Great Forces
#1
Thumbs Up 
I am in a great big world and I am small.


Forces like weather and time, I do not understand and cannot control. 
I step back and hope they do not notice my fragility, 
Like sitting at a table with gods.


I am a child to trees and so much less to those magnificent rock formations that grace the earth. 
They are so much older and wiser than me 
They have watched gods fall. 
They make me feel like I am being allowed to live, 
They grant me a seat at this table, so I dare not speak.


I am great in my own ways, 
I have power over smaller things. 
I have nursed infant animals, and healed sick plants.
As a child I was a benevolent god, I rescued bugs from rainstorms, 
I combed the flooded grass for ailing bodies and dragged them to safety. 


I don’t do this anymore. 
Some things are too small to stop for. 
This helped me understand the cruel aloofness of those greater forces
Their domains contain so much more than just me.  
I am too small to stop for. 


Perhaps they too are at the mercy of something greater. 
Perhaps time must please and flatter something we cannot conceive of, 
perhaps weather wishes it was not at the whim of winds.


Regardless, 

I will find my place among those greater and lesser forces. 
I will rise and fall and take nothing with me. 
I will do nothing great, 
Only hope to cause no harm, 
And in the process I will be forgotten . 
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#2
I like some of the ideas and images in this poem, but overall, I'd like to see greater variance in the language and expressions:

(07-19-2020, 02:05 AM)abigaildorothea Wrote:  I am in a great big world and I am small. (A bit of a rote phrase, "great big" sounds a bit childish, which doesn't work with the overall serious voice of the poem, maybe "expansive, limitless" etc) 
Forces like weather and time, I do not understand and cannot control. (this is going to be a little bit of a hair split down below, but you state later that you do understand them . . . what if you said something like "are beyond my grasp" since that way you avoid the repetition of the word "understand")
I step back and hope they do not notice my fragility, 
Like sitting at a table with gods. (sitting at a table together implies equality rather than inequity . . . is there a way to have your speaker in a position that better suggests fragility, like sitting on the floor where the gods stomp or something like that?)


I am a child to trees and so much less to those magnificent rock formations that grace the earth.  (I love "child to trees" that's beautiful. Instead of saying "So much less, is there something that could stand in, like "a speck to the rocks" or a "pebble to the rocks" etc. It's more descriptive, no?)
They are so much older and wiser than me 
They have watched gods fall. (We are using gods again, is there another way to express the timelessness of rocks? Because we're going to get gods again later. You don't want the idea of gods to lose its impact)
They make me feel like I am being allowed to live, 
They grant me a seat at this table, so I dare not speak. (OK, THIS is a good line to use up above, since it shows the emotional reaction of the speaker at being seated at a table with gods. Do you think you could move it?)


I am great in my own ways, (can we avoid reusing great again? Powerful maybe, strong, significant, towering?) 
I have power over smaller things. (Small again . . . what if you reworked it to say something like "I hold dominion over the minute" or something like that?)
I have nursed infant animals, and healed sick plants. (Nice, good way to show us)
As a child I was a benevolent god, I rescued bugs from rainstorms, (You know what I'm going to say about god . . . what about diety, idol, entity, etc. But, I really like the image of the child rescuing bugs. It's sweet and relatable and illustrates the idea of your poem of the way scale works and the notion of gods and meta gods -- Now I'M reusing it ! Big Grin )
I combed the flooded grass for ailing bodies and dragged them to safety. (again, nice image and it gives variance to the language and expression of the poem)


I don’t do this anymore. (I like the idea of transition from childish focus on minutiae to adulthood, another change in perspective and scale that serves the aim of your poem)
Some things are too small to stop for. 
This helped me understand the cruel aloofness of those greater forces, (Nice phrase)
Their domains contain so much more than just me.  
I am too small to stop for. (Now I'm going to reverse course and say that within this stanza repeating the phrase too small to stop for works, but I'd still strive for more variance in descriptors overall)


Perhaps they too are at the mercy of something greater. 
Perhaps time must please and flatter something we cannot conceive of, (I like the personification of time here . . . is there a specific image we could insert in the second half of the line like "the capricious whims of a giant" or even "an unconceivable mandate handed down from eternity" so you don't have the "of" hanging there at the end)
perhaps weather wishes it was not at the whim of winds. (nice image and alliteration)


Regardless, 

I will find my place among those greater and lesser forces. 
I will rise and fall and take nothing with me. (Nice)
I will do nothing great, (Since you spent a stanza on the great deeds over tinier creatures, can we avoid great here again. Maybe instead nothing lasting, significant, eternal)
Only hope to cause no harm, 
And in the process I will be forgotten . (Oh BOOM. Nice last line. It really emphasizes the idea of fragility and impermanence and humility of striving to do good in the world

OK, thanks for the read! I think it's an interesting poem. I like the metaphysics of it and playing with scale and perspective. I hope to see what you do next with it.
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#3
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Hi Abigail,
just to add a few crumbs to the feast Valerie provided.

I don't find the first three verses that engaging, for instance, is there a reason you might be
expected to understand and/or control time or the weather? Are there those that can?

Agree about 'I am a child to trees', but 'magnificent rock formations ... ' is far too much of a
mouthful. Why not simply 'mountains'?

For me, it comes alive here,

As a child I was a benevolent god,
rescued bugs from rainstorms
combed the flooded grass
for ailing bodies
dragged them to safety.

I don't do this anymore.
Some things are too small
to stop for.

and I think you might get a more interesting piece were you to start with this section.


Best, Knot



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#4
Hi Abigail,

I have to agree with Knot on this one. I like

I have nursed infant animals, and healed sick plants.
As a child I was a benevolent god, I rescued bugs from rainstorms,
I combed the flooded grass for ailing bodies and dragged them to safety.
I don’t do this anymore.
Some things are too small to stop for.

You could perhaps start with this and then continue in a similar vein.
I quite like the repetition of the last line “some things are too small to stop for” and you could go with this as you carry on into the poem.

You can ask the big questions you are asking in this poem through small descriptions. It is much better to “show rather than tell”. The age-old rule of poetry.

I can see plenty of potential though ☺️ You definitely have a poetic voice
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