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Post  FairyDust on Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:57 pm

This is probably the only poem I ever finished in my entire life. I will never ever write anything to rival this, I am curious to see what people feel, see, and think about it. What meaning/s does it have for you - what does it speak?

A lone raven circles, on thermals she soars
Her wingtips black fingers - eternally pointing.
To the east and west she banks, twisting and turning -
Shrieking despair to the skies.

Suspended she hangs in the updraughts -
Her obsidian wingspan spread wide.
In a stealthy ethereal flight;
she is solo, supreme in this kingdom.
an equinox of darkness and light.

Death and decay are her consorts,
Feeding her body and soul.
Black eyes, the mirrors of nightmares,
Caught upon shadows by night.

Stately she looks in the daytime,
fear to your heart though at midnight -
caressed by the blackest of light.


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Post  studentofrhythm on Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:15 pm

Admiration for the raven comes through most clearly to me, and the despair, death, decay and fear I see mentioned, but I don't feel. Maybe it's because I find ravens endearing. Do they really shriek? I've heard them croak . . . what I call a croak you might call a shriek, and I know they can make a variety of sounds. Even so, "shriek" suggests more of an eagle or hawk sound to me.

Back to my first point: are you trying to express your admiration for the bird because of its fearsome character, or something else?

Somehow, "death and decay are her nourishment" suggests itself to me, or something similar: "consorts" makes me think of a more determinedly demonic or diabolic being than a mere scavenger.

Trying to fit the right words and images into a meter is of course one of the challenges of poetry, and I see you follow a meter pretty consistently. The varying lengths of each verse stand out because of that, and with the poem's length it's hard to judge whether this is intentional.

I'm sorry to pay so much attention to mechanics. Several images strike me:

"fingers - eternally pointing" -- I wonder what they're pointing to. What do you have in mind that those fingers either point to or show; in other words, what is the effect you aim for by that metaphor?

"stealthy ethereal flight" -- that is an unusual combination of adjectives. My experiences seeing ravens has always been by day, when their black color doesn't permit much stealth, and all throughout the poem I imagine ravens flying in the daytime. So if you want to emphasize how stealthy and ghostly/ethereal the bird can be at night, how might you do that?

"equinox" -- the word brings to my mind a balance of darkness and light, and once again I see the raven in sunlight, against a bright blue sky. A strong image, whether "equinox" is the most effective word to evoke it or not. But again, it doesn't fit with a notion of stealth as expressed two lines up.

About the meter again: that gives it a good pulse, making it feel incantatory, as if it were some kind of spell to summon or invoke an essence of raven-ness. If that's what you've aiming for, I'd say let that guide your choice of words, as well as the purpose behind it all: is it to summon, to pay homage, to name something dangerous and thus keep it at a safe distance, etc.?

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