Another misunderstanding

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Another misunderstanding

Postby psikottix » Thu Dec 21, 2006 4:02 am

Mood bubbling,
I joke along.
Until my words are mis-taken,

Apology given,
But never taken.
Caused hurt and upset.

Frantic scrabble for re-acceptance,
Terrified of losing a friend,
A pointless and painful


No wonder silence is golden
Solitude refreshing.
If temporary,
It dulls pain

Ground open and swallow me,
Sky cloud and obscure me,
Fog rise and envelop me,

Just keep talking to me,

Your friend.
Last edited by psikottix on Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Catherine Edmunds
artist, poet & writer
Posts: 428
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 8:05 pm
Location: north east england

Postby Catherine Edmunds » Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:33 pm

A fine poem. I hope it's the first of many you'll post here.

I've just been reading an insert in a Christmas card from an old school friend of mine. She's written four sides of A4 in tiny handwriting. My eyes glazed over, so I started counting exclamation marks. Then I got bored, as she'd put one after virtually every sentence, telling me of the achievements of her little nephews and nieces. Now, why do I mention this? Because you've used the dreaded exclamation marks. Psi, please, never, but NEVER use them in poetry. Sweeping statement, but I can't think of a single poem off the top of my head where they add anything at all.

On the subject of punctuation, you rarely, if ever, need a comma at the end of a line in poetry, as the line break effectively acts as a comma. You only need full stops if the sense wouldn't be clear without them. You only need capitals at the starts of lines if you're aping a much older, traditional form.

This poem is overloaded with distractions. Its quality shines through despite them, but oh how much stronger it would be if written in contemporary formatting, ie, no caps and no unnecessary punctuation. In this particular poem, I think you could dispense with the punctuation altogether. The line breaks and stanza breaks do all the work; you don't need to help them along.

A couple of typos. There should be no hyphen in mistaken, and you need envelop (verb) rather than envelope (noun).

Did I say how much I like this poem? Should've done by now, but sometimes I get so bogged down in the detail I forget to mention it. :oops:

The poem's use of rhyme is a key feature, and one of its strengths. It maybe comes a little close to being overdone, but you stay just the right side of a fine line, so it works.

I absolutely love the last five lines.


Postby psikottix » Thu Dec 21, 2006 3:49 pm

Thank you for your words, Delph.

I've altered the spelling of envelop(e), but have chosen to leave the rest as is. I upset a good friend last night, and I was writing from the heart, for her, not for anything else. I also stand by the mis-taken bit. I was emphasising a point.

I appreciate you taking the time to try and improve my amateur attempts, though!



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Mike Daniels
poet & writer
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:15 am
Location: The English Queen's Arse, Tongue First 'n' Lovin' It ...

Postby Mike Daniels » Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:04 pm

Then we forgot her, for the fiddlers played,
Dancing and singing held our merry crew;
The old ship moaned a little as she swayed.
It blew all night, oh, bitter hard it blew!

from The Wanderer - by John Masefield (I think he uses three or four in the whole piece, but it is 62 stanzas long - or 248 lines.) But the point about excalmation marks is well made and accurate enough; they rarely add anything to writing of any kind to my way of thinking.

This is an interesting piece, and you've avoided the normal mistake in heartfelt poetry -that of 'telling' rather than 'showing.' A few direct quotes often help pieces like this along - so long as you avoid 'I said, he said, she said.'

Thanks for posting this.


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Catherine Edmunds
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Posts: 428
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 8:05 pm
Location: north east england

Postby Catherine Edmunds » Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:20 pm

Thanks, Psi. It's always risky giving a first critique to someone you don't know, and I nearly deleted my whole response, afraid that you'd be furious at my nitpicking. Huge sighs of relief here that you took it so well... By the way, I would never try to 'improve' anyone's writing. Critique is purely a personal response, which may include a few 'take it or leave it' type suggestions. I'm certainly not a professional poet, and have no qualifications whatsoever in the subject; simply a small amount of experience. Pretty much all I know about poetry has been learnt in the last two or three years on internet sites through feedback, both good and bad, by other poets (both good and bad). Two poets have given me outstanding feedback: the first was the late, great BruProc; the second, our very own Danimik. Bru died of a sudden heart attack nearly a year ago, and is sorely missed as both teacher and friend. Danimik is still very much with us, and is someone from whom I continue to learn, and whose words will always inspire.

Mike, thanks for the Masefield. Coincidentally, I quoted 'Sea Fever' on another site, just yesterday, in a thread where we were posting 'favourite remembered poems'. I'll allow him to get away with the odd exclamation mark :) .

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