poetry critical

online poetry workshop

White Space

To grow old
in a white room
with a green view,
book-bound walls
and a desk
by the window.
Fire on the hearth,
       and a pot
to put the tempest in.

5 Jun 10

Rated 9 (9) by 1 users.
Active (1): 9
Inactive (27): 1, 1, 6, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)
(130 more poems by this author)

(4 users consider this poem a favorite)

Add A Comment:
Enter the following text to post as unknown: captcha



 — NicMichaels

 — mandolyn

Nice one!
 — Tandisol

Isn't that what poetry is, to bleed off the pressure on ones soul. Some releate, some don't. I like it and I do.
 — JohnW

Thanks much for the reads and feedback.
 — sybarite

you date yourself as a mature fruit.
are you desperately seeking

 — unknown

I take it you dislike the title?
 — sybarite

desperately seeking less cellulite
 — unknown

and that has what to do with the poem?
 — sybarite

your title is a theft.
 — unknown

Do you have anything constructive to say?
 — sybarite

I will spell it out.
You must be a gringa = thick as a plank.

Change your clown-shoe title.
 — unknown

Now, was that so hard to say?
Maybe next time say that first, and without the snide little comments.  
That way I might consider that your opinion is actually worthwhile.
As it stands now, I do not.
 — sybarite

you prove your obtuseness, Madame Cellulite

Desperately Seeking Susan

the film which launched Madonna's career.

It diminishes your poem.
But being slow-witted, you must have your way.

Very well.
You will not improve as an author if you heed people who like you.
 — unknown

I'm well aware the title references the movie.
Did you really think I wasn't?--that's laughable.
Why not simply say that you don't like the title without the nasty little jabs?
 — sybarite

do you like the title?
why be so stubborn?
Change it and I will change my ratings.
Women in Europa are supple, flexible and subtle.
 — unknown

The title is hokey, yes.  
I have no problem admitting that.
Often takes a little spinning here to get read to get that feedback that will improve my writing ;-).
Do you have any suggestions for the title as obviously I was at a loss for a good one?
 — sybarite

New title--better?
Have also considered "Withdrawn from the Human Race" or "Withdrawing from the Race."
 — sybarite

...also considering changing L8 to "bleeding my own"--yes, no?
 — sybarite

...and another title change...this one, I believe, works.

Thank you, Scary Unkle, for the motivation.
 — sybarite

'stylus' breaks this for me. it makes me think that you had to use 'demons' -- a lamer word here -- only because you were so overwhelmed by coming up with 'solitude and stylus'. right now, the last stanza is a dead fish on the poem and needs to go back to the canal where it swam in from.
 — bmikebauer

ignore the idiot bauer.

best way.
 — unknown

 — psychofemale

Hey, Sybarite. Didn't know this was yours, but glad to see it is.

We could have fun with "Cellulite and white space," or "Your cell, my light," or "Desperately Seeking Cellulite Susan." I could go on.

I didn't have a problem with the first title, but I do prefer "White Space."

I don't see a fish in the poem: Just solitude on a grand scale.

Hooked me.
 — NicMichaels

Thanks psychofemale and NicMichaels!

Mike--stylus is a sore point in this, I agree--do you have any suggestions for the last stanza?
 — sybarite

maybe it's that 'personal demons' is pretty weak -- like, if, it could come about that you could have it, 'solitude and stylus bleed my demon'? really go for the dark?

it's a problem -- maybe it's just that you have all the adjectives and energy in the first stanza, and the second works like a summation or motto than a personal reaction...? but, i feel you want the distance, want how you say to seem ageless and true. that's more a writer problem than a writing problem: how to write at that moment when you're most completely you.
 — bmikebauer

My idea of a lovely place.  The stylus, yes, bleeding words and reasons, the weapon that is also the healing.  This is beautiful.
 — Isabelle5

Oh, Syb!  Nice!
 — Isabelle5

I have no quarrel with any of this piece.

Make me want to go write "Pig stylus."

I think this poem meditates, in a good way.

I just hear a smirk in the final line; yes, it's hackneyed, but the way it's delivered, the writer seems to be amused as well as obsessed, anyway. And t
 — NicMichaels

And that's the deal.

Have to be able to laugh at yourself, just a little!
 — NicMichaels

You could, if you're still looking at this, invert the whole thing by saying "to bleed my/impersonal demons." That would make it fresh and ironic.

I just googled stylus, and it has old and contemporary definitions, and both work. Makes a nice bridge between old authors and new.
 — NicMichaels

Mike-"the second works like a summation or motto than a personal reaction"--good point.
NicMichaels-yes, there is a bit of a smirk, "my own personal demons" is meant as a play on "my own personal jesus."
Isabelle-"The stylus, yes, bleeding words and reasons"--exactly the point (pardon the pun) I was attempting to illustrate.

Thanks you all the feedback.
 — sybarite

somtimes people mistake brevity for profundity. this can be valid if there is suitable nuance etc

the conclusion here seems forced and does not justify the 6 liner foreplay.

the conclusion needs more punch

my own personal' seems overdone

zadie white teeth smith
 — unknown

I agree with unknown
 — unknown

Thanks Scary Unks--I am busy pondering alternate endings...
 — sybarite

Revamped 2nd stanza.....better?
 — sybarite

Bleeding demons to feed
a hushed, pale muse

nice poem... the new ending might be a bit clunky

I do like the bleed and pale to go with the color scheme in the first stanza

well done
 — jpmhawk

jpmhawk--You must have been commenting as I was editing! (again)
The change I just made is almost what you've suggested.

It was clunky--I've been poking at this all day with a sharp stick and not getting what I want out of it..
 — sybarite

...self-serving bump...hoping for some feedback on the changes...thanks!

Also under consideration:
In solitude
demons bled
to feed a hushed
and pale muse

Yes, no?
 — sybarite

a critic will "not" make you a better writer! However, choosing a critic who is a better writer, one whom you'll better learn from will provide you a venue for bettering your writing. Certainly these bullies won't!
 — unknown

Thanks Non-scary Unk...I'm not feeling bullied though...
 — sybarite

...oh...are you saying you preferred the original ending?  Not sure if your comment is directed to the poem, the Scary-Unks, or both..
 — sybarite

To grow old
in a white room
green with views.

Book-bound walls
and a desk

of solitude.

Deveining demons
to my windowed muse.
 — NicMichaels

Thanks for the continued suggestions Nic--I like "desk of solitude" but at the same time it feels kind of forced somehow....will continue to ponder this one....
 — sybarite

Maybe I need to drop the whole bleeding demons thing....

I could end with:
Solitude to feed
a hushed and pale muse.
 — sybarite

Much revised 2nd stanza--would appreciate knowing what you think.
Thanks in advance!
 — sybarite

Self-serving bump--hoping for some feedback on the changes--thanks!
 — sybarite

Nice poem.  I like lines 1-6 and 9-11 but not sure about 7-8.  Maybe just
'silent, still' ?  Hmm..overall melikes.
 — JKWeb

Thanks for the read JKWeb--yeah--I'm not entirely happy with 7-8 either.  Struggling to get this to be what I want it to be--this poem follows me around like a hungry child.  

I want to incorporate the essence of stillness and silence as they are important aspects of the solitude I am attempting to illustrate.  If you have any suggestions, they'd be much appreciated.
 — sybarite

MUCH revised, you weren't kidding!  I like this one, I liked the other.  Good changes, though, if you must change.
 — Isabelle5

I love it. Good write.
 — mandolyn

Yes, much changed.  
I abandoned the bleeding demons, they were uncooperative.
I am not yet entirely happy with this.  
Silence and stillness are key elements I have yet to incorporate successfully.  
Thanks for the re-read and feedback Isabelle.

Mandolyn--thanks for the read and comment--appreciated.
 — sybarite

Marvellous. You know me in this poem.
 — crimsonkiss

 — unknown

Stunning.  A 10.
 — Caliana

Thank you crimsonkiss, unk, and Caliana.
 — sybarite

love this although i'm not sure about 7-8, the words seem a bit too common to fit in with the rest of this flawless poem. by common i mean a very common description used by virtually everyone. im sure you could find another word to put in their place, which would hold the poem together more tightly
 — behaev

Beautiful !!
 — unknown

drab word usage.
describing your surroundings while neglecting to further describe emotions, feelings toward these surroundings. we are left to our imagination to define this works full meaning when i wish to know YOUR meaning. the craftiness of lines 10-11 doesn't make up for lines 1-9's disregard for creativity.
 — klsylgr

I like the simplicity!
 — abdavis

i like this, i think i maybe need to know a bit more about the 'tempest' but there is something wonderful about this, reminds me of Sylvia Plath, in a simplified way haha
 — AlexJose

Love the simplicity and imagery. A few ideas:

1. Would it be more logical to restructure the first stanza so that you take the reader from indoors to outdoors, step by step (room L2 -> walls L3 -> desk L4 -> window L5 -> view L6)?

2. Is a fire *on* a hearth or *in* a hearth? If it's an actual fireplace, I'd go with the word *in.* Seems to make more sense.

3. I'd start L11 with "in which" and end with "tempest." Makes that line stronger, and arguably more correct (not ending w/ a preposition anymore).

4. In fact, it might be more fun to render L11 "from which to pour the tempest" or something similar. "To capture the tempest" maybe. An interesting verb there could spice things up, esp. after all the "silence" and "stillness" and stationary imagery, and strengthen that final line. Could also hint at the curious stuff going on in that silent/still room -- a bit of a twist.
 — zita

Love this, says loads with very few words, always a good sign. Created a feeling of peace and contentment until the last line which changes the direction, it works for me.
 — stan

Nice.  As NicMichael said, it's flawless.
 — mtharp

I would like to retire with you. May I suggest a milky tea.
 — unknown

fantastic green is  a descriptive colour of the 1st order.
 — rumpty