#1December 18th, 2007 · 03:12 AM
30 threads
169 posts
United States of America
This is a poem I wrote the other day. I'm letting it stew for a few days, then i am going to take some of the verses and ideas and write a song lyric. Interested in what each of you finds most appealing, and any other comments you may have. Thanks.


Baby, do you remember
All the things you said to me.
What were the words you used?

Looking in my eyes you said
That there was nothing left to see

Over and over
Like water pouring from the skies unseen
While I held you, and kissed you one more time
Did you think your words could wash us clean?

You tore me up, were you trying
To push me down so you could see
Past the obstruction I've become
To your private agony?

If it was pain you could not handle
I would share it all with you
I overstepped a boundary
And so quickly you withdrew
To the top of the mountain
Looking down on me
Your eyes were orbs of judgment
Through which you could not see

You know my secrets
I've shared them all with you
You turned them into weapons -
And shot me thru . . .

You sent me away
Into the cold arms of darkness
Knowing she'd embrace me as her own
Will I be the last to taste your tears?
Is love so hard for you to hold?

Living alone, there’s no one to catch you
When your spirit flies astray
To bring you back and hold you close -
Someone whose love will stay
How do you grow
Until your roots can find their way
Into fertile soil?

Your boat has sailed
But your anchors have stayed
Where you cut yourself adrift
The tides have since played
In the tossing of the sea
Until the anchors of your life
Are buried in the sand

It's too late to find them
They are lost to you now
You stare into the water
And you sing your songs
And remember the love
That you hoped was real

When the rain falls all around you
And you feel close to God
Do you pray to Him to drain the seas -
To let the rain keep falling down
Hoping that one day
You can walk across the sand
Where now great oceans stand?

Baby, what prophets have you followed -
How are they named -
What have they led you to -
Is this where you will stay?
Your mind is all but open
To the destruction you accept as hope and pain
Your boat has shipwrecked on a rocky shore
It's time for you to learn to walk again

- Norman Maser 12/15/2007
#2December 18th, 2007 · 07:45 PM
115 threads / 18 songs
1,415 posts
United States of America
k, this review will be a quicky--- i feel a sense of duty to respond to your lyrics, Simon, as I've been doing it for a while now, and they're generally very good   so it's easy to come back.  i've got about 9 other things ready to eat me alive if i shaft them in order to use the computer this evening, so i'll try to make my comments dense.  In Zip format, if you will    mmm maybe some point-style action would be good.

-BAM.  lots of length--- even if your final lyric-version of this isn't as long, it's perfectly fine.  Since you want to turn it into a lyric later anyway, the poem is sort of like the idea melting pot, where you can pick and choose what you want to make the song as potent as possible.  But you know that already.

-i like the imagery all the way through, with the "shipwreck" motif.  particularly, i'm liking the following lines:

Did you think your words could wash us clean?
"private agony"
You stare into the water  /  And you sing your songs

-i feel like there's a missing linker idea between the 2nd and 3rd lines in the "If it was pain you could not handle" stanza.  i can follow lines 1 and 2 together, and then 3 through the end, but as a block, i think that the first 2 lines are a response to the mini allegory made in the other ones.  ... making sense?  1 and 2 feel like the concluding thoughts of the narrator to the story told in that verse, and so i think the source of my double-take is that such concluding lines are found at the beginning of the stanza.  perhaps you like it that way.  i find it a bit interesting, myself-- not in a bad way--- just in a confusing-for-the-first-two-times-i-read-it way.

-line 4 in the second-to-last stanza (To let the rain keep falling down) is throwing of my reading of the idea.. it seems to me that it's in total opposite to the line right before it, about draining the seas.  the remainder of the stanza seems to me to be going off of the Drained Seas idea, and so line 4 is kind of extraneous, it feels.  perhaps it's a repetition of line 1, in an attempt to say that She wants the seas to be drained, but that the rain needs to keep falling so that She can feel close to God..?  An intentional contradiction in her desires?  At any rate--- this could all very well be true, having condratictions and such, because human emotions and desires are often exactly built that way.  Though, i'll admit that the lyric is leaving me a little at-my-own-discretion for desiding what on earth to do with that line 4.  what's your idea of how it fits?  perhaps hearing you expound would help me to see the picture more clearly.

final ideas:

i wasn't expecting the strong God-prophets thing to come out as a theme for those last two stanzas, but they are certainly very powerful, as you're using words that (generally) people know and understand.  Instead of trying to define some sort of Misleading Individuals for us to hate, you are pitching pre-made people at us, like "prophets", where you're intentionally saying that She's followed the wrong ones (or that they're all wrong together, that you can only follow yourself?).  I think using "God" and "prophet" is cutting out a lot of extra stanzas that you could have written about those who led Her astray.  That's good.

generally, i'm impressed with the consistant emotion being produced from the narrator.. it's not really ... "feirce"... but it's something upset and bitter and one that shows a condescending pity on Her.  There's tons that I could say about the Narrator-and-Her relationship that I think you've done well, but I don't want to just talk to myself about it--- you already know what you've written!  So, my suggestions would be this:

---most of your lyrics follow that "aphalion" idea i mentioned in "Ten Years to Life".. if you're seeking to accomplish the same feel for this, once it's a lyric and not (just) a poem, then you'll have to organize some sort of scene.  You've completely gotten the imagery loaded into your literary gun, and you're aiming it, but you haven't got a shooting range to fire on.  You've got plans to go to one (using your Shipwrecked motif), but so far you're only working with snippets of imagery, like the Like water pouring from the skies unseen line (which isn't really a scene description.. it's a metaphore.  close enough to trick most readers though) and then the mountain part, and then finally the anchor in the sands.  They're all GREAT stages, though i'm not sure you're anchored to one for your lyric to stand while it pitches the others.

perhaps you're looking to have the 3-fold scene.  if so, i think you'll be following a little bit different route for the style of these lyrics compared to your others

(you're lucky you're getting this much out of me   my other obligations are delaying, so you're keeping me here at least another 6 and a half minutes!)

one thing that was hard for me, just from a logistics standpoint, was the fact that every line starts with a capital letter, and your EOL (that's only a programming term.. isn't it :P  ) ... End of Line punctuation is reserved to only dashes and question marks.  Oh, and one ". . ."  .  That's fine, to not use commas, though i think that commas help the reader know when thoughts are continuing, and when new ones are taking over.

I don't like over using commas, personally, so often what i'll do is leave off the capital letters on lines that continue the same grammatical sentence.  For instance..

Baby, do you remember
all the things you said to me.
What were the words you used?

yet your final stanza could keep the majortiy of it's current format:

Baby, what prophets have you followed -
How are they named -
What have they led you to -
Is this where you will stay?
Your mind is all but open
to the destruction you accept as hope and pain
Your boat has shipwrecked on a rocky shore
It's time for you to learn to walk again

..mainly because you've got all those hyphens in there, shooting rapid, independant thoughts out there.  Particularly, i was reading the lines around When your spirit flies astray ALL wrong, and i typed a paragraph about it, but then realized you were saying something completely different than i thought you were.

again.. that's just the mechanics.  though, at this stage, understanding the ideas is key to commenting on them  

so.. you're set on the imagery.  you're good to go with idea material.  you've got something good to work from for the "Shipwrecked" theme.  I'd say that you ought to next decide what you want a Chorus to be (or something like it.. don't feel bound to the chorus idea).  You'll have to have some sort of punchy hit for Her to take in each chorus pattern.  I wouldn't hold back on the offense, here.  Maybe that's just me.  But you're asking for my opinions

my suggestions for chorus-like ideas are the lines about "You stare into the water / And you sing your songs" and then the "I've shared [my secrets] all with you / You turned them into weapons" ... and finally... "If it was pain you could not handle  /  I would share it all with you"

k.. i'm late for some other things now   a 7000 character post... not bad, you!

#3December 19th, 2007 · 01:26 AM
30 threads
169 posts
United States of America
to TLS
Thanks for the long drink of water.

About the break between L2 and L3 in the " If it was pain..." verse:. I was aware of that 'problem'. Lines 1 and 2 aren't intended to continue the previous verse, but they sound like they do. These three verses would be sung pretty much straight through, so I think it would work. But I might edit L1

Line 4, "To let the rain keep falling down", is simple, but the whole verse is complex. She would be asking God to keep the rain falling, even if it uses all the water from the sea. Or put another way, "Would you pray to God to drain the seas / So that the rain can keep falling"

It is poetic license, because of course the seas would fill up again.. The lines about walking across the sand are the twist in this verse. She would seem to want the rain to keep falling to be close to god God, but instead we find that she is really manipulating God, into emptying the seas so she can walk across the sands - and what is buried under them?

Interesting thoughts on punctuation, capitalization, etc. Always a challenge. Notice, for example, that all those dashes at the ends of lines in the last stanza could be question marks. My lyrics ask a lot of questions.

You really nailed it about the organization. Although this flows perfectly from my point of view in writing it, I realize that it doesn't when reading it. I can either fix it (difficult) or break it up. Since it is so long already, I am breaking it into two lyrics. The first is taken from the first seven stanzas, making the "Over and over" stanza the chorus. I am posting it in a few minutes. The title is INVISIBLE.

The rest will remain Shipwreck, and it will get a new beginning. this allows both pieces to have their own central idea, and better continuity.

Thanks again!

About the organization of ideas and all the rest, you are spot o
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