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Old 12-09-2012, 11:11 PM   #1
21wickwing
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The Story of Tommy Jones

Tommy Jones was a willful man;
A true, tried, and skillful man.
Tommy Jones was a fallen man;
A true, tired, and bawlin’ man.
Tommy Jones was a failure;
A failure over and over.
But Tommy Jones’s failing
Sent him prevailing.
Tommy Jones tried, and he tried.
And he grew tired and tired.
But Tommy Jones never quit.
Tommy Jones had grit.
Tommy Jones had wit.
And Tommy Jones had it.

Tommy Jones wanted to fly the Atlantic,
It was 1927 and he needed to do it quick!
Lindbergh was close to taking off,
Tommy was just 14 and it would be tough.
His father reminded him he had no training
His brothers teased and were mentally draining.*
Tommy knew he would succeed
And he would be remembered for the feat.
Tommy built himself an airplane,
Nobody watched, his efforts were in vain.
He took flight and celebrated!
Crashed in the rain, his hopes deflated.

Tommy Jones wanted to swim the English Channel
It was 1934 and in prime shape to excel
He trained in his blood, his sweat, and his tears
His muscles were working in full gear
His mother told him to play it safe
His girl was irritated and grew chafe**
But Tommy stood along the British shore
The crowd at the beach chose to ignore
And Tommy sprinted into the water,
He couldn’t wait to reach the French border,
And he believed and he hustled,
Not 1 mile in, he pulled a muscle.

Tommy Jones wanted to go to space.
He would give his soul to win the race.
It was 1957 and he built a rocket,
A rocket built to go into orbit.
His friends called him crazy.
His wife insulted him over tea.
He knew this was his mission,
His all too real vision.
And so, with nobody around
His rocket left the ground
As Tommy jumped for joy
The rocket exploded, poor boy

Tommy dreamed thoughtful, inspiring dreams.
He was old now, but his youth burst at the seams.
It was 1967 and Tommy knew what he would do.
He would travel around the world by foot.
He was alone, everybody saw him as loony.
Those at the bar thought he was goofy.
Nobody would know, nobody would care,
But Tommy Jones would do it, he could swear.
He left from his small town and saw Niagara Falls,
He passed Alaska and walked The Great Wall
He toured the Middle East and dined in Italy.
It was 1970 when he sailed to New York City.
It was a short walk back to his town’s bar.
His hair was long and he had a few scars.
Somehow, just somehow, they recognized him.
The crazy one returned to them.
And they hoisted him in the air.
They celebrated the affair.
Tommy did it!
The old man did it!

Tommy Jones died a happy man the next day
A journal of his life in his hands while he prayed
And the bar took on his name
His town worshipped who he became
They worshipped the successful Tommy Jones,
Forgetting they treated him as just skin and bones.
Tommy Jones became a hero.
And he’ll be a legend tomorrow.
Tommy Jones failed and he failed again.
He failed more than any man.
But that is why he succeeded.
And succeed, he did.


Originally
*His girl threatened to end this thing.
**His brothers teased him and grew chafe

Last edited by 21wickwing : 12-10-2012 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:05 AM   #2
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When i first saw that wall of text i didn't want to read it lol. However, the first few lines really captured my attention and the piece was really easy to relate to. Your switching between approximate rhymes and regular rhymes disrupted the flow and vision for me at times and I had to retrace my steps. This was most prevalent in the second stanza with "training" and "thing" because of the syllable mismatch. Once I figured out how you intended it to flow, It worked though, and i wouldnt change it.

Very uplifting story of defeat and eventual success. Doesnt require much thought and I usually dont favor poetic stories but I really like this.
First stanza remains my favorite.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:17 AM   #3
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Yeah man, I completely agree. I hate critiquing long poems! haha. But I also agree about the the "training" and "thing" part. I may change things around and have his brothers appear in that verse and his girl in the next verse because chronologically that makes more sense to me. This will also allow me to have a better rhyme there.

I have never exactly been entirely structured in my poetry. I am definitely very loose and will not abide by the rules of my own poems. I try to limit that though.

Thanks for the critique man. I am glad you enjoyed it!

EDIT: I made the aforementioned changes.

Last edited by 21wickwing : 12-10-2012 at 01:24 AM.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:31 AM   #4
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I like the changes. Another thing that i feel really helps the piece is your use of vocabulary. You really nailed it there, and it did alot to set up the time periods.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:48 AM   #5
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I quite enjoyed this. I don't know what to tell you, this is a solid piece and you obviously knew what you were doing. My only strife with it is the content. What does this say about you? How do you relate? You weren't in here, Tommy Jones was, but not you. I enjoy something more when the author is in.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:07 PM   #6
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Thanks guitarkid. I always wanted to write a poem about what it means to succeed but I could never find a way to make it powerful enough really. I haven't written a poem in at least half a year so I am glad my first poem in a while was quite good. I suppose you could say Tommy Jones represents me because I also have failed time and time again and people believe I am weird for being so risky but I am also going to succeed. My roommate told me "you are the type of person who would drop out of college and then grow up to change the world." That is the same thing Tommy Jones would do. So I guess my connection is the mentality. Tommy Jones's mentality is also my mentality.

Thanks for the critique! I am glad you enjoyed it!
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:12 PM   #7
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For me, a powerful poem is achieved with the most powerful emotions driving them. Also having a personal connection and experience with the topic.. Hate, Love(lust), and depression work better than dislike, like and sad. Feel me? A truly depressing poem comes when a person is truly depressed and puts that to words. Try to work with emotion, with what you feel, and not what other want to hear.

Last edited by SilentProtest : 12-10-2012 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:25 PM   #8
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Hm, I agree with that, SilentProtest, and maybe that is why this was the first poem I wrote about success that I even felt comfortable posting here. I actually wrote this because I am in an entrepreneurship class and he told us to describe what we learned in an imaginative way. So, I certainly used my passion to translate the fact that failure was needed for success. I firmly believe in this and that is what my class was all about. I think I did have powerful emotions riding behind this although I do not know what emotion exactly. This was a form of self-expression of my desires, my passions, my beliefs, and my personal life-story. I wanted to translate this.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:29 PM   #9
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I would try to hone or get "in touch" with your emotions through introspection and only write about what your feeling when you write. When your happy and you try to write a sad poem, it just doesnt work, well at least not for me.
Hope this helps.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 21wickwing
Thanks guitarkid. I always wanted to write a poem about what it means to succeed but I could never find a way to make it powerful enough really. I haven't written a poem in at least half a year so I am glad my first poem in a while was quite good. I suppose you could say Tommy Jones represents me because I also have failed time and time again and people believe I am weird for being so risky but I am also going to succeed. My roommate told me "you are the type of person who would drop out of college and then grow up to change the world." That is the same thing Tommy Jones would do. So I guess my connection is the mentality. Tommy Jones's mentality is also my mentality.

Thanks for the critique! I am glad you enjoyed it!

But that wasn't in the poem, and it should be really.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:40 PM   #11
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always refreshing to read a piece like this. hope you stick around.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:03 PM   #12
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Thank you synth! I appreciate it. I tend to stick around for as long as creativity resides in me. When I get to the point where I start forcing poems to happen I take a break from poetry because they are just awful. It's like my creativity is a turbo boost, then it runs out and I need to take a break for it to restore again haha.

Thanks for the other crits too, however I think this particular poem serves better detached. Tommy Jones certainly represents myself but I am still telling his story. I think I am in there emotionally with him but I don't think I should pour myself into it and I should remember this is his story. I may write another poem soon that will be more emotionally attached so stay tuned I suppose haha.

Again thank you to everybody for the critiques

EDIT: I think I may make a new one called The Story of Timmy Fenn (my name is Tim Fenning) which will have more emotional connotation to it and you guys can see that one.

Last edited by 21wickwing : 12-10-2012 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:16 AM   #13
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I thought the story of it was great. It's cool to put an Everyman into big parts of history, in a sort of Forrest Gump syle. I felt some of the rhymes were a bit forced, particularly the training/draining line. Other than that though it's a nice piece
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