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The Painter (Narrative Poetry Workshop)

It was a kind of family secret,
the paintings without names
Her modesty much stronger than her ego

Explosions of hues and brightness and joy
Capturing light as the mother of reflections on water,
and the spaces between shadows and curves
that spoke through the language of her brushes

It was how she talked to our hearts
when words, at times,
seemed the more difficult path for love

She stopped painting years before she left us,
but she wanted me to have the painting
of the flowers in the vase
A bouquet I gave her long ago for Mother’s Day

It hangs now in our bedroom,
near an eastward facing window,
where her gift assures me
as I turn out the light on another day
some of her will still be here
when I wake tomorrow

Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content

Comments

could I suggest that you use a descriptive word in your title, between the words "The" and "Painter". for example: "The Soul Painter". I'm not suggesting that you use my example, but find your own word. this would make your piece of poetry more intriguing. the body of the poem is ripe with information and flows smoothly. the last verse concludes it with much feeling. good work!

always, Cat

"The Book of Styx" can be ordered and purchased on line at:
http://eddystyx.mythramuse.com/

Thanks for your comments CW! I'll give the title some thought, but kind of attached to the brevity of it, much like the poem itself. My titles tend to be a bit pragmatic, or used as a juxtaposition to the real message of the poem, if that makes sense.

Best

Michael Anthony

author comment

I enjoyed this as is but think the very beginning might be set up better to enhance the narrative nature....Something like :
As I lay near sleep at night
In the divide between wake and sleep
my thoughts drift to
a kind of family secret
those paintings without names

Perhaps you think this or something similar might be a better bait ?

Thanks Scrib! Food for thought in regard to the first stanza. Alternative edits in process...

Cheers

Michael Anthony

author comment

Interesting story of love and loss and a priceless reminder.
I was wondering if it would be stronger if you changed the stanzas round a little and cut a few extraneous words.
Just a suggestion feel free to ignore.
This has deep love and enough left to the readers imagination to make it an interesting read.
Sam

The Painter (Narrative Poetry Workshop)
The Painter (Narrative Poetry Workshop)
Submitted by Michael Anthony on Sat, 2021-05-01 15:22

Explosions of hues, brightness and joy
capture light as the mother of reflections on water,
the spaces between shadows and curves
that spoke through the language of her brushes

It was how she talked to our hearts
when words,
seemed the more difficult path for love

It was a kind of family secret,
the paintings without names
her modesty much stronger than her ego

She stopped painting years before she left us,
but she wanted me to have the painting.
The flowers in the vase
a bouquet I gave her for a Mother’s Day

It hangs now in our bedroom,
near an eastward facing window,
where her gift assures me
when I turn out the light on another day

That some of her will still be here
when I wake tomorrow

Hi Sam! I like the idea of looking at this piece with different arrangements of the stanzas - good stuff. I'll be editing an alternative version for my poetry journal - thank you!

Not crazy about the last stanza from your example with only 2 lines though, so I'll have to work on that.

Best

Michael Anthony

author comment

gave you super advice, with a beginning like that, your poem will be much more impactful.

P.S I love poem about artists.

I really like “the turn” towards the end. Its sometimes hard to get that in.

I’sorta expect a narrative piece to much longer, 10-12 pages, however. That’s just me. I think of “narrative” as being synonymous with “epic”. Which is really the longer, yes?

Nice work!

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Raywhitakerblog.wordpress.com
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Thank you Ray! Appreciate your time and comments. I'm going to agree to disagree with you about the length of a narrative poem, as I am not aware of specific guidelines in terms of length for this form. I've seen many that would qualify as narrative poetry that are even shorter than mine. Let's go with a difference in styles and preferences, LOL!

I'll be digging into your arguably "Epic" workshop tale soon. Looked VERY interesting when I glanced at it over the weekend, but I want to take more time to really absorb your poetic tale.

Cheers

Michael Anthony

author comment

... filled with warmth and fond memories.

I too feel narratives are usually longer however I find this one is heartfelt and says what you wanted to say.

Sharonlee Imageweaver

Thanks Sharonlee! I agree that it is common for narrative poems to be longer, but there are many examples of shorter poems that fit the criteria. I have been very influenced by haiku and other shorter poetry forms and all that they can convey with so few words, so I typically strive to achieve this kind of brevity in many of my poems (for better or worse, LOL!).

Here's a humorous example of a short poem that checks all the typical boxes for a narrative poem by Shel Silverstein. It has a narrator, tells a story, includes a beginning, middle, and end, and has a resolution:

Snowball

I made myself a snowball
As perfect as could be.
I thought I'd keep it as a pet
And let it sleep with me.
I made it some pajamas
And a pillow for its head.
Then last night it ran away,
But first it wet the bed.

Michael Anthony

author comment

I have always admired Silverstein, he has a clever way with words!

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