#1
Humbled and weary,
the artist steps back
into candid gravity.
She wipes her brush
like a butcher cleaning the remnants
of malleable souls
from a blade;
though he carves life, you know.

He works in layers;
he works in harmony
with the orange-clad
sculptors of concrete and asphalt.

They build arteries,
breathing life into tar
and tar into their lungs
like the chain-smoking,
well-groomed
businessman.

He says he transcends.
While others create and
tear to the ground,
he shifts and balances,
though at the end of the day
he has nothing to show
but nicotine-stained fingers.

I know he longs to
transcend for real;
disappear with the artist
as she picks up her
weapon of choice
and steps off the ground...
Last.fm


"Art is always and everywhere the secret confession, and at the same time the immortal movement of its time."


Last edited by UncleRemus at May 16, 2011,
#2
Really good. A great way to explain something really simple in an esoteric way. The way I read it, it's about pretentiousness in the art scene, people trying to be another Jack Kerouac or Henry David Thoreau but instead just going through the motions, which strangely, I was just thinking about. "He has nothing to show/ but nicotine-stained fingers" is a good line to show this.
As for any real criticism, I have none except maybe be more descriptive... this makes the poem more endearing, like instead of "nicotine-stained fingers", maybe describe the stains, if the poem allows it.
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#3
cleans her knife like a butcher wiping a blade? this simile is silly, and the line "from a blade" is awkward on it's own to me.

also, I think the jump from the artist to the male counterpart is a little forced and could be done better. if you keep it the same I think there should be a semicolon before "though he carves life, you know".

the rest is pretty cool. I like the ending.
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#4
Quote by rebelmidget
cleans her knife like a butcher wiping a blade? this simile is silly, and the line "from a blade" is awkward on it's own to me.

also, I think the jump from the artist to the male counterpart is a little forced and could be done better. if you keep it the same I think there should be a semicolon before "though he carves life, you know".

the rest is pretty cool. I like the ending.


That simile should be "wipes her brush", I didn't even notice that typo despite reading this over a few times before posting but I'll edit it now. Thanks for catching that

Last.fm


"Art is always and everywhere the secret confession, and at the same time the immortal movement of its time."


#6
Quote by rebelmidget
aaaahhh, much better.


That did look pretty silly before. May as well have read "wipes her knife like a knife"
Last.fm


"Art is always and everywhere the secret confession, and at the same time the immortal movement of its time."


#7
I can't be sure if this is what you were trying to get at, but I interpreted much of this as attempting to see the unity of all people of all walks of life. You connect these different people through the similes: the artist is like the butcher who works in harmony with the construction workers, and they are like the businessman who wants to be like the artist. The last stanza is what trips me up because it makes me think that you're saying that although these people are very much the same, the creation of art transcends them all somehow, that the artist can transcend the laws of life and nature (that "gravity") when she is creating. as you put it, she is able to "step off the ground" and do things that are above and beyond the works of the butcher, the construction workers, and the businessmen.

Basically, I thought this was really well-written but I'm having trouble making out its meaning. I'm sure that speaks more to my deficiencies as a critical reader than to yours as a writer but let me know if I'm anywhere near the ballpark on this one.
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#8
That's a pretty good interpretation, actually. You're right about the meaning being a little muddy, though.

Last.fm


"Art is always and everywhere the secret confession, and at the same time the immortal movement of its time."


#9
this is nice. I think you could spruce it up though. the first stanza is a bit heavy - lots of loaded words together in a way that doesn't quite roll without effort. I think both the first stanza and the poem in general could do with a bit of a trim and be made a little lighter when read aloud - some breathing space, yeah? hope it's of help.
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#10
I see what you mean, I think I was focusing more on articulating the theme and didn't really put enough thought into making it read well. I'll try and make it a bit lighter, thanks for the advice.

Last.fm


"Art is always and everywhere the secret confession, and at the same time the immortal movement of its time."