Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Critique a poem?

  1. Nov 19, 2003 #1


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member


    I stood among the businessmen
    On their busy city street.
    But they skewed their shoulders sideways,
    Cringed, shoved past me,
    And there I stood alone.

    I kneeled among the pious few
    Whose tears fell for God.
    But my dry eyes betrayed me
    In that brittle silence,
    And there I kneeled alone.

    The Sun is for the flower;
    The rain for the tree.
    The wind shepherds clouds,
    The Moon shines not for me.

    Yet my friends are many,
    And my love is strong.
    My friends were even with me
    On that hustling city street,
    And in that stiff cathedral pew.
    But my friends, they mostly go unnoticed
    By both the busy, and the pious, too.

    No matter where my path may lead
    My friends, they know the way.
    They outpace the swiftest ship,
    Always sooner make the quay.

    My friends, they rise each evening
    With earnest, shining faces.
    They smile from every corner,
    And never slip their places.

    With one society I share
    Every incandescent summer,
    Yet survive the chill of winter
    By protection of another.

    My friends are to me
    A simple bliss unrivaled.
    Under these stars, my sentinels,
    I need not be afraid,
    Because in their gentle light
    I find my every fear allayed.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2003 #2
    Very nice Warren... I didn't realise that you were a poet. Pretty impressive. :smile:

    As we have a Poetry thread now, here is a Physics one:

    It seems quite amazing to me
    that each 'tick' and each 'tock'
    of my Grandfather clock
    takes [tex]2\pi\sqrt{l/g}[/tex]
  4. Nov 19, 2003 #3
    Poetry review.....

    " So, you have a choice, either die in the vacuum of space, or ......tell me how good you thought my poem was" said the Vogon Chroot.

    "Actually, I quite liked it" said Arthur quickly. " I thought that some of the metaphysical imagery was really particularly effective"

    "Do continue" invited the Vogon.

    " Oh.. er .. Interesting rhythmic devices too" continued Arthur "which seemed to counterpoint the .. er .. er.. counterpoint er.. the surrealism of the underlying metaphor of the ..er ..er... humanity of the Vogonity"

    "Go on" said the Vogon

    "... er.. which.. er.. contrives through the medium of the verse structure to sublimate this, transcend that, and come to terms with the ..er.. fundamental dichotomies of the other"

    "..and ...er.. one is left with a profound and vivid insight into.. .er.. into.. er... into whatever it was the poem was about."

    "Hmm" said the Vogon.......... "Death is to good for them"...
  5. Nov 19, 2003 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member


    Well, I wasn't necessarily looking so much for kind words as for ways to improve it. I certainly wouldn't call myself a "poet" -- maybe "a person who sometimes writes some clumsy poems."

    But thanks for the kind words anyway. :)

    - Warren
  6. Nov 20, 2003 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Nice poem, Warren. :smile: I assume it wasn't written for the folks down in Theory Development?

    If you are looking for constructive criticism, I would recommend trying to pay more attention to your meter. You have a nice flowing iambic pentameter in some parts, but then you break away and it disrupts the rhythm of the poem. For instance:

    In the 1st and 4th lines you have a nice undulating rhythm of unaccented/accented syllables, but you lose this rhythm in the 2nd and 3rd lines. If you try something like the following I think you will see it reads more nicely:

    The Sun is for the flower;
    The raindrops for the tree.
    The wind, it shepherds clouds;
    The Moon shines not for me.
  7. Nov 20, 2003 #6


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member


    Thanks for the advice!

    - Warren
  8. Nov 21, 2003 #7

    You are upsetting the muses. They have asked me to tell you what iambic pentameter means.

    Here is what it means: a line of five iambic "feet".

    An iambic foot is one unaccented syllable paired with an accented one. The unaccented one comes first: duh - DUH.

    A line of iambic pentameter has this rhythm:

    duh-DUH duh-DUH duh-DUH duh-DUH duh-DUH

    Example with words:

    My Mistress' eyes are nothing like the Sun.


    Like as, to make our appetites more keen,

    Remembering the "pent" in pentameter should keep you mindful of what the rhythm of iambic pentameter should be: five iambic feet.
    Pick any Shakespeare Sonnet, memorize it, you'll never forget what iambic pentameter is, because every line in every Shakespeare Sonnet is iambic pentameter.

  9. Nov 21, 2003 #8


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There you go.

    Anyways, yeah, I know what iambic pentameter is, I was just sloppy with my phrasing... nice catch.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook