My Environment Forced Me to Grow Up (Crit Much Appreciated)

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funkywriter3
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My Environment Forced Me to Grow Up (Crit Much Appreciated)

Postby funkywriter3 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:12 pm

Hey Everybody! I wrote this poem for my poetry portfolio this past semester in my Creative Writing class. I was supposed to focus on lineation and imagery. I am wondering what you all think. I did this poem last minute and need some feedback to determine where I could take it from here.

My Environment Forced Me to Grow Up

I used to jump rope in my front yard
of marbled concrete and shards of glass.
I used to run barefoot before
the grass died and sprinklers were no longer needed.
I used to paint pictures,
but my subject, the flowers, shriveled
and became a white canvas of plastic.
Daddy what happened to the colors?
I tugged at his crisp suit and waited
patiently by his dark brown desk of cardboard.
He looked into my eyes, the two earths of blue blood metal,
stared back at him and turned to a putrid yellow.
His blood red pen quivered at his desk,
and he cast out the bright blue devils
closing the cover on chapter two,
before the shattered light bulb reveals a tender answer
like the child’s sensitive all-knowing mother.
Daddy are you okay?
I tenderly tapped his elbow and startled, he twitched.
He nodded and ushered me to bed.
I went to my mother
and asked her for a bedtime story about the earth’s history.
The illustrations depict rolling hills,
fields of grass with brightly colored flowers,
streams of honeysuckle water.
Mommy I don’t feel good.
She touches my baby forehead
and the heat splinters her fingers.
She laid her pale white fabric
Next to me, a fragile child, and
I, the babe, hacked into the tense atmosphere.
She soothes me by telling me the river
also had bronchitis, but I do not believe her.
I know the river was littered with water bottles.
I want Daddy!
She leaves the room and my father walks in
with his head slung over his shoulders
and his white shirt stained with charcoal soil.
He has Seran wrap covering his mouth
so I reach up to him and take it off his face.
He is a basset hound of a man, and he slobbers,
beneath bone spectacles
of his mother’s French- tipped manicures.
Daddy sing for me, please.
His angelic voice, suspended in the clouds,
licks the blackberry juice off the incessant cliff of time
and I am just a child with spun sugar sticking to my chin.
I am no longer trapped inside the window frame
like the weeping willow that
glowers at the blooming marigold.
He face flushes with a soft pink
and his dirty shirt is white again.
Daddy look!
The flowers grow again,
the grass is a blinding green,
the rivers flow with a glistening rainbow,
and the earth is still with lushness.
My grandmother had sewed what was reaped,
but I pulled out the stitches to make my own quilt
laced with earth, wind, and sea.

-SMc
" The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."- Albert Camus

"Writers will happen in the best of families."
-Rita Mae Brown

" Do not ask a poet to explain himself, he cannot." - Plato
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Delaney
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Postby Delaney » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:34 pm

I really enjoyed reading this, funky. I'm not sure about the title... 'environment' is a good choice but I think you could work on the rest of it.

I know you were told to be descriptive, which you did maybe a little TOO well. Lines like, "blue blood metal" followed by, "putrid yellow" AND "blood red pen" "bright blue devils " strike me as a little heavy on the adjectives.

Lines like, "He is a basset hound of a man," "I am just a child with spun sugar sticking to my chin," and "pulled out the stitches to make my own quilt laced with earth, wind, and sea" are brilliant.

Delicious imagery :)
<i>It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people. - Terry Pratchett</i>
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funkywriter3
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Postby funkywriter3 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:51 pm

Thanks Delaney! I really do appreciate the feedback. I tend to get that I am over descriptive at times, which I find funny because it is similar to my personality.

I just realized that I should have probably provided a little more context surrounding the poem. The original assignment was to use a word list, much like the challenges here on wordtrip, and write a poem reflective of our personal styles. Our personal styles came in when we were told to compile a list of words. The words I selected were: weeping willow, desk, pen, river, slobber, infant, light bulb, window, fog, water bottle, blueblood, cough, bones, metal, suit, ice cream, puddle, sleet, french tipped manicure, philosophy, atmosphere, painting, mansion, old man, spectacles.

Originally the poem was titled Skewed Reality? and very quickly my classmates found I have a very surrealist style, which is inspired by one of my favorite artists and I am sure a huge surprise, Salvador Dali.

My first draft of this poem was:

The weeping willow,
trapped inside a window frame.
Fog painting a sheet of blue blood metal,
dripping out of the waterbottle,
into a puddle of melted ice cream,
stuck to the chins of infants.
Old man, slobbering,
beneath the bone spectacles,
of french tipped manicures.
The river coughs into the tense atmosphere.
A pen quivers at a desk,
before the light bulb reveals a tender answer.
A sleet of philosophy drenches the pin striped suit.
The mansion morphs into the Madison River.

And the draft you just read was my eighth version of the poem. I want to make it into a slam poem because as I read it I feel the descriptions rolling off my tongue, but who knows? My poetry right now is all about conveying experiences in a combustion of imagery.


\:D/
" The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."- Albert Camus



"Writers will happen in the best of families."

-Rita Mae Brown



" Do not ask a poet to explain himself, he cannot." - Plato
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funkywriter3
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Postby funkywriter3 » Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:04 pm

Well I know everybody has a life and not many people are here on WT, but I would really appreciate it if some more people looked at this poem. Delaney I thank you again so very much for responding!
" The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."- Albert Camus



"Writers will happen in the best of families."

-Rita Mae Brown



" Do not ask a poet to explain himself, he cannot." - Plato
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PaulG
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Location: Georgia

Postby PaulG » Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:39 pm

Funky,

I found the imagery quite vivid!

I didn't read your second post initially because I saw you had included the first draft and didn't want that to influence my reading of the original post. However I saw your reference to Dali & I could see him liking this with the "pictures" you painted.

My first thought after going thru the work was that this was the sequel to "I am the Walrus". It seems kind of "Lennonesque".

I am not sure what it's about but that is probably just me. I guess I am not "deep". Typically I don't gravitate to this type of poetry but after reading it a few times I got into it probably due to looking at it thru my "Beatles' filter".

The potential themes I saw in this were
1. Some sort of global disaster's aftermath.
2. The economic collapse of either civilization or just this family.
3. How art & imagination die in many people as they get older & are rejuvenated by the young.

Please let me know if I was close.

FYI- Seran wrap s/b Saran wrap. And was "grandmother had sewed" a play on words as opposed to "sowed" in the planting reference?
...and every now & then I spend my time at rhyme & verse & curse those faults in me...- "Along Comes Mary"- The Association

"I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done."- Steven Wright
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funkywriter3
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Postby funkywriter3 » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:31 pm

Hey Paul!
Well I am not going to tell you if you were right or wrong because each reader has a different interpretation of what he reads. I am glad you enjoyed the poem though.

Thanks for helping me with the spelling, I just realized that I have been spelling Saran Wrap wrong my whole life. And on the sewing what was reaped was supposed to be sewing not sowing.
" The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."- Albert Camus



"Writers will happen in the best of families."

-Rita Mae Brown



" Do not ask a poet to explain himself, he cannot." - Plato

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