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April 8, 2011
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I was born a thumbtack, and God was an
Office worker. He found me in his pocket,
Lesser than his gilded lint, and I was keen
To prick his leg in transit.

                          Even gods can bleed.

I became a splinter, a vagrant sentry catching
Grasshoppers in place of a school bus. Home and
Hands covered in bug spit taught me more than any
Teacher ever would.

                          There's always one exception.

I met a poet in reflection, and he taught me how
Important hot asphalt is to a pair of naked feet.
The heat waves paint a picture, and I learned
To take off my shoes.

                          What trickles outward forms the road.
An exploration of the evolving role models in my life.

I have no special requests for a critique as this was my first serious poem written last year. In my mind it's "finished". I'm mostly interested in opinions on what makes it strong, what makes it weak, and what I could do to better my writing in future poems.
:iconliliwrites:
Hi Larry :)

It is good to see you using dA! :) This is a critique for ^Beccalicious's 12 Days of Critmas! :la: Since you specified in your artist's comments, I will stick to what I consider the strengths and weaknesses of the piece. Remember that critique is subjective and you should use/discard these comments as you see fit. Also, please disregard the star rating. I give all lit the same mid-grade as the stars are wholly inadequate for literature critiques.

:bulletpurple: = a strength
:bulletblue: = a weakness

Disclaimers done! Let's dig in. :)

:bulletpurple: I really enjoyed the imagery in this poem. Starting off with God's pocket was excellent, as it recalls the theme of "made in God's image" in a very literal, modern day setting. "Lesser than his gilded lint" was powerful, and I suspect that any person - with or without faith - could relate to such a feeling.
:bulletblue: "I became" in the second stanza feels a little weak to me. How did you transform from a thumbtack to a sentry? And why are you catching grasshoppers instead of school buses? Bug spit is a great image, one that us PNW folks can relate to only to well, but it lacks build up for those not familiar with our region, or regions like it. And I fail to understand how it corresponds with teachers. This entire stanza feels very personal. It needs some explanation for those not residing in your skull. :)
:bulletpurple: I really do love the idea of walking bare-footed on a hot road, having done it a time or two myself. It particularly brings to mind childhood, which meshes will with "What trickles outward..."
:bulletblue: I think "learned" is a weak verb in that stanza though. "I took my shoes off" works well enough on its own.
:bulletblue: This is a technical gripe. A lot of your lines are broken on words like "and", "an", "how", etc - basically words that are not important to the image. Ending a line on these words brings attention to them, and thus takes attention away from the words that are important to your image. For instance:

I was born a thumbtack, and God was an

That line puts the emphasis on an rather than God. The stanza would be better broken up thus:

I was born a thumbtack, and God
was an office worker. He found me in his pocket,
lesser than his gilded lint, and I was keen
to prick his leg in transit.


In free verse, it is less important to worry about line length and more important to think of the impact of your end-words. Here is a good article that discusses this aspect of poetry: [link]

Hopefully some of these comments are helpful! :) Good luck with revisions and future writings.

:heart: Lili
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:icontheemptytrunk:
TheEmptyTrunk Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2011   Writer
Brilliant
shit loads of poise and emotion
a well framed exposition
if I must say
and I must
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