Please critique my "children's very short book" posted in the discussion forum /writi
Please critique my "children's very short book" posted in the discussion forum /writing critique/tell me what you think
NANNA'S BIG BLACK PURSE
Nanna's big black purse
Holds all things in the universe,
She pulled out a rat being chased by a cat
Being chased by a dog wearing a hat.
Then out came a frying pan
And a silver gong,
Being held by a Chinaman
With hair that went to Hong Kong!
A wind chime and a kaleidoscope
Began to rise and float,
Spinning around and twirling
On a magic golden rope.
Shall I tell you about the ice cream cone
Running away from the clown,
While the Monkey and the Chimpanzee
Were laughing on the merry-go-round?
Out came an Indian boy
Sitting on a Baboon,
Holding a musical tinker toy
Rising up in an air balloon,
Suddenly the pan got hot
Melting the ice cream down,
The wind chime and the kaleidoscope
Turned upside down and hit the ground,
The Chinaman slipped on the golden rope
Landing on the gong,
And fell inside the kaleidoscope
With hair that went to Hong-Kong!!! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This sounds "clunky" to me. The meter is wrong. Read some Suess and see how the words are arranged in a regularly measured pattern.
Try saying this poem out loud. If you need to take more breaths at the end of some lines than others, or the syllables don't beat in the same rhythm... then it's not right.
Many people who write poetry think that clever ideas and rhyming words are enough and they cram that rhyme in come hell or high water. But that is not enough. It has to read well too.
Children's poetry is highly structured. The only structure I see in your poem is that it's arranged in 4-line stanzas. Stanza 2 and 4-7 have the same rhyme scheme. Stanza 1 has a different rhyme scheme. Stanza 3 has no rhyme. There is no rhythm, your syllable count is all over the map, and there's no sense or logic to it whatsoever. In short, this is pretty darn awful, IMHO.
If I were to write a poem based on a similar idea, Nanna would take a walk with her grandchild and her magic purse. They would encounter problems along the way, and Nanna would solve the problems in unexpected ways by pulling things out of her purse. For example, suppose they see a delicious looking apple in a tree. The child wants it, but it's too high. Does she pull a ladder out of purse? No, she pulls out a bow and arrow and shoots the stem of the apple and it falls into the child's hands. You see? She doesn't just pull things out for no reason and with no relation to her life and circumstances. Nonsense is fine, but it should be guided by some kind of reason. That's what hooks a child's imagination. That's what starts them asking "What if this were really true?" In your poem, the Nanna pulls a rat out of her purse for no reason, and all the other stuff just floats out of her purse for no reason. At the very least, wouldn't Nanna pull out something pleasant that she thinks the child might enjoy, and not a rat?
So, get rid of the nonsense for nonsense's sake. Inject a little reason and logic. Then put your ideas in a very tightly structured poem - consistent syllable count, rhythm, and rhyme. Then you'll have a promising piece.
Last edited by John Oberon; 06-01-2012 at 04:28 AM.
I agree with the above, I think more structure would greatly benefit this piece. However, I love the overall idea. But push the limits of what else could come out of the purse. Does it have to be all tangible things? Maybe she pulls something out that changes the color of the sky, or she doesn't like the way the wind is blowing so she changes that too, with items in the purse of course.
I'm interested in where this is going. Keep me posted? Thanks.
Is "Chinaman" Politically correct these days?
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