poetry critical

online poetry workshop

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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?

Development updates from Twitter:

Follow @poetrycritical for more!

Random Poem:

Ex Nihilo Ecclesiastes or The Truth Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Let us go then, you and I,
Into the story of an equation;
Caught like a patient etherized between
One and infinity--
Lost in chaos theories
And holy trinitys.
Let us go into
The musty ancient passages of
Lost eternal places;
Understanding nothing as we
Slip between the spaces.
Yes, let us go down among them
And beg the question buried deep
Before surrender's sad retreat.
Oh, do not say "Do tell; What is it?";
Seek these grails as we revisit.
In mainframes seraphs come and go
Igniting spiritual vertigo.
The yellow ethereal fog that rubs its visage into the deep
The yellow pillar that guides us into the sea
Spoke into eternity--
Licked its tongue into the corners of modern understanding.
Lingered amongst control groups.
Let fall a plague of cancer amongst the survivors.
Slipped out of our paradigm box,
And seeing that all were distilled into confusion,
Remained a mystery and fell asleep.
And while it sleeps there will be time
For the sulphurous smoke to penetrate our lungs,
Pressing its back into the foundation of our homes;
There will be time. There will be time
To prepare a foolish password for the queries of conceit;
There will be time to sow and a time to reap,
And time for the simulacra and simulations
That cling onto the edges of reality as we dream;
Time for colors, symbols, paths,
And time yet for one million revelations
With ten thousand aberrations and false negations
Before the taking of unholy wrath.
In temples seraphs come and go
Igniting spiritual vertigo.
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I care?" and, "Do I care?"
Time to contrast and compare,
With a maddening splinter of despair--
(They will say: "How his hope has shrunk so small!")
Mourning by rote, salvation mounted firmly to the wall,
My perceptions sickly modest, inserted after Eden's fall--
(They will say:  "How his faith has gotten small!")
Do I care
And continue to converse?
In a sentence there is substance
For diversions and excursions which a question will reverse.
For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the theories, posits, and the proofs,
I have built a tower from these truths;
I have heard its crumbling and a crashing fall
Beneath the suppositions of my youth.
     So how should I presume?
And I have known the doors already, known them all--
The doors that pin you in an undecided state,
And when I am indecisive, faltering in this sin,
When I am skinned and hideous in a crowded hall,
Then how should I begin
To beat my breast, to dramatize the pettiness of fate?
      And how should I presume?
And I have known the scars already, known them all--
Scars that are innocent, wicked, just,
[But in a mirror, drowned by ego's lust!]
Is it the fear of wound's judgment
That presses men to false assent?
Scars wrapped inside a fable, or warped by wrinkle's crawl.
     And should I then presume?
     And how should I begin?
                 . . . . . . .
Shall I say, I have held the robes of Pharisees
And watched the blood that drains away a life
Of holy men in torn robes, pleading with the fatherless and the widows?. . .
Would that I were the abandoned vessel,
Settled in the dust of city streets.
                  . . . . . . .
  And the temporal intensity concedes,
Sullen in soft surrender;
Brittle, dessicated, ashen as its embers
Scattered by winds, nonchalantly.
Should I, after talks of love and hope and faith
Dismiss, resent those questions we cannot escape?
Though long we have sown, though long we have toiled,
Though we tow the rocks to turn the soil
Our labor is in vain-- for we are loathe
To taste the flavor of our lives;
A root's purpose does not satisfy
As fruit, once chosen, now abstained.
But would it have been worth it in the end
After causal wine and casual luxury
Among the rinds of consumed conformity
Would it have been worth while
To have strolled through our own garden with a smile,
To have picked a portion of our fruit,
To hold it high for all to see,
To say "I am the chief of sinners,
And this must cease;  Yes, I must decrease."
If one, moving with God's speed
     Should say "That is not it at all,
     That is not what was meant at all."
Or would it have been worth it in the end
Would it have been worth while
After the parlors, and the speeches and the latent treachery
After the fireworks, after the silouhettes, after the

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