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    poetry


    dots Submission Name: Too Short a Dancedots
    --------------------------------------------------------





    Author: Lerlim
    ASL Info:    48/M/France
    Elite Ratio:    8 - 110/58/18
    Words: 174
    Class/Type: Poetry/Death
    Total Views: 1210
    Average Vote:    5.0000
    Bytes: 1366



    Description:
       Thanks again to all those who gave constructive comments and helped me improve this!!


    Make the font bigger!! Double Spacing Back to recent posts.

    dotsToo Short a Dancedots
    -------------------------------------------


    Too short a dance

    For Dad on his 75th birthday,
    and for Caroline
    In memoriam Marianne Jean Miller (June 27 1965 – March 7 1983)

    It's just a dance although the steps may vary,
       a fleeting minute's waltz without a plan;
         we shoot out threads, small anchors weak and mean,
           but spin ahead, chance seated at the tiller.

    Some dance with friends — real or imaginary,
       alone yet bonded with each member of the clan,
         appearing joyful, open and serene;
           frail — but for others steady as a pillar.

    Some dance with words as they attempt to marry
       the soul's and body's music, bound to scan
         through feelings deep and shrill. Alas they glean
           no genial truths that might leave spirits stiller.

    Some dance with death — yet it finds them unwary
       seeking them out to sever in mid-span
         a million strings — let loose at seventeen.
           We miss her warmth, hearts cracked, forever chiller.





    Submitted on 2006-12-27 04:27:42     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
    Submissions: [ Previous ] [ Next ]

    Rate This Submission

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    ||| Comments |||
      Stimulation de la danse et l'�me du court

    That is what this is.Beautiful too.
    The form is a perfect slide and I cannot tell if that may have been intentional during a rough draft maybe,
    subject matter and control is enjoyable.

    You gave bland to the word dance and
    enhanced the shoes that lead the groove of your imagination but even in actual life.
    Mainly with life followed up by death.

    ------> 4th stanza is a highlight only from readers opinion, for all four stanzas the reader can look through different windows of life because to dance is a wonderful part of life itself.

    Nicely trimmed and leveled.Aced.
    | Posted on 2011-04-09 00:00:00 | by Rex Gold | [ Reply to This ]
      quite so the critiques below.

    and i too empathise entirely, having written something for my dad that was read out loud a little while ago.

    by me.

    but for me a poem it is a question of style really which in turn dictates taste in its way and again, for me, a life and lives need a more relaxed treatment because they are by nature - more relaxed.

    so less structure for me i suppose, whilst having an innate feel for lives lived and passed - a difficult brief...

    it's just a dance,
    whose steps do vary
    throughout a waltz unplanned
    and we throw out sheet anchors do we knot...

    oh i suppose i would like to see you do this in a free style because i like all the words you have chosen but i relate poorly to the manner in which you have chosen to place them.

    in this instance seul.

    and i will wander off i think, to read what else you have here.

    a bientôt.

    k
    | Posted on 2007-01-07 00:00:00 | by Awkward | [ Reply to This ]
      quite so the critiques below.

    and i too empathise entirely, having written something for my dad that was read out loud a little while ago.

    by me.

    but for me a poem it is a question of style really which in turn dictates taste in its way and again, for me, a life and lives need a more relaxed treatment because they are by nature - more relaxed.

    so less structure for me i suppose, whilst having an innate feel for lives lived and passed - a difficult brief...

    it's just a dance,
    whose steps do vary
    throughout a waltz unplanned
    and we throw out sheet anchors do we knot...

    oh i suppose i would like to see you do this in a free style because i like all the words you have chosen but i relate poorly to the manner in which you have chosen to place them.

    in this instance seul.

    and i will wander off i think, to read what else you have here.

    a bientôt.

    k
    | Posted on 2007-01-07 00:00:00 | by Awkward | [ Reply to This ]
      
    Well, I think you had a difficult task laid out here. The challenge of the severe rhyme and form is daunting, leaving little room for as much expression as you may have wanted. The meter is difficult too because the lines end alternately with stressed and unstressed syllables, and there is no way to tamper with that given the words of your rhyme scheme and the fact that all must be parallel in each strophe. There is no where to cut some slack. However, under the circumstances I think you did well, --I have several abandoned villanelles, terzanelles and such that are gathering dust somewhere because the content just wouldn’t fit the form—or because my craftsmanship was unequal to the task.

    I do have some suggestions though, but first I would say that two of your alternate lines seem superior to the lines as submitted.
    L9 Some dance with words as they attempt to marry ---
    L15 a million strings — let loose at seventeen.
    Both of these alternates have the stresses in the natural place, and read smoothly aloud.


    S1
    It's just a dance although the steps may vary,
    a fleeting minute's waltz without a plan;
    we shoot out threads as anchors weak but keen
    and spin ahead without intent or tiller.


    I didn’t like the word “keen” as a descript for an anchor,--I felt it was only there to accommodate the rhyme and sounded forced. You repeated “without” ( a plan/ intent or tiller) and I thought that weakened the images, --it’s as if you had to rely on that device to glue the lines together. I did like the first 2 lines though, as they pick from the title, and the metaphor of life as dance is a good one with lots of possibilities; as well it expresses a celebratory tone rather than one of grief or melancholy. With that in mind, I wondered why the switch to the nautical imagery? Wouldn’t it be better to continue that theme, or tie the two together more subtly?


    Here is one suggestion retaining the nautical imagery

    It's just a dance although the steps may vary,
    a fleeting moment’s waltz without a plan;
    we shoot out threads,— small anchors weak and mean
    and spin ahead to sweep of unseen tiller.


    L3/4 now have some internal rhyme and some alliteration to tie them to the introductory lines.

    Another possibility is to make a more gradual transition in your imagery;

    It's just a dance although the steps may vary,
    a fleeting minute's waltz without a plan;
    we whirl and sway like leaves in winds unseen
    and spin ahead as Fate sits at the tiller.


    Here the dance segues from human life, to the falling leaves, and then to the spinning of a small craft at sea.Each adds a little layer of meaning while keeping to the theme of the fleeting freedom of the dance.

    S2
    L1 has a problem with the meter, --again the stresses have to come on each second syllable;
    Some dance with friends — real or imaginary

    The word imaginary is perfect, but with 5 syllables leaves little room before to work it in successfully. I have no suggestions here, except to either fit the “imagined” part somewhere else,or work on the “ —real or ---“ syllables that precede it. You could d shift the imaginary part then, internally in a line and end this one differently. (solitary, temporary, luminary, extraordinary, --are some words that might be worked in better--)Either or I guess. I just had an idea , how about--

    Some dance with friends, or dreams in solitary
    I think it contains that seed idea of living in two worlds at the same time—of being alone within yourself yet appearing like everyone else, while functioning creatively on different planes.Of course the word “alone” would then be redundant, but 2 syllable words abound,--try “unknown

    S2L2 –has a similar metrical problem,
    alone yet bonded with each member of the clan,
    and in L4 I found the phrase ”hid as steady pillar.” a little off, though technically correct. Perhaps it’s the word “steady”,


    Some dance with friends, or dreams in solitary,
    in secret each a member of the clan,
    appearing joyful, open and serene,
    internal frailness hid behind their pillar



    S3 Line 9 is the one I suggested you revert to the alternate line, and I have little to suggest for the rest except re-read and revise where something more lyrical or metrical occurs to you. It is hard to write with a deadline and undoubtedly , after the evnt you will see improvements that could have been made leap from nowhere, whereas now with the clock ticking they are too illusive. ( I wrote a poem for my Mom’s service a year ago, and at the time I thought it was perfect,--but now I see that all I could see then was the nitty-gritty emotion, and that I was forcing the words in some place unnaturally to suit my needs.—Sure glad I didn’t have to read it!) Of course the word “stiller” sounds forced, --but for now it will have to do unless you want to tear out the whole 2 lines, and say something else---but for this occasion, the heartfelt sincerity will override the technical , --your tone and expression will carry the weak parts, and your father and family will be appreciative and in awe of your endeavour.

    Some dance with words as they attempt to marry
    the soul and body's music, their fate to scan
    through feelings deep and shrill. Alas they glean
    no genial truths that might leave spirits stiller.


    S4

    Some dance with death yet it finds them unwary
    seeking them out to sever in mid span
    a million strings — fulfilled at seventeen.
    We miss her warmth, hearts cracked, forever chiller.


    This last stanza has the same metrical problem as some of the previous ones, especially in line 1, and as I mentioned before I like the alternate you posted for line 15 much better.

    I see death as a silent , unseen partner in our lives, always ready to cut in at will. You say “some dance with death—“ and that is true, and yet it is he who chooses the last waltz. (hence unwariness on the part of the deceased) I altered your first line a little as a suggestion to add a little more description to your sister (blithe, happy, carefree--) As I thought about this dark dance, the word “courtship”came to mind, and I suggested it here because Marianne’s span was to brief to include the joys and tears of courtship, marriage and children, and I thik the word evokes that reality to underline your metaphor of the strings being severed. It makes Death more culpable to “court” someone, there is more intent there when just “seeking” a random soul. Does that make sense>

    Some dance with death so blithe and yet unwary;
    a courtship brief that severs in mid span
    a million strings —. let loose at seventeen
    We miss her warmth, hearts cracked, forever chiller.




    Altogether now---



    It's just a dance although the steps may vary,
    a fleeting moment’s waltz without a plan;
    we shoot out threads,— small anchors weak and mean
    and spin ahead to sweep of unseen tiller.


    Some dance with friends, or dreams in solitary,
    in secret each a member of the clan,
    appearing joyful, open and serene,
    internal frailness hid behind their pillar


    Some dance with words as they attempt to marry
    the soul and body's music, their fate to scan
    through feelings deep and shrill. Alas they glean
    no genial truths that might leave spirits stiller.


    Some dance with death so blithe and yet unwary;
    a courtship brief that severs in mid span
    a million strings —. let loose at seventeen
    We miss her warmth, hearts cracked, forever chiller.


    Your reading will go well, whether you take anyone’s suggestions or none at all. I simply got caught up in this critique because “I have been there”, and relate to what you are feeling. This is a wonderful way to remember your sister and celebrate her life as well as a lasting gift for your family.

    Sally
    | Posted on 2006-12-28 00:00:00 | by Silverdog | [ Reply to This ]
      A very difficult piece to pull off successfully. Obviously, it's a powerful ode.I would guess that you have chosen theme over meter this time.

    The imagery was crystal clear in my mind. (Just had to look up "tiller"!)

    The only jarring word was "fulfilled". I still can't understand it, and "let loose" feels much better.

    Additionally, the 3rd para implies that none who dance with words find peace. Not true! So you can alter the para :

    Some dance with words in an attempt to marry
    the soul's and body's music, their fate to scan
    through feelings deep and shrill, but ne'er to glean
    a genial truth that might leave spirits stiller.

    This para now says that SOME writers don't
    find peace, whereas the original one said ALL writers don't find peace.


    You refer to life as a dance.The poem would be more coherent, if you can add a line at the end saying: she danced in all the styles I suggested above.

    I can make a lot of comments right now, which I'll probably regret afterwards, so I won't make them.

    An excellent piece!

    Happy new year!



    | Posted on 2006-12-28 00:00:00 | by albery rinash | [ Reply to This ]
      Well, first, the rhyme scheme (rhyming between stanzas) is never particularly graceful. I used something similar with “Change”, and while it is decent-sounding, I never repeated it. You have executed the scheme quite well, however.
    In S1L3, the word “keen” feels out of place. She may have been keen (i
    , sharp) but were her anchors? Perhaps, “...anchors weak, unseen” would work better.
    S2L1 has a definite rhythm at “REAL or i-MAG-in-AR-y. The pause implied by the dash serves as an unstressed beat, but the “or i-“ has two unstressed in a row. I’m not certain how to correct it, but I like the word “imaginary”, and it’s probably easier to work on the “– real or” part.
    S3L3: “Alas” is just plain old-fashioned, a throwback to the romantic era. Perhaps, “But ah,” might work better, regardless of the technically incorrect grammar.
    S4L1 just doesn’t work at all. The natural voice would stress the “yet” rather than the “it”. Perhaps something like, “Who dance with death may still be caught unwary” would be more graceful. That would require changing L2, but its rhythm is off anyway.
    What you’ve attempted here is quite difficult, and you got fairly close to the technicals you sought. The question I have is this: Did it convey the heart; that is, in your opinion, will it move others to feel what you feel? I can’t judge that.
    fred
    | Posted on 2006-12-27 00:00:00 | by fredmelden | [ Reply to This ]
      Well, I'm not here to give you as long as advice as all these kids did. But, here's what I saw.


    You protrayed life in general, for everyone. You showed that some people live lives of danger, others lives of comfort. But then, you tyed it all up in the end and showed that it was your sister who you were talking about, how she died at only 17.

    It was threaded together quite well. How life can be to short in general, and then you brought it down to focus on your sister.

    You started out real broad, and then slowly zoomed in, is what I'm trying to say, I guess.

    It was written very well, but some of the imagery wasn't very clear for me.

    The last two stanza's were very clear. But the rest was sort of hazy for me. Then again, I only read it once and I didn't try and disect it or anything.

    One thing this poem does do, is make you feel happy to be alive. I was glad I came back to Elite today to check up on things and your poem. Nicely done.


    On a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the best I'd give this poem a 7. Good writing, but hazy imagery. If I hadn't had the description, I wouldn't have gotten the first few stanzas.


    Practice makes better, I'd never say perfect.


    Once again, thank you.


    Sincerely,

    Alessio



    P.S. Forza Italia.
    | Posted on 2006-12-27 00:00:00 | by Secrets Unheard | [ Reply to This ]
      It's just a dance although the steps may vary,
    a fleeting minute's waltz without a plan;
    we shoot out threads as anchors weak but keen
    and spin ahead without intent or tiller.

    Some dance with friends — real or imaginary,
    alone yet bonded with each member of the clan,
    appearing joyful, open and serene,
    internal frailness hid as steady pillar.

    Some dance with words in an attempt to marry
    the soul's and body's music, their fate to scan
    through feelings deep and shrill. Alas they glean
    no genial truths that might leave spirits stiller.

    Some dance with death yet it finds them unwary
    seeking them out to sever in mid span
    a million strings — fulfilled at seventeen.
    We miss her warmth, hearts cracked, forever chiller.
    -----------------------------
    The emotion here is raw and available at the first read. It brought tears to my eyes and I am not overly sentimental (though I did read the first paragraph of your description and so had some idea what to expect).

    I feel awkward offering feedback on a piece that comes from the heart and is therefore perfect - a perfect expression - however, as you asked...

    1. I think the poem would read better if in the third line in the first stanza: 'we shoot out threads as anchors weak but keen', had a comma spearating 'anchors' and 'weak'; then begin the fourth line with 'then'.
    2. Your alternate line 8: 'Frail but for others steady as a pillar' is, I think, a better choice. Could I suggest a comma between 'Frail' and 'but'?
    3. Stanza 4 is wonderful! Perfect! Could never own these words and phrasing - bravo!
    4. Your alternate line 15 would satisfy logic: 'a million strings — let loose at seventeen'. This is because the preceding line made use of the words: 'severed in mid span', therefore 'fulfilled' is at odds with this. The alternate line is more in keeping with this imagery.

    To demonstrate all:

    It's just a dance although the steps may vary,
    a fleeting minute's waltz without a plan;
    we shoot out threads as anchors, weak but keen
    then spin ahead without intent or tiller.

    Some dance with friends — real or imaginary,
    alone yet bonded with each member of the clan,
    appearing joyful, open and serene,
    Frail, but for others steady as a pillar.

    Some dance with words in an attempt to marry
    the soul's and body's music, their fate to scan
    through feelings deep and shrill. Alas they glean
    no genial truths that might leave spirits stiller.

    Some dance with death yet it finds them unwary
    seeking them out to sever in mid span
    a million strings — let loose at seventeen.
    We miss her warmth, hearts cracked, forever chiller.

    Your family are fortunate to have your words frame their sorrow. I am sure that you will bless them all.

    Well done :o)
    | Posted on 2006-12-27 00:00:00 | by biska | [ Reply to This ]
      It's just a dance although the steps may vary,
    a fleeting minute's waltz without a plan;
    we shoot out threads as anchors weak but keen
    and spin ahead without intent or tiller.

    Some dance with friends — real or imaginary,
    alone yet bonded with each member of the clan,
    appearing joyful, open and serene,
    internal frailness hid as steady pillar.

    Some dance with words as they attempt to marry
    Some dance with words in an attempt to marry

    the soul's and body's music, their fate to scan
    through feelings deep and shrill. Alas they glean
    no genial truths that might leave spirits stiller.

    Some dance with death yet it finds them unwary
    seeking them out to sever in mid span
    a million strings — fulfilled at seventeen.
    We miss her warmth, hearts cracked, forever chiller.

    I do like the alternate for line nine I find the stress
    slightly more pronounced more in keeping with the
    rhythm of the poem. As far as the poem itself it is
    very good. Line one in the last stanza threw me
    at first until I realized it had a strong caesura after
    death, In fact for whatever reason I did not catch it
    until I read the poem aloud. Then forever chiller, chiller
    at first seemed inappropriate such a harsh word to end
    with, but it too is apropos and is of course reinforced by
    tiller, pillar and stiller.
    Indeed a fleeting minute’s waltz is fitting and for me
    sums up the feel of this poem, haunting sweet and
    so melancholy we dance until the end. really good
    work in my humble opinion.
    Dale
    | Posted on 2006-12-27 00:00:00 | by DaleP | [ Reply to This ]
      I'm really bad at leaving good feedback, but I had to say something about this. It was deep and powerful. I really enjoyed the rhyme scheme. You've crafted a very interesting read.

    I like most of the alternate bits better personally. The alternate first gives better imagery in my opinion. I'd leave line 8 as is, I did like the second alternate better at first but as I read it over again I gained a better appreciation of the poem's full meaning and decided that it was the best of all possible lines. Line 9 could be switched with the alternate, and line 12 as well. I think the alternate gives a better image in these cases.

    Line 15 I would most definitely use the alternate line. Fulfilled, though an effective word, it seems a bit contradictory and I think the term 'let loose' conveys your meaning better than 'fulfilled'.

    Other than that, impressive work. Easily one of the best pieces I've read in a fortnight. Most definitely a favorites addition. Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece with us.
    | Posted on 2006-12-27 00:00:00 | by Zabriel | [ Reply to This ]


    Think Feedback more than Compliments :: [ Guidelines ]

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    Be kind, take a few minutes to review the hard work of others <3
    It means a lot to them, as it does to you.


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