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Vaynor
2011-09-02, 04:15 AM
Welcome to Iron Poet, Round Fourteen!!

Rules

1) Only the first 16 respondents expressing a desire to compete will be the contestants. It IS a first come, first served basis.

2) The contest will consist of a number of rounds pitting 2 randomly determined poets against each other until only one contestant remains (winner).

3) Each match-up will be given a theme, picture, article, subject, or other criteria to write on, and the poem submitted must match this as much as possible. Stricter following of prompts may help you win. Prompts that are words may be interpreted in any way (and any form of the word can be used), but keep in mind the judge may not see the connection if it's too ambiguous.

4) The winner as determined by a panel of judges will advance to the next round.

5) In case of a judge or judges not posting judgments in a timely manner, Vaynor will adjudicate and determine the winner.

6) The poems will be limited to 1000 words with a 50 word minimum

7) The entries will be poems. All forms of poetry are acceptable, as long as they meet the required word lengths. If your chosen style is too short, you are free to make two of them, i.e., you may make a limerick with 48 words, then add another limerick, still following the same theme, to reach the required word length.

8) All posted deadlines will given in as much time zones as possible, as labeled.

9) No late entries will be accepted. If you don't post or fail to post by the deadline, you will be disqualified. A 15 minute grace period is allowed. You have one freebie per contest, use it wisely. This allows you to be up to half a day late (12 hours) with your poem (no more).

10) If your entry does not include the article(s) and the picture(s), you will most likely lose because of it, however this will not disqualify your poem, as poems are judged on best use of the prompts.

11) The judgments are final. What the judges decide is how it is.

12) The entries will only include content suitable for the Playground.

13) Anything not clear will be decided by me.

14) The contestants will have 1 week (roughly) from the bracket posting to get their entries posted.

15) Post your poems in spoilers. Judges: do not read poems before the round ends.

16) Feel free to edit the post with your poem in it until the round ends. After that, any additional edits will disqualify you (barring a use of your half-day extension).

17) Judges have 1 week to complete judgments. If not all judges respond by this time, the round will be decided as if the late judges were not a part of it (i.e. if there are 5 judges to begin with and only 3 are on time, the round will be decided with 2 votes as opposed to 3). If there are only an even number of judgments, I will cast the remaining vote.

THE IRON POET HALL OF FAME
1. Ravyn (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43424)
2. Rubakhin (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54933)
3. Elvaris (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69302)
4. Alarra (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76283)
5. Truemane (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=82545)
6. Devigod (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93376)
7. Alarra (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=106066)
8. Devigod (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=119306)
9. Alarra (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=141907)
10. Elvaris (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=155861)
11. Rutskarn (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=172822)
12. Alarra (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=182448)
13. averagejoe (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=193836)

Contestants:


SaintRidley
Alarra
leakingpen
Haruki-Kun
Worlok
Elvaris
The Fiery Tower
Szilard
Cernael
Weezer
Bladescape
DreamintheDark
Asthix
Omeganaut
Silviya
Phae Nymna




Judges:

averagejoe
Lil Shiro
nimdyd








POTENTIAL APPLICANTS FOR THE JUDGE POSITION TAKE NOTE: THESE CONTESTS LAST A LONG TIME AND THIS IS NOT A FLEETING RESPONSIBILITY. IF YOU SIGN UP I EXPECT YOU TO POST JUDGMENTS ON TIME. IF YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO POST JUDGMENTS, TELL ME. THANK YOU.

SaintRidley
2011-09-02, 08:11 AM
I'll happily enter again.

Alarra
2011-09-02, 09:50 AM
I'll participate, unless you're lacking in judges.

leakingpen
2011-09-02, 11:29 AM
I would like to compete this round, please.

averagejoe
2011-09-02, 01:23 PM
I may be shooting myself in the foot time-wise, but I'll volunteer as a judge this round.

Viera Champion
2011-09-02, 03:42 PM
It has been quite a while since I have participated in one of these events. I am too busy with The Challenge to be a contestant, but I would love to judge, dear.

Haruki-kun
2011-09-02, 03:47 PM
In as a contestant, please.

Worlok
2011-09-02, 06:05 PM
Know what? Sign me right the hell up for this. It's well past midnight and I'm roaring drunk, but I think this time I can get some epics on! :smallamused:

No, really, I'm in if you will have me. :smallsmile:

Elvaris
2011-09-02, 07:47 PM
I'll write.

The Fiery Tower
2011-09-02, 07:48 PM
In as a contestant.

Szilard
2011-09-05, 11:14 AM
In as a contestant.

Cernael
2011-09-06, 05:53 PM
I'm in, too, as a contestant.

Weezer
2011-09-08, 12:18 AM
I'll give it a try, probably going to be knocked out rather quickly but can't hurt to give it a go.

bladescape
2011-09-11, 07:51 PM
I think, perhaps, that I will join,
These rhymes that I must purloin,

Enjoy playing this, I certainly would,
Whether to lose, or win if I could.

Haruki-kun
2011-09-12, 10:02 AM
I think, perhaps, that I will join,
These rhymes that I must purloin,

Enjoy playing this, I certainly would,
Whether to lose, or win if I could.

Are you warming up? :smalltongue:

DreamintheDark
2011-09-12, 07:51 PM
I'm in as a contestant, if there's still room. =)

bladescape
2011-09-12, 10:59 PM
Are you warming up? :smalltongue:

Was it that easy to tell?:smalltongue:

Asthix
2011-09-13, 06:35 AM
I got a vote last time, so I'll contest again.

Omeganaut
2011-09-14, 12:21 PM
I'd like to apply to be a contestant. I am excited about having a goal for writing poetry!

Vaynor
2011-09-16, 01:25 PM
2 more contestants, 1 more judge! Keep em coming people!

Silviya
2011-09-16, 05:56 PM
I'd like to be a contestant again.

truemane
2011-09-17, 10:23 PM
Hm. I'm feeling the itch again. I'm just not sure which itch is which. Heh. So I'll let Fate decide. As soon as someone takes the the final judge spot OR the final contestant spot, I'll take the other one.

So I'm in. We'll just see as what, exactly.

EDIT: Oh! I forgot! Averagejoe? Your submission in the final round of the last contest was indeed a breathtaking piece of work. Your win was more than well-deserved. Congratulations.

Worlok
2011-09-18, 08:08 PM
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, just one more judge and/or contestant and we're all good to go. Here's to a decent run, everyone! :smallsmile:

Weezer
2011-09-18, 08:10 PM
I can't wait! Though I'm wicked nervous, never had anyone read anything I've written before :smalleek:

averagejoe
2011-09-18, 11:24 PM
EDIT: Oh! I forgot! Averagejoe? Your submission in the final round of the last contest was indeed a breathtaking piece of work. Your win was more than well-deserved. Congratulations.

Thanks, I appreciate it.

Phae Nymna
2011-09-20, 08:38 PM
If it's not too late, I'd like to join.

Vaynor
2011-09-21, 02:54 PM
We're all ready, then. Contest should be up later tonight.

Phae Nymna
2011-09-22, 10:06 PM
Need... prompt... brain outpacing itself...

Omeganaut
2011-09-22, 11:52 PM
The horses are anxiously snorting and pawing at the starting gate. What is going on with the starting gun? Is it jammed? Or has our gun operator fallen asleep? Maybe we are waiting on a dignitary that I am as of yet unnotified of. Or perhaps it is the fact that our contestants appear to be horses entered into a poetry competition? Either way, the spectators are getting rowdy. The fact that its dollar beer night certainly isn't helping factors either. Oh wait! Vaynor is down at the track with the gun now; Vaynor, what is going on?

Vaynor
2011-09-23, 12:55 AM
The starting gun was jammed with an essay and midterm.

Iron Poet XIV: Round 1

The Fiery Tower vs. SaintRidley: Reunited
Bladescape vs. Alarra: Subjugate
Phae Nymna vs. Worlok: Din
DreamintheDark vs. Szilard: Allay
Weezer vs. Haruki-Kun: Forswear
Asthix vs. Elvaris: Illuminate
Cernael vs. Omeganaut: Revile
Silviya vs. leakingpen: Siphon

Deadline: Friday, September 30th 2011 at 11:59 pm EST.

Good luck everyone! :smallsmile:

Omeganaut
2011-09-26, 11:17 PM
My entry, as if I wait I will just edit the good out of this thing. Word: Revile

Those words
Those words I sadly just did hear
the ones designed to hurt the most
the ones that mean to create fear
the ones which would scare any ghost

Those words you use, those full of hate
the ones just used to make me small
the ones you think were really great
the ones that on my shoulders fall.

Those words mean less for me than you
the ones pronounced so terribly
the ones that only foul mouths spew
The ones that are your therapy.

Those words reveal a slippíry slope
the ones replacing inner dirt
the ones you say when you canít cope
the ones you say because you hurt.

Those words should never more be heard
the ones you shout in ignorance
the ones that are but hate transferred
the ones that cause such disturbance.

Those words just carry on the pains
the ones impossible to hide
the ones you feel in pouring rains
the ones that fester deep inside.

Those words you say to just replace
the ones from when you were a lad
the ones you never could embrace
the ones you thought when you werenít sad.

Those words you say now just because
the ones who raised you taught you wrong
the ones remembering what once was
the ones with whom you donít belong.

Those words arenít really how you are,
the ones that veil a poor disguise
the ones that merely lower the bar
the ones youíd ride to your demise.

Those words need not define you more
the ones you spoke when you knew not
the ones obstructing your rapport
the ones you should start to boycott.

Those words can leave and not come back
the ones you spoke to me in rage
the ones can just stay in their sack
the ones you let out of their cage,
Those words.

And before you say anything, Rapport does rhyme with more, the t is silent, like in Stephen Colbert.

DreamintheDark
2011-09-29, 10:59 PM
Since I will not be home at all tomorrow, I am going to post my poem.
Title: Thought and Mind
My thoughts and voice act as one.
The fears are allayed.
I knew what I had to do,
But this was not my place.
My heart was pounding hard,
I cannot understand,
The problems that I saw.
The fears relived in me,
My mind didnít know.
I never understood,
My voice was gone.
My thoughts were one.
Nothing was true.
The fears in my mind,
They began to disappear.
My thoughts and voice were gone,
The fears began to grow.
I didnít know what to do.
I knew what I had to say,
But this was not my place.
This was not my place.
I tried to figure out,
The thoughts, jumbled, in my mind.
They refused to work,
The words began to make no sense.
Less than they ever did.
My voice tried to help,
Fading from all sounds,
Silence washed over me.
Peace, a reprieve.
I knew what I had to do.
This is my place.
This is what I am to do.
And this I shall forever.

Alarra
2011-09-30, 12:47 AM
prompt: Subjugate
Dust, smoke and ash settle shrouds over exposed limbs.
Crouching, I seek movement to my flanks
and find none.

Alone, entrenched, cornered, I call out
signals that fall upon the deaf ears
of a corpse lined trench.

I feel the ground tremble beneath my palms
as if the very earth fears your approach.
And so I yield.



Tethered, tied, with eyes downcast
I trot behind your ranks.
Untamed, biding

time until you grow complacent
and forget that I was once
a warrior.

But for now, youíve forty eyes trained
to watch my every stumble
and so I yield.



Held close at hand, I watch you inspect
the masses I fought to protect, thankful for each
I donít recognize.

Sparks of defiance kindle the eyes of strangers no longer
as we plot our continued rebellion,
wordlessly.

Until they bring her, our son huddled behind
her skirt as she silences his cry of recognition.
And so I yield.



Each morning you walk the line
of bodies the night has claimed, insisting
on my company, still holding out hope
you will break me.

I retreat inside my mind, eyes glazed, seeing
misshapen earth instead of people
until we stop and Iím made to
identify her.

Sallow cheeks, bruised, transform the memories
sustaining my spirit and I tremble, the small form
huddled beside brings me to my knees,
and so I yield.



That night I guard your private soiree, listening
to you laugh at my pain as you sip your wine,
nibble hors d'oeuvres. And I realize
there is nothing to live for.

And so I wait, calm, patient, knowing
that our lives are now entwined
and I am free to finally end what you started
so many months ago.

You no longer guard your sleep, complacent
that I am broken, that you are safe, except tonight
when I press my knife to your throat
until you yield.

Haruki-kun
2011-09-30, 12:54 AM
Prompt: Forswear
Title: That which we call a rose...

I cast my clothes away and scrubbed my own name,
But homeless and nomad I was still the same
And thus, I flee, and thus, I leave,
For my future is no one elseís to weave.

ďBut youíre not a Roman,Ē my mother would say,
ďYou have to return at the end of the day.Ē
I smiled and nodded and started to cry,
And begging for mercy I turned to the sky.

ďPlease, Iím begging, please give me hope,
please donít push me down the slippery slope.Ē
But I heard no answer, no voice at all,
I just heard the rain as it started to fall.

ďHeís not like us,Ē they say, ďwe heard him speak,
he sought that which we must not seek.
He betrayed his vows, his people and land.Ē
I see, they thought they knew where I stand.

But I never sought, and I never found,
I never chose to whom Iíd be bound.

The tears and blood were lost in the rain,
Absorbed by the land they claimed I have slain.
I wonder as I drop the clothes that I woreÖ
Öcan I even forswear if I never swore?

bladescape
2011-09-30, 02:26 AM
Prompt: Subjegation
Name: The Lost Light

The shadowed King, his hooded face,
Laughed once again, his eyes alight,
The Queen slumped, her army disgraced,
Like leading wheat to fall to blight,

"What are your terms, I surrender this war."
"There are no terms." He laughed once more
"I've come to conquer, I'm at your gate.
Your land and people, I will subjegate."

The choked gasp of horror torn,
The sob of terror, stiffled unborn,
The Queen felt her hold of sanity slip,
Her hopes, her dreams, away they drip

"Your champion lies in his own blood,
The fear I have planted has started to bud,
Whilst my forces, successful have stood,
I stand to topple all that is righteous and good"

"You'll never succeed." Desperate, she cried.
"My forces have failed, lost in their own pride,
The other warlords, their own course to decide,
But your bloody hands their lands will deride."

She sneered even as at his feet did she lie,
Defeated, destroyed, dropped at the first try,
But still her pride pushed her to defy,
She would not fall weak, in defiance would she die.

But the only reply was laughing, from the King.
Who would've expected? The loss was a sting.
"You misunderstand, my lady so fair.
Do you really want your people to despair?

I'll give them a chance, I'm a sporting type.
I'll rest my hand lightly, and when it is ripe,
Who knows? Maybe freedom you'll win,
Or perhaps your people will fall into sin.

You see, you're not angels, only people in all,
And when sin steps forwards, it's open call,
Will lure the people far and wide to come in,
And ka-thump. The holy are now in the bin,

You see, conquering is not all about war,
Oh no, you see, the fighting is a bore,
It's when you make the people do what you want,
Without them knowing, without threats or a taunt,

That, my dear, is true subjegation,
Falling the efforts of restoration,
Making the people see ME as their lord.
Only then will my conquest truly be scored."

The Queen fell slowly forward, her face a mask,
She had failed her job, neglected her task,
She was meant to keep her people untainted,
Instead she would watch them be repainted.

She could not live, not after this loss,
All her beauty, all her money was dross,
Her life, it was her own to take!
The dagger dug deep, like the end of a stake,

The blood slowly pooled around her on the floor,
The King turned, and slowly walked out the door,
Laughing, once more, as the last hope died,
He watched happily as the whole land cried.

Worlok
2011-09-30, 10:29 AM
Prompt: "Din".

Title: "The elitist's comeuppance".

A man who had chosen the critic's way
had 'pon early retirement this to say;
"That while I enjoy my line of work,
having to do it is not a perk:
A fool he who listens, a tool he who pays,
there is no true art within music these days!"

Thusly challenged, soon many musicians rose,
to prove that among the ubiquitious lows,
there certainly still was a number of highs,
works as fine as to merit the ticket price;
and while they so strove they too meant to find
which one genre was best among music-kind.

"It is mine," quoth the rapper, "because, you see,
what Rap has always been, your crap couldn't be,
the cry from the gutter, the voice of the street,
lyrics fuelled by the soul of the low-born in need
it's the truest of all, and therefore the best,
and with this we can give the whole matter a rest."

For an answer he got but the mighty roars
of barbarians, clam'ring for ale and whores,
as five leather-clad bards called their hordes to battle,
to show that the greatest of all was METAL!
And over the wails of electric guitars,
they proclaimed they had won - these musician wars.

Yet they hadn't, or so did the D.J. claim,
as that phony medieval stuff was too lame,
to e'er win them anything but his scorn,
and proceeded to lay down acoustic porn,
or did think so, at least, as perfection pure
he considered his Techno to be, for sure.

And at once a reply came from rolling hills,
plains and deserts and red-headed men in kilts,
who did rally to offer their own renditions
and defend the honeur of their Folk-sy traditions;
to this end lutes were struck and the cowbells rang,
only to be drowned out as the bagpipes sang.

And the rhythm they sang was a well-known tune,
which the "voice of the street" then adapted soon;
and as one, drums, guitars and a keyboard joined
with the mixing console giving meter and point,
"We jammin'!" proclaimed a rastaman wizened,
and the thing was as "So dope, it's ganjah!" christened.

And, one at a time, what had formerly been
competition became one almighty din,
no, the greatest of sessions to ever be,
loud and public and awesomely all for free;
yet as taste is a matter of one's own thought,
our critic stepped up and stopped all of it short.

For he claimed, and quite proudly: "This is no art!"
"It is music, and good stuff, and comes from the heart!"
"But imagine, would one of the classics see!
What's not Beethoven just isn't art to me!"
"Oh, surely you jest, you can't be for real!"
"This whole thing is no better than that last squeal!"

But upon that last sentence did lightning crack,
lo, through doors t'which the critic had turned his back,
there marched in an old man in Romantic gear,
and called out to the prick: "Turn away from here!
For you'll find your complaints were unwisely worded,
as I saw it; I just wish I could have heard it!"
So... Yeah. This prompt really blindsided me completely. I hope this is still at least somewhat enjoyable. :smallredface:

Weezer
2011-09-30, 12:15 PM
Prompt: Forswear

Title: Finished

I've been taken, and shaken,
Thrown out of your fantasy.
Left bereft and trembling,
Through this I am becoming.

Filled with need for more
And with fear of more
For I am no longer myself,
But have been consumed by your self

Those words were so small, so banal
That they meant nothing,
But yet, they are everything
For without them I would be reduced.

What has been done?
Have we been exalted or cast down,
Been pulled into the garden or thrown from it?
Is there even a difference?

I am drawn back again and again.
But called to what, towards this discomfort?
To how you leave me shaking and lost?
All I know is that I cannot stay away.

Alone, bereft, left with these cravings,
But yet they, like you, begin to fade.
I forswear my need, I shall go on.
No us, no we, only I. For I am.

truemane
2011-09-30, 01:41 PM
That's Seven! Almost halfway there!

Come on poets! Do it for me!

Asthix
2011-09-30, 01:48 PM
Prompt: Illuminate


Spellfire

What is Fey? The youngling asked

Is it the sunflower light

shining through their wings?

How do folk know of the touched

Forever trapped in wooded glen?

And are we off to see them now?

I feel a gaze upon my brow

A gentle touch upon my face

We are the best of all our race!

You know... Their eyes are crystal clear

I can see myself in them

Like I am flying in the sky

Lit by stars so bright

You would think I danced in the day

Tell me again

Of the blaze haired sprite

So small yet so dangerous

And of the Ice Maiden

Through whom the rays of the Sun

Made rainbows

The Violet Ones that no one know

Who's flow shapes worlds

and makes Kings low


__This glow it casts the forest spectrum

__In new, uncommon light

__Where shafts of illusion and realization

__Replace the afternoon

__And shade is a kind of heat stroke

__Upon our mortal perception

__This is lost upon the child who says wherein


Come, tell me of the Fey again

Before this reverie begin

I didn't think it would be so hard to indent something inside a spoiler. :smalleek:

Silviya
2011-09-30, 04:20 PM
I'm going to have to use my twelve hour extension. I'm traveling right now, and I had thought I'd be able to have time to write something, but currently I'm so exhausted that I'm ending up spending all my free time sleeping. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get a poem done on time or not, but I'm going to try.

leakingpen
2011-09-30, 06:02 PM
Siphon of the Minds Eye

The rough black ground, burning hot and angry
The sharp sizzle sound, grilling through jeans to my knee
Eyes closed I push and reach, searching for an elusive hole
Long white worm held in each, my hands empty but full.

A doctor I imagine myself, plugging a hole in a heart
A green clad warrior elf, finding the great wyrmís start
A mechanic of mecha, feeding fuel to the beast,
A pilgrim to Mecca, worming through Crusaderís feast.

The dutchman mine found, the gold tapped and flowing
The gurgle dripping sound, the seeds of evil sowing
My mindís eye turns again, flights of fancy breeding
I ignore my truthful sin, as I sow what I was seeding.

A zombie landscape, every drop another mile
Knowing I must escape, I do my draining with a smile
Mad Max world when oil peaked, every drop a godsend
Every gallon a whisker squeaked, I imagine without end

My imagination runs hazy, and my mind myself will harass
I know that Iím just broke and lazy, and Iím just, stealing gas.

Phae Nymna
2011-09-30, 07:59 PM
Prompt: Din
Title: Eggs and a Biscuit
I was cutting into a fried egg when it struck me that
this diner had filled in with people and
swelled with boisterous noise and heavy hips so
I pondered as I fed myself the bottom half of
a floury biscuit wet with the golden yolk and
stacked with flabby egg and dusted
with salt from a shaker full of rice

with a bang and a scratch,
with a little crack in its side
my heavy stoneware dish touched down
sliding across the speckled red table
with its greasy linoleum top
and rested there piled with thick
brown waffles in their hot syrup
and an abstract pat of butter
dragged across the grid

the clatter was getting to me
piercing and then thundering
the chatter around me where a woman
jaw swinging as bacon fat fell
from her faded mouth
honked at her dying uncle
to lay off the bacon himself

the man who barked and growled
orders to his waitress
abuses to his wife and
warnings to his son
as his capillaries burst
from the alcoholic fervor

and then the chorus butted in
when fatback hit the pan and
sputtered oil on the stove that
heaved its laboured breath
beneath the Dawlin's, Poached?, and Tuesdays Only.

I wanted to eat at a diner
a place for quiet dining
for my solitary dinner
I found instead a diner
of diner din beside my dinner

but by my measure of the hour
I was left alone again
thanks no doubt to a
guy my age or maybe younger
seated in the next booth over
who leaned on his arms and knelt on his bench
and winked before he shouted Fire.

Szilard
2011-09-30, 09:33 PM
Prompt: Allay

Bang. Bang bang.
It was quick. It had to be done.
It wasn't me, it was them.
It's not my fault. It can't be.

They told us it'd be okay.
It wasn't.
I told them the same.
I lied.

It had spread fast.
We still don't know what it is.
But it happened.

The mania spread.
But now they would just give us up.
I couldn't have that.
I couldn't see them succumb.
It wouldn't be living.

I picked it up.
It was always under my bed.
Just in case.
This was a case.
It wouldn't be living, so they wouldn't.

Why do you have it out?
Everything will be alright.
Honey?
Everything.
Mommy, when'd Daddy get that?
All right.

And then it was done.
Just one last thing.

Bang

Elvaris
2011-09-30, 10:29 PM
Third poem of the night. Still not convinced I have one I like yet.

Prompt: Illuminate


Plip.

Plip. Plip.

Forward scouts of a billion drop army,
Supported by thunderous artillery
And a streaking air force
That illuminates the night sky.
Crashing down on all before it
As unspeakable numbers become one,
Flooding the battlefield
And washing away resistance
Until all that remains is a steady
Plip.

truemane
2011-09-30, 11:25 PM
Is that 12? With one person asking for the extension?

*shrug*

Not our worst, I suppose. Still disappointing though.

Silviya
2011-10-01, 04:47 AM
Well, I managed to get something written. I don't think it's very good, but I figure that a bad poem is better then no poem.

Prompt: Siphon


Away, away, I watch the world slip,
I see the end near, and I loosen my grip.
For gone now is their faith in me,
And I must go onward, lest I cease to be.

In this world that lacks belief,
I think that, maybe, death would be a relief.

They turn their faith to other beings,
They pray to other gods for their blessings.
And Iíve not the heart to rage,
In my dying age.

Iím a dying god, lost and alone,
Iím a dead god, with no place to call home.

New gods have now come,
To their new order I must succumb.
And now I grow weak, and now I grow cold,
And I wonder why this was never foretold.

Is it better to be lost in the black depths of night,
Or is it better to die, to sleep, and give up the fight?

And now I fall to the ground,
And this land fades, all around.
I scream, but there is no sound,
And I struggle as by death I am bound.

And I pray to them as they prayed to me,
Please, please, set me free.

But they turn their heads away,
And they kneel to other gods to pray,
And I feel is if my blood is all being drained away,
Without their love, I cannot stay.

I close my eyes and wait,
For now it is my turn to dissipate.
I donít know if what I feel is remorse or hate,
By now, itís far too late.

I will not journey on and be forever lost,
There would be far too great a cost.

I go with the others and I let myself die,
And I know that thereís not a single tear that they cry.
Iím nothing but a dying god, lost and alone,
Iím nothing but a dead god, with no place to call home.

The Fiery Tower
2011-10-01, 05:24 AM
I'm currently writing my poem. I think I have five and a half hours.

So yea. Expect this to be edited.

EDIT: I finished what is a barely edited poem that I wrote in... an hour and ten minutes. Either way, here it is:

Time
Tick.
My eyes eye the time,
Each second striking slowly.
surprisingly slowly.
Infinitesimally slow.
Tock.
Eyes shift towards the door
But find no one.
No movement.
Nothing at all.
Tick.
My mind begins to wander
And feels fierce fears.
A few feasible fears.
Those fears feeling true.
Tock.
What if there was a problem,
Something neither of us expected could happen
But may have happened anyways
Which is leading to her not being here
When should said she would be,
And what if-
Creeeek
My heart beats rapidly
As the door shifts slightly.
Ever so slightly.
Still, only slightly.
Tock.
Mind begins to realize
it was only the wind
Not her.
Only the wind.
Tick.
My will whirls to the clock
watching the clock.
Waiting for the next tock.
The tock which will come soon.
ÖWhereís the next tock?
It feels like times stopped completely
And she should be here by now
And the fact that she isnít-
Fwooom.
Sheís here.

Cernael
2011-10-01, 05:40 AM
If I get my time zones right, I've missed the deadline by some 3Ĺ hours already. Even if I would be allowed to use my freebie after-the-fact, I don't think I'll be able to come up with anything worthwhile in the next 8Ĺ hours - so I yield. Omeganaut wins this round on walk over.

Sorry.

Asthix
2011-10-01, 08:18 AM
Technically cerneal's post is over 50 words... I say you guys consider it. Verrry freeform, y'know?:smallwink:

SaintRidley
2011-10-01, 09:41 AM
Crap. I thought the deadline was next week. Haven't had time to write anything this week.Sorry.

averagejoe
2011-10-02, 04:01 PM
So we start judging now, yeah? I'll have mine up ASAP.

truemane
2011-10-03, 09:02 AM
Okay, here's the semi-traditional round summary for the ease of judging.


Iron Poet XIV: Round 1

The Fiery Tower (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11948150&postcount=47) vs. SaintRidley: Reunited
Bladescape (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11942068&postcount=35) vs. Alarra (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11941803&postcount=33): Subjugate
Phae Nymna (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11946244&postcount=42) vs. Worlok (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11943267&postcount=36): Din
DreamintheDark (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11941425&postcount=32) vs. Szilard (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11946763&postcount=43): Allay
Weezer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11943755&postcount=37)vs. Haruki-Kun (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11941822&postcount=34): Forswear
Asthix (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11944261&postcount=39)vs. Elvaris (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11947076&postcount=44): Illuminate
Cernael vs. Omeganaut (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11922762&postcount=31): Revile
Silviya (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11948085&postcount=46)vs. leakingpen (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11945781&postcount=41): Siphon

Judgements underway. We ask you for your patience.

leakingpen
2011-10-03, 10:41 AM
aww, two of my fav's didn't submit? That sucks. But then, at least I don't have to face you guys in later rounds, if I make it that far!

Viera Champion
2011-10-04, 10:08 AM
Judgement will come after school today.

Viera Champion
2011-10-06, 06:01 AM
Due to the fact that I havent gotten home yet, judgements will ACTUALLY be up tonight.

Weezer
2011-10-07, 11:07 PM
So, it appears that none of the judges have replied within the week time frame, what happens now?

Omeganaut
2011-10-07, 11:28 PM
Its the first round, give them time to work on it. I don't mind waiting another week for results and the next round.

Weezer
2011-10-08, 12:09 AM
You're right, I suppose I got impatient. Sorry 'bout that.

averagejoe
2011-10-08, 01:21 AM
Yeah, sorry. The first round is always the hardest just because of sheer volume.

Viera Champion
2011-10-08, 11:25 AM
The Fiery Tower vs. SaintRidley: Reunited
The Fiery Tower
I really enjoyed the way you explored the prompt. And the repetitiveness of the ticking and the tocking really interested me. I also found it intriguing that you used italics to switch back and forth between the poem, and the speakers thoughts.

SaintRidley
No poem.

Decision
The Fiery Tower wins via disqualification.

Bladescape vs. Alarra: Subjugate
Bladescape
That was one of favorite poems yet. To me it seemed like the darker version of Dr. Seuss if that makes sense. You know, the way you used the rhyme-scheme. I also enjoyed how seriously you took the prompt.

Alarra
I admit, when I started reading your poem, my hopes were incredibly high as you have won this contest more than once, so I guess it was my fault that I started out being disappointed. However, do not despair. As I continued to read through the poem, I quickly began to enjoy it. It took the prompt more subtly than Bladescape's did. I really enjoyed how the stanzas changed at the end, as the role of subjugation changed. As usual, I greatly enjoyed your work.

Decision
Though it was a very tough decision because Alarra's was so good, something about that Dr. Seuss feel in Bladescapes really caught my attention. So I am gonna have to give it to Bladescape.

Phae Nymna vs. Worlok: Din
Phae Nymna
I found your stanzas to be overstuffed, as though they were bursting at the seams. It was a little too much. And a lot of the time, I felt like you clicked the enter button at random points in your stanza as new lines seemed to start in all the wrong places. That is not to say that your poem was terrible. It was not. You got down to some nice descriptiveness throughout the poem even if it got a little gross at some points. I also enjoyed the one stanza where you toyed around with the prompt, using the word din in "dinner" and "diner". I noticed at the end how you capitalized Fire. Legend of Zelda Oracle of Seasons?

Worlok
So, like usual, I will begin with the negative stuff. The rhythm of the story frequently wavered and did not fit properly. Not to mention, many things you tried to rhyme were not even close to doing so. Yet I find again this Dr. Seuss feel. When I read this poem in my mind, I read it in the same lovely melody that you would find while reading The Grinch. I could see how you tried to connect it with the prompt, but I did not really find the connection to be satisfactory.

Decision
Rhyming in poetry takes skill. If you do not do it perfectly, it just sounds like some Shel Silverstein nonsense for children. (Do not get me wrong I love Silverstein) That is why, if you are gonna rhyme in a poem you have to get everything exactly right. So I am giving this one to Phae Nymna.

DreamintheDark vs. Szilard: Allay
DreamintheDark
I feel like you took the prompt a little too seriously. Don't worry, I did the exact same thing first time I was in this competition. In fact it was worse when I did it. I even used the prompt in my poem a couple times. Also, the poem seemed to be trying to grasp at a steady beat to read it in, but never found one.

Szilard
Short and to the point. Much the way I write poems. That was delightful by the way. It was nice how you really stretched your interpretation of the poem so that I really had to think about it while reading. The randomness of your lines and stanzas were also very neat. You continuously changed stanza size, line length, and even font format (i.e. the italics) to add more flavor to the poem.

Decision
Szilard.

Weezer vs. Haruki-Kun: Forswear
Weezer
You did not really do very much with the prompt until the very end, and even then you really did not even use it, merely put the word in there. I still enjoyed the poem however. Excellent work.

Haruki-Kun
That was beautiful poem. I loved how you explored the idea of forswearing something at the end. I also found it interesting that you only put two lines in the second to last stanza very nifty.

Decision
Haruki-Kun for use of prompt.

Asthix vs. Elvaris: Illuminate
Asthix
Something about the poem kinda bored me a bit. There was also the fact that you threw some random rhyming in there and then never did it again anywhere else. The whole thing just seemed a far stretch to go just to fulfill the prompt.

Elvaris
I really enjoyed how you managed to fit so much into so little space. Nifty. Though the connection to the connection to the prompt seemed a little hazy, I really enjoyed it anyways.

Decision
Elvaris.

Cernael vs. Omeganaut: Revile
Cernael
No poem.

Omeganaut
It feels weird judging your poetry after all the helpful tips and critiques you have given me on it.

I really liked this poem. You managed to mix a very nice rhyme-scheme with a very interesting repetition. Good work.

Decision
Omeganaut due to disqualification. Though I am sure he would have won anyway with his excellent poem.

Silviya vs. leakingpen: Siphon
Silviya
You started off doing the single worst thing you could possibly do. You told me that you yourself thought your poem was bad. If you cannot even like your own poetry, how can I? Never ever tell someone who is judging your work that you think it is bad. Than the person judging it begins reading the poem expecting it to bad, and that is not what you want. It also gives the judge the idea that you do not care if you win or lose, another bad thing. If you do not care enough to submit a good poem, why should you deserve to win.

That said, your poem is not as bad as you think it was. I enjoyed it. But again, I have said this before to the other poets. If you are gonna rhyme, you gotta follow through on the rhyming. You cannot make up fake rhymes in some places or what not. Be careful with how you end a line.

leakingpen
That was a fascinating poem, and you really squeezed everything out of that prompt (get it?:smallamused:). I thought it was cool how you not only rhymed the end of a line with the end of the next line, but you also rhymed the middle of a line with the middle of the next line. Very nifty idea. Good job.

Decision
leakingpen.

Oh dear god. I forgot how absolutely miserable and long the first round of judging is.

Vaynor
2011-10-08, 11:55 AM
Yeah, extra time is always required/expected with round 1.

averagejoe
2011-10-10, 02:26 AM
Judgments.

The Fiery Tower vs. SaintRidley: reunited

SaintRidley:
Entry: none. Shame: unlimited.

Nah, just joking around.

The Fiery Tower:
Alright, just to start with, I gotta be honest, Iíve seen the tick/tock framing device a ton of times, both in this contest and out. Itís not something Iíve ever really cared for, and Iíve never really seen it work well.

That said, the rest of your poem was pretty interesting. As I read I kind of fell in and out of love with your use of alliteration and repetition. Sometimes (ďAs the door shifts slightly./Ever so slightly./Still, only slightly.Ē) it added to the intensity and intimacy of the poem, while other times (And feels fierce fears./A few feasible fears./Those fears feeling true.Ē) it was just kind of silly and distracting and didnít really add anything.

I liked the diversions into his own thoughts. The whole thing did a pretty good job of painting a picture of someone agitated, not thinking clearly, off his rocker, or what have you, and the situation was interesting. Not answering the what/where of the poem was a good choice; the importance of the event came through the character, and expanding any more than that would have weighed the whole thing down needlessly. This poem accomplished one thing pretty well, and left the rest up to the reader, and allowing the reader to bring things to the table is an important part of poetry.

Use of the prompt is always something thatís kind of hard to judge by, but I felt that you didnít do anything with it but the most basic, obvious thing, i.e. a poem about two people being reunited, and it was the circumstances around this premise that made the poem interesting, not the premise itself. In the future Iíd like to see more thought applied to this aspect of the poem.

Verdict:
I almost put SaintRidley as a joke but Iíll take this seriously I guess.

Bladescape vs. Alarra: Subjugate

Bladescape:
The premise of your poem was an interesting one. The idea of subjugation as a choice given to people is a neat idea, and a cool twist on the prompt. That said, I wasnít a huge fan of the execution. There were too many lines that seemed added just to make the poem follow the rhyme scheme, and too many places where the lines came off as odd or silly because you needed a rhyme. (An example: ďWill lure the people far and wide to come in,/And ka-thump. The holy are now in the bin,Ē) Honestly, this poem reads as if you wrote it all the way through in one go, but even if you didnít, you really need to do more self-editing. Sometimes you just need to rework an entire thought or section just for the sake of making one line work. Like I said, it was a cool idea, and in terms of interpretation and use of the theme is honestly one of my favorites of the round, but you needed to put more work into this poem than you did and really polish it.

Alarra:
I liked the style you chose for this one a lot. The free verse ties together very well, to the point where it still reads like a poem and you donít even notice the free verse. It also speaks a lot to the character; the short, terse lines at the end of each verse make him come off as a solemn individual, and helped to punctuate the serious defiance he expressed, and then the change in verse at the end helps to punctuate the change in himself that was felt.

The main criticism I have was that I would have liked to see the theme expressed more, like somehow tying the theme of subjugation into the killing at the end. I feel like maybe you were going for that, with the line about him yielding, but either way it didnít come through strongly. Other than that I really donít have much to say. I enjoyed it a lot, and was surprised by how strong it was.

Verdict:
Alarra

Phae Nymna vs. Worlok: Din

Phae Nymna:
This poem kind of reminds me of that scene you see in movies, where someone is going crazy or tweaked out on drugs or something and is noticing every little thing in the room. you capture that sort of crazed intensity very well. Conceptually I liked this too, the idea of taking some normal thing that everyone takes for granted and turning it into a ďDin,Ē and from this guyís point of view it is.

I would have liked to see some sort of theme or structure. I feel that you were a bit too free with the free verse, and as a result the poem is kind of sprawling. It reads a little like a list with the point explained to us at the end. This poem feels like you came up with the concept and then just ran with it, putting it into a loose verse form as the words came to you. A theme running through the poem beyond just, ďThis stuff be noisy!Ē would have helped a lot.

Worlok:
I liked the sense of humor in this poem a lot. The Rasta verse actually made me chuckle a bit, but on the whole it was a fun ride. You definitely had something to say through this poem, which is normally a pet peeve of mine, but the kind of chill, celebratory air this poem had really made up for it. It was a sort of lighthearted celebration of music and diversity, and the idea of, ďDin,Ē not just as a musical clamor, but as many different kinds of voices from many cultures and walks of life was pretty cool. It was a poem with a very good energy to it.

The poem could have used a lot of polish in terms of the line structure and rhyme scheme. There were a lot of words you used not because they were the right words to use, but because you needed a line here or beat there. I did enjoy the levity and overall feel of the poem, but some sharper attention to the details would have brought the other elements through much more sharply.

It was an interesting choice to put it all in italics. Because thatís often how lyrics are written? Because thatís how you write poems? Or just because you felt like it? It wasnít a good or a bad thing, just one of those little details I tend to dwell on.

Verdict:
This one was actually pretty close. I enjoyed both for similar reasons, and felt both of them were weak in similar ways. In the end, though, I have to go with Worlok, for the good vibes. (Though I guess you bowed out so maybe this is a useless decision.)

DreamintheDark vs. Szilard: Allay

DreamintheDark:
I like this one. Itís fairly simple, and that helps the rather personal nature of it shine through. The danger this sort of poem often runs into is itís very easy for it to become generic, since thereís very little to ground it besides abstract thoughts. In this case it helps that thereís a sort of narrative Ė a person struggling with themselves, and eventually coming to a personal realization. Even so this poem is perhaps a tad too far on this side of generic than Iíd like. Iíd hesitate to offer a solution, since this sort of thing is very personal, and anything Iíd add would probably just be kind of false and miss the point. Thatís the problem, I think, that it needs to be more personal to work. As it stands, most anyone could be thinking these thoughts and feeling these feelings. As I said, making it a kind of narrative helps, but it needs a bit more to really work I think.

That said, the style works fairly well. The repetition works for the poem instead of against it, and it has a very continuous unified feeling to it (as it should, or else the lack of line breaks would become awkward) despite the narratorís constant back and forth with themselves. The use of the prompt was pretty straightforward, you even used the word in the poem itself, and I would have liked to see a little more done with that idea. Still, as I said, I like this one, and the use of the prompt doesnít really bring it down at all, it just doesnít elevate it either.

Szilard:
Dark. When I read the first half I thought, ďZombie apocalypse poetry,Ē but realized thatís probably not whatís going on. Straight off I really like the use of, ďAllay,Ē and the whole idea murder to alleviate. The whole thing is treated maturely, and isnít just done for the shock value, which is a very easy trap to fall into. The poem is simple and concise. It does what it has to do and leaves.

I wish I had more to say about this one, but all that really occurs to me are nitpicks. It was simple, pointed, and effective.

Verdict:
Szilard.

Weezer vs. Haruki-Kun: forswear

Weezer:
This feels like itís either about drugs or some dude or lady, and really whatís the difference? I liked the structure of this, the not-quite-free verse that has little tie-ins here and there. The structure loosens considerably as the poem goes on, which maybe is appropriate, but it somewhat feels like you ran out of time and didnít craft the end as much as the beginning.

Iím going to say the same thing to you that I said to a previous entrant: with this sort of poem, itís very easy to make it generic. It feels like itís very personal, but at the end of the day, the narrator could be almost anyone. Youíre coming from a very genuine place, and thatís something I respect a lot Ė something I could stand to learn for my own poems, honestly. But it needs you to dig deeper, to find that voice that makes this unique.

Haruki-Kun:
I like that you tackled the prompt head on. In this case, forswearing was almost an act of being true to oneself, making a poem with setting and themes that were kind of dark actually somewhat hopeful, a sort of cathartic chance to start over.

Iím not sure if this is a reference to some story or history, but I do like that you gave this a setting, instead of just having a generic guy forsaking his people. That heís a Roman tells us a lot about what heís leaving behind, and helps us connect to the story in a more personal way.

The format itself was kind of all over the place. The meter you chose was kind of sing-songy, which clashed with the story and subject matter. Even within the meter you used, rhythm, word choice, rhymes, all could have been much better. Throwing in a two-line verse added some dimension to the structure, but otherwise it could use a lot more work.

Verdict:
Another close one. This was kind of an odd match in that I felt that the strengths of each poem were so opposite one another. I think my vote has to go to Haruki-Kun, though, for use of the prompt. The round was otherwise pretty close, but I felt that Haruki really embraced the spirit of the challenge and brought something interesting to the table with regards to that.

Asthix vs. Elvaris: illuminate

Asthix:
The structure of this one was really interesting. I wasnít a huge fan of when you rhymed lines Ė it was just kind of distracting, and the flow of the rest of the poem works so well that itís unneeded Ė but this is otherwise a great example of how to structure a poem so that it adds to the content. The structure isnít just serving the rhythmic or subject needs of the poem; thereís a visual element to it, but not obnoxiously so.

Despite what I said above about rhymed lines, the last two worked really well. The rhyme is a little forced (should be, ďBegins,Ē) but I could see what you were going for, and it works well to kind of summarizes and punctuates the whole thing. Because thatís what the poemís about, the telling of stories and the intimate moments this creates. You captured the spirit of what you were writing about very well, and the whole poem had a rather enchanting air about it.

Elvaris:
I have to be honest Ė Iíve never been a huge fan of these, ďDescribing the weather,Ē sorts of poems. I feel like maybe I just donít get them, but Iíve honestly never read one thatís done much of anything for me.

That said, there were some elements to this I liked. The thunderous artillery/flooding the battlefield/washing away resistance were neat sort of double-metaphors, and the writing was generally pretty tight. In general it seems well written, despite my own prejudices on the matter.

Probably my biggest complaint is that it didnít seem to do much with the prompt. The poem involved lightning, which illuminates things, but the, ďPlip,Ē framing device made the rain much more central anyways. To me this borderline doesnít follow the prompt, which is unfortunate.

Verdict:
Asthix.

Cernael vs. Omeganaut: Revile

Cernael:
No entry. Sorry to have lost you.

Omeganaut:
A couple notes on minor structural issues:
Explaining your poem pretty much always looks bad. A piece of writing should stand up on its own. If you really think thereís an element to your poem that people might not get, you should 1) change it, or 2) hope that your readers do get it.

Slippíry as opposed to slippery is somewhat unneeded. Apostrophe-ing syllables is kind of anachronistic in the first place, and doing so really doesnít match the style of the rest of your poem, so it just seems out of place. And in any case slippery would have worked just fine there. Precise syllable matchup isnít always appropriate or needed.

Overall, I wasnít a big fan of the structure of this poem. ďThe ones that,Ē lines never seemed to add much to the poem, and in fact kind of just bogged the whole thing down. The problem is that, verse by verse, ďThe ones that,Ē lines just kind of said the same thing again and again. The repetition doesnít seem to have any purpose, and in general this poem could have used a lot of 1) focus and 2) trimming. The latter especially; there were plenty of lines that seemed to be there just to fill out the verse, and words seemed to be chosen just for the rhyme. (Example: ďthe ones which would scare any ghostĒ)

I think the main thing, though, is that I didnít get a strong point of view from you, the author. The rest of what I wrote as criticism are just things that you might want to think about when doing another poems, suggestions and thoughts I had. Next round Iíd really like to see a personal touch, not necessarily something ďpersonal,Ē like your dark secrets or anything, but something that really feels like only you could have done it or thought about it. You might also want to try going more simple Ė this poem has a lot of distracting elements, and thereís probably a lot Iím missing.

Verdict:
Omeganaut

Silviya vs. leakingpen: siphon

Silviya:
I like the verse structure you used for this, the four-line verses for the more explicative bits, and the two-line verses for the more personal ones. The rhymes, word choice, and so on all could have been more solid, but I think you know that so I wonít dwell on it too much. Really, this poem had some good ideas, and with a bit more work on the details it could have turned into something really cool.

I would have liked for the narrator to have more of a point of view. Thatís probably the main overall criticism I have, even including structural things. This could be a poem about a person dying, and Iím not sure how much the dying god thing added, if anything at all. Like with the structure, the idea of it is really cool, I just would have liked to see more done with it.

leakingpen:
Iím not entirely sure what to say about this one. On the one hand, the twist end was pretty funny, but on the other, Iím not sure that Iím a fan of twist endings in general. Or, rather, Iím not sure how the rest of the poem stands up on its own without the twist. I think this would have been stronger if you interwove that theme into the whole poem instead of just saving it for the end. There just didnít seem to be a lot of point to it all. This guy glorifies himself stealing gas, but in the end heís honest with himself, so he doesnít even think that.

Verdict:
Silviya

Worlok
2011-10-10, 09:37 AM
Clarification: I was afraid I would have to bow out, that's where my (since deleted) post to that effect came from. There were some... confusing developments which I was afraid would once again tie my attention up and seeing how that kind of thing is rather infuriating when it happens after the one who bows out just won, effectively putting two people down in one round, I decided to take one for the contest. The way it looks now, the notification in my signature is still relevant, but I won't immediately have to bow out and will still have internet access the next few weeks. So I'm still technically in, but it might come to pass that I'll have to leave on insanely short notice at a later point. So, please, do judge on. :smallsmile: I apologise for any confusion or troubles that might have arisen from the issue. :smallfrown:

truemane
2011-10-12, 06:39 AM
Working on mine. Hope to have it all up in the next few days.

Szilard
2011-10-16, 08:45 PM
So... other judges?

truemane
2011-10-17, 11:06 AM
I think I'm the only one left. Working on em now. Bout half done. Hope for today/tomorrow.

truemane
2011-10-19, 12:48 PM
Here we go. My apologies for the delay. I'll do better next time.

Iron Poet XIV: Round 1

The Fiery Tower vs. SaintRidley: Reunited

The Fiery Tower
Time

Not bad. Certainly something I can relate to (and I imagine most of us can). Using the Tick/Tock as alternate refrains serves the material well and sets off each piece well.

The thing this is missing is specificity. Since we've all been there, this experience would be most valuable of we got a sense of who THIS person is and what HE'S going through. Give us a few scenes that run through his mind. Those twisted little fantasies we spin for ourselves when we're worried, and the types of which can tell us about him. Give us a look at what she means to him, and what sort of person he is, and whether this kind of anxiety is normal or why he has it in the first place.

There were a few little bits I really enjoyed. "...eyes eye the time..." was good. The "Creeeek" was nice. The little fwoosh.

Overall? Good stuff. Just needed to zoom in some more.


SaintRidley

No entry


Verdict

The Fiery Tower, by default


Bladescape vs. Alarra: Subjugate

Bladescape
The Lost Light

First thing's first, I know that spelling isn't as important as it used to be, but you should at least spell the prompt correctly. Your prompt was 'Subjugate' not 'Subjegation.' And a cut and paste into a spell-check would have at least given you 'Subjugation' which would have been close enough. I think it's just good manners to do that much at least.

Now, as to the piece itself, I found it uneven. You need to be just as careful with the rhythm as you are with your rhymes, as the reader is going to expect the two to go together and any severe failings in the rhythm are going to stand out. You should always make sure the rhyming lines have the same number of syllables and do your best to make the beat as consistent as you can.

I wasn't crazy about the content. Good Queen bad King, but no actual characters we can see and identify with and care about. There's an invasion, but no sense of why or what or where or what's at stake other than 'good and evil.'

I did like the ending. That final movement is pretty good. The Queen can handle defeat and humiliation, but she can't live with the idea that her failure will make the people evil. So she snuffs it. Pretty good, and a take on it I didn't see coming.

But overall, I'm afraid I have to call this one a misfire.


Alarra:

This piece grew on me. At first I was going to tell you I didn't get it. Then I was going to tell you I got it, but didn't like it. Now, after about a few quick readings and a few close ones I can happily say that I get it. And I like it.

You're getting better and better at this as you go, Alarra. I'm sure I've told you that before. I was intrigued by the way you structured this one and impressed by the way it imposed itself on the material and elevated it, deepened it, sharpened it. I liked the repetition of end-words and the enjambment was well executed.

It's an interesting and even involving narrative, a story with conflict and passion and rising action and resolution, all forced through that careful halting, measured pace that commented so well on the mindset of the narrator. I can imagine him, walking, walking, living, breathing, thinking, hating, waiting, until his thoughts run like this, with that heavy plodding rhythm.

The only note I'd give you for improvement, and this goes for a lot of your work, not just this one, is to watch the formality of the language. Especially when it's being narrated by a discernible character. When you use the first person you need to consider what that person would and would not say just as carefully as you consider what needs to be said.

For example, would this guy say: "...I call out signals that fall upon the deaf ears of a corpse lined trench." Even in his head? Or "Sparks of defiance kindle the eyes of strangers no longer
as we plot our continued rebellion..."

And yes, I know it's a poem, and that's sometimes how poems sound, but the formality can distance you from the work. The piece would be deeper and more visceral still if we knew that such and such an image or idea isn't the POET talking, or even the POEM, but the narrator himself.

But it's a very good piece. Tight, controlled, emotional. Nice work.


Verdict

Alarra


Phae Nymna vs. Worlok: Din

Phae Nymna
Eggs and a Biscuit

Did you leave all the punctuation out on purpose? Well, not all. There are three commas, one question mark and one period. But was that intentional? I ask because at first I was all over it. Your excessive use of enjambment, coupled with the lack of punctuation, gave the first stanza or two a nice energy and flow that they might otherwise have been lacking.

But then it went on. And on. And on. And there's no pause for breath or thought. And it starts to be too much of a muchness.

Other than that, it's an okay piece. Some nice wordplay ("of diner din beside my dinner" was particularly entertaining), a few interesting images ("barked and growled/orders to his waitress/abuses to his wife and/warnings to his son" was very good) and a nice cap at the end.

But the experience was marred by the lack of proper punctuation. You put commas and periods and semi-colons and em dashes and all those other wacky things as a way of controlling the poem's speed and flow. To control the way the reader's eye moves across each line. In the absence of such, only the words and the flow of the language do that, and you only do it if the material itself merits that lack of control.

Generally speaking, poetry or not, you follow the rules of grammar unless there's a REASON not to. Whatever you do, make a point, even if your point is there is no point.


Worlok
The elitist's comeuppance

Heh. Cute. Cute and interesting actually. Sounds a lot like Elvaris. I'm imagining you tossed this one off pretty quickly, what with you being blindsided by the prompt and all. It's got a lot of good things in it, but it needs to be re-written and refined a few more times before it's done. The rhythm is really uneven and some of the phrasing is awkward. So I don't have a lot to say that I imagine you don't know already.

Couple of little things, though: the single non-rhyming line in stanzas one and two do NOT work. I would remove them and rework the material. And I didn't quite what you were getting at with the ending. Romantic gear? Like, from the Romantic period? Saw what? Confused.

But I have to admit, a lot of it made me smile.

Also, side note? GREAT title.


Verdict

Worlok.


DreamintheDark vs. Szilard: Allay

DreamintheDark
Thought and Mind

How are you still a Pixie? I figured you'd have crawled up the ranks to Halfling by now at least. Anyway....

Although clarity is not necessarily poetry's business, I think this one suffered from some clarity of purpose. Instead of constantly referring back to 'thoughts' and 'mind' and 'voice' which are things we can't see and can't picture, you might have found some single image or idea to symbolize whatever struggle the narrator is undergoing and referred back to that instead. An argument could be harsh words and a temper igniting in your forehead blazing sunlight. A missed opportunity could be looking through a window and seeing some idyllic scene you can never be a part of.

Finding some way to communicate the essence of your piece in concrete terms, would have really improved the effectiveness of the refrains, the 'knew what I had to do' and 'this is not my place' etc, which are used very effectively and add a lot to the flow by breaking up the images into little pieces and giving the impression of someone picking away at something over and over again, a memory, or a regret, like a scab.

Also, even though perfect grammar is also not necessarily poetry's business, you still should follow the rules of conventional English and only depart from them if you have a thematic reason to do so.
For example:

My heart was pounding hard,
I cannot understand,
The problems that I saw.

Aside from the shift in tenses, which is jarring, although it makes some sense, there shouldn't be a comma after the second line. "I cannot understand the problems that I saw." is a perfectly valid sentence and the line break doesn't change that.

A good piece. But lacking in something nice and visceral that we can really sink our teeth into and relate to and relive along with the narrator.


Szilard

Heavy. I like it. I'm thinking zombies because of the 'wouldn't be living' but it doesn't really matter does it? It's not about the actual whatever-it-is, it's about one man's response. It's an odd truism of art that the more specific you are, the more universal. This is a reasonable example of that. Instead of vast sweeping statements about morals and life and death and whatever, you have one guy's struggle, one guy's choice.

I liked it a lot. One of the stronger pieces of the round.

One thing to watch out for is narrative logic. If we start with three bangs, and then the child asks the mother where the father got the gun, is that a flashback? If so it ought to be set apart in some fashion (italics are usually good for this), otherwise we're going to assume it's part of the flow. And if not, then who did he shoot first? Unless the whole things is a flashback. In which case it might be best to put the "Bang. Bang bang" after the "Mommy, when'd daddy get that?"

But that's little. Nice piece.


Verdict

Tough choice. Two solid poems. But Szilard wins.


Weezer vs. Haruki-Kun: Forswear

Weezer
Finished

I liked this piece. Quite a bit. Interesting concept, good execution. Simple, direct, effective.

The piece's primary strength is the language. With only a few exceptions, you stuck to 'normal' everyday language and in so doing avoided the overly formal 'poetic tone' that a lot of poets default to and that often mars the work. If this is supposed to be a guy ruminating, then we need to hear HIM ruminating, right? Not the ghost of Alexander Pope.

Now, that being said, just because the language is informal doesn't mean it can't be powerful, and there were places where you used a weak work or phrase where something punchier would have helped. I've said this before, if you can try to always use imagery derived from the senses, it increases the immediacy of your verse.

By way of examples:

"...taken, and shaken..." - very nice, but I might consider removing the comma to increase the impact of the rhyme.

"...bereft and trembling..." - also very nice. Bereft is a little abstract, but it has a nice sound to it, so i think it works.

"Thrown out of your fantasy." - less nice. It's both abstract and unclear. If there's a particular fantasy, show it to us. Otherwise, find a more direct way to communicate this.

"For I am no longer myself,/ But have been consumed by your self" - Quite good. The repetition of self is both interesting and unusual enough to stand out.

"What has been done?
Have we been exalted or cast down,
Been pulled into the garden or thrown from it?
Is there even a difference?"

Very good. I'd have put a question mark after the second line too, just to maintain the pleading tone. But I like this stanza. I think it's the heart of the piece.

All in all, a nice piece. Some tweaks, some care and attention to the little things and it would leap off the screen and kick the reader in the teeth.


Haruki-Kun
That which we call a rose...

There's some juice here, but it's marred by inconsistent execution.

The first thing is the rhythm. If you're going to use rhyme, especially couplets, you have to pay close attention to the rhythm. Any lines that rhyme should have the same basic beat and at least should have the same number of syllables in each line. You've established a sort of 11-beat-per-line-kinda thing but your rhythm is all over the place. I'm not sure if you didn't pay any attention to it or just had trouble setting it. If you write a piece with rhythm and rhyme you should ALWAYS read it out loud a few times. And then get someone else to read it out loud to you.

The second thing is syntax. I know it's a poem, but we all have to read it and so you need to maintain the conventions of the English language unless you're departing from them for an identifiable reason. I found your comma use very eccentric. Some lines had commas in excess of both good grammar and good sense ("And thus, I flee, and thus, I leave...") while other lines that could have really used them (both in terms of grammar and in terms of the flow of the language itself) had none. "But homeless and nomad I was still the same..." and "And begging for mercy I turned to the sky..."

The third thing, related, is the logic of the language itself and how it impacts on the sense of the piece. Especially for a piece like this in which you don't give very much direct information about your theme, you need to be very careful that the words are saying what you want them to say. "I smiled and nodded and started to cry..." for example. Smiled, nodded, crying? Do people do that? Wouldn't you usually frown, nod, and cry? Or at least have some kind of transition (emotional, temporal, mental, whatever) between the smiling and nodding and the crying? Also, the phrase "smile and nod" has a very specific connotation in English (at least in North America) and so I'd avoid using it/invoking it unless that's exactly what you mean.

Another point on the logic of the language is verb tense. Again, especially in this kind of piece where you really don't SAY anything for certain, you have to be clear in your time frames. You start with the basic past tense, so we assume that's the 'setting' of the piece unless we're told otherwise. And then you take it to present tense, thereby establishing THAT as ' the now' and all the past tense stuff to be what leads up to now?

But then "My mother would say" which is another mode of the past altogether, thereby putting that scene in a specific place (or, more accurately, several places) that are outside the reality of 'scrubbed my own name' and 'thus, I flee.' And so, your direct response to your mother ought to be in the same mode. If you mother 'would say' then you should respond with 'I would smile'

You follow?

Similarly, if 'They say' is present tense then you can't say 'they claimed' because now you're establishing a present tense closer to the present than that of the narrator in the final two lines.

And yeah, I know, I know, this is all so small and subtle and semantic that you've probably already written me off as hopelessly picky. But when you're writing poetry, and you're using compressed language and quick-sketch images to stand for things that would take much longer to describe in prose, these things matter. And paying attention to these things makes you a better poet.

But I did very much like the use of clothing and a name to stand for identity and nationality. I liked the title. Are you trying to imply that 'a rose by any other name would smell as sweet' or are you implying the opposite thereof, that in changing the name you change the thing itself? Or are you just using rose as a symbol of beauty and love, something you narrator wants no part of? Interesting. And although I usually look askance at large shifts in structure, I thought the single couplet worked well, set the narrator's 'mission' off from his musings.

Good stuff in here. Just needs more attention to detail.


Verdict

Weezer


Asthix vs. Elvaris: Illuminate

Asthix
Spellfire

Most of this is very good. I have a bit of a weakness for this kind of pure, freeform imagistic poetry so I very much enjoyed it. The only thing about this kind of verse, though, is that in my experience it tends to work best when it's either very controlled or allowed to run totally rampant. You're kind of in the middle and I think it hurts the material.

For example:

"The Violet Ones that no one know
Who's flow shapes worlds
and makes Kings low"

Is gorgeous. A low, even cadence with those short clipped lines at odds with the languid language and the non-intrusive rhyme serving tie the pieces together and make them sing. Very, very nice.

And conversely:

"Where shafts of illusion and realization
Replace the afternoon"

Is also gorgeous, for the completely opposite reason. No rhythm, no rhyme, and the actual words don't even make grammatical sense, let alone logical sense. Shafts of realization? Replace the afternoon? WFT? But it WORKS mate. It works because it's totally unhinged. Because as we read it our brains decide it's not supposed to make linear sense and we can sit back and dig the groove.

had the entire piece worked in one of these modes or the other, it would been so so good. Even as it is, it's very good.


Elvaris

I'm not precisely sure what the plip is. Just the silence after the storm? Or an empty radar? Or something else? Not certain. And it's an eccentric word, which makes it stand out more. Sometimes ambiguity works. But in a piece this sparse, I think it detracts from the moment.

This is quite a departure for you. Even from your other forays into serious verse, this one has a minimalism that I tend to respond to. And the cascade of images is quite effective. But since we start with the plip, 'flashback' to the battle, and then end up at the plip again, I think it might be helpful to situate us there, at the plip, and show us what's there. Whether that be the lonely drop of water from a forgotten gun barrel or the blink of electric light in an abandoned command station, or whatever. Start with the plips, show us what it is. Flashback. Plip again. Done.

Little things:

"...billion drop army," is it an army of a billion men? Or does it just seem that way? If it IS a billion dudes, then this is science fiction. If not, you might be better finding a different way to express this.

"...supported by thunderous artillery." do you really need 'supported by'? Isn't that assumed? I'd drop it and use the rest of the line for another quick-sketch image of the artillery.

"...unspeakable numbers..." could maybe find a stronger word than 'unspeakable.'

I liked it. Decent use of your precision of language (I bet you write a mean memo) in service of a serious purpose.


Verdict

Another touch choice. Two good, good pieces by two good poets. But Asthix takes this one.


Cernael vs. Omeganaut: Revile

Cernael

No entry


Omeganaut

First off, slightly irrelevant but well meant-note: don't explain things about your poem. Not even a rhyme. If you're that concerned that your audience won't understand it, choose a different word. And if, on the other hand, you feel you shouldn't have to change words to suit the ignorant, then let it stand. Explanations never help. And if you ARE going to (which you shouldn't), you should opt for a more polite tone, and you should put the note somewhere away from the poem itself, so as to separate the two.

Okay. That being said. The poem itself.

It felt to me like more hook than flow. I liked the restrictive structure, both the elegiac 'the ones that...' and the rhymes. The rhythm is also well-chosen and well-executed. Some of the rhymes themselves are a little forced and some a little hackneyed, but what can you? Writing natural-sounding couplets is really really hard. I felt you did a decent job working your way through the fairly difficult terrain you mapped out for yourself.

The thing the poem is missing is movement. It starts and it goes and it goes some more and then stops. But if I re-arranged the stanzas of the poem I don't think anyone would notice. Poems aren't stories, but they need to form an internal narrative that follows its own logic from some sort of A to some sort of B. There should be flow, movement, a sense of drawing the reader forward by dint of the string of ideas and images, some change in the narrator or the narrated that leaves you somewhere different at the end from where you began.

This was a very well-constructed poem. I sense that there's something personal behind it (I wouldn't be surprised if there were one person you were thinking of when you wrote it). And the emotion, forced through the structure like water through a thin hose, was effective. It just needs that little something extra and it would really sing.


Verdict

Omeganaut, by default


Silviya vs. leakingpen: Siphon

Silviya

I think you're to hard on yourself. It's not a bad piece at all. The subect matter isn't exactly groundbreaking, but it's well-enough executed.

Your language choices are appropriate for the material. Slightly formal, with a slow careful rhythm that invokes a sombre mood. I think some more attention could be paid to the structure. I found the varying line lengths worked fine, but maybe a stronger, more consistent rhythm might have helped. I'm a little warm-and cold on the alternating four line/two line stanza and I think it might have worked better had you used "Iím nothing but a dying god, lost and alone,/Iím nothing but a dead god, with no place to call home." As a refrain every second stanza or so, and then when you ended with it you'd have gotten some real punch out of it.

The only thing it's lacking is movement. He's dead, he's dying.... now what? Had the idea of gods depending on humans for their existence been a new or novel notion you'd have gotten away with it, but between Gaiman and Pratchett that whole gig's been done to death. So you need some story, some movement, some edge to the material. He's a god, he's dying, we got it. Aaaaaaand?

Like, for example, concentrating on a God's preoccupation with his own afterlife would have been interesting. Or maybe some notion of who the new gods are as a sort of symbol of progress?

Or whatever. But it could really have used a something.


leakingpen


Heh. Cute. Clever, even. But the thing about cute and clever is that the technical aspects have got to be just about perfect. You're allowed wiggle room on the mechanics if you've got heavy stuff to say (Shakespeare, for example, cheats on his iambic pentameter in his sonnets more than a few times but no one ever calls him on it). But if all you have is package, then the package needs to be pristine.

Like a mystery or a thriller, yeah? It's all about narrative speed. If the end is the point then you need to get your reader then on greased rails. You don't want them getting caught up and lingering over specifics.

So, if something like this is going to work you need to make sure:

1. that all the lines have the same number of syllables.
2. that the rhythm is almost perfect. And you do this by reading it out loud to yourself and editing. And then getting someone else (a few someone elses if you have them) to read it out loud to you.
3. you have as few pauses as humanly possible. No commas, no conditional or prepositional phrases. You want to zip the reader along so fast he's at the end before he even knows it, chuckles to himself at your wit, and moves on.

For example:

The rough black ground, burning hot and angry
The sharp sizzle sound, grilling through jeans to my knee

That caesura you create with the comma in the middle of each line is fine, and I even like the way you make it a consistent element, but you're better off replacing both of them with the word 'is' just so the reader keeps going along without stopping. It'll make the end that much more effective.

So, as I said, clever and cute. And I even related. How many times have I envisioned a horde of zombies in a deserted gas station late at night? But if you want this sort of thing to sing, you need to give a few more drafts.


Verdict

Silviya


And thatís how we roll it out in Judgement town.

Vaynor
2011-10-19, 04:45 PM
Congratulations to our winners! For the new round, we'll be using picture prompts! Good luck!

Iron Poet XIV: Round 2

We will be having an overall theme for this contest: collage. Please try to incorporate both the picture you are given (which will be a collage) and the idea of collages when writing your poem. The titles of the collages are inconsequential, although you may choose to incorporate them if you want to.

Silviya vs. Worlok: Mr. Green (http://screamcreampuff.deviantart.com/art/Mr-Green-264260617?q=in%3Atraditional%2Fcollage%20sort%3Ati me&qo=6)
Haruki-Kun vs. Szilard: Pin Up (http://pophotography.deviantart.com/art/Pin-Up-264170253?q=boost%3Apopular%20in%3Atraditional%2Fc ollage%20max_age%3A24h&qo=39)
Asthix vs. The Fiery Tower: The Book Project Ė 4 (http://grettawallace.deviantart.com/art/The-Book-Project-4-264180081?q=boost%3Apopular%20in%3Atraditional%2Fc ollage%20max_age%3A24h&qo=67)
Alarra vs. Omeganaut: Peeping Through The Blinds (http://lizole.deviantart.com/art/peeping-through-the-blinds-263596456?q=boost%3Apopular%20in%3Atraditional%2Fc ollage%20max_age%3A168h&qo=16)

Deadline: Thursday, October 27th, 2011 at 11:59 pm (EDT).

Szilard
2011-10-19, 08:30 PM
Thanks to all the judges. :smallbiggrin:

And while my poem may have looked like zombieness (and I did consider it), I was going for more of a disease that makes people insane in a way. And concerning the idea of when the flashback is and where to put the bangs, I had wanted to start the poem with a bang (pun completely intended). Then I showed the man's reasoning, then it sort of flashed back to right before the bangs, and then he ends it.

Anywho, thanks again!

Weezer
2011-10-19, 08:32 PM
Many thanks to the judges and congratulations to those who made it through! I greatly enjoyed this and will most certainly be participating next time round.

Good luck for the rest of the competition! :smallbiggrin:

Alarra
2011-10-19, 10:17 PM
Thank you judges for all the comments, I really enjoyed this prompt and appreciate the time you took to critique what we wrote. Shiro, I'd love to know what you found disappointing.

bladescape
2011-10-19, 10:32 PM
Thank you judges, especially Shiro for the compliments.

And thanks to Alarra, as well. I'd like to say it was a hard fought battle, but it wasn't really. I like to think of myself as good, at least, but you were certainly better.

leakingpen
2011-10-20, 11:21 AM
thank you judges! Always look forward to the critiques.

(nimdyd, i have a tendency to draw out my jokes in non poem form as well. gets me in trouble now and then. )

truemane
2011-10-20, 11:40 AM
leakingpen, drawn out is fine. But the longer the set-up, the slicker it has to be to get the job done. Like telling a really long story or joke, right? If you're going to hold their attention while you lay it down, you got to have perfect delivery.

Same thing here. You have some lines with a quick tappity-tap tempo and some slick rhymes and you can draw it out forever. But the long lines, frequent pauses, uneven rhythm mar the execution.

Omeganaut
2011-10-20, 12:05 PM
Thank you judges, I appreciate the feedback and will try to take it into account preparing the next poem. Now here's to trying something new!

Asthix
2011-10-20, 12:39 PM
Holy carp I made it to round 2!!!!! Thank you for the illuminating commentary. :smallsmile:

Even though nimdyd said to never explain yourself:

Spellfire explained!The two rhyme schemes are meant to represent when the subjects are being affected by the Fey. So that was the reason for the duality and the strange sentiment expressed in the 'best of all our race' line. It was alluded to in the indented part, but whenever I tried to explain it more clearly, it seemed hackneyed so I left it out.

I don't know if anyone really got the second rhyme scheme. It goes: know, flow, low, glow.

Elvaris
2011-10-20, 08:53 PM
nimdyd:
The plips were just the first and last drops of the thunderstorm. My abilities with metaphor are limited, and they only hold up so far.

What can I say? It's been a rainy year.

And now that that's out of the way, I will add my voice to the symphony of congratulations for the winners and the chorus of thanks to, and praise for, our judges. It's always a pleasure to match verse in these threads. (Which brings me to an aside: the Iron Writer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133569) thread. I rather miss it. Given that the Mod density is quite possibly higher in this thread than in Board Issues, any chance of a resurrection? Or at least a sequel?)

Zeb The Troll
2011-10-20, 09:11 PM
(Which brings me to an aside: the Iron Writer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133569) thread. I rather miss it. Given that the Mod density is quite possibly higher in this thread than in Board Issues, any chance of a resurrection? Or at least a sequel?)That particular thread is old and the OP isn't around as much as she used to be. If you'd like to start another one, that'd be fine.

Haruki-kun
2011-10-20, 11:21 PM
Many thanks to the judges! Well, I suppose this is the part where I answer and clarify.

lilshiro:
Well, not much to say, really. Thank you for your judgement!

Joe:
Indeed, this is a specific story of a man forswearing his people, and his people's reaction to this act, or this attempted act. I made the relation to being a Roman based on the common saying "When in Rome do as the Romans do."

I can see where you're coming from with the Meter. To be fully honest I wasn't very satisfied with it, I wish it had been a little more structured. But I really liked the imagery I managed and decided not to edit it.

nimdyd:
Oh, boy. :smalltongue: Here we go. I'll agree with several things you said and attempt to justify a few others I disagree with. Let's go by parts.


The first thing is the rhythm. If you're going to use rhyme, especially couplets, you have to pay close attention to the rhythm. Any lines that rhyme should have the same basic beat and at least should have the same number of syllables in each line. You've established a sort of 11-beat-per-line-kinda thing but your rhythm is all over the place. I'm not sure if you didn't pay any attention to it or just had trouble setting it. If you write a piece with rhythm and rhyme you should ALWAYS read it out loud a few times. And then get someone else to read it out loud to you.

Well the thing about rhythm in this poem's case is that I went entirely by feel. I did pay a lot of attention to it but I decided to edge away from specific syllable counts. I usually figure as long as I don't have 14 syllable lines followed by 5 syllable lines the rhythm is not too off.


The second thing is syntax. I know it's a poem, but we all have to read it and so you need to maintain the conventions of the English language unless you're departing from them for an identifiable reason. I found your comma use very eccentric. Some lines had commas in excess of both good grammar and good sense ("And thus, I flee, and thus, I leave...") while other lines that could have really used them (both in terms of grammar and in terms of the flow of the language itself) had none. "But homeless and nomad I was still the same..." and "And begging for mercy I turned to the sky..."

Yeah.... I'm a bit inconsistent with punctuation. My bad. :smallfrown:


The third thing, related, is the logic of the language itself and how it impacts on the sense of the piece. Especially for a piece like this in which you don't give very much direct information about your theme, you need to be very careful that the words are saying what you want them to say. "I smiled and nodded and started to cry..." for example. Smiled, nodded, crying? Do people do that? Wouldn't you usually frown, nod, and cry?

Well, yes. In reality. But this is poetry. Especially because:


Also, the phrase "smile and nod" has a very specific connotation in English (at least in North America) and so I'd avoid using it/invoking it unless that's exactly what you mean.

Exactly what I meant. Nod and smile, pretend to understand, pretend to agree, pretend to be paying attention, while the person is actually crying. He nods and smiles, and then he starts to cry because of it.


Another point on the logic of the language is verb tense. Again, especially in this kind of piece where you really don't SAY anything for certain, you have to be clear in your time frames. You start with the basic past tense, so we assume that's the 'setting' of the piece unless we're told otherwise. And then you take it to present tense, thereby establishing THAT as ' the now' and all the past tense stuff to be what leads up to now?

But then "My mother would say" which is another mode of the past altogether, thereby putting that scene in a specific place (or, more accurately, several places) that are outside the reality of 'scrubbed my own name' and 'thus, I flee.' And so, your direct response to your mother ought to be in the same mode. If you mother 'would say' then you should respond with 'I would smile'

Also my bad.


You follow?

*takes notes*


Similarly, if 'They say' is present tense then you can't say 'they claimed' because now you're establishing a present tense closer to the present than that of the narrator in the final two lines.

And yeah, I know, I know, this is all so small and subtle and semantic that you've probably already written me off as hopelessly picky. But when you're writing poetry, and you're using compressed language and quick-sketch images to stand for things that would take much longer to describe in prose, these things matter. And paying attention to these things makes you a better poet.

OK, I'll remember all of this.


But I did very much like the use of clothing and a name to stand for identity and nationality. I liked the title. Are you trying to imply that 'a rose by any other name would smell as sweet' or are you implying the opposite thereof, that in changing the name you change the thing itself?

By any other smell would smell as sweet. Entirely Shakespearean reference. This person, regardless of his culture is the same in himself. His name, his clothes, i.e. his people, his land, his culture... those things don't define who he is.


Or are you just using rose as a symbol of beauty and love, something you narrator wants no part of? Interesting. And although I usually look askance at large shifts in structure, I thought the single couplet worked well, set the narrator's 'mission' off from his musings.

Good stuff in here. Just needs more attention to detail.


Much appreciated.

averagejoe
2011-10-20, 11:27 PM
Congratulations to our winners! For the new round, we'll be using picture prompts! Good luck!

Ooooh, that's really neat. Whenever I judge there always seem to be prompts that make me go, "Oooh, I wish I was a contestant this round."


the Iron Writer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133569) thread. I rather miss it. Given that the Mod density is quite possibly higher in this thread than in Board Issues, any chance of a resurrection? Or at least a sequel?)

That's not really a mod thing; as per the rules, if a thread hasn't been posted in for more than six weeks, it can be re-created no problem.

I've always loved the Iron Writer threads, but I think the main problem with them is they tended to be much more involved time-wise than the poet competition, especially in terms of judging. I think PhoeKun had a good idea for how to run it, but that was during pretty much the busiest time in my life, so I dunno, might work. I'd show up for that thread if anyone wanted to create it, at least.

leakingpen
2011-10-21, 10:08 AM
sounds like fun! i'd be in.

Viera Champion
2011-10-21, 11:33 AM
sounds like fun! i'd be in.

Would capital letters be willing to join too?:smallwink:

Omeganaut
2011-10-21, 12:06 PM
I would love to do it, however it would have to be during break times of the year, as I am normally to busy to actually write full-blown stories with a time-limit.

truemane
2011-10-21, 03:12 PM
The funny thing is that Iron Author was the first incarnation of this whole head-to-head writing gig. There was some dubiousness at first that it would even work for poetry.

And lo, here we are, 14 iterations later, while Iron Author has fallen by the wayside.

Silviya
2011-10-21, 04:26 PM
Thank you to all the judges! I got some really useful feedback on my poem, and I'll deffinitely put it to use when I revise/rewrite the poem.


On the Iron Writer thing, that looks like something that I'd want to participate in, if it gets started up again.

Vaynor
2011-10-21, 05:00 PM
The funny thing is that Iron Author was the first incarnation of this whole head-to-head writing gig. There was some dubiousness at first that it would even work for poetry.

And lo, here we are, 14 iterations later, while Iron Author has fallen by the wayside.

Yeah, I actually based my rules off of the original Iron Author contest. I think it has a lot to do with me being here the whole time and continuing to run the contest regularly. I hope to see 14 more! :smallsmile:

Worlok
2011-10-21, 05:04 PM
I'm confused about the deadline: Do you mean Thursday, the 27th, or Tuesday, the 25th? :smallconfused:

Other than that, thanks to the judges. I am still working on something like an explanation for some of the issues about my entry, but at the moment I'm really just stopping by and will have to post again at a later point in time. :smallwink:

Vaynor
2011-10-21, 05:06 PM
I'm confused about the deadline: Do you mean Thursday, the 27th, or Tuesday, the 25th? :smallconfused:

Heh, woops. The deadline is Thursday the 27th, and my post has been corrected to show that.

Worlok
2011-10-21, 05:08 PM
Alright then, good to know. :smallsmile:

averagejoe
2011-10-21, 05:49 PM
Yeah, I actually based my rules off of the original Iron Author contest. I think it has a lot to do with me being here the whole time and continuing to run the contest regularly. I hope to see 14 more! :smallsmile:

Pretty much same here. Heck, I didn't even really participate in these poetry thingies until IA went under.

Vaynor
2011-10-26, 02:34 AM
One day left and no poems yet! Come on guys, get those poems posted!

Alarra
2011-10-26, 02:55 AM
One day left and no poems yet! Come on guys, get those poems posted!
Don't scare me like that, it's barely Wednesday, there's almost 2 days left.

Vaynor
2011-10-26, 03:34 AM
Err, one full day left. My point stands. :smalltongue:

Haruki-kun
2011-10-26, 09:05 AM
At this moment, 40 hours and 55 minutes left. More than enough time. :smallcool:

Omeganaut
2011-10-26, 12:32 PM
Well, if it will give you peace of mind, I guess I can put my poem up now

Blinds


Night has fallen,
and Iím peeping out
through my blinds.


Your headlights ran
across my face
down the blinds.


I see you walk
up my driveway
through the blinds


You took love
without giving it
just like blinds.


love did blind
my mind just as
do these blinds


I wish I knew
Why I went looking
in your blinds


Or rather wish
to forget what was
past those blinds

I now regret
ever having ventured
outside my blinds


| . ( . ) . . . / . \ . . . ( . ) . |


The doorbell sounds
and gets no response
from the blinds

You finally leave,
and I stop looking,
unbend the blinds


But I canít help
the flood of memories
without blinds


They keep me still,
the collage of our past
inside the blinds.


I watch my life
fade like your car
seen through blinds.

Asthix
2011-10-26, 04:16 PM
I also panicked a little. There's no way I can post my poem today.

Of course, I have a full draft. I just need to waste every possible second fretting over it.

Vaynor
2011-10-26, 08:28 PM
Heh, sorry guys. It was just meant as a reminder. :smallsmile:

Alarra
2011-10-26, 10:11 PM
As it turns out, I managed to finish early anyway :smalltongue:

prompt (http://lizole.deviantart.com/art/peeping-through-the-blinds-263596456?q=boost%3Apopular%20in%3Atraditional%2Fc ollage%20max_age%3A168h&qo=16)

Neighbors
I came from the country,
where Ďneighborí could mean
half a mile away, maybe more.
But your jobís in the city,
and baby, I love you
so I moved to this shoebox next door
to a woman who shouts
her gossip and news
to the biddy three houses away
from a porch that we share
(she lives there, I swear)
any hour, both midnight and day.

Now Iíve always been friendly,
but lately I find
Iím listening at the crack of the door
for the moment she leaves,
perhaps inside to pee
and itís safe to run out to my car.
For Iíd rather be late
than hear her berate
me for everything that I do wrong.
ďYour mailbox is too full,
and your child too loud.
Did you know that your grass is too long?Ē

Iíd never been violent
but found myself dreaming
of strangling her while she sleeps.
Though Iím not sure she does,
as nightly Iím wakened
By her fighting, her shouting and shrieks.
These thick cement walls make
mounting pictures a chore
but magnify the squeaking of springs
where my other neighbors
are clearly not sleeping
so from both sides cacophony rings.

And then with the staring,
not once, twice, but daily
through the kitchen blinds we would see
her eyes that were peering,
judging and leering
til I dreaded to even make tea.
But you would just laugh,
ďLet her watch!Ē you exclaimed.
ďWeíll show her itís wrong to be rude.Ē
Then you went to the kitchen
to cook eggs and bacon
completely and delightfully nude.

Fun Fact: Yes. This is in fact about my actual neighbor and is all mostly true, well, not all, Zeb was in his underwear :smallwink:, but still... awww...and I posted it at 11:11, this is definitely an auspicious sign. *kisses the clock and makes a wish*

Silviya
2011-10-27, 02:44 AM
I'll go ahead and post my poem now, since I doubt fretting over it for another day will improve it.
I've never worked with a picture prompt before. It was a fun challenge.


Prompt (http://screamcreampuff.deviantart.com/art/Mr-Green-264260617?q=in%3Atraditional%2Fcollage%20sort%3Ati me&qo=6)

Title: Broken Things



Ripped, torn, stitched together, and reborn
Old and new all now adorn
Like cloth, beaten, torn, faded, and worn
A heart, without the strength to mourn
(And now dead and foresworn)

Would you cry, to know the lie
That you were only, left to die
If you close your eye and say goodbye
You never will know why
(Why you were not left where you lie)

You're nothing but a pile of broken things,
And you cannot fly, without wings.
Nothing but a pile of broken things.

Crumpled and old, like tarnished silver and gold,
It must be painful, to behold,
Once great, bright, and bold, now nothing but mold,
The once blazing fire, now stone cold.
(This is the end which you were never told)

You could have bled, until you were dead,
But we gave you a way to live on, instead,
As you lay in your deathbed, it was all left unsaid,
That you would lose all the treasured thoughts in your head,
(But is it not better than being left dead?)

You're nothing but a pile of broken things,
And you cannot fly, without wings.
Nothing but a pile of broken things.

And now on a tarnished throne, you sit alone,
In the broken room you've always known,
With all the things that you own, scattered and blown
Upon a floor of dust and bone.
(It is better, then laying under a tomb stone)

Your heart, now torn apart.
And your mind taught, to think without thought.
You cannot see, and you are not free,
You're still dead, in your own head.

And you're nothing but a pile of broken things,
And you cannot fly, without wings.
Nothing but a pile of broken things.

Asthix
2011-10-27, 08:30 AM
Nervous Asthix is nervous.Nah, I think it's awesome, so why worry?

Picture prompt (http://grettawallace.deviantart.com/art/The-Book-Project-4-264180081?q=boost%3Apopular%20in%3Atraditional%2Fc ollage%20max_age%3A24h&qo=67)

Title: Triptych (Carapace/ ignition/ Woad)


Click tic tic skitter

_________Brimstone crunches underfoot

__________________As we walk upon the road


Those with wings buzz and flitter

_________Fake fire a sheet of sky

__________________We don't worry as we hurry


Tickles on your skin

_________The choking thing

__________________Wealth and glory is our goad


Through unseen cracks they enter in

_________Horizon keeps the two apart

__________________Filled with fire, magic ire


Secret, strange, our true masters

_________They don't belong together anyway

__________________For we are the Knights of Woad!


Ruling silent from the rafters

_________Our Terry Gilliam landscape

__________________Many bar tabs have we owed


They are numberless

_________A nightmare to be trapped in

__________________Hell on Earth is what we've sowed!


Bringing nights so long and slumberless

_________Paper becomes monstrous

__________________And when we die to hell we'll fly


To sleep, to dream, to fight

_________This must be where Lawyers go

__________________You can tell them there it's snowed


All this and more I hope tonight

_________To travel behind the scenes

__________________For we are the Knights of Woad!

Worlok
2011-10-27, 10:54 AM
There is just no way that I could get mine done in time. There's entirely too much going on for me to really get inspired, and before I make a colossal ass out of myself again, I am afraid I'll have to leave for real this time. Congratulations to Silviya and apologies to all of you. Thanks for your time and attention. I'm sorry.

Szilard
2011-10-27, 05:39 PM
I'll expect to be just barely using my 12-hour extension.

Haruki-kun
2011-10-27, 07:15 PM
Prompt: Pin Up (http://pophotography.deviantart.com/art/Pin-Up-264170253?q=boost%3Apopular%20in%3Atraditional%2Fc ollage%20max_age%3A24h&qo=39)

Title: Living Tissue

Itís bit by bit that I was constructed,
And part by part that they tore me apart.
ďBut why should I do as they instructed?Ē
I wonder as they reach into my heart.

The touch of their hands, such a sensation,
The smell of their breath as they slander onÖ
I grind my teeth and sink in frustration.
Just look at the Pro! Forget about Con!

But then, I decide to not give a damn
Honestly, guys, I do not care at all.
Iíll keep my chin up, my eyes straight, and BAM!
The pieces stay whole, thereís no way Iíll fall.

Itís not so bad to be walking alone
As was intended, I'll stand on my own.

Vaynor
2011-10-27, 07:23 PM
I've never worked with a picture prompt before. It was a fun challenge.

I'm glad! That's the aim. :smallsmile:

Szilard
2011-10-27, 11:42 PM
I'm not sure if I'm past the deadline or not, but yay for extensions.

Prompt: Pin Up (http://pophotography.deviantart.com/art/Pin-Up-264170253?q=boost%3Apopular%20in%3Atraditional%2Fc ollage%20max_age%3A24h&qo=39)

Dia de los Muertos
Death stood watching.

The souls were hungering, wailing.
They had waited a year.
No more,
No less.

For but two days a year were they out,
Allowed to leave,
Allowed to visit those left behind.

They dance among the living,
Among those who had loved them,
Who had covered the graves with flowers,
With spirits and candy skulls.

Toys too. Death spares no age.

In spite, the living danced and celebrated.
They thought death could not win.
They came in every color.
All but black.

The sun rose to a blue sky,
The living bade goodbye.
Til next year the living thought,
Til next year the dead agreed.

Death cracked his smile--that which came once a year.

The Fiery Tower
2011-10-28, 12:55 AM
This week sucked.

Tonight was the first night I actually had free this week(I was doing homework every other night :smallsigh: ), and by the time I got home the deadline had already past.

Sorry guys.

Omeganaut
2011-10-31, 11:27 PM
Soo.... its well past the deadline, and I haven't heard anything from anyone... Vaynor, can the judges start posting yet? Judges, are you ready to post, or are you at least working on judgements? Sorry, but I felt a need for closure on the round.

Vaynor
2011-11-01, 12:53 AM
Yeah, of course! You're free to start judging once the initial deadline has passed, but I usually suggest waiting 12 hours for late poems to be turned in.

Viera Champion
2011-11-01, 08:09 AM
Oh sorry. I'll get to it after school.

truemane
2011-11-01, 03:42 PM
Have read them all and formed opinions. Trying to put said opinions into snappy prose. Hoping to have them up in the next two or three days.

Vaynor
2011-11-04, 09:33 PM
Judges? Please post judgments. Thanks.

Viera Champion
2011-11-05, 04:48 PM
Judges? Please post judgments. Thanks.

Eep... So sorry. I've been distracted. I'll get right to it.

averagejoe
2011-11-06, 06:59 PM
Sorry I'm so late!

Judgements:

Silviya vs. Worlok:

Worlok didnít do a poem, so itís Silviya. Critique below.

This seems like more of a song than a poem. Which is fine, but sometimes the format can work against you. The structure, for example, is done competently enough, but, for example, itís very hard to do the same rhyme for every line in a verse without eventually sounding a little silly, where I could see the same thing being sung and sounding less silly. You also run the risk of making the lines very same-y, and therefore having the readerís eyes just kind of glaze over and follow the rhyme and rhythm but not the actual words. Perhaps you could try some rhythmic variation within the verse, or something like that. As I said, itís a rhyme scheme that easily falls into silliness, and one has to be careful.

The actual matter of the poem was a little straightforward for my taste, mainly taking the image and putting it literally into verse. There was kind of some other stuff connected with it, but it mostly didnít come through strongly, and, again, ended up being rather expected. The odd collage relating to some sort of torment/being ďtorn apart,Ē is again, a very kind of straightforward way to handle such an image, and I would have liked to see some twist or somesuch. I donít know, maybe Iíve just become cynical about poems about torment, but truth is I have seen a lot of them, and even written a few myself. Itís just one of those things.

In general this one is kind of difficult for me to judge. There were so many moments where I went, ďThatís weird,Ē or, ďI donít know how to feel about that,Ē but then I thought, ďWell, if it was a song I could actually see that work pretty well.Ē So I dunno. Iím actually kind of glad I had this one in a bye round, because this one would have been a doozy to decide on. :smallbiggrin: But contrast that to your last poem, where your rhyme/word by themselves choice kind of created a stark/lonely atmosphere, which helped work with the poem rather than against it. I think thatís actually the main problem here: youíre trying to marry two things that donít quite fit. The ideas and themes of the poem are dark and dramatic, but I think the structure kind of works against that.

Haruki-Kun vs. Szilard

Haruki-Kun:
Okay, first off, read my critique for Silviyaís entry above. A lot of the things I talked about up there as far as the subject matter of your poem relating to the image apply to this one. Getting a collage and then doing a poem about getting constructed/torn apart is somewhat expected, and there are probably more interesting ways you could go about that.

Honestly, I donít even really see a strong connection with the prompt, except that the collage depicts a person and your poem refers to a person being torn apart. It seems like this could almost be a response to a prompt of any collage, and thatís bad. Your themes and such should have a strong point of view. I mean, the idea of someone being literally torn apart by people is actually really intense and powerful! Itís a great idea to base a poem off of, but if thereís no personal touch then it all just kind of seems blasť.

I donít know, I feel like Iím really focusing on the negative here, and I donít really feel that way. For example, I have only minor complaints about the structure (ďJust look at the Pro! Forget about Con!Ē is a weird out of place line. Not a dealbreaker, just an observation.) But this is almost a really frustrating poem to read. This guy is getting literally torn apart by the people around him, and he can feel them mucking about in his organs. And then he resolves this by just going, ďOh, Iíll ignore it.Ē I see what you mean by doing so, and where youíre going with it, but it just forces this really cool, powerful image into melodrama, and is a big letdown for the reader. If he can just ignore it then it was an inappropriate metaphor in the first place. Thatís why itís frustrating Ė there was so much potential here, but almost none of it was realized.

Szilard:
Upon reading the title of your poem I already liked where this is going. I can see where you got the reference from, but itís not the first (or second or third) thing I would have thought of seeing the prompt.

This is far from being the shortest poem in the contest, but I still tend to think of it as being much more brief than any entry Iíve seen thusfar. I think thatís because you managed to express these sorts of deep complex ideas in a space that shouldnít really do them justice. The structure was simple but effective, and went with the poem well. I think ultimately the sentiments expressed by the poem were also fairly simple, though thatís not a bad thing.

There were a few weaknesses. The most striking thing for me is that it reads kind of like youíre someone whoís never celebrated dia de los muertos, and that came through in little things, but thatís how it feels. I donít know if you have or not, but if not, I think this would have been a far stronger poem if done from the point of view of someone observing a dia de los muertos celebration, which would make the observations all the more personal, and thus make the poem in many ways more powerful and universal.

I think thatís the other thing of it. Most of the content of the poem boils down to just, ďThis happened,Ē which is why I think I jumped to the idea of the poem being from the point of view of an outsider. Such a point of view would have the poem say something more. A simple observation can say something when itís in contrast to something else Ė i.e. what a person observes about other cultures also tells a lot about his own culture, and therefore tells us something about how he defines himself. Without something like that, the poem just kind of feels like the point is, ďThis is what a dia de los muertos celebration is like,Ē which is kind of one dimensional. If you wanted to go the other way (if, for example, it is a celebration you take part in) then what Iíd do is express the themes of death more strongly. The narrator wouldnít be talking so much about what was going on, because he already knows what was going on, and would probably assume any reader knows as well. We tend to write for our own cultures, so just the phrase, ďDia de los muertos,Ē should be sufficient to give people the setting, place, and so on.

Verdict:
Szilard.

Asthix vs. The Fiery Tower

Asthix wins by default. Criticisms below.

Interesting. Odd, but interesting. I really feel like thereís something Iím not getting here, in a good way. I donít know, this sort of poem is hard for me to comment on, because it does a lot of those things that I often tell people not to do, but it works. I often comment on things like character, point of view, and theme, and maybe thatís the prose writer in me. This one, though, is fairly basic when it comes to all those things, but what makes it shine is the style of it. Maybe like an e. e. cummings poem, but instead of expressing common everyday experiences you talk about horrible scary insects marching into hell? You do a lot of neat things with the lines, but the structure never becomes intrusive or a burden. Iím afraid I canít think of a lot to say for this one. Possibly itís just beyond me. >.> I did enjoy it a lot though. Possibly my favorite of the round.

Alarra vs. Omeganaut

Alarra:
This is one of those thatís a pleasure to read. The structure is easy and natural, a bit tangled in places, but for the most part it just goes down smooth, not doing anything flashy or anything, but also not getting in the way. Which is fitting, because the point of this poem is the story of it, and that should be center stage. Actually this is the sort of poem I wish I could write, where itís just a look at a little slice of life thatís just kind of sweet and basically relatable, that works without any sweeping themes or heavy-handed tricks, just an honest telling of an honest event. It was sweet. (Though I do agree that nude is probably better. :smallwink: )

Omeganaut:
I liked this one better than your last one. A lot of the things I said the first time still apply, but this time the writing was a bit tighter, and the action of the poem doesnít get buried in the other lines. Referring to the blinds was sometimes clever, sometimes straightforward, and sometimes didnít really make sense. The image of someone staring out his blinds like that is very evocative, and it really tied in well with the subject matter. However, a large part of the poem is taken up by these sentiments that are still fairly generic. Whenever feelings are discussed, I donít feel like theyíre coming from a character. Itís difficult in such a brief format, but putting in some personality could go a long way.

Verdict:
Alarra.

Viera Champion
2011-11-06, 09:40 PM
Silviya vs. Worlok: Mr. Green (http://screamcreampuff.deviantart.com/art/Mr-Green-264260617?q=in%3Atraditional%2Fcollage%20sort%3Ati me&qo=6)
Silviya
I really liked your poem. I even started trying to ding it. While that's a good thing, it was also partially because when I simply read it, I couldn't find a steady beat, and that isn't good. I did, however, enjoy the repetition, including the repeating phrase and the rhyme scheme the spread across entire stanzas.

Worlok
No poem.

Judgement
Silviya by disqualification.

Haruki-Kun vs. Szilard: Pin Up (http://pophotography.deviantart.com/art/Pin-Up-264170253?q=boost%3Apopular%20in%3Atraditional%2Fc ollage%20max_age%3A24h&qo=39)
Haruki-Kun
Nice interpretation of the prompt. First off, that was quite a poem you pulled off there. You actually used the lack of a steady pattern/beat to make the poem BETTER, and as we all know, that usually just makes me angry. So that was quite the miracle you pulled off. I also really enjoy the imagery of this poem, it really got me thinking. No complaints here.

Szilard
I was hoping you would be using Spanish in your poem since it looks so beautiful in poetry, but alas. This poem was fantastic none the less. I loved how you took your interpretation of the prompt and turned into Ito an intepretatuon of something else (The Day of the Dead). Fascinating. I also enjoyed the feeling of randomness from the stanzas. Good work.

Judgement
Szilard.

Asthix vs. The Fiery Tower: The Book Project Ė 4 (http://grettawallace.deviantart.com/art/The-Book-Project-4-264180081?q=boost%3Apopular%20in%3Atraditional%2Fc ollage%20max_age%3A24h&qo=67)
Asthix
I really liked how you used alignment to make your poem different. Besides that, all I can say is good job. This poem is kinda just going right over my head right now. I don't know if it is because I am tired or what...

The Fiery Tower
No poem.

Judgement
Asthix wins by disqualification.

Alarra vs. Omeganaut: Peeping Through The Blinds (http://lizole.deviantart.com/art/peeping-through-the-blinds-263596456?q=boost%3Apopular%20in%3Atraditional%2Fc ollage%20max_age%3A168h&qo=16)
Alarra
I had a strong urge to rap your poem... So you win. Hands down. Also your poem made me laugh, you are a miracle worker Alarra. A true goddess of the written word to rival CKG herself. I really like how you used a real experience for your poem as well. It added a personal touch to it and made a connection between you and the reader. Lovely. Two thumbs way up.

Omeganaut
It was a nice poem, that used the prompt well, and truth be told, my biggest problems were aesthetics. The stanzas were too short, and the spaces between them were too big. The dots partway through seemed unnecessary. I also didn't particularly enjoy the constant use of the word blinds. While repetition can be nice, that word just sounded ugly being used over and over again, especially when it got used twice in the same, short stanza.

Judgement
Alarra.

I'm so sorry. I had homecoming last night so that's why it wasn't up then.

Spoilered to hide from the eyes of the third jude.
I suppose if our other judge takes too long we could just move on. I mean Average Joe and I voted for the same people.

Alarra
2011-11-06, 10:57 PM
@Lil Shiro
:smallredface: Thanks. *goes to change her vote in Trick or Treat* *doesn't want to vote to kill someone that just said such nice things about me* :smallbiggrin:

@v cause um...I don't know mitchell?

Viera Champion
2011-11-06, 11:08 PM
@Lil Shiro
:smallredface: Thanks. *goes to change her vote in Trick or Treat* *doesn't want to vote to kill someone that just said such nice things about me* :smallbiggrin:

You voted against me?. But how could you hurt someone as lovable as Mitchell?

Asthix
2011-11-07, 07:21 AM
I'd really like to wait for nimdyd before moving on, I'm dying to explain things!

Haruki-kun
2011-11-07, 11:37 AM
I'd really like to wait for nimdyd before moving on, I'm dying to explain things!

Me too. Besides, if I understand correctly, Vaynor doesn't look at the votes until they're all in, in case he has to cast a vote, which means he wouldn't know the votes are already at 2/3.

truemane
2011-11-07, 01:16 PM
Here we go.


Silviya vs. Worlok
Silviya
Broken Things

Would be strange for me to call this a magnificent failure? No. Failure's too strong a word, but so much of this is so good but I don't think it holds together well enough to contain it.

I'm not exactly certain why. I think that the trouble is it's pulling itself in two different directions. You've got the heavy, heavy internal and external rhyme but you don't have a disciplined enough structure to make it flow the way it needs to for those rhymes to hit the notes you need them to hit.

And you imagery is very striking. Beautiful even. your refrain is gorgeous. Haunting and musical and painful. Even the elegiac semi-repetition of the first and last lines make it feel like even the narrator is too tired to discuss this matter any further and drowns the whole thing in sorrow.

Wonderful.

But then I'm back to the overall structure. Would it be better in pure freeform? Or better in a tightly-structured verse? i don't know. But I think if it drifted a little (or even a lot) further toward one extreme or the other it would work a little better.

It might work well as spoken verse. With some musical accompaniment.

What you've got now seems to me to have all the pitfalls of structured verse (having to use sub-optimal linguistic choices to hit the rhymes) without the benefits of such (speed and ease of reading coupled with additional emphasis on the important words).

But it's not the piece isn't good, it's just that I think it could be REALLY REALLY good with a re-write or two.


Silviya wins by default.

Haruki-Kun vs. Szilard
Haruki-Kun
Living Tissue

I think this is a better piece than last round's. It's tighter, cleaner, flows a little better, hits a little harder. I think that you might benefit (or more accurately, the piece itself might benefit) from being a little more stringent still with your rhythm, might serve to give the words some heft and some groove. The best thing about rhythm is that, once you get it right, it does your job for you. every time you hit a stressed syllable, the reader senses that you MEANT THAT STUFF, whatever it was you just said.

You get a good, solid, bumpity-BUMP going and all you have to do is put the important words on the BUMP, and the less important ones on the bumpity. And the way the English language works, most of the time, the less important/more important words kind of fall that way anyway, so it's almost locked-in.

The only other thing I might recommend is that you put a little more specificity into your work. Is this narrator you? Or just an Abstract Dude Construct? If he is you, don't be afraid to put yourself into it. And if it isn't, maybe have a think about why this guy, whoever he is, thinks this way. It's not a story and you don't need a whole backstory in verse, but it's a tricky truism of art that the most successful universal messages are generally given through the most specific and personal of mechanisms.

What you have is good. but if you could somehow give us a view of the person who is speaking, some idea of why this is the way they are, when they got that way, and manage to communicate it in the same structure? Then it's not just good, it SINGS.

But nice job. Certainly an improvement.


Szilard
Dia de los Muertos

Good piece. Quick and tight and effective. Has an interesting angle and plays it well without overstepping its bounds. What it's missing is some direct imagery. Give us someone dancing. A couple reunited. A father and son. What you've got sort of floats about the action. Ground it and you'd increase the emotional payoff considerably.

I don't have any real notes. The 'no more, no less' is unnecessary and impedes the flow, I think. A year is clearly a year, no more and no less and so it's dead weight. But that's semantics.

Nice little piece. But give us someone to related to, to sympathize with, and we'll understand that smile at the end and it'll really mean something.


Verdict

Haruki-Kun


Asthix vs. The Fiery Tower
Asthix
Triptych (Carapace/ ignition/ Woad)

Is this about drugs? Woad? A plant used for it's rich blue dye? Blues? Pills? Is the triptych carpace and then ignition and then woad? So are the Knights of Woad only represented by one aspect of the Triptych? Why is Woad the only capitalized aspect? If it's about drugs (and bugs) why do the bugs (carapace) come before the woad? And if it's bills (blues) why the ignition? What drug is blue that you ignite? Backwards ran sentences until reeled the mind.

I feel like the full measure of this piece is dancing just beyond my grasp. But I'm certain that there IS something here. And although I usually say bad words to poets who make their work too obtuse to be understood, I think this is a great, great little piece.

The imagery is striking. That's a large part of its allure. Even though the whole may elude us, each stanza hits a solid note and holds it. The hellish, hallucinatory landscape, the maddening little hints that don't really say anything. Bar tabs? Monstrous paper (prescriptions?).

So. This piece does everything wrong, but works anyway. There. I said it.

Well done. Good job. Just don't ever do it again. :p


Asthix wins by default.

Alarra vs. Omeganaut
Alarra
Neighbors

This isn't anything like your usual offering, Alarra, and it's wonderful. The best piece of the round, I think. A perfect illustration that poetry doesn't always have to be an emo think-piece about the futility of existence. All you need is a marriage of form and function. And that's what you have here. The way you laid this out compliments the material and vice versa so as to make it a very pleasant and satisfying experience.

You have some rhyme and some rhythm to give it rails to run on, but don't restrict the language too much because, in a piece like this, the words need to spill and flow and move and shuck and jive. Something this light and whimsical needs to fly by, like a screwball comedy or slapstick. And I noticed that used very very little punctuation. I'm not sure if that's deliberate or not, but I noticed it right away and it really works. You give the language space and air and, as a result, I can almost see the light and air and love and life in your everyday.

My favourite bit?

But your jobís in the city,
and baby, I love you
so I moved to this shoebox next door

That 'baby, I love you' is so perfect right where it is. It sounds like a direct quote and it makes this piece an ode to your man, which tips it sideways just a little and tells us that's everything's okay and gives us permission to laugh along with you.

Very good job Alarra. I really, really enjoyed this.


Omeganaut
Blinds

I totally commend the effort you've gone to here. The idea is sound and what you've done with it is done about as well as it could be. I just think you kind of shot yourself in the foot with your base idea.

The trouble is the piece is too restricted. Too closed up. Short, tight lines gather energy but you have to have somewhere to release it or it just kind of peters out. And that's what happens here. Every time it feels like we're revving up for a day out we hit the 'blinds' refrain and have to start all over again. and it might, might have worked if the imagery in between the refrains was strartling or evocative or complete in and of themselves (like snapshots, maybe, of little peeks), but you're trying to tell a story in a narrative style and the structure keeps getting in it's way.

I assume you stuck to the short, clipped lines to make the poem lay out visually like venetian blinds. And kept them short maybe to emphasise the narrator's feeling of being trapped and closed in? If so, that's cool. if not, it's cool anyway. But I think the piece could really have benefitted from more space to stretch its legs and go walking.

Some longer lines, longer phrases, draw out the narrator's voice and let him talk a little more, and you might have had something. and the longer lines would still have looked like blinds. Or, keep the claustrophobic feel and concentrate on making each stanza once single self-contained sharply drawn image. and let the cascade of images tell the story for you.

It's a good idea. And you did what you could with it. But I think this one's a misfire.


Verdict

Alarra

Haruki-kun
2011-11-07, 02:10 PM
@nimdyd:
Thanks! I did try to stick to a more strict formal verse than last time. I understand what you mean about the stress, though. I'll work on it.

@Shiro:
Well, I get the feeling you liked it, so that's always a plus, thank you for the analysis.

@Joe:
Actually, there's some irony and poetic justice in this:
The poem is about an artist's work being torn apart by criticism. :smalltongue: The art was put together bit by bit and torn apart.

Omeganaut
2011-11-08, 12:51 AM
@judgesI'm going to use the spoilers just to be safe. Thank you for all your judging, and I appreciate everything. I was going for a shorter, choppier feel to emphasize how his thoughts are being processed, not in a smooth fashion, but choppy due to his sadness. As for the dots, I did feel there was a space there, and saw an opportunity to make a bit of word art by having that be the opening in the blinds, in both a physical way as well as in the narrator's thoughts.

Mostly I was trying to match the prompt. Maybe I did try to hard, but the choppiness of the collage indicated a choppy poem would be a better response. I guess I just overdid sticking to the prompt vs. writing something more free.
@Alarra
Congrats on your victory. I did enjoy your poem, as I wish I could have captured that feel writing to this prompt (I do enjoy writing poetry that is Seussian. Best of luck to you!

Vaynor
2011-11-08, 01:11 AM
Congratulations to:

Silviya
Szilard
Asthix
Alarra

Iron Poet XIV: Round 3

Szilard vs. Asthix: Atrocity
Silviya vs. Alarra: Distinction

Deadline: Tuesday, November 15th 2011 at 11:59 pm (EST/GMT-5).

averagejoe
2011-11-08, 01:34 AM
@judgesI'm going to use the spoilers just to be safe. Thank you for all your judging, and I appreciate everything. I was going for a shorter, choppier feel to emphasize how his thoughts are being processed, not in a smooth fashion, but choppy due to his sadness. As for the dots, I did feel there was a space there, and saw an opportunity to make a bit of word art by having that be the opening in the blinds, in both a physical way as well as in the narrator's thoughts.

Mostly I was trying to match the prompt. Maybe I did try to hard, but the choppiness of the collage indicated a choppy poem would be a better response. I guess I just overdid sticking to the prompt vs. writing something more free.

I actually liked the choppiness and spacing decisions with the dots. It made sense to me with the rest of the poem.

Asthix
2011-11-08, 07:26 AM
Oh wow, all three judges said they liked it, but got the feeling there was something they weren't getting. Now I wonder if I should explain it and risk the wrath of the dreaded, 'it's not that god now' statement.

Gotta go to work now, do you think I should explain?

truemane
2011-11-08, 08:28 AM
[QUOTE=Omeganaut;12181354]@judgesI'm going to use the spoilers just to be safe. Thank you for all your judging, and I appreciate everything. I was going for a shorter, choppier feel to emphasize how his thoughts are being processed, not in a smooth fashion, but choppy due to his sadness. As for the dots, I did feel there was a space there, and saw an opportunity to make a bit of word art by having that be the opening in the blinds, in both a physical way as well as in the narrator's thoughts.

Mostly I was trying to match the prompt. Maybe I did try to hard, but the choppiness of the collage indicated a choppy poem would be a better response. I guess I just overdid sticking to the prompt vs. writing something more free.

I totally got that. And as I said in my critique, I had a real admiration for the way you matched form and function so well and for the effort it clearly took to do so. I just didn't think it worked. Which could happen to anybody. Happens to me more often than it doesn't.

@Asthix
It's not like a magic trick. The poem stands on its own regardless of what you say or don't. I would be very interested in hearing what was happening in your head when you wrote it. Just spoiler it, so those who don't want 'the trick' revealed don't have to read it.

averagejoe
2011-11-08, 02:16 PM
@Asthix
It's not like a magic trick. The poem stands on its own regardless of what you say or don't. I would be very interested in hearing what was happening in your head when you wrote it. Just spoiler it, so those who don't want 'the trick' revealed don't have to read it.

Basically what I was going to say on the matter.

Asthix
2011-11-08, 05:05 PM
Ok, here goes.

Triptych (Carapace/ ignition/ Woad) Explained!Well, first the picture (http://grettawallace.deviantart.com/art/The-Book-Project-4-264180081?q=boost%3Apopular%20in%3Atraditional%2Fc ollage%20max_age%3A24h&qo=67) seemed so disjointed to me, I couldn't put it together into one theme that satisfied me enough to write a submission about.

Remember how I like to challenge myself perhaps too much with poetry? Well here's how I felt comfortable proceeding.

The secret is that this isn't a poem. It's four poems.

CarapaceClick tic tic skitter

Those with wings buzz and flitter

Tickles on your skin

Through unseen cracks they enter in

Secret, strange, our true masters

Ruling silent from the rafters

They are numberless

Bringing nights so long and slumberless

To sleep, to dream, to fight

All this and more I hope tonight

ignitionBrimstone crunches underfoot

Fake fire a sheet of sky

The choking thing

Horizon keeps the two apart

They don't belong together anyway

Our Terry Gilliam landscape

A nightmare to be trapped in

Paper becomes monstrous

This must be where Lawyers go

To travel behind the scenes

WoadAs we walk upon the road

We don't worry as we hurry

Wealth and glory is our goad

Filled with fire, magic ire

For we are the Knights of Woad!

Many bar tabs have we owed

Hell on Earth is what we've sowed!

And when we die to hell we'll fly

You can tell them there its snowed

For we are the Knights of Woad!

Then they were mashed together to form the triptych, with indentation (in multiples of 3) to give a visual clue as to their separateness within the whole.

Link to completed poem (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=12108687&postcount=100)

They were written in order, Carapace first, ignition second. At this point, I was still thinking this wouldn't work and I'd just have to pick one at the deadline, so I didn't really think about how they would sound blended together at all. I just felt the bugs for the first one and the fire imagery and barren ground for the second.

One way of rationalizing the collage into poetry was the Terry Gilliam reference, which represents the animation he did for Monty Python. Of course you have to do a lot of work to even get to the actual reference,
"Our Terry Gilliam landscape

A nightmare to be trapped in

Paper becomes monstrous"

and then actually know that he did the animation for MP. Way, way out there allegory, I know, which worked against the easy recognition of the different poems, I'm sure.

I had no idea what to do with the tinfoil, but I kept thinking about those stairs and who would be walking on them.

Before I wrote Woad I put the first two poems together, then just put fingers to keyboard and wrote the line "As we walk upon the road" because it made sense with the first two.

I'm not sure when I decided on the rhyme scheme for Woad, or the story behind it, but it was written like a zipper, tying the first two poems together while developing the strongest narrative of the three at the same time.

It is a marching song for a band of adventurers, tough enough to wade into the bowels of Hell, a song to be sung upon the road, when there are witnesses about. (who will be a little shocked at the volume at first) The first three lines are just to get their attention, the next to to tell 'em who we are! Then the grand exploits yadda yadda, then end with the name again to make sure they know who we are!

As for Woad, (nice google definition there nimdyd :smallbiggrin:) I'm a member of a small but plucky Larp group named Tribe Woden Thor. Thus, Woad. I'm sorry if the comparison is not obvious to you. (Also it means treasure because I say so)

Finally, Carapace changed hardly at all while the latter half of ignition changed significantly in the massaging process of making it all sound plausible together.

I really like the unintentional juxtapositions, my favorite is "Ruling silent from the rafters our Terry Gilliam Landscape," and "Many bar tabs have we owed, they are numberless." Of course, these are next to each other in the finished work, which touches on the fact that there are clear places where the phrase ends in the middle of a stanza and then carries over right into the next. You were all right, I broke the rules on purpose, all trying to point toward the three hidden poems.

I would have indented the lines further but it ruined the flow of the poem being read as it is, which is the intended version. (My best friend wanted a copy but only in the separated version)

Another thing I was thinking about was a poem from one of the previous competitions that was four blocks of text that could be read across, down and diagonally. That was a big reason I decided to attempt this kind of poem.

truemane
2011-11-08, 09:09 PM
Fascinating. Thank you for that. And I think the combined/final piece is of far greater quality than any of the individual pieces. An interesting example of the fact that sometimes the author knows the least about their work. :P

And yes, I google everything I don't know. Especially in literature. I used to look things up in encyclopedias. Serious. Back when there was no electricty.

Does the word have more common uses than wikipedia provides?

Omeganaut
2011-11-08, 10:29 PM
Ashtix, I did catch that form once I had finished reading (It also helped that I knew the musical definition of Tryptych), and I was really impressed by your poem. I might have to look at that kind of form sometime, it has a lot of potential for really brilliant poetry in there.

Asthix
2011-11-09, 12:05 AM
Thank you Omeganaut. The hard part is making each piece a different kind of poetry while making them all fit together. I still feel like it happened somewhat by accident.

nimdyd: No, woad doesn't actually mean treasure or have etymological reference to Woden, I was just being asinine clever. But I've always thought Tribe Woden Thor meant keepers of Treasure, so there you go. I just happened to google Woad myself and so recognized the verboten definition you used.

Szilard
2011-11-09, 12:45 AM
Judges! Hi!

@Average Joe
You guessed correctly, I have never been to a legitimate dia de los muertos. The most I know about them is what I have learned in my Spanish classes over the years and a quick check on wikipedia before writing the poem. :smalltongue:

As for the "this happened then that happened" thing, I did not really notice that until now. I'll look out for it, thanks!

@Lil Shiro
I probably could have used some Spanish here and there, but if I did, I would have to have an extra note telling judges who don't speak Spanish what they mean, and that sort of goes against the whole idea of a poem standing on its own. An interesting idea though. Thanks!

@Nimdyd
Direct imagery is another good suggestion for my poem. I had planned for some more written about the dancing, but I seem to have forgotten that when writing it. :smalltongue:

As for "No more, no less" I figured the extra weight was necessary, but I suppose not. Anywho, thanks for the critique!

Silviya
2011-11-14, 05:48 AM
Thank you to all the judges! Sorry this reply is so late, it's been an incredibly busy week (trying for 100k words in NaNoWriMo might not have been the best idea ever).

And I guess we're putting our replies in spoilers?
The critiques I got on the poem were really helpful, for both this poem and for any future poetry I do. One of the main critiques I got on this one was that it really needed more of a rhythm to make the rhyme scheme work, which is good to know, because the main reason that it doesn't have a real beat is that I'm actually not able to tell which syllables are stressed and unstressed in a word, even if I read it out loud (I think this is part of my Dyslexia, but I don't know for sure). So it's good to know that I should probably try to avoid super structured rhyme schemes like that in the future. It's also nice to know that this sort of structure doesn't work with the mood I was trying to convey. It's interesting that it seemed like more of a song then a poem. I hadn't noticed that before, but now that I think about it, it does seem more song like.
Anyway, thank you all again for the very helpful critiques!

truemane
2011-11-14, 09:34 AM
@Silviya
While it is possible that your dyslexia is affecting your ability to read the rhythm, the more likely reason is simply lack of practice. I don't know how old you are or how much experience you have with this sort of thing, but establishing rhythm is very very much a learned skill. I did it manually for years and years until it got to the point where I could do it in my head.

And, in fact, the man who taught me how to 'chart' the rhythm in verse was a professional Literature teacher and he couldn't do it and he always said that most people can't do it.

I can give you some hints on how to do it manually, if you'd like. It takes more time that way, obviously, but can be helpful. PM me if you like, I'll help if I can.

Also, I re-iterate that the best way to get your rhythm right is to get someone else to read your poem to you out loud. If you can find someone musically inclined, so much the better, but anyone willing will do.

Alarra
2011-11-14, 01:26 PM
(trying for 100k words in NaNoWriMo might not have been the best idea ever).
Yeah, I've been having that same thought. Of course now I'm way off my target for 100k and have a poem due too. Probably going to use my extension this round.

Viera Champion
2011-11-14, 04:53 PM
Ugh... I had to lower my NaNo goal to 10,000.

Szilard
2011-11-15, 12:10 AM
Prompt: Atrocity

It was the early 40's.
Second World War.

We were tagged.
Treated like animals.
Herded into the trucks.
Sent away.

We were driven for hours.
Hours of waiting.
Sweating together.
Hoping together.
For naught.

They looked more like chicken coops than homes.
Sure was crowded like one.
Nothing but the clothes on our backs.
No plumbing.
Nothing to cook with.

Sometimes it got freezing.
Other times we were moved.
We were left to fear.
Left to suffer.
To the end of the war.

But it wasn't the Germans that interred us.
It was the Americans.

Asthix
2011-11-15, 07:18 AM
Prompt / Title: Atrocity

When book and pen are laid in want of more

Four souls convene, a tale shared through the night

They forge adventure not from any store

Forswearing real, they bask in minds eye light


The once and future fighter, here to roll

A change of rules is what the mage came for

The joker, boredom death upon that soul

For progress Oh! the master does implore


Rehearsed and likened to a play, you see

The mage must argue truth till proven right

Irate, the fighter hits the NPC

At joker's mirth despite the tragic sight


And so the dream flies on, the table cleared

The group dynamic sometimes should be feared

A note to future contestantsI do not recommend trying to write a sonnet in a week. Phew!

Alarra
2011-11-15, 01:31 PM
Or maybe I will get done on time. I was skeptical because as of Monday night I hadn't even settled on a character or story to jump off from.

Prompt: Distinction

Lonely bed, empty room,
window to an unfamiliar view.
Rise with the sun and prepare
to be pampered, pressed and plucked.
Jolt down coffee, no time for more
as aides distill the world to briefs, bullets.
This grand estate, private gardens,
the only foreign soil I will see.

For outside are vultures, circling,
waiting for my guard to drop,
hoping to insinuate their presence
within my private sanctuary.
They grasp at straws of rumor,
snap photos out of context,
all while whispering envy born lies
of the life they think I lead.

I show my face, flash a smile
read words I did not write.
Hurry here, bustle there
each moment as directed
by staff, but never friends.
Ever surrounded and always alone
I consider what I paid for power,
this, the price of distinction.


Heh...every time I looked at my prompt it made me break out into 'Big Spender' :smalltongue:

Silviya
2011-11-15, 11:46 PM
Unfortunately I'm not going to be able to finish a poem for this round. These past few weeks have been super busy, plus NaNoWriMo and some art stuff I have to do, and I don't really have the creative energy to come up with anything that's not a horribly embarrassingly terrible mess of words. I'm really sorry, everyone.

truemane
2011-11-18, 11:16 AM
Okay. Here we go. Amending my horrendously late judgements in Round One with some super early ones this time.


Szilard vs Astix - Atrocity

Szilard
Atrocity

I have the same problem with this piece as I had with your last piece: no slant. It just sits there. There isn't anything very 'poetic' about the language or the imagery or the flow. Even the kicker isn't really all that big a kicker. Surely we all know by now that war doesn't have good guys and bad guys, just a bunch of guys?

And again, I think the problem is one of perspective. If your narrator went through this then surely their memories would have more bite? Rats eating dead babies? Brothers killing each other over breadcrumbs? Sadistic smiles and rifle-stocks being driven into stomachs? Women assaulted? Barbed wire coated in blood and hair? An internment camp has to be about the easiest thing to paint in visceral details. You don't even have to philosophize about it. It comes complete with all the message you could ever want. All you have to do is make us FEEL it.

And that's what's lacking here. There's no edge, no slant, no take. There's nothing we can really dig into and experience. It's all set-up for the big reveal, but the big reveal isn't big enough or revelatory enough to merit how straight you play the set-up.

It's not a bad piece, it's just flat.


Asthix
Atrocity

Look at you with the classical poetry form! My stuffy academic's heart swells with joy.

I'm not going to talk too much about the content, since the content itself is pretty fluffy and used more as a device for the sonnet to exist rather than an attempt to actually say anything. I assume you deliberately set the formality and perceived importance of the sonnet form against the informality and silliness of the content on purpose. If so, well done, and let's move on. If not, well, it worked anyway.

So. The form itself. Your Iambic Pentameter is excellent. Beat is nice and regular. Ten syllables per line. Rhymes are nice and unforced. Structurally sound. Well done.

One thing that I would recommend when you're using highly structured verse, and it's a hard thing to do, is try to avoid ending every thought/phrase at the end of a line. Let some tip over, as it were, to the next line. it creates movement in the piece and gives the flow some energy. When it goes bumpity-bumpity-BUMP, phrase ends, thought ends, line ends, it can get a little sing-songy and give the whole piece an overly measured feel. Phrases that spill over to the next line, by contrast, can feel quick and energetic. All depends on context.

Now, there is a shift between your Octave and Sestet, but I think it could be a harder shift. Cleaner. Remember that, traditionally, the Octave poses a problem or asks a question or sets a situation. And the Sestet answers the question, solves (or at least resolves) the problem or presents another situation that is the opposite of (or at least is at right angles to) the opening one. The epigrammatic couplet at the end, although it's frequently indented and sometimes set apart, is by rights a part of the Sestet and should really read as such, not as a separate unit. It's not really a 'third part' of the verse and shouldn't be treated as such.

Your Octave is pretty good. First quatrain sets the stage, second establishes the participants. I didn't think that the mixing of the fantasy roles and RL motives worked particularly well. But I can't really think of another way you could have to done it. So I may in good conscience have to leave that be. I think you may have been better served treating the Octave as a single unit and not dividing the narrative so sharply between the two quatrains. Two lines of set-up might have been enough, and that would have given you some extra space to describe the people playing. Offer some tags or identifying markers, names, even the players' roles, so that you could have more clearly set out the dymanic (which becomes important later).

The Sestet is also pretty good. First we see the participants' motives, then see them in action. I think the line "Rehearsed and likened to a play, you see" is wasted space. A simple "BUT THEN" would have sufficed to let us know we've moved on to the next movement, and then you might have kept your line-per-character structure from the previous quatrain (the final line being reserved for the DM) or taken a whole eight syllables to more fully explain what you were talking about. Like, for example, telling us that the game dissolved into violence. Would have been a PERFECT place for that, then the couplet could have commented on the fact without needing to establish it.

This kind of critique always feels a bit hollow to me, as you probably won't be writing any more sonnets for some time (if ever) then everything I said might just be wind and sails. But I'm obliged to talk about the words you give me, so there it is. And all of the above is pretty mushy stuff. Space between the words stuff. What you've done here is impressive. Solid work.

Final note: GRAMMAR. The end of a line is not a pause, it's an implied pause. You should always follow the rules of grammar, even in the most freeform poetry, UNLESS you're deviating from them for a reason. If the end of the line would need a comma if it were prose, put a comma. If it needs a period, put a period. You didn't punctuate any of your lines and it makes the words run together all in one big sentence and hurts your effect.


Verdict

Asthix


Alarra vs. Silviya - Distinction

Alarra

Good piece, Alarra. I liked it. It was lean and clean and had an interesting take on a familiar topic. Your use of the prompt was unexpected and interesting.

I liked the way you painted me a picture. Lots of imagery and quick-sketch looks at aspects of this person's life, done in such a way that the pieces can stand for the whole thing. Some of the images 'vultures circling' in particular) could have been stronger, I think, less cliched (I always felt the press was more like sharks circling than vultures), but overall the language was clear and effective.

I don't have too much to say on this one. It's a good piece.


Silviya

No entry. Truly unfortunate. I was looking forward to this match-up. But RL does that to us all.


Verdict

Alarra, by default, but that's not to detract from the quality of her work.

Asthix
2011-11-22, 12:26 PM
nimdyd Your excellent comments may actually get me to write another sonnet!

Really, this isn't just empty praise, you put some things in perspective about the structure that let me visualize how I could do better, especially about using enjambment. Its like I knew I was limiting myself but the how was dancing just out of reach. Truly great advice, thank you!

You're right, I couldn't resist writing about atrocity using the ultimate romance language. I actually threw out my first two ideas because of politics and religion, respectively.

In all, this poem is just barely out of draft stage because of the week deadline.The first 5 days of the week were spent grinding out everything but the couplet at the end (excuse me, the end of the Sestet) and slaving over putting the stressed syllables in the right place. Stressed and non stressed syllables were one thing I just didn't get in High School, so I resolved that this sonnet would help me understand.

It totally worked because I woke up on the morning of the deadline and thought of the couplet pretty much fully formed in my head. Upon writing it down, it was in iambic pentameter! It made me realize that Shakespeare and other great sonnet writers must have had the ability to think in meter. Amazing.

truemane
2011-11-22, 01:15 PM
Asthix
Well, I'm very pleased my comments helped. That's what they're there for, after all. So thank you for that. It means a lot.

And you're totally right about thinking in meter, but it's not just the greats who could do it. I remember the day my brain learned to pick out rhythm without charting out every word individually. I can do it in my head now without really thinking about it. Even when I'm writing in rhythm, same thing, it just sort of happens. It's just a practice thing.

Alarra
2011-11-22, 01:30 PM
@truemane (because you will never be nimdyd to me :smalltongue:)
I thought I had responded to your judgment some time ago, but apparently did not. I shall fix that now. :smallsmile:

Thank you, I'm glad you liked it. I agree that the vultures line was terribly cliched and I like it less and less the more I read it. In truth, I was not especially happy with this piece. I had a great deal of difficulty getting inspired by the prompt and the entire time I was working on it (little more than 2 hours all told, far less effort than I usually give a piece for this contest) I was grumbling that "I could have written 5k words in my nanovel in this time... grr..." And I didn't even start working on it until the day before the deadline. So yes, I'm happy that I pulled together anything and glad that it apparently turned out better than I thought it did.

averagejoe
2011-11-22, 04:31 PM
@truemane (because you will never be nimdyd to me :smalltongue:)

Aw, man, I forgot all about that name change. I thought it was odd that turemane wasn't showing up.

Also: My judgments up soon. Because holiday breaks are for catching up on the work you haven't had time for. :smalltongue:

Viera Champion
2011-11-24, 11:06 PM
Szilard vs. Asthix: Atrocity
Szilard
That was quite an excellent poem. Taking a literal usage of the prompt. You started off making us think the speaker was Jewish, then learning he was actually a Japanese American. Brilliant.


Asthix
I couldn't really see the connection to the prompt in this one, and while the whole adventurin party thing was cute, it didn't really catch my attention. Sorry.

Verdict
Szilard

Silviya vs. Alarra: Distinction
Silviya
No poem.

Alarra
I don't really have much to say to you besides amazing job. For a second there, you actually has me convinced that "room" and "view" rhymed.

Judgement
Alarra.

averagejoe
2011-11-26, 04:49 AM
Alright, here they are, finally. I feel like I was really negative in all these, and Iím sorry about that. Probably just that kind of night. >.>

Szilard vs. Asthix:

Szilard:
Okay, taking on serious matters in a poem like this is always a bit of a risk, and this time Iím honestly not sure it paid off. The problem I have with this poem is similar to the one I had with your dia de los muertos poem Ė ultimately there was too much distance between you and the subject matter, it feels too much like outrage from someone who heard about it without having any real connection to the event. Except this time itís a thousand times more harmful to the poem, because instead of a holiday celebration youíre talking about a, well, atrocity. When doing a poem about something like this, itís so easy to have the whole thing just ring false.

I mean, your whole poem kind of relies on this little trick at the end. You evoke images of the holocaust and then just kind of pull a switch at the end by comparing it to the Japanese internment, and the whole poem kind of rests on that one thing. But itís also just kind of an intellectual thing, kind of going, ďSee, these two events have similarities,Ē without ever confronting the real issue. Itís a potentially neat concept, I guess, but without support from the rest of the poem, itís just kind of a gimmick. Or lines like, ďNo plumbing./Nothing to cook with.Ē I mean, yeah, those things are bad, but when you put it like that they donít really sound that bad. If you bothered to think about, ďNo plumbing,Ē and consider what it means and what it would be like to live like that, yeah it would be pretty miserable. But people donít think about these things. If you havenít lead them there, itís just kind of vague platitudes, miserable in some sort of objective sense, but in a distant, impersonal way.

Let me be clear Ė it was a good attempt, and I applaud the fact that you took on something like this. But when taking on something like this it really needs to be perfect or near-perfect to work.

Asthix:
It was alright.

I dunno, this poem was done well enough, but thereís nothing about it that really popped for me. Somehow I felt it should be more lighthearted and humorous than it was. I almost feel like it should have been modeled after a poem like ĒMerry InnĒ Song (http://tolkien.cro.net/talesong/merryinn.html) but possibly thatís just my bias. I do, however, think the verse you chose worked against the subject. The sonnet seems altogether too rigid all things considered, and it shows in many places, with weird or wasteful phrasing that would have been much stronger if cut down a bit or made bouncier. It just feels very stiff and formal, and a poem about an RPG group falling apart inspired by, ďAtrocity,Ē seems like it should be less stiff and formal. Plus it just kind of makes everything so vague and sort of generic. Stuff like this is more effective if you make it more specific. Like if they had the GM walk across some d4ís, or something, that would have been more fun, and more relatable. Which is the other thing Ė you spend two verses telling the setup, then one on what happened, then a half verse giving it closure. It just wasnít enough for what you were trying to tell. It was cool and kind of fun, but the sonnet form worked against it in a big way.

verdict:
Asthix

Silviya vs. Allara

Silviya:
Bye round.

Allara:
This is one of those poems thatís really hard to connect to. It was done competently enough, but Iím really not sure why I should care. Thereís nothing for me to grasp onto except this character, and we ultimately donít know him very well, just his situation. You describe these events that are happening without any real reaction from the character theyíre happening to, making the character become just kind of part of the scenery.

Asthix
2011-11-26, 06:39 PM
Thank you for great comments Judges! (also head explodes from excitement)

Lil Shiro: You know, you're right. my subject was too cute for an atrocity. It was supposed to be a parody of an atrocity really, with the goal a mildly amused smile for the reader. I just didn't have time to give it more punch.

averagejoe: Wow, Tolkien is awesome. :smallsmile:

I think I was conflicted in writing this between wanting to convey the seriousness of an atrocity while having it be amusing. You've correctly pointed out that it's kind of stuck in the middle and thus feels off.

Vaynor
2011-11-28, 07:02 PM
Congratulations to Asthix and Alarra, who will be progressing to the next and final round!

Iron Poet XIV: Round 4

Note: both the image and the word are your prompt (actual image title is not).

Alarra vs. Asthix: Unclear (http://browse.deviantart.com/photography/abstract/#/d4hc0b7)

Deadline: Tuesday, December 6th 2011 at 11:59 pm (EST).

Asthix
2011-12-04, 10:23 AM
Ok!

Prompt: (http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2011/330/0/b/0b9fa4f9ab4b0c8f7e7c87f635ef3e59-d4hc0b7.jpg) Unclear Title: Bluff Country

When we visited in bluff country, long ago now

So young that joy came easy,

That day we went driving out on the back roads

And the clouds spilled down in the valleys.

Unpaved forest walked to the edge of the gravel,

Tried to crowd us out, sneaking the curves upon us.


Everyone has a turn to drive.


They were all lunatics until your turn behind the wheel

Though, becoming a madman is only natural when

The vision outside is a thing, solid.

One invents reasons to make it silly,

A black and white car chase.

Charlie Chaplin racing music plays.


The ragged edge becomes the white rabbit,


Fleeing from the real into the void. Falling out of sight

Just ahead. What fun to race down a sheer cliff!

We all screamed, our tether to the world

Assuring us this was a left, that was a right.

Feeling the ridges of the steering wheel

Through my death grip on unreality.


We go where there are no pedestrians.


There was a blind curve, incredibly dramatic at four mph

And it dawns slow upon the late afternoon that

There is no topping that. The wet landscape douses our fire.

Before we can return, we stop. Free from forced perspective,

We walk. At a crossroads the lights are all white,

Nothing in them, just holes to the sky.


A traffic signal on the ground


Becomes a gift of rare magnificence, to point the way

For our imagination. In such a state,

Returning is always new.

When the sky comes down to inhabit the ground.

Nevermore will I visit this world

Unless we are all together again.

Szilard
2011-12-04, 06:56 PM
I haven't gotten back to this yet it seems.
Congrats to Ashtix for moving on. :smallsmile:

Nimdyd
I actually feel the same way as you. The day after submitting my poem I realized how undetailed and bland my poem turned out to be. I also realized I had forgotten the fact that the more specific and personal a poem gets, the better it is.

Lil Shiro
Thanks for liking the poem. :smallsmile:

Averagejoe
When I first heard the prompt I thought "what's the biggest atrocity I can think of?" but I didn't want to do the Holocaust, as that was far to obvious. You know what I settled for next. I admit I rushed the poem, and the day or so after submitting it I realized I could have done so much more with it: more detail, more specificity, perhaps follow one family's journey. In other words: better.

Thank you all for your critiques. :smallbiggrin:

Alarra
2011-12-07, 12:56 AM
The other side
I envy you,
Your clarity, direction.
Life mapped out in tangible footsteps
from point A to B then C,
a direct line.

I envy you,
Your resources, connections.
Knowing that if you fail (though you wonít)
Someone will be standing below,
poised to catch you.

I envy you,
A legacy to follow,
arms welcoming at every juncture
Be it college, internship,
your fatherís firm.

I envy you,
Never feeling fear, panic
when considering your future path
and indecision doesnít
paralyze you.


I envy you,
Your freedom, choices
to dance or run or play guitar.
No one to be other than
who you are.

Not living up to
societyís expectations.
I envy your
ability to make your own decisions,
live your own life.

To have people ask
ďWhat do you want to do?Ē
And not having to worry
about what your parents will think.
I envy you.

You are your own person and,
I envy you,
that no one considers you their extension.
Able to take any path
or even do nothing at all.

Vaynor
2011-12-16, 06:35 PM
Judges? Really? Come on guys.

Viera Champion
2011-12-16, 06:45 PM
Oh darn... See, I use the other judges posts to let me know when I need to judge, and it seems they aren't posting before I do, so I cannot do that anymore. Hold on, I'll get right to it.

Viera Champion
2011-12-16, 06:59 PM
Alarra vs. Asthix: Unclear (http://browse.deviantart.com/photography/abstract/#/d4hc0b7)
Alarra:
That was a beautiful poem. I love how you almost seemed to interrupt the poem and change the mood by changing to italics and breaking off the repetition. I also really enjoy the emotions and feelings you convey in the poem. It made me feel like I could truly connect to what the speaker was saying, as if I could see the tension in the air from the envy. No complaints here. Way to end it with a bang. A subtle, poetic, and metaphorical bang though it may be.

Asthix:
You really connected that to the image very nicely, but to the word prompt, not so much. Also, the way you you spaced every lined of the poem and stretched it out really annoyed me. It was like every line was it's own stanza, which would be quite alright if the poem was shorter, but it is not. Some of the punctuation seems unnecessary and straining.
That is not to say, however, that I did not enjoy your poem. It told an interesting story that caught my attention. The strangeness it presented was entertaining in the beginning, but again, it may have worked better with a shorter poem.

Judgement:
Alarra

averagejoe
2011-12-17, 01:09 AM
Oh darn... See, I use the other judges posts to let me know when I need to judge, and it seems they aren't posting before I do, so I cannot do that anymore. Hold on, I'll get right to it.

Same here. Also: a week of midterms followed by a week of finals. Who plans this stuff?

Expect mine sunday-ish. Sorry, best I can do. >.>

truemane
2011-12-19, 12:29 PM
Okay. Sorry about the delay. I tried to get on them both right away, but then both took me a long time, to articulate what I wanted to say and to actually write it out.

Here we are. I thank all the poets. This was a very good contest. Lots of really nice entries.

FINAL ROUND

Alarra
The Other Side

This piece was a hard one. Your usual clarity and depth of emotion is present, but the service to which you put it is muddled. It lacks a clear through-line. It's like flow in search of a hook. Like an alfredo sauce missing one crucial ingredient. If I had to guess I would bet you finished this, stared at it, thought to yourself... it's not quite right.... but had to post it because it was time or because you couldn't fix it.

I'll try to articulate this a little more clearly.

The first, and most important thing, you're missing is a frame. I don't know if there's a word for this kind of poem, but the 'I [negative emotion] you this and that and that' is a stable enough trope that most of us have probably come across it before. And the thing you need, for a poem like this, is a clear, clear, clear sense of who the narrator is and who the target is. And therefore the difference between them that leads to the envy (or whatever).

Here, we have no idea who the narrator is. We just know (s)he envies this other person all these things. So I suppose we can infer that our narrator lacks these things, but you never say why, or how, or how they feel about it, or what the resolution is (even if the resolution is 'there is no resolution' you're obligated to tell us so). You just say envy-envy-envy, done. I was especially put off by the way you broke your own structure at the end, but not for any reason. Those last stanzas would have been a perfect place to tell us who the narrator is, what their relationship to the subject is, and where he or she goes from here. They envy, right. But then what? But as it is, you break the structure, which should really indicate a shift in the material (whatever you do, make a point, even if your point is there is no point), but isn't. So you set it up, get us used to it, then just change it without there being any reason. You'd have been better just continuing it, or not doing it at all. As it stands, it's a distraction.

So. The frame is the main thing. Frame and structure.

The second thing is a clear picture of the subject. What do I mean by this? Your narrator envies the subject a lot of things. But some of those things are positive traits and some are not so positive. Envying someone because they have a rich father is one thing, but envying them their ability to be their own person is a totally different thing. And the two are not at all related. If you write a poem about envying the rich their riches, then there's a range of conclusions you can draw from that (you're rich but I'm real, you're successful but I'm happy, you have a healthy stock portfolio I have a healthy son, it sucks being rich, it sucks being poor, everything sucks in its own way, everything's awesome in its own way). If you envy the confident their confidence, then the same range doesn't apply.

Basically, what I'm saying is, if you base a poem on a direct comparison of one person to another, then what you have is one person saying the other person is winning at Life. And so you can really only conclude a couple of things: that they're not winning after all even if it looks like they are (in which case you conclude you don't envy them after all), or that they are winning (in which case you either chose to be more like them, or choose to continue losing).

What you have is kinda half of each, and neither. Someone walking through life on daddy's dime looks like they're winning, someone walking through life on talent and drive and determination actually is winning. And in either case these things only have meaning when compared against the narrator's definition of what constitutes 'winning.' The only way the back-and-forth can really work is if there's one particular person you (the narrator) has in mind. And if that's the case, then you need to put that in the poem somehow, so we can see it. Some idea of their relationship. A look at who these people are and how they intersect.

I haven't talked much about the actual language, because as I said, the individual verses are fine. Some of them are very striking. But they don't add up to anything more than they are. And, in fact, the flow reduces their power by not forming a clear narrative from which we can draw clear conclusions (or even a clear narrative that refuses to let us draw clear conclusions, which would have been fine too).

This sounds like a total rampage. But only because what I'm trying to communicate is subtle and hard to describe.

A quick re-write and this could be a very good piece. All the building blocks are there. They just need to be assembled.



Asthix
Bluff Country
Is there a reason you double-spaced this? I found it very distracting. It's not a big, big deal, but it's important to remember that poetry, unlike prose, takes meaning from its physical layout as well as the content. So that kind of thing is important to remember. I say it frequently: stick to the normal rules of English unless you're departing from them for a reason.

Anyway.

This is a good piece. It reads a little rough and uneven in places, but overall it's a strong poem. I like the fragile dream state you evoke. Your language is simple enough most of the time for the surreal turns of phrase to feel true, even if they're technically nonsense. But you don't drift far enough out into obscurity to lose sight of the concrete experience.

The one thing that I thought did not work was the single-line stanzas. Those are a fairly modern addition to poetry and it's my opinion they should be used with care. It comes down to layout again. Why are these phrases set apart in such a self-conscious manner? Are they used to mark divisions in narrative movement? As highlights of vitally important points? Shifts in tone? Theme? They don't seem to be. They seem to be just any other line and separating them like that is a distraction.

Some particularly nice turns of phrase:

And the clouds spilled down in the valleys.
Unpaved forest walked to the edge of the gravel,

and...

And it dawns slow upon the late afternoon that
There is no topping that

and...

In such a state,
Returning is always new.

All very nice. They illustrate the strength of the piece, which is the non-linear language that takes the reminiscence out of the mere story and places it in a sort of surreal memory-land where striking images loom over the consciousness and distort with time. Kind of how, every time I see my father, I surprised at how short he is. In my memory he towers over me. In life he's only an inch so taller than I am.

I thought you could have walked a little further in that direction, all in all. some of the phrases aren't as striking, or as illuminating. But the real lack in this piece is a sense of narrative, a spine, if you will, to hang the surreal memories on. I know we've got some dudes taking a joyride out in the country. But, for example, "They were all lunatics until your turn behind the wheel" is an intriguing line as it implies something outside of the base experience. It implies a group dynamic, a sense of movement from one moment to the next. It implies a story. But then you drop it, whatever it was, and move on.

I like the ending (except for the word 'Nevermore' which is too precious to fit into the informality of the rest of the piece), but I would have liked a stronger through-line. Why were they on the trip? Why didn't they ever go again? What changed in the narrator between the start and the end of the day? If nothing changed, then something around him must have changed. Otherwise, why is he recalling this moment?

It's a good piece. It just feels a half-step away from being what it wants to be.

Verdict

Jebus this all sounds negative. But in both cases I hit what was lacking so hard because both pieces are almost there. Anyway.

I had almost the same range of reservations about both pieces. But I thought Asthix's piece had the clearer vision and the more striking language.

Alarra
2011-12-19, 02:31 PM
@Truemane



I was especially put off by the way you broke your own structure at the end, but not for any reason. Those last stanzas would have been a perfect place to tell us who the narrator is, what their relationship to the subject is, and where he or she goes from here. They envy, right. But then what? But as it is, you break the structure, which should really indicate a shift in the material (whatever you do, make a point, even if your point is there is no point), but isn't. So you set it up, get us used to it, then just change it without there being any reason. You'd have been better just continuing it, or not doing it at all. As it stands, it's a distraction.

Actually, the break in structure was intentional and had a point and a good reason behind it. I'm sad to see that this piece did not come off as clearly as I wanted it to. It was apparently not clear to anyone other than me and Zeb that there were two different narrators and that when I switched to italics I was switching speakers. I'm not sure how I should have done that differently. The idea behind the differences in structure was that the speaker that wants structure and a path has a very rigid structure to the verse, and the speaker that's wanting freedom and choices moves further away from the structure in each successive verse, trying to rebel against his expectation as it were.



What you have is kinda half of each, and neither. Someone walking through life on daddy's dime looks like they're winning, someone walking through life on talent and drive and determination actually is winning. And in either case these things only have meaning when compared against the narrator's definition of what constitutes 'winning.' The only way the back-and-forth can really work is if there's one particular person you (the narrator) has in mind. And if that's the case, then you need to put that in the poem somehow, so we can see it. Some idea of their relationship. A look at who these people are and how they intersect.

The intention here was to be that they were both comparing their lives with the speaker of the other half of the poem, and you're supposed to be left with the conclusion, as it were, that neither is winning and that if they changed position they would still be envious of one another, the whole, 'the grass is always greener on the other side', thing. Of course, if you didn't catch that there were two speakers in the poem, none of the points I was trying to make would come across, so clearly that's where things broke down here. Sorry I wasn't able to make it as clear as I'd hoped.

truemane
2011-12-19, 02:41 PM
@Alarra
Holy crap I totally missed that. I didn't even notice the italics, which may have tipped me off (or maybe not). So, you can go ahead and completely disregard everything I said, as it was all wrong. You totally played it exactly right. Knowing that now, excellent work.

*shakes head*

I wouldn't normally say this (as all I can do is call it like I see it) but I'm sorry, Alarra. I think I probably should have caught that.

leakingpen
2011-12-20, 09:44 AM
@alarraI caught it, but i think it might have been more obvious is the first line in italics was, No, I envy YOU,

perhaps the emphasis would have brought it out? but, I liked it!

Weezer
2011-12-20, 11:53 AM
@Alarra
Probably doesn't mean much, me not being a judge or anything, but I saw the switch. I really liked it, the idea of having two distinct and oppositional narrators in a single poem is a very interesting idea. I was confused a bit on my first read-through but it became clear when I looked at it a second time.

averagejoe
2011-12-21, 01:55 PM
My 100% on time observations and judgment.

Asthix:

Interesting. Kind of sad. A fond look back at events long past. I like the kind of lazy, halting style you used, and it was very easy to get into the rhythm of the poem and get drawn in. The lines separate from the verses also worked pretty well. I usually donít like that sort of thing, but in this case it really worked for the poem, made it more reminiscent of a memory than simply telling the story would have, and the one at the end, where it ended up being the start of the last verse, helped bookend the poem rather nicely. Similarly, the spacing worked in the poemís favor as well, made it somehow more dreamlike. I really think this would be a different poem if you spaced it more conventionally.

I donít know what else to say. You had some nice bits where you played around with sounds. (Long ago now/back roads//came easy/down in the valleys, comes to mind). Overall I thought it was great, but itís difficult to find anything to say. It seems to lend itself to abstract contemplation rather than specific thoughts. Even the things Iíve said seem not to say precisely what I mean. So, yeah, strong entry.

Alarra:

I tend to be inclined to dislike such repetition in poems, but I think you played with it pretty nicely. I like how the form of each half seemed to mirror the person that was being envied rather than the speaker, with the latter portion being more chaotic and in the more nonstandard font. The poem used a gimmick, something Iím also not very fond of, but it was pretty obvious and intuitive what you were doing, and so the gimmick itself was pretty unobtrusive. Honestly, this is probably a shining example of how to do a gimmick in poetry.

Content-wise, I dunno, it kind of falls apart for me. It lacks the personal intimacy of the other poems that youíve done this contest, and that always seems like your strong suit. The idea your poem expresses is very grokable from the poem itself, but itís also one of those generic sorts of sentiments. ďThe grass is always greener,Ē and what have you. Thereís no real point of view there, no real personality to it. What it says is said in such a distant way that thereís no real impact.

Verdict:
Asthix.

Vaynor
2011-12-22, 04:40 AM
Well that concludes this round, and this contest.

Congratulations to Asthix, winner of Iron Poet XIV!

The new round will be up momentarily.

Asthix
2011-12-22, 05:15 PM
I, I did it!

After Alarra's poem got so much attention, I thought that was it. This win is credited to listening to the critiques of the judges and using them to push my boundaries more than before. Thank you for helping me grow as a writer!

Just for fun, I'll put up my alternate poem that I wrote for the final round. It's very... negative.

Picture (http://browse.deviantart.com/photography/abstract/#/d4hc0b7)
Word: Unclear
Title: The Stoplight Director
Sunlight does not exist.

The arrow points back the way you came.

Thank you.

What are you still doing here?

Do not look at the lights.

Of course you're scared, you're unprepared

Go away.

There is no cliff, civic order

Forbids it. Obviously.

Well there's a hill, go towards it till

You leave.

Do not remove the traffic signal

Or you will be fined.

(Yes I know how easy they are to hook up)

I would

Not advise taking the right road.

So much noise, but no

Water sloshing. Not enough to return here,

You see.

From a distance you fooled me

But no tools in a pack

Means You're not from around here, hear?

That no

U-Turn sign means nothing to

You. Our secrets stay

Unless one comes to work. The rest, well...

they drift.

So back the way you came, hmm?

--VVV-- Thanks Alarra! Wahoo!

Alarra
2011-12-23, 12:44 AM
Congrats Asthix :smallbiggrin: