poetry critical

online poetry workshop

Accidental eye contact with a Geisha (revised)

in the time it took
for a petal to journey
to the pink and white carpet,
he had unlearned everything
he knew of desire.

10 Mar 06

Rated 7.8 (8.7) by 14 users.
Active (14): 1, 1, 4, 6, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10
Inactive (11): 6, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)
(40 more poems by this author)

(5 users consider this poem a favorite)

Add A Comment:
Enter the following text to post as unknown: captcha


takes , present
unlearned, past

should it be took.

i don't know. thought you might.

is the colour of the carpet important
again i don't know.

i love this hobby.

 — unknown

i think you can mix present and past.

i spend longer pondering over tenses.
than writing a poem.

 — unknown

ahh white and pink is blossoms.
oh just ignore my bombed face

 — unknown

Hi kal,

You've got me thinking now on the tenses - I think takes sounds better, but took is probably more correct. I don't know?

Thanks for visiting,
 — hobby

Evocotive imagery.  Very, very nice.

Do you really need below?

Line 7 could easily be 7 and 8:
She had spent her life
perfecting the allusion.

Btw, do you really mean allusion?  Illusion?  Geisha are all about illusion, I think, but allusion is quite interesting.
 — housepoppy

Sakura-fubuki;  1
in the time it takes  2
for a petal to journey  3
to the pink and white carpet,  4
he had unlearned everything 5
he knew of desire.  6
She had spent her life 7
perfecting the allusion. 8

Just an intruding suggestion :)
 — housepoppy

a lovely poem hobby, I wish I had your skills.
 — Meep

This makes me surrender, fall on my knees surrender, I like it. I
Hobby i know i have a problem with compaction, dense to say the least that’s why i will not suggest taking the for out of l3 :P and am also biased to shuffling past and present, as in it's my favorite method of expression, i have my reasons.
 — crepaway

Housepoppy, intrude on!! - your suggested revisions suit the poem very well, I’ve incorporated them, thank you!

Meep, a very bashful thank you :o)

Crepaway, you have helped me on the use of ‘took’ – thanks for that, I was undecided and needed a little nudge.
 — hobby

an oriental beauty.
 — cruellshoos

Oh wow!.. incredibly good.
 — gingerdave

hobby what kind of education do you practice?
 — unknown

iIt doesn't take long for the dumb questons and 1's does it? Good poem.
 — unknown

beautiful =)
 — Ink_drinker

fortune cookie wisdom dressed up as shakespeare.
 — unknown

A good poem, I'm not really sure it deserves such a high rating though. And I know it was mentioned earlier but I can't help but think when you wrote this you meant illusion, because 'allusion' is a reference to something. Like when authors mention the bible in their books.
 — Cloudless

cs, gingerdave, Ink_drinker, and unkowns many thanks for reading and commenting. Cloudless, it is refreshing to have a critique that speaks honestly and is offered without being under the guise of unknown. Allusion is very specific word choice, I hope in reading this the reason for its use is apparent, however I would be happy to explain further if required?
 — hobby

This reminds me of that scene in Memoirs of a Geisha where the guy got into the bike accident from her glance.  In fact, that's all I can think of.  If I hadn't seen the movie I might be able to honestly critique this poem.  As it is, the colours and images in that movie were so beautiful... i think I'm in love with your poem just for reminding me of it.

either way, i like it.  L 4 & 5 are wordier than what I would prefer for them to be, though.    
 — jerotich

*cough* THE BOOK WAS BETTER  *caugh*

I love the poem.
 — fallinforyou

i don't doubt that the book was better.  however, i didn't read it, and I am ignorant enough about Japanese culture not to be appalled by the Hollywood portrayal, so I like the movie.  The cinematography, mostly.
 — jerotich

I could see the use of allusion' and do appreciate the poem more for it.
 — Cloudless

i love the title.
i prefer "takes".

why not move the whole event into the persent?
gives it more life, and why not.
geishas still practice.

in the time it takes
for a petal to journey
to the pink and white carpet
he unlearned everything
he knew of desire
her whole life
perfecting the allusion

i think if you ditch the punct and caps
you can enjoy it as a nice series of phrases as well.
more stories are told in the varied reading of 5 and 6.
(the title is so good it doesnt need a body!)
 — gnormal

I did not see the movie; I did read the book. I found it disconcerting that it was written by an American man, not by a Japanese woman. I had the same dissonant
clash when I read  sTain on this site, and was informed that a white guy had written it. I do love your poem. Pink and white surprise me as Japanese colour choices, but then I think... okay... cherry blossoms in spring ( Opal's Triolet is beautiful). What I like best about this poem IS the word allusion. It made me stumble.

Thank you
 — borntodance

  preferred takes on reflection. i love your poem.
 — bettalpha

 — unknown

 — Meep

it does deserve a high rating.
 — Meep

This is like a sanwhich that looks better than it tastes.
 — unknown

no it isn't.
 — Meep

pelican - you are a hypocrite - you tell this initial person to stop putting people down - and then you're verbally abusive to a poet who has never said anything to you - oh and where's your stuff - you and JW are one and the same I reckon.
 — unknown

as I thought - virtually same email address,
 — unknown

This is good.
 — unknown

What did Larry sweet as hell Lark do to deserve being called an asshole?
 — unknown

See the question to you on Dawn Swimmer.
 — unknown

Meep and Pelicanpubli, thank you kindly for your comments in defense of this poem, the authors of the poorly considered remarks are entitled their opinions and to express them, even if it does show them to be no more than timewasters.

Does this deserve to be highly rated? I guess if any poem has been rated honestly (both highly or not) then it deserves the rating it holds. However I believe that most authors who post here with a view to improving their writing  (myself included) value any critisim offered above the rating although both are always appreciated.

Thanks again
 — hobby

Do you intend "allusion" in L8 or "illusion"?  The title is too long for the poem and too constricting.  Somehow get "geisha" and "eye contact" into the body of the poem.  I love the idea of this poem.  LL2-6 are perfection.  LL7-8 the ultimate.
 — mcverse

no, don't incorporate the words of the title into the poem, it is brilliant how it is, the poem shows a picture, the title explains what is happening, in a sense. or maybe the other way around. meh.
 — inutile

mcverse, thanks for the feedback it’s appreciated - the use of allusion is purposeful, hopefully you can see the reason in the context of the poem. I also take on board your point regarding the title  -often Japanese works are short and simple (the haiku form being a case in point and a favorite of mine) but here the title is used to 'set the scene'. Thanks again.

Inutile, as you can gather from above I will be leaving the title as is, I am however still torn over the tenses and in particular the use of the word takes - I keep reading gnormal’s edit and pondering it’s use and a possible reword of the closing lines but I’m not sure,  anyhoo thanks for coming back to this.
 — hobby

Yes, I see the usefulness  of "allusion."  The work is so good that I wanted to pry a little into your thought process by asking a question involving craft.  Wonderful poem!
 — mcverse

you do mean 'occidental' dont you?

 — unknown

Nice, concise and meaningful.
 — unknown

i like this. it's short, but it says a lot. i like. :)
 — missmurder

mcverse, thank you for re-visiting and for your kind comments. After much deliberation I decided that the closing two lines were unnecessary and that the piece works just as well without them.

Unknowns, thank you for reading

missmurder, thanks for visiting and for adding this to your favorites. I see you are also fairly new to PC, so Welcome!
 — hobby

I'd read this before, and enjoyed it, but never had the time to comment.  I like this very much.  It makes me think of the book Memoirs of a Geisha, and that's such a great book. =D

Lovely job. (10)
 — MEB

could in L5 'he' be taken out?

very interesting and enjoyable read. short. quick. reminds me of my hiroshima poem. very nice.
 — Rixes

I think the 'had' could be taken out of line 5, but I don't really get the 'he' taken out, It'd be kinda odd, methinks.

I really like it.

Nevermind. I like the rythm of the had.

It's like time slows down for a few moments, and I can feel it speed up again as soon as the poem's over, when the petal hits the ground.
 — povertea

That makes my "I like it" comment seem pretty apathetic, all things considered.

 — unknown

lovely work fav 10
 — tanamac

Reminds of me of the scene in Memiors of a Geisha in which the main character must stop a men on the street dead in his tracks.  Was that the inspiration?  Nice write, nice revisions, well done.
 — WordsAndMe

Tanamc, thank you for reading this, I am very glad you enjoyed it.

Meep and MEB, thank you for re-visiting and for taking the time to comment, it is very much appreciated.

Rixes, your Hiroshima poem is a fine piece – these short form works are a favorite of mine and can be quite a challenge, but are very enjoyable to write.  

Povertea, in the revision I had pondered the extraneous words and ‘had’ was on the hit-list, I have left it in as I feel it is needed to reinforce the tense of ‘unlearned’

Yes the passage where the young Geisha is being taught that the eyes are the most expressive part of a woman’s body and are powerfully seductive was part of the inspiration behind the piece. Also the opening phrase, Sakura-fubuki, means cherry blossom snowstorm – this was written just before the time for hanami picnics, the ephemeral nature of the sakura blossoms mean that within about a week of blooming their petals fall blanketing the ground around them in pink and white. Family, friends, work colleagues etc. gather under the trees to eat. In breezes and gusts of wind the petals become airborne in spectacle of  amazing beauty so this also inspired. Thanks for reading.
 — hobby

Simple and good
 — unknown

Simple Good.
Good Simple.
Simple and Good.
Good and Simple.
Smimple. Goodimple.
 — unknown

That is beautiful - I like the way the carpet is pink and white - delicate and observant.
 — opal

Reminds me of the short novel "Silk" by Baricco. Very nice poem. Are lines 2-6 the translation of L1? A favourite.
 — Seahorse

Amazing. Perfect. You should publish this. Please make the title as perfect as the poem. Until then, 1/10 Please change it. This poem is too good to be ruined by a less than perfect title. It's actually worth a 9/10, but until the title is changed, 1/10.
 — Henry

Opal, thank you - a visit from yourself is always welcome. I’m pleased the details come through – in person it truly is breathtaking.

Seahorse, I am not familiar with that novel but will make a point of looking it up, thank you for reading.

Henry, I appreciate your feedback, and will gladly listen to any thoughts on how this can be improved, so if you have further thoughts on the title - I’d love to hear them.

 — hobby

I really can't think of any better one's hobby, so I'll just give you the ten you deserve. I just think a better name could be linked to this. I guess the title is good. Not AS good though. If this isn't a favorite, it will be by the end of this message. 10/10
 — Henry

Henry, thanks - it's always a privilege to be added to a favorites list, also thanks for re-visiting.
 — hobby

Newest (expand)
Recently Commented (expand)