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November Workshop-Ariella

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 4:55 am
by Ariella McManus
Haiku 1

Wings of darkest night

Bird of deadly omen flies

Raven calls to me




Haiku 2

Silver moonlight beam

Shines down upon the water

Darkness drowns and dies




Tanka 1

Heaven's door slams closed

Angry gods awake and rise

Screaming shouts of wrath

Crimson tears bathe my wounds clean

Your fists bruise skin, but not my soul




Tanka 2

Silence fills the air

As words leap into nothing

Falling slowly down

Darling, can't you hear me speak?

Do you even care at all?

Re: November Workshop-Ariella

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 5:22 am
by Lavinia Rookwood
You definitely are more of an ominous or dark writer, which is not to say anything bad. There are many writers who find a mood and stick with it and I find it admirable. And so it is here. You tackle different topics for each one, but they are very clearly your own works. I definitely feel that you had a clear handle on the tankas, as you handled the twist part in a way that seems easy. You are best at capturing a mood or an attitude, as you can see in the first tanka. There's something in that last line that speaks of survival or even defiance, and it's expressed in a very minimal way. In fact, I do think it's the more successful of the two, though both are very good. It's just that there's a real attitude shift that happens, as well as the traditional shift inherent in the form.

Re: November Workshop-Ariella

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:30 pm
by Jennet Jones
Haiku 1 is ominous, but it's never clear what the threat looming in the wings is. The mystery works well to heighten the mood, because not knowing can be scarier than the devil you know. You might want to rework the first line into something less metaphorical, drawing on the haiku tradition of concrete natural imagery. "Darkest night" can come off as a little overblown.

Haiku 2 is a brilliant inversion of traditional images. Usually, darkness is seen as threatening the light, but here you have moonlight drowning the darkness. I really like how the first two lines build up a shiny happy concrete image, but the last line brutally twists it to aggression.

Tanka 1 punches the reader right in the guts with its apocalyptic metaphors of abuse, and then teases out a silver thread of endurance and survival at the very end. This is a powerful poem, and I can't think of a single thing to change.

Tanka 2 is a chilling depiction of failure to communicate. The image of words falling away without ever reaching a receptive ear is a strong one. I found the ending alienating, since it abruptly thrusts the reader into the role of the person who isn't listening. This may well be the impact you wanted, since alienation fits in very well with the theme of a communication breakdown. It's definitely uncomfortable reading. It seemed a little weird to be addressed as "darling" out of the blue though. Maybe give it a title that prepares the reader for being directly addressed that way?