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Amazingly Bad Poetry Journal Review - Winter Warmth

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Sep. 3rd, 2011 | 07:18 pm

Winter Warmth
by Kyle

When tall trees groan in bitter wind,
and frost leaves its cold design,
I dwell on the reality
that I am yours, and you are mine.

When brittle twigs do bear their claws,
cast shadows on an auburn snow,
ablaze they are in their glory,
in winter sunset's afterglow.

When snowflakes fall in winter night,
Time stops with lovers' long discourse.
Outside, the world is clad in white,
Is seen in beauty, not remorse.

Inside, beside the fire light
we revel in our honey love,
and melt into sweet harmony,
as soft feathers float from above.

The opening stanza of "Winter Warmth" hints at an entirely different poem. Dollars to donuts this is another example of a poet with one idea that he tried to stretch, like stale saltwater taffy, into several ideas. "I dwell on the reality / that I am yours, and you are mine," Kyle writes and because I've read way too many X-Men comics, my brain immediately goes to "hey, alternate realities!" I also watched the entire first season of "Sliders" in 1995. This is apparently someone speaking about an unrequited love and he is telling us that he is imagining a reality where the love is requited. Okay, we may say to ourselves, we’ll go along with this premise. Maybe Kyle has a bouquet of flowers up in his sleeve.

Nope. Unless he’s carrying around an Amorphophallus titanum, the corpse flower. Immediate disappointment strikes with "brittle twigs do bear their claws” at the beginning of the second stanza. I expect that we could deliver a small stroke to Kyle's brain if we explained that the word "do" in the line is not necessary. The line reads exactly the same without it. I would argue that the line is marginally less terrible without the "do," but I bet that Kyle would argue to keep it in. To him, it lends a certain charm. When Kyle is at a party and notices that a woman needs a refill in her red plastic cup, I imagine him saying "May I do you the courtesy of refreshing yon flagon of ale, m'lady?" I shouldn't be so harsh, considering that the extraneous "do" is the only example of faux old-speak in the entire poem. But really, one is too many.

It wouldn't be so bad, but it doesn’t lead into anything. The whole stanza is a whole lot of nothing. If you were to strip the stanza down to its barest essentials, winter trees are mysteriously beautiful during the sunset. Okay, that's fine, but what happened to dwelling in a different reality? In the first stanza, Kyle tells us that he teleports himself to a new plane of existence during winter months. If this was a multi-course meal, the first stanza would be an unremarkable but mostly inoffensive tomato soup. Then after the soup, instead of a salad or any other dishes, we’re served a crusty glove found on the side of the freeway. Bon appétit!

As far as the last stanza goes, ick ick ick ick ick. Blurgh. I'm glad I'm writing this review on an empty stomach. Given the "afterglow" in stanza two, I suspected something like this was on its way, but what the holy fuck is "honey love"? I'll be honest, people, I haven’t had any sort of intimate relations in several long years. Say that I'm out at my friend's bar later this week (likely) and I meet the "Price Is Right" model Amber (not likely). We strike up an intelligent conversation about the upcoming Avengers movie and "The Dark Knight Rises." After last call, she asks if I would like to come up to her hotel room for some honey love. I would have to turn her down. I'd probably ask for a definition of honey love first, and then I would turn her down. Tragic. You don’t suppose he meant "horny love"? Not that "horny love" makes more sense. And what do we make of the feathers? My best guess: he’s having sex with a feather-down pillow and it exploded. And he’s in zero gravity.

Bad Poetry Grade [F = your standard bad poem; A+ = worst poem imaginable]: C

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Comments {2}

Steven Weiss

Iambic Tetrameter, Son

from: Steven Weiss
date: Sep. 11th, 2011 08:24 am (UTC)

Hey prof, the word "do" actually looks very necessary from a metrical perspective. Those are iambs, four of them to a line, which makes this a much more technically adept poem than what you generally target.

I agree that the last stanza is a pile of warm goo but you can't go maligning formalism. I mean, you can, but it makes you look kind of ignorant.

Other than that, I appreciate what you do here. Keep fighting the fight, gov.

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near fantastica

(no subject)

from: purebeing
date: Oct. 9th, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)

"when brittle twigs do bear their claws" made me think of bears with twigs for claws. Do you think that's what he was going for?

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