Sunday, 23 January 2011

The Wolf

Once loved and hated and admired and feared,

So calm it sneaks along the silent wood,

In oh so many colours it appeared,

To see it wild and free, I wish I could.


  1. Hi Sydney,

    I hope you had a lovely Christmas break, and are enjoying 2011 so far!

    So: 'Kingston'. Now, having moderated a few of these types of poetry task before, I know that it often takes students a while to get used to dealing with rhythm and meter (and very understandably – it's no simple task, and one I often struggle with myself). So I am extremely impressed by how technically sound this poem is. 'Thames'/'immense' is a cheeky half rhyme, and I would query whether the stress falls firmly on that 'are' in the fourth line, but these are the only quibbles I have. Good job!

    However... (I feel like I wouldn't be doing my job properly if I didn't find a 'however'!) I do think your search for rhymes does “divert the tracks of your meaning”. To be fair, Mr. S is asking a lot of a first time poet, but I'm still going to pick some nits:

    'Just greens, not fields but still no farmers plough': if there aren't fields in Kingston, then why the surprise/regret that 'still no farmers plough'? Of course they don't plough if there are no fields!

    'First night with fright': first night of what? Why are we frightened? Huh?! Please do let me know what I'm missing here! :)

    'Between'... between what? Is there an implication I'm missing?

    But not to worry: you're already developing am impressively good grasp of poetic form, and when that comes naturally you'll be able to direct your efforts into the poem's content and meaning, rather than into the adding up of feet!

    Onto 'The Wolf'. The first line isn't iambic – the stress goes 'once LOVED and HATE-d and ad-MIRED and FEARED' – but as that's the only real fudging of meter in a total of fourteen lines of poetry I don't think it's something to worry about :) There is also a shift of tense between the second and third lines from present to past that I don't really understand: it's not to fit the constraints Mr. S laid down ('sneaked' would work just the same as 'sneaks'; similarly, 'appears' rather than 'appeared' wouldn't disrupt the poem's meter either), so maybe it's just a wee slip-up. In this poem your meaning isn't compromised by the constraints of your poetic form – everything makes sense, and your theme and image develops across the course of these four lines – and of this you should be proud.

    These poems demonstrate a strong and instinctive understanding of poetic technique; I know you will soon be confident with rhyme and meter, and so am very much looking forwards to reading your future works!

  2. Hi,

    Great job on the ryhmes here again. Like Sarah said, the first lines off with the rythm, but i'm sure you'd have got that on a re-read. The other lines are perfect, and the tone of this is great.

    I like that you chose an animal with a conplex identity, and then bring out the fact that you, the poet, want to see it. It of course implies that you can't see it running free, rather than stating it, which is a great way of suggesting sadness.

    I've commented on the other piece seperately. Well done with both of these. You should be really proud.

    Take care,



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