poetry critical

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Welcome to Poetry Critical, an online poetry workshop. To post your own poetry you'll need to create a user id by typing a name and password in the box above and hitting 'New User'. If you just want to critique or jump into the discussion, however, you can go ahead and get started!

Poetry Critical 2.0

Hey guys, Donald here.

In a few weeks, this site will be 9 years old. 9 years! And I still know some of the earliest submissions by heart.

But, boy. That’s like 102 in web-years. So it’s time for something new. I’m building that something now with my nights-and-weekend minutes (and plenty of coffee). Buy me a cup?

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Random Poem:

The Baker's Bounty--A Second Agony
HenryII

Fit the Ninth:  An Epileptic Epilogue
 1
 
 
“The Baker’s a brigand,
 2
a burglar, a brute!”
 3
the Brigadier-General announced.
 4
“I could say it three times
 5
or in Greek if you please,
 6
but I find those words hard to pronounce.”
 7
 
 
“He’ll proudly proclaim
 8
he’s forgotten his name
 9
but I tell you that’s only a ruse!
 10
He’s 'Wanted!' on banners
 11
as carcass or captive
 12
a fate that I'm fated to choose.”
 13
 
 
“There are forty-two boxes,
 14
or at least there once were,
 15
and his name is on each I recall.
 16
But how could a man
 17
whose forgotten, remember
 18
the name to be written at all?"
 19
 
 
“The contents good sir,
 20
as I’m sure you’ve surmised,
 21
had been meant not for him, but a fence;
 22
from artwork and relics
 23
to lowly cadavers
 24
that perished at someone's expense.”
 25
 
 
“The coats and the boots
 26
that he wore weren’t for warmth
 27
and by now have been traded for gold.
 28
And if left unattended—
 29
he would have surrendered—
 30
the bell that you presently hold.”
 31
 
 
"A remarkable claim,"
 32
the Bellman remarked,
 33
"but you've not said, what you've said thrice.
 34
You could say it twice more
 35
or just once and then once
 36
but either I'm sure would suffice."
 37
 
 
Without hesitation,
 38
the Brigadier-General
 39
twice uttered each word he had said.
 40
It would seem each word echoed
 41
in deft repetition
 42
or that he had stuttered instead.
 43
 
 
The Bellman replied--
 44
some tankards less dry--
 45
with words that he surely had slurred
 46
"that Baker's a fribble,
 47
a fraud and a faker--
 48
yet baker was always inferred."
 49
 
 
"I knelled at the wakes
 50
of my crew that's departed--
 51
the Boots and myself but remain;
 52
and my bell won't resound
 53
till the clapper is found
 54
so I'll clang at the Baker in vain."
 55
 
 
By maladroit measures
 56
a map manifested
 57
with nary a legend or chart--
 58
"the Isle of Snarks,
 59
indicated by 'X',
 60
is where I suggest that you start."
 61
 
 
Fit the Tenth:  The Formidable Crew
 62
 
 
The Brigadier-General,
 63
the first of the crew,
 64
had monocles--one for each eye
 65
and the source of his hobble
 66
would vary depending
 67
on whom he'd enchanted nearby.
 68
 
 
To curious ladies
 69
with playful intentions
 70
the source of his limp was a snark
 71
But to men without stature
 72
or militant standing
 73
his wound wouldn't warrant remark.
 74
 
 
His whiskers extended
 75
the width of his figure
 76
and further when wildly unkempt
 77
so he, like a cat
 78
without fear, could endeavor
 79
each entrance he wished to attempt.
 80
 
 
An aged Balloonist, oft sought,
 81
was commissioned
 82
to help commandeer during flights
 83
yet he had a fear that
 84
would prove inconducive
 85
for travel at mountainous heights.
 86
 
 
A ladder must dangle--
 87
a small stipulation--
 88
that grazes the landscape below
 89
so he on a rung
 90
not too high for his liking
 91
could pilot and travel in tow.
 92
 
 
With much opposition
 93
and shaky credentials
 94
the Barmaid was third to enlist
 95
Some say her attire
 96
ensured she was hired
 97
but 'that's not the case,' some insist.
 98
 
 
The Brigadier-General
 99
had gravely asserted:
 100
"the assumptions abounding are erred--
 101
her figure though pert
 102
and without imperfections
 103
would not leave my judgment impaired."
 104
 
 
She once fought a drove
 105
of undead with a tankard
 106
yet somehow avoided a spill
 107
they severed her arm--
 108
which was sewn to refasten--
 109
and then she proceeded to kill.
 110
 
 
"How an arm can be darned
 111
when barraged with undead
 112
and upholding the code of her craft--
 113
is a thought I'd contest
 114
if I weren't so impressed
 115
and I wanted my ship poorly-staffed."
 116
 
 
The Beadle agreed
 117
out of duty and goading
 118
to join, but gave warning ahead:
 119
"As a man of inaction,
 120
I'm seldom 'well done'
 121
but rather 'well thought' or 'well said.'
 122
 
 
His hair that remained
 123
held a secret quite poorly
 124
despite being long and just so
 125
any gust ran the risk
 126
of denoting its origin;
 127
exposing what none are to know.
 128
 
 
The Beekeeper wore white
 129
and abhorred imperfection
 130
which brought on grammatical rants
 131
he'd patented the 'hyphen'
 132
and touted its finding
 133
but most say he found it by chance.
 134
 
 
Through forced coexistence
 135
he'd built up resistance
 136
to toxins that most can't endure
 137
it only took years
 138
of perpetual stinging
 139
by bees that all died for their cure.
 140
 
 
In the skeps that he trundled
 141
he harbored his candles
 142
each lit by the spark of a snark.
 143
Besides a bee handler
 144
he's also a chandler
 145
so none shall be left in the dark.
 146
 
 
With a mind for baroque
 147
and not modern romantics
 148
the Bard and his mandore took board.
 149
He strummed the achievements
 150
of people forgotten--
 151
a fate that the crew can't afford.
 152
 
 
"Omit every blunder;
 153
embellish our exploits!"
 154
the Brigadier-General decreed
 155
"We'll not be remembered
 156
through ballads as failures,
 157
so alter the facts as you need."
 158
 
 
With their goals now aligned
 159
and their duties assigned
 160
the crew was equipped for the trip.
 161
All worries were noted
 162
and duly considered
 163
except for their lack of a ship.
 164
 
 
Fit the Eleventh:  The Frigid Frigate
 165
 
 
Near a tundra once wooded
 166
where borogroves idled
 167
in a lake that's now dormant with ice
 168
is an icicled mast
 169
on the grave of a frigate
 170
that somehow achieved sinking twice.
 171
 
 
"This iceburgesque vessel
 172
ought re-resurrect"
 173
the Brigadier-General had urged
 174
"I'll perch on the mast
 175
as the task is completed
 176
--you've only five sixths still submerged."
 177
 
 
"Now I sense your frustrations
 178
but such excavations
 179
if left to defrosting takes weeks;
 180
were it frost, I'd consider,
 181
but icy patinas
 182
require less passive techniques."
 183
 
 
With night now approaching
 184
the darkness encroached
 185
on a mission they mustn't postpone
 186
their skeps shed them light
 187
but were beacons that beckoned
 188
to the beings that were known as unknown.
 189
 
 
The unknown were wispy
 190
and spoke in third person
 191
through whispers and nods of the head;
 192
were their eyes not reflective
 193
they'd not be detected
 194
in the dimly-lit light that was shed.
 195
 
 
"I have seen them before,"
 196
said the Barmaid with fright,
 197
"they have watched from the end of my bed;
 198
though they prey on the dying
 199
they seek out the sleeping
 200
in hopes that they're dying instead."
 201
 
 
"Their nods are unnerving;
 202
their diet's disturbing
 203
and I whisper for fear that they'll hear.
 204
We must hasten our efforts,"
 205
the Beadle had pleaded,
 206
"I'm more weary than I might appear."
 207
 
 
"Hold your yawns until dawn"
 208
said the Brigadier-General
 209
as he climbed from the mast to the nest
 210
"We will finish with splinters,
 211
with frostbite and blisters,
 212
and we'll do so without any rest."
 213
 
 
The Bard played a dirge
 214
so to brighten their spirits
 215
while the Barmaid filled flagons with draft
 216
the crew was now ready
 217
for setting the standard
 218
for unsinking a twice-sunken craft.
 219
 
 
They chiseled in rhythm
 220
with picks that were fashioned
 221
from the bandersnatch bones that they'd honed
 222
and the carcass they plundered
 223
had willfully perished
 224
since their poaching was hardly condoned.
 225
 
 
The Balloonist could sense
 226
As the air became dense
 227
That a torrent of flurries was due;
 228
Its smell is distinctive,
 229
His joints are instinctive
 230
And to date his predictions proved true.
 231
 
 
The snow brought a chill
 232
Like a solemn expression
 233
And gradually buried their site.
 234
Had an artist been ordered
 235
To paint this occassion,
 236
The canvas would be splatters of white.
 237
 
 
Their digits were frigid
 238
and not in agreement
 239
with the work that their will had intended
 240
most thought the cause 'folly'
 241
and worked without passion
 242
while the others just merely pretended.
 243
 
 
The Brigadier-General
 244
addressed their resentments
 245
with a lecture he'd deftly prepared
 246
it emphasized interest
 247
in militant vessels
 248
and the risks of expenses not spared.
 249
 
 
He had spoken at length
 250
with an unrivaled fervor
 251
unaware that he hadn't been heard;
 252
it would have brought about tears
 253
and a standing ovation
 254
had the wind not obscured every word.
 255
 
 
If their time were determined
 256
by shadowy methods
 257
they had finished at the time they'd begun;
 258
it took less than a night,
 259
that's the best they could reason,
 260
since their sundial relied on the sun.
 261
 
 
"Our mission now hinges
 262
on faithful compliance--
 263
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"Ignore if you must,
 264
or acknowledge and trust
 265
but the later is which I prefer
 266
I discourage discretion
 267
and favor compliance
 268
a matter I'm sure you'll concur."
 269
 
 
not be rewarded
 270
This mission now hinges
 271
on faithful compliance
 272
 
 
The Beekeeper and Bard
 273
had salvaged some timbers
 274
from the bathing machines at the shore
 275
they used them as levers
 276
and lifted the frigate
 277
so the rest of the crew could explore.
 278
 
 
His accent was heavy
 279
his words were light
 280
and he seldom had something to say
 281
so without conversation
 282
or brief explanations
 283
the Balloonist had wandered away.
 284
 
 
The bees that were stowed
 285
used the candles as stoves
 286
and huddled in swarms to keep warm
 287
their skeps were then placed
 288
and strategically spaced
 289
to help thaw the ice through the storm.
 290
 
 
To showcase his talent
 291
with chisel and mallet
 292
the Bard carved a bust in the prow
 293
but the feminine torso
 294
had decidedly more so
 295
than nature would often endow.
 296
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"There are cracks in the hull
 297
 
 
on the starboard and port,"
 298
 
 
the Beadle was quick to report
 299
 
 
"were the fault at the helm
 300
 
 
or the shipwright's wrongdoing
 301
 
 
this outcome could warrant a tort."
 302
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"Their whiskers aren't whiskers
 303
but fishermen wires
 304
forever ensnared in their lips
 305
and their feathers are fletching
 306
from arrows once lobbied
 307
by industrious, snark-hunting ships."
 308
 
 
(to be continued...)
 309

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