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This is my hand.
Take it in yours,
And know that I'll always be there.

This is my heart.
Keep it with you,
To remind you how much I care.

This is my kiss.
Meet it gladly,
And know I reserve it for you.

This is my soul.
It's bare before you,
To show you I'll always be true.

This is my life.
Entwine it with yours,
From now until the end of time.

This is my love.
Forever, for you,
As are all of these things of mine.
I was struck with the idea for this the other day but I just don't feel I'm doing it justice. Any advice on ways I can improve on this would be much appreciated - improvement is the reason I joined dA, after all.

Specific questions:
- I've changed the last stanza so it now (loosely) rhymes AND fits the structure, totally changing the emphasis of the ending. Do you think it's an improvement?
-Does "Forever, for you" sound right? There's some debate on this so I'd really like to hear opinions.

100 theme challenge: 2 (Love)
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:iconangelichope:
angelichope Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2014
Gosh, this is so sweet and gorgeous; whoever is the inspiration for this work is lucky!!!!:iconmecutelove:
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:iconkittywoof:
Kittywoof Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011
This is really honest and touching and I think it's brilliant. Sorry it's taken me so long to look at your work though, I have no excuse.
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:iconblossomgirl0649:
blossomgirl0649 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
I love this poem :D Great work on it! :clap:
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011
^_^ Thank you! I'll be reading your story chapters soon, I promise!
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:iconblossomgirl0649:
blossomgirl0649 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
N'aww yay :D thank you very much!
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:iconbakape:
Bakape Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Sweet! :heart:
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2010
^_^
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:iconatrue:
ATrue Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2010
Thank you for submitting this to LITplease for critique!

I read your comments and concerns and I've got to admit that this poem fits into the category of "greeting card poetry." Each stanza sounds like a turn on a page in a romantic greeting card. So, it is salable, but I suppose not in the way you were hoping.

The reason this falls into greeting card instead of regular poetry is because it sticks to cliches: take my hand, bare my soul, lives entwined. These are all images/phrases that have been used for centuries and that stopped working in terms of moving anyone a long time ago. These days, if you're going to write a love poem, you need to go beyond what's been done and explore an image that has yet to be explored.

So, instead of saying, "this is my hand/take it in yours" you could use the hands image in another way that hasn't been done. It would require a longer stanza, but it would capture the reader's attention so that they don't care how long it takes to read. You could, for example, look at the lines on a person's hand as a metaphor. Maybe the lines create an image of something sentimental between the two people this love poem exchanges between. Or, perhaps the age or wear of the hands says something about the person: callouses could represent how hard they work, dry skin a long winter, a perfect manicure an attempt to be perfect. You need to think about the image within the image, not just a hand but something about the hand. Do you know what I mean?

The same goes for a kiss. Knowing something about the kiss could tell us a lot about the relationship between the two people. What kind of kiss is it? Wet and sloppy could tell us they are still young and inexperienced, long and romantic would say they're at the peak of their intimacy, a short dry one could denote a satisfied friendship lacking in passion, or a cold peck could be a love that has died. There are a lot of ways to describe a kiss.

The important thing to remember though is to not explain your image. If you are going to say that he/she as callouses, you let that speak for itself, you don't then add "because I work so hard." That's called telling. I'm sure you've heard of the telling versus showing debate--that's what they're talking about. Right now, your poem is telling us not showing us.

I hope you find this helpful. What I'd really like to see you do is write outside the box and think about what metaphors you can create using basic images like souls, kisses, hands, and hearts.
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2010
Thank you so, so much for this critique. You've showed me a perspective on this that I hadn't really considered. I'm quite inexperienced so the telling versus showing argument is not something I've encountered but it makes perfect sense as you say it. I'll be taking your advice and working on a "showing" poem.

"Greeting card poetry" - that's one I'll remember every time I write a cliché from now on, I think.
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:iconatrue:
ATrue Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2010
:clap: Glad I could help!
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:iconitti:
Itti Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Also, wow, that's a lot of groups!
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2010
Yes, eighteen is a bit extreme. This was one of my first deviations, when I was desperate for people to read my work and I kinda spammed it to groups. I don't generally submit to more than ten and even if it's that many, a few of them are usually smaller groups of about ten people.
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:iconitti:
Itti Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, I know what you mean - I've been there!

Are you a member of so many groups then? Or are they open for non-members to submit?

I find I keep deleting memberships as I can't keep up with all the deviations!
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2010
Again, when I was starting out I joined a ton (about 40) but quickly found myself deleting huge numbers of deviations without reading them.

I've removed several from my watch (really should withdraw my memberships, I keep forgetting) and will probably give it another prune soon. I get a lot of deviations in my inbox but it doesn't take long to determine which ones I want to look at in closer detail. I try to submit each deviation now to no more than five groups and not to submit more than one per week to any group - since I write roughly four deviations per week, this works out quite well.
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:iconitti:
Itti Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
"Forever, for you" sounds good to me. I like the way this piece builds up towards the ending. Very heartfelt.
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2010
Thank you so very much :)
Reply
:iconmooney-bo-booney:
mooney-bo-booney Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2010
when going with simple i like a short poem. the repitition in this was a little tiring for me. not in a terribly bad way just in a "i kind of was wanting something fresh by the end" sort of way.

also if we're looking at the poem a it is now, i think you could do without the last stanza completely. i feel like it kind of shoves the idea at us instead of letting us jsut draw our conclusion from your previous words.

all in all, not to shabby (: keep up the good work!
Reply
:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2010
Thanks for taking the time not only to read this but to give a thorough and honest opinion of it. In this particular instance, I think we face a difference of taste. I can entirely appreciate your views on both the length and the summary in the last paragraph but, for me, they work. That said if lots of people agree with this, I'll look into shortening it while still being as happy (or nearly as happy) with it as I am now.

Thank you, both for your thoughts and again for the compliment!
Reply
:iconmooney-bo-booney:
mooney-bo-booney Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2010
i think that might be it also. but no problem!

ps- way to respond tastefully for a comment. thank you for not exploding in my face for having a different opinion.
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2010
Haha, thank you, I was trying desperately to be courteous without it sounding insincere. I really do value feedback of all forms and didn't want to seem dismissive of your opinion.
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:iconmooney-bo-booney:
mooney-bo-booney Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2010
mission accomplished.
Reply
:iconanjellyjoy:
Anjellyjoy Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like the structure and content of this poem and think that in general, it addresses the theme quite well. I love how you've braved rhyme and tackled a fairly popular (hence more subject to critique) topic. I think in the briefness of this story, you've managed to convey little bits and pieces that make love what it is. :)

My suggestion would be, perhaps in the last line of each stanza, attempt make the number of syllables used the same. It may make the poem flow a little more and just have that extra ooft. Otherwise, fantastic! :la:
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010
Thank you so much for that suggestion, it's now made me notice how much the middle line of the final stanza sticks out. Do you agree with *Keeper-Of-The-Hollow that "forever, for you" sounds too cut off? My initial thought was that it flows nicely as a phrase but perhaps "forever, it's yours" or "forever, it is yours" would suit it better? The problem is that the former involves a contraction, which up until now I've avoided but the latter is six syllables where previously I've used four or five. Going to six or seven syllables seems like a large departure from the previous flow. What do you think?
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:iconanjellyjoy:
Anjellyjoy Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hmm, "forever, for you" actually sounds alright to me. I mean, being the end of the poem, I think it deserves a bit of change. Though, either way is fine. I think you've captured the idea quite well already using the structure. :nod:
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010
^_^ I'm going back to "forever, for you" then. I like it, it feels more succinct. *Off to edit*
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010
Woohoo, thank you so much. I think I'm going to look at doing just that - it's a very small change that, I agree, can improve the flow nicely and add that bit more... yes, "ooft" is just the word.
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:iconmaddyjordan:
MaddyJordan Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I love you.
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2010
...

...

I keep trying to find something to say in response that doesn't sound lame. So far, rather unsuccessfully.
Reply
:iconmaddyjordan:
MaddyJordan Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
lol a simply 'aw thats cute' would be okay haha
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2010
Aww, that's cute :)

... too little too late, huh? :p
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:iconmaddyjordan:
MaddyJordan Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
lol no still warms me up :D
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2010
Well I'm very glad to hear it! :D
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:iconkeeper-of-the-hollow:
First, suggests are always great to get back. It shows people are interested in what you are writing. So, the last stanza where it is "This is my love. Forever, for you." I would suggest feeding the line more...if that makes sense. For example--a poem 2 love--"This is my love./Forever, it is yours." or something along the line. "Forever, for you." sounds a bit cut off.

And second, whether the repetition works. It does for me as the reader, there's a flow my eyes transcribe.

Babbling aside, a good poem. I enjoyed reading it
Reply
:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2010
You're so right, suggestions are massively helpful, both from a general improvement perspective but also as you say, in showing that people are interested. So thank you!

Regarding that final stanza, how about "It will be yours forever"?

I'm also still not sure on the final line. It feels a little bit like an afterthought - though perhaps it always will.
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:iconkeeper-of-the-hollow:
No problem.

As for the last stanza, I think you're right about the afterthought view because it's ending the poem and you want that perfect last line to completely the picture. "It will be yours forever" or "It will be yours, forever" is a good ending because it breaks the pattern of repetition which gives it an ending. You are the crafter, it has to fit with you.
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2010
I've modified the ending - I agree that ideally I want the final thought to be that "It will be yours, forever", so this change seems like a good step in the direction I want it to take. The breaking of the structure was not a requirement and actually brought about the need for those last few lines in justification of the structure breaking. The ending is a lot more abrupt now and I think emphasises the purpose of the entire poem.

What do you think?
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:iconkeeper-of-the-hollow:
The change is a great one, there's more of a flow to it when I read it now. The justification is just. The last stanza is stronger now since it gives that "closing the door" feel. I like that you can take suggests and warp them into your fixings.
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2010
Well thanks, both for the feedback and the compliment :)

This may actually be the final version :joy:
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:iconkeeper-of-the-hollow:
Congrats are in order then
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2010
Thank you very much! Both for the congrats and for your input, which has really made a major impact!
Reply
:iconbymebehappy:
ByMeBeHappy Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm in love with this poem *w*
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2010
Woo! Thank you and thanks for the fave!
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:icondesire87:
Desire87 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I think the repetition on this works quite well! It is a great poem overall. I like the abrupt ending and the entire idea of that stanza. I suppose it's difficult to make something like that really "fit" with the rest of the poem, but it still sounds alright to me. :D
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2010
Thank you :D
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:icondragnixcatc:
dragnixcatc Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:iconthe-writers-reveiw:

I like the idea of this peice and I like the repitition. I think the last stanza could be improve with the last line perhaps you could put " These perfect imperfections" tis only a suggestion :)

CatC
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2010
I agree that the ending's still not quite there. I like the phrasing, perfect imperfections. I'll think on possible ways of rewording the last line. Thanks for your feedback!
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:icondragnixcatc:
dragnixcatc Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
you're welcome :D
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:iconbad-bad-rubber-piggy:
bad-bad-rubber-piggy Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2010   Photographer
I like the idea! I think the ending could bring more of a abrupt change somehow, and watch the typos ("if" instead of "is" in a couple stanzas). But over all this is pretty sweet.
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:iconzophirus:
Zophirus Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2010
Thanks so much for pointing out those typos. I think you're right with making the ending more abrupt. I'll muse on what I can do on that front. Thanks for the input!
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:iconbad-bad-rubber-piggy:
bad-bad-rubber-piggy Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2010   Photographer
No problem. :) I look forward to seeing more from you!
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