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The loss of a sense of direction

by joanie 

Posted: 28 April 2004
Word Count: 65
Summary: A response to Fevvers' "Room exercise" in the Poetry Seminar

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It stood, this post

at the meeting of paths
where for decades the traffic had worked cross stitches
beneath its unseeing stare. Ever watchful,
always faithful, never false -
its calm silence
a sure witness
in life or death,
joy or sorrow,
a frequent arbiter
in times of doubt.

Until one who
owed it much
caused its fall.

it lies.

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Comments by other Members

joanie at 10:05 on 28 April 2004  Report this post
I edited this as soon as I saw it 'in the flesh' to give it a shape.
I don't know if it works or if it's OK as part of the exercise!

tinyclanger at 11:13 on 28 April 2004  Report this post
Joanie, this is great!
Some faboulous phrases - the cross stitch is lovely image and I love the 'arbiter in times of doubt' ides.

Its deceptive - simple in a way, but you can read it all giving so much deeper significance, the struggle with life's journey is woven into it very subtley and beautifully.
It has such a grave tone...realy quite mournful, haunting even.

The layout is very clever, too.
alll in all a very effective piece, which certainly 'works' for me!

Gosh, this exercise is producing some great stuff..I had grave doubts about it, but its really hitting the spot.

joanie at 11:31 on 28 April 2004  Report this post
Thanks, tc. This is all very exciting isn't it?

Nell at 12:55 on 28 April 2004  Report this post
Joanie, Brilliant! I've taken the whole room thing far too literally, it's trapped me rather than freed me - I feel like removing mine after reading yours and Smith's! Our titles are similar though - odd.

fevvers at 15:00 on 28 April 2004  Report this post
I think this is fantastic and I love the tone.

I do think you need to give the reader a little of the signpost - Maybe in the first line,and maybe 'post' instead of 'signpost'. The title is wonderful. I would be a little wary of the repeated last line because I think it's putting too much weight on the lying/laying down and the ambiguities of the word are already in place. This "Until one who // owed it much // caused its fall." is beautiful.

Cracking! Everyone's doing so well in this exercise. Thanks for taking it on.

joanie at 15:54 on 28 April 2004  Report this post
fevvers, thank you for your comments. I have changed the first line from 'It stood' and the last few lines from:-

'Now it lies

It lies.'

I think it's better; thanks you so much again,


obviously I meant 'thank you'!

fevvers at 18:16 on 28 April 2004  Report this post
D'you know what might have been nicer and more in keeping with the voice of the poem is "It stood, this post," Because the tone is so meditative and exploratory starting with such a bold statement, isn't quite so..... ooh yummy is the word I'm looking for. What do you think?


ps enveloped - one 'p'

joanie at 18:40 on 28 April 2004  Report this post
Thank you fevvers. Absolutely right - much better yet again.

fevvers at 18:55 on 28 April 2004  Report this post
Hi, where did th eoriginal 'it lies' go? It seems a lot of weight to put on the end of the poem. Just a thought.


gard at 23:51 on 28 April 2004  Report this post
Hi Joannie
this is a great piece of work. I really like the images that
the post is "ever watchful" and is "a witness". It gives the "post" quite
a presence, almost ominous.

Nice clear piece to read, really set of my thoughts!


joanie at 17:28 on 29 April 2004  Report this post
Thanks for your reponse G! I appreciate it.

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