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space, black tablecloth
(and spilled salt), your
starfields shivering behind
           the light pollution

when i was young your immensity
terrified me but
one day, after loving

after losing: you became a comfort
             where would i be?
without your existential
enormity and your nightfalling curtain
call unwrapping staticky expanse? whose
to conquer but mine?
             whose to conquer but

those who know death, know it for what it is,
who know it and have held it as a thing
heavy and real and cold
as a stone in their hands, know it
and still dare turn skyward
for answers?

a man does not
           pray anymore after that

(death and space
are inextricable, are twined together
           in the same rope
that contains life and earth and sea)
i had no idea. you remind me of home, as freezing
and boiling and toxic and friendly as
any familial spat

you do not scare me.

you soar on a canvas (pitch like ocean depths) black
like nothing, because you are
statistically more nothing than anything

(and perhaps we, too: more empty space than things)

it is as if you come from
the end, and the beginning, and whatever
             lies between

you are not a god, a titan, a deity
neither made from man's feeble wishes
            nor of anything man can comprehend
you are more roiling and alive than any sea’s waves
than any beryl-vibrant canopies

                 (probability itself keels and chokes at your feet)

you arrive bearing tomorrow
on apollo's back
(apollo who has nothing earthly to fear
              seizes when daring

to comprehend the cosmos)

i have marveled at everything
you have deemed show me,
              have humbled beneath eclipse
and quasi-stellar radio source

youre so much more than any earthly location
              the celestial sunsong, the
solar astrochemistry
              within supernovae

you are not a deity
just as polaris,
               you are as steady as orbital fluctuation

you are nothing
without the sum of your parts
but you are indefinitely infinite, our little spinning top

insignificant in its star-spun flight paths
              within the visible universe

how massive you are, how humanly finite (viewfinding
opal eyes:
               how weak and yet
icarus had to have something to shoot for)

o, sunspots, you are the hydrogen and energy
too beautiful to look at for long
             (without risking blindness)

and yet: blindness, pitch dark, natural state
of everything that has ever, will ever have existed

without you we wither as one
              with flora, with fauna

space hurled together a haphazard goldilocks

              (everything dies, eventually. everything
dies
.) with you
with inconceivable odds

flourishes life, death, space, earth, sea
(components woven
               together in the same rope)

this is why, starfield, you are unlikely
gravity, dream-maker
why you refuse to pull taffy-linked planets too thin
why you burst nova
               like every celestial sunsong

i have praised many things, but you are
more than any helios of short-sighted civilizations

that within the sky found the sun the only thing to fear
             (and not the spaces between
countless stars)

by my weak human eyes, you are the very end.

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holla holla get dolla

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d u d e im too tired right now to give this the poetic praise it needs but! whoa!! this was gorgeous + haunting and the word use was precise in a way that didn't feel stilted but just felt right and i loved every second of this!

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current number of classic lit characters ive gone out of my way to project on and reason out why they might be gay: 8

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(1) This is lovely.

(2) Can I do a massive critique of this? (The more I like a thing, the more nitpicky and brutal my editing becomes, so I thought I ought to give you a heads up/choice on this one.)


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This is a stunning poem.

Another commenter used the word 'haunting', which seems like the perfect word to describe it. I also thought your use of parentheses was clever, and all the references you make to astronomy and mythology give your poem a depth that is difficult to achieve-- difficult, yet brilliant. Please keep writing! I really enjoyed this and would love to see more of your work. 

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On 1/9/2018 at 11:35 AM, Ainm said:

(1) This is lovely.

(2) Can I do a massive critique of this? (The more I like a thing, the more nitpicky and brutal my editing becomes, so I thought I ought to give you a heads up/choice on this one.)

um fuck yes?? this is where I'm at with my classmates so far:

image.png.f5d2234e07eaa2df5114ca504c00f0ff.png

(i posted first in the class discussion and STILL NOTHING. the person who posted second has four (4) critiques *disgruntled mumbling*)

Edited by drowntown

holla holla get dolla

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On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

space, black tablecloth
(and spilled salt), your

Something about the multiple commas in addition to parentheses doesn't work for me here. (Read: words are good; formatting needs work.)

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

terrified

I'm not really sure what you're trying to do with your use of italics in this poem, even after having gone through the poem to make a list of all the words you italicized and then re-examining each one in context. The only two that really work for me are "you do not scare me" and "everything dies".

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

where would i be?

I'd eliminate this question mark.

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

your existential
enormity and your nightfalling curtain
call unwrapping staticky expanse

This phrase feels bulky and awkward.

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

and still dare turn skyward
for answers?

a man does not
           pray anymore after that

Love this.

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

(death and space
are inextricable, are twined together
           in the same rope
that contains life and earth and sea)

I'm not a fan of this, mostly because it's explicitly stating the conceit of your poem ("death and space are inextricable") while also adding in other, more tangential topics ("earth and sea").

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

you soar on a canvas (pitch like ocean depths) black
like nothing,

Again, I think you could improve punctuation here for the sake of clarity. 

Additional note: the ocean imagery works here, because it's in relation to  space. I don't think ocean imagery on its own works particularly well in this poem.

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

because you are
statistically more nothing than anything

(and perhaps we, too: more empty space than things)

Also love this.

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

it is as if you come from
the end, and the beginning, and whatever
             lies between

If it comes from "the end, and the beginning, and whatever / lies between" wouldn't that be the same as to come from everywhere? I'm not sure what you're getting at with this.

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

you are not a god, a titan, a deity

The synonym list isn't working for me. I think you could find another way to say this.

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

neither made from man's feeble wishes
            nor of anything man can comprehend

I'd replace man's/man with our/we.

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

you are more roiling and alive than any sea’s waves
than any beryl-vibrant canopies

Again, the sea imagery feels like a deviation from the greater space theme here. It seems more distracting than effective.

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

(apollo who has nothing earthly to fear

Add a comma after "apollo" for clarity.

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

you have deemed show me,

Delete this comma.

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

youre

"you are"?

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

you are not a deity

This repetition doesn't work for me.

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

indefinitely infinite

Either "indefinite" or "infinite" would suffice here; both seems redundant.

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

how humanly finite

I like this phrase. (Also, it makes me even more inclined to suggest using simply "indefinite" instead of "indefinitely infinite"."

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

the hydrogen and energy

I'd cut this phrase.

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

(without risking blindness)

and yet: blindness, pitch dark, natural state
of everything that has ever, will ever have existed

Very smooth connection back to the main theme. Well done.

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

a haphazard goldilocks

I see what you're getting at here, but it doesn't feel in the spirit of the poem. (I know that's incredibly vague feedback, but still.)

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

flourishes life, death, space, earth, sea
(components woven
               together in the same rope)

I like the internal allusion (is that a thing? I'm making it a thing), but I'm still not in favor of adding elements beyond the death/life/space themes.

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

this is why, starfield, you are unlikely
gravity, dream-maker

This phrase doesn't make sense to me, especially as it gets into "gravity, dream-maker". Consider revising.

On 1/8/2018 at 11:04 PM, drowntown said:

that within the sky found the sun the only thing to fear
             (and not the spaces between
countless stars)

Simply lovely.

I know this is really long and nitpicky, but I hope it's also helpful. (Feel free to argue with my critiques/ask questions about things I didn't touch on/share a revised document for more feedback/etc.) Cheers for an excellent poem!

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ahhh thank you!! this is so much more helpful than staring sulkily at my classmates and sitting on my hands. on the topic of italics, i was just. messin around with tone i guess? i know it looks weird but i was home alone shouting lines from this poem and i felt like the italics would communicate how i said it idk lmao

this is great advice tho!! tysm <3


holla holla get dolla

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