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Separately in Cool Water. · Poetry Short Short ·
Organised by Anon Y Mous
Word limit 100–2000
Show rules for this event
#1 · 1
...Now that my prompt won, I confess that I am not sure what to write for it...
Oh, wait. That might work.
#2 ·
· on Broken Shield, Shattered Sword · >>Baal Bunny
A frequent subject of my wikiwalks is battles, and I spent some time reading about Midway maybe a year ago. So a lot of this is fairly fresh in my mind. I did find it interesting that the Yorktown had been reported sunk when the actual ship damaged was an oiler, which shouldn't look remotely similar. Oberver error, being inaccurate on the side of glory?

Before I divert again into musings, I'll comment on the structure here, which is minimal but enjoyable. There's no meter or rhyme, and the stanzas are somewhat in parallel. Hiryu gets 10 lines + 5, while Yorktown gets 10 + 6. Don't know whether those were supposed to be equal. There's a lot of alliteration.

The only historical thing I might take issue with is Hiryu's pilots being described as aces. By that point in the battle (and somewhat the overall war), Japan had few well-trained pilots left, but I can also see this poetry taking that as more a glorifying term than a technical one.

There's some subtle wordplay here, though mostly on the Yorktown side. Again, I don't know how much of it is intentional. Diving death on the Hiryu definitely evokes dive bombers. But some of that imagery, too: blossoming, which may refer to cherry blossoms, an important cultural symbol in Japan, and while the setting sun is often used as a metaphor for death, it's also juxtaposed well with Japan being the land of the rising sun.

On Yorktown's side, the use of "dauntless" and "devastate" twice probably refers to two of the aircraft types (though I think the US had spent all its Devastators by this point; the were all shot down on a single mission with only one crewmember surviving and (I think) scoring no hits).

Then in the end, the result being that the two nations are rather good friends now, and arguably due in large part to this battle.

There's nothing complex in construction here, but the imagery and word use are great, and there's a good narrative going on.
#3 ·
· on Drunk Woman and Crippled Man · >>Baal Bunny
Structurally, it's just each stanza being a separate action, but that works fine. There's not a set number of syllables per line, though they are still kept to about similar lengths. What led to to believe at first maybe you were going for a set syllable count is some of the odd phrasings or omitted words that you sometimes see in haiku, for example, to fit the structure. Or that may signify someone who's not a native English speaker (or was just rushed in writing it). Or, of course, doing it just to be different. Things like "belly ups" versus "bellies up," "rain never bother him" versus "bothers," "about world" omitting "the," even though that word hadn't been skipped elsewhere, and "is in surprise" sounding off.

As a story, I like it, these two (mismatched? I don't really know their background, but it seems they only ever meet there, suggesting they have different walks of life) people finding comfort in each other, and especially for her, finally letting someone do that. It really gets a lot of of the few words it uses.
#4 ·
· on A Bucket to the Face
I'm having trouble following what this is about. Someone's mad at himself for having faith in other people, but by the end, it seems maybe he's decided he was too harsh and is giving them another chance? Not sure. Structurally, it's got flawless meter, and I'm impressed you could write that much using only 2 rhyme sounds.

This is a really hard round to judge. I liked all 3 entries for different reasons, and it's only things like personal taste and fine details that can use to rank them. Honestly, I like them all about the same, and it's not clear to me what order they should be in. Maybe we could all conspire to vote in such a way that they all tie?
#5 ·
· on Broken Shield, Shattered Sword
Very nice:

But what I'd like more of, being me, is personification and through it, perhaps, a greater understanding. Make the ships stand more for the national characters of Japan and the U.S. at the time. Unlike >>Pascoite, I only know the basics about WWII, so I'd like to see here a metaphorical and encapsulated history lesson. Show me why Japan started the war--why is Hiryu proud? Why does she feel that she must carry on this battle? And show me how the U.S. responded through the emotions you ascribe to Yorktown.

In the end, too, how did the furious exchanges between these two characters and their final double death bring about the change in the national attitudes that allows the ships now to be serene? I'm asking a lot, I know, but, well, it's poetry. Ambition is what it's all about. :)

#6 ·
· on Drunk Woman and Crippled Man
Also very nice:

I had the same word concerns as >>Pascoite, and the line "Her head hurts with a pain" really stuck out at me as not adding anything. I'd like some quick visuals of the characters: does the drunk woman look disheveled, or is she careful about her appearance? Does the crippled man have a twisted foot or a twisted leg or a twisted hip or maybe all of these and more? I get that he's using two crutches since he hasn't got a hand available for an umbrella, but that just made me wonder if it rains so seldom that he doesn't usually have to worry about such things...

The last couplet, too, struck me as less than satisfying: crying inside is such a cliche, they even made a joke about it with Applejack on MLP. I'd like something a little more meaningful and surprising--the last line that sprang immediately to my mind is also kind of a cliche, but it fits the situation, is "except when it rains" to tie everything back to the imagery from the beginning. But that's me nitpicking... :)

#7 ·
· on A Bucket to the Face
The anger:

At the beginning comes through to me clearly enough, but I'd like more from the turn in the middle. What is it that makes our narrator want to give humanity another chance? Give me some specific images. And if you're gonna keep "deluded fool" as the last line, maybe give me more of a sense that our narrator's angry at himself for giving humanity another chance?