#1
NEW VERSION:

autumn’s ashes

“my dear love”
not one prone to exaggeration
I read each of her words
as a pure and beautiful truth
“if you are reading this
I am dead”

I crumpled up the note
and threw it into the fire
watching it dance and curl
as the cleansing flame
removed her words from the earth

I watch the ashes carried up the chimney
only to be caught in winter’s barren breath
and dragged into the decay of autumn
I wonder if God is watching,
and remembering, as I am,
a night not unlike this,
when the first of the flames caressed
her soft skin
and wiped the last of the tears
from her eyes.


OLD VERSION (for those still interested - mainly for comparisons sake)

autumn’s ashes

“my dear love”
not one prone to exaggeration
I read each of her words
as a pure and beautiful truth.
“if you are reading this
I am dead”

I crumpled up the note
and threw it into the fire
watching as it faded,
the cleansing flame
removing her words from the earth.

outisde,
winter rushes in with knife raised,
and barren, icy breath.
the decay of autumn rots the air;
and the single white rose,
all that's left, now withered and old.
not even my tears
can nourish the earth
and feed
her ashes.
Last edited by kdownes at Jan 26, 2009,
#2
No comments yet? okay, ill go.
First off, title reminds me of a band "from autumn to ashes"... theyre not very good


and threw it into the fire
"on the fire" instead of into.


thats it.


This was very solid. i really like you;
#4
Sam: you're right, they aren't very good and i'm pretty sure its "into". "On the fire" makes me think of something on top of something, while "into" actually makes you think of inside something. he threw the note inside the fire, flames curling around it etc. I owe you a heap now Sam, you need to let me know when you got something new up.
#5
Quote by kdownes

outside,
the trees whispered her name
a forest, a graveyard
the rotting decay of autumn filling the air
winter rushing in with knife raised
and cold, lifeless breath
the single white rose,
now withered,
all that’s left
not even my empty tears
can nourish the earth
and give life to
her ashes


That stanza. Come on. I know you can say that better. The emotion comes through, but it could do so so much more.
There's only one thing we can do to thwart the plot of these albino shape-shifting lizard BITCHES!
#6
autumn’s ashes

“my dear love”
not one prone to exaggeration
I read each of her words
I'd like some grammar. Is your dear love not prone to exaggeration, or is the character? I understand from the next line it's her, but it's confused at the moment
as a pure and beautiful truth
“if you are reading this
I am dead”
I crumpled up the note
and threw it into the fire
watching it dance and curl
Sounds like you're caught up in fancy imagery for no reason. Throw a crumpled up bit of paper into a fire, does it dance? No. It does curl, though.
as the cleansing flame
removed her words from the earth

outside,
the trees whisperedwhy past tense, considering you're in present tense a few words later? her name
a forest, a graveyard
the rotting decay of autumn filling the air
winter rushing in with knife raised
don't like that image. Just personal preference.
and cold, lifeless breath
the single white rose,
now withered,
all that’s left
not even my empty tears
Why would your empty tears nourish anything? Both in realistic terms and poetical terms. It's the word 'even' that makes this odd
can nourish the earth
and give life to
her ashes

As you can see I'm a stickler for realism, personally, . Even if you're not I think there's something to my comments about it.

I didn't particularly like this to be honest, i've liked othesr by you much more.
On vacation from modding = don't pm me with your pish
#7
I'm in agreement with Katherine. That stanza was sloppy, and my main complaint was the lack of periods turning it into one big pile of images. It could have a lot more coherency. Honestly, the expressions themselves were good enough, but I think the stanza could be tightened up tremendously.

Stanza one was solid, but nothing tremendous. It was essentially the intro to stanza two, in my mind.

Still, solid work.
#8
The first verse was very nice. Although in the second it felt as though some of the imagery was empty,

"the rotting decay of autumn filling the air
winter rushing in with knife raised"

...I loved that line.
#9
ninjamonkey: I'm going to work some punctuation into that stanza, thank you.

freshtunes: sorry, forgotten your name again. What imagery did you find empty?
#11
thanks Nick. I never liked that first one, but it creates the subtle rhym with breath/left that i like. I'll probably toss it anyway. and you had to say my fav bit is empty, didn't you? THat's the only two lines i really like in this piece. What makes them empty? maybe i can tweak them somehow
#13
I think the main issue everyone is finding is that there is such a huge break in teh stanzas... between narration techniques. The way you opne this draws on such a strong, cynical, and honestly a bit over the top but believable character. The "not one to exaggerate" thing built a whole character for me... and then you jump into this herky-jerky almost standardized poetry. It has no character; no life; no personality. Following something so distinct and unique; the second stanza is just another tree in a forest of images. Go back and reconstruct that whole section; breathe some life into it. You've built a 3d world and then stuck us with a watercolor picture to describe what you're telling us about. Give us some dimension and let the character come through in the narration. Otherwise I'm afraid the second stanza will still be a let down and this will remain a mediocre piece of work with a decent idea and a shitty frame.
#14
thank you. that's what has been bothering me, the fact that this reads almost lie two pieces stuck together. The problem is i can't find where i was at when i wrote the first stanza so i'm having difficulty carrying it. I'm really not sure what i can do with this piece, or if i like it enough to re write it.
#15
This is two seperate pieces. The first is original and evokes more than enough thoughts for the reader to chew on like a fat cow. And I really enjoyed it. But the second one is just cliched.
I hate reading the same "whispers" bullshit that I see in so many pieces. I can see it's relevance, but to be honest, I'm more in favor of less-is-more in this situation - particularly recently. And I just wish this had more impact. Condense the one or two ideas from the second and remove the not so good ones from the first.
I don't need to lay those out because you're talented enough to know those yourself. If you must know them, I will mention them at another time.

- "watching it dance and curl"
- This is cliched. It's exactly what anyone would first write when talking about paper burning in a soft flame.

The ending is sweet and tender.

- "winter rushing in with knife raised"
- This is oddly phrased, like the second line - except I'm actually growing to quite like that one - I'm not sure I like this one, on the other hand. The obscurity doesn't seem to add anything prosperous or new to the piece.

- "and cold, lifeless breath
the single white rose,
now withered,
all that’s left"

- Why is "cold" breath? Why can't it be something more interesting?

This is okay. Not what I like to read, though. Too drifting and airy-fairy.
#16
Thanks Dan. I've taken everything everyone said under consideration and have rewritten this. Hopefully it's a bit better now.
#17
i think this is really good. its very deep. could u crit my song fear like hand grenades. its in my sig
#18
Sorry to interfere with your thread Kyle but I want to say something, if you don't mind. famous1234, don't give crap crits and then ask for one in return. I'm tired of people doing that.
That is all.

Oh, btw, I kind of actually prefer the older version.... ha!
I'll read this again tomorrow to see if I still think the same.
Last edited by AngryGoldfish at Jan 19, 2009,
#19
Quote by kdownes

“my dear love”
not one prone to exaggeration
I read each of her words
as a pure and beautiful truth.
“if you are reading this
I am dead”

I crumpled up the note
and threw it into the fire
watching as it faded,
the cleansing flame
removing her words from the earth.
I thought this stanza came off very fake. It felt wordy and overbearing. You put emotion into it, but it clearly wasn't what you were feeling at the moment. It's written in a very calculating manner, very unnatural. Or so it feels to me. I hope you see where I'm getting at. You have to tap into the emotion better to make this really hit the spot.

outisde,
winter rushes in with knife raised,
and barren, icy breath.
the decay of autumn rots the air;
and the single white rose,
all that's left, now withered and old.
not even my tears
can nourish the earth
and feed
her ashes.
I liked this part much better. It felt more intense, but as many said it was a bit too much of a different leap from the previous stanza. I thought the first part of this stanza was a bit too descriptive and could have been balanced more throughout.



Yeah, this was a bit of a mess, but in all honesty I see a lot of good things that can come out of it. It happens to me sometimes, I write something that is so all over the place that I don't know what to do with it. However, you shouldn't be afraid to take parts of it and rework them into different pieces, especially if there are parts you think you can develop or better.
This is not a pipe
#20
I'm so confused over this one, i really don't know what to do. Half the people like the first stanza, the other half like the second. I personally like the second. I think im going to try and work the first one more like the second.
#21
Quote by kdownes

“my dear love”
not one prone to exaggeration
I read each of her words
as a pure and beautiful truth.
Let the reader discover this for themselves. Give them the feeling that it is pure and beautiful. If you instead went with something along the lines of "I read each of her words carefully" and just left it at that, it would be much more meaningful.
“if you are reading this
I am dead”

I crumpled up the note
and threw it into the fire
watching as it faded,
the cleansing flame
Corny. This alone almost ruined the first stanza for me. To correct though, if you're so inclined, I would just remove the line and leave the rest as is.
removing her words from the earth.


outisde,
*outside
winter rushes in with knife raised,
and barren, icy breath.
I like this line, but the "knife raised" one doesn't give you much to picture, making the imagery a little muddled here.
the decay of autumn rots the air;
Now going back to autumn after that harsh description of winter is an uncomfortable transition.
and the single white rose,
First of all, when you say 'the' it implies we are familiar already with the object you're referring to. An 'a' would be more appropriate if just introducing it. Now that leads to though, where did the rose come from? It seems like you've just pulled a cliche out of nowhere just to have it in there, and I'm curious why. I see what you're trying to say and I like the rose/old rhyme, but in the last half of your last stanza isn't the time to be introducing new elements from metaphor land.
all that's left, now withered and old.
I'll repeat, I did very much enjoy the rhythm here.
not even my tears
can nourish the earth
and feed
her ashes.
The line break was unnecessary. Reads better all at once "and feed her ashes".



As far as that part goes those were just some small things to be tidied up, they didn't have too much overall effect on my enjoyment of the piece. What I do feel prevented me from getting into it was the lack of something really tangible. The emotion was a basic 'sad' and we know why, but we can't feel why. What made her so special, how did that make him feel on a deeper level (we get the initial sad then a mention of tears later, but the rest is just a flurry of metaphorical emotions that don't hold solidly to his character).

There needs to be some sort of deeper character development, or some new idea rather than 'she dies, he cries, the weather changes'. It's been used and thrown in the dumpster behind the bar. Make the characters real to us, make the emotions real.

Hope that helps some.
-Jake
On the eight day we spoke back...

let there be sound.
#22
Sometimes it's fine to go with what you believe you want to do. Not what you think is more accurate and ground breaking writing, but what you insist is a perfect encapsulation of you and your style.
Also, for me anyway, if there is such indecision concerning a piece, I just leave it and move on. That's a very personal, defeatist attitude to have and I wouldn't recommend it.
#23
Quote by kdownes
just found this one. no idea when i wrote it, but i figured i'd post it. c4c etc

autumn’s ashes

“my dear love”
not one prone to exaggeration
I read each of her words
as a pure and beautiful truth.
“if you are reading this
I am dead”

I crumpled up the note
and threw it into the fire
watching as it faded,
the cleansing flame
removing her words from the earth.

This is still gorgeous. It has such an air of sheer confidence that your words are absolute truth and at the same time shows all the fear of a child breaking the rules on purpose. There is something so perplexing built into this... and honestly... I think I wish you would just stop here. Make it a short of some sort. It builds so much, so intensely; that the second half would have to be phenomenal to not be a let down.

outisde,
winter rushes in with knife raised,
and barren, icy breath.
the decay of autumn rots the air;
and the single white rose,
all that's left, now withered and old.
not even my tears
can nourish the earth
and feed
her ashes.

And this wasn't phenomenal. It's still just standard. Well written... but that's it. You didn't capture a distinct mood... you didn't create pointed content that is both concrete and not concrete like you did up there. I know other's have preferred this stanza... and I can see why; it is pretty. The words flow; the images dance and linger; and there is a single point at the end. But lets compare; in the first stanza I can count 4 separate points that build both character and story line; simultaneously, without ever giving any definite "story." You created two characters; painted a vivid scene; stroked both cynicism and romanticism on the chin; showed a powerful use of a quirky voice; and still managed to evoke an emotional "wow" out of me. The second stanza is images... it's a painting; which definitely has its place... but a well done painting will never be as expressive as a well done film... painting has more limitations.


I still love the first stanza... and I still feel like you haven't written a second stanza that does it justice. Separately, they are wonderful... though very different from one another... but together; it just feels like you took a complete piece and tacked on another because it wasn't "long enough."

As far as what you should do with it... that comes down to which do you "prefer" and where do you want the piece to lead. I'd say leaving it be and salvaging for parts or letting each be a stand alone piece could work. The parts don't really depend deeply on one another... honestly I can read one without the other and find a meaning and completeness... so yeah.
#24
hey! I've read this through a bunch of times and in my opinion although maybe drastic is that you should keep each stanza separate and work on them individually. They are both well written but I think they don't connect together well, i think the vibes I get are totally different in each stanza.
I think the first stanza is good, I think the writing is quality here but I think it's a bit too over dramatic. It's obviously a heavy theme, but I just think it's dressed up a bit too much for my liking. But, it really is well written and I think you should try and expand on this stanza or just knock off the second one.
I thought the second stanza had very little to do with the first stanza, but again it was well written. I thought this stanza lacked a bit of a "human element". It was really descriptive but I just thought it lacked a bit of a feeling.
I'm probably not making much sense, both stanzas are well written, I think the first is better even though it's not totally too my liking - which doesn't really matter!
I think like some people have said is too take the stanzas separately and work from there.

Also, if you have time could you please take a look at my first piece on here called "floaty".
I'd just like a bit of a critique on it because I haven't really had much proper feedback, thanks!
#25
Thank for the crit on mine first of all,

& I really liked this poem. Mostly the imagery used on the second stanza. Don't think I would change anything it sounds very good. Nice job, I like the title too.
#26
Finally, I have rewritten this piece. Kept the old one in the post though. If I still owe you a crit, drop me a PM.
#28
My God, I think i've finally written something you like, Zach. I'm glad you like this, i'm finally happy with it.
#29
Quote by kdownes
NEW VERSION:

autumn’s ashes

“my dear love”
not one prone to exaggeration
I read each of her words
as a pure and beautiful truth
“if you are reading this
I am dead”

I crumpled up the note
and threw it into the fire
watching it dance and curl
as the cleansing flame
removed her words from the earth

read the old first, and the correction of the third to last line was already made and is muhc better. Thouhg the last line is the same, I feel its uneeded, the three lines before it already say this. just "into the fire" says it.

I watch the ashes carried up the chimney
only to be caught up in winter’s barren breath (would remove "up" in this line)
and dragged into the decay of autumn (didnt like the carried to dragged, seems likeopposing images)
I wonder if God is watching,
and remembering, as I am,
a night not unlike this,
when the first of the flames caressed
here soft skin (here?)
and wiped the last of the tears
from her eyes.
(you can do better for an ending)


Overall it was a good improvement from the old to new, and a quick enjoyable read with some nice images that does make it feel like the cold end of autumn. I dont think Ive ever posted on any of your works but I have been reading them all a few months now so I must say this is far from your strongest. had to do this quick, I leave work here at 6. hope that helped and thanks for your suggestions on mine, they are appreciated.
#30
Zach has always liked your stuff, Kyle. Well, he did nominate you for WotM.

This is good. It was good before. That said, it still retains a sense of floatyness, which I am not overly keen on. But it does compliment the piece and makes it quite moving and emotional.
There is very little to add in terms of nitpicking, but as a whole, I think you need to be more gritty. Write like this, but through in a curve ball that smacks the reader in the face. Something that really shows that you care about what you are writing and that what you are saying is not just a fleeting feeling (which coinciding with the distant and dreamlike way you wrote the piece)

Well done for keeping up with this and improving it so much.
#31
Thanks Dan. I agree with what you're saying, but i don't think the grittiness would work with this piece. It needs to be light and floaty, like the ashes on the wind. If this was to gritty and down to earth, it would ruin the feeling.

I've given it a quick edit and fixed a couple of typos