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  • #30284 Reply
    JULIAN WOODRUFF
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    Full Moon, Full Eyes

    It needs no permission; it has our eyes.
    We rapt, they helpless watch it rise.
    The round floats up. The world’s edge knows
    Its purpose now: a curtain, being drawn, shows

    First just an arc, then the full, copper disc.
    Behold the view: ought we to risk
    That we should miss such an event?

    Object to take much joy in:
    The lost denarius? A coin
    Bearing some vital code?

    In burning luster it starts its ascent,

    Above the scrim through which we see it first—
    The light now silver, more dispersed.
    In brilliance it will keep the sky,
    Its steady westward course will duly fly.

    Fragment of clapper for some magic bell?
    Carved from the drifting shell
    On which the new-born Venus rode?

    Then quickly off too bed! To miss the show
    As dawn creeps in, the lunar glow
    Becoming icy platinum …

    A cosmic mirror comes to mind,
    None ever easier to find,
    That shines back prince or princess, never a toad …

    … Would be like deeming Debussy ho-hum

    Or Shakespeare uninspired. Too soon it pales.
    Once warm, now wan, its aura fails.
    The moon yields to the rising sun
    And sets ignored.

    (Ignored by my neighbors and me,
    But meanwhile gazers elsewhere see
    It glide to center stage in its abode.)

    We know the star has won

    The entire sky—at least for several hours …
    How mocked it is, though, and its powers:
    Vital to us the sun may be,
    But that small rock transfixes you and me.

    Oh, most seductive, all-beguiling sight!
    You teach us all us to train our eyes,
    As they survey the nocturnal skies,
    On what is lit, and to ignore the light.

  • #30325 Reply
    Mark Stone
    0 Posts

    Julian, Hello. My comments, which are based purely on my personal preferences, are as follows.

    1. The iambic meter is pretty strong throughout the poem. I would have perfect iambic meter in the first line of the poem, since that line lets the reader know what the meter will be.

    2. I would make sure that both lines in a rhyming couplet have the same number of feet. For example, line 5 has 5 feet and line 6 has 4 feet.

    3. The rhymes are good, but I prefer a more consistent rhyme scheme.

    4. When rhyming words are too far apart, I can’t hear the rhyme. For me, such is the case with “road” and “toad” and with “platinum” and “ho-hum.”

    5. There is a spelling mistake in line 19 (“too”).

    6. I like the reference to The Birth of Venus, the painting by Sandro Botticelli. Historic, literary and artistic allusions always make a poem more interesting.

    Best wishes,

    Mark

    • #30331 Reply
      JULIAN WOODRUFF
      0 Posts

      Thanks, Mark Stone, for the comments, and for catching the spelling mistake (now corrected in my own files). I should probably note that in posting the poem I was unable to retain my formatting, wherein the terzets ending -ode/-oad were indented, making clear their nature as asides. Similarly, the end of the 5th 4train, “We know the star has won […]” was originally doubly indented to show that it is the completion of an earlier line. I guess my tactics make the thing a strange combination of formal organization and spur-of-the moment spontaneity.

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