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A Song of Love

PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:56 am
by gstormcrow
Hello again everybody! This is the first poem I've posted on this wonderful forum. I must start off by saying that I'm feeling excited and a bit intimidated by the apparent Mt. Everest of talent that you've all displayed here. :shock: :!: Still, there's no other place I'd rather be when "the mood" is upon me. Well, anyways, here it goes . . . (as he inhales deeply, exhales slowly, cringes and pushes the "Submit" button) :arrow:

A Song of Love

As a summer sun folds behind the blanket of night
A seagull's cry tears the vale of the strand
I reach inside to spread my memories out before me
Of the last time we walked hand in hand

Such face was to me a vision of heavenly beauty
Soft eyes deep with a light of hope and care
As we talked in the sunset of that midsummer's eve
Her hair danced as it kissed the sea air

The song of love we once shared with the heavens
Drew the angels ever closer in harmony
But when it appeared that the advent was near
We strained and became ashamed of the simile

What song is this that cheats hearts and steals souls,
Taking smiles from sunshine and hiding tears in the rain?

Is it the song of two voices joined together in love
Or the lonely song of one searching for another in vain?

For once we held the keys to heaven's door
But now it's like I'm locked in hell all alone
This life of loneliness is worse than death
And yet the hope for love still leads me on

So let's sing of love's many lessons in life
And let its harmonic chord ring true
Keep in time with the music of its melody
Pause with grace to prevent straining the tune

PS Almost all of my "poems" are original songs I've written with accompanying music. Therefore, it is my sincere hope that you'll either enjoy or forgive my frequent use of rhyme and meter. Either way, please feel free to reply with your comments and suggestions as all are welcome and appreciated. Cheers! :D

Re: A Song of Love

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:45 am
by marwood
I know what you mean about the deep breath before pressing submit!
It would be interesting to hear your songs, can you down load them?
Take care.

Re: A Song of Love

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:11 am
by BrokenLyre
Thanks for posting - I always like to hear the "voices" on this site. I can see how your poem would easily fit a song. I especially like line:

"We strained and became ashamed of the simile"

and this:

"What song is this that cheats hearts and steals souls,
Taking smiles from sunshine and hiding tears in the rain?"

Thanks for posting.

Re: A Song of Love

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:42 am
by gstormcrow
Hello marwood, BrokenLyre and everyone. :D

I’d like to first apologize to you all in advance for the long post that follows – it’s a bad habit of mine that I slip into while trying to convey several things at once. I hope after reading you’ll feel your patience rewarded and your time well spent. :?:

@ marwood: Thank you for reading my poem and for your interest in it’s musical accompaniment. I unfortunately don’t have any recorded music except for songs I’d written almost 20 years ago when I was in a (<gasp>) hard rock band. Since those days are long gone and I currently have no one else to collaborate with, I’ve become a private songwriter/poet. The works I write now are primarily for my own enjoyment though it’s my goal to make them entertaining enough for others to enjoy. Until now, I’ve been content to play the music and sing the verses aloud to myself or in front of my family and friends. (Those poor souls – bless their kind hearts and tortured ears for indulging me.) This forum is actually the first time these poems have been seen by anybody other than my wife and a few other friends. My style is to create chord progressions that go with the mood, rhyme and meter of the particular poem I’m writing however sometimes I start that process in reverse with the chords coming first. Therefore, if I write words first I consider the work a poem but if the chords come first I consider it a song. I try not to wait too long to add words or music to a work because the additions start to sound forced, or “shoehorned” which is why some of my poems don’t have music and vice-versa. My unfinished works reside in a file I call “the graveyard” though a better name for it would be “the wrecking yard” since I place dead ideas that may have some value later there and pull parts off of old ideas if I think they’re an exact fit for what I’m currently working on. In this poems case there was a chord progression written to go with the verses (Dmin, Amin, Gmaj, Esus4, Emaj) however I’ve since taken that music and am using it with another poem I think it’s better suited for. Putting all that aside, your question of interest has got me thinking of an idea I’d like to use in the future. If I post a poem on these forums that has music completed for it, I will record the guitar accompaniment and post a link to the mp3 so that both can experienced at the same time.

@ BrokenLyre: Thank you very much for telling me what you liked about my poem. I, too, like to hear the “voices” on this site. Also, I absolutely agree with you that those verses are the high points of this poem so it appears we have some common tastes in poetry. Based on our common tastes, I’m going to check out the works you’ve previously posted here because I'm guessing that I will enjoy them very much.

@ everyone: This poem is one of my early efforts I recently dug up from my early writings and thought it’d be a good starting point for discussion here. It was written in my teens after a break-up when I felt that my heart had been broken into a ‘thousand pieces’. I remember trying to describe all of the confusing emotions I was feeling at the time, attempting to put everything into some kind of context and to move forward with a feeling of understanding & hope. I also wanted the images described to be just as clear today as they were then. Well, it’s good to reach . . . :wink:

More often than not, poets take great pride in their work and keep unfinished works hidden in fear of the harsh critique or of possibly losing their style’s ‘mystique’, like a magician who doesn’t dare show his audience what’s behind the curtain. “Omne ignotum pro magnifico” or “everything unknown appears magnificent” as my friend Holmes once put it. I am not ashamed to admit that a poet’s mystique is sometimes very much a part of what makes their works so interestingly inimitable to me.

Yet, in contrast, my approach is somewhat different partially because I’m primarily a songwriter and only blushingly consider myself a poet. I like to create straightforward verses that seem like they’ve been, or could have been, written before which have deeper meanings in different contexts. I’m attempting to be completely open to the listener so my works can be understood by anyone yet still have other avenues that can be interpreted further if the listener so chooses where each point of view would be equally valid and interesting. To be completely open to the listener isn’t easy to maintain so I prefer to regulate my artist’s ego with a heavy diet of reality and humility, adding a few spoonfuls of comic relief (or subtle madness) in for good measure. Using this method I find that harsh critiques rarely dishearten me and usually serve as the spark that queues my inner perfectionist to try something more creatively interesting even if it means scrapping those few guarded lines, that whole guarded paragraph or the whole damn thing if I fear I’m losing the listener. “I will not weep for the piles of bones in my poet’s graveyard nor the countless hours they represent for they are all witnesses to my endless journey.”

I chose this poem as my first posting because I believe it provides a great opportunity for me, as a newcomer, to show my openness and ability to give myself a few well-aimed pointers. To be honest, I thought it might also give everyone a chuckle (or a cough) as it did for me when I re-read it.

Here are my thoughts on this work:

To start, I wanted to create the atmosphere with a couple lines of imagery. The first two lines are not bad (not great, either) and contain the same style of wordplay I currently use throughout my work. The rest of the lines in the first paragraph along with all of the lines in the second are pretty much predictable and average, at best.

The third paragraph I think gets a bit better as it starts using imagery to compare the couple’s love to a song they share with the heavens. It definitely appears that I used the word ‘simile’ incorrectly because the previous lines of that paragraph are a metaphor, not a simile. Though ‘simile’ was not my original “voice” word and an afterthought edit to my notes (tinker, tinker), I remember partially justifying to myself the word’s usage (probably because ‘metaphor’ didn’t rhyme with ‘harmony’ and ‘analogy’ consists of 4 syllables, not 3) while also thinking there was a need for something interesting like ironic wordplay at that point. The muddled justification was that the couple first thought of their love as a metaphor (if spoken, “our love is a song to heaven”) however, after strained attempts by both to try and make it a perfect love worthy of heaven, they realize their love could never achieve such perfection and are embarrassed for thinking it could ever be more than just a simile (or “our love can only be like a song to heaven”).

I think the next two verses (aka: the bridge) are pretty good yet seem a little borrowed and predictable.

The rest of the poem is pretty much more of the same – seeming quite borrowed and predictable. I remember trying to bring the whole ‘song of love’ aspect in for the closing and was pretty happy with it at the time. Nevertheless, I soon abandoned work on this poem because I felt it was way too predictable and didn’t evoke the level of meaning and emotion I wanted despite several attempts. The guitar progression 'lives' in a ballad of mine and is still one of my favorites.

Thanks again for reading, no matter how far you got. It is a sincere privilege to have the opportunity to contribute on this forum.

Cheers and happy holidays to all.