Poem for Critique 017: How a can spins when shot by Bill Schwalm

Welcome to Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group and the seventeenth poem submitted to this blog for feedback. This piece is by Bill Schwalm.

Please do comment in the section below telling us what you liked about this poem and, what if anything, the author could do to improve upon it. Thank you – it’s very much appreciated!

How a can spins when shot

Before the crack the rifle splits from after

wounded can dance spinning pirouette—

A single yelp and airborne melted metal

rips and spins about an axis of gyration,

hops jumps bonks and bounces twice

and stops.


A breeze disperses little dust

and grass moves quietly beyond.


Thank you, again, Bill.

WAS picture 1Bill Schwalm is unpublished as a poet.

He is currently Professor of Physics at The University of North Dakota, and has been reading and written poems since childhood.


If you’d like to submit your poem (50 lines max) for feedback on this blog see Submissions and / for consideration for the weekly Post-weekend Poetry slot on my main blog, take a look here.

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For writers / readers willing to give feedback and / or writers wanting feedback privately, take a look at my main blog’s Feedback page.

My online writing blog / Facebook groups are:

Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group

Thank you for reading this and we look forward to your comments.

5 responses to “Poem for Critique 017: How a can spins when shot by Bill Schwalm

  1. kimberlypatterson73

    I’m not one to critique because I’m a novice. I like it. It’s what happens when you shoot a can and it has been described perfectly. 🙂

  2. Thank you, Kimberly. I feel the same, which is why I open it out to the floor. I write very little poetry and read even less. I’m prose through and through (like a stick of rock). 🙂

  3. Thank you. I was thinking of sound. It did happen like that. I should say this version of it includes several suggestions I got from Donna Colburn who has just joined the group.

  4. Bill’s poem is perfect in its terseness and tension and the lack of unnecessary words. The art of using less to show more and tell less. I love the sounds. I love the energy and the ping and dong and the ding. More than anything in the poem was the dust and the dog yelping. Those two collaborated with a simple tin can in the middle of nowhere. Emptiness. Sound. Action. Response. Reaction.

  5. Thank you for taking the time to reply, Sepli. It is much appreciated. I have passed your comment on to Bill.

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