -- (by foot count alone, this already messes up, as you only have four and half feet, which for IP should be five)
    SOMEwhere / DEEP DARK / and COLD / she FOL/lows
    she WHIS/pers and / LAUGHS; her / VOICE e/CHOES --
    i HIDE / and RUN / but i / HAVE no / eNOUGH / POwer (grammar hiccup; this should be "have not". Mistakes like this are best lost so that the audience doesn't go "WTF" inappropriately)
    the WORDS / she THROWS / are SWEETS / and FLOW/ers -- (this is the only line that comes close to IP so far, but still, ending in a half-foot is, for stuff like this, major weak)
    yet they / PIERCE you / as PAIN/ful as / ARrows (sudden turn to anapests here)
    you've AL/ways been / WITH me / HIGH and / LOW -- (wait, you were talking about I's and she's before -- who's this "you" the speaker is now talking to? The girl? This is either unclear, or very clumsily handled -- well, really, both)
    but i / WISH you / be SWEEP / aWAY / like an / EMber (I got a bit confused by this line, because, again, grammar. Should be "But I wish you'd be swept away like an ember", or something)
    i WISH / to END / this AND / be DROWNED / in SI/lence -- (this is also an acceptable line -- if you're gonna go over the foot limit, usually it's best to do just a half foot of unstressed, because it sounds seemless. You could also jump to a hexametric (six footed) line, but that's best used either for the start or for the finish, again for emphasis -- jump too much or at the wrong time, and, again, it'll just seem like weak sauce)
    but we're / RIBbons / we're EACH / Other's / BANE --
    we're PUP/pets; we / SPEAK what / you SPEAK (you missed a foot)
    we're DIFF/erent / but SHARE / the SAME / aPPEAR/ance -- (another metrically acceptable line; better still, I think, "We're different but we share the same appearance", which although if you're being a stickler would sound bad, if you're not (and most readers really aren't) will probably just slur the "fer" in "different")
    i STARE / at my / OWN re/FLECtion / in PAIN (you return to anapests here)
    as i / MUFfle / my OWN / CRIES and / SHRIEKS --

    Then there's the rhyme scheme. There are a lot of kinds of sonnets, with a lot of kinds of rhyme schemes -- the three most common are Italian, which goes either
    and, well, abbaabba,ETCETE, if you catch my drift; Spenserian, which goes
    and then there are the famous Shakespearean sonnets, which go
    Usually, the rhymes are perfect rhymes, but most peeps that I know today are starting to prefer slant rhymes, which sound more natural; I mean, when you use words like "all" or "dove", it becomes a (usually in a bad way) sort of game, guessing what the rhymes are. This, I suppose, is a point in this poem's favor, in that you seem to, ahem, favor slant rhymes, though your rhyme scheme is still a bit wonky:
    Sometimes, it's not necessary to follow the pattern, but since you're very ready in calling this a sonnet, and since your grasp of grammar and meter is a bit, well, off, it would be much safer if you followed one of the more established patterns.

    And finally, there's the issue of the turn. Usually, sonnets have a turn by the end, where, as roughly defined by moi (so, in this case, prepare your salt shaker), the speaker gets to either summarize his point or flip the script. For Shakespearean sonnets, this usually happens at the end couplet -- the gg -- and for Petrarchan, the point where the comma shows up, but even Shakespeare and Petrarch fooled around with this. Nevertheless, once more, usually, or basically always, there was a turn, and this poem....well, it doesn't really have one. The speaker is always sad, the speaker is always in pain, and what metaphors he/she uses are always consistent -- he/she doesn't even truly sum up the poem at the end, doesn't make a point worth following, just repeats the emotion of "oh, i'm in pain". In terms of the turn, this poem just doesn't work --- at least for me. Turns do sometimes run subjectively, depending on the skill of the reader; but do note that METER and RHYME SCHEME remain consistent.

    And as for grade? Really, putting a numerical value on a work of art doesn't really do it any justice, but if I examine this in terms of craft, and that I did, I'll give this....a D. Or maybe a C. I'm not American, so I have no idea how that grading system works.
  4. By the way, here's a good, and for me very engaging, book on not just sonnets, but forms in general; very handy if you wanna continue with poetry, learn all the rules and such:
  5. Thank you for your thorough criticism! I appreciate it very much! And yea, I'm a bit (very) weak on stressing and unstressing words, also the rhyming and grammar.
    Do you also have anything to say for the lyrical poem?

    And by the way, I rewrite it

    In the deepest and darkest I cower
    And so She who cannot leave and follows,
    Whose voice is loud and endlessly echoes,
    Which torments me, I who has no power.
    Her words fragrant as sweets and flowers
    Yet they pierce you as painful as arrows.
    You taunt me endlessly, I who is low,
    Who wish you to be blown like an ember,
    And I free from the tyranny and shame.
    But we are tied; we are each other’s bane;
    We do what you do; we speak what you speak;
    We are different but we are the same;
    And so I stare at my own self in pain,
    As I muffle my own heart’s cries and shrieks.

    I'm sure the stressed and unstressed part still did not change. Do you have any tips on how to find unstressed and stressed syllables easily?
  6. Sonnets are lyric poems -- lyric poetry is a pretty broad category. But for that second one, not yet -- a bit busy.

    As for getting to the whole stress-unstress thing, you really just have to read a lot of the old masters' (so preferably not as much free verse, which though good can lead you astray) -- trains the ear. So, Shakespeare, Milton, Dickinson('s ballads, since she's a lot of free verse too), the English romantics (that is, Keats, Shelley, Byron, etc), etc --- and, if you've the opportunity, read them aloud (and slowly at first), to get a real good sense of the sound. The resource I linked up there should be real helpful too, as well as any old dictionary, which usually marks out the stresses in polysyllabic words (the general rule for monosyllabic words, I think, is that, unless they're unspecific, as in conjunctions and prepositions and pronouns and be-verbs and junk, then they're stressed). Then, when you're writing, and like me a lot of times your hang at the prosody ain't as good yet, then read aloud as you write, then count all the punchy or drawn-out sounds. But really, this junk only comes with a lot of practice, especially if your native language is, like me, something Asian, since this sort of prosody as far as I know is very European --- most other cultures use syllable count instead, which is sort of helpful, but only in making sure the number of feet is (kinda) right.
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