#1
(C4C)

"The Sound of White"

Two burlap sacks, heavy with sand
and soaked with daily rain,
swung from the drainpipe
above our front door.

The weight of their presence,
coupled with a constant whistle
like a distant train that ran
through cracks and gaps
between the window panes,
left a sinister sense
of collapse within the old home.

Back when the typewriter still worked,
his sharp keys
would drown it out for hours.
Other times,
the sound of a blank canvas
could be deafening
as paint dripped down the walls.

Lately,
all I hear is white,
and it is damp, rolling density.

Today the sky shines
in a stark and strange contrast;
billowing dark clouds to the east,
barely a sun left in the west.
The wind mills
in the wheat grass across the way
stop turning
and I walk two miles
despite impending rain
to buy
flowers.
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If I'm not raw, I'm just a bit underdone.
Last edited by Svetlova at May 27, 2011,
#2
Wow, I really like this. I love mood and atmosphere in poetry and I feel like that's the strongest part of this piece. It jumps around a bit in focus from stanza to stanza but everything feeds into an overall atmosphere, everything sort of built on that feeling and while the ending was hardly dramatic, it was a nice juxtaposition of buying flowers with the bleak emptiness that the rest of the piece develops. There is one word in the entire piece that I would take out or change and that is "daily" in "soaked with daily rain". I wish I could offer a technical reason for why that doesn't sit well with me but sometimes something just doesn't feel right, ya know?

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


#3
Quote by Svetlova
(C4C)

"The Sound of White"

Two burlap sacks heavy with sand,
soaked with daily rain
swung from the drainpipe
above our front door.

Already, this is giving a dusty, worn-down kind of tone. My one nitpick here is that I feel like there should be an 'and' between 'sand' and 'soaked' but that's just personal preference.

The weight of their presence,
coupled with a constant whistle
like a distant train that ran
through cracks and gaps
between the window panes,
left a sinister sense
of collapse within the old home.

This stanza carries the tone set by the first, fleshing it out beautifully. I like the simile in line 3-5; it sets strong imagery. The use of the word 'home' is a very interesting contrast to the otherwise dark imagery and word-use.

Back when the typewriter still worked,
his sharp keys
would drown it out for hours at a time.
Other times,
the sound of a blank canvas
could be deafening
as paint dripped down the walls.

I adore the last three lines of this stanza. My only minor nitpick is the repeated usage of the word 'time' in the third and fourth lines, though that's another issue of personal taste.

Lately,
all I hear is white,
and it is damp, rolling density.

I'm not sure I understand the grammar in the last line. I believe you meant 'its' rather than 'it is'. Great word choice otherwise.

Today the sky shines
in a stark and strange contrast;
billowing damp clouds to the east,
barely a sun left in the west.
The wind mills
in the wheat grass across the way
stop turning
and I walk two miles
despite impending rain
to buy
flowers.

Great ending to a wonderful piece. Two tiny nitpicks: I'm not fond of the word 'damp' to describe the clouds; it feels a bit too obvious. Second, I'm not sure of the line break between 'buy' and 'flowers' as it seems to disturb the otherwise beautiful flow.


This piece is absolutely gorgeous. I'll definitely be adding you to my mental list of people to watch out for around here. Loved it.
#5
I really dig the style that is on display here. kind of brash and you can feel the load of life that people probably felt in the past quite easily here. I honestly wouldn't mind seeing it continue on for even further impact, for I feel it ends too abruptly for the flow of the piece. But up until that point, quite stunning.
#6
i liked how with the first two lines, it could take place either fifty years ago, or five hundred.. then 'rain pipes' and you know then its closer to fifty, and still as satisfying as a five hundred.

I liked 'daily rain', you get the feeling its a sort of a cyclical type weather spell, and also not sure if this takes place in America or somewhere else in the world, which is cleared up later, and when realized (i.e. train, typewriter, wind mills, wheat grass) gives the idea of daily rain from some weather fluctuation (because the us no have rainy season) more immediacy, as though crops are failing, food is low, usw.

'above our front door' is great imagery.
like a distant train that ran
through cracks and gaps
between the window panes

wunderbar
left a sinister sense
of collapse within the old home.

this added to the idea that not's all well and easy, and where I agree with ^ in 'you can feel the load of life that people..felt..'
Back when the typewriter still worked,
his sharp keys
would drown it out for hours

gives an idea of 'how long its been raining'
Lately,
all I hear is white,
and it is damp, rolling density
.
just wow. I really likes the use of 'it is' the way you have it here. and 'density', real good word here, don't know how to explain what you did grammatically, but it conveys more here than many a normal noun or verb would.
Today the sky shines
in a stark and strange contrast;
billowing dark clouds to the east,
barely a sun left in the west.

Really good continuation/deepening of description. I like how you use 'shines', in relation to a sky that's almost all storm clouds. One thing, word 'stark', didn't really like, seemed an 'freerider' off of word 'contrast', whereas the word 'strange' is very cool here. A strange contrast. Never heard that before and I like it, and how it describes all black clouds east and 'almost' all black clouds west, with a bit of sun yet.
The wind mills
in the wheat grass across the way
stop turning
and I walk two miles
despite impending rain
to buy
flowers.

It's like the girl here knows so well the 'calm before the storm' (i.e. 'stop turning'), that she measures it by that she has enough time to walk there and back. You can almost see the wheat grass crop becoming more still during this 'calm', marking the start of the countdown of how long the girl has before it starts storming hard (again).

personally I about admired your line break between 'buy' and 'flowers', but I've already written too much. I liked it, writing you can get 'a bit lost in' while reading it and thinking about it for a charm turn.
Last edited by parkt921k at May 31, 2011,
#7
Why isn't this WOTW? It's the best piece on the first three pages. Seriously this is basically flawless. A few instances of passive voice make it a bit wordy but other than that it's fantastic.
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#8
I am terribly sorry, but I cannot critique this in a way that is satisfactory for both you and I.
I'm no good at it at, and a couple of other people have done seemingly comprehesive "crits" already.

However, I will thank you for posting the piece, it was fantastic, thank you for commenting on my piece, and I will look forward to reading some more of your work.

POMPOSITY OVER!
You take my place in the showdown, I observe with a pitiful eye. I'll humbly ask you forgiveness, a request well beyond you and I.
#9
I've been really busy the last two weeks and haven't been reading very much, but when someone suggested this one, I thought I'd set aside some time and read it.

It's amazing. The second verse is a perfect example of using nothing but the assonance of a few simple words to create intensity and delicacy, all at the same time. Wonderful!

We gave you a little treat, by the way.
#10
Thank you, thank you. It's very encouraging, because I haven't been writing much at all lately due to a bit of a block. The other day I just forced myself to sit down and write something, and this is what came out. Glad you enjoyed it.
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If I'm not raw, I'm just a bit underdone.
#11
Two burlap sacks, heavy with sand
and soaked with daily rain,
swung from the drainpipe
above our front door.

After reading through the whole thing, I've come back to this and I wonder if the personal pronoun is really necessary. the importance of the sacks, the burden hanging, is not so much in that they are 'ours' because your tone implies they are yours already. So I wonder if 'the' might be more appropriate.

The weight of their presence,
coupled with a constant whistle
like a distant train that ran
through cracks and gaps
between the window panes,
left a sinister sense
of collapse within the old home.

'weight of their presence' is redundant to me. what is the source of the constant whistle? i like the imagery of the train that ran, but because I don't know where from it sparked, it feels like I've gone off in another direction, taking my focus off the burden - and then, finally, it comes back around, and because the derailed train image was more intense than their presence, I'm wondering which left the sinister sense in the home - the train, or the sacks' presence. 'within' in the last line has a formal tone to it, which one doesn't usually associate with their own home, where they would be comfortable, if anywhere, to bear those burlap sacks.

Back when the typewriter still worked,
his sharp keys
would drown it out for hours.
Other times,
the sound of a blank canvas
could be deafening
as paint dripped down the walls.

I know you lead up to it in the next stanza, but I'm not sure the 'would drown it out' works yet. I'm thinking 'drowns what out?' when I should have an image in my mind of ______ being drowned out. It mentions the sound of a blank canvas - well, what sound does a blank canvas make? What does it sound like?

Lately,
all I hear is white,
and it is damp, rolling density.

...And here you tell me. I need to know these things earlier so I'm not thinking 'what the hell is going on' when I should be swimming with that sound of white surrounding me in hydrogenoxygen drapery. Timing is everything, and here the clarity comes far too late for me to care what happens later. As for the words here, I'd lose the 'and' to solidify the statement. say what it is afterward. Well done.

Today the sky shines
in a stark and strange contrast;
billowing dark clouds to the east,
barely a sun left in the west.
The wind mills
in the wheat grass across the way
stop turning
and I walk two miles
despite impending rain
to buy
flowers.

'across the way' is fluff. Your mentioning of the windmills (read: one word, unless you mean that the noun (wind) verbs (mills)) makes them real, and I'm assuming you're not Don Quixote running up to the mills and attacking them. The reader assumes their distance, and that's okay. 'despite impending rain' - I'm at odds with this line. I like that the rain is not yet here, but those five syllables complicate all the beautiful and simple ideas going on around them.

This is a good poem with too passive a tone for your subject. The formal tone disconnects you from your subjects - I don't believe you carry this on your shoulders. By the end of the poem, I wonder if you're on the same subject as the title, whose subject plays a relatively insignificant role for such an all-encompassing title obviously asking to be defined, or at least explained, by the poem. To that end, it fails.
#12
Thanks for great crit. You pretty much pointed out all the sneaking suspicions I had about this poem. I'll admit it was written on the fly.
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If I'm not raw, I'm just a bit underdone.
Last edited by Svetlova at Jun 3, 2011,