discover, once and for all, the artistic merit of poems by celebrities,
we submitted verse written by Charlie Sheen and Ally Sheedy (under
pseudonyms) to Amelia, a respected poetry magazine, and
solicited the opinions of editor Frederick Raborg, Jr. Below
are Raborg's criticisms:
|On the road
Pam Kennedy (aka Ally Sheedy)
and brighter every day
my insides slosh about like a nauseous ocean
it takes great gulps of air
words from religious books
and Diet Cherry Coke to quiet the sound
not going to say it's a bad poem, though it is true poems occasionally
simply do not work. Most readers would not get beyond 'my insides
slosh about like a nauseous ocean' for obvious reasons, but to
follow that with 'words from religious books' would turn off
most of those remaining, and, finally, you'd lose the rest with
your juxtapositioning of religion to Diet Cherry Coke as a mute."
breathe a sigh of regret
a sigh of regret
it is so painful
this letting go
dark wound in my heart
surrounded by the soft pink flesh of
think you should consider using punctuation.... It becomes confusing
for the reader. We cannot be sure what is meant by the 'soft
pink flesh of healing,' because the flesh of the heart is not
soft and pink. It is, rather red and tough.... A poem can easily
take off in many different directions. When that can occur the
poet has lost control."
Mel McLean (aka Charlie Sheen)
teacher, I don't understand,
You tell me it's like the back of my hand.
Should I play guitar and join the band?
Or head to the beach and walk in the sand?
Oh, teacher, teacher, I don't understand...
... Teacher, teacher, the years have passed,
I never thought it would go so fast,
The things I learned they didn't last.
I'm headin' to sea as I raise the mast.
Oh, teacher, teacher, I'm a peace of your past.
is such a tremendous jump between the two stanzas, so much left
out that makes the poem difficult to grasp.... Line three of
the second stanza is something everyone over 50 discovers. The
fourth line is confusing because you gave no forewarning of the
sea as part of the solution. In line three, second stanza, 'they'
is a lazy effort to maintain meter. Work a little harder and
find an other word or intent for that line.... Rework accordingly."
article first appeared in Spy, November/December 1994.
also: Celebrity Postal Test
Very Bad Poetry (book), Celebrities Recite
Ancient Poetry (sounds)
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