Sample 1 with preceding author's note
I recently submitted an old poem of mine in a competition on here. The competition is about writing a poem that acts as a self portrait of oneself in the mirror. Anyways, after submitting an older piece of mine I found myself playing with thoughts of reflection. Something very simple and commonly used in mirrors to groom and or admire ourselves, right?
Well, then I thought about writing a piece that touches on the complexities and makings of reflections from two different realms or standpoints. An admiration at the visual properties and remark upon the idea and uses of reflection when introduced with the sentience and perceptual awareness of the human condition.
(If that makes any sense.)
I probably made it sound more complicated than it is. I want to like it, but for some reason can't seem to find myself happy with it. I can be overly critical of myself sometimes and get stuck on trivial details. Regardless, this is what I've got so far and would appreciate and enjoy any advice, critiques, or thoughts.
A mirror is a mesmerizing object.
Beautiful and ponderous, I find.
A surface reflecting echoes of light.
A doppelganger's shadow and layered silhouette of perception.
Much have I roamed the chambers of preservation.
In the spectrum of illumination awestruck is my mind.
Afloat in a void admiring infinity.
Infinity being cast.
Cast not only back, but everywhere always,
I gazed in the kaleidoscope at an ocean of mirrors,
and saw a conscience peering back at its impression.
Immortality both phenomenon and paradox.
In regards to your comments; not complicated at all. Just as the reflected object is deeper than its surface appears, thus is the reflective tool. We are our own worse critics at times, and in regards to literature, that's not a bad thing. Consider the alternative and you'll understand exactly what I mean.
Firstly, I like how you revisited and chose an older poem for this. It reflects ( no pun intended ) the essence of rumination and contemplation to build the future from the past.
Secondly, after reading several times ( while applying your comments ), I believe the reason you're not fully in sync with it to be the flow ( or lack of it ). A reflection is as endless as it is seamless, as are we beyond our tangible forms.
The poem's current structure contradicts that, and interrupts the seamlessness of content with over-punctuation. For example, look at the first stanza. You have three simultaneous sentences without one enjambment; therefore, the meaning isn't carrying over from one line to the next. Instead, it's terminal ( and I do mean that literally ) punctuation.
When you gaze into a mirror, what is it you want to do? Relax and enjoy without abrupt stops and starts, e.g. - the phone ringing, dog barking, someone knocking on the door. Constant interruptions are frustrating when one desires to focus on on something, and thus it hinders their focus.
Ergo your poem ( or any poem, for that matter ). Let's take a look and see how we can create an infinite image in the readers mind through structure and form. Also, I'll be shaving extraneous wordage ( such as five 'A (a)'s within the title and first stanza itself).
Lastly, you have some great rhyme, alliteration, consonance, and assonance happening in this. Revisions, particularly punctuation, would assist in bringing them together to draw out the harmonics.
Mirrors are mesmerizing
reflecting echoes of light
in layered silhouette
Because you seem a fan of punctuation, I've left the end-stop. What I've done is remove repetitive, excess wordage, in addition to over-punctuation. For example, do you really need to define mirrors as objects? Wouldn't the reader already know such? Don't you? Do you need to reiterate your findings when the poem serves such a purpose?
When writing to an audience, ask yourself what you are attempting to say? How can you convey it concisely? Nothing is more frustrating than listening to someone ramble without getting to the point, thus is parallel poetry ( not implying yours was the case ).
See how much more streamlined it reads with enjambment? How the consonance, assonance, and alliteration all flow off the tongue without having to stop at every line? Note how direct the meaning is without the need to describe a mirror as an object, etc.
Let's see what we can do with the rest:
I have roamed chambers
awestruck is my mind
afloat in a void
Infinity being cast
not only back
but everywhere always
I gazed into a kaleidoscopic
ocean of mirrors
saw consciousness peering back
at its [ own ] impression;
phenomenon and paradox.
The foundation of the revised poem is 99% yours. I merely rearranged structure, created enjambment for enhancement and flow, and altered a few tenses once extraneous and relative words were removed.
I would encourage you to read both aloud, comparing current revisions containing natural pauses that aren't so abrupt in stopping the reader from enjoying the flow ( or smooth train of thought ). Note the precision of retention regarding meaning without extraneous repetition or definition.
After all, perhaps to some a mirror is much more than an object. . .
DeadiAm, thank you for allowing me to honestly critique your poem. Please keep in mind that a critique, with the exception of proper grammar and spelling ( unless intentional for purposes of dialect ), is largely preference. Feel free to keep any revision as your own or disregard at will.