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I Want You to Ask

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:59 am
by SteveR
I want you to ask

Sometime when the light is fading
sinking behind that dark blue expanse
when we wiggle sand between our toes
and hear the waves settle in for the night

I will take your hand and hold it
neither of us will need to say a word
of past hurts and focused lives
that created absences

we will sit quietly for a long time
and you will tip your head to my shoulder
gently squeeze my arm
intertwine our fingers

I will know the meaning
of your unspoken eloquence
I will know your love
and will smile

I will want you to ask me
what made me who I am
but I’d rather you ask
why I have loved you

Re: I Want You to Ask

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:32 pm
by Suzanne
Hello SteveR,

This has a very warm feel to it and there is a strong love vibe to it. I often write love poems and i rather enjoy the theme.

But on the poetry side of the affair, this need to be prunned.
A third can be removed for impact, i think.
You can do it better i am sure.

Sounds like you are a busy guy!


Re: I Want You to Ask

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:52 pm
by brianedwards
Hi Steve

I'm afraid your poem leaves me cold. It mines generic sentiments and unoriginal expressions. Plainly spoken gestures of love are all very well, but when offered with hackneyed phrasing they read like a hallmark card. Maybe that was the intent, but it doesn't read like the work of a serious experienced poet, more a slightly gifted wordsmith.
The poem's speaker comes across as a bit smug. Trust me, I know smug.

Just my thoughts.


Re: I Want You to Ask

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:03 pm
by bodkin

As Brian said, only more gently...

Waves settling in for the night is nice personification, but sand between toes is a huge cliché (clichés aren't _always_ bad, but you cannot just say them with the intent of their literal meaning, because everyone will think about the cliché not the meaning... you have to use them in some circumstance where the fact that they are a cliché is part of the meaning...)

S2 is too much telling rather than showing. You have text that the N has to be saying. Thus you have somebody speaking to us, rather than an image for us to absorb directly.

Trivially, if you:

"Your hand in mine,
we do not say a word:
past hurts and focused lives,
absences they made."

Now there is much less somebody speaking and far more just a scene described. It is still a pretty flat scene, but it is much more immediate. The trouble here is that holding hands and not speaking, are so commonplace that they can be interpreted in far too many ways, then the hurts, lives and absences are abstract : whose hurt, what sort of lives, what is absent -- without those kinds of details you are referring to whole categories of thing which can happen, so there cannot really be any emotional connection. It is really hard, but what you need is to find examples that, directly or indirectly, illustrate the general points by presenting concrete instances of them.

Skipping to the end, the problem for me is that these two questions: "what made me who I am" and "why have I loved you" are, I guess, hugely important to you. The problem is, they aren't to the reader. You need again to get into specifics. Why do these matter to you? Why does the second matter more than the first?

Hope this is useful,


Re: I Want You to Ask

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:46 am
by Mic
Steve, there is obviously a lot of loving feeling in this, but it needs something more inventive -with less predictible language, and a less predictable setting - to turn it into a poem.


Re: I Want You to Ask

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:39 pm
by cynwulf
I found your poem pleasant in its emotive aspect, but I join the consensus that the expression of it needs more oomph.
regards, c.

Re: I Want You to Ask

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 6:54 pm
by Arian
brianedwards wrote: It mines generic sentiments and unoriginal expressions.
Sorry Steve, but I can't help agreeing with Brian.

....hear the waves settle in for the night

is rather nice, though, I have to admit.


Re: I Want You to Ask

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:56 pm
by Moth
Basically I'm in agreement with the majority here, though it is admittedly much harder to write a love poem using wholly original sentiment and imagery than it is a more cynical piece - at least that's what I find. The first and last verses work for me, more so the first, while the remainder comes over as unnecessary and mushy due to the fact everyone has read similar things before, so perhaps by concentrating on one aspect of this - for instance the head on the shoulder or the hand - and developing this in the minutest of detail would make the poem work as intended.

Re: I Want You to Ask

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:50 pm
by SteveR
WOW! Thanks Suzanne, Brian, Ian, Mic, C, Peter, and Moth for taking the time to express your thoughts. I am extremely grateful. You have inspired me, and rightfully challenged me to do much better.

I am sorry for the slow response in getting back to this. I'm in the final stage of a Master's program at the university this summer and am finally getting back onto PG.

Re: I Want You to Ask

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:06 pm
by blackpanther
i read it and it felt empty and lost --- the emotion is there but it needs a kick up the backside to turn it into what it could be.

nice reading you Steve :)


Re: I Want You to Ask

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:02 am
by Suzanne
I look forward to an edit.


Re: I Want You to Ask

Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:34 pm
by SteveR
Donna and Suzanne,

Thank you for sharing. Large re-write is in the works!


Re: I Want You to Ask

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:03 pm
by JJWilliamson
Hi, Steve

I'll save a full crit' for your revision. In the meantime I'll say you
you have a good idea that could benefit from some originality.
It's difficult to be original all the time, I know, but it's worth having
a bash.



Re: I Want You to Ask

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:19 pm
by ablackfoot
the ending is very romantic. The experience of the poem's body should maybe be a bit more indirect. Maybe cut out half the physical description and if possible bring in the feelings of the beach at sunset in another way, or bring in elements of the relationship or world in a subtle way.

Its a good start. Please keep writing. :D

Re: I Want You to Ask

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 3:44 pm
by 1lankest
I have to agree with Brian, little in here that's new or fresh, though nicely written. The descriptions of the characters' actions are cliched and reduce the romance to a generality. How about making the actions more personalised? Is there something specific or idiosyncratic that the couple do to express their affection?

Potential here.