Help a beginning poet out?

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    This is the first time I’m opening a thread so I’m hoping all goes well!

    I’ve been wanting to get into poetry for a while. I would love to combine my illustrations with it or even write a childrens book using rhyme. I’m a little insecure about it. Actually I’m insecure about most of my writing, especially English stuff. The main story I’m working on is Dutch, so I can’t let anyone over here beta read it. But since I love the English language I decided to try writing a poem in it today. It’s actually one of the first ones I did. When @eden-anderson and @the-fledgling-artist started threads about it, it made me feel a little braver to do so myself. I’m curious what you think about it or if you all have any tips!

    A little bird sat on a house

    That kept him fast afloat

    He did not need the water fear

    For this house was a boat


    It carried him for hours on hours

    And showed him brand new things

    Like ocean birds that flew below

    With underwater wings


    And as he looked across the blue

    He heard a creature cry

    It jumped out of the water’s bounds

    And asked ‘why can’t I fly?’


    As slow the floating house approached

    Bird looked down on the one

    Who filled the oceans and the skies

    With loud and mournfull song


    Bird flew upon the giant’s back

    And asked ‘why are you sad?

    You live in such a wondrous world

    It cant be all that bad.’


    ‘I’m jealous’ so the creature told

    ‘I want to fly like you.

    But if I try, take to the sky

    I fall back in the blue.’’


    ‘What does it matter? Here or there?’

    Bird bravely spoke aloud

    ‘Maybe seas are just like skies

    A wave just like a cloud


    Fish are like birds in wetter skies

    And feathers that you lack

    You don’t need when your wings are fins

    and have humps on your back.’


    The creature smiled, while thinking of

    what he had not before

    ‘I do admit that when I swim

    I feels as if I soar.’


    And as they both took wing again

    Bird’s friend sang a new tale

    ‘How good it is to fly below

    And be a humpback whale.’


    Tagging a few poets I know around here: @evelyn @kb-writer @k-a-grey

    “I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”


    @lin Aww, it’s sad that no one here would be able to understand the poetry you write in your own language. It must be beautiful. 🙂

    And I can’t imagine trying to rhyme and work out a poem in a different language… so wow! Good for you!

    I really like this poem! It’s so child-like – so simple – but beautiful: the kind of poetry I adore! 🙂

    The one thing I’d suggest is to work on the meter. I’m not sure if it was intentional, but for the most part it’s very consistent! There are a few places I stumbled over though. Do you want me to point them out?

    This is a great poem and I can’t imagine how lovely it would be as a book with your illustrations. 🙂


    @evelyn Thank you so much. (:

    And please do point them out! It’s all very new for me so I didn’t focus to much on meter yet. Though I tried to give it a nice flow and tried to keep up with counting the syllables. I can’t wait to learn more so any critique is welcome!

    “I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

    Eden Anderson


    I love this!! So cute…and I think it’s really good for someone just beginning! Go you!

    You speak Dutch?! That’s so cool! Such a beautiful language!

    "But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    The Fledgling Artist

    @lin Aww that was adorable!! In all honestly you and Eden are the only reason I posted any of my own poetry. Haha. 😀 😀 So thanks for that! <3 How much experience do you have? I assumed you were as clueless as I, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    "Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."


    @eden-anderson O thank you! Yes! I’m a Dutchie living in the Netherlands (:

    That’s a big compliment! I actually am just as clueless as you are. The only time I ever rhyme (ha!) is at Sinterklaas. Which is a holliday in the Netherlands where we give each other presents and a funny poem to go allong with it. I think your Santa Claus actually came from that!

    “I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

    Eden Anderson


    OH MY WORD!!!!😮 You live in the Netherlands?!!! That’s no fair! I HAVE always wanted to travel there for as long as I can remember!!😍 That’s SO cool! I’ve never met anybody who lives in the Netherlands and now I have! *happy little dance* ❤


    "But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky


    @eden-anderson That’s awesome! Well, pleased to meet ya haha.

    “I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”


    @lin Okay, sorry for the delay in getting back to you! School and such. 😉

    So I printed out your poem the other day (hope you don’t mind) to mark up the meter as I usually do when working on second/third draft. However our printer wasn’t working this morning so I couldn’t scan it once I was done. 😛

    As you would have seen in the picture though a forward-dash (“/”) signifies a stressed syllable and the macron sort of symbol (basically a “u”) signifies an unstressed syllable. And finally, in the left margin I wrote the syllable count for each line. I only had time to go through the first two verses though.

    For the most part you stuck perfectly to iambic meter! (unstress, stress.) Out of the first two verses, I only found one instance that it did not:

    It carried him for hours on hours

    This one breaks up the meter a bit. It’s stress, unstress, unstress, stress, unstress. (HOU-rs on HOU-rs.) If you want to be strict with your meter, I’d change this line. Not only that the syllable count for that one is ten. Your verse before was 8/6/8/6 and this verse is 10/6/8/6. Like I said though, it really depends on whether you want to be strict with a certain consistent pattern.

    One other note: in the second to last verse, it reads “I feels as if I soar.” Grammatically be “I feel” for the same reason you use “I swim” instead of “I swims” the line before and “I soar” instead of “I soars.” 🙂

    Well I realize that this isn’t very helpful, and I’m really sorry about that. 😛 I wish I had time to go through the whole poem. I hope you understand!


    @evelyn O thank you! That’s very kind of you to take the time to do so (: I did not know about the hours part, but it makes perfect sense!

    Haha I noticed the spelling mistake before but I could not edit the post anymore. It was supposed to be ”it feels”.

    Thank you once again! Is there a place I can read your poems? I’m super curious (:

    “I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”


    @lin Ah! That makes sense. 🙂

    Aww thanks for asking! I have a blog where I post some of my poems… that is the better ones. 😂

    Here’s the link: http://www.evelynsbooknook.blogspot.com

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Evelyn.

    @evelyn Wow I love the look of your blog! Just read some of your poems. Dawn is one of my favorites! Makes me feel all hopeful (:

    “I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”


    @lin Thanks! 🙂

    Katherine Baker


    I feel like I’m arriving late to the party. 🙂

    First off, wow! Your poem was so good! Sweet and innocent, but still filled with deeper meaning. I love it! I know you’ve been saying you’re Dutch, so is English a second language? If it is, that makes your poem all the more impressive.

    I won’t try to duplicate efforts with @evelyn too much, but I noticed a few little things that you could think about changing:

    Stanza 1: He did not need the water fear
    It took me a while to figure this line out. We don’t normally end on a verb (though I know it’s very common in other languages), so it’s odd enough to throw me off). Maybe change it to something like: “He need not fear the waves below” or “The water did not scare the bird” or some variation of that. (This line doesn’t need to rhyme, so it’s relatively easy to fix)

    Stanza 4: As slow the floating house approached
    This one didn’t throw me off as badly as the first, but the vowel end still did mess with me a bit. Again, it doesn’t need to rhyme, so changing it to “The floating house approached him slow” or something like that would do.

    Stanza 7:‘Maybe seas are just like skies
    This is more of a meter suggestion than a grammar one. I would do “Maybe the seas” to change the meter (and syllables) to put emphasis on the word “seas” instead of the word “Maybe”. I won’t go into why that makes a difference, but when I read it out loud it does. 🙂

    Stanza 8: You don’t need when your wings are fins / and have humps on your back.’
    This is a trickier one to fix grammatically because the easy fix messes with the meter. The last line of this stanza, “and have humps on your back”, needs to have the clarifier “and you have humps”, or else I can’t tell if the wings or the creature have the humps (logically, it’s obvious it’s the creature, but grammatically not so much). I would play around with that one a bit. Maybe even change the meaning slightly to fix the grammar (i.e. “and waves roll off your back”).

    That’s all I got! Lovely work, Lin. It’s so sweet; I keep coming back and reading it again for the sheer joy of it. Keep writing great poetry!

    Always remember you're unique...
    ...Just like everyone else



    This poem is so wonderful <3  I would agree with Katherine that I just have to keep reading it because it’s so full of life and joy and wonder 🙂

    There are a few places that are a bit rough on the tongue – Katherine covered most of them, so I’ll just mention a few more.  But I do have to say that overall, the mood you captured in the piece was absolutely beautiful!  You have no problem with content. 🙂

    In stanza four, second line “Bird looked down on the one” didn’t read as smoothly as other lines, maybe because the rhythm didn’t match.  Perhaps if you switch “on” to “upon” it might be easier to read.

    Stanza eight, first line: “Fish are like birds in wetter skies” has such a wondrous meaning to it.  It, too, though, was a rougher read.  I was thinking that, if you wanted to make it rhythmically better, you could simply say “Fish are birds in wetter skies”, omitting the “like” so as to make more of a metaphor instead of a simile. (if I’m not getting all my terms mixed up ;))

    These are just minor problems.  Your poem is one of my favorites in the world 😀

    "Young people, you must pray, for your passions are strong and your wisdom is little."C.H.Spurgeon

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