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Submitted on
April 9, 2012
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I dreamed of trees. Bright boughs and blooms
Through gloom and morning spilled
While I brushed back their silver leaves
That sunlit skies had filled

With gilded wash--the vermeil sight
Above the dusky bark
Seemed starry trains above the moon
And night's enclosing dark

And I stepped under such a sky:
New-formed, bejeweled, and bright
And wished I could forever dwell
Within its dim half-light.

There nothing stirred; no beast or bird
Dwelt in the forest there
Though I heard silent rivers trill
Still wand'ring swift and fair

Through banks embraced by cattail roots;
Through drooping willow leaves
That rustled in the water's rush
Bereft of any breeze.

Oh, I stepped under such a sky
Composed of darkling boughs
Flushed with the swell of morning leaves
All silver-gold endowed

'Till awe forestalled my reaching foot
And stilled the step, half-made--
And oh! to breathe seemed mortal sin
As if each sound betrayed

Whatever heaven I had found.
But when I breathed at last
And put my foot upon the ground
The awful moment passed

And shaded by the gilded leaves
I wandered on, and still
I know that someday, I shall hear
The birds, all breathless, trill.
A short ballad. A big focus of this one is imagery--not sure how it turned out, but that's what I was going for. I started this one about four or five times and kept not liking where it was going, and I guess I am still unsure about the ending.

Also, I recommend this be read aloud.

Some questions:
Do you like the imagery? Any other thoughts on it?
What about the ending? Too sudden? Does it wrap up the poem, or is it too vague?
Punctuation comments? Any problems?
Any meter problems?
How about the title?
Favorite stanza?
What meaning do you take from the poem? I'm just curious. :)

And of course any other critiques/comments are awesome as well.

Thank you!

(for twr: [link])


Edit: I got a DD?? I am so incredibly excited about this. Thank you to everyone!!!
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Daily Deviation

Given 2012-04-16
A Forest at Morning by *williamszm a ballad with a classic feel, well crafted with beautiful imagery. ( Featured by Beccalicious )
:iconnichrysalis:
Disclaimer

I'm not fond of the star ratings, they're too general to apply to every piece of art, and rating something you are critiquing seems contrary to the point of providing criticism. So I either rate things 3 or 5 stars.

On-topic

Let me organize my thoughts here:
:bulletblack: On the Title

:bulletblack: On Imagery

:bulletblack: On Punctuation & Meter

:bulletblack: Nitpicking

:bulletblack: Conclusion

On the Title

I really like the title, the title itself is serene enough to reflect the piece while also giving the poem a sense of purpose. The title could stay as it is and the poem would be fine. That is not to say though, that I think the title could be better.

At first when I read this poem, specifically the title, I thought that what followed was a response to Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. As I kept reading I became more convinced of this. The imagery, rhythm and meter are reminiscent of his work. Frost also worked with ballads as well, if I'm not mistaken. What I would recommend for the title though is to tweak it so that it reflects the title or style of Frost's poem. This is completely optional, but I feel it is something that will take minor effort to achiever major results. I have no thoughts on what the title could be adjusted to, perhaps it reflects and reminds the reader of the other poem enough as is, since it reminded me immediately of the title of Frost's poem.

If on the occasion it was inspired, mildly or majorly, by Robert Frost, I would give some acknowledgement at the beginning of the poem (inspired by the writings of..., etc). That work of Frost's is particularly well-known and renowned and would help set a tone for the piece if the reader could be given an immediate impression of what they are about to read. Again, this is optional on your part, but I feel it would greatly benefit the piece as a whole.

On Imagery

There's no doubt about it, the imagery is what makes this piece such a great read. However, there are a few repeated words and thoughts that seem to spoil the images some (bough, leaves, heaven are what stood out to me). The repetition of trill in the end works very well though, I have no doubt about it. Boughs, leaves, and heaven though, need some alternative words to help get their meaning across because of their previous uses in the poem they have other connotations clinging to them that seem to be slightly different than their present usage. It also helps when a word is repeated to drive home a thought or idea (trill, for example), but they are not doing so in this poem, which is mostly driven by imagery. With imagery I feel that one must find a balance between fresh images and fresh words.

Frost also had a saying: "When you are issued a poetic license, you are only allowed to use the word beautiful three times." He makes a great point here, in that words that describe should not be repeated too often. I think that with some slight adjustments to the wording you could alter the poem to use words such as leaves, boughs, and heaven once, and reiterate them when an idea is being presented.

On Punctuation & Meter

The punctuation is superb, and as good as it can get in my opinion. This is one of the most precise flawless execution of punctuation I have come across. It is used where it is needed, and adds to the rhythm. This piece begs to be read aloud, and I will probably find myself reading it to an audience of myself later.

The meter, subsequently, is also magnificent. I would recommend no changes on this front, and that if you do implement some of the suggestions I have made, I hope that you'll do your darnedest (or best) to keep it as perfect as it is. The rhyme also complements

Nitpicking

- The piece overall is fantastic, but I do not have a favorite stanza or line that I could recite with ease later to help me remember the poem.

- You slant rhyme 'bough' with 'endowed.' If I remember correctly, the ou in bough is pronounced like 'boat' and the ow in endowed is pronounced like 'ouch.' I'm not sure if this was intentional, but it does help break up the consistent rhyme scheme for some variation. I'm not sure if you should adjust that or not.

- On my original read-through I stumbled over the second and third to last stanzas and reread them before continuing. I believe this is because I was clueless as to why the narrator had become motionless. It was not very obvious to the reader and was hard to infer why what was going on, was.

- I have problems with the line And oh! to breathe seemed mortal sin. The oh!, while helping the meter greatly and going along with the content, seems very out of place and is blatantly a placeholder for the meter. I would look into removing oh! and adding a two syllable option for breathe (such as 'suspire'). Also, what other type of sin is there besides mortal sin? The phrase mortal sin sounds too 'ye olde timey' and has connotations of beliefs that are otherwise not present in this poem.

Conclusion

This is the best piece you have to offer that I have read thus far, but I feel some minor tweaking will make it more than outstanding. I've provided all I thought of upon initially reading it, and I believe that a slight edit will edge this piece into a category and status unbeknownst to others.

Keep writing and keep creating,
Nic
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The Artist thought this was FAIR
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:iconazizriandaoxrak:
AzizrianDaoXrak Oct 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Just wanted to let you know this fabulous piece has been featured!: [link]

Keep up the beautiful work!
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Feb 27, 2013  Student General Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconazizriandaoxrak:
AzizrianDaoXrak Feb 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:)
Reply
:iconmordial33:
Mordial33 Sep 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Absolutely beautiful and flawlessly rendered to paper (or computer screen in this case). I don't think you have to worry all that much about critiques because this poem is perfect. If you had put in the middle of winter, I'd have mistaken this for a work of Robert Frost. I don't give that compliment lightly! (Frost is my favorite poet.) Out of curiosity, what prompted this amazing piece of art?
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Sep 1, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you--that is quite the compliment indeed. :) And I'm not sure if anything in particular inspired this. I really enjoy forests, and find them amazingly beautiful, but I don't think there was anything specific.
Reply
:iconmordial33:
Mordial33 Sep 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:D Hahaha, no problem! And yes, forests are infinitely beautiful. It is a shame that so many people take them for granted.
Reply
:icongothicsocks:
GothicSocks Apr 21, 2012  Student General Artist
Featured! (: :heart:
[link]
You have a beautiful writing style.
Reply
:iconwilliamszm:
williamszm Apr 21, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconchaptereighteen:
chaptereighteen Apr 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I sang it aloud....It's gorgeous
Reply
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