John—of aching miles and cold nights—
unearthed himself in a purple city
crawling up the dusk-brown sky
(only to find the heights lacking).
The windows overflowed
with the desperately hungry eyes
of one million lonely strangers.
He kept his head tucked
safe under a fraying collar,
a bird beneath thin wings
when the storm approaches
and the keening wind strains.
His biggest fear
was meeting his own eyes
in the windows.
He shattered into the concrete
as the world fell away.
| very interesting piece. i'll just get right into the critique.|
for the first stanza, "purple city" and "dusk-brown sky" are enjoyable bits of imagery. the parenthetical is a
nice touch too. "of aching miles and cold nights" gives a chilling sense, but i don't think i like your offsetting it with dashes, because that's such an anomaly in a poem in which you use commas everywhere else.
the second stanza's shortness makes it all the more effective. definitely illustrates the disconnected and desperate state of society. brings to mind a few excellent songs. i think it's a universal feeling, yet people rarely write about it, opting for less worthy topics. you know what i mean. anyway, the "one million lonely strangers" is a nice contradiction of so many people but all detached. i can imagine all the unhappy faces, stuck in grey skyscrapers.
the next stanza is great; probably my favorite. amazing metaphor, and the additional words like "fraying" and "thin" just make it all the better. my only suggestion is maybe putting it as:
"He kept his head tucked safe
under a fraying collar,"
"He kept his head tucked,
safe under a fraying collar"
i think it reads better those ways, but nothing major.
i think the fourth is the weakest, which isn't a bad thing if it isn't bad in itself (uh, did that even make sense? haha). i know you intended to have it short, and i like the message, but i get the feeling that it's missing something. or that you could've expressed it better. i don't know. could be as simple as adding an adjective before eyes or using a better word than biggest.
really like the last stanza too; it's a very nice ending and fits well. i get the image of his jumping out of the building or something (i'm not sure, correct me if i'm wrong). reminds me a bit of a radiohead music video i saw for "creep". but perfect phrasing there.
overall, great poem. sort of like my piece "sketch" in that it illustrates a man in a few stanzas, but yours has a totally different sense to it. hmm, i haven't faved anything in a while, but what the hell, you deserve it. this is certainly one of the more worthy poems on the community page in a while.
well, i hope that met your expectations of a "highly lauded" (really?) critique. good luck with settling into college!
|| Posted on 2007-09-21 00:00:00 | by explosions | [ Reply to This ] |