Mell W. Morris's E-Mail Address: molamell@yahoo.com


Mell W. Morris's Profile:
In life before poetry, I sold some fiction (short), wrote a newspaper column, and one day I read a poem in The New Yorker by Seamus Heaney. It was one of those defining moments in life as I consumed every word Heaney had written. Although he will remain my favorite poet, I began reading others. Other poets who speak to my soul include: Robert Creeley, Paul Muldoon, W.H. Auden, Robert Pinsky, Wallace Stevens, Dylan Thomas and many more. I have one son who is a musician, brilliant, and knows more about poetry than I ever will.

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Below you will see ALL of the Critiques that Mell W. Morris has given on The Poetic Link.
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Displaying Critiques 1 to 50 out of 245 Total Critiques.
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Poem TitlePoet NameCritique Given by Mell W. MorrisCritique Date
Senses with ReasonsThomas H. Smihula Thomas, I have not reviewed a poem in so long, the finer points are forgotten. This is the type of poem which appeals to me, evoking the brain rather than emotions. Your title is fitting and each scenerio (sp) is apt. Each tercet is carefully delineated to the import of each sense. Both the 1st and 3rd stanzas effectively use alliteration; in both instances, the Sssss sound is heard. Sibilance paints a picture on its own. The 4th stanza is the most appealing to me as it is my strongest sense. And you mention the fact that the sense of smell is tied to memory. So true! When I smell a pot of beans cooking, it reminds me of my grandmother's kitchen. You tell us: "memories of flavor, captured on an endless road, a journey appeasing the soul's appetite." I see nothing I would change. Again, I would remind you: about punctuation: since you use it in some places, I think you should use it throughout the poem. I enjoyed reading your poem as I do all of your pieces. An accomplished piece of writing and I always look forward to more from you. Best wishes, Mell Morris 2006-03-06 16:22:19
Courting MaureenSean Donaghy Sean: I'm not sufficiently well to give you a crit but I cannot let this poem disappear without a comment. I've had it in my notebook in bed where I keep poems of significense to me. Your poetics are sound...form, meter, rhyme but that is groundwork (well done) upon which you lay your thoughts and feelings. There is a hint of the Irish, boyo, from the name of the maiden called Maureen to phrases in the 1st stanza and in the third and fourth. Sean, I hope you are Irish as there's a "feel" to your poem that bespeaks same. I hope you read the Irish poets and you MUST read Seamus Heaney, the most brilliant I've ever encountered. My son told me last night that this Nobel poet will be coming to Dallas (where I live)in a couple of months. The problem for me is HOW DOES A BEDFAST PERSON WHO CANNOT WALK ATTEND THEATER WHERE HEANEY WILL READ?? My favorite bits in your poem: "the splendor of the try and hear how love occurs" "no longer than it takes a dream to sigh". There are flashes of brilliance here that I may have missed but since I keep a copy with me, I cannot go wrong. Best wishes, Mell Morris2006-01-30 17:24:00
Thou WannabeMark Andrew Hislop Mark Andrew, Something herein kept pulling me back until I succumbed to a crit. I likely don't understand the piece in toto and this is the time for a few-words response. "Spot on, mate!" Your title has appeal and the 1st sentence reels in the reader like a large swordfish on the end of your line. I like the phrase "if you can trick slick melancholy into a classic". Ditto: "your pen begins its fatal journey" then your playful "bluff" and "stuffiness" and "FLUFFIED" while your theme is noir, your poetics add a light touch. The grammatical errors in lines 2 and 4 bothered me but will not bother another person on TPL/planet. Is the line about the Bard another way of saying "son of a bitch"? If we had categories, I'd place this piece in "EXPERT" or some variation of same. I enjoyed this. Mell Morris2006-01-24 17:04:32
Moonless Nightsmarilyn terwilleger Marilyn, I get a one for this which I hope means you received an abundance of critiques. While I was napping, something happened and now, few are here...to review and to post their poems? Whada, whada?? I like your "thrown-in ditty." You use some words in unusual ways, ditto phrases. These are harmonious and most are ear-pleasing. I think my favorite is the third stanza from where you take your title. "Moonless nights of age darken yes, they do. The soul as hope and joy pale nice enjambment. Tres anon. have never seen these words paired before but my French classes are forgotten. Does it mean "very soon"?? Your final stanza is optimistic and leaves the reader feeling good about being alive. Poet tells us it is sweet to hear an aria of life well-lived as woes and troubles ultimately fade. Well done, Marilyn! Mell2006-01-22 16:28:59
Open UpThomas H. Smihula Thomas, How can I pass this one by? It may have been written long ago but it has weathered well. Your end rhymes are spot on and the unforced meter has my toe tapping. I see some tiny things and I'm mentioning them because this lyrical piece is highly publishable. Delete the comma in Stanza 1 and the comma in S 4. Delete 1st comma in Stanza 2 and Stanza 4 has a typo in line 1 where too should be to. In line 3, delete the "to" which evens the meter. I know this is really nits (ask Marilyn about my nits) but an editor will trash the poem because he likely has 200 submissions and will print only fifteen. Any poem with errors, typos, anything that needs changing, will give you a bounce note. Get your Poets' Market and find a home for this little gem. And, before I forget, desparate should be desperate. I'm not acquainted with the word ENTINE and I cannot reach the dictionary so mayhaps you will share the import with me in your reply. This poem enchants me. Now get busy and send it out. Best wishes, Thomas, Mell2006-01-15 17:15:10
The New Year of New MeaningsJames C. Horak Mr. Horak: This will be brief and I know you understand. Just as you understand a small portion of my being is likely more traditional than yours. For example, your format (or lack of one) drives me up a hill, over a hill, the latter where I live. A reader sees title, pauses, sounds good but heavenly daze, the words are roaming all over the page, some leaping and playful, others in tete'-a-tete' exchange. How free-spirited and unrestrained! I had just finished my first poem in a long time about...winter drought. "Dry as a (tinder) box, ground parched like Towers (9-11) bathed in flaming oil. (You know, the ashes aftermath of planes right on target.) And small talk, attempting to distill terror...the real kind..." Great first stanza! There is the comparison of the arid dilemma we are facing to the flaming towers. Your 2nd sentence is scary...very scary. Poet segues to terror, distilled variety or the real kind, not "planted fears". This is so important and the government or a portion therein do nothing but plant fears, tend them, water them, ad nauseum. I am so paranoid of Big Brother and his subliminal messages constantly served us like pap or baby food. Otherwise, the American people are just plain stupid. You continue with three more stanzas of house searches for fireworks and you deftly bounce "devout goatherders" against "corporate take-overs". It is not a humorous situation but your word play gave readers a chance to breathe! (And me to laugh.) Not a good crit, I'm sure, and your poem deserves better than this. But I wanted to say hello and comment on your accomplishment herein. A quite important poem, IMO, and I do not say this lightly. Keep up the valuable writings. Mell Morris 2006-01-11 18:42:25
Smoke DancersTerrye Godown This is the 4th crit I've tried to get to you on this poem, Terrye. And I nearly cry when I lose one because I'm sure you've heard, I'm ill and the ctd affects my ability to type or write. To go to this much trouble...I like your piece! The 1st line is a great hook: "Trapped behind the hazy glass". Who? Why? We must find out, Watkins. The mysterious, arcane images are perfect, especially in Stanzas: 2, 3, 4..."Dancers in misty mourning" "Captive in their chamber". The utilization of alliteration makes the poem for me because it woos me with the sounds. I live to hear those sounds like the hard C, the duplication of a fricative F five or six times, the reiteration of key sounds such as susurration....Ssssssssss. I have far exceeded my "up" time and now bed rest. Must note great line: "Their affliction is addiction." If there is a local poetry reading group, you must read this at performance poetry. If you don't read well, get another entertainer to read it for you. Bye. 2005-11-30 19:45:57
Remembrance Dayarvin r. reder This poem was posted 11-10-O5 so it is the reminder for me this year. Inclusive this year is the illegitimate war in Iraq I think about which all of us are confused. Your metaphors are fitting yet disgusting in that which they represent. Question: in what manner do wars brood? I realize this is not literal in meaning and some poets refuse to answer questions but I would like your thoughts. Stanza 2 is perfect in structure, form, but there is something herein more than meter and rime. You do not proffer reason for pessimistic future but anyone who has taken note of the world today HAS to conclude no happy times on the horizon. Many people notice these things but do not care sufficiently to write. Although you chose the most difficult aspect of an unhappy theme, you captured the sight, sounds, and sensory input in a quite splendid manner. Thank you for posting this extremely important poem. Mell Morris2005-11-25 21:42:08
ReplenishedDellena RovitoDellena: It has been a while since one of your poems popped up. This one has a nice title and in Stanza 1, last two lines, there are five words beginning with the hard "C". That consonant sound...K...lends a great foundation on which to lay your poem. In Stanza 2, I would delete or move the word "satisfying" Unable to resist the need for tasting it, I licked my lips. Nice, saccharine, sweet on my tongue; I took it in...satisfying. I hope you do not mind, but your poetry is so lovely and ACCESSIBLE, I cannot resist noodling with it. Your metaphor of rain as "heaven's tears" works well and you tell of the rain's washing over your body and at the beginning of S 4, you place two hard-C words... clean and clear. Nice simile in Stanza 4 which is the pivotal point in the poem as this is the place in time where you are baptized perhaps, a point of saturation which revitalizes. In communion with the rain, I had become me again. Great couplet to end your lyric poem. Dellena, your style, your themes, use of rhymes and images remind me so much of my own writing and though we are diverse, we are more similar than not. Now I have boxed myself into a corner with no way out except to say this is a premier piece of writing. Any + remark you receive goes to me as well. Let us face the music that I enjoyed your poem very much! Brava! Best wishes, Your alter ego. 2005-11-13 19:28:17
At Her Grave, and AfterThomas Edward Wright t. I find your poem an important one because you give us "and After." The loss of the most significant people in our lives is one of the most devastating events we have to face. Since we are humans with diverse beliefs, we grieve in different ways, IMO. What works for one does not for another. But I cannot pass the memory at her grave for you have turned it into a "Dies Irae" as we Catholics call out during the funeral mass. There's a chanted dirge in "Undertaker, ancient cedar, Norway pine" and the lovely line: "We shared the shovel;" then we find "Oh, and her little grandchildren- Each threw one flower in". That is simply beautiful writing as you capture perfectly the way humans fumble through these painful events. And then through the cold November rain, you gather at a restaurant as November is a time to remember the dead and celebrate with a feast. And you end your evocative piece with: "And dead now a year, Leaving us to remember how." And t-bone, I have memory problems now...wasn't her name Purvis? I recall thinking she had a regal name that reflected her uprightness. Lovely, lovely. 2005-11-09 10:13:18
Fishing for Marks, and an HerbThomas Edward WrightHello, Tom, I cannot count the # of times I've been chasing this poem with a sudden interruption I had to stop and take care of. As you know, I seldom understand all of your poems but enjoy them immensely. Poets like you and Mark just "have" it...open your mouths and out flows "a hundred million miracles." You are probably too young to remember the musical "Flower Drum Song." You begin with a biblical quote then lay the framework of your poem in a metaphor of a baseball game. The 1st stanza seems like a paen of love to a sig other. I enjoyed the second line of the other a geyser and you a dripping faucet. Brilliant. The wet worm is left by poet to wriggle off the hook and bam! "They part the See." Love it! Then everyone's dream: hit the long ball in the bottom of the ninth. I've seen it done a million time in memorable moments that will ever be recorded. Kirby Puckett (my third star) did it wonder- fully in two world series. Leave the moon (off the hook) is so unique...why didn't I write this? Or a dangling particle. Participle." Then you really weird out on us, or are benched or sent to left field. Darn their little socks and with the sound off, you can hear wife or whoever. Last stanza finishes your title with end of thyme. Then a very touching little aside: "Without you, Call 911." The comes the tale of two witties... has to be you and Mark. I could do a four-minute smile, sweetheart, but walking is out. JUST WAIT TILL I RECOVER. Poets at TPL do not appreciate your work sufficiently, nor on a broad spectrum. As I tell Mark, you need to recall the 8th grade level of reading of adults, concluded after a national survey. Don't know if I came close with this one. Oh my star: please reply as there are only a few days for responses. Brilliant as always and especially when you spewed word play all over the room. Take care. Mell2005-11-03 15:23:38
Until Next Yearmarilyn terwilleger My dear Marilyn, You are always up for something, anything, which makes for an uplifting, fun time for all. OOps! I SPOKE TOO SOON. Here comes an ogre, escorted by a few *belching beasts*! Heavenly days, Marilyn, you have an imagination which is of grand proportion. Your spirit seems to be on the left side of your brain with this one: "Thunder speaks in a foreign tongue, is torn from hills (where once) it clung." The end of your piece is quite apposite as the ghost of Halloween dies but you remind readers...Until Next Year... And therein you close your poem as we spin back to the opening. Marilyn, this is such a happy litle gem which appears yearly, if I take your meaning right. Your little poem speaks louder than you imagine, tweaking all hearts at TPL. Thanks for posting your little jewel. Best always, Mell2005-10-27 21:00:45
MATRIARCHMark D. Kilburn Mark, How grand to see a posting by you and a grand posting it is. I have missed you but am still extremely ill. Most of my time is in bed. Somehow, I'm certain you know all about pain and how to deal with it. Your title is cold compared to your poem which is a salute to your mother. You use a delightful word play throughout. For example in stanza 2, She taught you to TIE your shoestrings, TIE loose ends, TIED up in knots, fit to be TIED. A very clever weaving of one concept...TIE. Other phrases that are pleasing to me include: "wrong from right and how to write." "the religion of compassion" she taught poet to "respect my elders even though now, I am one." She showed her interest in birds and today, you watch them. (Very special line as I share your mother's affinity for birds.) Handle little things and the big ones will work themseves out. You end your poem with praise for your mother, the last four lines are encomium, beautifully phrased. Your poem has something for everyone and seems poignant, plangent, and deftly done. This piece is more sophisticated than your other pieces albeit your nature poems, published weekly or monthly were powerful. I'm really sick and have two typos per line! BTW, if you need credits since you've been sick and away so long, send me the yada/yada that is printed out in the instructions by Chris. You have lifted my spirits, appearing from out of the blue. Great love poem for your mother...it just doesn't get better than this! Bravo! Mell 2005-10-21 10:13:18
let me hold youChristina MorrowChristina: The title attracted me and the unusual free-verse style. It contains some rhymes and alliteration, many repetitive phrases. I like repetition myself. First stanza Come here and let me hold you, and carry what you cannot hold. Wipe your tears away, And tell the story, your face has told. the above is merely a suggestion on to start out. The purpose of the critique is to try and offer options to poets, possibly improve their work. This is the cry and out-reach of a woman in love with a male currently hurting and needing succor himself. I really like this couplet: "If I knew a way to fix things, I would "You know I would heal you, if I only could." This poem tells a long story in a few words ans that's a plus. It is also evocative, plays in the emotions of the couple and segues into the readers's feeling. Not even veteran poets are always successful with that manipulation. Congrats on a good, very good write. My best wishes to you. Mell Morris 2005-09-01 18:24:06
Tomorrow's ForecastRick BarnesRicko? "okay, I'll go first." I love how we do all our fore-analysis. "This is SO sweet!" "I've read the reports, and looked at the charts, considered the fronts confronting our hearts, put all the percents and past stats together. There's just no predicting How you'll decide whether...? And Melba says what ahe always says, "Mahvelous, darhling. Simpully outa sight!" And it IS! And you get way humble but lately I've decided the better poets on this site should fluff their feathers once in a while!! You and I and Turner, JoUp, love word ways and word plays and she and I really kicked up dust on Io until we were nicely asked to clear out. After the dust literally settled, remember leaving? One should never dally with space dust too often but we had packed our rose of Sharon and that settled that. Darling poet, you made these words, played with these words, thought of wrong steps several times, but it pass with no repercusions. Rick, I really LOVE it...my forever favorite. No toying with a confection of such magnitude. Heartiest congratulations! Should take 1st. Mell 2005-08-29 11:53:48
Our TimeAudrey R DoneganAudrey, Your name rings a bell but I cannot recall when or where. I was drawn to the poem for its theme or what I interpreted as theme... death. "Eternal pause" is an attractive descriptor and I particularly like "an hour's meaning grows deeper and more desperate than my words will ever translate." I sit here reading each word singularly then dually and I am struck anew that you, sweet child, pulled these words from the sport pages (?) I am also struck again with intricacies of the demon and how he tries to interfere with even small events. (Which are so important to you and to me.} Third stanza...perfection...a confection but this a lovely piece of writing. I will keep it next to my heart. And wish with you a sweet journey without detour down integrity's path. Your meditation drifts and in that almost-almost sleeping, looking towards heavens, we both are smiling inside. Listen to your friends, to the voice of God, most certainly. Discovering your husband is your life's completion***Sweet moment. Best wishes with your poem...I give it top marks. FYI, I, too, stand near the eternal pause, Mell Morris 2005-08-13 19:39:33
Mr. MoonJoyce P. HaleJoyce: This is the 1st poem of yours to make it to my list. If you are new, welcome; and I assume you are as a couple of members were talking about our grand new poet Joyce. The alliterative title is arresting for who can bypass the moon? And of matters lunar, there is often a love story attached. "we lay steeped in love"...nice liguistry. Your personification of the moon as a mister who plays hide and seek, gazes at you while you sleep, quietens the star songs and keeps the lovelight low. Oh, Joyce, that Mr. Moon is a charmer! Your descriptors are so good that I forget we are talking about the moon in lieu of a monsieur in an smoking jacket and cigar. Now poet continues that vigil is maintained by white-caps all the night as you breathed love. The waves rolling in (crashing?) mirrored the soft moon and the solemn vows the two of you made. Mr. Moon called on the nightflower to shed its sweet perfect perfume on the night air. (I love the aroma of flowers one catches on the breeze!) And poet ends the escapade with lying entwined in love with her significent other while the moon hides behind the trees. So quixotic and whimsical well describe Mister Moon wherever he moves/goes... behind the trees. I find your poem unique, refreshing, and I hope you will stay a while and share more of your work with us at TPL. Best wishes, Mell Morris2005-08-03 15:54:07
Upon Her LeavingRick Barnes Rick...I will e-mail you when my depression eases....Mell2005-08-02 17:49:36
OrientationsLatorial D. FaisonLatorial, Whoever would think of this for a topic or theme? I just posted one about why poets write and why they write about certain things.(The Red Hat). So my mind has been strolling around your theme for weeks. This one of yours makes me think and that's one of my chief interests in a poem... learn something new. I also like your format...a single question but not a simple one. You have eight rhyming words and three allits: overrated/orchestrated and loves/laws and forgivings/flaws. I think I point out these no-brainers to help me access the poem as I read it. For you as poet know where they are without my comments. What makes this piece a bit more difficult for analysis is the varied meanings of the word "orientations". I think I will select one meaning and try to answer the question per definition. Okay? Orientations:...direction of thought, inclination or interest. overrated...likely orchestrated...yes confiscated...may be syndicated...oh! yes. Especially if your column, poetry, et al is put out there. trimmed down to nothings of love and laws, forgivings and flaws...unlikely as people hold dear their thoughts and inclinations. philosophical extremes...yes mental notes...yes conscious streams...yes. Wow! Latorial, I literally bit off more than I could chew. Wonderful choice on your part in settling on "Orientations". I find your piece erudite, intriguing, deep, written by a skilled hand, and as my father used to say, "A hard nut to crack." I enormously enjoyed seeing your poetry again and on my list today during my out-of-bed time. When I must lie down again, I will take this with me as there is nothing so entertaining as lying there, watching the birds, clouds, trees with a plethora of good poems to read and reread. Thanks for posting this one which pushes and pulls the reader and I'm so glad I didn't miss it. Best wishes always, Mell Morris2005-07-31 09:31:03
Earth SpiritMichael BirdMichael, It has been forever since I encountered a poem of yours to critique. I recall I didn't do a good job of reviewing your piece, in your opinion. I am always receptive to different kinds of critiques. The title caught my eyes..."Earth Spirit"...something I need to learn more about. Your fiest three lines are set singly, likely for emphasis. Poet now segues to couplets for the remainder of the work. I like this form although I rarely use it; I think you must be a smooth writer to pull this off. Per your directions, I listen...no talk...I will hear great spirit, feel (its) strengthen. Poet instructs readers to look at the sky and to embrace the (openness); face the wind and taste its (')scents. You continue this pleasureable poem by taking us through our senses as we journey with you... you lead us to seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting. You indicate that each element enumerated has a concomitant spirit. I'd never thought of that before and while it makes sense, I'll have to look at it again over the weekend. This poem came at the exact right time for me (and probably many others at TPL). I am battling a disease at present so I have oodles of time to read but it's very difficult to write or type. I believe you presented your topic well, no cliche's, all crisp and unique descriptors, the right touches at the right timr. This is the kind of poem I like as it makes me think and measure whether I'm making progress or not. This should make the voting list and I wish you the best in same. Best wishes always, Mell2005-07-22 10:33:46
From Down Umbra, InflectingThomas Edward Wrightt. That's a way grand title and is prescient of what's to come, naughty t. But knowing you, your humor and your sad feelings covered with Jim Beam, anthology opened to James Wright, no one is ever sure? I didn't inflect while on sabbatical the other side of the moon but I'm glad I got to go while there's time. For someone who indulges in O.B.E. ....will it be different? You and MarkSteven always nail everything down as far as import is concerned. What I want nailed down is how much time? And for Roni to be mi hermana de nuevo. But I like to read before bed (which is nearly all day) and on my list is "Stars" - "The Nobel Ruin and the Magic" - "In Memoriam of a Teacher" - "Martins" - "Something in the Woods" - "Talking About it With My Dad" - "At Emily Dickinson's Window" - "This Guy Walked Into the Dover Beach Starbuck's" - "After Yeats" -----. I guess I've taken liberties here but it's like when you're old, you can get away with anything! Thanks for the postings, the dedication, the hours of enjoyment with your poetry. Much love, MM2005-07-17 17:01:09
West of the SunThomas Edward Wrightt, A peach of a poem, post-modern all the way, some end rhymes and some interior. I don't think I've seen an opening stanza where the hero's kissed by his horse. I think the entire poem calls for the reader to unclutter the prior contents of his mind, erase biases as muh as possible, and go with the flow. Poet launches into one of his strongest features of poetry...his humor... his hallmark but in more subtle form here. Stanza 3 quite lovely, rhymed perfectly, but you have the gift of making everything appear accidental! Blue. The very color of remorse doused with bliss. Red. The hue of life. Might light bless that, later this. ...... And I'm walking with that on my mind, Straight into the sun. Or what'll be left When she sets." Hon, we all ride here. Fourth quatrain exquisite. And how I miss the aria of the clip-clop of shoes on asphalt, pavement. t., I find this warm as toast, soothing as aged wine, sad as sunset. Thanks for posting your grand and glorious poetry. Mellifluous 2005-07-17 16:00:27
UnknowingDellena RovitoMy peer and pal, Greetings and I hope thid finds you well. I've just got to say a word or two about "Unknowing" because I've not read anything close to your concept. I've always placed intelligence very high on my list of traits and curious where it's going to land. I hope very high. "I'm not sharing..." is your opener and that makes me want to dig further for more answers. Your 1st full line relates to the reader as you "appologize" for being unable to spill your guts the way others do. I do not care for the use of "FULL" in the 1st two lines..."filled" with words unspoken; "filled" with emotions untold. My dear, those are merely simple suggestions. The next two atanzas are lovely and smooth as silk. I think you are being solicitous and push away attempts to know you and feel ambivalent afterwards. It may be related to you're going to avoid anyone lest they hurt you. This really sounds cynical, you are losing opportunities but I feel this is merely veneer to poet as she seems very tender and caring... she may have chosen the "wrong" guy. There are so many of same. Your final line is a gut-punch with your linguistry at your command. Very strong and powerful are words I would use in describing your poem. Brava! Mellita 2005-06-29 19:00:41
Playful RainMandie J OverockerMandie: I have critted so little, I'm not sure I recall where to start and all the ramifications of missing the mark. Your title pulls and attracts the reader. At some point in their lives, most people have played in the rain. Here you present us a rain that plays with us. Your end rhymes are perfect with some variations in the meter. Because of the latter, your poem sounds super when heard or when you read aloud. This lyrical treat has my fingers twitching to make a couple of minor suggestions...I usually do not bother but "P.R." can be a winner. 1st line: "A river rolls in the parking lot". This metaphor is a good one but weakened by the initial "There's", IMO. Placing river first puts more emphasis on the theme/topic. Stanza 2: "The water's dancing (in) the street." Another good metaphor. You open with the hyperbolic river and now the collecting water begins to dance! Original, reaches out to my senses and I want the playful rain to come my way. S 2, Line 4: I would delete "still" as it's not needed and the meter is improved without the word. This depiction of a couple making plans for the evening, taking into account the heavy rain, is true-to-life. It also shows the woman's caring enough for her lover to warn him about the need for a canoe and paddles! Then she describes the rain dance and speaks openly and honestly of her feelings. I hope it will ease up, she says, because our planned meeting is "that important" to her. She is thereby engaging and sympathetic as your protagonist because of her traits, deftly delineated by you. The ultimate stanza is a great picture of him in his yellow slicker and umbrella in hand. Then she tells him to come by boat if he must because he is her love, her fella. Enough said. Mandie, this is quite charming and appealing and I enormously enjoyed the read. If my tiny suggestions help, that's great. If not, trash them, as we are all in the same game: learning and loving poetry. So pleased at reading your poem which has winner's potential. Best wishes, Mell Morris2005-06-27 17:23:17
FoundationsThomas H. SmihulaThomas, I read a wonderful e-mail before logging on. Spectacular is one word that comes to mind and I'll be reviewing it daily. I'm very grateful to the poet! The title tells readers this piece is about the basis of something or someone and your intro quatrain informs poet refers to tiers or generations of family. The foundation lies with grandmother, then with you. Your format of unforced meter and bd/bd rhyme works well in a lyrical way. The way you describe gmother (metaphor of tree): strength, peace, love. Poet tells reader the family received nurturing, understanding...and this phrase: "Captured a moment, within a breeze." Simply exquisite, Thomas! Then next is the old oak tree, a metaphor for himself, the poet. In Stanza 4, your interior rhyme of sprout with shout and out, produces a harmony, an aspect of poetry I love so much...the sounds. The understatement here...old oak tree... branches reaching, leaves sprouting... nothing much except LIFE PREVAILING, SHOUTING. Wow!! From your tree view, a bluebird perched on a branch, gifting the world with song. And nil so neat as the dance of butterflies, a glance reflecting. The deep roots survive, poet says, and closes with this beautiful couplet: "With love, hope, and precious care, Remain so much alive..." This poem makes me feel peaceful, a warm glow all over and...hopeful. Your use of trees as metaphors works nicely and altho the use of trees is common, your word choices elevate this analogy. I must rest now...this is a weak critique of a poem by one of my favorite poets at TPL...but I will lie down and replenish myself (I hope). Kudos and Bravos!! Mell 2005-06-13 11:58:25
Thundermarilyn terwillegerMarilyn: Have I seen this one before? The imagery of a night storm of thunder and rain has stayed with me. I often use this format of four stanzas rhymed, with unforced meter. Dear friend, your continued lack of punctuation continues to drive me up one of your barkless trees. (:). Or as Troy says: (HeeHee). Do check out his work. I won't reiterate every rhyme, poetics, et al, in this one. Stanza 1, line 3: light(e)ning. The bigger question for me, however, is why poet tells us (for what purpose?) LIGHTNING MADE HER DREAD and NAKED TREES GAVE HER DOUBT. Stanzas 2 and 3 are lovely. Each poem shows what you are doing...to wit: choosing unique and crisp descriptors, giving the poem that certain panache. Sometimes it is a mere word that gives the piece the elan for which you were seeking or so I suppose. S 3 has some dawn/high noon/dawn set? phrasing which is a bit muddled and you're going to tell me to shove it because you're being nitted is no longer enjoyable. Ergo, I will lighten up after this... is moon's possessive? A rich, lyrical piece which will do well here, I think. Sweet Marilyn, this is the best I can do right now. Mell2005-06-10 12:55:33
Wet InkDebbie SpicerDebbie: Here's a very short look-see....short because my health is not improving and my printer won't connect this afternoon. "Wet Ink" is one of your best metaphors and you suggest its use can/will force us to delve deeper into one's self. It is intriguing to me that most of your poems examines the past especially in terms of "fixing" it in order to comprehend where you went wrong. I think that is one of the most positive purposes herein but it also means you assume all the fault lies with you or protagonist or speaker. It takes two to make a RELATIONSHIP work or not. "Green glimmer" in water is a beauteous allit and I love the color green included whether a love poem (yours) or a nature poem. The water is aglimmer with green. Such a perfect image. I also find another line so carefully drawing me in: "Some ache inside searching for their me." Your ending stanza could not be improved and provides the "aha!" or epiphany of the poem: "as the ink soon dries, the pain will be gone." The "wet ink" notion reflects nicely with the title as well. I don't crit much these days and I rarely get a chance at one of yours. That's a disappointment for me as I really enjoy your writing, the cathartic affect it appears to hold for poet, and an ever-increasing growth and insight palpable in your work. I feel uplifted by your words and look forward to the next. Best wishes for you and your original poem, Mell Morris2005-06-01 16:17:31
Lost LoveDonna Carter SolesDonna, This is the first time I've had one of your poems on my list in forever. Who could not be tweaked by your alliterative title? If it's a love-gone- wrong piece, certainly there's little anyone can do except hold you while you cry. Your piece is smooth when read aloud and your meter is ineaxact which means that many poets write outside of the loop. There is such license accepted in this art form. You use a lot of tetrameter and pentameter and it sounds very lyrical when sung. Your rhymes are spot on; no near or slant rhymes. Poet tells reader she is deeply in love with a man and poet continues "to hear your song" and wonders if he can/will hear her sighs of grief. "You chose to leave me all alone" without any words of comfort. That is cold and heartless. Your description of sorrow, loss, grief, mourning are finely drawn, Donna. "Shades of sorrow now color me" is an exquisite phrase. Poet continues bemoaning the loss of her man's love...then quite wisely she states she's grieving for the lost love which she never had in the first place. I enjoyed this poem very much and consider it one of our better posts which means you are already trained in writing. However, you chose a topic (lost love) which inspired numerous poems of "Lost Love". When poet chooses a subject that has been penned about repeatedly, it is imperative that almost every word be original and novel. I pointed to several phrases that were beautiful and not passe'. For example: S1, line 2..."My lonely heart only cries so long"...changed to "My battery only runs that long"..... Just play like I'm doing and something fresh and crisp will be there! Stanza 3, Line 3 ..."And so I thought your words were of yourself" .. "It was true, from my view, here on the shelf." Please do not be offended; you've been given or developed or both...a gift for composing poetry, and I am taking time which I rarely do to get your creative juices running wild. You have great potential, Donna. Best of luck with your writing and stay focused on it! Sincerely, Mell Morris2005-05-14 18:32:34
Island lifeMark Andrew HislopMAH, Glad to see you back posting altho I've been unable to review much. I'm unsure about the import of your piece but found it entertaining and well-written. At first, I thought mayhaps it was Gilligan's Island but poet's isle is much more sophisticated. Waking to a palm frond's sweat which recycles your own taste or aroma "Call me Jericho", poet says, and I wonder if that means walls will continue to collapse until they've all tumbled down. Or better, "Call me Ishmael," and look what happened to him! Stanza 2 regales us with adventures that you have to put reason aside and just pass the smoke. "Did I tell you" begins stanza 2 and ends it as well. Twentry-four sons should be of some usefulness in poet's imagined battles. And we begin to see that poet has indeed become a bit psychotic as he says, "Did I tell you? It's not like me to forget." That bit of verbiage is set apart for emphasis. Each stanza maintains a steady beat and is replete with assonance..too much to point out every instance. Poet reminds readers of his position: no deference to give wax and wanes the moon words incandescent... "one toucan today"is a very nice bit of play with words. But when you've exhausted your every bit of imaginative thoughts, poet is still stuck on the island. "The horizon is as far away as ever." A very sobering and pessimistic view of life as seen thru the no-hope reaction of poet as with her daughters. I've spent nearly two hours with your poem which is heads above most linguistry here. In fact, it's so danged existential, I think I missed much of the import. However that may be exactly as you intended. You owe no explanations and I don't usually give them myself. Good work. Mell2005-05-12 13:06:41
BrokenTerrye GodownTerrye: I lost a lengthy crit last month on your poem and my new computer seems to do more harm than good. Hopefully this crit will arrive. It appears to be a free-verse tribute to Mother at that time of year. I truly longed to see my mother but right now neither of us can drive and rapid transit does not reach her town about thirty-five miles south of Dallas. (Note typo in thirty in 1st line). I also was reminded of an old song, "Delta Dawn"...which begins "she was thiry-one (five?)and her daddy still calls her baby." Great verbs in Stanza 1 to tell us how horrid it was for her... world imploded left her regurgitating love purging fatherhood escaping his prison. Strong metaphors to detail what a jerk this guy is to leave his already- burdened wife. Ist line of stanza 2 should be framed...says everything about her situation. Friend gets clothes as she has just birthed a baby girl. Terrye, I'm not sure of S 3's import. A *spoiled* cop? Or a dirty one? A cop who boozes and lays up with sparkly-pants women is likely on the take as well. In 5th line, poet tenders part of wedding vows which is perfect there. I stumble on the next line (6th of S3) each time I read. I mean I understand the words themselves but "the" soul or "his" soul? Not a big deal whichever way it goes. Stana 4 limns a homey scene, perfect here. How tender..."her songs filled the house" and her eyes with tears to "Madame Butterfly." The last four stanzas detail a life of deprival for the children and a determined mother to keep things going. You say in your additional notes that "MOM" had a complex life and your tribute is simple. For me, her life was simple and your poem complex. It could be argued well either way but the mother is not an appealing character to me. She provides but marginally, uses the sale of home $ to get an M.A., a selfish move on her part when her children still need basic things. You end your elegy with Mother at 80, trying to cement the parts of a porcelin bouquet, four bright, dainty petals. A fitting metaphor of how she tried to give her kids a home. Also ties the title "Broken" right into the tale. Splendid writing as always, Terrye; I hope you hang around a while with your fresh-eye look at the world and people in it. I greatly enjoyed this piece and it only took one hour to do! Best wishes, Mell2005-05-11 08:54:32
A Long MarchNancy Ann HemsworthNancy, I lost the 1st crit done on this haiku and I normally do not review same. I've never written one...I'm a bit verbose for these constraints. BUT, your title is the killer and I had to stop and say so because elements such as these are why I read poetry. March the 3rd month, (my 1st impression) March a parade (of flowers herein) March a military movement of men (salute) Now that is clever, whatever form used. 1st line....alliterative and assonant with the short A in pastels/parade 2nd line....I may swoon for this is one of my favorite sounds in poetry, the sibilant or susurrant Sssssssss presented here six times. It is especially effective to describe swaying, breezes, soft, springs, and tulips. I am a sound person and this is so like whispering (2nd line) 3rd line....perfect end as March gives way to April with a doff of the cap, a salute which portrays respect to April from the waning month. And salute gives the military ideation. And now that I think of it, April likely finds March over-long. I don't much care for March for it signals that warm then unbearable heat is on the way. This is seamlessly woven, a lovely and lyrical poem. This haiku truly puts your poetic gift on display. I hope you saw my Forum message to you when I thanked those who had voted for Miss Hilda. I didn't start a new thread, just tacked on to a message from Ken P. I hope you see it. Best wishes, Mell2005-05-09 11:50:09
Cracked PlasterHelen C DOWNEYHelen, Interesting title and this reader is titilated about where and what happened. The bathtub scene done quite well and romantic I would not want a torrid love scene here as it moves the story along in her dream sequence I think the subtle touch in your writing leaves more to the readers' imaginations. Stanza 2 details aspects such as tender touches, slipping slowly around her face, resting his hands on pleasureable places. You deftly handle this topic but in a conversatonal manner. (Helen, My computadora is acting up; I hope this does not look as bad on the page as it does here!) This is free verse with unforced meter as you detail the "crime scene": tangled sheets and "unfound evidence" against him. Albeit you are not maintaining a Bosco who might split, go off with a pretty face any day. This woman as presented here is no Bosco. Your bring us full circle at the end of the poem...steam rising to the cracked plaster. Sorry my machine malfunctioned but I enjoyed every word...a unique look at romantic activity with words of probity and refinement. GOOD WORK. In case no one has told you, don;t submit all at once but sprinkle them at random. This is going to blow your mind but the only score given is 10. Take care, Best wishes, Mell 2005-04-30 11:05:22
In the paths of heroesNancy Ann HemsworthNancy, thanks for posting William's poem which I enjoyed and mayhaps soon he will post on his own...because that signifies a degree of comfort. (I know of no rule against this posting for someone to experience the site. It is my favorite for sure. I truly do not want to be in the paths of heroes because I'm not one and to be there seems to imply a commonality of beliefs or ways to live out your life within your same parameters. As I ponder this, I like the 3rd line of Stanzaa 1: "Step out and become more than what we are." I guess a time for decision-making does occur and your life forever changed. But poet tells us...one bold step and life takes a turn forlorn Marked forever deep with a carried scar. Then the dilemma of the poem, the final epiphany... "Days alone, broken heart, forget to mourne Footsteps of heroes only lead so far" and then it is up to us to find all the work that awaits us. I would have lost my tracking several miles back. Then we would have to make lists of who is to bring what. SOUNDS LIKE A FIESTA! Grand read which took everything out of me and if I don't eat soon, back to bed. Hope you will stay with TPL; YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY the type of person we need. Bravo! Best wishes, Mell2005-04-27 08:01:51
NightHelen C DOWNEYHelen: A lovely and poignant poem, feels exclusively mine. I get attached to poems in that manner when the words spin a tapestry that fits my bed exactly. That is where I am spending most of my times these days, waiting for night and improved health. "There's nothing quite as relaxing as its(') gentle murmur..." Miracle of linguistry..."rain in the midnight blackness"... and now poet brings in the rain to rustle the dry leaves and crackle bare branches. Nice alliteration. "Stillness" does not seem to fit as we have rustled and crackled and murmured. Besides the "shadows?" Stars twinkle, loneliness persists. You're not here but I still have the night before. You have a marvelous gift for writing, Helen, and this captures and sustains that gift for selection of and affixing the right words. We are supposed to keep our crits short but this little lyrical poem would translate beautifully into music. I will look for more of your poems when I'm allowed out of bed. Brava! Mell Morris2005-04-26 18:14:16
Second AvenueRick BarnesRamblin' Rick: I should stop right there, liebchen, because I do not understand your poem. Ergo, it has me in a full-Nelson and there's no way out except the way of the poltroon. This feels like a dream of frustration, a place of Catch 22; damned if you do, etc. Which Second Avenue? Where? Sci fi: morning never comes, hold onto the night because the usual transition from dark to light is stalled like a squall off-shore. I love it; I love it. Streets releasing yesterday's warmth and the receiving sky is empty. Sounds as if a list of necessary tasks has been contrived and likely not needed. Here I sit, unable to declare my boundaries...where do I end and you begin...same as the mean streets...empty streets are not asleep because or the early hour, and mean streets are abandoned becauce of the late hour. I have thought of you constantly for two days, now your book is trandsporting around the apartment. I wonder why crepuscular means sadness because no one comes home to me at day's end. This not an accidental poem and it exists apart from yourself. I fight to not hit the delete button. It defines me.2005-04-26 17:28:03
Reflections in an Unpolished StoneGene DixonGene: I guess your reputation is becoming known to the newbies, too. Your poem never came on my list and I'm critiquing from ALL POETRY. But how could I, HRM's Mellodious, pass a poem as this one without at least that royal back of the hand wave that Queen Elizabeth uses? But it is always like going home to see a poem you've submitted. In fact, there's a celtic air in your piece in my view. The simile of "like a breath of morning mist" make me imagine Ireland and shadows thin and grey are almost the exact words Muldoon uses to describe the fog/rain in his homeland. I cannot leave the celtic alone but rocks (rupiculous) and herein your unpolished stones cry Heaney. He writes more about the earth, the water, and STONES than any other writer. This is brilliant like Reflections/Golden Eye. No depth...how unusual for you.... but redeem yourself with ethereal. However, there's still that lack of dimension so I think of fog, vapor, the legend about the young girl who disappears in one of Ireland's bogs. Somewhere in your brain you see the traces of a face, pale blue of shaded eye, splash (great) of light in her dark hair. You hardly knew she was there. One would expect recollection. Easily accessed, a moment of "such significance." And you tender for us your ending: Most likely you'll remember fading images and unpolished stones. There is an unspoken sadness here, Gene...purely something I feel. We have all posted some of our best work this month and with the loss of Creeley, the quality here has helped plus two NEW poems by Heaney in the last few weeks in The New Yorker. And so it goes. Gene, this is merely brilliant...nothing left to say except I hope you are not still suffering. (Mary seems dear as she kept us posted.) On the list or enlisted... MellO2005-04-24 16:31:56
Your Best GuessRick BarnesOh Happy Day! Remember that title? Certainly unrelated to the pith of your poem but how I feel when I see a posting from our resident professor. I note the dedication and that speaks loudly to me. Based on prior poems and explanations given for who she is/was. The title fits the poem like a well-tailored suit by an Italian. I like Italian designers although I cannot afford same. I swear I have read this, perhaps in your published book. It is typical of what you have been posting the last few times. The form is perfect; it is spare as my beloved Creeley. Hindsight or Monday morning replay of Sunday's game(s) brings clarity, explanation. In your poem, it appears poet (or protaganist) is guessing what went wrong in the relationship and projects her best guess. To ask a woman to wait for him in his being away, hints that this will be a long "away"...more than business trip. I always think war as that appears to be the president's favorite pasttime for young men. From your inmost soul you ask your girl to wait for your return and she replies in the affirmative. Now looking back, you do not tell the reader that yes indeed, she tied a yellow ribbon on the old oak tree. My take is that she didn't wait and your analysis eases your mind to some extent: "I must have asked too much of you." "And you must have meant yes." "How could you have possibly known." For poet and for her, they are too young/naive to make and keep promises when they are young and hormones are raging. And in true Rickismic form you conclude: "It was just a guess, Not knowing then The depth of HOW, Or the length of WHEN?" Mellita sits back in her chair, exhaling the breath she's been holding so long! All I can say is wonderful! Superb writing, linguistics superlative. I always think "This it, his best" then you outdo yourself. Rick-o, your poems cut close to the bone and your achievement as master of your art is thrilling to see. I can hardly wait to see where "Imposters" will go next and what it may be telling me. My heart smiles! My best always, Mell-O2005-04-23 12:37:10
Bethany RevisitedPaul R LindenmeyerPaul: And so the smoke curled upward, following a tradition of many years, the papacy continued, and Pope Benedict is our leader. Benedict was JP"s choice and they share the same theological approach to the church. "Clanging cathedrals chimes" is a sweet alliterative sound. "Yoked" seems a an odd choice of word but you likrly krrp up with the entire Catholic themss. I was raised CATH0LIC...145r years at CATHOLIC schools and univerfsity so I feel somewhat knowledged in the area. Pail, if you will allow, I will e-mail you the rest of your critique tonight. I am late for an appt with my doctor.2005-04-21 12:57:58
Of Stormy ClimesLennard J. McIntoshLen, It's been too long since I critted you or you my stuff. I haven't been here much but forever love TPL. Stormy climes could appear anywhere but somehow, I get the feeling of the Atlantic or the North sea although you do not specify. A storm is a storm and to live in a stormy climate requires a certain mind-set IMO. Due to my ignorance, I know what the equinox is and when it occurs but is it more stormy at those times? Your 1st stanza is a jolt which is a good way to begin a poem. You have ravens croaking pre-flight calls in waves of worried clatter to vomit time's filth to call the War Lords to action. You end the 1st stanza with spring rains with their torrents to clump flora of summer with chills that "yawn to shiver stone." I really like the phrase I marked. You imbue your meassage with croak/calls/crests/ clatter/claims...the hard C sounds...hard sounds to howl and cut stone. Very nicely written with two alliterative phrases and such harsh (and perfect) words. I listen for the vocables in a poem...sound is 75% of its beauty for me. "Hurried light(e)ning explodes to festoon life in missed motion." Excellent, and your poem truly shines with your linguistry, Len. As I recall from your prior work, word choice is one of your strong points. Your poem "a stun of speechless" for your reader. The metaphor of drums thriving a thunder is well done. "To arraign mankind as wrapped." Sorry, I don't get it unless you mean "That's a wrap". Now "warped" I would agree. (heh-heh). And final stanza brings us full-circle, back to where we began, in storms. Storm clouds riot to deny a count of non-violent days. Then the rewards enumerated ending in a world "at war with peace." Brilliant. Wish I had written it and watch me or I'll snag some of your pithy and unique phrases. (This is the highest compliment I give.) Your work is like a fine, dry wine, aged to perfection or a bit of buzz like tequila. I enjoyed it, charmed by your writing. Congratulations! Best, Mell2005-04-20 11:15:45
LettersAudrey R DoneganAudrey: I haven't seen your name before; if you are new, welcome. I have been out quite a bit myself so I might have missed any prior posts, of which I hope are many more. Your title is a nice hook for the reader: which letters? Does poet mean epistles/missives or parts of the alphabet? 1st stanza is brilliant: Winter keeps me cradling my impatience. The wait will be the death of me. Three end rhymes which rhyme with an interior word; keeps/cradling are lovely hard C sounds; the long A in cradling/impatience/wait. I won't continue with detailed scansion because you know where they are since poet penned the piece but we DO notice. S 3 without punctuation may be interpreted differently but what I discern are two lovers separated for whatever reason. The protaganist inhaled the last letter with its alliterative "scent of sage" and its four "the's", (easily changed.) A minor nit. The letter roils poet's emotions and especially remembering his eyes makes this reader conclude that poet may have been taking the relationship for granted. Now letters are shorter, do not come as often, are "drab and uninviting". Poet continues to feel an unrequited love and will sleep now, "awaiting your return." Of course, once your poem is put into the public domain, it belongs to your readers and if/what they feel. I find your piece evocative which is a major plus and as the poet said, "With rue my heart is laden." It is filled with regret and sadness which poet delivers expertly. I assume the separation is akin to a tour of duty in the military...a long one, if you will. There is a degree of naivete if poet will wait for someone who has been cavalier with her feelings. He by silence has said it all. Adios, farewell, ta-ta, and so forth. There is a loneliness to sleeping in the arms of Time...in the arms of Morpheus would make more sense to me but still leaves the same query, why wait for him? It could be that poet left the relationship untended and he possibly decided she wanted the apartness. Whatever, there will always be love-gone-wrong as a theme in poetry and you give us a fresh look at an age-old topic. Nice writing. Hope you enjoy TPL and stay. We need talented poets and you are in that category. Best wishes, Mell Morris 2005-04-16 12:38:48
Several Hours after the Death of a SalesmanThomas Edward Wrightt. Certainly an interesting way/metaphor as the college of cardinals prepares for their confab, schmoozing(?), and the trusty smoke to announce the papacy continues. It's nice to have other countries represented in the Vatican, not soley the Italians, and this Polish guy was quite well-loved. BTW, I forgot to mention that I like your title to this piece. I better get some catharsis, hear? The 4th tercet made me smile my wicked Melliferous smile. Especially favored is: "Now it's time for poetry. That weird word world." And don't you just love it? I do! You take us to a place of resonance, collar aside, but its notion never far away, and the obvious but always forgotten: "How little time for you to act" echoes around the room. The ballot segues to the announcement, the ebbing tide, the moonless night; And so little's right in the weird little world. "It never ends. Beautiful. Intangible as a star." Lovely use of words to finish poem but liguistry is one of your strong suits as is eccentricity. This is a catharsis for me as you raise the curtain in wise and magical form. One of your finest moments, literately or otherwise. We expect only the best from you. MWM 2005-04-15 18:38:29
Wings UnclippedJohn DeanJohn: This is my 1st crit of your work altho I saw some of your poems last month. My printer wasn't working and several other problems with my computer. From the title, I couldn't imagine what your poem would address other than perhaps the process done to birds of prey. As I read, I quickly realize this is a metaphor for any # of things: for me, it's a parallel existence of man caught up in the sixty-hour work week, on a leash as it were, no taste of freedom of "unrestrained flight" The opening line is arcane as well as the title: "I'd never been that high before". Is poet smoking weed, rock climbing, etc.? Not until the fifth line are we sure that this is a bird as we thought of before. This reminds me of some places in the hill country where the high cliffs encourage hawks to nest. They play in the rising thermals (at least it appears to be play): soaring, wafting, swooping. That you have personalized the raptor and relate the poem in 1st person is splendid. I feel this hawk is pleading for help from his captors or anyone who chances by. Imagined line: "Once I thought a lady was going to adopt me; she looked at every detail and I preened and gave her my beady-eye pose. But then my ego took over aned I rose as far as the chain permitted, spread my wings and gave her my all in the shriek I made. She ran, looking back over her shoulder." I hope you don't mind my playing here...your poem is quite alluring and entices me to explore the feeling of being a large bird. One of your best lines is "I saw my reflection in a rabbit's eye." Now tired from using muscles dormant for a long time, tired, hungry, lonely..he realizes that he must go home. To be caged once more with no affection, merely safe and given food. Your last four lines become the epiphsny of your piece: But restless now for more I'll do it again some day soon Take my chances When they forget to lock the cage! You don't need the exclamation point...it is how I feel. Very sad because this poignant, plaintive poem is evocative, drawing upon the same feeling in man. The all-pervasive lust for freedom. "Stone walls do not a prison make Nor iron bars a cage" This is swell: quote a line and cannot remember from what work it is taken or by whom written. Sorry. I like my reading fare to be comprised of short lyrical pieces. You have shown herein that much can be conceived and laid out with a dearth of words herein. Your linguistics is masterful, your poem original and unique your ability to draw in the reader is no small feat. I finf this an accomplished bit of writing. {I apologize for the typos never made until I contracted CTD. Best wishes for this superlative poem, Mell Morris2005-04-10 12:17:33
The Thought Of YouNancy Ann HemsworthNancy: I am quickly becoming a fan basing this on vague memories of times past and your posts the last few months. I write short lyric poems such as yours and no meter nor rhyme present a greater challenge IMO. There is a very old song that has a few lines: (the thought of you) "and I forget to do the little ordinary things that everyone ought to do. I see your face in da-da splendor, your eyes in skies above. It's just the thought of you, the very thought of you, my love." Not that this song has anything in common with your poem except the fury of emotions that pierces me to the cambium (core). "Let your image dance with me across my mind, waltzing in places where only we knew." Lovely, lovely...both the idea, the memory, the metaphor. Poet continues that she inhales him, takes his memory deep into lungs and exhales in his shadow, refreshing herself. Excellent. "(He) allows you to breathe in time as only you could. My breath deep and deliberate, the rhythm of desire." Nancy, your linguistry here is exquisite. You choose your words well, each and every. His inhaled memory has warmed you, pleased you, thankful for the experience of you(,) Minor nit..I'd like a comma after you. Your second/final stanza seems an epiphany of sorts: you finally realize what the mere memory of him means. "The ability to light my heart by your memory. so much so that I still glow in the thought of you." Such tenderness conveyed by soft rhymes at times, other poetic devices, but I cared nothing for that as I read...it's the emotional impact, one of melancholy, loneliness, pain of wanting him. I see his picture on your dressing table and this is b&w, you in a satin robe look out the window from Central Park West. You have the Lauren Bacall(sp)look. Your poem ignites my imagination and my setting is from old movies on TV I watched as a child. It only takes one poem and this is non pareil. Kudos. Mell Morris2005-04-09 12:29:30
Rainmarilyn terwillegerMarilyn: Nothing would surprise me now when I see your name on a poem. A lyric poem, a haiku, and my personal favorites, your nature poetry. What I mean is that not only have you mastered most forms, your style can now change and we don't know who is writing. Your linguistry has grown more than other areas. You found your voice, dear one, and nothing makes me happier than to see your talent seek its own level. Robert Creeley died 3-30-05. My favorite poem of his is "The Rain". I cried for I felt a light had gone from my life and here is another loss. Ergo, when I saw your "Rain", I felt you had reached out to all who love his poetry and lit candles in our windows. Change April to spring or change gentle to soft but you have one syllable more than five in line one. I love line two for the whispery rain, all the Sssss sounds and line three enriched me as your rain contains drops of life for our planet. Simply lovely, Marilyn. Sorry this is short but I am an hour over my "up" time and feeling the pain. Take care and keep praying, please. Love, Mell2005-04-01 19:04:07
BUGS AND GIVERSMark D. KilburnMark: What a delight! You've hit a homer this time! What makes the piece so appealing for me is the CLEVER use of words, playing with them, as it were. It feels like you were having a good time here. Your rhyme and meter are spot on and charming, like tapping my toes to a tune played by a fiddle. I have no idea what "bugs" chased or "givers" of gifts means in this context. When you say bug-chaser to me, I picture a leipodopterist (sp) with a giant net, running after butterflies. Someone always giving gifts makes me think of an insecure person who has to "buy" her friends. Or is this some vernacular applicable to an endeavor? (with which I'm unfamiliar). Or to a profession? "Just hand me that I-bar chaser and I'll get the bugs out." The 1st stanza grabbed me and I raced to the end. "Upside-wrong" is delectable, almost like Dr. Seuss. Stanza 2 is painful and I'm musing that this may refer to your own pain/suffering, my friend. I think I'm the ostrich type or want to be, but won't allow myself. Does that make any sense? The last two lines are great. Your use of the word "conversion" has confused me...you are on a roll! Any poem which makes me think is 100% If the purpose of poetry is to teach someone something new or feel in a certain way, then you have more than succeeded in this piece. You make brilliant points about being good solely for the sake of being good. It's so much more fun to do it if it feels good. How often has that happened,HAH! A cogent, dissatisfied look at the dire state we allowed ourselves to get involved. I think poems like this should be mandatory reading for particular groups of people. Quite provoking, evocative, and one to be read and reread for many years. Congratulations! Best wishes, Morris jrp 2005-03-24 16:40:55
The Left SlipperThomas Edward Wrightt. I am depleted of energy alloted for the morning and have already made personal comments to you as to the demise of Regis. Your eulogy here adds more spiritual blessings to her farewell and the hours spent with her. t., I know you must still be exhausted and I would bind your wounds, if possible. It personally helps me, at this time, to know how to do it right. That sounds so stupid, eh? I've always heard the phrase "to give the relative a decent burial". Then, I've always wondered, what is an "indecent burial"?. Hearing, reading and rereading the exchanges between you and your mother, have ruptured my heart, brought tears again and again, made me laugh out loud, and I think there is really no set of blueprints on how to die in a manner of political correctness. I'm sorry she had to suffer so much (the 1st time you've admitted it) but perhaps this is a portion of healing...dealing with the trith...straight on. Remember, we all pray for you, Regis, the entire family. Pray for me as I do for you. Mell 2005-03-20 13:12:04
YearningGene DixonGene: First of all, and I must crit one of Mark's, thank you for posting on TPL. I am so heartened by the sight of your name and Mark's name for you two are all we have right now, doing their best work. (Brenda and JoUp are busy with a TPL poject). This sonnet (I recall your sonnet lesson to me) is non pareil. It plays with words but, tweaks us with the formal, antiquated language, gives aphorisms, two great morales, and an epiphany for your end couplet. One could call it an aubade, for you express sorrow that the night is passing..."Sad Night". I've never heard the wondrous phrase: "We bear the weight of night for just so long." You tell us eyes will seek light, ear will yearn for morning's song, no one will live an unending plight: "Within the span of life should be a goal." And two more freebies you work in beautifully: every bridge will have a toll and in God's opinion, the last is often first. And your insight and epiphany as your ending: "While contemplating slaking your desire, It's best to stand a distance from the fire." First I wonder how many people put "Troll" in lieu of toll? Second, what did I learn from your sonnet? Most things I have heard or read or been instructed. At my waning years, I'd be sad indeed if I'd learned nothing. I don't have a great deal of time left (I'm three hours past due for bedrest) and I would like to have the beauty of your words, the beauty of other poems such as our Mark's "Quo Vadis" and piles of Heaney's books, etc. The beauty here breaks my heart. Mello2005-03-15 21:37:44
Alone on A Beachstephen g skipperStephen: Each time the title tells me it may be a seascape or next to a span of water, I am drawn in if it makes my list. I am still doing my few little crits trying not to lose my sparse voting power. Your poem is laid out in a pleasing format without a definitive rhyme/meter scheme which is what I favor in poetry. You set six couplets then a line singular then another couplet and your final line is also in one line. Supposedly, a singular line is used when it's an extremely important sentence where the reader must open ears and eyes, all senses to the poet's words. The poet/protagonist tells his beloved thst if she sits on a beach, you are there so intrinsicly bonded to her as she feels your presence. You continue you are her all; you are the golden sand and the breeze that teases her hair. My favorite line, for whatever reason: "I am the tide of azure blue, deep and restless, trying to wash your toes with my white foam." Stephen, I don't think I have anything to help you...I find your piece worthy as is. It's got some lovely, longing lines and I know they are from your heart. Please continue to write of your love (of Paula) and it's been said it will become a cathartic experience. Congrats on a splendid piece of writing. Best wishes, Mell Morris2005-03-02 16:12:46
She-Who-DreamsJoanne M UppendahlJoUp,LL,Em: Is there nothing beyond the ken and scope of a powerfully spiritual woman? I immediately think of this as I read your title...that she may be of a tribe and this title is given to the wise woman within their kith. The reader is drawn in immediately because of your 1st words: Calls clouds to tumble their soft tears on her waiting face for parched fields of grass. Clouds cry at her command. She uses words of assonance given her in her dreams to bring rain. This sage of the group must bestow the title in linear fashion or some have powers that the followers see and subsequently will obey only HER lead. Allits of weaves/weather's/whirl and to make quilts of stars, she utilizes whirl/stir. Who but this enchantress Dahl could weave thread from weather? I find I'm bowing my head in respect of such a beautiful woman who reminds me of a darling friend of mine...but I cannot see to write in said position and also, my crown doesn't fit squarely when I brow and bow. I wonder if God bestowed adequate strength for her to water the parched earth, create a quilt clustered with stars and after all that, moons are chanted into her nimble hands by the spirit mountains. A rhetorical question, of course. That is, 'pale' moons into the 'palm' of her hands. And would I like to see her quilts! Dear friend Em, I think you've come closest in "Dreamer" to sharing yourself, your alter with the reader. I know how it felt to me. My (One of my many) doctor was telling me the importance of dreams, the differences in dreaming rates among intelligent, in creative people, in self-healing, and much more. That area of our life as humans fascinates me and I have a deep feeling you are one of the chosen..."Come, be fishers of men..." A critique is not the place for this talk and I'm going into overload. So altho I doubt the discussion between us two is finished ( by far) but this is not the time nor place. Your best.***** My best wishes, Mell-if 2005-02-26 18:26:00
Somewhere in the back of my mind I hear a melodyLeo WilderLeo: Found this at the bottom of my list so you must've received quite a few critiques. I always go to my critiquing list, many do this also, and I think that's why the voting changes so often as poems are being seen for the 1st time during the contest. Love the title. My 1st poem posted here was about a song that keeps playing in your brain and won't stop. Your first stanza is a soft, sweet parody and I'm sitting at my desk trying to recall 3-Dog's music that fits here and it has to be "Joy to the World." (I always called the song..."Jeremiah was a bullfrog"...) Very clever! I think that may have been the song that stuck me in a groove. S 2 continues the theme of the 1st stanza and becomes the overall theme of the poem, IMO. The divine is made man, a-birthing in Bethlehem...then again, the pundit/poet plays with words to tell us that the birth in Pennsylvania of steel as king was far more important for man's wallet and the smog emission from steel production a mere irritant. The poet says "smog killed the sparrows" to show how man had left a lot of religious beliefs behind him and Hamlet says :"There's providence in the fall of a sparrow." From Shakespeare. And as I run out of steam here, my friend, we shudder as poet recounts what was occurring in the temples as the Christ had time to heal a leper or two en route to Golgotha. And they used a dogwood tree to make His crucifix. Somehow you begin slowly and softly and build to the ending...the crucifixion. Yet no reference is made to all the usual bible-speak. There is great delivery here, an impact at the end altho we know what's coming. This may be your best piece of the very few you have posted. I will make one suggestion which I think will make your layout better.... As Elders shot craps, and loaned money at usual usurious rates, lepers were healed, and the lame walked behind the dogwood tree. Your 1st two stanzas are quatrains then your 3rd stanza has five lines with the second line quite lengthy. When I make the stanzas into another quatrain and ending couplet, it not only looks better but packs a punch in the last two lines. This is an exquisite piece of writing, Leo. I'm overdue on my pain meds and must get up and take one as I'm about to crater. This was a rare joy to read. Take care, Mell Morris 2005-02-23 17:22:35
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