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by Zettel 

Posted: 19 April 2005
Word Count: 97
Summary: I know what I'm trying to do with this but I'm not sure if it comes over.

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I stand upon this stage
alone, exposed
in the sacred space
that is theatre.
The weight of expectation
breathes from the darkness
like a disapproving sigh
into the implacable light
that illuminates
my heart and soul.
Between the words
I must act
but cannot see
a place to be.
My character is on the line
but who is the author
of this life;
who gives it sense?
The other players
wait to see
if I will follow
my determined destiny.
Can I choose
or must I be
the role that is
assigned to me?

Zettel 2005

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Comments by other Members

joanie at 10:55 on 20 April 2005  Report this post
Hi Zettel. Clever title, I thought. You have conveyed a sense of confusion, of frustration, of resignation.

I like the rhyme and the form.

Has what you wanted 'come over'?

I enjoyed it.



I just read Paul's response and realised that I hadn't made myself clear. I wasn't thinking of the face value of this, as in the actor, rather frustration etc. in life. So often we are swept along in what's expected of us and get to a point where we realise that we should have made other choices ..... or maybe that choice was never an option.

paul53 [for I am he] at 11:09 on 20 April 2005  Report this post
What comes over for me is three things:

First on the surface is the actor trying to find the key to the part he has to play.

Second is the metaphor for life itself; that we are all actors on a stage. With omnipresent TV these days, it is easy to separate the acting profession from real life, though most of us play several roles a day without realising it - without even noticing the transition from one character to another, unless we are somehow caught wrong-footed [like meeting boss while out with spouse, etc.].

Third, but more as a reference, is the question of the author, which could be seen as a metaphor as to one's origins. While it is almost taboo to talk about religious beliefs these days, many act according to their belief in their origin [children of God doing their best to be good; descendants of apes causing mayhem because ultimately nothing matters].

Is this too much feedback?


Zettel at 13:14 on 20 April 2005  Report this post
Joannie and Paul

Thanks for the feed-back. Very welcome. And not at all too much Paul.

You've certainly both picked up what I was trying for, which is encouraging. It might need a little more work. But your comments have helped.



Mac AM at 15:06 on 20 April 2005  Report this post
I love the title and the essence of this poem but I felt it was over-wordy in words that could easily be lost without compromising your own voice. I have played around with it, removing odd words, but not changing anything other. I think my heart, my soul is a little clichéd, but you can easily re-draft.

Here is what I cam up, which is tighter, but still very much your poem:

I stand upon this stage
alone, exposed
in sacred space
that is the theatre.
Weight of expectation
breathes from darkness
like a disapproving sigh
into implacable light,
my heart, my soul.
Between words
I must act
but cannot see
a place to be.
Character is on the line
but who is author
of this life;
who gives it sense?
Other players
wait to see
if I’ll follow
my determined destiny.
Can I choose
or must I be
the role
assigned to me?

I hope this helps.


Al T at 15:54 on 20 April 2005  Report this post
Z, have you ever read Pirandello? He is so far up your street that I suspect he's lying on your sofa!

I'm very keen on the Californian idea that we can write our own scripts, but often think that which ever Arab said that our destiny is written on our forehead had it right...


Zettel at 00:55 on 22 April 2005  Report this post
Mac. Good thought. Like what you've done. I'll check it out and maybe re-post an amended version - thanks.

Is that a kind of Italian ice cream?

I think the idea of the extent to which we are or are not, masters of our own destinies and what the thineself is that we are supposed to be true to, pre-dates Californian scripts a tad. Probably doesn't pre-date Californian dates. Mind you its the figs that run out clear winners.

Must finish, there's these guys in white coats knocking on the door. Not from the asylum, they're just the guys from Occado with our Waitrose groceries. Do you 'ave Occado with your groceries?

Beyond hope


Mac AM at 09:28 on 23 April 2005  Report this post
Looking forward to the re-draft.


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