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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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 &quoterfect 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.
Strop
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...you didn't even enter this round did you shermzx? I mean...I checked like five times ;.; I would feel so horrible if I missed any entries!

Thank you all for allowing me to read and ponder so that I might judge. I have not touched poetry for some years and it's getting some old gears grinding into motion!

Your new theme may allow you to break the forth wall with alarming ease. Please use this opportunity wisely!

Theme: Books
Deadline: Saturday 25th October


HAVE AT IT

ManUtd4life096
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Hidden meanings, betraying your trust,
Drawing you way, with their lust.
Words fill your mind, worlds flow,
Through your head to your toe,
Words cover the page, high and low.

Taking you to your hidden imagination,
Making you rise, with every indentation.
And as it all ends, you cry,
And as much as you try
to not, you must, as their is astonishing rage,
As you turn the very last page.


I"M SO GONNA WIN!!

ManUtd4life096
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Oh noes! I used the wrong type of "There" It doesn't matter, right?

mvpguy22
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Thanks Strop!

Your review was quite in-depth, thanks for letting me know what I can fix for next time.
Do you want me to copy the poem and put it on the poetry profile, or are you not going do that? P.S. Nice theme!

ManUtd4life096~ that poem is short and sweet, though I found a lot of "as" in the second stanza. Other than that, good work!

Congrats to everyone who submitted awesome poetry!

mentorso123
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Books
Mentorso123

Books are life
through not your eyes
but theirs
life that exists
in your mind
and theirs

books are death
through all eyes
death is looming
hanging by a thread
but death weighs nothing
the author cuts the thread

books are imagination
yours
you picture these people
ugly, handsome, beautiful
in your mind
and theirs
they see people too
ugly, handsome, beautiful
they make people
they make stories

books are paper
cut down
from trees
from forests
with ink
black in
printed

books are life
death
imagination
paper
ink

whoops, forgot
books are awesome

mentorso123
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Oh, right and Strop...
I'm not emo.

adrecka_33
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Escape by Adrecka.

The yells and screams fill my ears
The color of the shatter glass matches my tears
I run to my room and pray for it to go away

When I feel something soft poke at my side
There was a book, I had long ago forgotten
In a desperate attempt to clear my mind
I read and read all through the night

For getting my troubles as I escape
Into the world of fantasyâs and dreams
I watched it play out like a movie
Seeing the words go by, in my minds eye

All noise was blocked out, as I began slip away
Deeper and deeper I fell, though
I never struggled to get out
When I stop, just for a second

The words screamed out at me, daring me to read more
And unable and even unwilling was I,
To resist the words as they pull me back in
So forever I stayed there, inside the book
In the hope of escape, I trapped myself in a different way

Strop
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Oh, right and Strop...
I'm not emo.


I know. I was just referring to various stylistic elements within your entry. Anguish!!!
Gantic
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The stream, particularly the backslashes which probably doubled in number due to it also being an escape function, didn't transfer over well from the format and font I wrote it in. It was somewhat of an attempt to "influence" the reader into reading it in a choppy manner, although the poem is probably better without it.


in College
in College I was asked this Q
and in the text I found the A

but if the Old Man died
while he dreamt of lions
or if the mouse who lived
had ever found Margalo
I will never know

juan999999
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When i read a book it's kidnaps me in its wonders.
When i hate my friedns,i make new ones and they make me happy.
When i want to go somewhere,i ride a book.
When i read a book,the world is mine,my imagination is in the book,everything leaves everything comes.
But at the end you will be satisfied.

Zophia
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*reads entries, approves of what this theme has spawned*

*ponders participating here again*

Strop
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It was somewhat of an attempt to "influence" the reader into reading it in a choppy manner, although the poem is probably better without it.


Yeah, I transferred the slashes into notepad and corrected the transcriptional error although others may have remained. Either way I was unaware the choppiness was intentional, but there you go!

I wonder if there's a way to fix it such that a happy medium is achieved but we might have to ask the ASCII artists on that one...
Bob_McBobBob
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a haiku

I can barely read,
I forget what page I'm on,
so I just give up.

Gantic
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Either way I was unaware the choppiness was intentional, but there you go!


Sometimes with something less formally structured (rhyme scheme, meter, and whatnot), outside of the obvious, it's hard to tell when something is intentional or unintentional. Although, intentionality cannot really be determined out of context and context is difficult to establish anyway.
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