Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

So, how's it goin'?

Hey, did you know I'm a poet?

'Cause I am.

Well, an amateur poet, of course.

I know, a bit of a surprise. Cameron Woods might be surprised, 'cause he's always writing poems, and I've never shared anything with him. So to make up for that, I'll give him a link to a post where I wrote a poem in the comments.

Y'all can write poems there, too.

If you want.

Update: More poetry here.

Update: I've been critiqued! (Via Way Off Bass). I've actually been critiqued by the Terminator, writing with a German accent, of all things. That's a bit of a surreal moment.

Arnie is right to focus on the cadence - that's usually my main focus when writing poetry. Rhymes are secondary, and usually reserved for when the theme is silly enough that I can slip in a few forced rhymes where necessary (e.g my eight-pages magnum opus on Bruce, the Ninja Hippo). The first two lines are a little sloppy, and then I tighten things up in the last three.

I'm taken to task for ending the poem with an elipsis rather than a period, but I prefer to leave things open-ended in this one. The saga of Mr. Daschle is far from over, and even the theme of the last line is far from over: the haunting reminder of that dark November day when Daschle met his electoral match. It's a dirge, but it laments only the end of his political life.

I'm also criticized because without the title of the post where my comment appeared, it's hard to tell what's going on in the poem. I suppose I could claim that I wanted it to be more universal than simply applying to Mr. Daschle alone, but that would be a dishonest cover-up after the fact.

Finally, while I'm given high marks for cadence, there's no mention of the poetic structure, or the way I tied imagery elements together within that structure. I realize the Terminator is just an unfeeling machine, but if you're going to program him to critique poetry, you should at least have a program to deal with imagery. The first two lines place us in a bleak place in South Dakota, and three distinct elements are highlighted there: cold wind, frantic motion, and black hills. These elements are then tied to Mr. Daschle in the last two lines: chill - cold; frantic - frantic; blackened - black. Thus, the state of S. Dakota represents the man, just as he in turn used to represent the state.

Also, in the thematic elements in the final three lines, we are shown an expanding universe: we go from Daschle's tears (individual) to the Senate floor (the small group) to the November elections (the nation at large). Thus, the dark tone can be seen as finding an epicenter in our tragic hero, but ultimately casting a pall on all of us. Thus, the dirge-like quality is reinforced because it impacts us all, not just an individual.

But hey, I should just be grateful not to have been shot in the head by a machine that can't be reasoned with, no?