poetry critical

online poetry workshop



Thing in the Shed
opal

He ate and slept and dreamed
 1
in our shed. We made him up
 2
a coalsack bed. Kept him fed
 3
and watered and in deep night,
 4
we visited. He told us tales of life
 5
lived on the edge, perched on a ledge.
 6
We listened. Didn't dare move much
 7
or interrupt his flow. His eyes
 8
would glow, then tale told,
 9
he'd straighten up and go outside
 10
to walk, to stalk, to prowl.
 11
We'd hear him howl. Next day.
 12
he'd sleep it off and we'd creep in
 13
the door with bread and milk.
 14
There would always be blood around
 15
his nails and raw meat on the floor.
 16

18 Apr 08

Rated 8.7 (8.4) by 8 users.
Active (8): 7, 8, 10, 10
Inactive (8): 1, 6, 6, 6, 7, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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Comments:

poor larry
 — unknown

ho ho
 — opal

thing under the bed.
 — raskolniikov

I like this very much
 — nisetru

Exactly raskol, in the shed, in the head, under the bed.

and nisetru - thanks for liking.
 — opal

We make our monsters under the bed,
and make our fears inside our head --
when we stop all this make believe,
we are on compassionate leave --

you write a cutting tale opal -- the last two lines a really scary and what about larry I drank the milk Lark
 — AlchemiA

this what i do without any effort.

but i wouldnt publicize it


how ophul
 — unknown

opulent
 — unknown

Alchemia - larry was on holiday at the time of the poetic events so missed all the fun.

I wanted to make a good ending.
 — opal

Good to see a fan of Max Ophuls and good to see how well you think you could write without making any effort. Good writers have the gift of making hard things look easy. Nice to hear you think we share it.
 — opal

opulent unknown - opulence can be good provided many experience it.
 — opal

good,but 'didnt dare move much or interrupt his flow' hardly fits in.it sounds unnatural n breaking e flow.
 — unknown

Line 7 and 8 could possibly be changed to something along the lines of "didn't dare distract him" or "didn't dare bring his attention to us".
 — advisingaway

sounds like a gargoyle. nice story.
 — themolly

the way you composed this is most awesome, i can't say that any better.

nice job. way to really rhyme us up, it has some nice humor in it too, as well as a poem that lets you have your own assertions.
 — listen

fantastically written poem.
chilling child-fears come to life again.

great job.
=-)
 — jenakajoffer

I enjoyed reading this very much. It reminded me of some past house guests. The use of language and interior rhyme is great.

l1 - choices... you include "dreamed". Sets the tone.
l2 - the play between line and sentence, very nice.
l3 - "coalsack"... evocative. This line really establishes a rhythm for the rest of the poem.
l4 - word choice... "deep". is there a better adjective? Again there is the wordplay between line and sentence creating tension.
l5 - the second act commences. varies the rhythm 10 syllables
l6 - unlike the rest of the poem, the rhyme here feels strained to me. I see you working here. still, i like the word combination lived-edge-ledge. I'm thinking of the word combination lived-edge-privileged.
l7 - "we listened" calls back to we visited. alliterative ddmm.
l8 - flow, glow, told, go. nice interior rhymes.
l9 - "would glow. Then, tale told," perhaps?
l10-l11 - action... movement
l12 Perhaps "Next day," ?
l13-14 Sleep it off. a night of carousing. bread and milk is a good image showing plainness or perhaps ordinariness?
l15-16 Raw meat contrast to milk and bread. Nice ending and a strong image.

I think this is very close to a very good poem. There are just a few places where it could use some polishing. It kind of starts in the beginning. I think you should consider starting in the middle somewhere perhaps with the conversation in line five and move the first four lines (ish) to the middle section. That way you start and end with action.

Thank you for posting this poem and giving me the opportunity to read and comment.
 — unknown

Thanks to all who've commented and read,

especially the unknown commentator at the end for taking such a lot of time and trouble - this was written quite quickly and some parts are a little unrefined so I was so pleased with your crit. I'll respond more fully later,
 — opal

If I read this as the thing under my bed, I can definitely relate.  I don't dangle over edges even now!
 — Isabelle5

Kind of creepy--in a good way.
 — PaulS

Looks like prose, sounds like poetry. Good job.
 — radiogirl

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