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Misheard Whisper's Excuses for Poetry

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  #1    
Old March 26th, 2011 (1:23 PM). Edited December 5th, 2011 by Misheard Whisper.
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Welcome to the poetry thread of Misheard Whisper, a self-professed prosaic specialist venturing nervously into the world of verse.

I will link to each poem from the first post.


Contents
  1. From A Wise Man (this post)
  2. She Is
  3. Somewhere
  4. Contradictions
  5. On Cycles (I)
  6. Superior Semper
  7. Oak's Lament
  8. Crimson Dancer



This first poem was written after being randomly inspired by reading threads in this section. Somebody asked a question along the lines of 'what does poetry mean to you?' and somehow, that really made me want to write this. I started with just a single line, and it all grew from there. And I know the title is bad. orz

From A Wise Man

A little old man stands alone on a hill
Looking out on a world so empty and still
A dim, feeble sun breaks soft o'er the land
As he grips his cane tight with a cold, wrinkled hand
And he says:

I wonder where we went wrong, my friend
We did what we thought was right; to what end?
Now nothing remains but the moribund earth
Death is a dominant force; no new birth
But I know:

Once upon a time, the world was new
A proud sun shone bright and cool breezes blew
But now once-mighty trees stand crippled and bare
Gasping for life from the dust-choked air
And I know:

People and family meant everything once
I had brothers and sisters, and daughters and sons
Yet now they're nothing more than dead memories
The terrible smell of dead ash on the breeze
Can I dream:

That one day, this world of ours may start anew?
That one day, I can stand here together with you
And look out on the world, love filling my heart
As we did long before all these years spent apart?
Yet I know:

There's one painful truth that we all must face
The eternal curse of this damned human race
We're only here on this Earth for so long
One day we must all hear the angels' sweet song
And I see:

That day draws near sooner than you know
For me, at least, there is not long to go
I'll let go of this world reluctantly
Leaving to you the new possibility
Because you:

Are the ones that will carry the flag
Even if it's now little more than a rag
Tattered and torn, yet never defeated
It's up to you to make sure the past's not repeated.

My own (loose) interpretation of the poem. Read it after you draw your own conclusions:
Spoiler:
This poem is about mankind, but more than that. It's about man's resilience in the face of adversity and his eternal hope for the future.
Like I say, that's just me. I could analyse it much more deeply, but that would be no fun. There are a million ways to assign a text meaning. Like Roland Barthes said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland Barthes
"To give a text an Author" and assign a single, corresponding interpretation to it "is to impose a limit on that text."
When we view a text the way the author intended it to be viewed, we are stifling our own creative and imaginative development, because even if the author himself states that he had one meaning in mind, there are thousands more, so I want to know what you think my poems are about. Your own thoughts, not mine. That's why I put my interpretation in spoilers.
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  #2    
Old March 27th, 2011 (12:21 AM). Edited March 27th, 2011 by TJgamer.
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    I think of it as an elderly man as his death approaches and that a new life will await him.
    I liked this poem, a lot. The rhyming is good and use of words is well done. I believe the message is the most important part, and that you have also accomplished that.
    Well done to you!
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      #3    
    Old March 27th, 2011 (1:07 AM).
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TJgamer View Post
    I think of it as an elderly man as his death approaches and that a new life will await him.
    I liked this poem, a lot. The rhyming is good and use of words is well done. I believe themessage is the most important part, and that you have also accomplished that.
    Well done to you!
    Thanks! It's always interesting to see what other people think a poem means. :3

    This is something a little different, a lot more mundane, but still, I think, quite interesting. The meaning is less far-fetched this time, so I'm not going to put what I think about it. And for those interested, the format is called a butterfly cinquain.


    She is
    To me, the world
    So please, God, tell me why
    She won't turn round and look at me
    Damn it.
    Every day, I see her there
    Sitting in front of me
    Oblivious.
    Unfair.
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      #4    
    Old March 27th, 2011 (6:32 AM).
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      Heheh, this one was pretty clever. Especially the format.
      And yeah, like you said, it's meaning is more straightforward. It's not a good or bad thing; it's all strictly opinion. For me, yes, it's often a good thing.
      Good job! And keep going!
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        #5    
      Old April 2nd, 2011 (7:50 PM).
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        From a Wise Man:
        Quote:
        A proud sun shone bright and cool breezes blew
        But now once-mighty trees stand crippled and bare
        I know you wanted to evoke a strong image here with the proud sun shining bright, but when you're reading it really trips up your line to have an extra adjective in. I keep trying to read over it again, but it doesn't flow as smoothly as the first two stanzas before it. The same applies for 'once-mighty' trees. I could read it fine with just 'mighty', but throw in once in there and it all just crumbles. Perhaps get rid of 'now' or 'once' and it'll feel less clogged. I'm not sure what to do with the first line.
        Quote:
        The terrible smell of dead ash on the breeze
        The word 'dead' really sticks out here and again makes me just stop to re-read. Honestly I can't tell by this point if it's intentional. If it is, I must simply not be understanding this particular rhyming scheme. XD

        Overall I enjoyed this poem a lot. Your general interpretation fits it well, I think, though that wasn't the first thing to come to my mind. :p

        Your second poem is my favorite of the two. Much more simple and less cryptic, although I'm not familiar with the format. Keep up the good poetry! :3
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          #6    
        Old April 2nd, 2011 (7:56 PM).
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        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Azurne View Post
        From a Wise Man:

        I know you wanted to evoke a strong image here with the proud sun shining bright, but when you're reading it really trips up your line to have an extra adjective in. I keep trying to read over it again, but it doesn't flow as smoothly as the first two stanzas before it. The same applies for 'once-mighty' trees. I could read it fine with just 'mighty', but throw in once in there and it all just crumbles. Perhaps get rid of 'now' or 'once' and it'll feel less clogged. I'm not sure what to do with the first line.

        The word 'dead' really sticks out here and again makes me just stop to re-read. Honestly I can't tell by this point if it's intentional. If it is, I must simply not be understanding this particular rhyming scheme. XD
        Okay then . . . I'll definitely take your advice on board. I haven't written much poetry before, so I'm pretty much a total newbie here. In terms of rhythm and rhyme scheme, I just go with what sounds alright when I read it out loud. Those extra words you mentioned seem to fit fine for me, but perhaps you're reading it differently . . . it's hard to tell, and there's probably no single definitive answer. In any case, I'll be more careful with that in future.

        Quote:
        Overall I enjoyed this poem a lot. Your general interpretation fits it well, I think, though that wasn't the first thing to come to my mind. :p

        Your second poem is my favorite of the two. Much more simple and less cryptic, although I'm not familiar with the format. Keep up the good poetry! :3
        Thanks! I would be interested to hear what the first thing that did come to your mind was, though.
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          #7    
        Old April 2nd, 2011 (8:19 PM).
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          Quote:
          Okay then . . . I'll definitely take your advice on board. I haven't written much poetry before, so I'm pretty much a total newbie here. In terms of rhythm and rhyme scheme, I just go with what sounds alright when I read it out loud. Those extra words you mentioned seem to fit fine for me, but perhaps you're reading it differently . . . it's hard to tell, and there's probably no single definitive answer. In any case, I'll be more careful with that in future.
          Hey my word isn't concrete, either. I'm not much of a poet at all really and there are times where I do screw up reading something. It happens most often in poetry, go figure. I think you'll simply have to find someone else to read it to get a better judgment. It didn't detract from the poem as a whole, though. :3
          Quote:
          Thanks! I would be interested to hear what the first thing that did come to your mind was, though.
          It was actually a dying soldier who had lost everything, and was entrusting his country/patriotism to his still-living comrade. I don't know why I was under this impression, but I also got the feeling maybe he was attempting to commit suicide as well, probably because of this:
          Quote:
          That day draws near sooner than you know
          For me, at least, there is not long to go
          I'll let go of this world reluctantly
          Leaving to you the new possibility
          Quote:
          Even if it's now little more than a rag
          Tattered and torn, yet never defeated
          It's up to you to make sure the past's not repeated.
          It just sounded like an old man, probably a discharged soldier, who simply could not let go of his deceased family. I was completely off the mark, however. :p (I really should stop watching so many war/anti-war anime. *coughGundam*cough*)
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          Old April 2nd, 2011 (10:44 PM).
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          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Azurne View Post
          It was actually a dying soldier who had lost everything, and was entrusting his country/patriotism to his still-living comrade. I don't know why I was under this impression, but I also got the feeling maybe he was attempting to commit suicide as well, probably because of this:


          It just sounded like an old man, probably a discharged soldier, who simply could not let go of his deceased family. I was completely off the mark, however. :p (I really should stop watching so many war/anti-war anime. *coughGundam*cough*)
          But no, that's the beauty of it! Everybody sees the poem a different way and it's just amazing. I love your interpretation of the poem - there's no 'mark' to be 'completely off'. What I stated as my interpretation was just that - I have no greater ability to discern what my poem means than anyone else. That's my stance, anyway.
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            #9    
          Old April 20th, 2011 (1:24 AM).
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          Somewhere

          With a smile
          A transient wish
          Goes flying to the sky
          Silent, yet at the same time
          Resounding
          Above, an angel smiles
          Below, a dream comes true.
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            #10    
          Old April 20th, 2011 (2:52 PM).
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            That was very nice, short little poem you did. I liked it a lot!
            I doesn't rhyme, but I already know it's not supposed to. For being a brief, free-verse poem, it told it's message very well.
            Great job! :cer_smile:
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              #11    
            Old April 26th, 2011 (10:20 AM).
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            I have to say I love the first poem the best. I was reading it and most of it flowed very smoothly. I especially love the format you used for it. Poems that tell a sort of tale, I think, are difficult to pull off without having it sound too cluttered and etc, but I think you did beautifully.
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              #12    
            Old May 20th, 2011 (2:35 AM). Edited May 22nd, 2011 by Misheard Whisper.
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            Just a little something I cooked up this evening. As always, started from one line and built from that. A little whimsical/serious, fun/thought-provoking poem. Take your pick~!

            Contradictions

            I won't be your ghost.

            I'll follow you to the end of time,
            I'll watch over you,
            I'll be your shield and your sword,
            I'll keep you safe from harm,
            But I won't be your ghost.

            You can't make me follow you.

            I'll go along with you,
            I'll make sure nothing happens,
            I'll go anywhere,
            I'll do anything for you,
            But you can't make me follow you.

            What makes you think I love you?

            I'll throw you a party when no-one else cares,
            I'll throw down the gauntlet for you,
            I'll stand by you when everyone's gone,
            I'll show you what I can do for you,
            But what makes you think I love you?

            I can't allow myself to love you.

            I'll be the beacon that guides you,
            I'll be the wall you press your back against,
            I'll be the flame that warms your heart,
            I'll be the one who stills your panicked soul,
            But I can't allow myself to love you.

            Can you still not understand me?

            I've spent all this time watching you,
            I've been running in circles trying to help you,
            I've made a decision,
            I've said it to you so plainly,
            But can you still not understand me?

            Then I guess I have no choice in the end,
            So I'll say it to you loud and clear.
            "I cannot let myself love you, my friend,
            But I'll love you forever, my dear."
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            Old May 20th, 2011 (9:45 AM).
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              Very amusingly serious. ...Did I just put those to words together?
              Anyway, this one I really enjoyed. I like how this thing or idea cannot care for you, but still does good things. It's a huge contrast between what he claims and what he does.
              The flow is very smooth. I can read the poem from beginning to end without halt.
              Excellent job!
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                #14    
              Old June 3rd, 2011 (9:28 PM).
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              So this is the first in a series of poems that I'm writing. They are linked thematically, and nothing more. They will not be in the same format, meter, or tone. I probably won't even post them all in a row, rather dropping one every now and again.

              Related to that, I'll try to post a little more poetry in here than I have been doing. While I, as every poet, know that producing quality work takes time and writing one a month is perfectly acceptable - perhaps even a little fast - I will be the first to admit that I have been largely ignoring my writing in general of late - poetry or not. So I might be able to get a poem in here every couple of weeks, but again, I don't plan on rushing or working to a particular schedule. That's how bad poetry gets written.

              Regarding the poem below again, I understand that it may be a little stylistically different to normal. I was a little leery of it even as I was writing it, but I think I'll take the chance.


              On Cycles (I)


              Cautiously, leaf bends, tremulous
              And hesitant to touch ground
              Weight of water carries it down
              Sparkling, glistening droplet runs
              Smooth as silk of spiders.

              Splash, leaf arches back up
              Weight relieved, joyful to kiss sky
              But sky continues weeping
              Aqueous marbles of light
              Leaf bends again.
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              Old June 4th, 2011 (9:54 AM).
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                A nice little poem for any reader.
                A cycle is a great idea for poetry. And I'm eager to see more!
                It's cool how the first stanza describes one way of the cycle, and the next stanza describes the other way.
                Overall, good job! Keep going!
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                  #16    
                Old September 2nd, 2011 (4:12 AM). Edited September 2nd, 2011 by Misheard Whisper.
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                Thought I'd better put my PotW entries in here as well, for, uh, posterity? That, and just the convenience of having everything together. Also as something of a pretense at activity in the hopes nobody will notice that it's been nearly three months since I updated this thing. HOW.

                This poem was my first Poem of the Week entry - and incidentally, my first winner. The theme was time.



                Superior Semper

                Golden hands
                Ticking, spinning, turning, always
                Moving on, inexorably
                The clock won't stop, so why should we?

                Keep moving
                Running, pushing, working, always
                Looking ahead, never behind
                Looking for whatever we need to find

                Don't stop now
                Faster, harder, higher, better
                Time keeps flowing, so don't let up
                The only way to win is to never stop
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                Old September 2nd, 2011 (6:44 PM). Edited December 5th, 2011 by Misheard Whisper.
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                Next one was for the theme adventure, and it sure was a fun one to write. I enjoyed it immensely. (Note: this poem also won the contest.)


                Oak's Lament

                It's that wonderful time of the year again,
                When the wannabe Trainers come by.
                I give them a Pokemon each, and then
                They think they can touch the sky.

                Sometimes I question the wisdom of this:
                Is it that hard to see?
                That sending kids into the world like this
                Is kinda weird; or is it just me?

                So, off they go on their mad enterprise
                Just a Pokemon by their side
                I've got to ask, really: is it that wise?
                Remember little John Adams? He died.

                There was a great big cover-up on the TV
                They said he'd been hit by a car.
                But the truth of the matter is, you see
                It was something more sinister by far.

                He got involved with a gang, you see
                Called themselves Team Rocket, I think.
                Little Johnny did his best to make them flee
                For his trouble he got tossed in the drink.

                For how's a mere child to fend for himself
                With just a Pokemon or six?
                A couple of magical creatures won't help
                If someone hits you with a brick.

                But every year, I smile and I wave them on
                As they go on their merry wee way.
                I don't know if a kid and a Pokemon
                Is a team that can go all the way.

                But I keep my doubts to myself, for sure
                Because if anyone ever found out
                That I second-guessed myself, there'd be war.
                In this job, I've no room for doubt.

                So I wave them off with a heavy heart,
                Wondering if they'll end up dead.
                But in my old age, I can't tell them apart
                So I shrug and I go back to bed.
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                Old December 5th, 2011 (12:46 AM). Edited December 5th, 2011 by Misheard Whisper.
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                Sod you, double post-merging.

                Thirdly, the latest round's entry. The theme is blaze in the night, and the contest is still underway so I naturally have no idea of the results appears to have died, so I have no idea of the results.

                Background: I'd been meaning to write an entry for quite some time, but it never felt right. After finishing my Maths exam early yesterday, I had some spare time and paper, so I wrote it all out in one go, stuck it in my pocket and brought it home to type up.


                Crimson Dancer


                Someone is dancing,
                A vivacious delight.
                A flash of red on black lace,
                A blaze in the night.

                She leaps, twists and flies,
                A magical dance.
                The moment is now,
                An infinite chance.

                She steps, and you falter,
                Breath caught in your chest.
                You don't know what this is
                But you know it's the best.

                You watch, lost in time,
                As the dance starts anew.
                Though you're out of her sight,
                She dances for you.

                The light from without
                And the light from within
                Grow bright as you watch her
                Flow, leap and spin.

                Something magical's here
                And you know it feels right.
                But as you watch, it's the end
                Of your blaze in the night.
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                  #19    
                Old December 10th, 2011 (5:28 PM).
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                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Misheard Whisper View Post
                Somewhere

                With a smile
                A transient wish
                Goes flying to the sky
                Silent, yet at the same time
                Resounding
                Above, an angel smiles
                Below, a dream comes true.
                This is an interesting little poem that particularly caught my eye in this thread. I like the intentions I can see behind it - a very emotional poem if the context I'm seeing is right! It seems to me that "Goes flying to the sky" should have a full stop at the end to separate the wish being made and the wish being received by the angelic forces above? I also feel similarly where the word "Resounding" stands alone, once again separating ideas and adding a pause in the rhythm of the poem. Some beautifully complex ideas have been explored in this remarkably short piece, highlighted even more so by the use of words such as "transient" and "resounding" to push forward the ideas and wishes displayed in the poem. I think to improve, you should try and come up with a second stanza either after the current one, or half way through separating the two key ideas. Can't wait to see more of your work, I'll be reading the rest of the thread!
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