UnPoetia talk:Well-Oiled Birds

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Comments, thrown pies, etc.:











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Humour: 6.75 While this article isn't rolling-on-the floor laugh-out-loud funny, it is quite clever and well-conceived, things that are actually better than being just "funny." Problem is, though, you miss a number of golden opportunities to be even more clever, satirical, and scalding, which is a shame. I'll explain more later (sometimes when I do these, I feel compelled to write a step-by-step review detailing a thought process rather than go by the categories this template is broken down into--this is going to be one such review), but keep this overall point in mind if and when you revise this.
Concept: 8.5 Not only is this topical (which is always a nice plus), but I've always thought that poetry--with all it's artiness and whatnot--could/does make an excellent foil to the cold, sterile, unfeeling corporate profit-machines. A topical poem criticizing such, therefore, gets a high mark for concept.
Prose and formatting: 6.25 Remember when I said I was going to do more of a step-by-step kinda process review? Well, this is the section I choose to do it in. Anyway, as far as I can tell, your rhyme scheme for this piece basically goes something along the lines of A, B, A; C, D, C; etc. This is best exemplified in the lines "I saw a Brown Pelican laughing it off / Pouch sticky with food / Did I hear him cough?" This is a very simple, effective, punchy and succinct rhyme scheme, and I like it. Rhythmically, you've got about eleven (sometimes ten or twelve, you've got a bit of leeway) syllables in the first line, and five or six in the following two. This rhyme scheme coupled with this rhythm reminds me of two things--Doctor Seuss and Emily Dickinson, both of whom are known for their catchy, sing-songy, rhythmically strong poetry. This is good. Very good, actually. I would say that the rhythm, poetically speaking, is the strongest thing you've got going for this poem of yours. Rather than highlight this, however, you diminish it (in my opinion) by making what would and should otherwise be two lines into one (making the "B" and second "A" lines into just one "A" line) at the end of each stanza. This ruins the impact of a couple of what are otherwise really good lines, like "Oily soaked Egrets take to the sand, / In throes of surprise, they sink when they land." Why not break that second line up into a B and A line? It just seems like it would work much better that way. In my opinion, your poem should look something like this (complete with dashes to give it an effect of poetic spontaneity):


I'm told that the birds don't mind it one bit
As they enhale the crude
Just to perish forthwith.
For birds will never know they've been slated to die
So people can profit--
Buy and "bye!"

As surely as Sandra Bullock is a man,
Simon is rude
And Meg Ryan can't tan,
Oily soaked Egrets take to the sand--
In throes of surprise
They sink where they land.

I saw a Brown Pelican laughing it off,
Pouch sticky with food--
Did I hear him cough?
A crane in my view struts on a shore once so perfect,
Her wings now black glue,
Slim legs stick to long neck.

Seagulls gracefully circle so high above,
They dive into the sea--
It fits like a glove!
Osprey, sandpipers, ducks and a few storks--
They bob in the oil
Looking somewhat like corks.

Coral reefs, manatees, crayfish and shrimp,
Dolphins and mermaids
And "Bennie the Gimp"
All feel the black gold as it rolls off their backs
Down their shocked open mouths
Into tiny air sacs.

If agonizing death comes to all who swim near,
Don't tell me about it
Just buy me a beer.
For BP arrogantly just flips us the bird,
But they can no longer fly,
And that's too freakin' weird.

Your rhymes are pretty good, but the rhymes you open with (bit/forthwith) and end with (bird/weird) are the weakest of the whole piece. I mean, I didn't even think "bit" and "forthwith" were meant to rhyme the first time reading it until I got to the second stanza and determined what the rhyme scheme was. Ideally, you want to start on a strong note and begin with a strong masculine rhyme to establish your poem. Instead, we're greeted with a slant rhyme that sounds kind of awkward, and not the good kind of Emily Dickinson slant rhyme, either. The same thing goes for the end. Instead of ending on a definite note of finality, we get a very awkward slant rhyme that I imagine was worked in just to accommodate the admittedly clever "BP flips us the bird" pun the line before.

Finally, I think you've missed an opportunity to really scald/criticize BP and their executives. I mean, you do do both those things to them, obviously, but you have an opportunity to do so even more so. At the end, you link lines to things like Criminal and Liar and Capitalism and whatnot (on another note, I'm not really a fan of the whole poem being a bunch of big blue links)--instead of straight-up telling us these things, you should show them, if that makes any sense. Perhaps you could add a second series of stanzas regarding the BP executives that contrasts with the first series regarding the birds and their suffering, or something. Something along the lines of:

Though birds suffer and die, the Pigs do okay:
They don't care for the Gulf--
They live far away
In their big three-tier houses powered by crude
That currently stains
Birds' feathers so rude.

White men in black suits look on with a frown:
Not because of destruction--
Their profits are down.
They'll lie and they'll spin, no matter the cost
To try to recoup
The dollars they've lost.

You've got the chance to be really witty and critical a la Pink Floyd's Animals here, but instead you criticize in very broad and nondescript terms and come closer to Green Day's American Idiot.

Images: 5.5 I like the first image because it's tragic and topical. The second image not so much because it's at odds with the tone this piece should ideally have.
Miscellaneous: 9 Now, I know I've been both very suggestive and very critical, but this piece is very good and has a lot of potential. Hell, you could make no changes to it at all, and I'd still vote for it on VFH. I do, however, thing you should address all the things I've brought up because I really think they could do this article some good.
Final Score: 36 I had to put a / in every occurrence of the word F U C K because Wikia's spamfilter thingy--which I didn't know existed until just now--blocked my edits to the page citing the presence of that word as the reason why. F U C K Wikia.
Reviewer: Unführer Guildy Ritter von Guildensternenstein 16:53, June 16, 2010 (UTC)


    • Article sandbox:
Students, housewives, and old broken-down hippies,
Bring your love for the Earth,
Not hate of the spoilers,
To a nonviolent stand, near United Nations,
Ask for world healing
With caring and shamans.
"End all environmental destruction", our request to the leaders,
"Restore lands and waters",
With help from the leakers.
So here, a rymed call for humanity's quorom,
So gather, you dopes,
At the world's modern Forum!

edit Bravo!

Good work, my friend. Cheers! Zimbuddha Rev. Zim (Talk) Get saved! 15:05, June 18, 2010 (UTC)

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