Friday, March 12, 2010


A sting
of rain on feet,
the air is tart with mist
the skin repels. Baptizing peace?
Not yet.


  1. "Baptizing" seems out of place, because you've slowed down the poem by keeping it to simple but powerful one-syllable words (except "repels") and the word "baptizing" has neither the sound nor the power to successfully make the break into longer words. Especially when you end it so soon thereafter. It just feels wrong, somehow.

    And of course the fact that I've given you constructive criticism on exactly one word out of an entire poem should indicate to you how good the rest of it is. But I know that feeling you have right now--your heart dipped a little bit into your stomach, your body tingled, you smiled a little bit to yourself and thought, "This person, this person doesn't know how this poem sounds to me," because that's just how good writers react to this sort of thing. The five comments you'll get on this that praise it unconditionally mean nothing now, because of this little thorn--what to put in place of "baptizing"? And I'm sorry about that.

    I mean, you gave me an A in your class, the least I could do is pretend that you're perfect, right? Sheesh.


    P.S. How far along the comment did you get until you skipped to the end to see who wrote it? I know your eyes caught the shape of the words on the page and you knew someone signed it. I'm guessing you got to the end of the first paragraph, and if you got further, it was only until "This person."

    P.P.S. Someday I will start a blog, and if you do not leave constructive criticism, I shall be very put out.

  2. Also enjambment, because (1) you used it and (2) any day I get to say the word "enjambment" is a good day.

    One of a Variety of Valedictions,

  3. I knew it was Pat--would have known even if there was no signature. A poem is like live bait to a trout for you.

    It's the change in meter--the switch from iamb to the awkward stress at the beginning of baptizing. But then again... maybe I meant it to be odd and awkward. That's how I feel right now. You'll never know. :)

    And darn you for knowing your comment would haunt me.

    I'd love to discuss poems any time. No worries.