michaelgriffith (michaelgriffith) wrote,

First Year Live Journals

Hi all- I have just finished marking this HUGE BATCH of LJs.... Here are my comments and thoughts. Marks will be visible in My Grades soon.
I have enjoyed immensely the journey through first year LiveJournals… so many of you have cottoned on so quickly to the rich possibilities within this medium and it is rewarding to see so many of taking up suggestions for experimenting with new creative forms: poems, short, short stories, images etc….

Highest marks went to the following URLS… check them out… (all these scored more than 8.5 out of 10).

Rebecca Akrivos http://beckyluvsty.livejournal.com
Jessica Attard http://jessica-attard.livejournal.com
Dilek Bayram http://dilekbayram.livejournal.com
Melissa Calleja http://melissacalleja.livejournal.com/
Emily Gray http://emilygray33.livejournal.com
Amy Mcpherson http://8_tigerlily_8.livejournal.com
Lucy Monti http://lucy2311.livejournal.com/
Sara Ramirez Morales http://sahrahh.livejournal.com
Emily Walsh http://emilycharlotte7.livejournal.com
Kristyna Wowk http://kristynaw.livejournal.com

I can confidently say that some of you are producing in your LiveJournal an on-line digital portfolio that will impress any future employer… so keep up the good work. Remember it is your creative space where you can experiment with new creative forms, where you can share your ideas about literature and life and of course where you are on show to the world. So keep that last thought in mind as well. And spend a little time editing and refining your posts… this is all part of being a Literature/ Creativity specialist….

I will shortly be calling for submissions for the Prize Winning Poem for 1st years semester 1 – judged by LJ Academic Assistants… Watch out for this opportunity… and keep writing your poems.

Some of you are very behind in your other journal entries... keep a regular weekly entry and don't slip behind. Crowding all your entries on the last day before submission is not acceptable.

I now want to post a number of comments/ editing/ suggestions that I have posted into some of your LJs… The reason I am doing this is because I think there are some general principles here that will help you all improve your writing. So scan through these:
... you clearly have verbal talent and it needs to be directed and nurtured. I would love to see you take something like this poetic brainstorm that I have just read and refine and hone it down to its core images, ideas and rhythms.... then it could have a real power to disturb and move...

Let me just take one small section of your work and see what happens if I edit it down to what I think is its core:

i cannot begin to describe how deep this
poison river becomes near the middle
and i cannot even fathom to predict how deep it is
near the end.

deep poison river
deeper, deeper middle
depths end.

I don't know what you think about this... but it removes some clutter and takes you closer to what I see as the core......


... but keep a closer eye on expression... I know LJ is a casual space, but it should still be a space where you write with some care... after all you are in the public eye here.


fabulous to see you trying out your poetic wings.... and what you have written is good... but I would make a few minor changes in the direction of sharpening your images and tightening the rhythmic movement. It is a bit like when you make a pottery jar, you want the finished product to be clean and not have bits of clay hanging off it.... So here is one of your stanzas and my attempted clean-up

Another time, another place, another man
Still filled with love, lust and longing
Still short, simple & sweet
Filled with the promise of forever
No matter the man is
The nature of the kiss does not change

Another time, place, man
with love and lust and longing
short, simple & sweet
promise of forever
No matter the man
The kiss does not change

So I am not sure to what extent that improves your poem. Maybe you think it doesn't??? But the point of my experiment is to show how cutting out words and giving what remains more of a shape can add interest, depth and excitement to your writing.... you don't have to agree with this... there it is.


Visit some of our core helpers (Academic Assistants) and explore their LJs and ask them for specific suggestions:


I like it... if it is your own poem be sure to put your name to it as author....


I like it... it feels honest and real... but there is room for pruning it and making it have more artistic/ emotive impact.... just like with a painting or a piece of sculpture... pare it down till it really sings how you want it to... For example... I take just a couple of your lines...

As if i had been stationary in time.
Seconds tick by turning into minutes..
which in turn becomes hours.
Before I realise it has been days and months,
I have lost my sense of time...

Stationary in time.
Seconds tick by...
Becoming hours..
Now it is
& months,
I have lost my time...
my mind....

What do you think? Maybe that is too different... but my point is to pare back to make the words that you really want and need stand out and sing your meaning of joy or despair... that is art!


One day or another, we must all leave each other no matter when it is. 
Sometimes for the better, others for the worst. 
But all I know is, the memories we shared will be imprinted in my heart forever. 

When the ocean meets the sea. 

It has happened but never forgotten.

Once has gone can not be replaced. 

Time can not be displaced.

For the clock continues to tick no matter what.

- Great to see you trying to compose poems... this is an excellent start (although you may have been writing poems before this)... but I want you to read your poems aloud and try and hear how they sound and whether a re-arrangement of the words, even and exchange of some words... helps to make the poem "sing" more... Let me try to show what I mean by reshaping your first stanza:

It has happened
It is never forgotten.
Once gone it cannot be replaced.
Time cannot be displaced.
For the clock continues
to tick
no matter

What do you think????
ome powerful emotions behind these words... excellent... but I want to say to you as I have said to many... the emotions can become more powerful and cut deeper if you find ways of Hearing your poem aloud and Pruning the words down to essentials... Let me try on a couple of your lines:

How does one decide to take one life
For another?
Input from friends and family,
Everyone wants to give an opinion.
The only one that matters is his,
And your own.

Thinking forward to the possibilities
Of each path laid before you.
The endless question...

Here is my version

How does one decide to take one life
For another?
From friends and family,
Everyone's opinion.
What matters
& yours

Which path?
An endless question..

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 1 comment