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The Silent Witness (Exploration WS free verse)

Past times once,
the table held
the remembered essence of
family laughter and sharing
meals made with a mother's love.

While she was alive,
the table was like a quilt,
keeping the monsters at bay,
forging a treaty against destruction.

But without her to tuck the corners,
to smooth the wrinkles,
to kiss the forehead gently
and wipe away the tears,
it became a blackboard;
detailing fault, listing blame,
and seeping them with the misery
of all the lost seconds.

The father, trapped in grief,
his mind addled by liquor
The children, rarely at home,
seeking solace
from friends and relatives.

The old dining table lay
forgotten,
a silent witness
to a family's ruin.

One night,
a quarrel between
the father and his only son,
bittter words leads to
the flash of a steel,
spilled the blood of the elder.

Pricked by his conscience,
the young man called for help
but it came too late
and tears won't erase his guilt.

Today
the table is a reminder
of death and bloodstains
that can never be
cleansed

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
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 was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Editing stage: 

Comments

But, just imo I stress, rather too narrative, not enough poesy (as Wes would say, lol)
I feel it is too bulky
Can I re-write it just a little, to show you what I mean?

For example 'good memories' - what good memories? Good memories is prose - turn it to poetry....
Past times once
the table held
the remembered essence of
family laughter and sharing
meals made with a mother's love.

Then 'she died' and everyone drifted apart.... again need poesy...
But Azriel took her, and
lost
they drifted into that empty space
that now resided within each heart
each apart from the other

Do you see how I've The tried to make it less direct speech and more descriptive?

In the next stanza I would suggest you try to describe one lost to alcohol, rather than just say he took up drink...

Then
The old table lay forgotten,
a silent witness to a family's ruin.
- good

But then again - describe the fight a tad - you dont need to give a fist by knife version - just a little more poetic
Example
a quarrel
words to anger
the flash of steel
rage spills blood of blood

And so on....

hope this helps....
But I re-iterate this is my opinion only - free verse is definitely not my forte

A great effort on a mundane subject.... well done
Love judy
xxx

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

I really struggled with this, I tell ya. Hard to write on a non- living thing but I need to be realistic. Can't improve if you won't challenge yourself. I mean I never once think I'll write a sonnet before and yet I have done it here. Some of my best poems' idea came from songs (eg My Ascension ,idea from
" Ash Like Snow" Gundam Seed song) but table????? I bit my fingernail and winced... Can't find one on table. (sniff)
Almost throw in the towel but I stopped myself. Our mentor says be pro and pros don't quit. So no quittiing. I sucked it up and tried but as you can see, I'm still a student in the art.
I won't edit immediately but I'll wait for a few more feedbacks just in case they have some suggestions as well. That way I can picked the best for this one. Thanks for your suggestios. Really appreciate it.

Alid

author comment

I can not add to it, only agree.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

a touching story behind a very ordinary subject like the chair. One can't think it might hold such moving memories, but it really does.
I thought though you can make some culling for some lines. I see Judy has already given you some good suggestions if you can use them.
I always look for the good brevity when it comes to the free verse, if that makes any sense.
It is still a good read nevertheless.

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

like I've told Judy, it is a struggle. I know its not good yet and I'm giving it few more hours before I do the edits. Thanks for the visit and comments.

Alid

author comment

I believe this is a good start but, aside from a sad story, I don't see any reason to ever return to this piece.

I'd like there to be some sort of resolution aside from depression. If depression is the resolution, there should be a choice, a failure, something to indicate the people are more than just cutouts filling a role.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

let me think about it after I have some rest.

Alid

author comment

Still having problems with verb tenses. S-2, L-2 should be was snuffed out. Also, you might try full punctuation which would reinforce the pauses which I think you want but which are barely perceptible as is. I think the first stanza is a good introduction but the poem would benefit from a bit more personalization which would let the reader identify a bit better.........stan

can you offer suggestions on how to make it more personalization for the reader? I don't know how to do it.

Alid

author comment

is very limited in being able to "connect " with a reader by itself. It's the things which people have done to, with or on said object which gives it interest. You say somebody died in its presence but who? Some stranger or some loved one? Treat the table as if it's a prop in a play, it's there but the real story is the surrounding actors. A bit more imagery would also help. There are all kinds of tables : dining, work, hall, drop leaf,coffee, end tables..... And even then there are styles from primitive to ornate; new and old. Describe the table and identify the characters in the "play" which occurs around it and you'll go a long way in improving this........stan

How can I make the poem more personalize and yet not too narrative and bulky at the same time?

Alid

author comment

Taking the stanza:

"But when her life
was snuffed out,
they drifted into an empty space
that now resided within their hearts
torn apart from each other"

I am offering the following as an expansion, hopefully making the subject more personal, more connected, and giving a reason for the destruction and depression to follow.

While she was alive,
the table was like a quilt,
keeping the monsters at bay,
forging a treaty against destruction.

But without her to tuck the corners,
to smooth the wrinkles,
to kiss the forehead gently and wipe away the tears,
it became a blackboard;
detailing fault, listing blame,
and seeping them with the misery
of all the lost seconds.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

I like how you've personalized your subject in the title.

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

Thank you very much.

Alid

author comment

is considering the difference between the Socratean notion of "ideal form" where there is a perfection of idea in the concept 'table' and the Existential notion that each object exists simply in its time and place as it is and has come to be.
I won't explain further, explore it if you choose.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

This is prose with line breaks. I hate that phrase, but it is a danger of verso libre. Too easy to do.
Another term I despise is perhaps the most explanatory for me. The writing was not "flowery" enough. There is little music to the language as in Judyanne and Pugilist's examples.
I understand and relate to this verso libre problem. Look at my post. Contrary to some critiques I think it's junk.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
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I know this is not good. I need more suggestions apart from those I have already used because no matter how I tried, I can't edit it well..

Alid

author comment

We have to get over the concept that everything we write must change the world.

If you don't edit well, it's because you are hanging onto your work too hard, believing giving up one word means it is invalid for the whole.

Too edit, start with a belief that your concept is more important than your words. Once you can throw away words to serve the concept, you can edit a lot more freely.

Poetry is more than just words and punctuation, it is the transmission of an idea, a feeling, a vision from the poet to the audience and getting stuck on mere words is a great way to write mediocre poetry.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

style.

Style is what happens when we learn how to write poetry. All of the exercises, all of the forms... the suggestions and complaints lead us organically (I hate that term too) to our own personal style.
Following that is music.
One mechanical suggestion I have is that you might have written with a more consistent meter. Some of the skipping around lends to the "sound" of prose.
Also, length of line is important. Not just short or long, but short or long at "musical" moments. In other words used to create effect rather than just to shorten or lengthen a line.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

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