poetry critical

online poetry workshop

The Age of the Expert

He didn’t have a left leg so
he pounded down the sidewalk
on crutches tucked in his armpits
like rifles.
The newspaper reports that
this is the age of the expert.
Scientists witnessed another mammal
create and use weapons—chimps
sharpened sticks into spears and
stabbed ‘bush babies’ that slept
in trees.
They used to just throw rocks
to knock them unconscious.

27 Feb 07

Rated 6 (6) by 3 users.
Active (3): 3, 7, 8
Inactive (0):

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I hope this is implying what I think it is implying, however I'm not sure I am able to follow the first stanza if it isn't just literal, because the crutches are throwing me off. I'm pretty sure I like this one a lot though, cool.
 — Notecompsure

I do like this poem, and the cold, dispassionate voice; it gives one shivers.

For revision, I'd consider that the first stanza seems to have too many clauses; it feels run-on.  It's not major at all, but do consider dropping the word "on" from the beginning of line 4.  Second, consider whether or not line 10, "chimps in the West African savannah" is prosaic and tells a bit much (and line 13, "to death," maybe).  I know it may feel like pulling teeth, but consider how much cleaner the 3d stanza might be without them:

     It also reports that another mammal  
     has begun crafting and using weapons—  
     sharpened sticks to make spears  
     to stab their sleeping prey.

You might also consider being specific with the second occurance of "prey."
Good work, thanks,
 — mikkirat

strophe one works, barely.

the rest. vaginal flatulence.
 — bologna