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A Writhe of Sleepless Night

Unfurling fog
presses against the grass, then,
against the glass
of crooked window panes.
Everything contorts
towards soil, towards sleep.

If only rest would become me.

Instead I lay here, unsettled.

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 does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Last few words: 
A work in progress, started years ago and never finished. Thought I would try full punctuation with it; it feels/looks stark to me in a fitting way. (Trying to use "writhe" as a noun here, not sure how to explain it. Does it make sense?)
Editing stage: 

Comments

but would like to stick with some kind of unique word choice in the title. When we usually use verbs as nouns or adjectives (gerunds or attributive verbs), it's the -ing form ("she was in the running for the next poet laureate" is verb as noun and "she is wearing running shoes" is verb as adjective). Maybe instead of trying to push the limit of "writhe" I should just use the actual gerund "A Writhing of Sleepless Night". I also like the terms you've suggested!

Thoughts?

Thanks so much, good to see you again!
Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

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author comment

Love it! Really beautiful calming words for a poem that mention being unsettled.

"Poetry is music for the human voice. Until you actually speak it or someone speaks it, it has not come into it's own."
- Maya Angelou

Thank you so much for your feedback. That is exactly what I was going for! Everything else is sleepy, quiet, and gentle, but when you can't sleep it's like there is no peace in a time that's supposed to be peaceful.

Thanks again for reading,
Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

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author comment

This is good as far as it goes but in my opinion it could use a bit more length. What is keeping you from sleep? Are you tossing and turning due to physical or mental anguish or both? Are the sheets dry or soaked with sweat? And this poem almost begs to be written in a morphing form. Perhaps easy rhyme as you first lie down in anticipation of rest then gradually going over to a jarring free verse as you realize sleep won't come. Or the opposite where you gradually gain sleep. Your use of writhe actually adds impact in my opinion as it discomforts the reader in a discomforting poem..............stan

I definitely do want to add more length. I started this one and could never conclude it. Your ideas will help me get there. It seems like each time I tried to sit down and work on this one, it was late at night and I was just reliving the poem's feeling and had trouble figuring out the "so what?" of the poem. Maybe I need to try to work on it during the day!

Thanks so much,
Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

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author comment

Etherial as the fog. Good alliteration, images, and expression. Fog doesn't belong to Carl Sandburg, and you have done something totally different with it in this short work.

I agree that the title does not totally fit and I'm not sure what to suggest...but this does not take anything away from the well-offered body of the poem.

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

Thanks so much for such an encouraging comment. I know not to take that lightly!

Will be working on it!

Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

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www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

I had commented on this one. I won't let it slip by without saying I am in agreement in-so-far as the title; it could be better. However, I do like the brevity of it and think that it does justice to the last line.
~ Gee.
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Thanks for coming back! Katie has given me some good ideas to ponder for the title and Stan has some good ideas for expanding on the poem. I do want to maintain the sense of brevity even when I add more, though. I like the challenge of short poetry!

Thanks again,
Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

I have had a tiny think about the title, the use of the word writhe.
Well it just didn't seem to fit, the only way I can see it working is to say "A writhing sleepless night" this brings in action and a good visual look at what you are doing.
But.. Then you have to gear up the rest of the poem to give the title a standard to reach for, you picked an old English word not often used these days, our children are out of the Shakespeare world apart from those that need a base to work from.
I haven't enough time today to have a look at it more so will just say it is in my field of imaginational vision..
Take care and know we are here with you always, Youyrs Ian..

.
Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

So sorry for the late response. I thought I had replied!

Thank you so much for taking the time to ponder the title so thoroughly. I want it to be something special and eye-catching so I will give it some much needed attention when I am ready to come back to this one for revisions.

Thank you again. Hope you are keeping warm!

Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

I really like the line about everything contorting towards the soil, towards sleep. It reminds me of a metaphor about the struggle of just battling through life. I wrote a line once about feeling like the "ground was pulling me under" ..or something like that, but to me your poem hits the point much nicer. Not sure if you intended to have that kind of larger meaning in this poem, but it speaks to me that way.
Cheers,
Ca[tain

I really like the line about everything contorting towards the soil, towards sleep. It reminds me of a metaphor about the struggle of just battling through life. I wrote a line once about feeling like the "ground was pulling me under" ..or something like that, but to me your poem hits the point much nicer. Not sure if you intended to have that kind of larger meaning in this poem, but it speaks to me that way.
Cheers,
Ca[tain

Thank you so much for your feedback. I wrote the draft of this poem years ago, so I'm not totally certain, but I do like to think I did have some deeper significance toward those lines you mentioned.

I do use earth imagery in my poetry to represent rest and hibernation and being overcome with something greater than ourselves fairly often, so maybe I was doing that here!

Thanks again,
Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

has the quality of a genuine macabre poem with the spirit imbued--Brennan, sort of a Clark Ashton Smithesque thing because you're not totally dead inside, and "unfurl", that word, is perfect here. An elegant hint toward disaster.

"Everything contorts
towards soil, towards sleep.

If only rest would become me."

Instead I lay here, unsettled.

If you changed the ending to something more catastrophic it would be even better.

John

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