poetry critical

online poetry workshop

campus flaneuse

bronze streetlamps hum
automatic sprinklers wet the sidewalk brick
there is a staircase up a building
an open hallway, outdated flyers
i walk past in the orange dark
and i see
i am not so curious after all

27 Apr 04

Rated 8 (7.7) by 3 users.
Active (3): 3, 6, 9, 9
Inactive (2): 8

(define the words in this poem)

(1 user considers this poem a favorite)

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this sucks....
 — unknown

I don't get it, to be honest.
 — unknown

This is gorgeous - a beautifully evocation of what you see - the first 2 lines are fantastic filled with sound, vision hearing - all the senses in fact, then the way the poetic voice comes into the poem with a feeling of uncertainty - I think this is one of the best things I've read here - total craft.
 — opal

oh god sorry - I've had a hard day - 'a beautifully wrought evocation'......
 — opal

This has the makings of a spectacular poem. However, you're just showing us still objects (minus the sprinkler). If your point predicate is going to be "to be adventurous" you've either got to add real action or change the predicate. Instead of "i walk past in the orange dark"  try "the orange dark shuffles past". Instead of "there is a staircase up a building" use "a staircase sneaks up the building". Dig? If you want more help, write me. I would be eager to help you develop this nifty work.
 — zepplin42

Your comments are interesting zep, I think britta could have a rethink on l3, but personifying the dark and the staircase are somewhat redolent of a pastiche of TS Eliot and his fog-cat imagery. I think the placing of the 'I' voice at the centre of the poem moves it out of the realm of the merely objectified - personification of objects would add unnecessarily self-conscious poetic effects in my view and take away from the sparse elegance that Britta has already achieved.
 — unknown

above was me again
 — opal

Opal, you've made a good point, but how do you think the "adventurous" summation really fits into the action? You gave a glowing appraisal of this before I got here. Do you think I'm picking on what might be a small issue? I am just worried that the poem doesn't support its conclusion. Of course, there probably is a better way to rework it so that everything works together. I wasn't offering permanent suggestions, though; only guidelines for reform.
 — zepplin42

HAH, oh. Captures the true spirit of the campus flaneur/flaneuse.

I don't have anything constructive to say, at the moment. If I can think of something I'll let you know though.
 — semaj

hmm! i don't want the staircase and hallway to be active: the person is observing them. in line 3, "building" is weak but i don't know what else to say. "structure"? maybe i'll add a line between 4 and 5.
 — britta

I was just complaining that "adventurous" didn't quite capture the feeling of everything that came before. Therefore, your supposed conclusive contrast fell dead and empty, making it seem pointless. You don't have to take any of the suggestions, but I really think that the poem should line up a little bit.

In light of "flaneuse", it might be more efficient to change "adventurous".
 — zepplin42

oh. yeah! "adventurous" is the wrong word, really. "curious" is better.
 — britta

Awww...! Dang. Now, that's what I'm talkin' about! I think you might tweak that spot just a little more, but this is much better.
 — zepplin42

 — unknown

I don't get it either.

 — unknown

I enjoyed this.  It evokes school days.  The ending can be taken a couple different ways.  A student's job is to be curious, so there may be malaise setting in.

Please excuse my anonymousness, I'm still learning the ropes here.

 — unknown

it seems to me it is the beginning of something more.
 — unknown

I really like short poems that catch a moment in time, especially when it could easily be a thin veil over another, deeper meaning.  There's more to this than what's revealed on the surface.
 — housepoppy

I like the first half of L3. I see this as the only evocative moment, the only desire, the only question you have for yourself. The only choice deflated by the remaining lines.
 — SolCarloman

 — listen