To The Beautiful YouTo The Beautiful You:
Alright. I will begin with the fact that I've always wanted to write a crituque on one of your poems for quite a while now. As always I will begin with the heading.
"To the Beautiful You" - The first thing to notice is the usage of capital letters. Now, it could be just for the cosmetic look of the heading, but there could also be a meaning. It is obviously a dedication, taking into account the preposition "to"(Also, it is clarified at the end of the poem, even though with a feeling of doubt, or, as one would feel after reading the whole peice, a feeling of regret that the meeting will never take place - "I'd like..."). And in a dedication poem the heading usually brings a healthy amount of meaning with itself. So, I can conclude that using capital letters was aiming to put a stress on the beauty or on anything that could have caught the poet's attention in an, obviously, beautiful girl.
The first lines get the reader prepared to sense the whole situation; It starts in a rather optimistic manner. There is, however, the verb "crying" - " Here we are...crying" (Not to mention that the author already put his, I presumed, distrust or disgust with the reality of the objects in his life by calling them merely "screens of glass" - a cold, lifeless figure. Also, the only actions the lyrical heroes do are "sitting" and "reading lines of text" - reading -could- be enjoyable, but I believe the authour used the plain "lines of text" with a purpose - taking the life and movement out of them. It could have been, for example, "streams of verses" or anything as vivid.) Nevertheless, there are two other verbs - "smiling, laughing" - both generally expected to express some kind of -joy-. And above all that, there are two positive and one negative verb, which leads me to the conclusion that the lyrical heroes, no matter how dull their activity at the moment is, are actually enjoying themselves; -or- , as one might expect after reading the entire poem, they are enjoying -each other-; perhaps on a mental or spiritual level.
The following three lines are, I presume, the center of the poem regarding its emotional meaning.
To begin with: The lyrical hero, who is also the author in this case, is expressing the emotion that is actually on his soul - "this much fun". Now, fun could be interpreted in many ways, since fun is diffrent for everyone. At this point I expected that I will see what is its meaning later in the poem. In addition, the lyrical hero gives us a vague way to actually look into his personal life(which is crucial to understanding the general, if not the whole meaning of the work). He states that "It's strange to think I could..."; Not only is he calling his experience "strange", meaning it is something completely extraordinary, but also uses a doubtful verb "think", and then the modal verb "could", bringing even more doubt into the event we are witnessing - One asks himself, perhaps just like the author, did this wonderful instance -acually- happen? This is a common technique for romantic poets. We see it in many poems of the Russian poets of the Silver age of Russian literature (Gumilev for ex.) and in the works of Pushkin himself in his wonderful piece "Я помню чудное мгновение"(trans. "I remember the wonderful moment") . Also in many poets from the Balkans and, of course, western poets. (And in my own poetry .)
And here it comes - the central meaning. I will pay extra attention to that part.
"Considering that I've never met you before, but then again
Perhaps that's the reason why I don't have to pretend."
The relationship between the two involved in the meeting is completely clarified here - they never met before. This makes us wonder - How can we ourselves act in such a situation?; what would one do?; is this situation even possible? (which again brings up the motif about -doubt-). There is a strange, even mystical feeling put on the reader on a contextual level - The magic between two people who never met before, dancing with each other spiritually, while just taking the hits of the cruel life "behind these screens of glass". The authour's doubt about what is happening, even doubt in his own moral believes and reality itself is clearly expressed in the following ", but then again/ Perhaps". Supposing this is, as I guessed, the verse with the central meaning of the poem, I can conclude that indeed - doubt- is the feeling accompanying the author and transferred onto the reader.
"that's the reason why I don't have to pretend." - Now this is the cherry on the cake - The authour is showing of his inner self completely to a stranger he "never met before". He doesn't have to "pretend". He is completely honest and sincere. The heart has opened itself towards this "Beautiful You".
This was seemingly the first part of the poem. The second part starts with the resentful feeling the author has towards the world and the people - "Some people might tell me" - The mere thought of the opinion of the "masses" is seemingly driving him crazy. Such voices who continually "feed" his doubt can be associated with the feeling people have when they are in a long-distance realtionship. I support my theory with the following lines - "that what we have is just a fantasy" - the fantasy that they will meet again, or meet -at all- in the authour's case. The next two lines just add to what I've said, but with something that digs the lyrical hero's feeling even deeper - those who are "just a few feet away" have become less known to him than the ones on the other side of the "glass screen". This is something really serious, considering the nature of a poet. Reality has become so cruel and unpleasent that it is already something the author denies as being fruitful to him - a "fantasy" is now the unstable home for his feelings.
The next lines might not bring the central meaning (or do they?)
but they are certainly the most emotional.
For the first time in the poem the verse starts with a certain appeal - "You might" (again the modal verb puts reality in doubt). For the first time the capital "You" in the heading is put in the poem directly. Now, the author is talking about a "little confesion". The author used a nice technique of secrecy here - what confession? Could it be a love confession? In those closing lines the emotional background is explained and the reader just -sinks- in the sea of emotions. Here questions pop up in his mind, which is exactly what the author expected ( I presume).
The beauty of the other lyrical hero, or the "Beautiful You" are shown here, even though there was not a single detail about him. This makes the reader think generally - how it could be anyone, and that such a situation could happen to anyone. But then the heading brings the "Beautiful You", which is purposely specific, putting in one place specificness and general truths bringing up the existential power of the question behind the general meaning of the poem. Looking at the context and story behind the poem, the "fun" I was wondering about earlier is already clear. Also, it is blank verse. A lyrical work always is supposed to bring meaning with the form of its structure, and lack of rhyme here brings up the motif of taking life away from the poem - the "doubt" is contextually increased. Even death is brought up here.
Now to scale everyhing, taking into account everything I saw.
The only interesting figure I saw during the whole poem were the "screens of glass" - a lifeless figure, perfectly fitting into the atmosphere. Everything else was somehow putting on me the feeling that you wrote it in a hurry. Also the lines don't "flow" in my brain - it's hard to read, despite your best efforts to do hasten it with a nice widened structure, and I, as a reader shouldn't feel this. Now, the structure is very interesting - a big plus to the overall grade. I like the heading and the meaning put behind it. The image is quite unclear, with the lack of any describing lines, but I am going to -assume- that this is on purpose in order to bring the unspecified nature of the dedication. There was nothing special in the number of lines - 15 ( not that that is a minus, I am ust notifying)The technique you tried to imply is great, but seems unfinished.
I guess that concludes my critique.
It was certainly a great pleasure.
Thank you very much for the indepth critique, it was a pleasure to read ^^ However, just for the sake of the artist who has to read it, please ensure you space out your paragraphs properly Otherwise the wall of text can be tough to decipher. By breaking it up, you won't just get the artist to read it, but also he people who will feel more comfortable with well spaced out paragraphs ^^
-Captain Chenbeard of the Black Fedora Pirates