I didn't intend this as poetry, but can you look at it please?

Forums Poetry Poetry Discussions I didn't intend this as poetry, but can you look at it please?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Taylor Clogston 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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    Taylor Clogston

    I was reading some Richard Brautigan and a bit enraptured by the crazy imagery in Trout Fishing in America, so I wrote this down:

    We were walking through the woods of dull New England pines, with me in my yellow boots and coat.

    God lifted up the punkwood stump of rotting winter, and underneath all the smells of spring sprang out. I saw crawling worms, and pus-red centipedes and snails, and long-legged blind things stretched beneath a mat of flattened leaves. There was a red-black salamander, and as it loped away I looked into a dog-eared book I had which called the smells of spring by name. “Needles, fungus, ozone-smell” scurried out of sight. I smiled fondly after it, and marked its page for colder days.

    God put down the log, winter fell over barren earth, and we went on.

    “Can we do another?” I asked.

    “Maybe later,” He said.

    I didn’t intend this as poetry, but I think that’s the closest to what it is. I liked the feel of writing something like this, and I’d like to write more! Can you eloquent poets give me criticism on what, if anything, I’m doing that works, and maybe some resources to learn how to improve at this short form, ideally prosodic writing?




    @taylorclogston I thoroughly enjoyed reading this! First: this could be described as flash fiction, if you wanted to. I would say that it qualifies very loosely as poetry– yes, the feel and lyric of it is very poetic, but the form doesn’t fit into any poetic category (rhyme, meter, blank verse, line breaks, annoying loss of punctuation).

    I absolutely love the word choice of this. If you decide to continue writing similar pieces, the rich verbs and nouns are perfect! With that said, in a couple places it’s a little unclear as to what you are referring to: “‘Needles, fungus, ozone-smell’ scurried out of sight. I smiled fondly after it, and marked its page…”, for example. What is the “it” the character is smiling at– the book? the little creatures? the smells? Maybe using the word “them” instead would make it more clear, especially since you describe the book with “it” in the next phrase.

    That’s really all I have to say here. The piece is beautiful, and the whole concept is great. Keep it up!

    A writer is a world trapped in a person. -Victor Hugo


    Taylor Clogston

    @martina Thanks so much for the feedback! Clarity is really not my strong suit.



    E.B. Raulands

    This is a very nice poem! I liked the imagery of walking through the woods with God. I think “blind things” is a little too vague, but other than that (and the points made above), this poem has a good rhythm as well as great specific descriptions.
    Well, the good news is I can tell you that this style would most likely be classified as “prose poetry,” which as far as I know is an actual type of poetry. Unfortunately, the only other poem I know of that’s written is this style is “Freedom to Breathe” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. I realize this isn’t much information, but maybe it’ll help point you in the right direction.

    To the glory of God and for the advancement of His kingdom.


    Taylor Clogston

    @e-b-raulands Thank you! Dang, poetry seems even more confusing than prose =P



    Grace Carter

    Firstly, even though this is late, I personally loved this too. Even though it was vague in the ways mentioned above, I feel like I actually got what you were trying to say and totally loved the vibe! ✨ The only question is, how does the book and the scene connect? Does the book have something to do with the reality around them?

    —Cartographer of Life’s Wandering Ways.
    Also, secretly Hedgehog Jones. Don’t tell anyone.


    Taylor Clogston

    @h-jones Thank you so much! I think my intention for the book was

    1. When I was a wee lad, I had a few field guides to bugs and salamanders and things, and this poem channels the times I’d go into the woods and just look up crawly things for hours.
    2. God pulls up the log, so we have a bit of spring. A crawling thing worms out, and it is the smells of spring. I identify it, and mark the page of the book for later so when the bit of spring is gone, I can at least look fondly back to it.


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