Lost at Sea
#1
1st Revision (edited):

Doldrums, deathly still.
A phantom drifting.
Limpened sails,
lungs deflated.

There is a mirror down the hall.

A gray sweater
over her black gown,
removes the chill
of the frigid home.

Tempting with reality.

Joints stiff like bones,
the planks groan
in ranks that line the floors
like a ship deck.

Wallpaper reflected. Another step.

Lamps clinging
to dusty walls.
The mirror shines
down the hall.

Now in ghostly sweeps,
a visage within the crystalline sheet
appears – the sunken face,
drowned in sickly light, of a widow.

What depthless, haunted eyes.

Original:

Doldrums.
Deathly,
as dank as dark
mornings.

There is a mirror down the hall.

A grey sweater
over her black gown,
seems to remove the chill
of the frigid home.

Why not take a look?

Joints stiff like bones,
the planks groan
in ranks of hundreds
that line the floors.

Wallpaper reflected. Another step.

Lamps clinging
to dusty walls.
The mirror
within the musty pall.

Now in ghostly sweeps,
a visage within the crystalline sheet
appears – the sunken face of a widow
drowned by sickly light.

What depthless, haunted eyes.
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#2
Greetings AB, This may be too much of a critique for one posted in mild, but it just reflects how much I got into it, because the poem has a lot of potential. I like the use of the italicized poem within the poem. However, I have not given it as much scrutiny as the main piece.

Is doldrums part of the first line or just the title? I would bring it more onboard. For example:

<Doldrums, deathly,> on the same line

Dark mornings are not necessarily dank, but dank mornings could be dark in more ways than one. Additionally, you don’t need the double as. Something like:

<dark as dank mornings,> on the same line. Some may consider your alliteration as overkill.

In one poetry criticism, I read not use precise numbers. It brings the question: Was it really hundreds, are you sure it was not scores? It distracts more than adds. Why not use something in the vein of:

<…the floor planks groan
in ranks> it gives a shaper image and you don’t need the additional filler to maintain the unneeded four line convention.

Your ‘dusty wall’/‘musty pall' sounds a bit forced in the next stanza. Again, it may be the fourline stretching.

I truly thought that ‘crystalline’ sheet was cool until I realized that glass is just the opposite, i.e., it is atually non-crystalline or amorphous material.

I am not certain that ‘drowned by light’ is needed in that last line of the poem proper. What might work is:

<…sickly widow.> ...and then let your 'depthess haunted eyes' go to work for you.

See what you think. All in all, a great start. This was my favorite poem out of those that I read today. Good luck with your next edit and welcome to the site. Cheers/Chris
My new watercolor: 'Nightmare After Christmas'/Chris
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#3
Thank you Chris for your warm welcome and thoughtful suggestions. I went ahead and revised the poem bearing in mind what you said while attempting to add some more depth to it. I did not change "crystalline sheet" because I believe (please correct me if I'm wrong) crystalline can mean something that resembles crystal, which I think is a fair description of a mirror.
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#4
just a bit to go on with. at present the poem feels too wide (all over the place) use better transitions or narrow it down. make sure similes and metaphors hold water.

don't be tied to the title, you can change it at any time to suit the poem.

(02-17-2015, 04:04 PM)ABennett Wrote:  1st Revision:

Doldrums. Deathly are dank mornings deathly? the simile has to work well in order to work. a suggest would be; Doldrums in dank mornings
like dank mornings.
Limp sails,
lungs deflated.

There is a mirror down the hall. i like the line but can't see any reason for it, for me this is where the poem starts, by doing so it becomes relevant as an opening line. the first stanza feels forced and very weak

A gray sweater
over her black gown,
seems to remove the chill why [it seems.] why not just [removes the chill]
of the frigid home.

Tempting her with reality.  no need for [her]

Joints stiff like bones,
the planks groan
in ranks that line the floors
like a ship deck.

Wallpaper reflected. Another step.

Lamps clinging
to dusty walls.
The mirror shines
down the hall.

Now in ghostly sweeps,
a visage within the crystalline sheet
appears – the sunken face,
drowned in sickly light, of a widow.

What depthless, haunted eyes.
Reply
#5
Thank you Billy, I will continue to work the transitions between images in future revisions. For now I made an attempt to contextualize the first stanza and perhaps make it less forced. I'll continue to work on it as it still doesn't seem quite right for the opening. Perhaps removing it is the key, but I'll give it the old college try before I give in.
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