poetry critical

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Paris Witchcraft
wordwabbit

Join me in Paris next Monday at nine
 1
After dinner we’ll dance in the fountain
 2
Don’t waste the water—there’s plenty of wine.
 3
 
 
I hope you know French—I can’t read a line
 4
Save me from ordering something not done
 5
Join me in Paris next Monday at nine.
 6
 
 
No reservations? I have some. Share mine.
 7
Sergei will be with me sipping his rum
 8
Don’t waste the water—there’s plenty of wine.
 9
 
 
Your stern demeanor sends chills down my spine
 10
Two ghosts for dinner are better than one
 11
Join me in Paris next Monday at nine.
 12
 
 
No matter—I’m thrilled you followed the signs
 13
Let’s save some cake to eat in the fountain
 14
Don’t waste the water—there’s plenty of wine.
 15
 
 
Ghosts don’t eat cake, but the fountain is fine?
 16
Avoiding dessert will save us a ton
 17
Join me in Paris next Monday at nine
 18
Let’s go for a swim—in vodka and rum.
 19

Thanks for the comments! And for catching my spelling error.

4 Jul 13

Rated 9.7 (9.4) by 3 users.
Active (3): 10, 10, 10
Inactive (8): 6, 6, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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Comments:

Dessert, not desert!! Fix that immediately!!! This is stupendous!  Except for that word, you do not have permission to change a thing!
 — Isabelle5

Absolutely excellent read and rhyming scheme. None of it is overdone.
I like to rhyme like this as well, a loose fugue and bending the rules of plodding strictly metered couplet driven poetry.

You enjoyed writing this, and I certainly enjoyed reading it. The only thing that seems to break the flow is the ? at the end of line 16. Perhaps a flat statement rather than a question would keep to the form of how things are being presented in this poem.

..and yes, dessert, not desert ;)
 — froggie

"For those nations, which you will dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so."
Deuteronomy 18:14
 — unknown

^ a worthless quote
 — unknown

chillingly tasty.
 — unknown

I was in Paris last week and I understand the language barrier highlighted
 — Rossant

the best thing about writing a villanelle is that there is a very simple formula

like adding 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon of salt

the best villanelles ever written screw around with the repeated lines so that they aren't exactly the same line every time they are repeated

this is okay, as an exercise, but i don't find it to be very good poetry at all
 — kong

^ your opinion of what is good poetry is a trolls opinion, kong, and consequently worthless.
 — unknown

at least i read the poem and gave my opinion. worthless though it may be, it pertained to the actual poem.

unlike your comment. which is even more worthless, because it's got nothing to do with the poem at all.

how rude.
 — kong

Looks to me like kong has a troll.  A moderator troll disguised as unknown, no doubt.

Pleasant poem, I am not as familiar with the style, having never wrote one myself, but it's not that difficult to grasp really. What's difficult is making each line interesting...so I kind of agree with kong there. I did tritinas before, to ease into a sestina, and my lines were rather boring. :(

I liked Paris. I couldnt understand much though.  I loved the line about ghosts not eating cake.that was alright man.
 — jenakajoffer

Actually, it's probably not a moderator, come to think of it. It's someone who wishes he-she was offered a position as mod, but was refused because the team all knew what a fucking mental case he-she was. And obviously still is.

I did find Sergei a little strange in Paris, I mean, Sergei is Russian and he drinks vodka for god sakes. What are you doing in Paris drinking rum anyway? Such blasphemy!
 — jenakajoffer

Bump
 — jenakajoffer

all trolls get trolled. especially when they fuck up and forget to go anonymous.
 — unknown

Hey Hey Nice job WordWabbit I'll see you in Paris someday, on my next vacation! :)
 — vida

You guys crack me up. Thanks for all the attention. I think this poem is more of a riddle than a poem, and every word meant something, even my misspelling.

Everyone's feedback is appreciated. Villanelles are definitely brain teasers and great for stress relief.

Vida---totally see you in Paris or Nice, whichever. You'll probably get there first. :)
 — wordwabbit

A brave effort with the villanelle form.

Unfortunately, the strictures of writing in this way have somewhat confined the piece to relying too heavily on abstraction and the personal inference of the reader. Lines that stuck out, to me, as being somewhat problematic:

Save me from ordering something not done

--'Save me from' sounds a little too conversational.
--'... ordering...' stands out as asking too much of the reader, and demanding too little of the writing. The poem does not actually mention specifically a menu, or even any kind of eating establishment at all, it merely suggested that an activity be undertaken 'After dinner'.
--'something not done' is a little bit of an oddity. Even were the poem to rely largely on colloquialisms, I don't think this type of wording would find itself into a culinary discussion. Particularly odd that there would be some question as to the doneness of a dish 'in Paris', renowned worldwide as the city is for its outstanding cuisine. Also odd, that the inability to properly order from a menu due to a language barrier issue would lead to there even being an item on the menu that would be 'not done'. As though knowing how to read French would allow a person the opportunity to purposely order 'something not done'.

No reservations? I have some. Share mine.

--Why would the subject require reservations, if being asked join the speaker in Paris? It would be assumed that it would be up to the host (the inviter, if you will) to provide the appropriate accommodations. Now, if the poem is using 'reservations' as meaning 'to have misgivings or aversion to', then it could be argued that the line could make sense, but I really think that's a stretch.

Two ghosts for dinner are better than one

-- This threw me right out of the poem, as there was nothing to lead me to be prepared for 'ghosts', previously in the piece. Perhaps witchcraft has something to do with ghosts? I really have no idea. But it is up to the poem to make it clear, if that is indeed the case. Also, to simply write "two are better" is shrugging off the responsibility of the writing to communicate what it wishes to say. If indeed "two are better", then it behooves the poem to show how, or why this is true.

No matter-I'm thrilled you followed the signs

--'No matter' is misused here, as usually this phrase would follow a disappointment of somekind, being used to diminish the import or impact of such disappointment. No such reference seems to be present, to me.
--'... you followed the signs' Again, the poem is leaving far too much information out, and putting all the onus on the reader. What signs? The poem starts with an invitation to join the speaker, why would it be necessary to follow any signs? If this is another allusion to witchcraft or somesuch, then that is fine, but it would render the piece very esoteric, inaccessible.

There are other problems with the piece, along the same lines as I've pointed out, but I believe the point is illustrtated sufficiently.

On the positive side, I believe the setting of the piece is a worthy one, if not fully realized. There are so many facets to Paris that could be explored, but none were mentioned at all. Perhaps mentioning the name of an actual fountain in Paris would be helpful, or a famous Parisian wine, or vintner would help. As it stands, Paris could easily be changed to Montreal, and the poem be unaffected by it.

Good rhythm, and decent metric.

I would like to score the poem highly, for the effort a villanelle requires, but it is just too riddled with issues.
 — jArE_hAwK

Thank you jArE_hAwK for your very thoughtful analysis.

It was very interesting to see what you got from the poem and to see how much of the riddle is accessible. It appears that quite a bit is. To understand the ghost bit, you would have to know who Sergei is and realize that he is a ghost.

So you're right; it's not a good poem for public consumption, because who would get who Sergei is or that he drinks rum and not vodka. You would assume vodka for a Russian name, but Sergei is known for liking rum (in select audiences; not American readers and even so, it's a big stretch.)

The reservations bit was meant to be read both ways.

I was assuming, probably erroneously, that some Parisian cuisine is served raw and I would like to avoid that.

The stern demeanor is what doesn't matter---but I agree it's too far away from that line to make sense.

The conversational tone was intentional, but I agree not poetic or high art.

So the poem is what it is.

Thank you for your feedback. It's nice to see how someone else interpreted it.
 — wordwabbit

very good poem
 — rivergood

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