The Dark Night of the Soul
He who hoards the night under the covers once again denies me entry to his quotidian love
and the word--a faint whisper of breath signifying almost nothing--at the day's first lark
weaves the fragile web of despair: the shadow boxer argues only against himself.
Most difficult of lovers, whom I chase till dawn: in your void my poem finds its craft.
It's a B- not because it's bad, but because it isn't consistently a poem yet. I haven't even begun to work on its metrics. The most challenging line is about the aphorism that if you are punching at the air, your real argument must be with yourself. Or something like that.
My daughter told me how she evaluated her own recording. She listens to herself several times analytically, each time focussing in on a specific factor: intonation (using a tuner), consistency of articulation, phrasing, metrical accuracy of subdivisions (are all the 16th notes even?), and general style. Then she records the piece again. Could a student do that with a paper before turning it in? Proofread for grammar and spelling, then look at each sentence for grace and comprehensibility, each paragraph for structure? etc...
The athletes on our number 1 rated basketball team also have to refine their skills analytically.