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Help with changes to a poem before contest

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I was wondering if you all could take a look at this poem and chime in what you would change in terms of grammar and mechanics. It was entered in a contest and has come back for an author's proof before publishing.  The writer is a little unsure if the way it is written falls under artistic license or if changes are necessary.  From what I understand not using punctuation was done on purpose but now the writer is unsure if that was a good idea.


Blood Red Gates


Bloody rose upon the wall

Watching me as I fall

Into a dark abyss

The world I shall not miss

For my heart is a darken stain

Wet from the bloody rain

My life is clawed out

As I am filled with doubt

About the world that awaits

So open up the blood red gates




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Probably this is too late for the editing deadline, but since no one else comments I'll add my two cents.


I would stay with no punctuation.  While you can use punctuation in your poetry, not  using punctuation is also accepted convention.   Plus, I don't see where punctuation would add anything here.


Grammatical rules apply differently to poetry.      In modern poetry you are not constrained by regular grammatical rules...however, any unconventional use of grammar should be intentional, because those reading it will expect that it has meaning.  She doesn't use any unconventional spelling and not using punctuation, as I mentioned earlier, is not unconventional.  Here I think commas and periods would get in the way of the flow of the poem so shouldn't be used. 


I was an English major in collage and for a while I ran a poetry website and forum (just for fun...not professionally).

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You still use punctuation in a poem, but you have more flexibility.  For instance, at the end of thought, there should be a period.  There should be commas to encourage pauses and grammatically connect things.   The focus is on the line instead of the sentence, but there are still sentences.  You can have a lot in one but there should be connections with dependent clauses or commas.  Also, you can use a semi-colon for complete ideas that are closely connected and equally important.  


For instance, I would put a period  or semi-colon at the end of the third line.  It seems like a complete thought.  I'd also put a period after rains, await, and gates.  Commas could be added anywhere the author wants a short pause.

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