First Edit: Drift
#1
Drift

Last week's snow is frozen,
hard as morning after apologies
given to a back, sore
from sleeping on the couch again.

I use your gardening spade,
still dirty with spring soil;
your annuals long dead.

Inside, our son plays
with his imaginary friend
(we can't agree
on how much to humour him).
You protect yourself
beneath a quilt
with a thread count you insisted on.

Our silence repeats in my head,
until winter wind starts an argument
with my labored breaths-
then the shovel breaks.






Drift

I use a metal shovel
because last week snow fell,
whimsically guided by the breeze,
but now, it is frozen on the ground.

Inside, our son plays
with his imaginary friend
(we can't agree
on how much to humour him).
You protect yourself beneath a quilt
with a thread count you insisted on.

Your silent goodbye repeats in my head,
while winter wind reminds me
what must be done.

Time is the best editor.
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#2
just the one main change suggestion richard;
i'd contemplate making line 1 line 3 and get rid of because on what would become the first line. i like the piece, it verges on the side of a to do poem but hints at sad even though i read it as a to do poem.nice touch with the son. i'd suggest sticking the quote between line spacing to make it pop and also create a little drama.

(05-19-2019, 10:05 AM)Richard Wrote:  Drift

I use a metal shovel
because last week snow fell,
whimsically guided by the breeze,
but now, it is frozen on the ground. not sure if the ambiguity was meant but this line has it. and it works. is the shovel or the snow frozen? i wouldn't change it, for me it works really well.

Inside, our son plays
with his imaginary friend
(we can't agree
on how much to humour him).
You protect yourself beneath a quilt
with a thread count you insisted on.

Your silent goodbye repeats in my head, i'm presuming she's not leaving for good
while winter wind reminds me lot's of good W's
what must be done.
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#3
(05-19-2019, 10:05 AM)Richard Wrote:  Drift

I use a metal shovel
because last week snow fell,
whimsically guided by the breeze,
but now, it is frozen on the ground.        // fully good first verse

Inside, our son plays
with his imaginary friend
(we can't agree          // a well placed line-break.
on how much to humour him).
You protect yourself beneath a quilt        // "protect" gives a good set of potential meanings to this line
with a thread count you insisted on.

Your silent goodbye repeats in my head,        // This is where I'd prefer a more concrete image - a silent goodbye that repeats sounds like a waving hand, but I'm left unsure
while winter wind reminds me 
what must be done.

Very good sound to this poem. As billy said, it hints at some sadness - even darkness to me. I struggle with the final verse, as a silent goodbye means very little to me. I can't wrap around one single image. I can't settle on a waving hand, a mouthed 'goodbye', or just a look in their eyes. A few words might help to add some clarity there. Otherwise, very well executed, especially regarding word choice and line-breaks.
If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.

"Or, if a poet writes a poem, then immediately commits suicide (as any decent poet should)..." -- Erthona
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#4
Hello, you started strong, but it would be stronger if the title fit the piece.
the piece would benefit if things didn't suddenly become about 'you'. that personal 'you', that 'you' which perhaps motivated the writing should have remained in your head for the sake of brevity
Overall, reads well, and catches air of a depth effortlessly (which is difficult to do) but loses sight of that essence as soon as you made it about someone


(05-19-2019, 10:05 AM)Richard Wrote:  Drift

I use a metal shovel
because last week snow fell, this is good, very good
whimsically guided by the breeze, yes, okay
but now, it is metal frozen on the ground. the 'it' didn't read well for me

Inside, our son plays awww, back inside so soon? you had something outside in the cold.
with his imaginary friend
(we can't agree
on how much to humour him).  hmmm... okay
You protect yourself beneath a quilt
with a thread count you insisted on. interesting quip... but please don't make this about a specific 'you' , don't make this personal

Your silent goodbye repeats in my head, this last stanza took the piece into a vendetta that we didn't need to be introduced into 
while winter wind reminds me boooo, this is boring
what must be done. this ending makes me think the author is about to commit murder
certified pewb .
The eternal Yarp .
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#5
Hey all,
Thanks for the feedback. I have submitted this one around a few times and it always got rejected, so I'm happy to get suggestions on it. The ending seems to be the main area that needs work. cloud, I actually had the same thought yesterday, about whether or not the ending might imply murder, which is not my intention at all lol The "silent goodbye" also needs to be changed or reworked. This is in one of those times where it seemed to make so much sense in my head, but it obviously doesn't work in the poem. I will give this piece some thought.

Thanks again everyone,
Richard
Time is the best editor.
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#6
Richard,

I haven't read or commented on poetry for awhile so please excuse the rust.

(05-19-2019, 10:05 AM)Richard Wrote:  Drift --I like the title for its versatility. It works with both a snow drift and the emotional act of drifting apart. It's a nice subtle hint at the content.

I use a metal shovel-Not a fan of this opening line. Use is a bit flat of a verb. Starting with a shovel implying that you may be burying things or attempting to dig them up metaphorically isn't bad. The line though carries little intrigue which I think is needed in an opener.
because last week snow fell, When you consider where the poem ends "last week snow fell" could imply an argument and a chilling in the relationship. It might be a better opening with a slight restructuring.
whimsically guided by the breeze,--Whimsically is too telling of a word for me. It would probably work better if you used some imagery to show the movement.
but now, it is frozen on the ground.--again I like ending this with frozen on the ground but I'm not a fan of the "it is" being sort of construct. I think your an edit away from making this pop off the page--but this is all to static for me presently.

Inside, our son plays
with his imaginary friend--love this part. Inside gives a slide separation and distance.
(we can't agree --great break (you could even emphasize it more if you wish though not entirely necessary (we can never agree)
on how much to humour him).
You protect yourself beneath a quilt--consider breaking on yourself. I like that the quilt mirrors the snow above and also implies a lack of warmth and connection
with a thread count you insisted on.--Nice character detail.

Your silent goodbye repeats in my head,--again not bad but still mostly a statement. Is there a way to express this with more imagery that plays off the theme.
while winter wind reminds me--again possibly find a way to clutch the shovel bring symmetry. Imply the chipping away or the burying.
what must be done.--Not a bad payoff line but to work it needs a better emotional build up.
I can see where this might go. I think it has good bones.

Best,

Todd
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#7
Hi this is my first critique Smile

I like your poem. I'm definely seeing the visual images, i like the feeling of each stanza.  It definitely sucks less than the things I am writing! Wink

2 things that don't work for me. First -the last line  of the first stanza - what is frozen on the ground? I assume it's the shovel, but maybe it's the breeze? Or the snow? I'm not sure how to make that more clear.

Second - the 3 stanzas don't seem to fit well together, they are about 3 completely different things. If there was a way to tie them together more, make it flow more. Like maybe instead of being back inside, you are still outside, but seeing your son play through the window? I think that is actually what you mean - you are still outside but thinking about your family inside, but it's not super clear.

- bob
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#8
Hey Todd and bob and everyone,
Thanks for the feedback. I decided to attempt an edit, but I think I might have went a bit overboard with it. Feel free to let me know if it's a step in the right direction.

Thanks in advance,
Richard
Time is the best editor.
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#9
Richard,

This took an interesting turn. Some comments on the revision below.

(05-19-2019, 10:05 AM)Richard Wrote:  Drift

Last week's snow is frozen,--considering your themes and the narrative you hook them too, I wonder if you want last week's as opposed to last night's to tie it closer to the argument. Obviously you could be saying something by using weeks it just depends how much you want to focus the lens.
hard as morning after apologies--I like the line break on frozen and the starting of this line with hard. I also like the simile.
given to a back, sore--I do not like given to a back it feels clunky phrasing. I like the idea you're going for Maybe try for a parallel structure "hard as a morning/stiff (maybe tied to the halting back up sort of I will not reconcile and the back sore and stiff on the couch). I won't try to show the phrasing I'm mostly just trying to suggest a possible path nothing more. 
from sleeping on the couch again.

I use your gardening spade,
still dirty with spring soil;
your annuals long dead.--Nice subtle comparison to the relationship. All of this. 

Inside, our son plays
with his imaginary friend
(we can't agree
on how much to humour him).
You protect yourself
beneath a quilt
with a thread count you insisted on.

Our silence repeats in my head,
until winter wind starts an argument
with my labored breaths-
then the shovel breaks.--This is a nice sequence that ends in futility. I like it. My issues are mostly with the opening.
Best,

Todd
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#10
.
Hi Richard,
like the title, and the revision is an improvement, I think.

I wonder if the opening might condense to

Last week's snow is frozen,

hard as morning after apologies.
Back sore from sleeping on the couch
again, I use your gardening spade,
dirty with spring soil;
those annuals you planted
long dead. ?

I think 'gardening spade' is very weak.
That it is for gardening you reveal with 'spring soil' and 'annuals'.
Is there anything better than 'dirty'? (Maybe 'scabbed' for the alliteration?).

S3 - 'protect' seems such an unsubtle choice (maybe 'hide' or something
more interesting) and the last line is a little clunky.

As for the ending, maybe

winter argues with my labored breaths.

Our silence repeats in my head.
The shovel breaks. ?


Best, Knot.




.
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#11
Hi

I felt the loneliness and unhappiness in your poem. The once powerful bond is no more. The child feels the pain and withdraws into an imaginary world.the entire setting of the poem suggests coldness of heart. As far as the content, I am not qualified to say. Only you know the right words. From my perspective you are on the right track.
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#12
Hey Todd, Knot, and Matroz,
Thanks for the feedback. Been very busy with work the last couple of weeks, so this poem is unfortunately on the back burner right now. I hope to get back into the swing of thing by the end of the month.

Thanks again,
Richard
Time is the best editor.
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