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The human foot contains twenty-six bones
for running and dancing and spinning
pirouettes in neat circles,
starved
for grace.

Grace
balanced on one foot before two,
starved for attention with every broken
bone.

"Ballet is more than dancing,
Grace," the en pointe trainer balanced
on one foot and named every bone
supporting her weight.

Grace spins one
perfect
circle on the hardwood floor:
her eyes land on the barre mirror.

She doesn't see the atrophied bone
ribs through pink gauze,
but only imagines herself as beautiful.

Weeks of anorexic binging display the remains
of weak structure.
One more skin-and-bone
cygnet remained an ugly duckling
as the starved light of dawn danced across the sky
on bleach bone toes.

The empty theater seats fill up
while en pointe sylphs
count their ribs backstage
at the memorial performance
where grace fluttered,
and faltered,
and starved.
A revision of a piece I submitted yesterday. Fastest revision ever :XD:

Yesterday was a product of trying to churn something out for NaPoWriMo; after you give up and realize there's no way you can possibly do a poem a day, the process becomes much easier and the writing just flows the way you need it to. This is far from perfect, but it's much closer to what I want it to be in the future. This is a good start :)

I've been struggling with this theme for quite a while - since about August in fact - and it's nice to finally see it beginning to work on paper, even though it still doesn't fit the initial prompt from way back when.

Fact: one in five ballet dancers are afflicted with anorexia.

TWR critique: [link]

Questions: Stanzas and line breaks - too arbitrary, or is the emphasis in the right place?

Is it too choppy, or is the flow alright? (This could concern either the story, or the writing itself - I'm interested in both.)
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I really liked the beginning image, I think you should have 'bones' be a dominant theme in this more so than G/grace (although it's a nice counterpoint and I liked where that went). I'm fairly useless at poetry, but to be honest I'm not feeling the line breaks so much here. Maybe more wordplay and use of poetic device would make those necessary. Otherwise, I get the sense it would read the same wtihout them.

I know you've mentioned it before, but remind me why the tiny font size?
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I would like to revise it at least once more because it's not quite where I want it to be. I do want the bones and anatomy images to be more prominent, but I'm not sure how to get them there right now.

The smaller font gives a sense of quietness and intimacy to me - like you have to lean in to hear a whisper. It's a subtle thing, but it would sound different in the regular font. Given how limited dA is with fonts, I have to work with what has been given to me :XD:
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmm. Maybe start with the images you want to evoke and build to the motion and emotion from there?

Huhh. I had this in big font (my eyesight is craaaap) and I still got that sense. Honestly, I don't think you need it. Also, if you stashed it you could always add a font on top...but make it readable ;p
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
It always sounds different to me when I try different fonts :shrug: I don't choose them lightly, even in Word :XD: I like playing with the presentation of the thing almost as much as the actual writing.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I did that in high school because I hate working. Also fonts are awesome!

I don't get that from fonts--I get it really strongly from word choice--so when it comes to fonts I just go with 'readable', which actually means I have to convert everything to size 12 when I send it out. However, I could see wanting to pick different fonts for stuff (although the whole thing in cursive makes me want to punch walls). :nod:
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Ideally, I'd like to make a chapbook at some point, and all my visual inclinations will finally be useful :XD: 12 point Times New Roman or whatever just looks boring to me.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:eager:

I like 10pt TNR on the screen, but when it comes to fonts I constantly return to Trebuchet MS.
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:iconisabellamichel:
IsabellaMichel Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Student Writer
There is nothing too arbitrary. I am absolutely mesmerized by this piece, in fact. It might be the fact that I absolutely adore dance and wish I were ten thousand times the dancer I am, but this poem captures great images and such grace. The first line with, I felt, could go anywhere. What a way to start a poem! Absolutely lovely. This is both sad and lovely at the same time. Somehow, it doesn't even seem too over dramatic or anything like that. It's just dance, captured.

:heart:
The flow is absolutely fine. Stanzas and line breaks are fine.

Have a lovely afternoon.

Bella

:iconthewrittenrevolution:
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I didn't know anything about dance when I started. Looks like all that research paid off :D

Thank you for the fave!
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:iconisabellamichel:
IsabellaMichel Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Student Writer
Really? It was absolutely magical! I quite enjoyed it.

You are very welcome! It was well-deserved!
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:iconsoldierswolf:
SoldiersWolf Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Damn. This was pretty good.
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you :)
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:iconmoonlightwillow6:
MoonlightWillow6 Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2012   Writer
This was very tragic. The poem was just so twisted and sad, but also beautiful in its own strange way. Great work (and I know I say this for all of your poetry, but amazing imagery) :love:
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Imagery and brevity; my two strenghts. And I play them as best I can :XD: I'm glad the beauty and the darker nature are both present; it took a while to get them to emerge and has a way to go yet, but I'm really happy with this poem.
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:iconsunflowerb:
sunflowerb Featured By Owner May 13, 2012  Student General Artist
This is tragically beautiful. (Hey look, I'm finally getting around to going through all the deviations in my inbox. I put it off because you're my friend so I want to be able to dedicate a good chunk of time to really appreciate your work and give whatever feedback I can.)

I don't know what it is, but I read this and I can really see, really feel the imagery of thin weak bones on the verge of snapping. I guess because it's paired with the already thin graceful lines of ballet? I'm not sure. Great job one way or another. And I like the progression of the words, starved for grace, Grace starved for attention, etc. I don't know if that makes sense, but the repetition of those words "grace" and "starved" and even "bone/s", and not just the repetition but the places and ways they are repeated is just done so well.

That final verse is where I just feel that thin bone I've been picturing the whole poem snap. Those last few lines are classic Silver poetic perfection: "where grace fluttered, and faltered, and starved", and because grace isn't capitalized it's both the name and the thing and it's just so beautiful and heartbreaking.

Looking back over all this I don't know if I made any sense. TL;DR I LOVED IT
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner May 13, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
And I appreciate that :glomp:

The repitition was because this began life proper as a sestina, which thrives upon repeating words in a specific order. I was unable to carry that order all the way through, but the stuff it left behind was more than enough to work with outside of the form :D And ballet is full of so many pretty images to choose from; maybe I was cheating a little with that~ Honestly, I could probably have made this a lot longer with nothing but images.

I can't remember if the uncapitialized "grace" was intentional or just a typo. Both versions seem to carry equal weight, but different meanings; I don't know which one I like more.
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:iconlonely-bird:
lonely-bird Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I'm not a poet and I don't read a lot of poetry...but this held my attention the whole way through, and haunted me slightly. Beautiful.
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you kindly :heart: I don't really consider myself much of a poet to be honest :XD:
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:iconlonely-bird:
lonely-bird Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Well, this one's good :D
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you :meow:
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:iconunspecifiedunknown:
UnspecifiedUnknown Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012   Writer
i am so glad that i am watching you.

"One more skin-and-bone
cygnet remained an ugly duckling
as the starved light of dawn danced across the sky
on bleach bone toes."


you are a crafts(wo)man of magic with words :rose:
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you kindly~ I still think I need at least one more rewrite of this before I can let it alone for a while though :XD:
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:iconflummo:
flummo Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Student Writer
"One more skin-and-bone
cygnet remained an ugly duckling
as the starved light of dawn danced across the sky
on bleach bone toes."


Love this. :heart: :clap:
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you :heart:
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:iconflummo:
flummo Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Student Writer
No problem. :)
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:icontransfusionheart:
TransfusionHeart Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
This poem is sad because it's so true.
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
It really is :no: I learned a lot about ballet life while doing the reseach I needed. "Black Swan" may as well have been a documentary given what happens when the curtain is down.
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:iconbukamuminkowa:
BukaMuminkowa Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012
You know how people add someone to watch just because they felt like it at the time...and actually end up never looking at the artist again?......I ALWAYS read your work :D
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
That's a fantastic compliment :heart:
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:iconalapip:
alapip Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
nanopoopoo encourages short pieces of fluff.
substance, like this, takes time, Lauren.

poetry with a real life message, like this, is worth
both writing and reading.

well done...

:)pip
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yes :D That's exactly why I prefer it to NaNo - I feel like it's easier to get quality out of short, quick pieces a day each than one whole work over 30 days. One day at a time is easier to swallow and gets the ideas going full speed.

I'll likely be coming back to this one for a while before I'm properly happy with it. I'd like to work the bone theme in more; I've yet to find an excuse to use the word "tarsals" or "ossified" for example :XD:
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:iconalapip:
alapip Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
;)
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