Author Topic: The Observer  (Read 1728 times)

Offline MWL

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 19
The Observer
« on: May 08, 2015, 04:28:30 PM »
The boy blocks out the yelling
by focusing on the blankness
of his motherís face,
her green eyes downcast
facial muscles relaxed.

Absorbing the words being fired,
she faces every round
without a flinch.

When the yelling stops.
She doesnít realize
her protective instincts have failed.     

Offline Tom 10

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8846
Re: The Observer
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2015, 05:22:55 PM »
Good drama with this.  The conclusion is pointed - and makes the descriptions of the three participants. Bad scene, but good poem.

T

Offline applepie97

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: The Observer
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2015, 09:26:20 PM »
Loved the conceptualization of a very common (unfortunately) life scene.

Offline Amie

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8460
    • threegeese
Re: The Observer
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2015, 06:11:47 AM »
I can so relate to S1 (that facial relaxation strategy was one I adopted frequently as a child, when my mother was on a tirade)

For me, S3 is just telling that bit too much. Would be better to have an illustrative action to leads the reader to make the inference, rather than spelling it out.
"You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet." - Kafka

Offline duck

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2921
  • The best laid plans of mice and men turn to ...
Re: The Observer
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2015, 08:55:31 AM »
hI
I am being stupid here. i don't get it. How many people are there in the scene? Who is yelling?
In S3, the first line is written with a full stop but is not a sentence so should read either:
When the yelling stops,
she doesnít realize
her protective instincts have failed.


or
The yelling stops.
She doesnít realize
her protective instincts have failed. (I would cut the 'have' here)
I would also cut the -ing forms as the simple tense would make the effect more pointed.
Dave

Offline MWL

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 19
Re: The Observer
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2015, 11:49:56 AM »
Duck- There are 3 people in the scene, the mother is the one being yelled at.

Thanks for the suggestions. I need to make S3 adjustments, and fix the full stop.

Offline shadowdrifter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 236
Re: The Observer
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2015, 03:19:36 PM »
I  like the first verse, though I struggle to believe his mother's facial muscles would be relaxed especially if she takes the abuse without flinching.  That takes some control and tension.  I also feel you shift the focus from child to mother, when it would be better to keep the "camera" on the boy and how he reacts.  I agree that the third verse could be shown better.

Offline Amie

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8460
    • threegeese
Re: The Observer
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2015, 04:04:02 PM »
I  like the first verse, though I struggle to believe his mother's facial muscles would be relaxed especially if she takes the abuse without flinching. 

She absolutely could do this. I did this, even as a child. It must be a natural response for some - when you're feeling a lot of pain, you can discover that it's a relief to dissociate yourself from the situation. And your facial muscles relax when you do that.
"You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet." - Kafka

Offline CorneliusPoe

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3512
    • Cognitive drift
Re: The Observer
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2015, 07:38:43 AM »
I think the first two stanzas are fine. My gut is that the final would pack real punch if it were a single line declarative statement. The issue I have is I'm not sure of who the target of the assault is. If the boy, then the mother's absorption is an awkward fit. If the mother, than I don't see how the maternal instincts have failed.

I suspect it's the boy from stanza's 1 and 3, the mother's blankness to the abuse of her child is a crazy, but identifiable and real response. If this is the case I think the word, "absorption" needs to go and be replaced something to better indicate passive and defensive neglect.

I of course could be misreading your intent completely.

Marc
"Poetry is not speech raised to the level of music, but music brought down to the level of speech." - Paul Valery

Offline kateD

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1910
Re: The Observer
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2015, 08:04:57 AM »
By S2, I think it is the mother being yelled at as the boy watches. But I, too, don't see how she has failed her maternal instincts, unless it is simply by not shielding him from her abuse.