#1
Four thousand six hundred and sixty three starlings gather together,
preparing in unison in the gloomy dusk to retire for the night.
They twist and turn and traverse the heavens
with unheard of grace and celerity.
They dip, dodge and dive
across the graying sky,
slip, slither and slide,
their lithe form gliding through the scanty clouds.
There is never a collision,
never a mishap, never a quarrel
as four thousand six hundred and sixty three starlings crisscross the sky,
and wings beating in perfect conjunction like one singular heart create a surreal woosh.

Four thousand six hundred and sixty three people have died
because we all read the same book and interpret it differently.
We blow each other’s heads off because the voices in ours tell us to,
and we all continue to follow the advice of the same damn self-help book.
Every thirteen minutes, someone dies in a car collision.
A small bump into a stranger on the sidewalk can turn into a shouting match,
and in a little country to the south there is white hot anarchy brewing.
All over a little green plant.

I wish I was a fucking bird.
Today I feel electric grey
I hope tomorrow, neon black
Last edited by Ganoosh at Sep 13, 2009,
#2
Whew. I liked this piece a lot. A few things I didn't like:

Quote by Ganoosh
They twist and turn and traverse the heavens
with unheard of grace and celerity.


If you group three words together, they either have to be completely different types of descriptions, or exactly the same. (Like your dip, dodge, and dive line 2 lines down) You can't have "twist and turn" and "traverse". I'd like it a lot better if you wrote "Twisting and turning, they traverse the heavens." That maintains the alliteration you were quite obviously going for, but sounds better. And I personally don't like "and... and". You aren't Steinbeck.

I also don't like "unheard of...". Had you said "heretofore unseen" or something like that, fine. But "unheard of" is not bueno IMHO.

Also, it's "lithe forms".

Plus, I dislike the last line of the first verse.

That's it. Crit mah sig, boy.
#3
I really enjoyed the topic.
I was expecting a different tone, but this was nice.

I think I would have to agree with mamosa about the twist and turn parts, and seemed a bit too repetitive with the ands.

theres also a lot of loaded language which I'm not really sure if i like or not.
But overall it was good.
#4
Four thousand six hundred and sixty three starlings gather together,
preparing in unison in the gloomy dusk to retire for the night.
Great. 4663 makes it sound so cool.
They twist and turn and traverse the heavens
with unheard of grace and celerity.
I agree with mamosa with these lines.
They dip, dodge and dive
across the graying sky,
slip, slither and slide,
their lithe form gliding through the scanty clouds.
There is never a collision,
never a mishap, never a quarrel
as four thousand six hundred and sixty three starlings crisscross the sky,
I liked crisscross.
and wings beating in perfect conjunction like one singular heart create a surreal woosh.
This line is just too long, and I don't really like "woosh"

Four thousand six hundred and sixty three people have died
because we all read the same book and interpret it differently.
We blow each other’s heads off because the voices in ours tell us to,
and we all continue to follow the advice of the same damn self-help book.
Every thirteen minutes, someone dies in a car collision.
Although I liked the repetition of "book" (and I tend to dislike repetitions), the way you repeat dies (died/dies, basically the same, you know what I mean) is too straightforward. I prefered if you used a metaphor or euphemized what you say in this line.
A small bump into a stranger on the sidewalk can turn into a shouting match,
and in a little country to the south there is white hot anarchy brewing.
All over a little green plant.

I wish I was a fucking bird.
This last line kind of ruins the piece, it's just not up to the rest of it.

As you noticed, I barely nitpicked, because I believe this was really good. Had a style very much of its own. I'm not sure if I agree with the line breaks but I suck at breaking lines, so I don't deserve to say it enjoyed reading it, enjoyed its message. This peace is a victor.
#5
Four thousand six hundred and sixty three starlings gather together,
I'm trying to think of the significance of 4663. Maybe it's just an arbitrary number
preparing in unison in the gloomy dusk to retire for the night.
They twist and turn and traverse the heavens
with unheard of grace and celerity.
They dip, dodge and dive
across the graying sky,
slip, slither and slide,
their lithe form gliding through the scanty clouds. I loved the assonance here between slide, lithe, and gliding
There is never a collision,
never a mishap, never a quarrel
as four thousand six hundred and sixty three starlings crisscross the sky,
and wings beating in perfect conjunction like one singular heart create a surreal woosh.
I feel there could be a better word to use besides "woosh". I thought everything up until that word was building up a lot of momentum, and then "woosh" sort of deflated my sails

Four thousand six hundred and sixty three people have died
because we all read the same book and interpret it differently.
We blow each other’s heads off because the voices in ours tell us to,I liked this line. I thought it was pretty clever and it had a lot of bite to it
and we all continue to follow the advice of the same damn self-help book.I wasn't a fan of the repetition of 'book' here. Moreover, I felt the use of 'damn' came across as a little angsty. Unlike the preceeding line, there was no sting to this line. It felt empty
Every thirteen minutes, someone dies in a car collision.
A small bump into a stranger on the sidewalk can turn into a shouting match,
and in a little country to the south there is white hot anarchy brewing.
All over a little green plant.
I thought this was too blunt. I couldn't feel the intensity that these topics deserve. It wasn't translated through the words. This is just my opinion, however. I also failed to see the significance of the car collision when the other two examples you use involve violence and tension. A car collision in it's most basic form doesn't really conjure up those images. I might be reading it wrong though

I wish I was a ****ing bird.
The jury's still out for me on this. On the one hand, I liked the tone of it. That almost resigned, about-to-give-up, hands-in-the-air, etc. tone. Then on the other hand, I think you gave away too much here. You implicitly expressed this same sentiment in your first two stanzas without this line and I just think if you took it out or put something less explicit in its place, your readers would still take away from the piece what you wanted them to take away

Overall, I thought there was a lot in this. I thought the idea was great as was your first stanza. The second stanza, I think, could use some reworking. After editing, I think this has the potential to be a really good piece.
here, My Dear, here it is
#6
Thanks for the crits.

To clear some things up,


The significance of 4663 is that it is(from an unreliable source) the number of people who have died in religious conflicts in the middle east since 2000. It's not an exact number at all, because I didn't have the inclination to dig too deep. So it's really only significant in the second stanza. I use it in the first stanza to illustrate how many birds there are(obviously), as I couldn't think of a better way to do it. So I just went for the repetition.

As for the contrast between the two stanzas, the second one was supposed to have a blunt, I-give-up-on-humanity kind of feel. Maybe I overdid it. The car crash further elaborates on the fact that the birds NEVER collide, ever(this is a fact). They somehow fly in perfect coordination. The idea was that these thousands and thousands of birds gather together peacefully all the time and never have any type of conflict, yet humans kill each other for stupid ass reasons and can't even drive a car for thirteen minutes(also a fact)(with lines on the road) without running into another car. And the last line I felt tied the whole idea together. It might be a little blunt and simple, but meh. If I think of something better, I'll maybe put it in there.


Also, the repetition of book has significance in case you didn't catch it. And since it has significance, I'm not going to find a roundabout way of saying book when I can just repeat it. If the two lines had nothing to do with each other, I wouldn't have repeated the word.


Thanks a bunch for the crits, I owe you guys.
Today I feel electric grey
I hope tomorrow, neon black
Last edited by Ganoosh at Sep 14, 2009,