A Giant’s Footsteps
#1
Latest Version (3):

A Giant’s Footsteps

Silver scales sprout from skin,
salmon seedlings from the wind,
heralding fortune mad and wild.
Dragon wings glide on guile
while reaching for the stars
shining through the prescient path
revealing from oozing tar
a boy: a giant formed in hearts.

Metamorphosis from mite
surmounting eggshells of night,
mighty sparrow UV-red
from Apollo's truthful breath.

Rupturing tendons trudging forward,
puncturing breath only emboldens,
searching storms for skeleton keys
fighting will to will the need,
Atlas's burden, packing backs,
Mercury's boots taking tax,
preternatural impulses,
ridged cuts and foot ulcers.

Metamorphosis from mite
surmounting eggshells of night,
mighty sparrow UV-red
from Apollo's truthful breath.

Roots into unbridled passion
fund the fruit of compassion,
pessimistic empathy,
devilman crybaby.
Conscience: true ethical guidance,
pious fears realise the righteous,
power bent: serving duty,
transcending, brilliant beauty.




Version 2:

A Giant’s Footsteps

I sense silver scales slide out from my skin;
they appeared from my ventures in the world.
knowing their time is right, they come
like a dragon's fortunate blessing;
a sign that the future grows more radiant with each step.
I feel surging, spirit-defining joy in this journey,
for the boy I see arise from the tar and muck is a giant;
he forms from nature and by his will corrects himself.

the moon smiles on his strength,
his solitude in darkness gives him focus while he trains
to accept the teeth of chaos in his flesh,
never be destroyed by weakness and despair.
he may pound the earth like an angry bull out of his pain;
he may give in to the weight of the world;
he may singe his legs with heat of his speed against the wind.

Such is the metamorphosis from bully to immortal man
who lives on in hearts he empowers.

Version 1: 

Giant’s Footsteps

I sense silver scales bristle under my skin,
They appeared from my ventures in the world,
Knowing the time is right, they come,
A sign that the future grows more radiant with each step,
I feel surging, spirit-defining joy at this journey,
For the boy I see come from the tar and muck is a giant,
He forms from nature and corrects himself by his will,
The moon smiles on his strength,
His solitude in the darkness gives him focus while he trains,
To take the teeth of chaos into his flesh,
And never be destroyed by despair or weakness,
He may pound the earth like an angry bull out of his pain,
He may give into the weight of the world,
He may singe his legs with the heat of his speed against the wind,
Such is the metamorphosis from the bully to an immortal man,
Who lives on in the hearts he empowers.

Reply
#2
(06-27-2019, 07:31 PM)Oden Prufrock Wrote:  Giant’s Footsteps

I sense silver scales bristle under my skin, good image, but doesn't quite fit together IMHO (see below); also, colon or em-dash rather than comma could work better here
They appeared from my ventures in the world, if under skin, how can they "appear," i.e. become visible?  and again, punctuation other than comma since the next line comments on this one
Knowing the time is right, they come, perhaps "their" or "this" rather than "the?"
A sign that the future grows more radiant with each step, remove "that;" might consider a period here.
I feel surging, spirit-defining joy at this journey, "at" is nice (looking over the whole upcoming journey) but consider "in"
For the boy I see come from the tar and muck is a giant, suggest "arise from" instead of "come from the" and colon instead of comma
He forms from nature and corrects himself by his will, perhaps reverse phrasing, i.e. "and by his will corrects himself" and a period to end the line.
The moon smiles on his strength, a very good line!
His solitude in the darkness gives him focus while he trains, suggest deleting "the" and the comma
To take the teeth of chaos into his flesh, suggest "accept" and "in" replacing "take" and "iinto" - and, again, remove the comma
And never be destroyed by despair or weakness, consider removing "and" as well as reversing to "weakness and despair" and a period at the end.
He may pound the earth like an angry bull out of his pain, consider "in" replacing "out of his," and a colon replacing the comma
He may give into the weight of the world, should be " in to" - and, again, colon instead of comma
He may singe his legs with the heat of his speed against the wind, a very good line, could remove "the" and end with a period.
Such is the metamorphosis from the bully to an immortal man, suggest removing "the" and "an," and the comma
Who lives on in the hearts he empowers.   good closing line, might consider removing "the" and changing slightly for rhythm - "in hearts his life empowers" or "in hearts that he empowers"

In intensive critique, see above for specifics, generalities follow.  (Hope the specifics are not excessive.)

In general, place each use of "the" under suspicion for removal or replacement with a more specific word and match line-ending punctuation to the flow of the work rather than ending every one with a comma.

On your first line, I get a contradiction between fish-like scales (which are smooth) and "bristling" (which is sharp and scratchy), except maybe a pangolin's (the scale of which are sharp, but rather large and not silver).  And, as noted, below the skin but somehow visible since they "appear."  The line is (and should be) a grabber, but I find its images confusing.

Also in general, the traditional typography of beginning each line/verse with a capital letter is disparaged on this site as archaic.  I disagree mildly, but you might consider capitalizing only where required by sentence structure (as modified by punctuation, see above) just to see how you like it.  I think this would improve the reading, in conjunction with line-ending punctuation to direct it.

I don't comment on the progression from first person to discussion of a third person.  You might examine the transition to be sure it's what you want.

Overview:  I get vibes of "Leaves of Grass" as well as "If" here as well as an old Mormon idea of a man raising himself to god-status by his own efforts (which may no longer be current).  Interesting, challenging, maybe inspiring.  Thanks for posting, looking forward to your edits.
feedback award Non-practicing atheist
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#3
(06-27-2019, 10:47 PM)dukealien Wrote:  
(06-27-2019, 07:31 PM)Oden Prufrock Wrote:  Giant’s Footsteps

I sense silver scales bristle under my skin, good image, but doesn't quite fit together IMHO (see below); also, colon or em-dash rather than comma could work better here
They appeared from my ventures in the world, if under skin, how can they "appear," i.e. become visible?  and again, punctuation other than comma since the next line comments on this one
Knowing the time is right, they come, perhaps "their" or "this" rather than "the?"
A sign that the future grows more radiant with each step, remove "that;" might consider a period here.
I feel surging, spirit-defining joy at this journey, "at" is nice (looking over the whole upcoming journey) but consider "in"
For the boy I see come from the tar and muck is a giant, suggest "arise from" instead of "come from the" and colon instead of comma
He forms from nature and corrects himself by his will, perhaps reverse phrasing, i.e. "and by his will corrects himself" and a period to end the line.
The moon smiles on his strength, a very good line!
His solitude in the darkness gives him focus while he trains, suggest deleting "the" and the comma
To take the teeth of chaos into his flesh, suggest "accept" and "in" replacing "take" and "iinto" - and, again, remove the comma
And never be destroyed by despair or weakness, consider removing "and" as well as reversing to "weakness and despair" and a period at the end.
He may pound the earth like an angry bull out of his pain, consider "in" replacing "out of his," and a colon replacing the comma
He may give into the weight of the world, should be " in to" - and, again, colon instead of comma
He may singe his legs with the heat of his speed against the wind, a very good line, could remove "the" and end with a period.
Such is the metamorphosis from the bully to an immortal man, suggest removing "the" and "an," and the comma
Who lives on in the hearts he empowers.   good closing line, might consider removing "the" and changing slightly for rhythm - "in hearts his life empowers" or "in hearts that he empowers"

In intensive critique, see above for specifics, generalities follow.  (Hope the specifics are not excessive.)

In general, place each use of "the" under suspicion for removal or replacement with a more specific word and match line-ending punctuation to the flow of the work rather than ending every one with a comma.

On your first line, I get a contradiction between fish-like scales (which are smooth) and "bristling" (which is sharp and scratchy), except maybe a pangolin's (the scale of which are sharp, but rather large and not silver).  And, as noted, below the skin but somehow visible since they "appear."  The line is (and should be) a grabber, but I find its images confusing.

Also in general, the traditional typography of beginning each line/verse with a capital letter is disparaged on this site as archaic.  I disagree mildly, but you might consider capitalizing only where required by sentence structure (as modified by punctuation, see above) just to see how you like it.  I think this would improve the reading, in conjunction with line-ending punctuation to direct it.

I don't comment on the progression from first person to discussion of a third person.  You might examine the transition to be sure it's what you want.

Overview:  I get vibes of "Leaves of Grass" as well as "If" here as well as an old Mormon idea of a man raising himself to god-status by his own efforts (which may no longer be current).  Interesting, challenging, maybe inspiring.  Thanks for posting, looking forward to your edits.

Thanks for your feedback. I applied most edits and added a new line to make the scales image clearer. Would I repost the poem or edit the thread or reply to it?
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#4
post an edit above the original poem and call it edit one, or whatever edit it is. if you post the edit in a new post post at the bottom of the thread just copy and paste the edit and original from the first post.
Reply
#5
hi Oden and welcome to the site. you have a poem with potential for me, my main concern is excess usage of small words that weaken the poem.

(06-27-2019, 07:31 PM)Oden Prufrock Wrote:  Giant’s Footsteps

I sense silver scales bristle under my skin, a suggestion would be [from under my skin] is [i sense] needed?
They appeared from my ventures in the world, a suggestion would be [appearing]
Knowing the time is right, they come, feels wordy
A sign that the future grows more radiant with each step, is [a sign that] needed?
I feel surging, spirit-defining joy at this journey,
For the boy I see come from the tar and muck is a giant, is for needed?
He forms from nature and corrects himself by his will, his is a given i think
The moon smiles on his strength, lovely line
His solitude in the darkness gives him focus while he trains, are [the] and [him] needed or are they a given?
To take the teeth of chaos into his flesh, another good metaphor, perhaps could be reworded slightly
And never be destroyed by despair or weakness,
He may pound the earth like an angry bull out of his pain, is it [in] or [out of]?
He may give into the weight of the world,
He may singe his legs with the heat of his speed against the wind,
Such is the metamorphosis from the bully to an immortal man, no need for the 2nd [the] no need for [to an]
Who lives on in the hearts he empowers.
Reply
#6
A Giant’s Footsteps

I sense silver scales slide out from my skin;
I would leave in 'under' it creates a better rhythm via dissonance.  But this line still has the problem of scales, either one has them or one doesn't they don't 'slide out' 

they appeared from my ventures in the world.
I would use 'adventures 'for the same reason, rhythm.


like a dragon's fortunate blessing;
Sounds good but arn't all blessings fortunate?

a sign that the future grows more radiant with each step.
Do you need 'a sign' it would flow much better without it and this is a good line.

I feel surging, spirit-defining joy in this journey,
Words like 'spirit' and 'joy', like all broad abstracts tend to mean nothing much when read.  Avoid them like the plague.

for the boy I see arise from the tar and muck is a giant;
You have lost the rhythm, too many words. Why not 'the boy arises.. Why interject the author into the line.

he forms from nature and by his will corrects himself.
Again 'will' and 'nature', more broad abstracts.

the moon smiles on his strength,
'the moon smiles' is a clanger of a cliche.

his solitude in darkness gives him focus while he trains
You regain the rhythm. Although solitude is a very over used word in poetry this line reads very well.

to accept the teeth of chaos in his flesh,
Good line.

never be destroyed by weakness and despair.
How many abstracts are you going to use? It's like a bad Victorian novel.

he may pound the earth like an angry bull out of his pain;
Dreadful, you have totally lost the rhythm again.

he may give in to the weight of the world;
Another cliche.

he may singe his legs with heat of his speed against the wind.
You don't need 'with heat' how else do you singe something? Again the rhythm is lost.

Such is the metamorphosis from bully to immortal man
Do you need this summation, can't the reader figure it out for himself. An immortal is not a man. Man is not immortal.

who lives on in hearts he empowers.
I would put in 'the hearts' it is what we say. But really this ending is very old fashioned and tired. 

Sorry to be so harsh.  I did like the whole idea much more than the execution, just because you are writing about something mythic is no reason why you should use dated language, in particualr a string of abstracts and some corny metaphors.  One must be absolutely modern as Rimbaud remarked.
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#7
I’ll second billy’s Comment on ‘small words’. The fewer non-content words we can eliminate, the better the line flows. Also, sometimes one well chosen word can replace several more mundane ones.
For example:

I sense silver scales extrudefrom my skin,
resulting from my ventures in the world.

The stanza break helped my subsequent reading.

The shift in person - from first to third - and the change in voice is confusing and the second stanza doesn’t flow as smoothly. Personally I’d like to see those major inconsistencies addressed.

Overall I like the revision better
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#8
Have you considered S1 stands alone by itself and doesn’t need all the following explanation?
Reply
#9
(06-30-2019, 09:30 PM)Seraphim Wrote:  Have you considered S1 stands alone by itself and doesn’t need all the following explanation?

What do you mean 'S1'?
Reply
#10
The first stanza

S generally refers to stanza, L to line. S3L2 would refer to the second line of the third stanza, for example
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#11
hi Oden the few edits you did have improved the piece. i think it's still too wordy though. they're are a few lines where you could cut away some of the fluff and make it more powerful.
the opening line is the line that should draw the reader in. you can be metaphorical. without [i sense]

silver scales slide out from my skin;

think of word choice make each word work; you already have alliteration with silver scales. can one word take the place of [slide out]?

silver scales slip through my skin;

you can change it for something else. i kept the third alliterative s but you don't have to. try and pick a word you can connect with fish.

if you go through the poem and remove words that add little or nothing in a similar way as above, it will improve 300% i promise.

cut baggage be mindful of word choice.

well done for putting an edit up Thumbsup




(06-27-2019, 07:31 PM)Oden Prufrock Wrote:  Latest Version (2):

A Giant’s Footsteps

I sense
silver scales slide out from my skin; works better but: see above.
they appeared from my ventures in the world.
knowing their time is right, they come
like a dragon's fortunate blessing;
a sign that the future grows more radiant with each step.
I feel surging, spirit-defining joy in this journey,
for the boy I see arise from the tar and muck is a giant; arise is a good word choice.
he forms from nature and by his will corrects himself.

the moon smiles on his strength,
his solitude in darkness gives him focus while he trains
to accept the teeth of chaos in his flesh,
never be destroyed by weakness and despair.
he may pound the earth like an angry bull out of his pain;
he may give in to the weight of the world;
he may singe his legs with heat of his speed against the wind.

Such is the metamorphosis from bully to immortal man
who lives on in hearts he empowers.




Version 1: 

Giant’s FootstepsI sense silver scales bristle under my skin,
They appeared from my ventures in the world,
Knowing the time is right, they come,
A sign that the future grows more radiant with each step,
I feel surging, spirit-defining joy at this journey,
For the boy I see come from the tar and muck is a giant,
He forms from nature and corrects himself by his will,
The moon smiles on his strength,
His solitude in the darkness gives him focus while he trains,
To take the teeth of chaos into his flesh,
And never be destroyed by despair or weakness,
He may pound the earth like an angry bull out of his pain,
He may give into the weight of the world,
He may singe his legs with the heat of his speed against the wind,
Such is the metamorphosis from the bully to an immortal man,
Who lives on in the hearts he empowers.

Reply
#12
(07-01-2019, 11:28 AM)billy Wrote:  hi Oden the few edits you did have improved the piece.  i think it's still too wordy though. they're are a few lines where you could cut away some of the fluff and make it more powerful.
the opening line is the line that should draw the reader in. you can be metaphorical. without [i sense]

silver scales slide out from my skin;

think of word choice make each word work; you already have alliteration with silver scales. can one word take the place of [slide out]?

silver scales slip through my skin;

you can change it for something else. i kept the third alliterative s but you don't have to. try and pick a word you can connect with fish.

if you go through the poem and remove words that add little or nothing in a similar way as above, it will improve 300% i promise.

cut baggage be mindful of word choice.

well done for putting an edit up  Thumbsup




(06-27-2019, 07:31 PM)Oden Prufrock Wrote:  Latest Version (2):

A Giant’s Footsteps

I sense
silver scales slide out from my skin; works better but: see above.
they appeared from my ventures in the world.
knowing their time is right, they come
like a dragon's fortunate blessing;
a sign that the future grows more radiant with each step.
I feel surging, spirit-defining joy in this journey,
for the boy I see arise from the tar and muck is a giant; arise is a good word choice.
he forms from nature and by his will corrects himself.

the moon smiles on his strength,
his solitude in darkness gives him focus while he trains
to accept the teeth of chaos in his flesh,
never be destroyed by weakness and despair.
he may pound the earth like an angry bull out of his pain;
he may give in to the weight of the world;
he may singe his legs with heat of his speed against the wind.

Such is the metamorphosis from bully to immortal man
who lives on in hearts he empowers.




Version 1: 

Giant’s FootstepsI sense silver scales bristle under my skin,
They appeared from my ventures in the world,
Knowing the time is right, they come,
A sign that the future grows more radiant with each step,
I feel surging, spirit-defining joy at this journey,
For the boy I see come from the tar and muck is a giant,
He forms from nature and corrects himself by his will,
The moon smiles on his strength,
His solitude in the darkness gives him focus while he trains,
To take the teeth of chaos into his flesh,
And never be destroyed by despair or weakness,
He may pound the earth like an angry bull out of his pain,
He may give into the weight of the world,
He may singe his legs with the heat of his speed against the wind,
Such is the metamorphosis from the bully to an immortal man,
Who lives on in the hearts he empowers.


I reworked the style and language. Have a read when you’ve got time.
Reply
#13
hi Oden.

for me the edit took too far away from the 1st edit and the original but that could just be me. stanza three has too many ing words try and use some words not ending in [ing]. i think the poem is trying too hard to be poetical. imagine someone with too much bling round their neck it can way things down. brilliant to see you do edits.

(06-27-2019, 07:31 PM)Oden Prufrock Wrote:  Latest Version (3):

A Giant’s Footsteps

Silver scales sprout from skin,
salmon seedlings from the wind,
heralding fortune mad and wild.
Dragon wings glide on guile
while reaching for the stars
shining through the prescient path
revealing from oozing tar
a boy: a giant formed in hearts.

Metamorphosis from mite
surmounting eggshells of night,
mighty sparrow UV-red
from Apollo's truthful breath.

Rupturing tendons trudging forward,
puncturing breath only emboldens,
searching storms for skeleton keys
fighting will to will the need,
Atlas's burden, packing backs,
Mercury's boots taking tax,
preternatural impulses,
ridged cuts and foot ulcers.

Metamorphosis from mite
surmounting eggshells of night,
mighty sparrow UV-red
from Apollo's truthful breath.

Roots into unbridled passion
fund the fruit of compassion,
pessimistic empathy,
devilman crybaby.
Conscience: true ethical guidance,
pious fears realise the righteous,
power bent: serving duty,
transcending, brilliant beauty.




Version 2:

A Giant’s Footsteps

I sense silver scales slide out from my skin;
they appeared from my ventures in the world.
knowing their time is right, they come
like a dragon's fortunate blessing;
a sign that the future grows more radiant with each step.
I feel surging, spirit-defining joy in this journey,
for the boy I see arise from the tar and muck is a giant;
he forms from nature and by his will corrects himself.

the moon smiles on his strength,
his solitude in darkness gives him focus while he trains
to accept the teeth of chaos in his flesh,
never be destroyed by weakness and despair.
he may pound the earth like an angry bull out of his pain;
he may give in to the weight of the world;
he may singe his legs with heat of his speed against the wind.

Such is the metamorphosis from bully to immortal man
who lives on in hearts he empowers.

Version 1: 

Giant’s Footsteps

I sense silver scales bristle under my skin,
They appeared from my ventures in the world,
Knowing the time is right, they come,
A sign that the future grows more radiant with each step,
I feel surging, spirit-defining joy at this journey,
For the boy I see come from the tar and muck is a giant,
He forms from nature and corrects himself by his will,
The moon smiles on his strength,
His solitude in the darkness gives him focus while he trains,
To take the teeth of chaos into his flesh,
And never be destroyed by despair or weakness,
He may pound the earth like an angry bull out of his pain,
He may give into the weight of the world,
He may singe his legs with the heat of his speed against the wind,
Such is the metamorphosis from the bully to an immortal man,
Who lives on in the hearts he empowers.

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