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    dots Submission Name: A portraitdots

    Author: Civilian
    ASL Info:    21/M/Australia
    Elite Ratio:    7.14 - 146/166/35
    Words: 122
    Class/Type: Poetry/Misc
    Total Views: 1014
    Average Vote:    No vote yet.
    Bytes: 833

       A goodbye poem, hopefully it's fairly self-explanatory. I've been abroad for 10 months and in returning back home friends have to be left behind, including this particular one.

    I'm thinking of dropping the final three lines, because I think it would be fitting to end suddenly. Also it seems kind of soppy, which is always a concern. Also a new title, please.

    The picture is taken from buydalipainting.com (!), and is 'Self-Portrait in the Studio', painted by Dali in 1919.

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

    dotsA portraitdots

    Last night I awoke and found myself
    sketching a portrait of happiness.

    I scribbled the sound of Van Morrison
    serenading tinnily from my phone,
    perched on top of the microwave
    while we laughed, ate and danced around.

    I used pastels to smudge the canvas
    with memories of kitchen smells,
    thoughts of your warm, heady bed-scent
    and the spray of fruity laughter
    that seemed to shadow me for months.

    I turned and felt you breathing softly,
    with the duvet moving in time.
    Your body’s outline was smooth and good
    Like an otter curled in the den.

    In the morning I woke again
    but your smooth, supple arcs were gone.
    The duvet dipped into nothingness,
    truncated like a sheer cliff-face.

    Submitted on 2009-06-16 06:01:54     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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    ||| Comments |||
      *puts critique hat on*

    i'm in between when it comes to your final three lines; one side likes it because of the truthfulness displayed so nakedly: a fitting volta-like expression, if you will; the other doesn't because it seems like it's already implied... and, well, soppy as you said. but i'm always in conflict about things like this so my opinion means nothing.

    'in the den' or 'in its den'? the latter is more inclusive.
    my one other nitpick is the use of your word 'truncated': it fits, but doesn't. either think about dropping or replacing it? also, i find you have to be careful when using 'like' similes (as you've used two in successive stanzas here)... often times it's better to disguise it, which something like this will do:
    "The duvet dipped into nothingness,
    a sheer cliff-face."
    this both cuts out seemingly unnecessary words and also distills it right down; still a comparison, but a bit more subtle, don't you think?

    i wonder what your poems would be like if you stepped outside of these chunky four/five line stanzas? just something i've noticed you stick to, and which might enable you to be more free if you were to experiment with linebreaks and spacing. everyone needs a creative push, i figure...

    i enjoy the sentiments and imagery of this poem: a love shared, defined, given breath. the universality of this is what appeals the most, i confess...
    | Posted on 2009-06-17 00:00:00 | by meoww | [ Reply to This ]
      I like the whole conceit(metaphysically speaking of course) of transmuting impressions from the various senses into pigments on canvas. It's a great idea. I smiled a bit at the simile of the otter in its den, as though we're all perfectly familiar with how otters sleep in their dens. For all we know, they always lie flat on their backs with their four legs splayed wide. No I jest.
    Haven't we all read "Ring of Bright Water". The last wild otters I saw were on a river in Brunei, but from the time I had dozens of polecats (fitch/ferrets) as pets, I can assure that they do curl up in a most appealing way and probably all mustelids do likewise.
    I'm not sure I like Van Morrison (nothing against him personally!) or the phone and the microwave, because they date your poem. At the moment they date it as early 2000ish, and that temporarily makes your poem with it and modern, but in 20 years' time they will equally date it as old fashioned, a quaint period piece, when a little known musician was popular and people still actually used phones.
    My niggles aside, I thought your poem was a great effort.
    | Posted on 2009-06-17 00:00:00 | by hanuman | [ Reply to This ]
      No, I like the last three lines.
    I think it pulls the poem together in a certain way.
    It gives the satisfing completion.

    Ich liebe. Recht ausgewogen auf eine Art und Weise.
    | Posted on 2009-06-17 00:00:00 | by xxiknownowxx | [ Reply to This ]
      Yes, my instincts would tell me to drop the last three lines too. The remind me too much of an Elton John song, "your song" I think. No, the poem stands much better without it and it looks somehow more complete. Anyway, its up to you, this was deadly.
    | Posted on 2009-06-16 00:00:00 | by Raphael | [ Reply to This ]

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