[Bards] Throwing one to the Lions...

Fitzmorgan at cs.com Fitzmorgan at cs.com
Sat Aug 4 10:37:42 PDT 2001

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In a message dated 8/4/01 9:36:06 AM Pacific Daylight Time, iainmacc at juno.com

>         Good Gentles,
>         I would like to submit this piece for critique. I don't know
> anything really about "style" or "form", but I can recognize the pattern
> of this one as being the same as limericks. The few times I have
> performed it, I have found it to be effective. The disclaimer at the
> beginning is part of the piece.
>               Thanks again,
>                       Iain MacCrimmon

       First, since we haven't really discussed the subject of how to give
usefull and reletivly painless comment the quality of comment may vary.  I
for one amy not sure that "I" know hay to give really usefull commentary but
I'll give it a go.  Rather than have a big rush of people sendign in things
for critique I rather use this as a chance to launch the discussion on giving
constructive criticism.  So I submit my critique for critique.


       This really is not in Limerick form.  The rythem is close but the ryme
is not the same.  This poem uses the form of rhymed qutrains.  That is
stanzas of four lines each with some form of rhyme.
       I like the poem, it's a nice piece of light verse and i can see that
it would be an effective performance piece.  For the first three lines the
listener doesn't really know what kind of poem this is going to be then that
fourth line hits you like a zinger and catches you off guard.  Timing and
surprize are important in comic verse.  I'm guessing that fourth line is
prouably your biggest laugh.  Endings are also important in any poetry but
more so in comic verse.  Instead of going for the big laugh on the last line
you gave it kind of a bittersweet twist.  This is also appropriate in comic
verse as comedy is mostly about pain, suffering and loss.

       The rhyming is fine.  In poetry ment to be performed aloud it is
important that the words flow off the tounge easily.  I see a few places
where I think a slight re-wording would make the line flow better.

>         The following is a work of fiction. The characters represented
> herein are not meant to bear any resemblance to any actual persons,
> living or dead. With your permission,
>                                                         Elegy
>         Lords and Ladies, neighbors and kinsmen,
>         From the High, the Middle, and the Low,
>         We're here for the wake of my darlin' Kate,
>         The ugliest woman I know.
>         Her hair was the color of wattle and daub,
>         Not a wave, not a shimmer, not a curl.
>         She had her nose broken when he was a child,
>         And again when she was a girl.
>         She had her a figure I have to admit,
>         Not unlike some fighters I know.
       This line seems a little awkward to me, but onbly a bit.  It doesn't
really flow off the tounge.  Most of the lines in the poem have a rythem of a
stressed sound followed by two or more unstressed sounds.  The pattern tends
to be.  TUM ta ta TUM ta ta TUM.   This line starts a pattern of TUM ta TUM
TUM and those back to back stressed syllables tend to break up and hinder the
flow of the line, a bit like tapping your breaks while driving down the road.
 I would rewirte it to make it flow better.  Some suggested phrasings might
be.  "That was like several fighters I know" or "Like several old fighters I
know."  Nither of these lines of mine are great lines but they do flow
better.  With a bit of thought you can prouably come up with something even
better.  This is a minor nit to pick at but as the poem is fair;y wekk
crafted minor nits are all I see.

           She could give you a fright in the wee of the night,
>         When she wanted to give it a go.
>         Her ears and her teeth were rather too large.
>         They seemed to go on for a day.
>         You could tell for a mile whenever she'd smile.
>         Some folk would run screamin' away.
>         Her eyes were as dark as a two-day-old bruise.
>         She invented the look that could kill.

>         Perhaps it's best that she's gone to her rest,
>         But damme I love her still.

       These two linse can also benifit from a slight rewrite to keep to the
established rythem.  I would suggest the following:

        Perhaps it is best that she's gone to her rest,
        But damned if don't I love her still.

> ____________________________________________

       That's about all that I can see to comment on.  As I said befor I
think that poetry is largly about making creative choices, and the person who
has to make those choices is the poet.  I'm just pointing out a few places
where I would have made different choices and why.  It's up to you to decide
if you like my choices better or your own.  It's your poem.

Robert Fitzmorgan

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