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Writing So It Goes, City of Broken Dreams [M-L]


Brasil
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The roar of the winds, cruel and spiteful howls,
The vicious sigh of the sheets of stinging rain,
The thunder, the lightning?the sounds of the storm,
The sounds of earthly pain,
Tear at our fragile minds
When we cannot mend those broken dreams and tears,
When the streets flood with wasted humanity,
Of a society now dismantled, shredded at the seams,
When blood and sweat flow down
That boulevard of disease,
Through that land of broken dreams.

It carves a path where we once went,
Revelry and joyful pleasure long since spent,
For now that fetid, putrid stream has transformed our love into
That land of broken dreams.

And when the roar and sigh subside,
When the rains grant some respite,
Some will venture out despite?and bear witness to a series of shattered lives,
The vast expanse of virulence and sickness and disease,
As they will walk that boulevard of ruined, poisoned, and broken dreams.

And as they brave the pungent filth,
The smell of death, and anguished pain,
They will hear the cries?however faint?
Of people left behind.

So it goes, their city, once bustling and alive,
The jewel of sweetest decadence so unique, that thrived
As so many came to see from far and wide,
The glory of a city now washed away
By that vile sea of pestilence and decay.

What once held life?where life once grew?
There now exists a murky bog, toxic, troubled, a sickly brew,
That shapes the land of broken dreams.

So it goes, a liquid grave,
The blood that flows about the skeletal cement of lives destroyed,
Of agony that lays testament to horrors long unseen.

And so it goes, now everyone can see,
What became of that precious city,
Now transformed into that shattered land,
That desolate, ruined, and poisoned
City of the damned,
A city shredded at the seams,
Now nothing more than a boulevard of broken dreams.
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[SIZE=1]Interesting, most interesting.

I really wasn't sure what to expect from this poem when you told me about it Alex, well aside from the whole "it's going to be depressing" but reading through it I'm curious as to what prompted you to write it. To me at least there are several hallmarks to the Hurricane Katrina tragedy, but something about it says that it's not entirely based on New Orleans. The poem itself is well written, obviously designed to beget emotional responses, whether they be pity though that's perhaps not the best word, sorrow or even a sense of regret. I've never been good at enunciating my emotions properly but to me anyway, that's what the poem evokes. [/SIZE]
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The fear of nature is captured well within this poem. It's interesting how you chose to personify it [nature]; it's described in the same way a conquering army would be. It's intrusive and imposing but too powerful to be defied. At the same time, you portray it as monsterious and cruel. We have here the [I] roar[/I] of the winds essentially mocking its victims. The phrase "vicious sigh" seems offputting. It's an odd combination of words that I'm not sure works too well because I can't picture anyone sighing viciously. As we move on you mention thunder and lightning, which some could associate as spiritual devices. Readers could draw the conclusion that vengeful gods are the cause of the natural disaster at hand. However, you eliminate that possibility by specifically mentioning eartly pain. I like that; it was an excellent decision to root the impending suffering in the secular world. I think it makes it easier to identify with because the theme admits that there are earthly forces we can't completely control. Tragedies affect people without discrimination, which makes the tone all the more melancholy.

The imagery suggest that we're never safe in certitude. Again, the language. You describe humanity's minds as fragile. You mention how easily destroyed the fabric of our society can be by suggesting that we cannot "mend" broken dreams and tears. This condition of frailty or instability as it relates to our way of life comes together in line 7 when human corpses literally float down the streets. The juxtapostion of nature [waves washing people away] and humanities manufactured world [streets] shows that there's still a sense of invasion here but there's also a sense of betrayal too. The city people have created has failed to protect them from the forces of nature it was meant to subdue. Similar to how you mentioned mending on line 6, you use the term "seams" on line 8, which further associates our way of life with a thin, vulnerable fabric. So, tt this point society has been reduced to an idea, or a dream, that in reality is something else entirely different. Despite how far we come, how far we *think* we've advanced with our technology, we're still in the same boat as the people of antiquity. Our homes, our hopes, everything we know can still be wiped out by the conquering army of nature.

This idea of the army is further represented in the second stanza. Nature [I]carves[/I] its path through the city, just as a warrior would carve their way through battle. The stream has become wicked and repulsive. Human cities successfully began near water. So, the stream could be formerly identified as a source of life. What was once lovely and calming has transformed love into tragedy. Which, of course supports the theme of betrayal I mentioned earlier. In the third stanza, the invasion of nature is over. Rains that once vicious and stung, now grant respite. This, I think further shows the arbitrary behavior of nature. It can give life and it can take it away at any given time.

I've now run out of time and have to get to work. :animedepr

However, I think I've covered the main points here. The ideas and themes I've explained here continue throughout the rest of the poem.

Obviously I enjoyed this one. It has many layers of meaning and each says a lot about the transitory state of comfort we live in--how we're not truly invincible, how this complex society we've created can [i]easily[/i] be insantly erased. Very good.
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  • 2 weeks later...
I think Charles said things pretty well. I wanted to say something when I read this quite a while ago, but I really had nothing to say. It's a well done poem overall, and the use of nice descriptive words gets the reader to feel. I think you could perhaps make some of the description less, because at times it's a little too much I'd say (but then again, this is just me - I think strong language uses strong nouns that describe what modifiers and a noun would do all at once; I'm just trying to give some input).

I think the main thing that bothered me is how I couldn't stop thinking of Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" when I first read this. It's as if you stole that phrase right from them and then converted it into this poem. Which is fine, I guess, but me personally, I like to be original; and that kind of kills some of the originality of it for me, I guess.
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[quote name='Mitch']I think the main thing that bothered me is how I couldn't stop thinking of Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" when I first read this. It's as if you stole that phrase right from them and then converted it into this poem. Which is fine, I guess, but me personally, I like to be original; and that kind of kills some of the originality of it for me, I guess.[/quote]
Mitch, don't be a twerp, and run a search for a series of paintings by an artist named [url=http://www.art.com/asp/display_artist-asp/_/crid--25339/Gottfried_Helnwein.htm][u]Gottfried Helnwein[/u][/url].

So go ahead. Keep talking about originality (by the way, it was incredibly lame of you to come here spouting nonsense like that). And then check out those paintings by Helnwein entitled Boulevard of Broken Dreams. There's actually a series of them.

Don't waste my time.
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[QUOTE=Brasil]Mitch, don't be a twerp, and run a search for a series of paintings by an artist named [url=http://www.art.com/asp/display_artist-asp/_/crid--25339/Gottfried_Helnwein.htm][u]Gottfried Helnwein[/u][/url].

So go ahead. Keep talking about originality (by the way, it was incredibly lame of you to come here spouting nonsense like that). And then check out those paintings by Helnwein entitled Boulevard of Broken Dreams. There's actually a series of them.

Don't waste my time.[/QUOTE]

It isn't nonsense. It's what I believe in. You posted this asking for a response; I gave you an honest one (and I also mentioned that what I was saying was just what I thought, and you well know that, too). I am not a twerp and I never have been.

And I'm supposed to know this is a series of paintings by some guy? An average reader who picks this poem up and reads it won't know that.

Must you always employ this ridiculous PT facade? Must you incessantly fight a battle of useless words over and over again until you get your way? I'm not wasting your time. You posted this asking for response, and that's what I gave. If you're going to reply like so, then I have no reason to post; no one else does, either. If you want to hear what you want to hear and only what you want to hear, then don't post this asking for comments.
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[QUOTE=Mitch]It isn't nonsense. It's what I believe in. You posted this asking for a response; I gave you an honest one (and I also mentioned that what I was saying was just what I thought, and you well know that, too). I am not a twerp and I never have been.

And I'm supposed to know this is a series of paintings by some guy? An average reader who picks this poem up and reads it won't know that.

Must you always employ this ridiculous PT facade? Must you incessantly fight a battle of useless words over and over again until you get your way? I'm not wasting your time. You posted this asking for response, and that's what I gave. If you're going to reply like so, then I have no reason to post; no one else does, either. If you want to hear what you want to hear and only what you want to hear, then don't post this asking for comments.[/QUOTE]
[i]Please[/i]. Your previous post absolutely reeks of some petty, incessant "I guess I'm the only original one around here" attitude. It's what you feel? Oh, c'mon. lol.

Mitch, regardless of whether or not you want me (or really, anyone who read your previous post) to believe you weren't being just the least bit pretentious and presumptuous by implying that you are the only one who appreciates originality--and the implication was there, Mitch, let's get that straight right now, because I was not the only one who noticed--you really need to reconsider just what you're saying here.

Frankly, when you use words like "stole," and phrases like "but me personally, I like to be original; and that kind of kills some of the originality of it for me, I guess," I find it hard to believe your post was as...innocent as you're now telling us it was. Why not just admit to it? I mean...anyone who reads those words knows exactly what you were trying to get at.

And also, I asked for what people thought about the poem. What I [i]did not[/i] ask for was the type of petty "I am individual" angst of yours. Let's get that straight, too. A review is not what you posted, Mitch. What you posted was a thinly-veiled jab spurned on by a misguided ideology.

So, again, if you're going to post with that bull like you pulled in your previous reply...don't waste my time. I want serious replies. I don't want your "original individual" spammy rubbish.
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[QUOTE=Brasil][i]Please[/i]. Your previous post absolutely reeks of some petty, incessant "I guess I'm the only original one around here" attitude. It's what you feel? Oh, c'mon. lol.

Mitch, regardless of whether or not you want me (or really, anyone who read your previous post) to believe you weren't being just the least bit pretentious and presumptuous by implying that you are the only one who appreciates originality--and the implication was there, Mitch, let's get that straight right now, because I was not the only one who noticed--you really need to reconsider just what you're saying here.

Frankly, when you use words like "stole," and phrases like "but me personally, I like to be original; and that kind of kills some of the originality of it for me, I guess," I find it hard to believe your post was as...innocent as you're now telling us it was. Why not just admit to it? I mean...anyone who reads those words knows exactly what you were trying to get at.

And also, I asked for what people thought about the poem. What I [i]did not[/i] ask for was the type of petty "I am individual" angst of yours. Let's get that straight, too. A review is not what you posted, Mitch. What you posted was a thinly-veiled jab spurned on by a misguided ideology.

So, again, if you're going to post with that bull like you pulled in your previous reply...don't waste my time. I want serious replies. I don't want your "original individual" spammy rubbish.[/QUOTE]

Here we go once again. This thread is either going to get closed, or you are going to realize you're blowing this out of proportion once again - arguing just to argue - using your poisonous tongue to enunciate words that never were there.

Every writer "steals." To be a writer is to be a thief of moments. A thief of phrases. Even the words we use to communicate themselves aren't ours, but have root from an amalgam of many languages which is in essence what English is. However, this stealing is often metamorphosized by a writer's imagination and made his own - which is definitely in part what you did with this poem.I was simply pointing out that, as a reader, that is what I thought of (the Green Day song); and to me that lessened this poem's impact dully.

My entire post also was not about this so-called "I am an individual" angst you're talking about. I talked of other things; that was only a part of the post. And the ideaology is misguided to you - and you can have that, for that is your opinion on the matter. But it was not a jab whatsoever.

I did not imply that I am the only one who appreciates originality, either. I was simply stating that ths poem's repetition of the phrase "boulevard of broken dreams" made me think of the Green Day song of the same name, and that in this sense it wasn't original. It is not to say the poem doesn't have a single grain of originality in it as you seem to think.

I was not pretentious nor was I presumptuous in my post whatsoever. I was simply giving my ideas about the poem since you posted asking for comments.

I feel as if I'm going in circles. I've said this all before and you'll now post another countering to what I've just said. It is so pointless and fruitless.
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[quote name='Mitch']Here we go once again. This thread is either going to get closed, or you are going to realize you're blowing this out of proportion once again - arguing just to argue - using your poisonous tongue to enunciate words that never were there.[/quote] Cry me a river.

[quote]Every writer "steals." To be a writer is to be a thief of moments. A thief of phrases. Even the words we use to communicate themselves aren't ours, but have root from an amalgam of many languages which is in essence what English is. However, this stealing is often metamorphosized by a writer's imagination and made his own - which is definitely in part what you did with this poem.I was simply pointing out that, as a reader, that is what I thought of (the Green Day song); and to me that lessened this poem's impact dully.[/quote] Oh, yes, I'm sure that's exactly the case here, right? Mitch, what you're talking about in the above paragraph is something completely different than what you implied in the initial reply. You should be able to recognize the difference between the theft you insinuated in the initial reply and what you're talking about now--and you do, hence the quotation marks.

Even still, you've not absolved yourself of anything, because the explanation you're giving doesn't do anything to rectify the lousy and indignant tone of your initial reply. Here's why.

The theft you implied in your initial reply was one of an [i]active[/i] theft, in which the writer had to [i]actively[/i] steal a phrase. There is no collective subconscious at work here. The action is totally deliberate.

What you've described in the above paragraph is the collective subconscious, wherein common elements of a culture and its art are ingrained in an artist's creative processes with the artist rarely, if at all, ever realizing the influences.

Still sounds like you're trying to save your ass through trying to disguise your original meaning...and you have a tendency to do that, don't you? What was the idea...denying the original meaning so you can avoid...conflict, was it? A debate? Something to that effect, I think.

[quote][b]My entire post also was not about this so-called "I am an individual" angst you're talking about[/b]. I talked of other things; that was only a part of the post. And the ideaology is misguided to you - and you can have that, for that is your opinion on the matter. But it was not a jab whatsoever.

[b] I did not imply that I am the only one who appreciates originality, either[/b]. I was simply stating that ths poem's repetition of the phrase "boulevard of broken dreams" made me think of the Green Day song of the same name, and that in this sense it wasn't original. It is not to say the poem doesn't have a single grain of originality in it as you seem to think.

[b] I was not pretentious nor was I presumptuous in my post whatsoever[/b]. I was simply giving my ideas about the poem since you posted asking for comments.[/quote] [quote name='Mitch']Which is fine, I guess, but me personally, I like to be original; and that kind of kills some of the originality of it for me, I guess.[/quote] Mitch...come on, man. You were making a distinction between us, with you liking to be original, and by extension, I must not be original. This is basic semantics here. The meaning of your initial reply is totally obvious. Why try to change it after the fact? Why not just admit to it and move on?

[quote]I feel as if I'm going in circles. I've said this all before and you'll now post another countering to what I've just said. It is so pointless and fruitless.[/QUOTE] Put the "Kick Me" sign on your back, you're going to get kicked in the back. This always goes in circles because you keep putting the "Kick Me" sign on your back. It doesn't take some type of superhuman intelligence to see that.

[quote]I talked of other things; that was only a part of the post[/quote] And the "other things" were just more posturing. For example:

[quote](but then again, this is just me - I think strong language uses strong nouns that describe what modifiers and a noun would do all at once; I'm just trying to give some input).[/quote] You want the vicious cycle to end? Stop starting the vicious cycle and start posting relevant and meaningful reviews, rather than the tripe you did post.
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[font=arial][color=indigo][size=1]Shut up Alex. Mitch's comments were justified, and he's explained himself three times now. The poem is good, yeah, but when you use a phrase from a currently popular song, of course people are going to assume you aren't being original. In fact, if you weren't so eager to jump down Mitch's throat about it, you'd see all he said was he'd appreciated it less because you'd used a line from current popculture.

He hadn't explicitly said "You aren't being original!!!". He acknowledged your originality in the poem, and how good it was (except for some minor points he felt were necessary, not related to the matter at hand) - he just said he felt it's impact less because you'd [i]used that line[/i], and then said, in not so many words, he prefers to not sample from pop culture in his own poetry. I admit, his original post could've been taken either way, and yes, you took it the wrong way, but his subsequent posts have cleared up the matter.

The point is passed, Alex. For both of you. Mitch isn't interested in your circuituous debates anymore, and he's defended his opinion on your poem a few times now. Drop it, because noone cares, not even Mitch.

On a lighter note, the poem is quite good. Well done... for the poem, at least.[/font][/color][/size]
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[b][font=Arial][size=2][i]This has got to stop.

[/i][/size][/font][/b][font=Arial][size=2]I can honestly say I have been patient about this. [b][url="http://otakuboards.com/showthread.php?t=39763"]Numerous[/url][/b] [b][url="http://otakuboards.com/showthread.php?t=38762"]threads[/url][/b] have been closed because of this incessant arguing. If they weren't closed,[url="http://otakuboards.com/showthread.php?t=45953"] [b]it came very close[/b][/url].

I have read, very carefully, every post in this thread. I have to agree with Alan. Alex, your continual needling was out of line. Even when Mitch indicated that he was ready to end the debate, you continued.

[quote][/size][/font] Originally Posted by [b]Mitch[/b]
[i]Which is fine, I guess, but me personally, I like to be original; and that kind of kills some of the originality of it for me, I guess.[/quote][/i]
[font=Arial][size=2]
Rather than seeing this as Mitch trying to establish his individuality, it appears to me to be [b][i]quite obvious[/i][/b] that he was tempering his response. Considering the personal history the two of you share, this would be a natural move. Let me break it down for you. I'll even[color=Red] highlight [/color]the words that show how Mitch was attempting not to offend, to get across the fact that this was his own opinion:

[quote][/size][/font]Which is fine, [color=Red]I guess[/color], but [color=Red]me personally[/color], [color=Red]I like[/color] to be original; and that kind of kills some of the originality of it [color=Red]for me[/color], [color=Red]I guess[/color].[/quote] [font=Arial][size=2]
Now I am [b][i]sick[/i][/b] and [b][i]tired[/i][/b] of having to intervene in these situations. Alex, you are a 20-something college student. You are surely old enough to know when your opponent has thrown in the towel. Mitch offered you a review -- you didn't just ignore it, you [i]spat[/i] on it.

[quote][/size][/font]Stop starting the vicious cycle and start posting relevant and meaningful reviews, rather than the tripe you did post.[/quote] [font=Arial][size=2]
Perhaps the review wasn't minutely detailed, but it offered general, [i]relevant[/i][/size][/font][font=Arial] [size=2]opinions, and you should be grateful for that.

In case you haven't already discovered, I am very angry. I [i]know[/i] that you two have been warned in the past. I [i]know[/i] that I have spoken to you on AIM about this -- or a related issue, at least, Alex. And I can [i]see[/i] that Mitch has retired from the lists, as such.

This thread is closed. I don't want to see any of this again, do you understand me? You can comment on each other's works, certainly. You can even [i]reply[/i] to those reviews. But this back-and-forth, these caustic replies and scorn -- [b]they're over[/b]. There is a distinct lack of respect here. Get some.

Thread Closed.
[/size][/font]
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