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  1. Thinking

    Minellis'Vertigo Member

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    Big eyes blue,
    steely and removed.
    A whirlpool of witch-hunt
    coming for you.

    Tangeled thoughts
    make all unclear.
    You're only modest
    when you have fear.

    qwertyportne New Member

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    Some poems are more about How does it mean? than What does it mean? Poems like that can be fun to read but difficult to understand. James Dickey said, "Words go together in zillions of ways -- some ways go shallow and some go deep." I prefer words that go deep, that ask me to dive in. But not so deep I can't reach the meaning without deep-sea diving equipment rigged for the Marianas Trench. Is "Big eyes blue" the target of the witch hunt? Or the one stirring the pot? What does s/he fear? Why? Probably just me in one of my brain-dead moods when even a completely lucid poem couldn't penetrate my skull.

    But I liked your first stanza better than the last. Too much telling, the usual result of using abstractions in an unskilled way. Words are only handles to carry the idea of something to our readers, not the thing itself. No I am not one of those show-don't-tell poets. We should show and tell. But the reader will know when we've done a poor job at either. Or both. So I'd recommend you give us a word picture of arrogance going down as fear comes up. Direction is one of the elements of sight, something that would help your readers to visualize the abstract ideas of modesty and fear. Please note that I have suggested arrogance rather than modesty as the opposing direction to make it easier for your readers to visualize the juxtaposition of fear and arrogance.

    Tangled thoughts don't mesh well with stuff brewing in a pot. That stuff is swirling and whirling, not getting tangled up. Tangled thoughts imply confusion, not fear. I'm probably way of base from what you are trying to do here. Not even sure you mean a pot stirred by a witch, because you say witch-hunt. But something is whirling around and witches usually do that sort of thing, so I can see the hair on the neck of "Big eyes blue" (if s/he is the target) standing up in terrified resonance with bat hair being tossed into that pot. Or thoughts swirling around in "Big eyes blue" as a reflection, a mirror of the stuff whirling around in the pot. Kind of like muddy water but more dangerous? Perhaps the persona is looking into the pot, getting hypnotized? Or becoming terrified because the stuff swirling around is amorphous, undefined. If a tiger is coming at you, you pretty much know what's going to happen. You can see its teeth and its claws. But crap whirling around in a pot? What's going to happen? Am I going to be boiled alive? Changed into a frog? What? We are always more fearful of things we can't see, understand or define clearly, like shadows on our tent or silence or a fork in the road. Or boiling pots. Aaaaah! What is that? Which way do I go? Why doesn't it say something? And when it does will it growl or grant me a wish?

    The title is the first line of a poem. It should be as carefully crafted as the rest of the poem, perhaps more so because if it doesn't pull your reader in like a magnet, you risk losing the reader to somebody else's poetry. I recommend you rethink your title. It just isn't anywhere as good as your first stanza.

    Probably over-thought your poem but if you find anything of value, it's yours. You may not have even posted it for critique. How should I know? The moderator won't even answer my question as to where we should post free verse poems. Maybe a witch should come after me...

    Bill
  2. Thinking

    Minellis'Vertigo Member

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    Hi Qwertyportne,
    Thank you so much for your generous and thoughtful reply. This poem started out much longer, but recently I have been toying around with it. To be honest I was putting to music trying to make a song with it, I was thinking "less is more" - But I think I deducted too much!

    I feel the trouble I have sometimes is forgetting that the reader doesn't live inside my head. I tend to be vague and somewhat distant in my descriptions, not giving everything away, which is a shame because the poetry that I most admire and relate to most is upfront and clear.

    This poem wasn't coming from any strong visual place, it was more of a symbolic piece about someone I know. 'big eyes blue' is at the brunt of the witch hunt. With the whirlpool imagery I was trying to describe a witch hunt that sucked in everything in its path, that the odds were being stacked blue eyes. I was trying to portray a sense of mounting hopelessness in the face of a mounting opposition.

    The final stanza comes from a more personal understanding and frustration of a person in particular. In the wake of this hardship they show (what is generally elusive to them) humility, not from a genuine place but a fear of being burned or humiliated again.

    I hope this gives you a better understanding of where I was coming from and what I was trying to get across. I might revise the longer version and post it. Thanks again for your feedback I really appreciate it. This type of insight of how my poems are perceived is a great help.


    Extra note: Maybe uncertainty , as oposed to unease, is a better title? Both myself and the subject of the poem are uncertain.

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