Weeping Witch

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Lou
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Weeping Witch

Post by Lou » Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:09 am

Forget your book of spells,
your signs, your potions and your ring;
you sought advantage over
others, thought black arts would bring
you power, hoped your path
through life would be a summer’s day
if you could call on super-
natural tricks to smooth the way.

And now you sit and weep,
black pointed hat with tip askew,
the desperate thumbing through
your spell book is no use to you;
so fold away your stocking,
cape and long black-fingered glove;
what good is sorcery
if you can’t charm the man you love?

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Macavity » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:08 am

Neatly done Lou. Seasonal wrap to the domestic. My only perhaps suggestion is something less soft than 'charm' - enchant?

best

mac

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Jackie » Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:22 pm

I like all your bits and pieces of witchery, Lou. You've set a great atmosphere.

It's probably just me, but is "you sought advantage over others" necessary?

I somehow feel that the reader would come to the conclusion of the last two lines without being told if we see that the witch is weeping and we've had hints before that her aim is to entrap a man. Perhaps you could experiment with a different title, something using words like beguiler or aphrodisiac?

Nice, with Halloween creeping near.

Jackie

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Ros » Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:40 pm

Nicely done - some good suggestions from Jackie and Mac. I'd certainly agree it needs a different title.

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Luce » Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:25 pm

I like this one a lot Lou. Great setting and it moves along well. I love the imagery involving the tip of the witch's hat gone askew. It's a nice subtle hint that something is amiss with the witch. I like how she is frantically searching through her books for a solution to an emotional issue.

The meter is a little bumby but mainly works. I like the end rhymes. Nothing forced.

But, I gotta me honest, the closing let me down. I didn't quite buy it. I would think that a love portion would solve her romantic problem. I think you need a stronger ending, a bigger twist.

I'd like to propose another closing:

so fold away the stocking,
your cape and cauldron please
what good is this magic
if you can’t charm your broom down trees.

I picked her broom because supposedly brooms have a will of their own and are, therefore, magical too.

A cat can work because of a cat's famous reputation for ignoring you. I think they also have magical powers, so they can combat the witch.

These are just suggestions Lou. IMHO, even though the ending you have is charming, I think you can conjure up a stronger twist for the end.

Luce
Lou wrote:Forget your book of spells,
your signs, your potions and your ring;
you sought advantage over
others, thought black arts would bring
you power, hoped your path
through life would be a summer’s day
if you could call on super-
natural tricks to smooth the way.

And now you sit and weep,
black pointed hat with tip askew,
the desperate thumbing through
your spell book is no use to you;
so fold away your stocking,
cape and long black-fingered glove;
what good is sorcery
if you can’t charm the man you love?
Last edited by Luce on Sat Oct 29, 2016 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Grace » Sat Oct 29, 2016 7:01 pm

Hi Lou,

This was a highly enjoyable, charming and wise poem.

The title gave me a slightly humorous vision of a pathetic witch. She should be in control and a bit emotionless but here she is openly weeping. There may be other titles that you could use as well, but this one set up the poem.

Thanks and Happy Halloween. :mrgreen:

Lou
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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Lou » Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:36 am

Thanks mac,

I originally had a simple 'have' for 'charm' - what about the more dramatic 'hook'?

Best,
Lou

Thanks Jackie,

I don't know that there are early hints that the witch is weeping for a man - as Luce says, she could be crying for her dead cat. What about 'Lovelorn Witch' for a new title? That of course would give the game away.

Best,
Lou


Thanks Ros,

'Witch Bewitched'? Perhaps not.

Best,
Lou

Thanks Luce,

I would think that a love portion would solve her romantic problem.


That is the point of the poem. Witches are invariably ugly, warty, smelly, anti-social etc. If they are lonesome why don't they use their magic powers to smarten themselves up?

Best,
Lou


Thanks Grace,

The history of witches is very interesting. The outcast with only a cat for company whose isolation leads society to believe she must have magical powers is tragic.

Happy Halloween!

Lou

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Crayon » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:43 am

Lou - I wouldn't change the ending to black-cat or broom-stick problems. That would just make it a joke, rather than the intimate and touching twist in expectations you have now. Anyhoo, here's a mallowy bogwit's take on it:

Weeping Witch Hazel

Forget your books of magic,
cursed potions, crafts and conjuring;
you sought sly advantage over
others, wished dark arts could bring
you powers, craved your route
through life to be an easy way,
if only faith in supernatural
tricks might save the day.

For tonight you're sat there sobbing,
black pointy hat with tip askew,
desperately thumbing through the
spellbook that's now no use to you.
So fold away your cape and
stockings, that long black-fingered glove;
because what worth has sorcery
if you can't control the one you love?
wisteria
glares mauve ~
sleepless dawn

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Macavity » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:23 am

what about the more dramatic 'hook'?
I think it is where you want to pitch the poem Lou. A light entertaining exterior with a sad thread of desperate loneliness seems the tone here. Works for me.

best

mac

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by David » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:48 am

I like it, Lou. The choice of three- and then four-foot lines is bothering me, though. It seems to lead to a bumpier read, and more awkward line breaks, than the more usual (I think?) alternation of four and three feet in that order. Like so (if you don't mind) ...

Forget your book of spells, your signs,
your potions and your ring;
you sought advantage over others,
thought black arts would bring
you power, hoped your path through life
would be a summer’s day
if you could call on super-natural
tricks to smooth the way.

And now you sit and weep, black pointed
hat with tip askew,
the desperate thumbing through your spell book
is no use to you;
so fold away your stocking, cape
and long black-fingered glove;
what good is sorcery if you
can’t charm the man you love?


I didn't change your words at all - just the line breaks. And I think it works much better.

It's lovely, anyway, and quite touching.

Have you seen Bell, Book and Candle? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDBbmP2TctE

Cheers

David

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by JJWilliamson » Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:08 pm

Love David's alternative and think that 'bewitch' instead of 'charm' would develop the meter.

When witches wish to conjure beauty,
they must resist, it is their duty.

A warlock, on the other hand,
could solve her problem with his wand.

A super read, I'd say.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Luce » Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:51 pm

Based on the N's description of the witch (which seems to be the fairy tale variety) she's used to controlling people and things to make things better for herself soley. Based on her character painted in the poem, this witch would have reached for a love potion in a New York minute. This is why the ending was not strong nor believable for me. The alternative ending I suggested would have had her not being able to control another magical thing or person. They would have been immune to "her charms" for a variety of reasons. As far as her appearance goes, witches are famous (in story books) for changing their appearance, at a drop of a hat. Prime example: Snow White's step mom. She used witchcraft to change into an old lady. And let us not forget good ole polyjuice from Harry Potter. Ahhhhh these muggles don't know squat. :roll:

Lou wrote: Thanks Jackie,

I don't know that there are early hints that the witch is weeping for a man - as Luce says, she could be crying for her dead cat.
Huh??? I never said that Lou nor even implied it in my comment. It was clear she was longing for a man she couldn't "charm".

P.S. David - Thanks for the reminder to try to work with the poet's words rather than redo his/her entire poem. When you do that you risk unintentionally inserting your style in their poem. You worked with his words to show your suggestion. That takes great skill.

I welcome grammatical and spelling corrections pointed out besides story line, individual line break, word uggestions, etc. I especially love when someone works with the wording or line I already have and help make it more effective.

Luce
Last edited by Luce on Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Antcliff » Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:12 pm

Ha! A fun poem. I enjoyed it, Luce

Despite there being so much to like --- idea, punchline, metrical engagment and more --- some of the language, if not cliche, does feel a bit well worn.

Path through life
Smooth the way
Sit and weep

Not cliche, quite. But if these expressions could be tweaked or subverted in some way, perhaps that draws on witch imagery, imho the poem would gain.

But, still, fun.

Seth

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Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
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Luce
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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Luce » Sun Oct 30, 2016 4:03 pm

Antcliff wrote:Ha! A fun poem. I enjoyed it, Luce
Seth.
Oh I wish it was mine but it's not. That honor goes to Lou.

Luce
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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Antcliff » Sun Oct 30, 2016 4:56 pm

Luce wrote:
Antcliff wrote:Ha! A fun poem. I enjoyed it, Luce
Seth.
Oh I wish it was mine but it's not. That honor goes to Lou.

Luce
Aaargh. Apologies, both.

Seth

p.s. Still, it might be time for something of a howdy from both....even only to assist the muddled like me :lol: ....viewforum.php?f=16
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by ton321 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:31 am

Weeping Witch


Forget your book of spells,
your signs, your potions and your ring;
you sought advantage over
others, thought black arts would bring
you power, hoped your path
through life would be a summer’s day
if you could call on super-
natural tricks to smooth the way.

And now you sit and weep,
black pointed hat with tip askew,
the desperate thumbing through
your spell book is no use to you;
so fold away your stocking,
cape and long black-fingered glove;
what good is sorcery
if you can’t charm the man you love?

Hi Lou,
I liked the opening line, its imperative brings us into the poem, and charges the rest of the poem with a sense of urgency towards the last-line clincher.
Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Robert Graves

Lou
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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Lou » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:39 am

Thanks Crayon,

I like your version! I also had the word 'sly' in an earlier draft - witches have to be sly and cunning, don't they?

Best,
Lou

Thanks mac,

The poem started out as 'funny' but the tragic side of unsuccessful witches seems to me more interesting.

Best,
Lou

Thanks David,

Yes, your 4 & 3 beat version works just as well because both stanzas are long sentences, though I do miss the broken 'super-natural'. I suppose I opted for 3 & 4 because it was a bit more unusual.

Best,
Lou

Thanks jj,

'Bewitch' is a nice word but doesn't it mess up the metre of the last line?

Best,
Lou

Thanks Luce,

My witch, based on someone I knew, is clearly a pathetic character, dressing up like a fairy-tale witch but clearly having no magical powers whatsoever. Calling herself a witch gave her some measure of self-esteem, and perhaps sometimes her spells worked through luck and the law of averages. Unfortunately getting her man was beyond her magical powers.

Best,
Lou

Thanks Seth,

I think the slightly commonplace lines are a hangover from the 'funny' version and now, as you say, they could be tweaked to advantage.

Best,
Lou

Thanks ton,

Yes, opening lines are very important!!

Best,
Lou

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by trobbo44 » Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:03 pm

Hi Lou, I have been seeking long and hard for a poem worthy of comment. I like the gradual development of the poem and the metre is good too. The story itself is seasonal and so all the more enjoyable, shame about the inability to entrap the object of desire, but that's the fickle whim of love for you. Thoroughly enjoyed a poem that's written like a poem and not prose pretending to be poetry. Regards Terry

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Lou » Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:13 pm

Thanks Terry,

Glad you liked it.

Best,
Lou

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Firebird » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:26 pm

Hi Lou,

I read this poem when it was first posted and meant to comment, but then others said pretty much what I was going to say. Anyway, just to let you know it gripped me from beginning to end. What was best for me, was I really didn't see the end coming. I think I was too involved with the rhymes and metre, which cleverly distracted me from thinking too hard about where the poem was going. I agree with Seth's point about the use of slightly worn out language, but don't think it's a deal breaker by any means. It's a good poem.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Lou » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:54 am

Thanks Tristan,

I'll keep what you say in mind when I come to revise.

Best,
Lou

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by ray miller » Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:44 pm

I like it. A couple of the line breaks in the first stanza are pretty odd, though, and should it not be stockings - plural?
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

Lou
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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Lou » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:33 pm

Thanks Ray,

You must tell me the lines in S1 which are odd! The witch's garments have to be in the singular for glove to rhyme with love - but I quite like the lonely items missing their partners.

Best,
Lou

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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by ray miller » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:53 am

Lines 3 and 7 are where I tripped up. My idea of what they should be is below. I suspect your verse is conforming to a pattern I can't see!

Forget your book of spells,
your signs, your potions and your ring;
you sought advantage over others,
thought black arts would bring
you power, hoped your path
through life would be a summer’s day
if you could call on super-natural
tricks to smooth the way.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

Lou
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Re: Weeping Witch

Post by Lou » Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:29 pm

Thanks again Ray,

Your version is fine, although it goes against my 3 and 4 beat scheme. There's a bit of scene painting in L3 when 'over others' is broken by the line, and as I said earlier I like supernatural cut in two which makes the reader ponder over the word.

Best,
Lou

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