Sunday, January 27, 2008

What do you see?

Once again we ask that you create vistas for your readers. The first piaster simply offered an action with a defined result. Our second, urged you into the dark to create an outcome. The third piaster is similar to the second but expands like ripples from a pebble hitting the water. Remember the first piaster? Rocks, ripples and water? Ignore the babble seems I am making white noise again. I want to remind you that like us, These exercises are all connected and have a purpose.

Piaster 003 Vision Burn Brain Drain

Integrate each of these 11 phrases unchanged and in the order listed throughout your poem. There are no other restrictions. This exercise should cause a few of those synapses to fire.

the moon, broken off like
a red flower brilliant as
her fingers delicate as
the island stretches off the coast like
your backbone rigid like
the bicycle careening down the hill like
soft as
crazy bird its song like
she spun off like
his monotonous voice like
days pass like

Next piaster we look at style, word choice, and how they fit together to affect imagery.
Note on poem structure: as always construct your poem as a story with a beginning, middle and end. Or you could use a variation of three-part organization:

· The description of the scene.
· A meditation on that scene (Examine the experience.)
· A resolution or understanding of the scene. (In this structure the resolution should take place where the poem began but become altered by the meditation.) The key is that the resolution returns to the opening in an altered way.


· Scene: The poem begins with the speaker overlooking a beautiful bluff, sun sea blah blah blah.
· Meditation: She remembers an event that occurred there. Her first romance, perhaps a whispered secret or an over indulgence of a controlled substance whatever; this causes the speaker to reflect inward and examine deeper feelings around that event and how those experiences changed her.
· Resolution: She scans the bluff feels the sun, sea and realizes she is standing in bird droppings, and not far off the Starbucks at the strip mall has intruded on the space and maybe the view ain’t so great unless you have blinders on, and maybe thats how memory works also.


Noah The Great said...

I tried, though some of the phrases didn't make sense to me.

U.S. Parker said...

Noah, I read the poem and I think you are too far off the mark. If you choose to revisit the poem try to connect those dangling phrases by adding context before and after the required phrase. The poem has to make sense. I only see a few points that come off the rails.

Thanks for giving it a shot.

tumblewords said...

I'll share my aspirin with you...

The Last Piaster #3

susan said...

Hi, Tumblewords. When the asprin kicks in, I might be able to complete this myself.

SA said...

I'm game, just give me a few days to work it out.

susan said...

Here's mine


paisley said...

i posted a comment yesterday,, but i don't see it so i will repost it today....

i was quite clueless as to what you were looking for in this "piaster" so i did what i could with the phrases you provided... please let me know how close i came....

i am anxious to see what you two came up with... i am off to read susans right now....and as for you parker,, if you are going to critique,, i feel it is only fair you share your work with us,, so we can see the level of "poetic" intelligence that is critiquing us....

paisley said...

duh,,, i forgot the link!!!!!

"an afterthought"

gautami tripathy said...

I suppose, this works..

Life Force

deathsweep said...

Just did this this morning - great prompt!

"Birds of Paradise"

susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
susan said...

Is a critic's ability to provide a valid analysis dependent on his ability to write poetry or his knowledge and understanding of poetics and an ability to communicate that understanding in a way that is useful to a poet who wants to improve his writing?

gautami tripathy said...

It should be a combination of both. A few times, critics do not really understand what the poet is trying to convey. Some see the obvious, some go beyond it. I suppose, for crtiquing a piece, one should go beyond the obvious.

How does one percieve if a poet wants to improve or not? Many do not like feedbacks, unless they ask for it specifically.

Knowledge and understanding... covers a lot. Even writing...

I think Paisley made a valid point there in her comment.

susan said...

I agree, sometime a critic doesn't get it, but who always gets it? You don't perceive if a poet wants a crit. Either the poet explicitly states so or they participate in a critique forum.

Our target audience at The Last Piaster is those who want feedback and welcome critique. If that wasn't clear, I'll be sure to correct it.

I've been online a very long time. My experience is if you don't want a critique and you say don't, believe me, no one is going to waste his/her time reading your work carefully with the intent of writing something thoughtful and hopefully useful. A critic can miss the mark as surely as a poet. And let’s keep things in perspective, in our online world critic and writers are peers.

For most of us, if we take the time to comment it is because we took the time to read and see something in the work. Why else comment? If someone is commenting for the purpose of only drawing readers to their own blog with hopes of getting comments, then I find that far more offensive than feedback from a critic I think didn't get it.

Personally, I don't write for blanket, generalized praise. Sure I like praise, but I don't write for attention or approval. I write because I have something to say. And if I share it publicly, then I accept a reader may or may not like it. I accept a reader may or may not say something I agree with. A reader has as much right to say what she thinks about a work as the writer has the right to put it out there. Don't publicly share something and then expect the audience to respond as you deem appropriate.

And I walk the walk. Tell me once my comments are unwelcome, and I will desist. There's far too much poetry to be read. And censorship doesn't sit well with me.

gautami tripathy said...

Susan, you completely misunderstood what I said here.

First, I did not mean me. If you had been a regular visitor to my blog, you would have seen that I most of the time say- feel free to critique my post or feedback is welcome.

We all are online for a long time. Slowly we come together as a community and understand each others writings. As for as prompt/exercise are concerned, some get it at the first instance, a few take time. As a teacher, I am well aware of that fact.

Learning, imbibing from each other is what most of us strive for. Many a times, I have re-written my pieces after constructive criticism. However, a few times I have thought that it reads the way it is. Nothing personal with you if I did not take yours on this post of mine. Not that I am very happy about my post.

I joined this community as I thought this is a very different network which will help me tax my brain and improve my writing.

Don't you think we all walk the walk, as you put it? In an online forum, there can never be censorship. Please perish that thought. I did not mean it all.

Just as censorship should not be imposed, we too have the right to question why a certain piece was critiqued the way it was. Or explain why we wrote it that particular way. It works both ways after all.

PS: you mispelled my name here. Not that it matters much.

susan said...


I did not assume you meant yourself personally. I was speaking to anyone to whom my remarks apply.

It does matter that I mispelled your name. My apology.

Yes, I do agree we should ask why something was said. I didn't argue that. I argued that being a good critic is not contigent on if a critic writes poetry. A good critic must study poetry and possess an ability to articulate what he observes in a work.

And no, I do not assume all walk the walk? Why should I make that assumption of folks I know very little about?

You are a teacher. I have been an online admin for a few online writing communities for several years. I shared my experience.

I don't take comments to my work personally. As a student and writer of poetry I was taught feedback is about the work. If a comment is a personal attack, I disregard it altogether.

Noah said...


This makes much more sense;

I thought it said "She spun of like"

So, I had no idea what the hell it was saying.

It says "She spun off like, though.

Now, I will fix it.

Noah said...

I changed it up; I like it a lot better than before, but everything to me is a draft.

U.S. Parker said...

These are interesting comments; I do not post poetry online. Why is that heresy? It is simply not my thing. My poetic intelligence is whatever it is. I have knowledge of the craft from an institutional and a practical perspective. I don’t just blow this crap out my ass, although some would argue that point. I have taught poetry classes and workshops to children, teens and adults. That does not make me an expert just someone who knows a little about helping others to write better poetry.

As to the fairness argument, let me think about that. You are saying that since I can comment to your poem you should be able to comment to mine. The efforts I make in presenting the exercises and then going to the various blogs to read and respond is not of value unless you have the chance to evaluate something that I have written or at the very least demonstrate that I can do the exercise. I understand your point but respectfully decline.

The Last Piaster offer exercises for writing poetry. I think they have been fun and challenging, but they have also tried to introduce tools and techniques that will help the writer craft better poetry. There is nothing here that you cannot get from a good book, workshop or a class on the subject. In fact in those settings it will be more effective.

I try to comment to most of the works posted to the exercises. I don’t think I have been insulting or harsh and if I have then I apologize. Where have I been anything but encouraging? I have not held back congratulations when an element within or the poem itself succeeds. Judge the worthiness of what I say by my observations and actions. More specific have I been off the mark when commenting to your work?

P.S. Can't wait to read your latest effort.

SA said...

Ok I did it! Its a bit long but I think its works.

The End

...deb said...

That was a tough one, but here's my go:

"Spinning the Moon.

Michelle Johnson said...

Hello everyone~ Here's my attempt "mosaic moon" if you would like to stop by. Thanks for a fun prompt. Have a nice weekend. Happy Writing~

Mariacristina said...

Here's my attempt:

Summer at the lake

I had a hard time integrating the different tenses, as well as narrating a complete story, but it was a fun process, leading me to think farther afield.

Mariacristina said...

I think I'll add my two cents to this discussion.

If someone wants to offer suggestions for improvement on a piece, that person should also offer up a poem for evaluation. It shows that the writer is willing to make himself or herself vulnerable.

These poems are written quickly,for the most part, and often the writers are feeling tenuous about sharing their work publicly. We are all equals here if we all post work. It is not enough to offer a prompt and to visit the site of the poets. We all do that.

Noah said...

Okay, I rewrote it again. I like this version the best so far.