This Poem was Submitted By: James C. Horak On Date: 2010-02-14 21:59:54 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Words, but broken, hitches in strands    meaning would not reach Prettied with imagery, lengthened with   modifiers that prolong the agony Misinterpretation makes fog dense. Too little effort, not enough blood    the ink stain quickly to pastel Torment to try and fail tagging   uncertainty to crosses and stars And always UFOs to deny, lies                           to deny That your love is whispered in a kiss   not attached to registry...but fallen                            as the snow In the moment that strings draw       tight at the throat of doubt And somber denial loses dignity      a hand falls from the lap A goddess stares at walls Playthings play at death   in a game of forbidden duration Will comes not from intention   but to shadow reflection Hiding the horror from profound                           sight  of anything not moving fast enough                           to blur

Copyright © February 2010 James C. Horak

This Poem was Critiqued By: Dellena Rovito On Date: 2010-03-02 17:45:49
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
James, Nice, eloquent and always something to ponder. "Will comes not from intention but to shadow reflection" how true! Independent thought throughout.... Your ending stanza had me a bit perplexed. But I finally figured it out. My brain cells are being taxed, which is good. As always a fine piece of work. This can apply to a multitude of things. poetry writing, communicating, government...... Dellena

This Poem was Critiqued By: Terry A On Date: 2010-03-02 17:35:06
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
The poem begins with a criticism of superficial words('too little effort, not enough blood') and deepens meaning showing that no exploration of anything worthwhile (UFO's, love) takes place in 'fog dense'. The poem moves from the general to the specific-beginning with 'That your goddess stares at walls'; and than back to the general. An interesting way to ground the theme and yet not tether it to the ground allowing the poem both a personal and impersonal depth which is a way around being too specific in ways that would limit the poem's reach. I wish you would repost your Canto, the one that concerned Robert Graves and the White Goddess. Simply from reading his book, I assume that is the goddess to which you refer in this poem. Perhaps someday the forum might host a discussion on the idea of the Muse, it’s not being done elsewhere that I have found. Did the Muse give Milton his dark god because he took from the feminine by force? Is it possible that Hughes (got the spelling right this time), by betraying Plath could have denied himself the fountains of inspiration that differentiate between an adequate writer and a gifted one? Do such forces exist? and without erecting primitive deities who personify those forces? Anyway, I digress from your poem, but your poems always challenge one to think. ‘Pastel’ belongs in all those poems one reads at weddings and graduations, where everyone nods happily that the mood hasn’t been given a dash of seasoning that might upset some grandmother’s stomach. Your poem ends on admonishment to world powers who ‘play at death in a game of forbidden duration’; but keeps the connection to the beginning of the poem by keeping all of the ideas supporting one another in cause and effect. The element not given much context for understanding is the idea of the goddess and this only because poets discuss the Muse and I don’t want to limit context (the way it could be limited). Really a masterful poem. Complex, but candid in a way that shows that astute thought is sometimes the best backbone for imagery, and the best imagery of all is not 'prettied' by vapid lips. Terry
This Poem was Critiqued By: Thomas Edward Wright On Date: 2010-02-21 14:25:09
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Words are but broken[] hitches[,] strands of meaning that won't reach[,] can't be taught, Prettied [], [stretched] What? Just modifiers [] that prolong [] the agony. Too little effort, not enough blood[;] the inks strain, [run] to pastel Torment: try, [yet] fail tagging uncertainty to crosses and stars[,] And always [this] to deny, lies to deny That your love is whispered in a kiss ...but fallen as the snow In the moment that [slips the knot] tight against the throat of doubt A somber denial loses dignity A hand falls from the lap A goddess simply wa[i]ls Play[er]s play at death in a game of obduration Will comes not from intent but reflection Words...{and finish the thought}
This Poem was Critiqued By: DeniMari Z. On Date: 2010-02-18 09:06:00
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Beautiful - very nicely written - from beginning to end. Love the imagery you have chosen especially in your 4th verse. 5th verse has immense impact on your write - stands out and is def an attention getter. Very bold words intertwine with sentiments which is creative and appreciated. "Playthings play at death" it. blessings, Deni
This Poem was Critiqued By: cheyenne smyth On Date: 2010-02-16 17:49:02
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hello James, I feel somewhat inadequate to crtique this poem. I have read it several times and each time I get a different impression so I am at a loss to offer a decent opinion. Upon the first read I thought it might be referring to the comments on the forum that relate to the voting. Upon the second read I was convinced that it related to the conversations on the forum regarding politics etc. Having said that, what I do know is the poem is well written with good word choices and form. Even though ambiguous it is a good read. Best wishes, cheyenne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mark Andrew Hislop On Date: 2010-02-16 16:45:07
Critiquer Rating During Critique: Unknown
JCH I've read this many times. It's a bit of a hydra: at one end there seems to be one "thing", at the other there seem ... well, several. Possibly. The first two stanzas, to me, read as a critique of (a certain style of) poeming. S3 seems to be the point of transition into the other end of the hydra, as from S4 onwards I lose my way completely. In other words, your theme and your poem seem to part company. Assuming, of course, that I "got" the theme in the first place. If I didn't, then this is a hydra at both ends. I've used the word "seem" several times. This is pure bet-hedging on my part. I know that I often write poems with "themes" that are so opaque that no-one gets them. This is one of the major flaws in my writing, and it's a nasty habit that's hard to break. Now, does that mean THIS poem is heavily flawed? Well, it does to me. So, more than anything else, this poem sounds a warning to me about my own writing. Selfish of me, isn't it? To relate someone's poem to my own circumstances?? MAH
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mark Steven Scheffer On Date: 2010-02-15 20:37:49
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
JCH, Probably the finest poem to come from your pen. As I remarked to you recently, the inner sanctum of mind/heart/will itself is under assault. I'm convinced that ultimately these scoundrels want to get inside of us, and own us COMPLETELY. Then their will not be any need to control the press or the internet - nothing will come from the "minds" of men and women that they need fear. A controlled free man or woman is still dangerous qua man or woman. But automatons are a different matter. Or, if not automatons, men or women who are controlled from the inside out, not outside in. When the inner sanctum is taken and gone . . . nothing remains. "Humanity" is dead and gone, deprived of their capacity to will, and cut off from God. MSS
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