Who says that leaves are green
#1
Who says that leaves are green
Or sky is blue?
Who says that days are always light
Or night is immanently dark?
 
Who says what anything is really like?

Who says I have to be like you?
Who says you have to be like me?
For your green may be my blue
My light may not be light for you
 
… and my colors change as seasons go.
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#2
Who says that leaves are green
Or sky is blue?
Who says that days are always light
Or night is immanently dark? <==== spelling error. Should read "imminently".

Who says what anything is really like?

Who says I have to be like you?
Who says you have to be like me?
For your green may be my blue
My light may not be light for you <===== I don't know if you were going for a rhyming couplet or not but if you were, I would tighten the meter a bit. For example changing the second line to "My light may be dark for you." If you weren't shooting for a rhyme, you may want to change one of these. For example using indigo instead of blue (and yes, I know indigo is not a shade of blue but I think it would still fit the colors metaphor you are using here).

… and my colors change as seasons go. <=== I can't help but feel this ends a little abruptly. Maybe something like "as seasons pass away" or "as seasons fade away" would be more appropriate?
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#3
(04-25-2018, 04:25 AM)TemporaryForever Wrote:  Who says that leaves are green
Or sky is blue?
Who says that days are always light
Or night is immanently dark? <==== spelling error. Should read "imminently". Actually, it is immanently in the sense I meant, like inherently: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/immanently

Who says what anything is really like?

Who says I have to be like you?
Who says you have to be like me?
For your green may be my blue
My light may not be light for you   <===== I don't know if you were going for a rhyming couplet or not but if you were, I  would tighten the meter a bit. For example changing the second line to "My light may be dark for you." If you weren't shooting for a rhyme, you may want to change one of these. For example using indigo instead of blue (and yes, I know indigo is not a shade of blue but I think it would still fit the colors metaphor you are using here). I wasn't, I'm terrible at rhymes anyway Big Grin

… and my colors change as seasons go.  <=== I can't help but feel this ends a little abruptly. Maybe something like "as seasons pass away" or "as seasons fade away" would be more appropriate? I guess fade away would sound better, I like that.
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#4
(04-24-2018, 10:45 PM)Cassiopeia88 Wrote:  Who says that leaves are green
Or sky is blue?
Who says that days are always light
Or night is immanently dark?
 
Who says what anything is really like?

Who says I have to be like you?
Who says you have to be like me?
For your green may be my blue
My light may not be light for you
 
… and my colors change as seasons go.

[Without looking at the other critiques, forgive any repetition]

An interesting Socratic poem, which for that branch of philosophy might arrive at ideal forms (of leaves, colors, etc.).

One thing you might try is replacing the verb to be with more active or diverse (e.g. "Or night lurks, immanently dark?")  This would reduce the didactic nature of the poem, though that is also one of its charms.

The variant interpretations toward the end are also quite nice:  "My light may not be light for you" suggests meanings for "light" beyond the physical--- spiritual, illumination.  And the last line could reference the grue-bleen hypothesis (that something green today might be blue tomorrow - in ideal form, not just the vagaries of the seasons).

One thing (if no one else has mentioned it):  on this board, use of traditional poetic typography (capitalizing the first word of each line regardless of sentence struction)  is frowned upon by some and considered archaic.  I disagree, but do see their point in that line capitalization can create emphasis where it's not intended.  You might consider going to lower case except where capitalization is otherwise required (proper names, first word of a sentence) and see how you like it.

Asks some interesting questions - good effort.
feedback award Non-practicing atheist
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#5
[Without looking at the other critiques, forgive any repetition]

An interesting Socratic poem, which for that branch of philosophy might arrive at ideal forms (of leaves, colors, etc.).

One thing you might try is replacing the verb to be with more active or diverse (e.g. "Or night lurks, immanently dark?")  This would reduce the didactic nature of the poem, though that is also one of its charms.

The variant interpretations toward the end are also quite nice:  "My light may not be light for you" suggests meanings for "light" beyond the physical--- spiritual, illumination.  And the last line could reference the grue-bleen hypothesis (that something green today might be blue tomorrow - in ideal form, not just the vagaries of the seasons).

One thing (if no one else has mentioned it):  on this board, use of traditional poetic typography (capitalizing the first word of each line regardless of sentence struction)  is frowned upon by some and considered archaic.  I disagree, but do see their point in that line capitalization can create emphasis where it's not intended.  You might consider going to lower case except where capitalization is otherwise required (proper names, first word of a sentence) and see how you like it.

Asks some interesting questions - good effort.
[/quote]

Thanks so much for the critique dukealien! The interesting thing is that while I didn't have in mind Socrates, ideal forms, etc. while I was writing this, I do enjoy philosophy a lot and I've read Plato. Oh, and I really do love the so-called Socratic method, asking questions, etc. Otherwise, your interpretation is pretty much spot on (at least with the way I wanted the poem to be understood).

Like you guessed, I deliberately used only 'to be' because I wanted to keep the poem simple and kind of didactic. It probably would sound better if I used a different verb at least once though.

I see, I will go for lower case from now on. Thank you for letting me know!
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#6
Hey Cassiopeia88,
I like some of the questions you're asking here, and I also like where this could lead. I do have some thoughts though:

(04-24-2018, 10:45 PM)Cassiopeia88 Wrote:  Who says that leaves are green
Or sky is blue?
Who says that days are always light
Or night is immanently dark?
 
Who says what anything is really like? -I would suggest cutting this line because this seems to me to be the whole crux of the poem. Personally, I think you imply this with your questions, and don't need to say it directly.

Who says I have to be like you?
Who says you have to be like me?
For your green may be my blue
My light may not be light for you-Where the rest of the poem has been questions, you're adding extra emphasis here once you switch to a statement. My suggestion would be to cut the last two lines of this stanza and have the third line read as: "For my colors change as seasons ago."
 
… and my colors change as seasons go.
I do like what you're doing here, so I hope I wasn't too negative. I look forward to seeing where you take this piece from here.

Cheers,
Richard
Time is the best editor.
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#7
(05-05-2018, 09:42 AM)Richard Wrote:  Hey Cassiopeia88,
I like some of the questions you're asking here, and I also like where this could lead. I do have some thoughts though:

(04-24-2018, 10:45 PM)Cassiopeia88 Wrote:  Who says that leaves are green
Or sky is blue?
Who says that days are always light
Or night is immanently dark?
 
Who says what anything is really like? -I would suggest cutting this line because this seems to me to be the whole crux of the poem. Personally, I think you imply this with your questions, and don't need to say it directly. [b]I agree with you on that, this line is reduntant.[/b]

Who says I have to be like you?
Who says you have to be like me?
For your green may be my blue
My light may not be light for you-Where the rest of the poem has been questions, you're adding extra emphasis here once you switch to a statement. My suggestion would be to cut the last two lines of this stanza and have the third line read as: "For my colors change as seasons ago." I see what you mean, I reread the poem this way and it does sound different, more open to interpretation in a way. The problem is that those two lines are probably my personal favorite Big Grin 
 
… and my colors change as seasons go.
I do like what you're doing here, so I hope I wasn't too negative. I look forward to seeing where you take this piece from here.

Cheers,
Richard

Thanks a lot for the comment Richard! Do not worry, you weren't negative at all. Tbh, I expected much harsher critiques. I'll see if there is some way I could further develop the poem.

Cass
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#8
(04-24-2018, 10:45 PM)Cassiopeia88 Wrote:  Who says that leaves are green
Or sky is blue? --- You could say 'or that the sky is blue' 
Who says that days are always light
Or night is immanently dark? 
 
Who says what anything is really like? --- like what? maybe you could expand on that idea by asking, 'anything is really like it seems?' 

Who says I have to be like you?   
Who says you have to be like me?  i like this part 
For your green may be my blue
My light may not be light for you
 
… and my colors change as seasons go. --- this idea comes suddenly, maybe play with the idea of change before ending on this note. 
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#9
(04-24-2018, 10:45 PM)Cassiopeia88 Wrote:  Who says what anything is really like?

Isn't this the underlying assumption of the poem. I'd delete it, or replace it. 

I very much like your poem. Thank you for posting.
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#10
(04-24-2018, 10:45 PM)Cassiopeia88 Wrote:  Who says that leaves are green
Or sky is blue?
Who says that days are always light
Or night is immanently dark?
 
Who says what anything is really like?

Who says I have to be like you?
Who says you have to be like me?
For your green may be my blue
My light may not be light for you
 
… and my colors change as seasons go.

What is the point that the poem is trying to make? Presumably, that the perception of “reality” is different for different observers. 
Blue and green correspond to distinct wavelengths and so ARE different (of course, you could question whether the perception of length is the same for everybody but evolution would have selected a conforming group). So the question becomes one of whether the perception of blue and green are physiologically the same for all, which we have no way of confirming.
In the second instance, the narrator says that nights are not always dark and days not always bright. For this to make literal sense, I’ll assume that the reference is to infra red radiation, or other forms of sensory perception, which can be better at night with less background “noise”.

The second stanza is repetitive, but otherwise ok
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#11
(05-27-2018, 03:51 AM)Busker Wrote:  
(04-24-2018, 10:45 PM)Cassiopeia88 Wrote:  Who says that leaves are green
Or sky is blue?
Who says that days are always light
Or night is immanently dark?
 
Who says what anything is really like?

Who says I have to be like you?
Who says you have to be like me?
For your green may be my blue
My light may not be light for you
 
… and my colors change as seasons go.

What is the point that the poem is trying to make? Presumably, that the perception of “reality” is different for different observers. 
Blue and green correspond to distinct wavelengths and so ARE different (of course, you could question whether the perception of length is the same for everybody but evolution would have selected a conforming group). So the question becomes one of whether the perception of blue and green are physiologically the same for all, which we have no way of confirming.
In the second instance, the narrator says that nights are not always dark and days not always bright. For this to make literal sense, I’ll assume that the reference is to infra red radiation, or other forms of sensory perception, which can be better at night with less background “noise”.

The second stanza is repetitive, but otherwise ok

Busker, I assume you are a very literal and scientific person, aren't you? Well, this is a poetry forum, so I wasn't talking just about the scientific facts, it's a little more complicated/philosophical/metaphorical than that. Poetry doesn't have just one interpretation, each person can find something different in each piece. To answer some of your questions:
1. Yes, the poem from my point of view talks about perceptions, the notion of change and asking questions.
2. Of course blue and green ARE different. I actually did have physiological perception in mind here + leaves change colors during the seasons, sky is different during the storm/sunset/etc., while we usually just say "The sky is blue". You can also ask yourself why we give colors certain names, if our perception is the only true reality ...
3. Well, the use of imagery in poetry usually does not correspond just to the literal reality, but also good vs. evil or other dychotomies. We can go scientific here and talk about infra red radiation, Sun eclipses, midnight Sun or whatever, or you can take a more metaphorical approach, whatever one prefers.
4.Thanks for the comment, I appreciate the rational approach here.

Everyone, thanks for your comments. I rewrote the poem, which is now way longer. I'd appreciate some thoughts, I think I kind of prefer the original version though Undecided

Who says that leaves are green
or sky is blue?
Who says that days are always light
or night stands immanently dark?


Who says the Sun will rise at East
or the Earth is flat and still?
Who says that history is made of facts
or fiction, myths are never real?

Who says that one must lead the pack
or that we're all the same?
Who says the path you followed once
will never shift its way?

Who says that all is set in stone
or that questions should be asked?
Who says one's role is to obey
or to be different than the rest?

Who says what's right
or what Right is?
Who states the Truth
or what we need?

Who says I have to be like you?
Who says you have to be like me?

For all that I do know

your green may be my blue
my light may not be light for you
my truth may be your lie to me
and our colors change as seasons go.
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#12
Hello Cassiopeia - there’s a subtle difference here.
The poem works if you move from a specific, factual truth to an abstract, spiritual generalisation. That’s why parables are so powerful.
So the literal meaning of the poem, examined from a scientific standpoint, has to make sense.
But perhaps no such feat was attempted here, in which case if all you’re saying is ‘things are perceived differently by different people’ then it’s not a very interesting statement to make, and is furthermore, not supported by your exposition.
Hope that clarifies
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#13
(05-28-2018, 02:24 AM)Busker Wrote:  Hello Cassiopeia - there’s a subtle difference here.
The poem works if you move from a specific, factual truth to an abstract, spiritual generalisation. That’s why parables are so powerful.
So the literal meaning of the poem, examined from a scientific standpoint, has to make sense.
But perhaps no such feat was attempted here, in which case if all you’re saying is ‘things are perceived differently by different people’ then it’s not a very interesting statement to make, and is furthermore, not supported by your exposition.
Hope that clarifies


I see, I understand your point. That's obviously not the only thing I had in my mind while writing this, like I explained above. Even so, I believe we often tend to forget that things indeed ARE perceived differently by different people or that they are not as one-sided as we make them to be sometimes. So, at least for ME that's not uninteresting.
As far as I'm concerned, the main function of this poem is to make you question things that you take for granted. Like I already said, I did ALSO have scientific stuff in my mind, but mostly existential, in the sense of what is the true essence of things or whatever, are they stable, do they change, are they perceived differently be different people, etc. If it made you think about literal, scientific things, that's fine by me and you can interpret the poem in this way. For me it's not all about sense, but also the effect that sth has on you or that it makes you think at all. If you don't find this interesting or thought-provoking without the exact scientific explanation behind, that's ok and I understand your point.

Cheers
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#14
Well, can you explain what you mean by
“Who says that the sun will rise at (sic) East?”
The sun will always rise in the east, at least on planet earth.
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#15
Well, that's the new version of the poem anyway. We were talking about the original.
Ok, I give you this one.
I would ask you to PM me if you wish to continue with the debate, since I would appreciate if someone else might have some comments (perhaps how to improve the poem stylistic-wise).
I don't have time now, but we can continue tomorrow.

Cheers
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#16
Quote:… and my colors change as seasons go.

This seems a bit vague and is an abrupt ending. Was this intentional? What was the idea you were trying to convey?

The poem itself seems to mix concepts of relativism and perceptions of reality with social mores and facts. I see the intention, but it feels a that the comparisons were really forced here.

For example:
Quote:My light may not be light for you
What does this have to do with the initial comparisons?

and another

Quote:For your green may be my blue

seems to be in relation to the beginning:
Quote:Who says that leaves are green
Or sky is blue?
This just feels awkward to me.
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#17
Hey Cassiopeia88,
I see that you did an edit of your poem, but you posted in the middle of the this thread. I would suggest you edit your original thread and post it there, so more people will notice it.

Hope this helps,
Richard
Time is the best editor.
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#18
Cool concept about different view, perceptions, and life in general. I love the line: Your green may be my blue, but maybe to make the concept of differences and contrast clearer and more relevant choose a warm color and a cool color instead of two cool colors. Also watch capitalization.
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#19
(04-24-2018, 10:45 PM)Cassiopeia88 Wrote:  Who says that leaves are green
Or sky is blue?
Who says that days are always light
Or night is immanently dark?
 
Who says what anything is really like?

Who says I have to be like you?
Who says you have to be like me?
For your green may be my blue
My light may not be light for you
 
… and my colors change as seasons go.

I really like this poem! Maybe you could continue the pattern of the first part into the second part. Like saying "Who says I have to be like you? Or you have to be like me"  That way the last two lines not following that pattern have more impact.
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#20
First thing, I absolutely love the overall message of this poem. It touches on how each individual human experience is unique. The dualistic elements are also something I am a fan of, and a theme common in my own works as well. Smile

Now for a bit more of a breakdown. (Bear in mind, I've not really critiqued poetry before, so I'm rather unsure of what I'm doing, so alot of this will be based on personal preference rather than what would be right in a technical way, but I'll give it my best!)

(04-24-2018, 10:45 PM)Cassiopeia88 Wrote:  Who says that leaves are green
Or sky is blue? <--- I would have changed the location of the word "that." Like... "Who says leaves are green, or THAT the sky is blue

Who says that days are always light
Or night is immanently dark? <--- I'm not sure if you meant inherently or imminently here, but I suspect it's the former rather than the latter.
 
Who says what anything is really like? <--- I'd personally either remove this, or change it so something like "who defines what anything means?"

Who says I have to be like you?
Who says you have to be like me?
For your green may be my blue
My light may not be light for you <--- I'd go with "That light may not be light for you."
 
… and my colors change as seasons go. <--- I'd expand on this and place it elsewhere in the poem

As I said above, I really like the overall concept and theme of opposites here. There's so much you can do with the subject matter you're talking about, and I'd continue along this as a theme for future works. I hope I've been helpful!

Warmly,

Fae.
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