Surface Thoughts

New to poetry? Unsure about the quality of your work? Then why not post here to receive some gentle feedback.
Post Reply
ray miller
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 6572
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:23 am

Surface Thoughts

Post by ray miller » Thu May 08, 2008 11:56 am

So you're leaving this evening of August
in the silence succeeding sunset
with the ocean spread open before us
and our skin superficially wet
from the splinters of sea that are splashing
on this sand which we briefly impressed.
In the twilight the first star is flashing,
is it sending out signs of distress?
And is the day drowning or waving?
Has the night come to smooth or to smother?
August evening, my mind misbehaving,
I guess it takes time to recover.
From out of the blue that we bathe in
surface thoughts on the corpse of another.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

TDF
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
Posts: 607
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:25 pm
Location: Londinium

Re: Surface Thoughts

Post by TDF » Thu May 08, 2008 5:26 pm

ray,

First thought... what? no punctuation? ;)

I really quite like this. I'm not totally taken by it, but I do really like it. The choice of language and the flow are what makes it interesting to me.
Whilst I do love some of the rolls here (and all of the images), I do think the sssss are a littel over done in the first half. There are some really nice phrases, but i think a touch to much ssssssss.
The lack of punctuation makes the roll and the read an interesting experience and disguises the rhyme nicely. Plus it adds a little ambiguity as to where pauses and focuses should come - which I really like. However, I couldn't help but feel a comma or two wouldn't kill it. But that's coming from me, so feel free to ignore it haha.

with the ocean spread open before us
and our skin superficially wet
- nice. ocean open rhyme rolls sweetly.

Has the night come to smooth or to smother? - I really like this line, but I felt it stuttered the flow a bit after the previous one. Keep it, but maybe tweak it's placement or the line before?

From out of the blue that we bathe in
surface thoughts on the corpse of another.
- leaves me wondering: another what? Several things come to mind. I like that ambiguity. Great ending I think.

Enjoyable poem, just think it needs a little bit of refinement.
Tom
meh and bah are wonderful words

Elphin
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2947
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:10 pm

Re: Surface Thoughts

Post by Elphin » Thu May 08, 2008 8:51 pm

this is a well crafted piece, ray. A sonnet?

Im not sure I entirely get the ending but thats Ok I may just need to spend more time on it.

Just to show different strokes for different folks, I like your use of sibilants they give a seaside effect.
This bit is a little jerky

And is the day drowning or waving?
Has the night come to smooth or to smother?


nice one

elphin

Dublin
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 5:22 pm

Re: Surface Thoughts

Post by Dublin » Thu May 08, 2008 9:20 pm

Like TDF I like the line with the to smooth or to smother. Does anyone know a name for this - is there a proper term for this stylistic device?! Anyway, it sounds very good.
Good in a different way is the second line: silence succeeding sunset. Nice alliteration and an original thought as well.
Thirdly, I appreciated the line with the drowning or waving. I should be very much surprised if that was not inspired by Stevie Smith, right? Yeah, but I like it when people incorporate ideas, images and thoughts from other poems; and I mean incorporate in an appropriate and proper manner, not just copying and imitating. Well done there!

Well, I individually liked these lines. As to the whole, I find it hard to express a clear opinion. I'm not sure I completely grasp the ending and some lines/thoughts seem a bit unconnected for me. The bit about 'misbehaving'-'recover' for example: I don't see the connection, to be honest. Yes, since there are a couple of these points, I don't really understand the meaning and I can't fully appreciate it. However, I did enjoy bits and pieces of it. I'm just no good at getting poems when they're too vague...

User avatar
wabbit
Productive Poster
Productive Poster
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:57 pm
Location: Surrey, UK

Re: Surface Thoughts

Post by wabbit » Fri May 09, 2008 6:12 pm

The words in this are brilliant, I like it. My only issue is below.

So you're leaving this evening of August
in the silence succeeding sunset
with the ocean spread open before us
and our skin superficially wet
from the splinters of sea that are splashing
on this sand which we briefly impressed.
In the twilight the first star is flashing,
is it sending out signs of distress?

For me the top section starts with a certain rhythm and then that rhythm changes below this point, for me it would work better if the rhythm kept up all the way through. But then again what do I know!

And is the day drowning or waving?
Has the night come to smooth or to smother?
August evening, my mind misbehaving,
I guess it takes time to recover.
From out of the blue that we bathe in
surface thoughts on the corpse of another.
Criticism - The art of judging with knowledge and propriety of the beauties and faults of a literary performance. Ha ..Well I'm definitely gonna fall short there....However rules is rules.

ray miller
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 6572
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:23 am

Re: Surface Thoughts

Post by ray miller » Sun May 11, 2008 2:04 am

Thanks for the comments. The poem is and must remain vague, the corpse has not yet been found and I'm not about to give any more clues....
Actually, it's not that opaque, the "theme" being the death of a close relationship and how such traumatic events colour our perceptions. The misbehaving mind reads more into natural occurences than is there.
I confess to being inept regarding punctuation. In defence I'd say that I am hearing the words being spoken rather than seeing them written. If I tell you I'm a big fan of John Cooper Clarke that probably explains it better.
Best Wishes, Ray
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

User avatar
twoleftfeet
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 6761
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 4:02 pm
Location: Standing by a short pier, looking for a long run-up

Re: Surface Thoughts

Post by twoleftfeet » Mon May 12, 2008 1:21 pm

Ray,

I can't find fault with this, except possibly the last line:
I realised that , with "another" you were implying another failed relationship, but grammatically I felt that that I
had to read it as a "body" i.e. the copse of another person or else tie it to the subject of a previous sentence ;
"another blue" didn't work so I settled for "another evening". Even so, it was a stretch..

For what it's worth, I would be tempted to say "the corpse of a love"

Great read
Geoff

Post Reply