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Entry #12

Discussion in 'Q4.2 2019' started by Xiph0, Dec 23, 2019.

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  1. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Yoda Admin

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    "But mother, please, I want to hear the original."

    "Do you?" the witch asked, sighing as she waved a hand at a candle to ignite it again. "I suppose you are big enough now-"

    "I'm five stone."

    "Yes, dear, you are. Do you promise to stay your tongue until the end?"

    The young wizard nodded, pulling the wool sheet to his chin.

    "There was a man named Horace Sheene, whose days were poor and mean.

    He worked on his potions all e'en, trying to make himself green.

    He purloined a feather of a drake; he wondered what brews it might make.

    Yet in his stupor he made a mistake; he knew not that the feather was fake.

    In the glass stared the face of a lord; he needed only a robe and a sword.

    He wore what was in his stolen hoard, but soon he found himself bored.

    Sheen went to the lord's wife to see, and she readily believed it was he.

    They went about business an hour or three, whatever that business might be.

    He found a lost hair, in a lost comb, doubting it would make him a gnome-

    put the hair, furtively, into the foam, of his brew just as the lord came home.

    Lord Glemis was angry, understand he did not; his rage boiled oil in a gold boiling pot!

    Sheen disappeared, but the lady was caught, and screamed as she found the oil quite hot!

    He laughed as he flew, looking a maid, safely away from the penalty paid.

    On his broomstick he was unafraid; he sought what trouble could be made.

    As a young muggle girl did he appear, he walked into town to seek a seer,

    to whom he might confess his fear, that the end of his life was near.

    The diviner said he had heard no lie, that soon, quite soon, would he die.

    To spite the seer, he mixed with rye, a draught to make him dead to the eye.

    The town saw as in earth he was laid, the rites ever swift for an unknown maid.

    At night he rose, as the priest yet prayed, both potions had faded, their parts played.

    By morn men raged at the open grave, and at the false telling the diviner gave.

    For such bold predictions, were he so brave, he would have no trouble in a bear's cave.

    There was a roar, there was a scream, the seer wished to be having a dream.

    He knew little magic, as it would seem; his only use was as food for the bream.

    Sheen laughed again, in his original shape, howling and beating his chest like an ape.

    Having had yet another daring escape, he could hardly wait to be in a new scrape.

    A merchant passed by, rich as a king; Sheen followed him to an inn, where he was sleeping.

    He stole the wizard's clothes, even his ring, then turned into him, for the time being.

    In the morn he overpaid the town belter, he clothed hungry men and gave the sick shelter.

    Visiting the bank, and then the smelter, he threw razors of gold in the streets helter-skelter!

    Some tried to take care, but had no time to think, others pushed and acted the fink.

    The wise meant to flee with but a clink, but as blood spurted, their hopes would sink.

    The gold edges they turned on each other, sister slashed sister and brother slashed brother.

    Clutching gold there was a dead mother, lying face down in the street, her infant to smother.

    Sheen laughed as people screamed, more and more naughtiness he dreamed.

    Guiltier and guiltier the rich man seemed, begging for a chance to be redeemed.

    Sheen was away as he met his fate, fearfully groveling before reckless hate.

    The town decided to take his estate, yet nevermore was he called a cheapskate.

    At last he decided to go home for more, awaiting whatever tomorrow had in store.

    The potion he had made was no bore, but collecting and brewing was ever a chore.

    He traded the gold for various meats, drake, game, and swine, to mix with beets.

    Even there, he heard shouting in the streets; some remained unimpressed by his feats.

    Sheen would awake to brew a new brew, to continue trouble or start trouble anew.

    Yet as he thought, and finished his stew, the smell of smoke nearby grew and grew.

    Was the town on fire? Had he set it ablaze? He felt the greatest delight in all his days.

    He looked outside for the glowing praise, yet it seemed a different sort of craze.

    Almost all of the houses were on fire, and though his spirits could be higher,

    he had a concern, greatly more dire, that his own hovel would be his pyre.

    He sought an escape, but none could he see; the fire ignored his silent plea.

    It surrounded and he could not flee, not e'en to be smoked out like a bee.

    If any had seen what he had done, he had not once seen anyone.

    Sheen was always quick to run, but ever had he too much fun?

    He knew he was the master of jest, but in apothecary, not the best.

    Perhaps a master took an interest, perhaps as he changed or dressed.

    He may even have been followed back; a shape changer outside his shack.

    An easy task, for one with the knack, was reversing the work of a quack.

    If it were so, he would not know, for out of his home he could not go.

    Into fire, did he hastily throw, potion stuffs made but a moment ago.

    The fire roared and devoured him whole, separating his body and soul.

    Both burned and burned, as might coal, but for his remains there was no hole.

    A moment passed.

    "Is that the end?"

    "You wished to hear the original, dearest. I remember no explanation of what happened to the town. I invented the one I told you."

    "Oh. Well, I didn't know it just ended like that." He lacked the words to describe the abruptness; the lack of satisfaction. The young wizard's mother patted him on the head.

    "That's quite alright, dear. Earlier, I thought it best to simply give you the meaning of the story, but you're half a man now, so perhaps it is time you think of it on your own. My father seemed to believe Sheen would tell the moral of the story, but when I was a little witch I always thought if I were that far gone, I would not be learning lessons from stories. I tried to take lessons from some of the other characters, and I believe they served me well." She rose, extinguishing the candle again, and making to leave the room. "They say the best stories do not need an explanation."

    The young wizard did not watch as his mother left. His eyes were fixed on a book sitting on the end of his bed.

    Ensnare the Senses from An Early Age by Gregory the Smarmy, the cover read- or it would, were it light.
     
  2. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    1189 words - this felt a bit disjointed, in part because of the rhyming, but also because parts weren't clear. Still a neat idea with some good lines!

    Props for using ‘stone’ as a measure of weight. I can totally see a kid saying something along these lines – especially one young enough to only weigh five stone.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that some people don’t like the rhymes, even if they appreciate the effort that went into this.

    I really and truly do appreciate the effort that went into this, but it’s a bit awkward to read. There’s too much and too many italics for my eyeballs to enjoy it. I find it easier to read in non-italics and coupled, a bit like this, in case you decide to edit it later:

    There was a man named Horace Sheene, whose days were poor and mean.
    He worked on his potions all e'en, trying to make himself green.

    He purloined a feather of a drake; he wondered what brews it might make.
    Yet in his stupor he made a mistake; he knew not that the feather was fake.

    In the glass stared the face of a lord; he needed only a robe and a sword.
    He wore what was in his stolen hoard, but soon he found himself bored.​

    The rhymes are clever and they might work well with pictures, like in a Dr. Seuss book, but by themselves I have trouble painting a picture of what’s going on. I’m too busy parsing the words to let them flow, I guess? I can’t seem to explain this. Moving on!

    Gets a bit terrifying here. Sister v sister and brother v brother is bad enough, but that line about the dead mother smothering her infant was harsh. Well done if you were going for that, and I think you were.

    This line will probably be my favorite, it just… feels giddily sociopathic:

    Was the town on fire? Had he set it ablaze? He felt the greatest delight in all his days.

    But I also quite like this line, which will probably stick with me longer:

    My father seemed to believe Sheen would tell the moral of the story, but when I was a little witch I always thought if I were that far gone, I would not be learning lessons from stories.

    All in all I think this is a fine story but telling it with this much rhyme detracts from it somewhat, perhaps? I recognize and acknowledge the effort that went into this, but it needs some tweaking to work for me. I admit to having done the same thing before and a beta-reader (or two) telling me to drop the rhymes (and another one telling me to be smarter with my rhymes but to keep them), so I offer their advice to you as well.

    Good idea, thanks for writing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2019
  3. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

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    Alright, so, you're making poetry the centerpiece of your story. The problem, then, is if the quality of your prose is good enough for that, and I have to say that it isn't. You tried to rhyme "sleeping" with "being", for fuck's sake. That's not gucci at all. Your meter is whack, the story that of a twat who does random shit and then burns to death for no real reason - not even ironic punishment, just random chance. There's no particular moral in it.

    The entire framing device is, as far as I can tell, to show the reason why Gregory the Smarmy is called that. It seems quite the leap to go from "smarmy" to "unbridled sociopath who murders his merry way through a bunch of people", though. Greggy's invention and notoriety is for something else entirely, even: the Unctuous Unction, which makes the drinker think someone is their best friend.

    Technically this is harder to grade. I'll be merciful and judge you on the non-poetry part, which was adequate.
     
  4. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Chief Warlock DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    I'm in two minds about this one. Certainly, I couldn't do what you have done here.

    I love this reply, it's perfect.
    I also like that it's not really clear who the mother and son are. Snape would be my guess with that 'ensare the senses' but compared to the other entries it's not framed to be explicitly a part of their lives or their children or whatever.
    Ooof, not the strongest start when the second line reads so shortly against the first.
    I really enjoyed these two lines.
    Ooof, not the strongest.
    Again not the strongest line.

    I enjoyed the framing, I enjoyed some of the individual lines. I thought that you did very well to make it a somewhat story in parts, but mostly it was an odd scattering of adventures. It must have been very difficult to do, but I don't think that effort has rewarded you particularly well with a very defined narrative. I feel your Snape's conversation at the end was a defence against the criticism. That's fine. I hope you enjoyed writing it. It is certainly remarkable and an impressive effort.
     
  5. Lungs

    Lungs KT Loser ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Now here's the problem with writing in rhyme,
    your flow is weak and mean at its prime.
    Your distinct lack of meter should be a crime,
    I really think that you're wasting our time.

    I did give you points for trying to be clever,
    which you promptly lost for "e'en". Whatever.
    However your verses, whenever, wherever,
    losing story to rhyme is a worthless endeavor.
     
  6. Gaius

    Gaius Fifth Year

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    So, congratulations on trying to do a poem. That's hard.

    But... as someone stated above... the prosody is off. Since the poem is central to your story, it detracted from the story overall. Try reading your lines aloud. They don't have to have the same rhythms (iambic, trochaic, etc.) but at least the same number of beats. And the rhymes... were rather forced too. You could have rhymed only at line-end if that was less constraining.
     
  7. Microwave

    Microwave Professor

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    It's a clever idea, yeah. But like the other reviewers said, there's not really any proper meter that allows it to flow like verse. It's really just prose disguised at verse and doesn't do a very good job at being either.

    You have to focus when you write,
    In verse you can't make any slight,
    A constant meter is a tool,
    That you can use to keep it cool,
    Since all your writing needs to flow,
    Or else it'd just be prose, y'know?

    It is something that's hard to do,
    But that's the challenge if you choose,
    The English language is quite tough,
    Just matching sounds is not enough,
    Elusive, intonation is,
    By changing maybe what one says.

    So guessing is the easy fix,
    Say it aloud and if it fits,
    You have your meter all complete,

    There's naught to do but to repeat,

    And tell your story in its whole,
    A grand-old tale for you to show


    Meter is such an important part of verse because it's what keeps the whole thing together. Just rhyming it creates a conclusion to your lines, but you don't really build up to that conclusion without a consistent meter.

    There's so many ways you can structure meter, but consistency is key when you're trying to pull off a sort of effect. Meter isn't something set in stone. If you get it flowing enough in the beginning, you can almost force what syllables are stressed and unstressed later on since the reader would have already gotten into the pace of your writing.

    https://www.poemofquotes.com/articles/types-of-meters.php

    Look around and explore.
     
  8. FitzDizzyspells

    FitzDizzyspells Fifth Year DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    I feel very disoriented right now.

    I get that we read some fucked up stories to children, but I just don't see a single child ever asking for this story. Even baby Snape.

    As for your character -- he may be chaotic neutral, but some of his choices still baffle me. He put an awful lot of time and effort into fucking with the Seer, who basically just parroted back what Horace said to him. I think Horace's revenge might've made more sense if the Seer approached/irritated Horace when Horace just wanted to be left alone.

    The golden razors also seemed pretty bizarre.

    For a fairy tale, you might've had more luck if you'd decided whether to make Horace chaotic good or chaotic evil. I don't know, maybe that's terrible advice, but I just felt very neutral when he met his end.

    I also have to agree with others who have pointed out that the meter doesn't work here.[/SPOILERS]
     
  9. Majube

    Majube Order Member

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    Rather dark tale for a kid hmm? The ending was unsatisfying as well, I guess it blew over my head, something about the book being cursed.

    I thought the poem rather devolved near the end where you switched off of doing A, B rhyming scheme.
     
  10. H_A_Greene

    H_A_Greene Professor –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    I'll give you kudos for at least trying to rhyme this all the way through, but times aplenty they fell short and came across awry, reaching.

     
  11. Niez

    Niez Seventh Year

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    Props for having the courage of trying something new, but I am not a poet, nor do I read fanfiction for those sick iambic pentameters. This means that right off the bat I’m not going to enjoy this entry, in fact, forcing me to read amateur poetry will most likely annoy me more than anything. Add that to the fact that I’ve just read entry 11 and suddenly I feel quite irritated about this whole thing.

    My comments on the prose:
    What is the purpose of the latter part of this sentence? You establish her as a witch (‘the witch asked’) and then clobber up the clunkiest sentence to indeed prove that she is indeed a witch. Perhaps you felt the need to expose on how the narrator of this delightfully little poem is so good at being a witch that she doesn’t even need a wand to light a candle (!), failing to realise that this an utterly pointless detail. The fuck do we care, seriously. We do not know anything about this witch, we will not know anything about this witch (aside that she enjoys reciting questionable poetry) and when the tale ends we will promptly forget everything about this witch. What is the point?

    Too deep? Not quite. Perhaps if you had tagged her by her name (Gertrude asked) or by her relationship to the boy (the mother asked) the latter part clarifying that she is also a witch would have made sense. But you know what still wouldn’t have made any sense. The ‘again’. Why does she ignite the candle again? What use is it to pad this already dubious sentence with more words? Make it even clunkier? Could she not simply relight the candle? Must you use more words than necessary, and further annoy me in the process.

    This does not work. Size is not a measure of weight. Even a small child ought to be aware of that, especially when you indicate later that he is half-a-man, meaning that he can’t even be that young.

    Hold your tongue. If going for a more old-fashioned feel perhaps still (your tongue). Stay just seems wrong. A tongue isn’t a dog.

    You don’t invent poems. You compose them, or in some cases, shit them out.

    My comments on the poem:

    No comment.
     
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