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Official Poetry Contests - Theme: Bold (due August 24)

Posted Mar 24, '13 at 1:36pm

AxialCurses

AxialCurses

10 posts

For the Haiku Contest:
[Because who doesn't love a little Poe now and then]

Be still, beating heart!
**** you and the noise you make
under the floorboards!

 

Posted Mar 24, '13 at 1:39pm

AxialCurses

AxialCurses

10 posts

Edit, due to unexpected censorship:

Be still, beating heart!
Curse you and the noise you make
under the floorboards!

 

Posted Mar 24, '13 at 3:34pm

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

8,277 posts

Ok, yeah..I'm going to question the theme

So this is what I see being an issue with this theme..as shown by the first submission..I believe many users will submit poetry that use "Floors" as a sub theme

Take the lone example so far...the main theme of his haiku is not Floors..but the beating of his heart (and, if you understand the allusion..the fear caused by the heart beating). Floors merely serves as an object for the further protrusion of this theme in this haiku

Also..from the last contest..I worry that the contest will turn from how one best presents the theme with a master of language, figurative devices, rhetorical devices, sensory devices, etc (of course, not all at once, but the point I'm trying to bring is a mastery over the composition of their poem) to how one is able to blatantly tell you what the theme is and how the theme works in the poem

Take the winner of the haiku contest, for example. In it, the "poet" blatantly states what the broken bond is..but doesn't allow you to feel the emotion..instead he outright states what emotion is present. I feel no sadness from the boy losing the dog..because no reason is present for me to feel any sadness..for all I know, that boy could have been abusive (reasoning..no love was present. Just the idea of there being a boy and a dog..then no dog. Also..how is that depth? That is extreme lack of depth. We know nothing regarding depth of them..nothing on their relationship, on the reason of the bond being broke, etc)

 

Posted Mar 24, '13 at 4:00pm

Quirinus1

Quirinus1

150 posts

Even though this entry for the Poetry Contest - Floors - dances on the boundaries of the theme, I will submit this entry. Hoping to set a benchmark of excellence, if it is worthy, On forehand I want to state that this poem is fictional and a work of art and has nothing to do with my own intents and political beliefs.

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

Towering brothers, offspring of hybris,
You call yourself fair, you call yourself free;
do you not see your true hypocrisy?
You will be ravaged, God is my witness.

My bauxite casing in sapphire air,
shall force itself in your virgin body
and leave blood-red scarring memory.
Everyone shall know, to God I swear.

Story. Upon.
Story. Upon.
Floor. Upon.
Floor. Upon.
You.

Hideous, heathen.
May the hatred in my heart
fill your house, your spouse your hearth.

Floors, not flowers shall cover my graveyard.
And in my death, you shall be my neighbour.

 

Posted Mar 24, '13 at 4:49pm

EmperorPalpatine

EmperorPalpatine

4,977 posts

The purpose of judging was to help the poets and onlookers to improve through criticism. How does "For its action" or "For its simplicity" help them? What makes simplicity trump action?
From p453 of the old HC when the merit prize was revoked, Gantic's own words:

The judging has been lackluster or nonexistent. It fails to adequately highlight why the winner was chosen over all other entries...Simply, we ask for merit-quality judging for merit-quality winners.

Here's one of acmed's "unprofessional" judgings. Another. I don't see much difference between these and the recent judging.

I believe many users will submit poetry that use "Floors" as a sub theme

I'll make a literal one based on the style of the last winner:

Floor is made of wood,
The wood is under carpet:
My feet are happy.

Is that bare-bones and deep enough? Ain't it the ****ing Marianas Trench of haiku?

 

Posted Mar 24, '13 at 5:44pm

Salvidian

Salvidian

3,950 posts

People have higher priorities than to get in-depth on poems.

The have someone else judge. There are plenty of people here who have enough time to go in-depth on 20 or even 30 poems. This new method of judging is thin, hypocritical and annoying.

Floors

Floors is the new theme? That seems like it wouldn't be much of a people pleaser as opposed to "Broken Bonds" because, frankly, "Floors" is a fairly strange/unusual topic. Not that I find trouble using it, but I doubt there'll be a whole lot of participation this round.

We still need to work on this.

/rant

 

Posted Mar 24, '13 at 6:01pm

Gantic

Gantic

6,842 posts

Moderator

The judging, or the details of it, was all half-assed in particular because this wasn't the way it was supposed to be. I do not intend to present my reasoning as the only reasoning, but I have to work with what I have to (which is largely my own), so I stripped it down to bare minimum rather than just announcing the winners. The best course of action was just to get it over with and forge ahead, because unfortunately, this is poorly run and no one provided any feedback on my feedback, so I might actually be in this alone. I don't like this situation and this shouldn't have happened, but I won't make a commitment to which I can't hold myself.

Other response later.

 

Posted Mar 24, '13 at 6:16pm

Salvidian

Salvidian

3,950 posts

Delete my last post. Grr.

The judging, or the details of it, was all half-assed in particular because this wasn't the way it was supposed to be. I do not intend to present my reasoning as the only reasoning, but I have to work with what I have to (which is largely my own), so I stripped it down to bare minimum rather than just announcing the winners. The best course of action was just to get it over with and forge ahead, because unfortunately, this is poorly run and no one provided any feedback on my feedback, so I might actually be in this alone. I don't like this situation and this shouldn't have happened, but I won't make a commitment to which I can't hold myself.

Then we'll have to work on the contest. This whole thing was a mistake imo, but I can't blame Devoidless and everyone else involved for trying. The poetic areas of the AMW have sucked for several months now - nearly an entire year. We definitely need to go back and see what made the prior contests, popular, fun, and functional. Until roughly 8-10 months ago they worked well. Obviously something came along and muffed everything up. I won't blame you, but I can't say this contest has made great strides of progress either. Who knows, maybe something magical will happen and save the day, but until then we need to use what and who we have to turn the poetry contests around. I'm all for continuing to use this thread solely as I find it a bit simpler than using two threads.

Personally, and this is my opinion alone, I believe we need some fresh blood to get in here. To me, it feels like certain AMWians are a bit burnt out of recycling the same activities over and over again. I think we should maintain how the system runs for now and get a new, fresh judge in here. Obviously, whoever does it will need a bit of direction. I know it'll sound corny when I say this, but if we cooperate and reshape how this thing is run, we'll get quite a bit in return. We need to restore the poetry contests, because, honestly, there is no excuse to use the same system for 3 years when it's clearly out of date. It needs to be adapted for a smaller, inexperienced community. By inexperienced, I mean most of our members aren't all too fluent in the ways of contests and poetry.

 

Posted Mar 24, '13 at 8:02pm

EmperorPalpatine

EmperorPalpatine

4,977 posts

Until roughly 8-10 months ago they worked well. Obviously something came along and muffed everything up

Almost exactly 9 months ago, merits were removed.

there is no excuse to use the same system for 3 years when it's clearly out of date.

The problem is the same system wasn't kept. It worked great for a long time, then the mods thought acmed's judging wasn't good enough, so merits were removed. Then acmed quit and dudeguy was inactive. I (with the much appreciated help of murasaki, nicho, pang, and mav) had to drag the contest out of the mud. Everything was running smoothly from that point. Judging was up to par, participation was decent, communication was improved. And just as things are looking up, the merge happens. Merits are back, but we're stuck with disorganized, substandard judging again.

 

Posted Mar 24, '13 at 8:29pm

Gantic

Gantic

6,842 posts

Moderator

Almost all of the haiku relied on the the words bond, chain, broken, fixed, or the lost of an established relationship, friend, lover, etc or outright stated the bond that is broken. So what makes it good enough to win? It doesn't matter if the bond is explicit, implicit, or implied as much as the way it is presented. I can only present my opinions, and other mods may present theirs if they wish. I don't particularly care for poems that are so oblique or vague as to appear deep when they were superficial at best and pretentious at worst. Work with what you know and polish it. A lot of entries are unpolished because people didn't spend as much time working on it and editing it. There's a reason why certain users in the past have won more often then others and it's not simply based around how well they write (although that does have some bearing) as much as how much effort is put into editing and polishing.

I don't ride the same train as most users when it comes to haiku. I might even be on different rails. I pride depth in simplicity. Why simplicity? Without it, everything else seems to get lost in itself. I love Basho and I love Takarai Kikaku and I love the poetry of zen masters, but from a Western perspective I also do love Jack Kerouac's haikus and I agree with him when he says "Above all, a haiku must be very simple and free of all poetic trickery and make a little picture and yet be as airy and graceful as a Vivaldi Pastorella." That is where I am looking from. (There's more to this quote, but I'm sure users would be up in arms if asked to relieve the 5-7-5 structure since that's what the contest is based on.) The other mods may disagree with my opinions, but these are my own (but it is not simply my own that determines the winners). From what I can see, most people blindly follow the rigid 5-7-5 format but ironically with no regard for constraint.

How many entries do I think might fall under the scope of what I look for?

Reton8:
In the summer sky,
the white clouds are tormenting
the hibakusha.

If under another theme, this one may have won hands down. If interpretation of theme is completely forgone and only inspiration is considered, then things may be different, but I did not feel this one had as strong a connection with the theme as others. It is, however, very well cut.

HUA7XFan122396:
The tinted white van
At the children's candy store
High, dreadful screaming

This is based on the stereotypical candy van of a pedophile/kidnapper, but not really one of broken bonds.

jasperdeboomstam:
When I see her walk
I think of our history
But then she is gone

The image isn't as strong with this one, but the message is clear. 'She' could be many things. Unfortunately, vagueness doesn't work in its favor.

Kysier:
Cold lonely winter
Golden ring covered in dust
I miss you my love

This actually reminds me of Buson's haiku where the speaker steps on the piercing cold of his dead wife's comb, but the connections with all of the images are not as strong. This one may have won, perhaps with the extraction of the word lonely and a stronger bond between winter and the ring.

doomy64:
A boy and his dog
The dog was taken away
Sadness struck the boy

It's so simple that I think it's much better than the others in that it isn't caught up in the words it uses. It isn't flowery and it isn't facetiously oblique.

dazzadaman:
Sushi Cat at mall
Dog comes and steals wife away
Will be seen again?

Edited: This one's not as simple and it does require context, but this is Armor Games. It's very similar to doomy64's but it doesn't blatantly state the emotion behind it, which is a plus, but I don't think it entirely reflects the theme. I feel the last line is weaker than the rest of the lines.

skildpadde7:
Falling to the ground
Shackles before so binding
I am free again

This interpretation is very broad and literal. I cannot a specific image behind it other than the loosing of shackles. Who's shackles are these?

TopRank_:
papa where are you?
unused baseball, empty mitt.
dont leave me mama.

It invokes the image of an absent father and the fear in a child of losing the mother as well, but it reads really choppy.

Parsat:
Swirling clouds of luck:
The way the sigma bounces
Stable resonance

Edited: This one requires context and without some background in physics or statistics, it's difficult to understand and that's what I counted against it. If you do understand it, but even if you don't, you can see chance in action. It's so sprightly.

My reasoning for the winner was that:

"It's so simple that I think it's much better than the others in that it isn't caught up in the words it uses. It isn't flowery and it isn't facetiously oblique."

If you can strip away pretense and present something that appears timeless, then that works in your favor. It's plain and a five year old could understand it, but that's not everything. Why is it that sadness struck the boy? The dog could be Cujo and the boy could be relieved, but he isn't relieved. The boy could be a sociopath and the boy could not care, but he does care. In the same manner, why is death cruel? What is the relation between the high-pitched, dreadful screams and the white van parked in front of a candy store? Why do the white clouds torment the hibakusha? It doesn't have to, but it does. Bonds between images are not forged by what is obvious, but by the way we understand it and the way certain words have connections with others. To break these bonds is to lose sight of what language and communication is. There's more to what may be obvious and that lies in why things are the way they are. Certainly the last line of the winning entry isn't perfect and it could be better if it didn't outright mentions sadness, but overall, I feel it better than the others.

Again, these are only my opinions.

 
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