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View Full Version : A few graduation poems (in *great need* of feedback)



Kallisti
2011-06-14, 12:22 AM
I wrote these poems as graduation gifts for friends of mine, and the ceremony is on Thursday the 16th, so I'd really like to be ready by then. I will probably see them both on the 19th, as well, but still.

From absent friends

A shining glimpse of golden locks, a mind that's like a puzzle box
Bright smile that illumes the space, a lovely person's lovely face,
And simple wit--a key--unlocks
A laugh as delicate as lace.

Though far too long I've been away, I have returned, for I must say
"Not all good things must ever end; it's been a gift to be your friend
Through famine, feast, through tame and wild."

The only gift I have today
The only letter I may send to celebrate your life-path's bend
A thank you-note for hours whiled: a poem from an absent child.


That one's supposedly in metered foot, alternating between two lines of antispastic quatrameter and two lines of antispastic dimeter (if that's the right word for a two-foot line). An antispast is an unstressed syllable, two stressed syllables, and another stressed syllable. I chose it because the friend I wrote this one for often describes herself as 'spastic', so I couldn't resist using antispastic foot.

Untitled as of yet

My time with you has been a gift
Smiles shared and hours well-misspent
And so on this momentous may may I present
The scrawl-sullied page I pass off as my gift.

Would that our days I could shift
From yesterday where they were sent!
My time with you has been a gift
Smiles shared and hours well-misspent.

Though parted by an ocean's yawning rift
I hope these words remember me to you as they are meant.
Not a single misused moment I repent--
My time with you has been a gift.


A roundel (or rondel, or rondelet, I can't keep them straight). I doubt I'll actually need a title, since they're meant to go on the inside cover of a book. I don't really know what I think of this one yet, so please share your opinions.

The more specific you are about what you think the better, because I've got to get these ready soon...

Omeganaut
2011-06-14, 02:18 PM
The first poem is good, although I'm not sure about the stanza breaks.

The second poem just doesn't flow. The lines don't feel like they are the same length in terms of beats. The first line has four beats, the second line has five, and the third and fourth lines have six. The second stanza is mostly four beats, and the last stanza is all over the place. I'd think that pentameter would be a good compromise (my opinions is that rhythm is the most important aspect of poetry, but in this from the rhythm doesn't appear to be strict, so you could get away with a few off lines, but not the first two.) The big problems in the first two is that Smiles almost demands two syllables with an accent on the first.

You are have too many lines for a roundel, and Its not a rondelet. For a rondel, you just have to repeat the first two lines at the end of the poem, instead of the altered form you have already.


I hope these words remember me to you as they are meant. This is the line that stands out the most. I'd say something along the lines of "I hope these words remind you as they're meant."

I hope this helps, and I think its a great idea to give personal gifts such as poetry, as they usually mean so much more to the recipient.

Kallisti
2011-06-14, 03:33 PM
You are have too many lines for a roundel, and Its not a rondelet. For a rondel, you just have to repeat the first two lines at the end of the poem, instead of the altered form you have already.

Wikipedia claims that the rhyme scheme for a rondel is ABba abAB abbaA where A and B are the refrains, which I followed. It also says "the meter is open, but typically has eight syllables," which I did not follow...

Honest opinion: is it salvageable or should I scrap it and start over? If I cut the "and" in "smiles shared and hours well-misspent" that line fits the eight-syllable rondel meter, but that still leaves a lot of lines that are out of whack...

EDIT: This version should have the meter polished up significantly.
Untitled Rondel, Version 2

My time with you has been a gift
Smiles shared, hours well-misspent;
And so, to celebrate, may I present
The sullied page I pass off as my gift.

Would that our days I could shift
From Yesterday were they were sent!
My time with you has been a gift
Smiles shared, hours well-misspent.

Though parted by an oceanís yawning rift
Let these words remember me as they are meant:
Not a single misused moment I repentó
My time with you has been a gift.

Omeganaut
2011-06-14, 08:38 PM
The revised version seems fine to me. I'd be happy to help with any other poems you wanted edited or reviewed.

leakingpen
2011-06-15, 07:15 AM
The revised version fixed the things I was going to nitpick. they both look good to me.

Kallisti
2011-06-15, 07:15 PM
So. The last day. The ceremony (where I was planning to present the gifts) is tomorrow. I may or may not have another chance on the 19th, but I'd really rather be ready by tomorrow evening.

Anyone else have some thoughts to share?

leakingpen
2011-06-16, 10:14 AM
They are polished. I would work on delivery and presentation.

Kallisti
2011-06-16, 02:42 PM
They are polished. I would work on delivery and presentation.

Well, I'm presenting them as the message on the inside cover of a copy of Oh, the Places You'll Go. The book is kind of a tradition, the poem is my way of making it, y'know, something personal and meaningful.