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Hjolnai

The Martial Artist

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The Martial Artist

 

I am air,

and the cobra itself cannot strike me.

 

I am earth,

and the bite of cold is as nothing,

as even venom does me no harm.

 

I am fire,

and no wall, no barrier, no foe

can survive my onslaught,

unstoppable as time itself.

 

I am water,

and I strike as rain strikes the ground,

thousands of blows, thousands of drops,

forming a raging torrent

to sweep all enemies from my path.

 

And yet I cannot help but think

of the many things I miss.

I take pride in my skills

and clarity of mind

through meditation.

And yet, other emotions are dead.

No laughter, no tears,

no half-forgotten fears.

 

Contemplation brings the answer.

I must focus, always focus

and not let these thoughts of discontent

mar my art's subtle teachings.

I chose this path,

and must walk it to the end.

Those I protect

must survive

to have those emotions for me.

 

 

 

 

I'm not used to using poetry, but I felt like writing this.

If you have any feedback, please don't hesitate to offer it.

Also, I think I need a better title, but off the top of my head I could think of none better.

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for someone who doesn't write poetry often, VERY nice job. I like it very much. very descriptive, but it seemed just a little awkward in the stanzas that have an odd number of lines. but then, that might just be me, cause I tend to try to have an even number of lines. overall, very nice job. :D

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Cool poem Hjolnai. :-) I liked the metaphorical descriptions of the martial artist's techniques, with the rain drop one standing out to me in particular. My favorite parts of the poem, however, were the segments that tapped into the martial artist's weaknesses, such as the many things he misses and the emotions that are now dead to him. The contrast between the fighter's technique and his more human elements was the most interesting part of the poem to me, and you might even consider expanding the parts about the things he misses to give us more insight into why those he protects hold his emotions for him. Just a potential thought for future revisions, though... the poem reads nicely as it stands. :-) Thanks for sharing it.

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Thanks for your feedback, I'll certainly bear it in mind for any future changes to the poem.

With the odd numbers of lines, my intention was to use gradual incrementation of line numbers for the first four stanzas; I'm not sure whether the effect was worth it though.

As for expanding on the emotions, I agree that that may be something I need to work on. The second-last stanza doesn't really feel like it concludes, so I might try to expand it.

 

Incidentally, this is my first post since I returned from a computer programming camp, which is why I didn't respond to your feedback earlier.

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I think I'll expand on the last two stanzas here, then if it works I'll add it in to the original post.

 

 

And yet I cannot help but think

of the many things I miss.

I take pride in my skills

and clarity of mind

through meditation.

And yet, other emotions are dead.

No laughter, no tears,

no half-forgotten fears.

Does the pride in a demon's death

outweigh love, laughter and life?

 

My answer must be no

but another reply comes;

If I do not choose focus

many others will lose

what I would hope to gain.

Corpses have no laughter

and corpses shed no tears

so I must stand before them

to banish ancient fears.

But still...

 

Silence, doubt! Silence, too, my anger.

Contemplation brings the answer.

I must focus, always focus

and not let these thoughts of discontent

mar my art's subtle teachings.

I chose this path,

and must walk it to the end.

Those I protect

must survive

to have those emotions for me.

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