Wanted: Constructive Criticism

Unscheduled post today, but what the hey.  One of my friends needs a piece of her poetry constructively critiqued, constructively here meaning in a way that gives her more to go on than just “Great!” or “Brilliant!”  Not that she wouldn’t like hearing that too, but it isn’t that helpful.  Anyway, bear in mind that this wasn’t mine.  I won’t reply to any comments because of that, unless you’re complimenting me on my choice of friends.  Here it is:

A bird
Wings black as pitch…
Flies across the night sky
A blur of feathers.

It is invisible to those who don’t look,
A speck of black
Against the sky
Full of stars.

It swoops,

No one is with the bird.
No one will ever be with the bird.
It is alone…

Only one sees the bird.
It whispers secrets in my ear.
I’ve sworn not to tell them.

But it’s very tempting…

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  1. I like this very much. The only “constructive” comment I have is that the first line of the second stanza was too long. It messes with the flow of the other, shorter lines.

  2. I like the last stanza and then the line below it.

    It seemed repetitive to me; perhaps it was intentional, but it didn’t seem to flow as well as maybe she’d thought? I didn’t like it much.

    “Only one sees the bird
    These lines were like, ehhhh. Know what I mean? I could guess that it was ‘Me’ without you coming out and saying it. In poetry (and many other types of writing), it’s better to imply rather than explicitly state something. Yeah?

    I didn’t understand the (what I assume to be a) metaphor about the bird. Perhaps it went over my head, but I just didn’t get it.

    It was a lovely poem, though.

  3. Charley R

     /  May 26, 2012

    From me – I think it’s a good poem, but a couple of lines sound a bit forced. The first line of the second stanza, and the last line of the poem in particular. It may just be me being nitpicky as well, but I find the language could be a little more adventurous, especially as it’s poetry.

    Overall, though, it’s an interesting concept – I just feel the language could be a little better. Part of the point of poetry, after all, is to enjoy the language.

  4. I enjoyed reading the interesting take on a bird flying in the sky. But I agree with my fellow commentors: Some of the lines seem forced, and others the rhythm of the poem seems a bit off beat.
    “Only one sees the bird

    Perhaps if you changed “me” to something a little longer, it would flow really nicely.

    In conclusion, I thought it was a splendid poem.

  5. I am not a writer, but I thought the poem was awesome!! Lizzie 🙂

  6. Nice, but slightly vague. I understand that the author is talking about a raven soaring, but each line needs to be filled out a bit so we get an idea of the bigger picture.
    The poem seems to be written in the style of a Haiku, because–*checks*–none of the words {at the end of lines} seem to rhyme. That’s not bad, but considering this is referred to as a poem, we might have a problem.

    All things considered, great job Liam’s-Friend! Keep it up. 🙂

  7. Alyssa

     /  May 27, 2012

    Thanks guys!
    Just so you know, I’m Liam’s friend. I really appreciate all the help. I was doing this thing i school where you could share poems to kids in other literacy classes–up to that point of the school year, I’d only written one poem because we’d only worked on one kind of poem that year, and I wasn’t really fond of that one I’d written.
    So I just randomly wrote this poem in maybe five or ten minutes, and then read it. The only people that heard it were maybe five or six teachers and sixty kids. They all clapped/snapped, and I can guarantee that half of the kids weren’t even listening. So thanks.
    @Annika: It’s not a haiku. This kind of poem I just refer to as a free line poem. There are no rules at all as how to write it, how many syllables should be in each line, if it should rhyme or not–you just write.
    But I completely understand all the comments on the rhythm of the poem.

  8. Oh dang. I’m late. Sorry.
    Lovely poem. Not a total fan of ellipsis at the ends of poems, but I think that it was a lovely poem. I liked the idea of a little bird telling you secrets in a non-cliche form, and I also got that it was free verse. I also liked the different stanzas going from the description of the bird, to the setting, the actions, the plight of the bird, then the relationship between you and the bird. Each stanza circled in on a different bit, which was nice and simple.


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