john_sampson (john_sampson) wrote in poetryworkshop9,

Well, we've got 5 members, including myself, right now. It would be nice to see some more of your work :) I wonder if the info page comes across too strict. Does it seem that way to you? I want this to be a community based on encouragement, but also real growth (ie. not just "wow, you guys are great!!!" comments, but real, helpful critiques by which we may all improve our writing)

If any of you have suggestions for how we can make this a better community (and get a few more people involved) I'm all ears. Here's a poem of mine:

(I went back and modified this poem b/c of a flaw that I ran across, just a minor change.)

i am

always outside of this moment,
carried off into
distorted reflections:
imaginations within imagination

i am

lamenting the loss
of dirty rags and candy coins;
empty hands clawing
at earth's dirty floor

i am

lost in a web of theories,
choking on contrived phrases,
a mastermind of table scraps
(ideas about ideas about ideas about...)

i am

light and beauty,
glory of divine craftsmanship,
highest end and purpose
of all created things

i am

the universe
folded within itself,
a mighty throne of
God's revelation

i am

awakening, though slowly,
still mostly unaware
of the supreme bliss
it is to truly realize:

i am

That the heart is the throne, in which the Revelation of God the All-Merciful is centered, is attested by the holy utterances which We have formerly revealed.

Among them is this saying: "Earth and heaven cannot contain Me; what can alone contain Me is the heart of him that believeth in Me, and is faithful to My Cause." How often hath the human heart, which is the recipient of the light of God and the seat of the revelation of the All-Merciful, erred from Him Who is the Source of that light and the Well Spring of that revelation. It is the waywardness of the heart that removeth it far from God, and condemneth it to remoteness from Him. Those hearts, however, that are aware of His Presence, are close to Him, and are to be regarded as having drawn nigh unto His throne.

Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 185

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I really like the progression from the confusion of "idle fancies and vain imaginations" to the clarity of direction of the spirit. I especially like the ending that implies continued movement.

I'm making an assumption that your lowercase "i am" is a de-emphasis of self kind of thing (please correct me if I'm wrong). I'd suggest thinking about the lack of capitalization in other words in the second half of the poem (those relating to God). On the other hand, it might take away from the unity of form, but it's something to think about.

Also, I feel like the colon in the penultimate line interrupts the flow into the final "i am". Replacing the punctuation with "that" might help a little.

"of the supreme bliss
it is to truly realize that

i am"

It also has echoes of the story of Moses (I AM THAT I AM).

Overall, a wonderful, streamlined work. Keep it up!