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"The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Lady of the Night (---.unet.maine.edu)
Date: November 21, 2002 12:30PM

I am faced with a
brick wall
which mocks me
lethargically,
apathetically,
with no
consideration for my
scars of eyes
or the
crimson stains upon
my breast
or my
hands and knees,
skinned and bloodied
from fighting,
scratching,
digging at the Wall,
throwing myself
into you
only to fall back
to the gritty asphalt
where sand
is introduced
to my raw hands and knees,
tears dripping
as I glare up at
the Wall -
up at you,
my jaw jutted
in defiance
as pride is broken and
a child tries
desperately to gather
the shards in
dirty hands
as those crystal pieces
are all she has.


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Brucefur (---.ok.shawcable.net)
Date: November 21, 2002 04:15PM

Nutmeg,

This has definite potential, but there are some things that I think you need to rectify.

One, you start by calling it the brick wall and then go on to give it a gender. Pick one and stick with it. Is HE like a brickwall etc... (use a similie if you have to, but find a way to achieve the transitions smoothly from inanimate object to organic being).

Two words per line? Meg, I am soooo proud of you! swells to bursting lol.

Secondly, the switch to the child at the end is a little jarring. Again, mind your transitions.

Third; you have too much filler. Condense your message to enhance your impact.

Love,
Brucefur


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Lady of the Night (---.unet.maine.edu)
Date: November 21, 2002 04:20PM

Brucefur,

The organic being is the inanimate object. Where did you see that I gave it a gender? The only gender reference I see is in the very last line.

Didn't you see my other poems that had a few words per line? I posted them awhile back.

The switch to the child is... hmm.. well, I can't say it's intended to be jarring, but I can't agree to take it away. What kind of "jarring" is it?

What, specifically, do you view as filler?

Love,
Nutmeg


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Aoibheann (---.ne.client2.attbi.com)
Date: November 21, 2002 04:54PM

What'sa this about short lines? actually, i do think that is would sound better with longer lines. no, i take that back. I think that it would sound better with rearranged lines. I do like the short lines a lot, though. and great thoughts there!!

aiofe

hmm....

I am faced with
a brick wall
which mocks me
lethargically,
apathetically,
with no consideration for
my scars of eyes
or the crimson stains
upon my breast
or my hands
and knees,
skinned and bloodied
from fighting,
scratching,
digging at the Wall,
throwing myself
into you
only to fall back
to the gritty asphalt
where acid sand
is burned into
my raw hands
and knees,
tears flowing
as I glare up at
the Wall -
up at you,
my jaw jutted
in defiance
even as my pride is broken
like a precious crystal
and a child tries desperately
to gather the shards
in broken hands
as those crystal shards
are all that are left
of the greatness,
so she holds on.


Just a few changes, but tell me what you think. No offense will be taken if you absolutely hate it.

Aoibh


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Lady of the Night (---.unet.maine.edu)
Date: November 21, 2002 05:03PM

I certainly don't absolutely hate it. I must say that you changed words that I liked, but hey! smiling smiley Specifically "tears dripping." The tears aren't flowing, there aren't enough for that. Rather, they're dripping because a) she won't let herself cry, out of defiance and b) there aren't that many of them and c) well.. they're literally dripping.. smiling smiley

I'm a wee bit scatterbrained at the moment, trying to find a few things online and do this at the same time. But thanks for the time and review. smiling smiley

Loves,
Lady of the Night


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Brucefur (---.ok.shawcable.net)
Date: November 21, 2002 05:40PM

Oh, they are dripping? You sure they should be streaming? j/k lol

I will try and show you what I mean, with the obvious disclaimer that you need accept nothing.

I am faced with a
brick wall
which mocks me
lethargically,
apathetically,
with no
consideration for my
scarred eyes,
or the
crimson stains upon
my breast.

On my
hands and knees,
skinned and bloodied
from fighting,
scratching,
digging at the Wall,
throwing myself
into you (here is your shift to it being a person)
only to fall back (either ditch the back, or change to something like "only to be knocked back)
to the gritty asphalt
where sand
is introduced
to my raw wounds. (We already know from a previous line that you are on your hands and knees, so don't repeat.)

tears dripping
as I glare up at
the Wall -
up at you; (again you have personalized it, but it is too vague. You could be anyone and therefore lacks impact).
jaw jutted
in defiance
as my pride is broken and
a child tries (a child DOESN'T work... maybe the child? Or child-like she tries..)
desperately to gather
the shards in
dirty hands
as those (I think that this is the wrong tense, and should be these) crystal pieces
are all she has.


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Stephen Fryer (---.bbd04tcl.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: November 21, 2002 05:44PM

At your service, mamselle -

I am faced with a brick wall, which mocks me
lethargically,
apathetically,
with no consideration for my scars of eyes
or the crimson stains upon my breast
or my hands and knees, skinned
and bloodied from fighting, scratching, digging at the Wall,

throwing myself into you, only to fall back
to the gritty asphalt, where sand is introduced
to my raw hands and knees, tears dripping
as I glare up at the Wall -
up at you,
my jaw jutted in defiance
as pride is broken
and
a child tries desperately to gather
the shards in dirty hands
as those crystal pieces
are all she has.

Stephen


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Lady of the Night (---.unet.maine.edu)
Date: November 21, 2002 05:49PM

Ah, but you said I gave it a gender, and said "he." No matter. Umm... hmm. I still say that the organic being is the inanimate brick wall... the being lacks humanity in this piece. I'm a bit confused and a lil worried now that you mentioned being on my hands and knees... umm.. I wasn't on my hands and knees. Rather, I was (poorly) trying to say that I was beating against the wall, throwing myself against it, thus skinning my hands and knees. And I feel a bit attached to the "fall back." "back" is to mean that I was once on the asphalt, attacked again, and fell back to it.. a returning to the asphalt. Again, I want to somehow express that the brick wall is indeed an organic being. Any suggestions on how else I could do that? Why doesn't "a child" work? Didn't know I put "those." Thanks for pointing it out, you're right, that isn't correct. But is it "these"? I'll have to try and remember, but I can't do that now tongue sticking out smiley

Lady of the Night


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Brucefur (---.ok.shawcable.net)
Date: November 21, 2002 06:18PM

I do very much like what Stephen has done Nutmeg, better than what I had suggested with the break up. Much more impact.

I would still suggest changing it to scarred eyes though.

The child thing REALLY doesn't work for me. Is it truly necessary?

You want to keep fall back, then by all means keep it, but the hands and knees thing does get muddled a little between those two references.

Brucefur
PS: Bravo Stehpen!


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Lady of the Night (---.unet.maine.edu)
Date: November 21, 2002 06:29PM

Bravo too! Love to stay but I am DEFINITELY out of time. Loves!

Lady of the Night


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Sargirl (---.maine.rr.com)
Date: November 21, 2002 08:22PM

I actualy like the first version the best.
Love it!
Sarah


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Brucefur (---.ok.shawcable.net)
Date: November 21, 2002 08:27PM

Silly Goose! The first version is a massive run on sentence! Thhhpt! yawning smileyP


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Sargirl (---.maine.rr.com)
Date: November 21, 2002 08:33PM

I like it so Thar!
Sarah


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Lady of the Night (---.unet.maine.edu)
Date: November 22, 2002 09:47AM

It's supposed to be one massive run-on sentence! Did you break it up, Bruce? accusing doubtful look Hmm... grrr...

Lady of the Night


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Ian Beaumont (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: November 22, 2002 10:55AM

ROFLOL! Watching Brucefur and Lady discuss poetry is more fun than TV! :-D


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Lady of the Night (---.unet.maine.edu)
Date: November 22, 2002 12:36PM

Lol, you should see us on other threads! Check out Grapeshot Chablis (Revised) for a good laugh. grinning smiley

Lady of the Night


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Brucefur (---.ok.shawcable.net)
Date: November 22, 2002 04:10PM

No Lady, I believe that Stephen gets the blame this time.


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Stephen Fryer (---.bbd12tcl.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: November 22, 2002 06:18PM

No fair! Boo hoo! Lady ASKED me to rework this.
(Mind you, it needed it.)

Stephen


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Lady of the Night (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: November 22, 2002 11:42PM

Gets the blame for what? And yes, I did ask him to rework it after seeing his rework of Glass Teardrops. But ya know, the more I read this poem the more I realllllly don't like it. I think I'll toss it! It's gross.

Lady of the Night


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: R.U. Cirrius (---.ne.client2.attbi.com)
Date: November 22, 2002 11:45PM

Well, it is not in my nature to be particularly brutal, but I do think that there are some issues with this poem. I was reminded immediately of a poem by Langston Hughes, which I've taken the liberty of digging up for you:

As I Grew Older

It was a long time ago.
I have almost forgotten my dream.
But it was there then,
In front of me,
Bright like a sun--
My dream.

And then the wall rose,
Rose slowly,
Slowly,
Between me and my dream.
Rose slowly, slowly,
Dimming,
Hiding,
The light of my dream.
Rose until it touched the sky--
The wall.

Shadow.
I am black.

I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,
Above me.
Only the thick wall.
Only the shadow.

My hands!
My dark hands!
Break through the wall!
Find my dream!
Help me to shatter this darkness,
To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
Of sun!


Now, your poem (unmarred):

I am faced with a
brick wall
which mocks me
lethargically,
apathetically,
with no
consideration for my
scars of eyes
or the
crimson stains upon
my breast
or my
hands and knees,
skinned and bloodied
from fighting,
scratching,
digging at the Wall,
throwing myself
into you
only to fall back
to the gritty asphalt
where sand
is introduced
to my raw hands and knees,
tears dripping
as I glare up at
the Wall -
up at you,
my jaw jutted
in defiance
as pride is broken and
a child tries
desperately to gather
the shards in
dirty hands
as those crystal pieces
are all she has.




Reading this poem aloud next to yours, you can see the similarities. While Hughes' poem is about overcoming the "shadow" of racism, yours is more vague. Since the wall becomes "you" in your poem it is immediately personified. Thus, the content of the poem becomes so specifically vague (if you understand what I mean by that) that it hides ITSELF. What I mean is that Hughes lets his poem be blatantly about racism, but using metaphors to illustrate the FORM that racism takes for him. Your poem develops an emotional response and vaguely hides it BEHIND imagery. What you should consider is using the FORM of the poem to DEVELOP the emotion that you are talking about.
My apologies about the emphasis... not meant to be taken as authoritative in the least. Poetry is an intensely personal artform, true, but it is, afterall, an art-FORM...:>

p.s. the run-on sentence thing works...showing the rushing nature of the emotion...keep it!


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Lady of the Night (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: November 22, 2002 11:52PM

I'm liking the run-on, but could you better explain yourself? I'm just a tad bit confused. Not too lost, don't give up on me!

Thanks in advance,
Lady of the Night


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Sargirl (---.maine.rr.com)
Date: November 23, 2002 12:04AM

yay!
the run on rocks!
Sarah


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Lady of the Night (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: November 23, 2002 12:06AM

Thanks winking smiley

Lady of the Night


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Sargirl (---.maine.rr.com)
Date: November 23, 2002 12:07AM

grinning smiley


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Brucefur (---.ok.shawcable.net)
Date: November 23, 2002 12:34AM

No, the run on doesn't rock. The run on makes the reader lose the point, because they are too busy trying not to think about oxygen deprivation.

Poems AND prose are meant to be read aloud as well as silently. Try reading this one in its original form, and remember, no air till you reach the period!

Stephen's version is as superior to the original, as the space shuttle to the V-2 rocket. Sorry Lady, but it is true. He kept all of your words, so there is no question that it is still you, but the extended lines, and where he broke them up is near genius. Try and distance yourself, and look at this as if it wasn't yours, and then read both aloud. I think that you will see what I am saying. At least, I hope so.

Also; practice what you preach. That is generally a good rule. You made me sweat bricks over Grapeshot, for this very same reason. So no crying wolf here, okay?

This advice should most likely not be coming from me though, because I know that I tend to get your back up, and make you want to resist. That is fair enough; so this is the last that I will comment on this thread, and that should allow you the space that you need, to choose what it is that you think best.

With love,
Brucefur


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Lady of the Night (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: November 23, 2002 10:21AM

Hey!

That is not what I want at all! Grrr you come back here! You don't "get my back up" so to speak. Grrr... don't you leave! stamps foot I mean it! Even looking at Stephen's version objectively, I still don't think it portrays it as well... No offense to Stephen and I appreciate his time and effort, but I think that his version took something away from it. And if you read it in the monotone that it was written in, you should be able to do it in one breath, or else take a breath at commas! A comma is a pause, thus room for a small breath. Read it slowly and take your time, take a small breath where it's natural and I slide from one thought to the next.

Don't go!
Lady of the Night


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: R.U. Cirrius (---.ne.client2.attbi.com)
Date: November 23, 2002 01:26PM

Well, let's start with thinking about the different forms of poetry....there are formal forms (!) that rely on very specific architectures....metre, rhyme, repetition of specific lines...etc, etc....the more modern "Free Verse" (which I place your poem in) relies on abstractions, a kind of Abstract Expressionism of verse....but we must not think that this allows us to just write words on a page and call it a poem (not that I'm saying you did that!) There still must be some thought to form, enjambment, metre, etc. The difference here is that your poem comes right out and tells it like it is... the old adage is "Show Don't Tell" and I think it is appropriate to mention it here.
What I meant by the poem "hiding" itself is that there are two (and not only two) ways of approaching writing a poem...either you can think of what your poem will be "about" and then try to force it to be a poem...which I fear you might have done...or you can think of what your poem will be about and allow the form and the words you choose to dictate how the reader will perceive your thoughts. This method allows you to SHOW what you mean instead of coming right out and saying it... obfuscation of the content only works if it ADDS to what you are trying to say.
Your poem being an intensely emotional one, it is easy to fall into the more common descriptions....what I'm saying here...trying to beat around the bush because I don't want to attack you...is that there is nothing "new" about most of the descriptive words...bloody knees, scars...these are all worn images that don't invoke the power of what you are trying to convey because they have fallen into cliches.
In Langston Hughes' poem, the use of exclamatory statements (which I generally don't like) works because the emotion of the poem BUILDS up to them... you know that Hughes is pissed off, and that he's right to be pissed, and that he's not just going to sit there, staring up at the wall, beaten and scarred.
Incidentally, the best line in your poem is "scars of eyes" because it DOESN'T say "scars on my eyes"... am I being any more clear?
My advice is:
step back, look at the poem again, look at your original impetus towards writing it, and think about how to SHOW what you mean with a consistent set of images that invoke the emotion instead of telling it.


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Lizzie (---.dialup.pltn13.pacbell.net)
Date: November 23, 2002 02:26PM

I think that there is absolutely no better way to describe this feeling. The original poem is great. I have felt those same feelings of beating and not getting anywhere, yet also the other end of it... Well, the only words I would use to describe that you have already used! But really, I wouldn't change a thing. Can I print it out and stick it on my bulletin board? It is a reminder of some very important things for me! Hugs!

Lizz


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: silent siren (---.dip0.t-ipconnect.de)
Date: November 23, 2002 06:44PM

No...no...no!

The first version is THE version, no matter what Stephens or Brucefurs have to say here!

It is yours and originate and so much BETTER than all of this normal breaking-line rhythm again, it becomes so used, this breaking lines, that I can hardly recognize the significance of it anymore - but here it is!
Shortness, crispness, sudden flashlights of words just like fingernails scratching as they do.

I would have never attempted to change it. It's a damn good poem in the way it has been, and the fault of that bloody Canadian was to give all of us a first post leading up to useless critique where none is needed!
But alas, I've been too late. The fault is done and not to be changed by me.

This was thick with thought.
Lady, once again I had the honour and the greatest pleasure of finding a really good poem on this site! I want to compare it with Intellectual Intercourse. This deserves a proud mind. Because you can be proud!

The language is yours and absolutely apt, it flows and does not leave my eye dancing around loose ends. It catches me and doesn't let me drift away on other things.
Last item, the content is so well described you get my award of the Night for it, for it is 23:43 here and you are the Lady of the Night amnd shall forever be as long as you wish.

your personal
silent siren


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: lgreen (---.client.attbi.com)
Date: November 23, 2002 06:49PM

Lady--I say ditto to siren--took the words out of my mouth---leave as originally written on this one---bravo---------Ell


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Stephen Fryer (---.bbd12tcl.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: November 23, 2002 07:11PM

What is that sound?
It is the sound of one man in Kent sucking his thumb, whilst one man in Canada sobs into his pilow.
Isn't it ...
melodious?

Stephen


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Brucefur (---.ok.shawcable.net)
Date: November 23, 2002 07:52PM

Whaaaaaa! :'-(

Okay, I concede.

Lady,

This is a good piece, and I thank you for sharing it with us.

I did in fact come back. So you can go ahead and beat me up now.

Brucefur


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: IZZY (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: November 23, 2002 09:00PM

Ok. I read the poem and immediately liked it, but thought it could do with some revision as per stephen. However, I then went on to read all the comments and arrived at the descision that the origional one is the best - and not JUST because its the origional. I think it very well describes the feelings of stuggle against an imovable object (person) usually our Fathers (if we are girls). I wrote this poem a few years ago when I thought my father might have died (opperations, hospitals, descussions of odds etc) I'm going to let you see this lady, because its kind of the flip side of the cion. Its the same struggle, but to keep the wall, and not to fight against it. Please people don't comment on it on Ladys thread, for one because its not proper so to do, and for another, it isn't really fixed yet, and doesn't read quite as well as I'd like.

I Need Him
July '98

I need energy
and a padded room,
In which to spit
and cry, and hit,
expel the anger
without the harm.
I'm not ready
to be by myself,
knowing he won't be
always there to help

Occasions come
without the will,
and the will
without the time,
and there it stays
still curled inside,
but one day
They'll coincide,
and I'll put the anger
on the outside.

Bless you Lady, all things pass, and you aren't hurting the wall by throwing yourself against it. Only yourself. Thats why I wanted my padded cell!
Izzy


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Lady of the Night (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: November 24, 2002 12:26AM

Well well well well well! I am totally flattered, Siren. You're a tough critic and for you to fight so admantly about this lil ol' thing? Sheesh! Thank you! Personally, like I said earlier, I like this poem a little less and less each time I read it. I'm glad you guys like it, though. Cirrius, nope, I didn't decide what this was going to be about and then force it. I got in a bicker with my dad which cut me, and it really bothered me... so I did my dishes and all of that, but everytime I started thinking about it again I started crying again. So I got out some paper and wrote "Glass Teardrops" and this one. I haven't revised either one, and when I write prose I literally don't stop. I just keep going and going until the end. I think that's why they usually have good flow if nothing else, because the thoughts are literally flowing from mind to pen to paper. Hmmm... I'm gonna read the original again. Well... lol, I still don't think it's that great. But hey, if y'all like it, great! Thank you for the poem, Izzy. I can definitely relate, though my father hasn't been in the situation yours was. Lizzie, 'course you can print it out... if you really want it that bad!

I'm flattered guys, really grinning smiley Thanks

Lady of the Night


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: silent siren (---.ber.dial.de.colt.net)
Date: November 24, 2002 04:15AM

What is a bicker...

Lady,
might be this is due to my experience with German poetry which can have the most interesting structures, but this piece is, was and will be good.
And this is my humble opinion.

Cheer up!
siren


Re: "The Brick Wall"
Posted by: Lady of the Night (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: November 24, 2002 09:11AM

A bicker is a small fight over something stupid. But it was the concept behind it, the way he was being, his attitude, the yelling, the fact that we were fighting over something stupid that hurt. Thanks for the cheers and thoughts smiling smiley Working on cheering up smiling smiley

Lady of the Night




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