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November 7, 2013
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i found the lost boys under the sink again,
their eyes boring as dark as a stygian night.
black ink tallies were scrawled on their arms --
an imaginary clock ticking life away in place
of the years they weren’t growing.
they reach their hands out to me,
beckoning, whispering the mantra
“be our mother again, again, again...”

but it was your words that echoed in my mind:
even pixie dust isn’t strong enough
to help me fly anymore.
somewhere in neverland.

This is an entry for `dreamsinstatic's Poetry Screams Contest. if i'm not too late.

The prompt I chose was: "The Ones I've Lost."
I also used a prompt from #skinnywords: lost memories between the sofa cushions.

How impactful are the first lines?
Do all the references make sense?
Can it be considered minimalist?
Do the last lines leave you with a 'bang?'
Overall?

#Glory-Be-Project
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:iconshadowedacolyte:
Hi, I'm here to critique this piece for CRITmas! I also saw this piece on the November Critique Thread on the dA forums under Literature (I couldn't post on the locked thread that I was leaving a comment but that's how I ended up here). First, the disclaimers: 1) this critique is only my opinion, which you're free to heed or not as you like; 2) the critique will be more negative than positive, but only because it will naturally touch on things I like about the piece but more extensively discuss the things I don't, 3) please don't be upset about the stars--I'm very stingy with them, as I think a work that is all around solidly done and enjoyable to read is a 3, and 4) I'm exceptionally long winded, so this will be unnecessarily long.

First off, thank you for putting questions in your artist's comments! I'll tackle those first, then move on to anything I have to say that wasn't covered there.

How impactful are the first lines?

The first line is an excellent hook, a mix of metaphor and reference that suggests the poem will be going places. The second line, though, is very weak--dark eyes is an overdone image, and the classical reference of "stygian" is overwrought (and poor, I think--this isn't about forgetting to me, it's about reliving). The third line lies in between the two.

Do all the references make sense?

I believe so. There are some that I don't see as references ("imaginary clock ticking life away" doesn't seem like a reference as much as an archetype).

Can it be considered minimalist?

I don't think so, not by the definitions I've seen floating around. I'm neither a supporter nor a huge fan of minimalist poetry, so I am the wrong person to ask, but the minimalit group doesn't take anything over 4 words.

Do the last lines leave you with a 'bang?'

Yes. It's a very solid ending to the piece, and it evokes a fantasy cliche darkly and well. I don't much like the addition of "you" (previously not present in the poem), but the last two lines are heavy with emotion.

Overall?

I think this poem needs a bit more context/clarity/concrete detail. I'm not saying it needs to be fully clear, but the emotional content needs to be more clear. I can't decide if the superficial subject of Peter Pan's followers is really about child soldiers, vampires, the 100 innocents, runaways, miscarriages, memories, dreams, or something else entirely. I'd like to be able to narrow that down a bit more.

Other things: the title seems weak to me, because the banality of "sofa cushions" doesn't fit well with the deep, rich, dark emotions in the piece itself. I suppose that treating people like discarded coins is a point you might want to preserve, but the title doesn't seem to be the best place to do that. S1L2 (Stanza 1, Line 2), S1L4, and S2L1 are all weak compared to the rest, which are very strong. I think that "beckoning" is a little melodramatic (and redundant after "reach their hands out to me", and the small text is a weak choice--the repetition alone will convey the needed emotional intensity.

Thanks for sharing your work, and if you have any question about my thoughts, I'd be happy to discuss them. Have a great day!
What do you think?
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:iconstygianwolf:
StygianWolf Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014  New member Hobbyist General Artist
Stygian night?
Reply
:icondrippingwords:
DrippingWords Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014  Student Writer
That's mostly a reference to the character Nico in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson novels, because his sword is made from Stygian Iron, which is black.
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:iconstygianwolf:
StygianWolf Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014  New member Hobbyist General Artist
Good. You know the meaning, thank god.
Reply
:icondrippingwords:
DrippingWords Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Student Writer
I wouldn't have used it if I didn't know what it meant, haha. :)
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:iconrosaryofsighsx:
RosaryOfSighsx Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014
I love love this :heart:
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:icondrippingwords:
DrippingWords Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014  Student Writer
Thank you very much! :heart:
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:iconphan5everx2:
Phan5everx2 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
The first lines are impactful, but maybe "I found the lost boys again, under the sink"? Idk it just flows better for me, the references are amazing, I think this is minimalist, the last lines are great, overall amazing
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:icondrippingwords:
DrippingWords Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2013  Student Writer
I'll think about it, but rearranging the words would interrupt the flow, in my opinion.
But thanks for the input! :heart:
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:iconlady-yume:
Lady-Yume Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013   Writer
Ohmyword. I lovelovelove this! I wanted to copy in my favourite line, and discovered I'd just end up copying-and-pasting the whole thing. Beautiful, hon~!

:heart: :+fav:!
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:icondrippingwords:
DrippingWords Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013  Student Writer
Awwwwwwww. You're too sweet! :heart:

Thank you so much for everything.
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