#1
Not posted here in years...hopefully I'll do a load of critiques and get some decent advice in turn. C4C, as is customary, and I WILL return it with a detailed, long crit. Anyways, tell me what you think.

Heres Yr Ptolomea

"I' son quel da frutta del mal orto
che qui ripendo dattero per figo"


I have dined on things you wont believe are real
there were streamers in her hair,
the eyes that gesture toward the door
and I'm sure somebody has left the gas in here on,
say you need a cigarette
a glass of water,
I've a lighter, I'm sure

The air is sharpening cold out here,
yellow from the streetlight hits your hair
I need a drink, I need another
then the slow and fumbling nervous for each other overcoming
to the sound of running water
as the glass overflows

We'll eat with white sheets over our heads
we'll eat drunk birdsong songbird flesh
and its the last meal we will have together i swear

I am an orchestra alone, my skull a surdo drum,
the ribs a hollow xylophone, and finger violins
to scratch away the melancholy tones, and pluck
the asphodel, the root of which I feast upon
alone there is no unrequited, no
there is no unrequited
#2
Quote by Cacophonaut

Heres Yr Ptolomea

"I' son quel da frutta del mal orto
che qui ripendo dattero per figo"


I have no clue what this means ahaha but it sounds good

I have dined on things you wont believe are real
there were streamers in her hair,
the eyes that gesture toward the door
and I'm sure somebody has left the gas in here on,
say you need a cigarette
a glass of water,
I've a lighter, I'm sure

The way this was written is odd, and choppy, but i get what it's saying. The imagery is great, I can see a female walking in the door pretty much drop what they were doing and succumbing to her every need. I like this stanza a lot and I feel like you did a great job with it.

The air is sharpening cold out here,
yellow from the streetlight hits your hair
I need a drink, I need another
then the slow and fumbling nervous for each other overcoming
to the sound of running water
as the glass overflows

Once again, the imagery is great in this as well. I am confused on where the first two lines came from though, maybe i'm not seeing this the same way you are but i don't get it. But the last three, are fantastic i love how the nerves cause mistakes such as filling up a glass to an overflowing state.

We'll eat with white sheets over our heads
we'll eat drunk birdsong songbird flesh
and its the last meal we will have together i swear

I like these three lines, although i'm confused to how it got to the last meal? Could you possibly explain, i'm interested to hearing how you got this.


I am an orchestra alone, my skull a surdo drum,
the ribs a hollow xylophone, and finger violins
to scratch away the melancholy tones, and pluck
the asphodel, the root of which I feast upon
alone there is no unrequited, no
there is no unrequited

Wow. I have nothing to complain about this last stanza, I can see the transformation of the body parts, changing to these instruments and playing the sounds of a lost life. This last verse is just fantastic. A great job.



I hope I could help to the best of your need. Overall, it is very poetic in the devices you used and how you used them in unethical ways that seemed right.
#3
Quote by Cacophonaut

"I' son quel da frutta del mal orto
che qui ripendo dattero per figo"


I don't know what this means so... yeah.

I have dined on things you wont believe are real
there were streamers in her hair,
the eyes that gesture toward the door
and I'm sure somebody has left the gas in here on,
say you need a cigarette
a glass of water,
I've a lighter, I'm sure

You should probably throw a semicolon or some other punctuation after the first line; the jump to the second line, in terms of both imagery and sentence structure, is too wide and momentum-crushing. It doesn't read right. Also, this is just personal preference, but I would split the fourth line into two lines.

The air is sharpening cold out here,
yellow from the streetlight hits your hair
I need a drink, I need another
then the slow and fumbling nervous for each other overcoming
to the sound of running water
as the glass overflows

I personally don't like "yellow" here. Yellow tends to bring to mind a bright and joyous color; streetlights are kind of a warm, soft yellow-orange, or even just "streetlight". Though if you really want to keep "yellow", you could rearrange that line to say "and the streetlight yellow hits your hair". By separating "yellow" from "streetlight" and putting it first, you're creating the wrong yellow. The third line is a bit redundant; normally it would be ok, but the subject matter and generic language ("drink" and "another") make even twice more than enough. I'm also not what the fourth line is describing.


We'll eat with white sheets over our heads
we'll eat drunk birdsong songbird flesh
and its the last meal we will have together i swear


Don't know about "birdsong songbird". I think it just doesn't make enough sense to pull off the creativity.


I am an orchestra alone, my skull a surdo drum,
the ribs a hollow xylophone, and finger violins
to scratch away the melancholy tones, and pluck
the asphodel, the root of which I feast upon
alone there is no unrequited, no
there is no unrequited


Add a period onto the end and this is stanza is perfect.


I thoroughly enjoyed this. I can tell that you've been writing for a while. This is very very good; many of the parts I critiqued were just personal preferences.
#4
Quote by Cacophonaut
Not posted here in years...hopefully I'll do a load of critiques and get some decent advice in turn. C4C, as is customary, and I WILL return it with a detailed, long crit. Anyways, tell me what you think.

Heres Yr Ptolomea

"I' son quel da frutta del mal orto
che qui ripendo dattero per figo"



i have no clue what this says so im skipping it

I have dined on things you wont believe are real
there were streamers in her hair,
the eyes that gesture toward the door
and I'm sure somebody has left the gas in here on,
say you need a cigarette
a glass of water,
I've a lighter, I'm sure

good first stanza, grabbed my attention nicely

The air is sharpening cold out here,
yellow from the streetlight hits your hair
I need a drink, I need another
then the slow and fumbling nervous for each other overcoming
to the sound of running water
as the glass overflows
around the 4th line you begin to lose me a little was nervous supposed to be nervousness? good stanza regardless

We'll eat with white sheets over our heads
we'll eat drunk birdsong songbird flesh
and its the last meal we will have together i swear

I am an orchestra alone, my skull a surdo drum,
the ribs a hollow xylophone, and finger violins
to scratch away the melancholy tones, and pluck
the asphodel, the root of which I feast upon
alone there is no unrequited, no
there is no unrequited


There really isn't much wrong here. Good job
#5
Quote by Cacophonaut
Not posted here in years...hopefully I'll do a load of critiques and get some decent advice in turn. C4C, as is customary, and I WILL return it with a detailed, long crit. Anyways, tell me what you think.

Heres Yr Ptolomea

"I' son quel da frutta del mal orto
che qui ripendo dattero per figo"


Awesome, yeah I agree with those lines. I assume they are Elven.

I have dined on things you wont believe are real
there were streamers in her hair,
the eyes that gesture toward the door
and I'm sure somebody has left the gas in here on,
say you need a cigarette
a glass of water,
I've a lighter, I'm sure

I don't like the 4th line. "left the gas in here on" is terrible. "left the gas on in here" seems better. 'On' is just in the wrong spot

The air is sharpening cold out here,
yellow from the streetlight hits your hair
I need a drink, I need another
then the slow and fumbling nervous for each other overcoming
to the sound of running water
as the glass overflows

I don't like how you allude to her hair twice in back-to-back verses while it is not a central theme to the poem. It just seems redundant. And it is in the second line in both too. I would say look for something else to allude to. It may make this verse more powerful.

We'll eat with white sheets over our heads
we'll eat drunk birdsong songbird flesh
and its the last meal we will have together i swear

It is odd. I had to double-take on "birdsong songbird" but I really like that one. Clever. Take out the "I swear," it is more powerful without it I think...maybe put in an ellipsis for visual effect...I dunno just thoughts of mine.

I am an orchestra alone, my skull a surdo drum,
the ribs a hollow xylophone, and finger violins
to scratch away the melancholy tones, and pluck
the asphodel, the root of which I feast upon
alone there is no unrequited, no
there is no unrequited

O man, this last verse is an amazing one. This verse is an A+ and the rest are B's. If you made every verse as powerful as that, you would have a publishable poem.


I honestly do not know how you can make the other verses as good as this last one without stripping them to the bone and rearranging them completely. However I did enjoy this read and the last verse blew me away. It was an average poem then it suddenly felt like Edgar Allen Poe finished it off. Good job though, well done.

Oh and thanks for your crit. It was one of the best I ever received...I just wish I could be as much help to you.
#6
Thanks everyone, some really helpful points. I should maybe add a few things about the piece just for future reference. It is meant to be sung, there is a pretty strictly defined metric arrangement to it all so a lot of the comments about changing lines around "left the gas in here on" / "left the gas on in here" are damn impossible because they totally throw off the rhythm. Aside from that I agree with a lot of what you've said, and most of the criticisms matched my own opinion on the weak points it has.

The epigram is latin, from Dante. It roughly translates to "I am he of the fruit of the bad garden/and here I am given a date for a fig". The line is spoken in the poem by Fra Alberigo, who in Dante's vision of hell resides in Ptolomea, the region of the Ninth Circle devoted to those who betray guests. There is a good reason for all this.

The opening line and third stanza is an allusion to the french delicacy of Roasted Ortolan, a meal of great cruelty and barbarity, now illegal, which traditionally is eaten with a napkin over one's head. I found that image conveniently transferable to the whole idea of sleeping with someone you shouldn't: hence "eat with white sheets over our heads".