poetry critical

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when i was eight

my grandfather
lived in an
Gerth Hardware
in memphis missouri.
his doorknob
was a dull sphere
of cracked porcelain
that came off
into your hand
if you pulled
before turning.
brown couch
sat against
the south
from there
i could see
into the bedroom
and further down,
the bathroom.
dad picked him up
off the bed
carried him
in his arms
to the bathtub.
no one spoke
while he
worked the washcloth
over his body.
dad sat
in the warped chair
next to the
his hands
inside his hair
he stared
at the floor.

30 Dec 06

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

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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.

 — 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


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.]

 — 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