ForumsArt, Music, and WritingPeriodic Poetry Contest - Theme: Touch of Truth (Page 390, due Jan. 28)

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DragonMistress
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First, I will post the overall rules, and then I will post the specifics about this week.

Original rules, as stated by Ubertuna:

It must fit the week's theme.
It must be submitted by the deadline.
It cannot have inappropriate language in it.
It cannot be stolen (if you plagiarize, we will find you).


Also:

The poem must be created for this contest
A user cannot win two weeks in a row (though everyone is welcome to submit every week!)
Only one submission per user will be accepted

As we all know, the winner will recieve a merit, and their poem will be featured on the _Poetry_ page.


OK, on to this week's topic...Again, we are having a style instead of a theme. Also, this week we are having TWO WEEKS to do it, instead of the usual one. Why? Because this will be an EPIC poem. Or, rather, a parody of an epic poem. Generally, epic poetry is very long, and tells the serious story of a heroic figure. Well, this week, the epic figure is YOU! Write a long poem (I'll leave the definition of 'long' up to you, but give it a good go) about the heroic story of you! It can be silly, serious, whatever... just have fun with it. You have two weeks, so have a great time!
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lytnin
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wooooooo were back in business lol

mvpguy22
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Thank you Strop for adding this to your "plate."

I'm sure we can all manage to wait until Friday for the results.

adrecka_33
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Ya, no biggy as long as we have someone willing to do it i am happy *smiles contently*

Strop
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Alright guys, judging is just a little more than 24 hours away! I've got a fair bit to read and ponder now

thoadthetoad
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Humm well I think Everyone has a good chance of wining, when is it going to be judged?


I think I have about a. . .0.0000000000000000000000001 chance of winning, my poem sucks cuz I popped it outta mah but in the matter of 10 minutes with no planning whatsoever.
Strop
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Now that I've finished judging the Art Contest, I'll get on this one shortly.

But I can't hide the fact that I seriously am not sure how to judge this. I mean I've written a fair amount of poetry myself in the past and I'm literate and not completely incompetent but...yeah. This is definitely a transitional measure xD

kingryan
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Hurry Up Strop!

I am waiting!

KingRyan
(Notice how there was not one 'bogan' reference in this post!)

adrecka_33
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Shesh give the guy a break! First time jugding, give him some time i think we can all wat a little longer, it isnt going to kill us.

Communist
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kingryan may not survive this

mvpguy22
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You can do it Strop!

If a ninja can't do it....who can?

Strop
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Okay, judging is FINALLY commencing! It will be done without regard to previous weeks as this is my first week judging and I need some time to find my feet ;..;

Go easy on me!

kingryan
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Huh...It can't take longer than 4 Hours right?

KingRyan

Strop
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Trust me man, I'm having a really hard time here.

shermzx
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just make me the winner!(:
i wonder what's the next theme.

Strop
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Strop
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Okay, it is done! Finally!

Since I am new to this contest, what I have done here is taken notes on the general trends in the poetry, the techniques, the thematic explorations, and so the place-getters will be what I consider to be the representatives of the main foci that I want to showcase.

Without further ado:

Grand prize: The Town of Thistleigh by mvpguy22
2nd place: Eternal by gantic
3rd place: Flaws by Ubertuna

Before I talk about honorable mentions, I want to explain myself here, and please bear with me, because my high-school education is kicking in and it is all I can do not to write an entire essay on each and every entry I've seen here. But I feel that at least for the first time I must establish my rationale in lieu of actual credentials xD

The reason I have judged them in this order is similar to the way in which I've judged the art contest but not entirely the same. First and foremost I wanted the winner to be something that grabbed me, and The Town of Thistleleigh did that- not only did it grab me but it tickled me silly until I was in stitches. So now I'll explain why it did that: it's the package deal.

There's a lot of parts to this package deal. The kind of poetry I see here has its effectiveness depend on how punchy/poignant it is as a standalone work. Therefore the flow of language, coherence and consistency is of great importance to me.

Even though I have no right to say so, I'm not going to say that mvpguy22's entry was by any means perfect or necessarily better in these respects than, say, gantic's entry. As an avid songwriter, I frequently revise my phrases and perform the song over and over again (privately so as not to torture any poor soul within earshot), because in a song rhythm is of integral importance, because of way it modulates tone. This may not be exactly the same for poetry but there are definitely similarities!

So with this said the rules of good English still apply in some way or another to poetry, regardless of whether you observe them or willingly subvert them. Little inconsistencies in voice (1st, 2nd, 3rd person) detract from tone, as well as superfluous words, overuse of repetition (past the point of judicious emphasis), and dodgy constructions for the sake of rhyming, unless it is stylistically consistent. Stuff like this takes years to master.

But despite these imperfections, what I also found shone through in mvpguy22's entry was the narrative voice. It was quirky and slightly eccentric and altogether quaint and really lent power to the impression of the poem. Furthermore this lighthearted tone comes coupled with an allegorical message: that perfection is a fragile state, and I find this a suitable manner in which to convey the theme of utopia.

Gantic's entry, Eternal, I also rated very highly because to me, it strives, through stream of consciousness, to capture fundamental strains of the human condition, which is a very ambitious endeavour indeed. This is a deeply cerebral entry, which works on many levels- most strikingly the visual level. Not only is a stream passing underneath a tree on a hill portrayed as is referenced in the poem, but the narration of the poem coincides with the rolling graphic, such that as the narration concludes with the apple rolling from the tree, the apple, Q, literally has rolled from the tree. Absolutely marvellous. On the flip side, I observed a certain tension between the undesired intrusion of grammatical construct and the need to maintain some kind of linguistic cohenece as mentioned above- see the punctuation marked in parentheses. I will also add that as strange as this sounds, the stream, pretty as it was, actually did make it very hard to read without skipping lines, because it started very close to the left side.

I've gone on a long time without even touching the meat of the content- the religious references. The Garden of Eden is one way in which to incorporate Christian notions of Utopia, and, perhaps, one of the more subtle ways for Eden is linked not only with paradise, but, to pinch from Locke, Paradise Lost. Others have used the Christian focus but in a more direct manner, including adrecka_33, juan999999 and megamickel.

Third place went to Ubertuna. Now, please don't get offended by what I say here (I mean to be slightly tongue-in-cheek anyway) but UT's entry would be actually getting towards the line of what I would declare emo. Now I don't mean emo as in content (yes, I'm looking at you, thoadthetoad), but also in stylistic focus.

...okay, so UT has some emo content in there. Consider:

He slept.
Dreaming of chaos and uncertainty.
A labyrinth of stone.
He woke up in a silent scream.


What was particularly notable about this entry was again the voice. Common to some of these entries, and associated with the "utopia is a fiction" approach is the derision in the narration. "Perfect homes" is one thing but "perfect little homes" is a phrase almost spat. And when I think of this poem I am reminded of a parallel focus, which to me is what grants UT's entry something special: "emo" is associated with the terrible teen years, where adolescents struggle to come to terms with identity. A huge defining part of identity is that of normative standards: defining what is normal and what is not, and what of these normal things are acceptable. That which is not normal is generally not spoken of and goes out of the private eye, and for some people this becomes the source of a private hell. Then by contrast, that which is presented to one appears to be this utopia of 'normal-ness', leaving one alienated, when in fact the utopia was never really a utopia at all.

But I am going to be frank here- I do think the poem would have been more effective if it had been left unresolved, and the phrase "He died" left unsaid.

Now! Honorable mentions and other prizes that I will give random names for:

Single most beautiful image: Epiphany for a Perfect World by Lyntin

to see the world in a drop of rain


Most emo entry: Thoadthetoad. I mean, his entry was more about pain and taking joy in nigh-dystopian insights! Such contrarian, agonised verses, but we all know thoad proudly wallows in it :3

Idealistic hopefuls: Drace, though I have to say that looks like song lyrics, what with the repeated verse and all. Megamickel, on a religious backdrop, with what I would consider to be a fine summation of the Christian motivation to faith.

Lovestruck: Michaelh16 & Kingryan. Interesting (albeit tangential) manner of approaching the topic of utopia. And I know Kingryan well enough to expect he would talk about unrequited loves :P

The poem that made me laugh and say whut: Jediboy277. By the way, "steeple", "stool" and any word ending in the sound "-ful" rhymes with people :P

Truth by antilogic: mentorso123. Another trademark of emo, if I say so myself, but at the same time this poem was unique to those in that it portrayed the earnest effort to grasp the notion of utopia.

...and so it is finished!

*collapses*

Just lemme take my breath before I think about your next theme.
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