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Submitted on
March 22, 2013
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I stopped using his full title
because it started sounding too formal,
and it’s hard to be standoffish with someone
who swaps albums and memories so generously,
who loves German chocolate but hates the smell of oranges,
who knows me by my boneless,
drowsy form on the couch and by my words.

And maybe one day he’ll ask
me to drop the title altogether and call him Brad,
but I won’t.
Because it sounds too much like dad,
and I’m afraid of slipping up.
I've known this for a while. Ever since he told me he loved German chocolate.

Probably a work in progress, because I haven't said everything I want to say yet. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to say all the things I want to say, or at least say them in the right way. How do you tell someone that they've been fulfilling a need for approval that you never even knew was there?

Relevant blogspam rant thing.

#Glory-Be-Project Day 81

#theWrittenRevolution critique


- I wanted to make my intent clear, but without being too blatant about it. How did I do?
- I skimped on imagery for this poem. Was that a mistake, or do the details provided do a better job of painting the picture?
- Do you have a favorite line or section? Why or why not?
- I would like to expand this some more, so tell me: what would you like to hear more about?
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i wonder why the speaker is scared of slipping up? maybe that could be explored, if you sillt want to expand this. and explore the speaker's relationship with her father more, perhaps?
SilverInkblot Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Haven't you ever called a teacher Mom? :XD:

I prefer to keep my family out of my work for the most part. I don't know why; it just doesn't feel right to write about people I'm related to for some reason :shrug: Like I'm invading their privacy somehow. I don't mind writing about Doc because he's a writer too and understands this sort of thing I guess.
SilverInkblot Dec 11, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you!
MistressofQuills Jul 3, 2013  Student Writer
Hi there! I'm so sorry it took me so long to get to your piece, but here at last is the critique you requested! [link]

First off, I love the feeling beneath your words... it's subtle, but it's there and it makes your words all the more powerful! The images you're communicating came off really well, too - I especially love those lines, "...who knows me by my boneless,/ drowsy form on the couch and by my words." It's vivid, but it's funny, too:D

Just a couple of format notes: there are a couple of lines that I think could be tweaked a little bit to make them flow better. The last line of stanza one could be broken into two lines:
drowsy form on the couch
and by my words.

If you divide it up like that, I think it adds significance to that last phrase "and by my words," especially since you're a writer. Also, the first line of the second stanza seems a little awkward if you have the "me" in the second line... Try adding that word on to the end of the first line instead and see if that flows better:
And maybe one day he'll ask me
to drop the title altogether and call him Brad,

Other than that, though, your grammar and word choice look good:)

If your intent was to say that you're so close with this man "Brad" that you consider him like a father to you, then yes, I'd say you were successful in communicating that:aww: As far as imagery goes, I think the descriptions are enough (at least for what you have right now - that might change if you add more to it). If it was more flowery and filled with similes and such, I think it would obscure the emotion behind it and the simple nature of what you're trying to communicate. The concept is enough, in this case. Other than the two lines I already quoted, I love the last stanza - it feels especially potent with your feeling and intent behind it, and I like that extra bit of intensity at the end of such a short poem! Hmm, what to add... I like it the way it is now, as far as the concept and intent goes, so if you added content, I think you'd add it between the two stanzas you already have. Maybe more about you? I mean, you've told us about him and his quirks, but what does his influence on you look like?

All in all, I really liked this. It's simple, but packed with a lot of underlying feeling, and it seems to tremble with how much is going unsaid about this relationship. That tension makes for an interesting read:D
SilverInkblot Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I completely forgot about that actually :XD:

I like your line break suggestion - I may do just that. I'll mull it over for a while.

This is one of those that I've come to like more over time; at first I felt like it needed something else, but was probably about where it needed to be from the start. As you, and several others, have stated, adding too much extra would dilute or obscure the emotional content. Much as I love imagery, I don't think I want to swap one for the other :) Thank you for all your thoughts!
MistressofQuills Jul 3, 2013  Student Writer
Oops, sorry:ashamed:

You're very welcome! I'm glad I'm (unknowingly) in agreement with your other commenters=P I know what you mean about liking a deviation more and more over time...that was my experience with my poem "Balloons and Fairy Wings" haha:aww: I'm glad I could help! Thanks for the llama:)
Lychalis Apr 25, 2013  Student Writer
I'm not entirely sure if I got the intent, but looking at your blogspam are you trying to say he's becoming less of a detached figure to you and more like a friend? More like family, judging by those last two lines. The way I see it, when you start being less formal and more casual with a person the relation is jumping from colleague, teacher, mentor to that of a friend and I can see relaxed, languid language like 'boneless' which is nice, because it illustrates how personal the relationship is, I think. So, to conclude, while I needed to read your blog post to get the context of this poem, you did pretty well on dictating your intent. It reads like a diary entry, I think, or a brief and vaguely fragmented stream of consciousness, which I really like.

Also, I think if you gone into more imagery, it'd have been a bit too much and would detract from the import part of this piece - the people and how they identify with each other. If you wanted to add more imagery, maybe expressions would be a good place to start, as it'd tell us more about the interactions of the two in the poem - I don't think there's a pressing need for anything more.

A favourite line? Difficult to answer, there's so many things I want to pick! However, I'd say the final lines 'Because it sounds too much like dad, and I'm afraid of slipping up' would be my favourite, because it is a rather striking way to end the poem and puts a name to the hovering nervousness that imbues it. However you change this poem, please keep those lines because I love them :D

I don't know if there's a need to expand this, but if you were to I wouldn't mind the emphasis on the surrogate role, or a deeper look into the interactions between you two. That'd be interesting, I think. Hope I was of some help! :D
SilverInkblot Apr 25, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Yes :nod: At the moment, I'd probably consider him a friend before I'd consider him a professor. What I've alluded to a little in other pieces, but haven't found a way to properly flesh out yet, is that supportive, almost paternal role he's been filling in regard to the creative side of my life; something that my family has never shown much interest in, and that I've largely kept away from them for fear of censoring myself.

I won't be changing those lines you love, because they're the heart of the poem :D The whole thing falls apart, from the title down, without those lines.

Thank you for a detailed comment! :heart: You were definitely helpful :)
Lychalis Apr 26, 2013  Student Writer
glad to hear it! :D
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