Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Critiques and Commentaries

"Though St. John the Evangelist saw many strange monsters in his vision, he saw no creature so wild as one of his own commentators."--G.K. Chesterton

Hornets buzz in my blacked-out brain:
panicked, shrill, and harpy-sweet.
Hands clamp shoulders, press into stillness,
the motionless frenzy of deer before dogs
devour their entrails. 

I snatch bewildered maple seeds
 name them, squeeze my fists
 too tightly: the webbing tears. 

Two syllables as a question:
my name 

with the rising, falling he uses used.
I almost had his hand. 


A ton of feathers, 
too heavy, light,
blown apart in the breeze. 

Warm, clinging fingers wrap my wrist
,brushing the base of my thumb, afraid to hold
tighter lest I break and bruise.  My name—soft, like a prayer,
like he said it. Oh. Her. Pale, skittish, empty-eyed.
My chest tightens, accused by her resemblance. 

It’s no kindness, her comfort 
a black-edged telegram: cause of death
 accidental. Grant me gnawing guilt,
feast it with fire, anything but emptiness

and shared sorrow: stale snacks in
some psychoanalyst’s office.  

One of my classes this semester is Writing Capstone. It's meant to be the final class for writing and writing/literature majors, in which all your previous classes and work are drawn upon to produce the ultimate expression of your writing skill. So, no pressure there.  Because there are only five of us in this class, we all read and critique everyone else's work.  The above poem was my first piece written for this class.
What do you think it's about?
  1. A romantic poem
  2. A mental breakdown
  3. A friend's death
  4. I'm not sure
The "correct" answer, if one still believes that authorial intention is valid, is number three, a friend's death. Actually, it was mostly, if not entirely, based on the reaction of Eleven to the Ponds' departure in "Angels Take Manhattan" and John's response to Sherlock's fall in Reichenbach. Mostly the former, but some elements of the latter as well. The "she" in the last two verses is River, of course. I have complicated narrative headcanons for my poems, which are being removed during editing, but I just thought I'd share this. It was actually hilarious to me when we started critics, because all of the incorrect responses mentioned above were actual comments given by my peers. 

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