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Passions in Poetry

Cincinnati Winter Afternoon - Revised

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EllenMoran
Junior Member
since 01-03-2002
Posts 24


0 posted 01-04-2002 03:00 PM       View Profile for EllenMoran   Email EllenMoran   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit EllenMoran's Home Page   View IP for EllenMoran

I posted this in Open yesterday, but have been tinkering with it since then (probably the wrong order on the forums; oops! oh well).  Appreciate any constructive criticism -- I'm still struggling with parts, but seem to be going in circles, so I thought I'd get some fresh perspectives.

"Its 24 degrees outside
and dropping fast,"
rattles the tin man in my dashboard.
It flashes 5:02 below a mist of synthetic water;
Some freezes, explosions captured; others
carve streaks on sloped glass.

I turn towards the river,
weaving through clumps of trucks and trees,
sun-shadow blinding in
reflections from icy starbursts;
the wipers squawk in vain.

I bob my head like a tangled puppet,
struggling to make the left
sans bumper-car reenactments --
and Im through.

And the radioman has oiled his voice,
purring just over the engine
Youre listening to NPR.

While steep banks melt
in pumpkin-rose floes

Across 50 East
© Copyright 2002 Ellen Moran - All Rights Reserved
jenni
Senior Member
since 09-11-99
Posts 511
Washington D.C.


1 posted 01-05-2002 01:08 AM       View Profile for jenni   Email jenni   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jenni

ellen--

nice poem here, wonderfully evocative of a winter afternoon, and a journey home.  i've read the piece a few times now (long story, but i have sort of a soft spot for cincinnatti, lol), and here's a few thoughts i had:

initially didn't like the tin man, but it's growing on me, lol.

not sure what you mean by "synthetic water"...?  the next two lines following that phrase seem a little awkward.

not sure about clumps of trucks... and weaving through clumps of trees sounds like you've gone off the road, driving across grass now or something.  

loved the blinding reflections of icy starbursts on the windshield.

"sans bumper car reenactments"... came across a little forced and awkward to me.

liked the tin man of the first stanza oiling his voice at the end; nice touch.

i was a little confused by the ending.  the speaker sees snow and ice on a steep bank along the river, kind of orangish-red in the sunset light?  ok... but why is the bank melting when "it's 24 degrees outside and dropping fast"?  except for the melting, i loved that final image, it's so simple and beautiful, and it makes a nice end-point for the journey.  i also liked the route 50 detail, although i'd move it up with the rest of that stanza to strengthen the ending, instead of having it set apart on its own line.

nice job on this, ellen...thanks for sharing it with us.

jenni
Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith
Member
since 02-12-2000
Posts 200
Cincinnati, Oh, U.S.A.


2 posted 01-06-2002 12:35 AM       View Profile for Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith   Email Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith

Ellen,
I liked this one. Of course, I know first hand what you're talking about.
I liked the 'tin man in my dashboard'
I agree with jenni about the 'synthetic water'. I'm not sure what that means unless you're talking about the taste of the tap water around here!
I like the tangled puppet image very much.
'Weaving through clumps of trucks' is a nice image but 'trees'? Cincinnati is a very tree laden city but I don't think 'clumps' is exactly the right word.
Perhaps you could try 'While steep banks slide in pumpkin-rose floes'? 'Slide' reinforces the 'steep' better in my opinion.
On a personal note, I think it should be '50 west' That's how I drive home every day.
hehehe

Nice images overall, my compliments,
Ian

Your pain is for you alone, As it is, As it was, As it will be forever, Amen
   -The Prophet Qa'sepel

The noblest battles are always fought in vai

EllenMoran
Junior Member
since 01-03-2002
Posts 24


3 posted 01-07-2002 06:14 PM       View Profile for EllenMoran   Email EllenMoran   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit EllenMoran's Home Page   View IP for EllenMoran

Thank you both for your comments.  Definitely a lot of work left for me to do on this one!

Ian- wow, another Cincinnatian!  I actually live just east of downtown on 50, so the "clumps of trees" was the best way I could describe the odd mix of trees/buildings/trees/buildings near my place.  I'll keep hammering away on that one.
Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith
Member
since 02-12-2000
Posts 200
Cincinnati, Oh, U.S.A.


4 posted 01-08-2002 02:21 AM       View Profile for Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith   Email Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith

Ellen,
Yeah, I've been in Cinti for about seven years now. I like the town but it's become a bit too small for me lately (see 'Blind Me'). I'm almost ready to try New York or Seattle or someplace that isn't quite so conservative. Just east of downtown, eh? I live just west in Price Hill (the better part of Price Hill, thank you very much!)
I thought about this piece as I drove home from work at sunset today. The sky was the most remarkable shade of orange-red!
I couldn't help but look over the bank to see those pumpkin-rose floes. Then I almost ran into a clump of trucks!
Up by Mount Echo park, it's more like mounds of trees than clumps. 'Clumps' sounds so isolated and small. 'Mounds' sounds more voluminous and vast to my ear. Ah well, I don't get out to the east side very often these days, maybe they are more like clumps over there. Write what you know, right?
I still like this poem. You've left me with a lasting image.
Ian


The noblest battles are always fought in vain
-Cyrano de Bergerac

[This message has been edited by Ian Llewellyn ap-Griffith (01-08-2002 02:22 AM).]

C?
Member
since 12-29-2001
Posts 349


5 posted 01-09-2002 03:33 AM       View Profile for C?   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for C?

woah!! I love this!! I can't wait to read more from ya!!
I guess my only criticism would be the break down in stanzas at the end...not that it can't be cool, just that you seemed to have established the poem earlier, and it sort of just .....fades out....try cramming the end into another big fat verse!!
C?
Member
since 12-29-2001
Posts 349


6 posted 01-09-2002 11:56 PM       View Profile for C?   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for C?

wait a second...I get it now!! I was too tired last night when I wrote the above
EllenMoran
Junior Member
since 01-03-2002
Posts 24


7 posted 01-09-2002 11:59 PM       View Profile for EllenMoran   Email EllenMoran   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit EllenMoran's Home Page   View IP for EllenMoran

You're the first person who has, so no worries    Just a bit of whimsy on my part that probably won't be carried through to the next version.  
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