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Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Past - Poemwriter - Louise Glueck, 1943 - Critique



The Past



Small light in the sky appearing ...............drop "the"
suddenly between .....................................
two pine boughs, their fine needles ..........
now etched onto the radiant surface
 ........."the" again
and above this .........................................................
high, feathery heaven— .........................................
Smell the air. That is the smell of the white pine,
...... the verb "to be"verboten in poetry ...."the" & "the".......again
most intense when the wind blows through it
...."the" again ... "it" vague
and the sound it makes equally strange, 
.... "the" & "it" again
like the sound of the wind in a movie— 
.... "the" again
Shadows moving. The ropes ........................"the" again
making the sound they make. What you hear now 
..... "the" again
will be the sound of the nightingale, Chordata,
                                   .....verb "to be" ..verboten  ........ "the" again
the male bird courting the female— .............."the" & "the" again
 The ropes shift. The hammock ........................... "the" & "the" again
sways in the wind, tied ......................."the" again
firmly between two pine trees.
Smell the air. That is the smell of the white pine
                                                             ..."the" & "the" & "the" again
It is my mother’s voice you hear .............................................
or is it only the sound the trees make ............ "it" verboten in poetry
when the air passes through them .................................."the" again ............ them?
because what sound would it make, ..............................."it" verboten
passing through nothing?
Commentary:
poorly written tripe
lacks purpose, vague, useless
poetry, it ain't
"....the fireplace requires cellulose for bright flames to feed...."  Bob Atkinson
enough said.

Poem by Bob Atkinson:
18 Stoic Faces 

example of a real poem:

Lyin' Eyes
Poemwriters: Don Henly, Glenn Frey

city girls just seem to find out early 
how to open doors with just a smile
a rich old man and she won't have to worry 
she'll dress up all in lace and go in style


late at night a big old house gets lonely
I guess every form of refuge has its price
 
and it breaks her heart to think her love is only
 given to a man with hands as cold as ice 

so she tells him she must go out for the evening
to comfort an old friend who's feelin' down 
but he knows where she's goin' as she's leavin' 
she is headed for the cheatin' side of town


you can't hide your lyin' eyes
and your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you'd realize
there ain't no way to hide your lyin' eyes 

on the other side of town a boy is waiting 
with fiery eyes and dreams no one could steal 
she drives on through the night anticipating
'
cause he makes her feel the way she used to feel 

she rushes to his arms, they fall together
she whispers, "It's only for a while"
she swears that soon she'll be comin' back forever 
she goes away and leaves him with a smile 

you can't hide your lyin' eyes 
and your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you'd realize
there ain't no way to hide your lyin' eyes 

she gets up and pours herself a strong one 
and stares out at the stars up in the sky 
another night, it's gonna be a long one 
she draws the shade and hangs her head to cry 

she wonders how it ever got this crazy
she thinks about a boy she knew in school 
did she get tired or did she just get lazy? 
she's so far gone she feels just like a fool 

my oh my, you sure know how to arrange things 
you set it up so well, so carefully
ain't it funny how your new life didn't change things? 
you're still the same old girl you used to be 

you can't hide your lyin' eyes 
and your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you'd realize
 
there ain't no way to hide your lyin' eyes

there ain't no way to hide your lyin' eyes
honey, you can't hide your lyin' eyes

Monday, November 3, 2014

Critique of: A fourteen-line poem on Adoration -poemwriter: Julie Carr



A fourteen-line poem on Adoration
-poemwriter: Julie Carr

1. It does not take much
2. Half an hour here, half an hour there
3. It's not a "presence" I adore
4. The erotically swollen moon
5. Let me go, friends, companions
6. The soldier watches his kid in a play
7. He seems nothing less or more than "foreigner"
8. Grass. Dirt.
9. The bottle broke and all the women gather shards
10. The effect was of inflation
11. There was only one alive moment in the day
12. Either I loved myself or I loved you
13. Just like a mother to say that
14. "Do you become very much?" she wrote

About This Poem

"I've been writing these fourteen-line poems as a way to
play with the sonnet and also to push enjambment a bit
further down the road. The numbers are meant to be
heard, as a way to propel the poem forward. This one
(and some others) borrows words from Jean-Luc Nancy's
Adoration: The Deconstruction of Christianity II, a book
I happen to adore."
-Julie Carr

Commentary:
Ms Carr's commentary reminds me
of something Henri Matisse said:
Henri Matisse's "Expression"
To call this a "poem" is quite a stretch
'the Huh?' paragraph or 'What did you mean by that' list
would be a more appropriate title.


1. It does not take much.................................................the word "it" should never be used
vague, lacking meaning, common to a fault word
2. Half an hour here, half an hour there...............................................................................

3. It's not a "presence" I adore...........................................................the word "it" AGAIN.
Verb "to be" should never be used, "is are was were etc...verboten in poetry

4. The erotically swollen moon................out of place, where'd that come from? senseless

5. Let me go, friends, companions................................................................................huh?

6. The soldier watches his kid in a play................................so? the point needs expansion

7. He seems nothing less or more than "foreigner"....and what do you mean by this? huh?

8. Grass. Dirt..............................................a big Huh? where'd that come from, left field?

9. The bottle broke and all the women gathered shards.......................the word "the" twice
where none would suffice...word "the" verboten
10. The effect was of inflation.................................2 dings "the" and the verb "to be" (was)

11. There was only one alive in the day......................................."was" ding 1, "the" ding 2

12. Either I loved myself or I loved you.............................................not a bad line (1st one)

13. Just like a mother to say that................................................."that" no, not a good word

14. "Do you become very much?" she wrote.......huh? become what? no object or subject

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Enemy of War - by Bob Atkinson

Enemy of War
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson

gentleness contents my soul
for I cannot hate
those who oppose my dreams
those who close my gate

I feel frustration blowing winds
which destroy what man has built
with such avarice as taught
by he who gathers sins

claiming divine right bestows
an imposition of good action
not mean nor callous can he be
in attitude or reaction

if not gentle in approach
these deeds of which I speak
can only free the devil's heart
with nastiness and greed

to those who see him not
as something to respect
just someone who cannot use
his humanity with good senses

I say with time we will progress
to something of proud nature
building dreams for each of us
as life, itself, professes greatness

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Artistic Inspiration - Part I - by Bob Atkinson

Artistic Inspiration - Part I
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson

can see from the beginning
this idea's complex in formulation
regulation completes description
definition fixed, closed, no aberrations

not ever in a world created
by imperfect minds of men
do we see reality's force
correcting errors in our plan

'tis artistic enterprise
which molds our character
differentiation drives us toward
becoming more than what appears

we wish to leave posterity
new vistas of approach
which surrender to distant feelings
our worries and our hopes

within this makeup necessity
for beauty does arise
in impersonation of the deity
as we wish to form delight

delightful order created for
those smiles which undulate
around our tiny planet
turning corners of our pages

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Critic - Art & Poetry - by Bob Atkinson



The Critic - Art and Poetry
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson
'tis always easier to criticize
than is to do it yourself
although in truth the latter
contains far more fun and mirth


my point lies somewhere in between
good and bad of poetry
adjustment for the mainstream
how we absorb idealistic dreams


to see this in a different light
with crystal covers on the lens
we can, with open eyes
love writers with sharp pens

those who look beyond the fluff
and understand good meaning
divest themselves of constraints
and pursue a different dreaming

they see a world with tearfulness
not holding on to chains
which produce establishments
that grate and agitate

my desire in this arena
carries to all a simple message
don't let the future be determined
by past usage and direction

what you see is fabricated
a reality far from real
poo pooing things that matter
holds their only zeal

me, I've grown accustomed
to my meaning zipping by
heads of those who look
only at the surface side

doesn't mean I'm disheartened
to try is not hard at all
when you feel compunction
to rearrange it all

The Muse - by Bob Atkinson

The Muse
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson

we forever brood, consider, cogitate
on our tails we contemplate
while when alone we deliberate
on feelings deep we mediate

reflecting, revolving, rolling
we ruminate and speculate
thinking seriously when we weigh
all situations during our day

some only chew over questions
while they mull their decisions
in puzzling over solutions
turned around in their heads

me, I consider this a test
of outside forces doing their best
to confuse my lack of intellect
in the morning while I wake

for during sincere effort to
take it all in during brooding
I cannot form a plan of direction
when my head's not back in action

maybe I should move to sink
and get cold water not to drink
just splash it liberally on my face
then dry the skin with towel of lace

only then will I wake up
and see the world across my cup
of coffee which opens up my mind
as if sipping each and every line

to muse again from time to time

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Admiral's Ghost - poemwriter: Alfred Noyes / Many a Sailor - by Bob Atkinson


The Admiral's Ghost
poemwriter: Alfred Noyes

I tell you a tale to-night
which a seaman told to me
with eyes that gleamed in the lanthorn light
and a voice as low as the sea

you could almost hear the stars
twinkling up in the sky
and the old wind woke and moaned in the spars
and the same old waves went by

singing the same old song
as ages and ages ago
while he froze my blood in that deep-sea night
with the things he seemed to know

a bare foot pattered on deck
ropes creaked; then-all grew still
and he pointed his finger straight in my face
and growled, as a sea-dog will

'do 'ee know who Nelson was
that pore little shriveled form
with the patch on his eye and the pinned-up sleeve
and a soul like a North Sea storm

'ask of the Devonshire men
they know, and they'll tell you true
he wasn't the pore little chawed-up chap
that Hardy thought he knew

'he wasn't the man you think
his patch was a dern disguise
for he knew that they'd find him out, d'you see
if they looked him in both his eyes

'he was twice as big as he seemed
but his clothes were cunningly made
he'd both of his hairy arms alright
the sleeve was a trick of the trade

'you've heard of sperrits, no doubt
well there's more in the matter than that
but he wasn't the patch and he wasn't the sleeve
and he wasn't the laced cocked-hat

'Nelson was just-a Ghost
you may laugh! But the Devonshire men
they knew that he'd come when England called
and they know that he'll come again

'I'll tell you the way it was
(for none of the landsmen know)
and to tell it you right, you must go a-starn
two hundred years or so

* * * * * * *

'the waves were lapping and slapping
the same as they are today
and Drake lay dying aboard his ship
in Nobre Dios Bay

'the scent of foreign flowers
came floating all around
'but I'd give my soul for the smell o' the pitch'
says he, 'in Plymouth Sound

''what shall I do, ' he says
'when the guns begin to roar
an' England wants me, and me not there
to shatter 'er fores once more? '

'(you've heard what he said, maybe
but I'll mark you the p'ints again
for I want you to box your compass right
and get my story plain.)

' 'you must take my drum', he says
'to the old sea-wall at home
and if ever you strike that drum, ' he says
'why, strike me blind, I'll come

''If England needs me, dead
or living, I'll rise that day
I'll rise from the darkness under the sea
ten thousand miles away

'that's what he said; and he died
an' his pirates, listenin' roun'
with their crimson doublets and jeweled swords
that flashed as the sun went down

'they sewed him up in his shroud
with a round-shot top and toe
to sink him under the salt-sharp sea
where all good seamen go

'they lowered him down in the deep
and there in the sunset light
they boomed a broadside over his grave
as meaning to say 'Good night'

'they sailed away in the dark
to the dear little isle they knew
and they hung his drum by the old sea-wall
the same as he told them to

* * * * * * *

'two hundred years went by
and the guns began to roar
and England was fighting hard for her life
as ever she fought of yore

''it's only my dead that count '
she said, as she says today
'it isn't the ships and it isn't the guns
'ull sweep Trafalgar's Bay'

'd'you guess who Nelson was
you may laugh, but it's true as true
there was more in that pore little chawed-up chap
than ever his best friend knew

'the foe was creepin' close
in the dark, to our white-cliffed isle
they were ready to leap at England's throat
when-O, you may smile, you may smile

'but-ask of the Devenshire men
for they heard in the dead of night
the roll of a drum, and they saw him pass
on a ship all shining white

'he stretched out his dead cold face
and he sailed in the grand old way
the fishes had taken an eye and his arm
but he swept Trafalgar's Bay

'Nelson-was Francis Drake
O, what matters the uniform
or the patch on your eye or your pinned-up sleeve
if your soul's like a North Sea storm '

Commentary
have removed excess capitalization and punctuation
in order to illustrate how these tools distract the reader
the effect of poetry on emotions is cumulative
and capitalization and punctuation
give the reader's mind fits and starts
resulting in a jerky mind flow
whereas without the agitation of them
the poet's thoughts and emotions become expanded

try reading this poem as presented here
then find the poem in its original form
see if you don't agree with this premise

Many a Sailor
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson

many a sailor went to sea
to find adventure there
many went by force of arms
or on respectful dares

many a man lost his life
on waves of heightened fury
many fought and died for fame
or for their country's glory

most knew they could be killed
so tattooed their bodies well
so their loved ones could be told
they, for sure, be dead

all loved the grand adventure
for ever since time began
men of iron sailed the ships
that swept the lands beyond

beyond their homeland shorelines
beyond the languages known
beyond the tides of fury
then again they came back home

Saturday, October 4, 2014

He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven - by William Butler Yeats



He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
poemwriter: W.B. Yeats

HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Commentary:
what a wonderful premise
too bad his technique doesn't match his imagination
terrible form for such a potentially good poem
Modified by Bob Atkinson

had I heavens' embroidered cloths
enwrought with golden, silver lights
blue and dim those dark cloths of night
lighted by inner fire of purpose bright

I would spread these cloths
under your feet
but I being lowly poor
have only dreams to offer
beyond a shadowed door

have spread my dreams
under your feet, tread softly as you see
you stand not on cloth of time
you stand upon my dreams

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Poet's Sorrow - by Bob Atkinson

The Poet's Sorrow
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson
"... he is praised by all, read by a few, and soon forgotten ..." Oliver Goldsmith

to be read becomes the poet's dream
a fast approaching lovely stream
of sweetened insight or lamented screams
this shining light of unlit streets

poetry on the face of time
begins a process circumscribed
into a mist filled night we find
that pen and paper of rhythm, rhyme

rhythm fills a void in heart
softly pressing as required by art
to sink gut into a pool
unfilled by this moment's attitude

reflexive as our lives become
standing still requires none,
no complexity of a wandering tongue
a simple brain of mushly dung

we mostly tread waters still
retreat to couch, no excess frills
trading worth for quietness
protesting loudly we've done our best

when this leisure fortifies
we click the vision, games of pride
and watch as those people there
score touchdowns, followed by prayer

no effort in this wasteful gruel
satisfies need for flying fooled
beyond sincere accomplishment
on coffee table poetry rests

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Poem of the Month - November 2014 - The Boxer - by Paul Simon/Tribute to The Boxer - by Bob Atkinson



The Boxer- poemwriter: Paul Simon

well I am just a poor boy
though my story's seldom told
I have squandered my resistance
for a pocketful of mumbles
such are promises

all lies and just
still a man hears
what he wants to hear
and disregards the rest


when I left my home
and my family
I was no more than a boy
in the company of strangers
in the quiet of a railway station
runnin' scared

laying low
seeking out the poorer quarters
where the ragged people go
lookin' for the places
only they would know


asking only workman's wages
I come lookin' for a job
but I get no offers
just a come on from toy stores
on Seventh Avenue

I do declare
there were times
when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there


then I'm laying out my winter clothes
and wishing I was gone
going home
where the New York City winters
aren't bleedin' me
leadin' me
to goin' home
in the clearing stands a boxer
and a fighter by his trade
and he carries the reminders
of every glove that laid him down
or cut him 'til he cried out
in his anger and his shame

"well I am leaving, I am leaving"
but the fighter still remains
it still remains


now the years are rolling by me
they are rockin' evenly
I am older than I once was
and younger than I'll be
that's not unusual.
nor is it strange

after changes upon changes
we are more or less the same

after changes
we are more or less the same

Commentary:
an amalgamation of experiences
Paul and Art concluded this piece
after 100 hours in the recording studio
and much experimentation
with guitar sound purrs
to accompany a great poem


Tribute to the Boxer
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson
thank goodness for St Paul
good a place as lives for song
in those halls we found reverb
new feelings we can borrow


instruments gave such a chorus
was long to end this job
as one hundred hours of studio
took to complete, went on and on


yes, words can gather meaning
as the years roll down my back
I'm involved in life's true feelings
as if they're coming back


to the places I have traveled
to the tears that I have shed
as if an instrument of feeling
as I lay here on my bed


was done by bits and pieces
this song of boxer's lust
an instrument of reason busted
should send out for more lunch


here when fall time season
changes colors of the trees
my worth becomes a nickel
as my bones begin to freeze


my character climbs fully
on those walls of ivy leaves
taking only but a moment
to reject my cries and pleas


yes they didn't give me credit
when my credit card was due
yet, with only six string fingers
I have penned these words for you


our youth gives many lessons
when we take those things in stride
which ever finds us pressing
for expansion of our pride


we carry for a lifetime
some great cause for which we're shamed
and expand those open pleasures
of enjoyment for our pain


never entering into visions
which dissipate like fog in rain
just let me soothe my burden
with whatever I have gained

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wit, as in Poetry - by Bob Atkinson


Wit, as in Poetry
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson

of all manner of eloquence
wit stands out from the rest
by instituting cackling noises
among our crowd of turned up noses

a form of speech inclusive of
a quip or repartee derived
from deep within a consciousness
developed over an expanded chest

wit, as written in poetry
pretends containment of alacrity
into the verse of construct made
to wow senses on a casual page

yet similitude begins to wear
upon the reader's outer ear
like a wolf devouring deer
a part of nature to be feared

metaphors strange, vague in appearance
carry burdens of the useless nurtured
like a train without an engine
not moving fast as intended

these tricks of language aggravate
sometimes useful, mostly wasteful
turn up noses when allowed
to remove wit from poetry proud

Monday, September 29, 2014

Beaux Arts - by Bob Atkinson

Beaux Arts
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson
fine art permeates our lives
what we see's therein derived
some good, some bad, some forced
some sickly made in due course

definitions retrograde
or definitions purpose made
to put forward broad extremes
of subtle formations gleaned

culled from inadequate stock
of pompous airs trending upon
an overview of situations
brought on by purchase of station

for us to present a finite goal
in determination, what's overloaded
bombastic open ended remarks by some
who view the process, not what's loved

works this way in all we do
arts, science, construction, food
experts pontificate, nothing else to do
skills so meager in producing good

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"To___" - by Edgar Allan Poe

TO --- by Edgar Allan Poe I HEED not that my earthly lot Hath-little of Earth in it-- That years of love have been forgot In the hatred of a minute:-- I mourn not that the desolate Are happier, sweet, than I, But that you sorrow for my fate Who am a passer-by. 1829




"To___" (Poe)........................no mo poe, please

I heed not that my earthly lot.........the word "that" is redundant. (used 4 times, poor form)
Hath little of Earth in it,..................the word "it" shouldn't be used, (vague, no meaning)
That years of love have been forgot ..........the verb "to be" in all it's forms verboten
In the hatred of a minute:..........the word "the" shouldn't be used at all, (laziness)
I mourn not that the desolate ......."that, the" no no's
Are happier, sweet, than I, ......verb "to be (are) verboten
But that you sorrow for my fate.....there's "that" again
Who am a passer-by...........the verb "to be" (am) again, verboten

Critique of the Masters by Bob Atkinson

E-Mail your suggestion as to the poem from a poetry master you would like critiqued.   Those selected will be given credit for their suggestion, and the poem will be critiqued on this site.

E-Mail

bob_saltzer@yahoo.com

The Tempest of Poetry - by Bob Atkinson

The Tempest of Poetry
(c)2014 Bob Atkinson

there blows in stiff wind
created by the word
an everlasting frozen
collection of nouns and verbs

like a whirlwind of change
these letters spell the thoughts
of minds evolved to think
and report facts back to boss

here, in an open world
where flies the dust of change
we find restitution
in words thus re-arranged

cannot give to the giver
much more than we have done
for in an underlying thought
he knows what we have spun

stories of our past
tales of our future deeds
garnishment of life
on all we can agree

freeze emotions for all time
let thoughts be translated then
into a world evolved from us
as simple mortal men

let them know all we were
let them like us some
let them know we tried our best
as we from danger run

let them see what we were
back when we were young
and how we gathered wisdom
when older we'd become

trade our sincerity
for that truth of which we knew
let them see our tears of pain
when success we couldn't view

hopefully they will exist
if we don't destroy their seed
for if we continue on this path
we'll be devolved by greed