poetry critical

online poetry workshop



when i was eight
unknown

my grandfather
 1
lived in an
 2
apartment
 3
above
 4
Gerth Hardware
 5
in memphis missouri.
 6
 
 
his doorknob
 7
was a dull sphere
 8
of cracked porcelain
 9
that came off
 10
into your hand
 11
if you pulled
 12
before turning.
 13
 
 
an
 14
uneven
 15
brown couch
 16
sat against
 17
the south
 18
wall.
 19
 
 
from there
 20
i could see
 21
into the bedroom
 22
and further down,
 23
the bathroom.
 24
 
 
dad picked him up
 25
off the bed
 26
and
 27
carried him
 28
in his arms
 29
to the bathtub.
 30
 
 
no one spoke
 31
while he
 32
worked the washcloth
 33
over his body.
 34
 
 
afterward,
 35
dad sat
 36
in the warped chair
 37
next to the
 38
window.
 39
 
 
his hands
 40
disappeared
 41
inside his hair
 42
as
 43
 
 
he stared
 44
at the floor.
 45

30 Dec 06

Rated 8.7 (8.7) by 9 users.
Active (9): 1, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10
Inactive (0):

(define the words in this poem)



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Comments:

maybe, "sitting on that couch i could see..." it kind of flips into passive otherwise, and the voice of this is very out front and tight until this. you're almost going over-wordy, but then your brown couch stanza pulls it into poetry, and made me resolve all the raggedness of the rhythms through this strong rhythm.

you might need another stanza like this after the "no one spoke" stanza. maybe something like, something about, the ivory foam suds on his back, but in a stepping rhythm, like the couch rhythm. this is a narration, but the poem in it makes it a narration of your feelings changing and yet unable to change, as you watch this daily dance of mortality?
 — mikebauer

I really like the description of the doorknob.

I think what you've written is great, if anything I would add more description - describe the hallway, the bedroom. Describe your dad, was it a strain to carry him, was he strong or skinny...

Nice work.

Regards,
 — rocket

really good work compared to the other poems i've been reading on this site!  the descriptions were keen.  i could imagine it all.  if you want constructive criticism then i'll say i didn't like the use of the word "dislodged."  that part was the only part that stuck out at me as poor through the first read. good work. keep it up.
 — steveroggenb

steve,
rocket,
mike,

thanks for reading.

steve: i agree with you 100% on dislodged, a little to arid of a word.

i never really got to know my father's father, he died shortly after i was nine.

justin hyde
 — unknown

that's love. I held my great grandmother as 8 when she was 94 she wore diapers and had to be fed. I loved her, and one day she was dead. To this day whenever I smell her perfume (passion by elizabeth taylor) I see her skeleton body trying to move around in bed.
 — Bandrews

It really creates a stark mood. Well written.
 — SarahMichele

I almost wish the chair was a good one.  I wanted one nice thing in that room.  The rest is so stark and bare that one chair with good springs would take a little of the dusty grief away.

I also wish that the father would not just be staring, I wish you would be smiling as he remembered the good days of his dad's youth.  I can't help it, I like the bright side of things.  
 — Isabelle5

ln 23: i think this should be farther, not further

i enjoyed this one.  the end seemed ominous, and it made me want to read it again.  which i did.  so consider this reader entertained.
 — inebriated

[Comment removed by moderator.]

generic
 — unknown

great work, how simple but powerful works for it, leave it,
 — unknown

Far from my favorite.
 — JerryReed

[Comment removed by moderator.]

When I was eight I was molested by my grandpa.
 — unknown

When I was eight my grandpa screwed me in the ass.
 — unknown

When I was eight my grandpa fucked me in the ass too.
 — unknown

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