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Old Woman Waiting for a Bus II

I am trying the 'objective style' (I think). Does this version  have any merit?


                Old Woman Waiting for a Bus  




in the gusty dusk

old woman at the corner

perilous geometry pitched on compass toes

defying phantom wheels

like a still life - tightly sketched -

anxious poise pressed against wind scarf-fiddling

flapping coat wings crowblack

crusted eyes street fixed

denying symbols


Cynthia Buell Thomas

◄ Old Woman Waiting for a Bus

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Antony Owen

Sun 18th Apr 2010 18:02

Hi Christine, you asked me to stop by and I've looked at this in detail for quite some time so I hope my crit is useful to you in whatever way possible.

This 2nd poem is more succinct with tighter images than the 1st. It looks like you had some fun writing this maybe torn between narrative and a more minimalist piece letting the images do the work. I'd like you to elaborate on what kind of still life she could be as their are a number of possibilities you could use and elongate the effect. For instance if we look at everything in the poem from the urban background to the protagonist then still life could represent how unnoticed she / the elderly are to other people and a social commentary/statement is made.

in the gusty dusk
an old woman - like a still life -
tightly sketched -
like a twenty-something's shadow
glowing by hunched silence.

You've created a brilliant scene here with the image of the coat wings and the last 4 lines really demonstrate a respect for the character.

There are always scenes beneath scenes, images within images and you've opened the door here and I think with versions 1&2 as respectable as they are as poems that a hybrid and a patient final piece could be a seminal piece of work.

Example of tightening your original piece below too.

in the gusty dusk
still old life -
tightly sketched -
pitched in perilous geometry
to compass corner
defying phantom wheels.

anxious poise pressed against wind scarf-fiddling
flapping coat wings -
crow black
turreted eyes street fixed
denying symbols

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sun 18th Apr 2010 14:03

Thank you for your comments. I'm hoping the last two lines introduce the thought of 'no value to posted schedules ie. bus numbers, times and routes. But who knows?

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Dave Carr

Sat 17th Apr 2010 00:49

Merit - yes.
I read the first one first. I enjoyed that. I like what you have done. It's hard to know how much to leave out. How much to make the readers work. Nice one. Make them work!!!

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Rachel McGladdery

Fri 16th Apr 2010 21:53

See, I read this before the other version and I really think this is more instant (for me) I saw her in this version whereas the other felt too prosey. I really enjoyed it so from me, yes, this does have merit lots of it.

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Thu 15th Apr 2010 22:29

I prefer the previous version Cynthia. You probably want to know why... it's hard to put my finger on it. I prefer things said in more concrete terms. Also a number of word combinations don't sit easily with me. I don't like the first line for instance - it just doesn't sound poetic to me. I hope that doesn't sound harsh - you seemed to be asking for feed back. I did like the last version and found that objective and enigmatic enough.

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