Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » Ornery Writers Workshop » "See Me" by Wendy (LoverofBen)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: "See Me" by Wendy (LoverofBen)
KnightEnder
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This thread is for discussion and critique of the poem "See Me" by Wendy (LoverofBen).

[ April 08, 2005, 03:53 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
RickyB
Member
Member # 1464

 - posted      Profile for RickyB   Email RickyB   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'll address your questions by number, Wendy:

#2: Yes. The phrase "irreconcilable difference" immediately conjures divorce, at least for me.

#3: a bit, but if you capitalize "He/Him" then reasonable well-read people shouldn't have a problem

#5: I think you should make this clearer. I don't believe in attaching an explanation to a poem, so perhaps you should try to work it in somehow, find some kind(er) words to make it clear that he wasn't nasty, just dense.

#7: Your poem is quite powerfully written, imo. To me, it's more powerful before you mix religion into it, but that's my problem. In any case, I'm sure there are people who would find your poem very powerful and inspiring.

Also, if you'd like to start a thread in the regular (general) forum about your views on pornography, I'll definitely respond.

Posts: 19145 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LoverOfBen
Member
Member # 2357

 - posted      Profile for LoverOfBen   Email LoverOfBen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I appreciate your feedback, especially on my specific questions. It helps to know! About Q #5, it does need something!! I don't want to change that stanza though. It produces the exact feelings I felt. But maybe the stanza/paragraph after can provide the "explanation"? As I was typing the question, I used the words "mechanical" and "robot". I'll probably use those in lieu of other adjectives, like:

"though lightning shot through
my skin as those
mechanical hands
cut me into pieces."

That still conveys that they were "rough" but more dense than nasty, like you say. It fits the analogy really well too. Also, how's this:

"Left broken and cold,
I would lay by your body
beckoning sleep to come
quickly and hold me
inside its dreams,
hoping never to wake
in a robotic life,
where our love is
devoured by a
black hole."

I really like how this adjective, instead of nightmare, portrays WHY it was. Also, as I look at the stanza again it is obviously implied that it was a nightmare and I don't need it as an adjective. So.. yeah! I like it better already. Thanks for your help.

Posts: 23 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LoverOfBen
Member
Member # 2357

 - posted      Profile for LoverOfBen   Email LoverOfBen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As far as views of pornography, I appreciate that we are not discussing that here. It seems as if everyone is respectful about each others' work. I may or may not bring it up in general comments, or comment if someone else brings it up. I mainly joined to participate in OWW.

I have been wanting to read your story, when I have a few minutes.

Posts: 23 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
RickyB
Member
Member # 1464

 - posted      Profile for RickyB   Email RickyB   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"As far as views of pornography, I appreciate that we are not discussing that here. It seems as if everyone is respectful about each others' work."

My feelings exactly [Smile]

"I have been wanting to read your story, when I have a few minutes."

Thanks.

Posts: 19145 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
simplybiological
Member
Member # 1344

 - posted      Profile for simplybiological   Email simplybiological   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't really have a lot of time to be doing this, but KE asked so nicely I couldn't resist.

I went to art school for writing (back before my science days), so I'm used to be fairly blunt and straightforward about critique... if I'm too much so, please let me know.

I have two pieces of major advice here... one is that you need FAR fewer line breaks than you actually have... a line break is there for a reason, to stop the flow of the reader's eye... some of your lines, if you take out the break, flow much more beautifully than they do if you chop it up.
the beginning is like a lament, and the end is rejoicing... neither of those things are choppy at all when we speak them or feel them. i think something could be gained from making your lines longer, then playing with shorter lines and/or spacing to make a more interesting contrast (i see "so what" being a very effective line standing alone, for example).

the second thing is that age old "show, don't tell." for example, "perfect eyes complete with perfect fantasies" is much more interesting and compelling than outright saying "pornography." trust your reader to look deeper.

as ricky implied, i think it's more powerful before you transition into the religious bit- not because your feelings are as strong, but because i think you fall back too heavily on more conventional religious rhetoric, and it stops sounding like you talking.

i have more specific thoughts (particularly on spacing/line breaks)...i'm kinda editing on the word file, can i email it to you?

Posts: 1742 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LoverOfBen
Member
Member # 2357

 - posted      Profile for LoverOfBen   Email LoverOfBen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes. Please email me what you have (luvinteach@yahoo.com). Thanks for taking the time. I have NO education in writing poetry. I am blunt and appreciate others being so as well.

I wondered about the line breaks and your argument for longer lines makes sense. I thought leaving them shorter made it flow easier. I am ADD wired so I lose interest easily, especially with poetry -- but I forget others are not that way.

As far as show not tell, didn't I do that? I guess I've refined this poem dozens of times that I see many more times I DO that than not do that... if that makes sense (see my above response to Ricky, "nightmare"). Maybe if you could be more specific? I took the word pornography out of that paragraph purposely, for what you pointed out. I use the word later, but for a different reason, because its not just him "looking" anymore, it is me participating, BEING the pornography, being overcome by it. It is a harsh word but matches, I feel, the blatant reality of that current situation. Ya know? Gotta rethink it because it is not coming across right.

Ya know, the greatest moment was being touched by Jesus, "the rain", so the "come unto him" paragraph is anticlimactic and unneeded.

THANK YOU, thank you! btw, What are you doing with, or studying in, biology? -->my undergraduate love!

[ April 10, 2005, 11:28 PM: Message edited by: LoverOfBen ]

Posts: 23 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LoverOfBen
Member
Member # 2357

 - posted      Profile for LoverOfBen   Email LoverOfBen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Question: When you two talk about the poem losing steam when religion comes up, does that include the paragraphs after... when I talk about Ben, my new husband? I need those paragraphs in there, because my new life contrasted with the old is why I am writing it -->there is hope beyond despair! I won't just leave my audience hanging and depressed. What could I change?
Posts: 23 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
simplybiological
Member
Member # 1344

 - posted      Profile for simplybiological   Email simplybiological   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
i started writing something out, might just take me a while, but it WILL COME!
Posts: 1742 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
RickyB
Member
Member # 1464

 - posted      Profile for RickyB   Email RickyB   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No. The parts about Ben are fine. Then again, religion simply turns me off (no offense), so don't take my word about it [Smile]
Posts: 19145 | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Richard Dey
Member
Member # 1727

 - posted      Profile for Richard Dey   Email Richard Dey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is a prose poem because it doesn’t scan. That's all well and good, but the line breaks serve no mechanical purpose and, thus, break the drama; otherwise, the drama and suspense are excellent. As I don’t understand the terms of the LDS’ church, I’m sure some of it flew over my head and under my feet.

whom SR who
lay or lays SR lie or lies
‘midnight stench of pornography flying free’ is a confusing image, using the nose to ‘see’
something? ‘flying free’ is pathetic fallacy
Next image, that of the yellow sin city in the stomach is a run-on sentence “fear flowing through my cold veins” also pathetic fallacy why caps “a Savior” (SR the Savior or a savior)
even SR even,

The market for religio-romantic prose poems is very small -- and this piece has restricted itself to the LDS community (not famous for its art journals!). Since it does not scan and since no meter will be disturbed by it, I would rework it into a 3-paragraph vignette (using the 1st 2 stanzas as the 1st paragraph to set out the ‘problem’ and all that will have to be resolved in the 3rd paragraph); be sure the ‘crisis’ comes at the end of the 2nd paragraph. Then develop the ‘solution’ in the 3rd paragraph.

As to the ‘problem’ (which is the writer’s sense of self -- and how somebody else needs to take care of it), the solution in paragraph 3 should reflect the problem stated in paragraph 1 exactly and in ascending or descending order. Organizing that will help take some of the ‘filler’ out, tighten the emotional confusion, and shape
the work better. A tricky part is laying out the emotional confusion in 1 in a manner orderly enough for the reader to grasp it. How it is resolved in 3 is much easier, really, since the solution is orderly, ergo the language can be orderly.

The work is going from unthoughts to thoughts; from somebody who doesn't take good care of the writer to somebody who does. My question, as a male reader, was how did the writer take care of the bad provider and how did the writer take care of the good provider -- and how that relates to the two two relationships. This led to too many I's and me's in the work and occasionally gave the impression of being self-centered.

Nothing will annoy poets themselves more than a poem about the poet. Even poems about poetry have to be brilliant to survive. An good example of a drama about drama is All About Eve. A poem which moves from emotions --> thoughts ought to dramatize that rather than discuss it; it's the job of the poem itself. We have here a need unfulfilled, crisis, need fulfilled.

The prose poems suffers from borderline madonna complex. This detracts from the drama. Perhaps a little self-effacement would restore the drama.

How the writer chooses to conflate ‘Ben’ with ‘God’, deus ex machina, is the tricky
part.

Posts: 7866 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LoverOfBen
Member
Member # 2357

 - posted      Profile for LoverOfBen   Email LoverOfBen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No doubt you have experience with editing. Thanks for the SRs. I read your vignette suggestions through twice to understand where you were going. The main point you made seems to be this:

<quote>...Organizing that will help take some of the ‘filler’ out, tighten the emotional confusion, and shape the work better.</quote>

I agree. Though, I'm going to try to keep a lot of my poem in the style it is written. As far as your valid "male reader" question, I addressed how I tried to take care of my ex but, yes, still need to talk about how I do so with Ben. The "resolution" is not as long as the "problem".

So, question: are you saying the problem, limited intimacy because of pornography, is not apparent or that it is not satisfactorily resolved by the pure passion described? I wrote this for sexually active adults who understand the foundation of intimacy -->there are always TWO "providers".

Yes, I wrote it in first person. I can only express how I feel and describe the actions that take place, by me and my mate. I need to be more explicit about Ben and I but that is much more difficult to describe because of its ethereal nature. That is where I will concentrate my efforts. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. [Smile]

Madonna complex? [Roll Eyes] I made it clear that my ex wasn't fulfilled and neither was I. Doesn't that show some "self-effacement", when the happiness of your partner reflects so highly on you? What about me continually "giving in" to HIS needs? It could be construed as caring in one light and weak in another, especially when the extra-marital self-fulfilling actions are revealed on both our parts.

Too many line breaks have already been addressed among other things. Your suggestions, thus far, have been the most thorough as well as opinionated. I'll take the good advice and leave the rest.

Posts: 23 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LoverOfBen
Member
Member # 2357

 - posted      Profile for LoverOfBen   Email LoverOfBen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks Ricky. And no, I didn't cut the religion paragraph because of you. I had already cut a lot of it before submitting it. The poem has nothing to do with religion, but intimacy which includes being at peace with yourself -->spirituality. Thus, I am leaving "the rain" paragraph.

Richard, I remember starting to write the paragraphs after the spiritual "rain" paragraph with "I see you..." but for some reason or other, I switched back to the see me theme, probably for consistancy reasons. I can't remember. I wanted to show how this new love is unselfish. I like that approach better now that I reflect on it again. Thanks for bringing the current contradiction to my view.

[ April 11, 2005, 10:11 PM: Message edited by: LoverOfBen ]

Posts: 23 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Richard Dey
Member
Member # 1727

 - posted      Profile for Richard Dey   Email Richard Dey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
LoB:

When the 'object' of a poem is the 'subject', one runs into the madonna problem. I look at it like I listen to concert halls. The hall too is an instrument. A poem is like the box the words come in. It doesn't have to be gift-wrapped, but it is part of the ensemble.

If you are trying to convey the idea that 'being at peace with oneself' leads to 'spirituality' (which I don't think is what happened to Moses), perhaps you need to express that presumption.

There is nothing wrong with the omniscient mode; you can't see through the ex's eyes -- but you are claiming that you can see through the newbie's eyes. That needs to be explained as something other than 'spirituality' or 'being at peace with yourself'. If this bond has been made, it needs be explained from HIS point of view; otherwise, it might be misconstrued as infatuation (which I did) rather than love (which I didn't).

"I had just obtained intimacy with Syrie when she admitted it by filing for divorce." - W. S. Maugham -

Posts: 7866 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
canadian
Member
Member # 1809

 - posted      Profile for canadian   Email canadian       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Phew!

That was painful. I think I was literally squirming in my chair while reading your descriptions of a loveless marriage.

This is the strength of poetry, and the reason I don't read much of it. Raw emotion unsettles me (as it is intended to). I think it is because I feel like I am peeping into other people's windows.

I was a little confused at first. I had to read it twice before clueing in that you were talking about two different men and not some sort of 'transformation'. I got the God part. <question #3>

Personally, I dig "rough hands" over "mechanical".<question #5>

And lastly, I don't mind the religious aspect of it. Myself, I border on being anti-religious, but I can definitely appreciate the strength of discovering faith and its transformative power. So, this worked well for me.

However, I also agree that there might be the risk of falling into the Faith Cliche. I'm not sure how many ways there are to describe a spiritual awakening, and the discovery of a life that is soul satisfying and deep, but I can't say I was pulled out of the narrative by it at all.

So...very difficult for me to read (kind of like coming home to find a crying guest), but compelling all the same. Honestly, I couldn't turn away.

Posts: 5362 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LoverOfBen
Member
Member # 2357

 - posted      Profile for LoverOfBen   Email LoverOfBen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Gracias! Ya'll have been great. Thanks for your feedback on my poem. Your various views have helped me see my writing more clearly and compare it to what I wanted to accomplish.

I've been working on it for a bit but now but sheesh, this is one work that I will have to put on the shelf for awhile. I know it is powerful and can be better with more polish... but why torture myself? I am excited to get back to some freewriting, letting my mind wonder into unknown realms hopefully to settle upon intriguing characters and their stories.

[ April 18, 2005, 02:38 PM: Message edited by: LoverOfBen ]

Posts: 23 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Richard Dey
Member
Member # 1727

 - posted      Profile for Richard Dey   Email Richard Dey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
LoB:

The master of 'freewriting' is Ottone Riccio, I think living in Rhode Island. You might check with him.

Posts: 7866 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Richard Dey
Member
Member # 1727

 - posted      Profile for Richard Dey   Email Richard Dey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
BTW, Riccio is married to Delores Stewart (a truly great American poet).
Posts: 7866 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zyne
Member
Member # 117

 - posted      Profile for Zyne   Email Zyne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am digging out of the backlog (you're first).

I like the saw me/see me theme, I think it helps hold the poem together.

And... I took the poem to be much more about your relationship with God, and your getting straight with religion, than about relationships between you and X and you and Ben. It caused me to wonder how much of your relationship with X was directly/indirectly affected by the void in your spiritual life that you've since filled. I wondered, how would today's LoB have reacted to past events, past feelings? And, how would have yesterday's LoB have reacted to Ben?

Posts: 4003 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1