#1
soft vibrations
offset the backdrop
wilderness at water's edge
untamed yet docile


as am I


to the wind I say
respect my pattern
and I shall respect
your variations

the current conforms
to the wind's wishes
but the wind is humbled
by the flow
untouchable
infallible


to the earth I say
shelter me
give me shape
and I will give it back

the earth rises
in defiance
and is overwhelmed
persistent pebbles
linger as you will

petty earth


to the world I say
I am the river
I will not be changed


c4c
On the eight day we spoke back...

let there be sound.
Last edited by Billyjson at Jun 14, 2008,
#2
i enjoyed the implied punctuation through your use of line breaks.
it made for a great read.
but one section was disruptive.


soft vibrations
set off the backdrop
i wasn't fond of off
offset, maybe. or just drop off altogether?

wilderness at water's edge
the omission of the in the water's edge works well.
untamed yet docile


as am I
too much real estate, imho.
it's screaming.
suBtle it down a bit.
one blank line to precede
two, maybe three at the max, after.
less is more.



to the wind I say
respect my pattern
and I shall respect
your variations

the current conforms
to the wind's wishes
but the wind is humbled
by the flow
untouchable
infallible


to the earth I say
shelter me
give me shape
and I will give it back
give it back is alright,
but lacks some of the elegance you've displayed elsewhere in this piece.


the earth rises
in defiance
and is overwhelmed
persistent pebbles
linger as you will

petty earth


to the world I say
I am the river
I will not be changed
I have some thoughts on the final line,
but hesitate to say them in the public space.
PM me, if you're interested.



c4c
I'll be posting a new one in a few hours, or tomorrow.
But if you'd rather crit a newbie in return for this one, that would be fine too.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
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I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#3
This is really nice and.. calming. The imagery is wonderful and I like how it's about nature. There's not too much to comment on except that I'm not really sure what it's about. Maybe I just can't see past the words though. I never have been very good at that.... Well, anyway, nice job. Thanks for looking at my piece =]
#4
Thanks again for the crit. Anyway...

I like this piece. The only thing that got me was the point of view, but that actually might have been a mistake in my reading. I didn't get that the speaker was the river until the final stanza. It seems to me like the third stanza is in third person which makes it confusing as to whether the speaker is the river or something else. Again, this might just be my mistake, but it confused. Overall, I really liked the vibe.
#5
^ You're absolutely right on the perspectives, it goes from first to third a few times throughout. I thought it made it a little more interesting to read.

live for music - it's about a river.

SYK - thanks for the tips, I took a few of your suggestions, and I'm still trying to figure out the ending.
On the eight day we spoke back...

let there be sound.
#6
Quote by Billyjson
soft vibrations
offset the backdrop
wilderness at water's edge
untamed yet docile

The third line stuck out to me. Feels like you need an 'of' before it. I liked this as an intro. Just seemed relaxing... sort of drew me in the same way a beach draws you in during a vacation.


as am I


Love the line breaks... hate the way you brought yourself into it. Just seems too poetic for its own means. Makes the piece seem so pretentious and self-aware. I lost all the images you built because a person was just thrown in the way. I know what you were going for. I've seen it done well before... this just missed for me.

to the wind I say
respect my pattern
and I shall respect
your variations

Loved this again. painting a beautiful image... it goes back from being so self-aware to being the interaction and whatnot.

the current conforms
to the wind's wishes
but the wind is humbled
by the flow
untouchable
infallible

I didn't like this, lol. This one just seemed too much like you were explaining. It was a tone switch that threw me off. You went from this sort of hippie existential look at the world and explaining your self through it to this thing where you are explaining current vs wind. You need to refine this to give it that other tone so it doesn't stick out so mcuh.



to the earth I say
shelter me
give me shape
and I will give it back

the earth rises
in defiance
and is overwhelmed
persistent pebbles
linger as you will

petty earth


to the world I say
I am the river
I will not be changed

The rest is solid. regained that tone. Something about the Earth stanza that didn't read right... can't put my finger on it.


c4c



My main qualms with this lie in the tone shift. The fact that you lost the "free-floating" feeling that you had. Felt like I came crashing off of an acid drip really unexpectedly and then started it again.

Main advice: control the piece, don't get lost in it. Make your word choices more carefully and don't get lost in the ideas... if you do, the piece is going to start to control you and it will not be written as smoothly. Its the type of thing that just comes with practice (I still can't do it well). But when you gain that ability to fully control your piece, it will be noticeable and your writing will really take off to a much fuller extent.

All that said, this was still a nice little read and had nice dreamy quality to it that really makes it seem original and well done.

-zC
#7
Thanks for the in-depth crit zC. I think you mistook the meaning of the "as am I"; it wasn't I as in me, it was I as in the river. I was using it as a transition of sorts, because I didn't want people to think the rest of it was in the perspective of the wilderness. Either way though, that probably means others were thrown off by it as well. With any luck I'll learn a bit more about this... control *spits the word out awkwardly*... thing you're speaking of
On the eight day we spoke back...

let there be sound.
#8
soft vibrations
offset the backdrop
wilderness at water's edge
untamed yet docile
Great start. It set a peaceful, somewhat elegant tone for the rest of the piece. I loved the imagery in the last two lines.

as am I
I agree with SYK here. I think you could drop a few lines in between "as am I" and the next stanza. It seems a little weird for me. It made it hard for me to pause there sort of. However, once I got to the bottom of this, this transition was ace. You set the image, then you went into the perspective of the river so smoothly and deeply.


to the wind I say
respect my pattern
and I shall respect
your variations

the current conforms
to the wind's wishes
but the wind is humbled
by the flow
untouchable
infallible
I loved this little bit just like the rest of the piece. I only had one thing I saw.. It's fine as it is, but something makes me want to see the last three lines as "By the - untouchable - infallible - flow" (-'s are breaks) I'm not sure how that would be overall, but it's just something that is there to me.

to the earth I say
shelter me
give me shape
and I will give it back
This stanza wasn't much to me. Once I realized the poem was about a river, I found myself asking "How can the earth shelter a river or give it shape?" Stuff like that just nagged at me about this stanza... It was my least favorite of the entire thing.

the earth rises
in defiance
and is overwhelmed
persistent pebbles
linger as you will

petty earth
Powerful. Good imagery again.

to the world I say
I am the river
I will not be changed
I'm not 100% sure about my feelings for the ending. It's good, yeah.. But somehow it seems like it could be wrapped up better. Not sure how though.


I loved the changes in point of view, the tone, the imagery, everything. The only thing that bothered me was that one stanza. You're a good writer.. I can't think of anything else to say. Good job. =)
#9
Quote by Billyjson
soft vibrations
offset the backdrop
wilderness at water's edge
untamed yet docile

I bloody love the word "offset", it just feels so right! I have been trying to write a song with that word as a title for yonks' but I've never been able to do it. I'm major jealous you fitted it in there!
An excellent opening verse if I may say so myself. The term "soft" intertwines with "offset" perfectly and sets a very familiar, but important method of alliteration.

as am I

Cool. Very Deftones'y feel to it, and in my books that is as good a compliment as it can come.


to the wind I say
respect my pattern
and I shall respect
your variations

Brilliant, except for the word "variations": it doesn't flow or fit. I know you didn't just pick the first word that came to your head, its obvious you didn't do that, but I find the word breaks the feel of water and American Rivers smashing against sharp rocks. If I worded that correctly?

the current conforms
to the wind's wishes
but the wind is humbled
by the flow
untouchable
infallible

Faultless. Excellent use of line 'skipping.'


to the earth I say
shelter me
give me shape
and I will give it back

The repitition of the word "give" doens't work in my eyes. Maybe it does to others though.

the earth rises
in defiance
and is overwhelmed
persistent pebbles
linger as you will

Excellent rhyming scheme with "rises" and "defiance". Wonderful alliteration as well. One of the best examples of using original words with the original aspects of mother nature.


petty earth

Cool.


to the world I say
I am the river
I will not be changed


Great simplicity here, I love phrases like this; perfect.



c4c


This is the best out of the three I have read (I have yet to read 'the long one' fully)
There is no denying in my mind that I truly feel for this. It is very confusing and vague at times, but it flows seamlessly and you never feel bored in any essence. The literary devices are perfectly placed and the simple metaphors are reccuring and coinciding. Cool.

This is one of the best pieces I have read on UG. I truly loved it.
#10
Wow, thank you man I really appreciate it. I have to give SYK the credit for offset though, it used to be set off. As for the give repetition, I was debating whether it should be give it back or something else, it's just one of those things I never seem to have time to sit down and think about.

I'll take a look at your other new one in a bit. Sorry about the color of the last crit, I'll stick with bold on the next one (or perhaps rainbow, after that great review its growing on me).

On the eight day we spoke back...

let there be sound.
#11
This is really cool. There have been many in depth crits on this and I've read them all. I agree with some and not with others.
Thought I'd put in my two cents.
Quote by Billyjson
soft vibrations
offset the backdrop
of wilderness at water's edge
untamed yet docile
I agree with ZanasCross putting of before the wilderness at water's edge brings your beautiful imagery together very well. It flows better, like a river ;-)

as am I on first reading I thought you were talking about yourself but because you go on to tell us who the "I" is I loved this line the second time around. It's so cool how you set the scene of the wilderness before introducing yourself. Nice. As for the space I don't think they add much nor take anything away.


to the wind I say
respect my pattern
and I shall respect
your variations

the {My} current conforms
to the wind's wishes
but the wind is humbled
by the {My} flow
untouchable
infallible
I would like to discuss two things in this stanza.
1.The change in perspective breaks my flow reading this. I think you are being hard on yourself thinking you needed to do this to make this piece more interesting. This piece is so interesting without the change in perspective it detracts from the simple beauty of this wonderful work.
It especially clashes with the bold "as am I" earlier in the piece. For me this statement is a clear introduction of yourself as the river and a definitive statement that the river is speaking for itself. I believe you could bring the first person back by using "My" in two places instead of "the" as i've done in red above.

2. I tend to agree with Garb on rearranging the final words to read untouchable infallible flow. I never would have thought of this but in my opinion it works. The repitition of the "f" sounds in infallible and flow closer together adds impact. I understand this may change the rhythm as when I read it in your original form I hear a pause after each of these three words
flow {pause}
untouchable {pause}
infallible {pause}
this gives a certain emphasis to the words untouchable and infallible but sounds kind of choppy. For me reading "untouchable infallible flow" is a smoother run - If you like the choppy flow you could make it choppy with puncutation and layout
untouchable;
infallible;
flow.
I think you need to ask yourself first "Is this rivers flow here choppy or smooth?" Either way your choice of flow in this stanza is vital here as this stanza is telling us about the river's "infallible flow".

[Edit]p.s. Rereading you could possibly make the relationship with the wind a bit more personal also the river is obviously a more agreeable character than the earth. The word "but" in line 3 gives implies you are about to disagree. It's a negative word. The relationship here between river and wind seems more like "you give a little and I'll I'll give a little" not "you give a little but I'll give a little.

Also repeating "the wind" "the wind" "the wind" through these two stanzas gets too much for me. The first two are okay as they are in different stanzas but the third is too much for me. You could refer to the wind as "him". Just an idea.


to the earth I say
shelter me
give me shape
and I will give it back

the earth rises
in defiance
and is overwhelmed
persistent pebbles
linger as you will
Such cool interplay here personifying the earth asking it quite nicely for shelter and shape but the earth is petty and rises up. I imagine large cliffs and canyons rising against the river's request.

The river and earth must have a completely intimate relationship, like lovers. This could be exploited by a more personal reference instead of "the earth rises in defiance" it could read "but she rises in defiance" "or my lover rises in defiance".

She is then overwhelmed very quickly and I'm not quite sure how but oh the river is mighty for defeating her. I'm just not sure what his strength is perhaps it's in the next two lines:
"persistent pebbles
linger as you will?"

I honestly now feel really stupid because I don't understand these two lines at all. I don't know what relevance they have.

Persistent pebbles - pebbles are of the earth and they are persistent and linger - they are on the the riverbank but rarely do you see them when earth and river clash in disagreement pebbles to me create an image of calm riverbeds where you might picnic or swim on a summer day. My cliffs and canyons image is shattered and I'm confused.

"linger as you will" - What have I got to do with this Mr River it's between you and the "petty Earth". Why does the river expect me to linger like persistent pebbles?
I think these two lines are the weakest in the whole thing and really let it down. In my opinion you should turn into ruthless creator and cut them and come up with something else.

Oh wait I had a thought perhaps the earth rising in defiance are Rocks and Boulders Which the river crashes over and dismisses them as persistent pebbles. Still I wonder what he means by saying I will linger. I feel like I'm reaching now. I just don't get these two lines. I feel lost :-(


petty earth excellent {petty earth *peh* is spit on you}


to the world I say
I am the river
I will not be changed

Ends with a strong and bold declaration in the first person just like it started back with "As am I". Nice!
c4c


Awesome piece of work I really really like it. I think it could be slightly better but that's just me. Sorry if I'm too picky but it's only cause I think it' so good.

****
Last edited by 20Tigers at Jun 24, 2008,
#12
That is just about the most in-depth crit I have ever seen, Tigers.

I feel like including of wouldn't be true to the rhythm of the poem, and that it would take away from the image. Perhaps not though, you either love it or hate it I guess. Same thing as with the perspective. After rereading it with my a few times, I think I very well might change it - good call on that. What you were suggesting with infallible, untouchable, and flow; I see what you're saying, but that's not really my style. I like to leave the ideas incomplete and lingering.

Which brings me to the linger part. Don't feel stupid, everyone has their own interpretations of poetry and there are no "wrong" ones. When I wrote that stanza I had boulders and larger stones in mind, which are worn, broken and swept away in time, and they leave behind memories of themselves. These are the pebbles, which linger where the larger rocks used to be, which is the earth's way of retaliating from the defeat, though it seems quite petty. Nothing too deep, just nature at work.


Thanks for the thorough crit, I'm going to go with your suggestion on my. I'll get to yours a little later tonight, I'm burned out right now
On the eight day we spoke back...

let there be sound.