Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top


Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 06-22-2020, 05:59 AM
W T Clark W T Clark is online now
New Member
Join Date: May 2020
Location: England
Posts: 57

Hello John Riley,
Firstly, excuse me if this critique is by anyway not up to Eratosphere's standards, though I am a member of other such poetry forums on different boards, this is my first critique on the sphere.

So, down to the poem.

I enjoyed it as a whole, and will focus my critique on your revision, as I think that it is basically superior to the other draft.
There is nothing particularly wrong with the free verse stanzas you have chosen, but I wonder if a set rhyme scheme would work in the poem's favour. At the moment upon repeated rereadings the poem's language, especially its line endings, strike me as highly musical, juxtaposed to the poems subject matter. I wonder if a rhyme scheme would crystallise this, in a similar way that Hopkins rhyme scheme gives a more traditional opposition to his sprung rhythm in The Windhover.

Secondly, I think you missed a trick with "born". Have you considered using the verb "borne" instead? You probably have a good reason for keeping "born", but in my mind "borne" is a more interesting lexical choice, and sonically can be taken somewhat as a pun, in the way that it enigmatically suggests two alternatives, whereby when read aloud, the listener cannot tell whether you mean "born" or "borne".

Also, in the first stanza, I feel that the penultimate line is somewhat misplaced. Although I do not know where else to place it in the poem per sé, I feel that it at the moment distracts from the "not the bluebird's sky", which at the moment feels to me like a good enough phrase to end a stanza on.
Similarly, the final line feels redundant and I would advise deleting it. It's not that it is badly phrased, but that it strikes me as an afterthought: only placed there to fill out the word count; in my mind the poem would not decline if it were removed.

I agree with other commentators that "planets" should be reduced to a singular, however I also think that you should end two lines (not one) on "spin[s]", to better create the rotating effect. I do appreciate the "eye" and "by" in the final lines and how they imitate the adjective "soft".

Hope this helps.
Reply With Quote
Unread 06-22-2020, 11:15 AM
maggie flanagan-wilkie maggie flanagan-wilkie is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: devens, ma, usa
Posts: 422

I really like this, but would prefer a cleaner read in the first stanza which I think can be achieved with an m-dash after sky and a comma after irises.
Probably not what you intended, but I just pleased my ear. Maggie

The sky born between
a bluebird's green hops
is not the bluebird's sky—
bluer than blood irises,
that sky does not exist.
Reply With Quote
Unread 06-30-2020, 08:18 AM
John Riley John Riley is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,225

Thanks, W.T. and Maggie for reading and commenting. W.T., I think your critique is insightful and is surely worthy of the Sphere. I will copy it and paste it into the poem's notes. Maggie, I think your revision of the S1 is great and I am using it.

Thanks again to both.

Reply With Quote
Unread 06-30-2020, 09:51 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is online now
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Staffordshire, England
Posts: 3,581

Hi John,

I've been neglecting non-met recently, to my shame, (merge the boards! Haha) but I wanted to say how stunning I think this is. It's an ultra-vivid painterly splash of a micro and macro cosmos.
Reply With Quote
Unread 06-30-2020, 01:10 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
Join Date: May 2013
Location: England, UK
Posts: 3,690

Hi John,

I think the shift from 'lays' to 'sweeps' is a good one, and resolves my previous nit. I also like Maggie's suggestion. That em-dash in her suggestion could also be a full stop or semicolon, I think.

Reply With Quote
Unread 06-30-2020, 01:35 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,225

Thank you, Mark and Matt. I'm delighted you like the little poem, Mark. I agree the changes have improved it, Matt.

I want to point out how much this poem improved due to the critiques I received. I'm very grateful.

Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right

Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 8,089
Total Threads: 20,015
Total Posts: 254,367
There are 112 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right

Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online