i like your original ending better...the poem talks generally about life's ebbs and flows...about its depths...kind of generic, and then you really flavor this with ending getting specific...like you may figure out life, but you'll never figure me out completely...i won't let you know me that well...
i think this piece stands well as it is...i wonder why poets so often feel the need to add and add and add...less is more..
and this leaves us thinking....
I have to say I like how it reads. The first impression I got was very good.
The first stanza made me think of something that is strained, or difficult to move. Oily water is gooby and toiling gears of an ancient clock are cranking along regardless of exceptional effort. It's as if you are trying to let a part of you be known, or the strain of resisting to be known, or perhaps relating to the effort for someone to know you. Those were the various interpretations I conjured anyways.
The second stanza I found a little more difficult because you speak of "tokens in depths you'll never see" then a "wood worn thin". The tokens make me think of all that you are hiding about yourself; and, after reading some comments, the rocking would perhaps be about how your resolve to be so secretive is being worn down. The "ebb and flow" tying it in. But, as stated, I found that slightly difficult to interpret. It reads beautifully, once again as I said; however, perhaps a slight wording revision may assist with easier comprehension. Since it is so short with so much depth, a more apparent point would seem most apt.
All-in-all, it was an enjoyable, lovely written piece to read with so much in so little.
I don't want to criticize this poem, I just want to go thanks, I love it!
Underneath your talk of troubled relationships and so on, is a sort of peaceful foundation, a mighty and steady soul. It probably annoys you that the slings and arrows are so bad, but can't destroy you. Sometimes we ought to face up to the fact that we don't deserve to be destroyed ... after all, it is only from somebody's illness that we catch a negative attitude in the first place!
I think definitely keep the 'there are parts of me you'll never know' in, it makes this more intimate, more personal, which adds to its quiet allure.
I wasn't bothered by the 'stop' until I read the comments which were, and now it's bothering me, a little, but that's nothing that a little playing around with line breaks shouldn't fix, if you feel the need to, and I honestly don't think it's such a biggie.
I like the transition and/or consistency between 'oily water' and 'gears'- and I also like how this adds to the 'depths you'll never see'- how the oil adds another layer to the water, and stops it from being transparent; and how it also impurifies it, so when I take that along with all the rest, I think of secrets that we keep because we feel we have to, or of the general sinfulness (gah, I cannot think of the right word but that is not it at all) of man- how underneath everything we all have these depths, and some of it isn't pretty, but that make it not there.
The first stanza is about movement, it speaks to me of life just going and going, ticking along, and we just have to move along with it.
The second stanza- I think of you letting someone in, then withdrawing, rocking between the two, the ebb and flow of it, how maybe this isn't so much a conscious thing as a reflex, this ebbing and flowing; and there's movement, there, too, which makes this a lovely poem to read- it feels almost hypnotic.
I think that the first two stanza are a great build up to the final one- something about life's mysteries and secrets and movements which we, as humans, cannot understand, which you drive home with a personal note (to self, or to other, it can work both ways and I like that) which makes this so much more human than it would be without that 'me' in there.
I've been reading this one for a while now, I know I haven't added much to any of the previous comments, but I wanted to acknowledge it, cos, yeah, it's been on my mind.
i wish more people would write poetry about fluid dynamics, and mechanical gears, it would inspire more of the girls in my science class, that believe physics is only for boys, to think about the workings of both. as it is, you have, in my opinion, in the opening lines of your poem, described everything, exactly as it would happen in nature.
eddies are the swirling of fluids. they are turbulence! we now normally only apply the term vortex to gasses but they have the same properties as fluids and i can therefore get sucked in here, into the depths; ie from the whirlpool effect to the idea of gears working inside a clock. so i would have no problem in a cross curricular exercise with this.
i am on familiar and comfortable ground with the science, but i would never disagree with daniel regarding positioning of words on a line . he being a poet and a man of words and me being the exact opposite in both respects. i think he does have a point with the word 'stop'. i have a different issue with the word.
for me, it is because i am getting wrapped up with the idea of the continuous turning effect of the eddy, and just donít want to see the word stop.
so for me, i would rather read
'there are ripples in life that slowly circle
like the roiling of oily water,
like the continuous toiling of gears,
rotating the hands of an ancient clock.'
the eddies and gears come to a halt here, as you now discuss the ebb and flow of the tide.
i was a little disappointed because i wanted you to carry on! eddies often are associated with vigorous circulations, they carry anomalously cold or warm waters and can have huge impacts on oceans. they are turbulence!
i donít have a problem with staying in the marine environment, but you could easily make two separate poems out of this. one of eddies and one of ebbs flows and whispers.
i really like the way you end the poem.
it leaves me thinking that just as there are mechanisms in nature, science, engineering that i do not understand, there are hidden mysteries within many people. and, if that person really mattered to me, i would spend a little more time trying to find out more about their inner soul and their hopes and dreams, rather than what they show to the world. so, it was a wonderful way to finish.
This is very impressive. I normally don't enjoy reading poetry unless it contains words suitable for its own subscription, rather than hiding away in the folderol of malice or the secular scruples. Not too often do I come across something as well written and straight to the point as this.
I agree with Emeya, about keeping those last lines as is. For me, there's a nice bit of depth in that close, and it's made more interesting by the imagery provided in the rest of the poem, you sort of picture some dark/wet/sparkling treasure or cavern or something rather than a physical thing and that's to be admired.
I'm going to go a bit rainman on you and say I wasn't particularly sold on the arrangement of the first two portions of the poem, however, this is hyper-critical stuff;
Having described ripples it then seemed inverted to talk about the inner workings (the gearing of..... moving hands etc because that's going from the outside (ripples) to the inside, it clanged for some reason, sort of like one of my sonnets where the rhyme scheme gets out of whack. I didn't like the position of stop, because of the way it's enjambed, you are forced to stop at the end of that line which drew attention to the word and made it feel out of place, because that's followed up with a half rhyme at the end of the next line it also made me aware of the rhythm in that last line, it seemed overly long.
Then there's the rocking line which is apt and fair enough if the wood sits on the surface, but if the wood is at depths you'll never see then the accuracy of the imagery falls off slightly for me and combining all this and my own experience with r and m and this is why I feel those first two strophes could use some slight adjustments.
I'm the reader, you are the poet, I want to feel as if you positioned the words, one after another to get me where you wanted me to go.
I don't feel this hits the bullseye in that sense,
again, this is hyper-critical.
I like this very much as is -- including keeping the me in there, because it reads like a note/reminder to someone specific. There are mysteries in life that can't be solved, and you (or parts of you) are some of them. Not only is this quite true, but I enjoyed the simple way you brought it forth, the similes you used and the slant rhyme to move it along -- also, perfect title.