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  #1  
Old 04-15-2018, 09:25 PM
burton beerman burton beerman is offline
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Location: bowling green, oh
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Default A Valentine

commercial cards
of pomp and glitter
frilly colored black print
blood-red hearts
and cardboard phrases
are not for a princess
let the peasants fight in check out lines
for empty words
your smile
fragile lips
and sex-filled walk
speak for themselves
I have been blessed
for a lifetime
and have no way to repay you
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  #2  
Old 04-16-2018, 07:45 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Dear Mr. Beerman,

First, you have a great name. I'm jealous.

Second, your sincerity comes through very strongly in this poem, and I like it.

Third, I would suggest revising and shortening slightly this piece.

Genitives of description (i.e. "of pomp and glitter") are considered in most instances bad style (unidiomatic and a hold over from forced-rhyme poetry). I would suggest inverting the construction: "the pomp and glitter of commercial cards."

You say both "empty phrases" and "cardboard words". The second is more interesting and I suggest you use only that.

The poem hints at a class system with which I am not entirely comfortable, but I do like: peasants=mass-produced hallmark cards; royalty=sincere artisanal sentiment. I mean, at least the aristocracy is superior for a real aesthetic reason.

The several lines leading up to "I have no way to repay you" create problems for the poem it were best to avoid: "speak for themselves" (shouldn't a valentine involve speaking to the "you"? Isn't "blessed for a lifetime" too mawkish to be endured? Isn't it the very hallmark card sentiment rejected above?). I suggest that you leave them out.

If you were to revise this piece, I would suggest something like:

frilly colored black print
pomp and glitter
of commercial cards
blood-red hearts
are not for a princess
let the peasants fight
in check out lines
for cardboard phrases
your smile
your fragile lips
your sex-filled walk
I have no way to repay you

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 04-16-2018 at 07:47 PM.
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  #3  
Old 04-17-2018, 01:41 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
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Hi Burton,

I think Aaron has some good suggestions. I'd just add that this seems like a long way round to go for not giving someone a Valentine. Though at the end of the day, I guess the poem is precisely that, so the lady gets a Valentine after all.

Cheers,
John
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  #4  
Old 04-17-2018, 11:21 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Oh Mr. beer man,
Come over here, man.
My day was total crap.
So what you got on tap?

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 04-17-2018 at 11:30 AM.
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  #5  
Old 04-18-2018, 06:06 PM
burton beerman burton beerman is offline
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very thoughtful and most importantly, helpful.
thank you very much.
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  #6  
Old 04-19-2018, 01:04 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
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This is really bad. Though if I'm missing the grand scheme of things, I can't say I'd be surprised. If really I am, I think you need to make clearer that this is a boy in high school dealing with love angst. Peasants etc. My lord.

Fragile lips...speak for themselves is quite nice.

JB
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  #7  
Old 04-19-2018, 02:05 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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This sounds a bit like the type of thing a husband says to himself when he forgets to buy the card for his wife. The assumed superiority stated in social-status terminology is off-putting and silly. I mean, where the hell can you find peasants these days?

As a poem, I'll say Aaron is being very generous. I don't think that is doing you a favor. It's particularly painful that you mock "cardboard phrases" on cards and follow that up by calling the wife "a princess" who doesn't need "empty words" because she has "fragile lips/and sex-filled walk." This isn't real.

I suggest moving on to another poem.
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  #8  
Old 04-19-2018, 06:18 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
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I agree with John Riley, but also suggest that before moving on to another poem you offer up some crits of poems others have posted. This is a two way street. You put up your poems - you get some advice - and you comment on others. The Guidelines spell it out well. You've posted two poems this year (anything prior to that has been deleted), received some time-consuming and helpful reactions, and haven't offered a word of criticism of anybody else. (Did I offer a similar comment a few years ago? The name seems vaguely familiar.)

Last edited by Michael Cantor; 04-19-2018 at 06:20 PM.
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  #9  
Old 04-19-2018, 07:11 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Also, to second Michael, it makes your own poetry better to crit others. It forces you to contemplate poetry more concretely and articulate more directly what you think works. The last three crits have, perhaps, been harsh. Aaron was kind. This poem needs work. But engaging with poetry more broadly on the site will only help.
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