Forums SCP Workshop A Simple Thanks
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  • #30353 Reply
    Kevin Hayes
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    There lies the unknown soldier

    Among decorated graves that are not much older

    Who’s this man that lies for years?

    The state of his grave would bring any a man to tears

    What were all his final thoughts?

    Did his line advance, hold, or maybe become distraught?

    Was he taken by surprise?

    These are only a few of the questions that arise

    There is not a soul to blame

    For no one may have known who he was or where he came

    But he died not far away

    Only to be forgotten until this summer day

    Lost to family, lost to friends

    Lets not forget this soldier for which is how it tends

    For through his life and death fling

    He won our independence from a tyrannical king

  • #30363 Reply
    Mark Stone
    0 Posts

    Kevin, Hello. My analysis, which is based on my personal preferences, is as follows.

    1. Type of poem. 16 lines. 8 rhyming couplets. 2nd line in couplet longer than the first.

    2. Spelling. I would change “Lets” to “Let’s.”

    3. Punctuation. I would make it consistent. Right now some sentences have it and some don’t.

    4. Meter. The odd numbered lines are in iambic meter, except for line 15. You could put that line in iambic meter by doing something like this:

    For through his life and mortal fling
    he won our freedom from the king.

    I don’t see any consistent meter in the even numbered lines. I would add that.

    5. Rhymes. They are good. I would modify line 5 to get an exact rhyme with “distraught.” Here is one idea.

    I’d like to know his final thought.
    Did his line hold? Was he distraught?

    6. Diction (choice of words and phrases). Line 10 reads:

    For no one may have known who he was or where he came

    I think you mean to say: …where he came from. You could do something like this:

    There is not a soul to blame.
    No one knew from where he came.

    7. Sonic devices (alliteration, assonance, consonance). I like the assonance in line 4 (“state of his grave”) and the alliteration in line 13.

    8. Literary devices (simile, metaphor, personification, foreshadowing, etc.). None identified.

    9. Allusions (literary, historic, artistic, musical or mythological). The poem includes a reference to the Revolutionary War.

    10. Miscellaneous. I like the subject matter of the poem. Also, you can tell from my suggested couplets that I prefer couplets that have lines of the same length. However, that doesn’t mean that couplets with lines of unequal length cannot work.

    Best wishes,

    Mark

    P.S. So far I have posted comments on seven poems, and no one else has. For this Workshop to be successful, I think that everyone needs to help in the critiquing. Therefore, I encourage everyone who posts a poem for critique to post comments on at least one other poem.

    • #30414 Reply
      Kevin Hayes
      0 Posts

      Thank you for the feedback. I took some of the advice and rewrote the poem. Let me know what you think.

      There lies the unknown soldier
      Among graves not much older.
      Who’s this man that lies for years?
      His grave is a sight for tears.

      One of many on that day
      It is almost hard to say.
      Was this man able to see
      The great marvel which would be?

      Lost to family, lost to friends.
      This is sometimes how it tends.
      There is not a soul to blame.
      No one knew from where he came.

      Though he may have been a loss
      While he carried his cross
      Through that life and mortal fling
      He made us free from the king.

  • #30380 Reply
    JULIAN WOODRUFF
    0 Posts

    Hi, Kevin
    Mark Stone properly admonished people who post poems to this bulletin board to contribute their critical responses, so here goes.
    It’s good to see a poem acknowledging the value of sacrifice and selflessness!
    Content & word choice: line 2) unknown soldiers’ graves are separated from others as a rule (Washington DC, Paris)?; line 4) For “any,” read “many”?; why the “state of his grave”?: to me the wording suggests neglect, but unknown soldiers’ graves are well tended and marked with due military ceremony; line 9) blame for what, precisely?; line 10) for “where,” read “whence”?: “Whence” may be edging toward obsolescence, but its meaning is clearer than “where” with a motion verb like “came”; line 12) Forgotten by whom? Surely not forgotten by friends & family (assuming they survived), although his/her body was not identified; and why remembered now, “this summer day”?; line 14) meaning of “… for which is how it tends” is obscure; line 16) Since most wars of recent history have not involved kingdoms (other than constitutional monarchies), the use of “king” as a rhyme seems a bit forced.
    Punctuation: lines 1, 9, 10, 12, 14) add ending commas?; line 14) comma after “soldier”?; line 15) hyphens—life-and-death—might assist with the meaning.
    Meter: 1–iambic, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, (13)—trochaic; 15) iamb, iamb, anapest. (Line 1 could be read to de-emphasize “the,” thereby making the line rhythmically close to the succeeding odd-numbered lines.) Even-numbered lines irregular in accentuation, but all 13 syllables with an additional syllable in the final line. To me the inconsistency of accentuation in even lines collides unsatisfactorily with the rhythmic consistency and simplicity in the odd lines. Is there a reason for this contrast that eludes me?

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