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All The Poets Come To Life by flummo

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Submitted on
April 5, 2012
File Size
1.2 KB


26 (who?)
The human foot contains twenty-six bones
for running and dancing and spinning
pirouettes in neat circles,
for grace.

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

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

Grace spins one
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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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?
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:
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
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.
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:
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.
neurotype Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist

I like 10pt TNR on the screen, but when it comes to fonts I constantly return to Trebuchet MS.
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.

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

Have a lovely afternoon.


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!
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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