#1
Friend to a Weak Memory by Danny W.

Old age is not the intellectual friend you hope for.
He is feeble and arrogant believing simply that
looking for long enough earns him experience;
means he will actually find something – he hasn't.

I met him while I was travelling and he took me in.
The simple and modest room in which he lived
seemed to be a study of his clean-shaven chin.
It was no more the truth than his attractive reflection.

I routed for his confidence, as it gave me my own,
but it was shallow, like the skin that now folds over
his emotionally shrivelled heart and ridged mind,
one that I borrowed from and now secretly miss.

I wish that, as my horse gasps for breath and water,
I will realise that tiredness and weakness is certain,
that his vanity will not be challenged by a passenger,
whipping and taunting, feigning everlasting youth.



I might be submitting this piece for the Community Webzine. Let me know whether there should be any changes made before I submit it, or whether it's even worth it as a community piece.
#6
I loved the first line One of my pet peeves is people thinking they're intelligent and know what they're talking about because of their age. If you're an idiot, you're an idiot. Living in a shitty town your entire life does not grant you worldliness, O wise one.

Anyway, it's a decently nice piece, but I don't love it. Sorry to say so, because this is the first piece of yours I've ever seen.

#7
Hey man, I really liked this. I can't really critique poetry because I suck at it, but I really enjoyed reading it.
#9
Old age is not the intellectual friend you hope for.

I liked the clarity of this
He is feeble and arrogant believing simply that
looking for long enough earns him experience;

All things considered, these lines make the reader want to read on, to try to find out why
means he will actually find something – he hasn't.

use of 'word phrase of certainty' 'he hasn't' here, I'm not sure if I like it, because it's a sort of a strong judgement, even just taken by itself. Maybe Id see sth like 'has he?' or I was thinking if using colloquial lang, 'innit?', or something more along the lines of a tiny change. If so, the first part of the line would stay nicely.
I met him while I was travelling and he took me in.
The simple and modest room in which he lived
seemed to be a study of his clean-shaven chin.
It was no more the truth than his attractive reflection
.
I did like the storytelling aspect of this, and the clean-shaven chin line is not bad, but the use of 'it was no more the truth', makes you think that you went from houseguest to somebody close to the old man, with an aquaintance relationship with the 'old man' for a number of weeks, months, so you would know enough about him to know the 'truth' about anything about him, rather than just having been a traveler, who crashed on the guy's couch for a night or two. If you're just a traveler, you don't know enough about the guy to know any 'truth' about him.
I routed for his confidence, as it gave me my own,

can't help but think of 'rooted' at first, then i wonder which meaning of routed you mean. didn't realize it meant 'riot' or 'mob' or 'a company' or a fashionable gathering, all nouns, or to rummage or dig with snout (verbs), so aside from the obvious meanings of retreat/defeat, which don't make sense, the only other explanation was

(entry nu. 3 on the free dictionar):
rout·ed, rout·ing, routs Chiefly British
To bellow. Used of cattle.

that right? otherwise, I would suggest word change here.
as it gave me my own,

I really liked this part because it kind of introduces a '2nd perspective' of the writer, like there is distance from the 'old man', and there is an empathy (respect, understanding, siding with, etc.) for the 'old man', especially since you were 'bashing' him in the first stanza It's another reason why I liked the last line of this stanza so much (one that I borrowed from and now secretly miss.) - because of this sort of '2nd perspective'.

note: I just said 'bashing' above, and maybe a little bit of what I mean, is perhaps what is meant by 'judging'. The 'old man' here is kind of judged to have been a failure at life. Of course, as the title states, '..Weak Memory', that's of course what this is about. Be that as it may, the parts of this I most enjoyed, were the parts that showed not just the old man's 'failures', but that the writer 'sides' with him with this '2nd perspective'.
like the skin that now folds over

(see below) -So, after having taken in the poem more closely, I stay with my original thought that I didn't like this imagery, and perhaps word 'skin' could be taken out, and 'folds over', and be a little less 'medical textbook', if you know what I mean..
((I originally wrote this, and then went on, and saw that you mentioned the word 'vanity', and so the following does not exactly express how I now feel, but anyway, maybe you'll get something from it):
I didn't quite like too much the imagery this line gave me, one- It makes you think of vanity, and it seems gratuitous (not sure if that's the right word, exactly) that it seems the writer is trying to express emotion of some kind here, and stepped over the bounds (trying too hard), (unknowingly/unbeknownstly (is that a word?)) into vanity. Whatever the object protagonist has done or not done throughout life, that he has wrinkles from old age is mostly not his fault. If, on the other hand, you're talking about how, like alcoholics look after 40 years of boozin, this line doesn't quite make it. Perhaps such an 'expression' would need more than 1 line, auf jeden Fall.. Im ende, I'd prob suggest phrase change.)
emotionally shrivelled heart

I didn't care much for this, here. using 'shrivelled' is a dead giveaway, bit clishei. and using 'emotionally' just gives it away, when another word could mean the same thing, some things that come to mind 'brown heart' 'heart left on the porch' 'his heart he guesses keeps beating', 'his sealed up tight heart' 'lazy and obnoxious heart' (all these assume the usage of 'heart'), usw. Something along those lines, anyway
one that I borrowed from and now secretly miss.

this is an example of what I really liked about this piece, this line was good, and esp works as the last (of 4) in the paragraph (stanza?).
I wish that, as my horse gasps for breath and water,

this is a line that I especially wanted to get to after I read this the first time, the reason being is an alternative came to mind immediately. instead of 'as my', try perhaps, if u like, 'like a horse that'. It came to me kind a strong. but as per usual, alles ist im Butter!
I wish that, as my horse gasps for breath and water,
I will realise that tiredness and weakness is certain,
that his vanity will not be challenged by a passenger,
whipping and taunting, feigning everlasting youth.

with the previous above taken into consideration, I really like this ending. liked it. the 'that his vanity' line, again, it sort of looks at the 'old man' from the 2nd perspective, that he's proud, somehow, not necessarily just that he's stupid (maybe that was just what you meant, that he was dumb? If so, I see this second sort of meaning in here, naturlich fyi). I also really liked the wording in this line, flow and usage. 'whipping and taunting', although very ambitious verbs, work here. Probably be a difficult task as well the last part of the last line, very strong.

one overall though, impression, that I could give, would be to say that when I read this the first time, then again yesterday, I was looking forward to giving it a once through today, instead of anything in or that near the wince range. And to me that's a lot right there I guess I could say, were I to be so inclined to do so
Last edited by parkt921k at May 22, 2011,