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Doors (Edited)

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goldenlangur

Doors (Edited with thanks to badge and Tony)

 

Long corridor. Doors on either side shut.

He knocks on one. No response.

He knocks on another, then another

and another, all in a row.

 

He hears murmurs of conversation.

He is sure he has heard his name.

Chairs scrape the bare boards.

Clatter of feet. The keys turn

all in a row.

 

He flees the long corridor.

 

Outside. Men walk, heads bent,

collars turned up in the rain.

He crosses the road and looks

back up at the window.

Faces stare out all in a row.

 

 

The Doors (Original)

 

Long corridor. Doors on either side shut.

He knocks on one. No response.

He knocks on another, then another

and another, all in a row.

 

He hears murmurs of conversation.

He is sure he has heard his name.

Chairs scrape the bare boards.

Clatter of feet. The knobs turn

all in a row.

 

He flees the long corridor.

 

Outside, men walk, heads bent,

collars turned up in the rain.

He crosses the road and looks

back up at the window.

Faces stare out all in a row.

Edited by goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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badger11
Long corridor. Doors on either side shut.

He knocks on one. No response.

He knocks on another, then another

and another, all in a row.

 

He hears murmurs of conversation.

He is sure he has heard his name.

Chairs scrape the bare boards.

Clatter of feet. The keys turn

all in a row.

 

He flees the long corridor.

 

Outside. Men walk, heads bent,

collars turned up in the rain.

He crosses the road and looks

back up at the window.

Faces stare out all in a row.

 

Very Kafkaesque gl, which is a compliment since he is a fav.

 

I've some slight suggestions. The word 'knobs' didn't feel appropriate, so I've suggested 'keys' for more inference. Perhaps a full-stop after 'Outside' to avoid the comma and 'fluidity', also for emphasis. For me the pace is controlled by short sentences, the images almost like camera-shots.

 

My impression is of isolation, separation, a burden that overwhelms. The door is locked within as well as without.

 

excellent

 

badge

Edited by badger11

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Tinker

Hi GL, Nice to see you around. This is a little different from you and I like what you have done. It is rather suspenseful and I couldn't help wonder what was behind those doors. Then when he leaves and looks back at the faces all in a row...very eeiry.

 

He hears murmurs of conversation.

He is sure he has heard his name.

 

I think "He is" in the 2nd line above is redundant, it might be cleaner if you used something like...

 

He hears murmurs of conversation

sure he has heard his name.

 

or

 

sure that he heard his name.

 

Just an idea. you might play with along with Badger's ideas.

 

I liked this piece. Nice. ~~Tink


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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JoelJosol

The repitition of "all in a row" is trying to deliver a message. Something that echoes clustering of things, of people. And when clusters of people stares back at you that way, paints a sort of judgmental view of the subject.

 

I enjoyed how you unraveled this poem, goldenlangur.


"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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goldenlangur
Very Kafkaesque gl, which is a compliment since he is a fav.

 

I've some slight suggestions. The word 'knobs' didn't feel appropriate, so I've suggested 'keys' for more inference. Perhaps a full-stop after 'Outside' to avoid the comma and 'fluidity', also for emphasis. For me the pace is controlled by short sentences, the images almost like camera-shots.

 

My impression is of isolation, separation, a burden that overwhelms. The door is locked within as well as without.

 

excellent

 

badge

 

Thank you badge I appreciate this critical feedback and the points you make are helpful. It occurs to me that The knobs turn has a visual effect while The keys turn has a more sonorous impact and as you point out, give more room for inference. You've given me a good point for a rewrite. The period after Outside makes perfect sense.

 

Kafka is one my favourites too so thank you for the compliment. :D


goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

Hi Tink,

 

Thank you for your kind words and for taking a close look at this piece.

 

This version introduces a more ambiguous slant:

 

He hears murmurs of conversation

sure he has heard his name.

 

or

 

sure that he heard his name.

 

Definitely, I appreciate suggestions to play around with: :D

 

Just an idea. you might play with along with Badger's ideas.

 

 

So glad that this worked on the whole.


goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

I wasn't too sure if the repetition worked. So I am quite glad that you read the being watched and judged aspect here:

 

The repitition of "all in a row" is trying to deliver a message. Something that echoes clustering of things, of people. And when clusters of people stares back at you that way, paints a sort of judgmental view of the subject.

 

 

Thank you, JoelJosol.


goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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tonyv

Very eerie, very accomplished, Goldenlangur. I agree that it's Kafkaesque. And I love the way Badge expressed that the doors are locked "within as well as without." I got that impression myself.

 

I wonder if the title should be simply "Doors"? When I first saw "The Doors" in the queue, my initial thought was of a certain musical group by the same name, especially since Frank had just recently posted his "Altamont" poem. But in any case, as soon as I started to read, that association went away.

 

Tony


Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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goldenlangur
Very eerie, very accomplished, Goldenlangur. I agree that it's Kafkaesque. And I love the way Badge expressed that the doors are locked "within as well as without." I got that impression myself.

 

You're quite right, Tony. badge has a keen sense of poetical nuances and a great way of getting to the nub of a piece. You too turn out quite accomplished poems. So thank you very much for the generous thumbs up. I am particularly delighted with the Kafka allusion that you both read.

 

I wonder if the title should be simply "Doors"? When I first saw "The Doors" in the queue, my initial thought was of a certain musical group by the same name, especially since Frank had just recently posted his "Altamont" poem. But in any case, as soon as I started to read, that association went away.

 

An excellent point, which I have taken up in the edited version. I agree that the deletion of The removes the unintended association to the musical group. :D


goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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Aleksandra

Goldenlangur, this is very different from you. It's spine-chilling - Kafkaesque icon_smile.gif. I'm smiling because I read the other comments and saw Kafkaesque used a few times. Though I understood what it meant, I wasn't familiar enough with it to use it. BUT I did know what I wanted to say ... in Macedonian. So, I put it in my translator, and it came up Kafkaesque, together with some others with similar meanings. icon_smile.gif So, my GL, I, too, have concluded that this really is a Kafkaesque poem. icon_smile.gif

 

Ok, sorry if I talk too much, but I just thought it was interesting how many of us got the same feeling. I would say that that is because your poem really works, and it's very styled.

 

Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed it so much.

 

Aleksandra


The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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goldenlangur

Rest assured, Aleksandra that your comments and perceptive reading are much appreciated and never seen in the light of too much talk :D

 

I always enjoy how you interpret images and scenarios and often nudge me to write about things beyond the narrow reference of my own culture. So I am delighted that you too read this in Kafkaesque light.

 

 

Thank you. :D


goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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Frank E Gibbard

Golden, I was intrigued by the vignette and image created in my thinking when translating into imagery your scenario portrayed in this poem which like Tony made me think of the group, initially. Apart from Kafka which others mention (the tone of his nightmare stories) I felt too I got also thought of a picture in the style of the American artist Edward Hopper, somewhat haunting to my mind. This may be only a personal concept but we all have our individual takes, this is mine. I find his paintings haunting and conjuring a landscape often cityscapes of isolation. Anyway your men with collars turned up fitted such a setting for me Golden. You may be familiar or not with his ouevre GL, in case not here's a link to probably his most famous work "Nighthawks" which may not bear out this probably mad idea on my part. It's just how your poem engaged me, kudos for the creation.

 

<img src="http://i969.photobucket.com/albums/ae179/E...fan/hopper5.jpg" border="0" alt="Nighthawks"></a>

Edited by Frank E Gibbard

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goldenlangur

Wow! Frank. I am moved by where my little piece took you.

 

Thank you for the link. It is a wonderfully atmospheric work. I had not heard of Hopper before but thanks to you, now I have discovered something new.

Edited by goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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waxwings

Unless a depiction of a reallife impressions upon visiting some institution where (as someones post had it) "doors are locked within as well as without", this does speak to me of nigh nightmarish dreams others have told of And I have had, esp. the sense of escape from faces looking out at me.

 

Regardless, you have used punctuation well. I see noreason that, as mentioned, the lines and sentences being already reasonably short, to give it a good pacing, I find no convincing argument that you need those full stops when the pace is already breathless without them. Punctuation that makes it 'fluid' certainly offset the tension and make for better aural effect and comprehension of what you may be wanting to show.

 

A few leading questions: is it not less likely one can see keys rather than knobs turn. In a nightmare, there is no reason to be realistic even though a poem is less when not enough real word observations are given.; isn't it more likely " he flees along the corridor" rather than from it (as he would if the corridor itself was chasing him).; and those "all in a row('s)" do deserve to be separated by a comma from the preceding because they are an effective afterthought/aside/interjection/description of how dire and scary the preceding is. You might make them each a separate line for even more effective repetition and use even a full stop before each to acknowledge badge's point in the right place. (Aren't we all, oh, so different.)

 

Anyway, thanks for a poem I had to give more than a rather passing thought.

Edited by waxwings

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goldenlangur
Unless a depiction of a reallife impressions upon visiting some institution where (as someones post had it) "doors are locked within as well as without", this does speak to me of nigh nightmarish dreams others have told of And I have had, esp. the sense of escape from faces looking out at me.

 

Excellent point, WW re the nightmarish element. badge's point "doors locked within as well as without", I understand as a metaphor not as an actual or 'realist' description of the scenario.

 

Regardless, you have used punctuation well. I see noreason that, as mentioned, the lines and sentences being already reasonably short, to give it a good pacing, I find no convincing argument that you need those full stops when the pace is already breathless without them. Punctuation that makes it 'fluid' certainly offset the tension and make for better aural effect and comprehension of what you may be wanting to show.

 

Again, another good point about how punctuation affects how we read a piece. The thing here is, I am not really looking for a 'fluid' effect but rather for a menacing, unresponsive barrier-like effect. A finality has no comeback. Very much in the way that Kafka wrote a full stop after his name which Steiner sees as the most important thing about Kafka - signifying an acknowledgment that there is nothing there beyond the full stop. It is The End. The show can't go on.

 

 

A few leading questions: i he flees along the corridor" rather than from it (as he would if the corridor itself was chasing him).; and those "all in a row('s)" do deserve to be separated by a comma from the preceding because they are an effective afterthought/aside/interjection/description of how dire and scary the preceding is. You might make them each a separate line for even m,ore effective repetition and use even a full stop before each to acknowledge badge's point in the right place. (Aren't we all, oh, so different.

 

 

Absolutely spot on, WW. I love this observation:

 

Is it more likely that one can more likely see keys rather than knobs turn. In a nightmare, there is no reason to be realistic even though a poem is less when not enough real word observations are given.; isn't it more likely "

 

 

The point you make about realistic or verisimilitude is the one that most writers do struggle with. I wonder if the very craft of writing in some way, is an elevation, deviation or filtering of the 'real.' Perhaps the craft lies in how well we manage to do this and make it accessible for the reader at the same time.

 

Will gratefully consider your suggestion that all in a row might be more effective as a single line on its own.

 

 

Anyway, thanks for a poem I had to give more than a rather passing thought.

 

Appreciate very much your robust critique. :D

 

 

Thank you for taking the trouble to read this and post some stimulating thoughts and it is great to have an exchange of ideas.


goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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