When I saw the brevity of this piece (before reading it) I thought there would likely be few suggestions to give. After reading it however, I have found some I think may be to the benefit of this piece.
My suggested changes will be in bold and my commentary on particular sections will be in italics:
In a yellow dress and a green cardigan As green as her eyes had become.
Firstly, as you may or may not have noticed, this is not a complete sentence / thought. Often times in poetry sentence fragments are used but I do not feel it worked to your benefit because you are missing the very significant aspect of a verb / action. The questions I found myself asking were “whose in a yellow dress and green cardigan?”, “why had her eyes become that green?”, “what is the setting, and what’s going on?” This is simply a straight descriptive sentence that doesn’t feel right to me.
What if you tried something like:
Postured in a yellow dress and a bright cardigan, As green as her eyes had become, The search Continued.
Sauntering in greige trousers Comfortable In his smoking jacket camel hued, he sighted His goal.
The book fell. Both bent.
Hearts swooned As eyes locked.
Instead of commenting on each section, my comments would have been fairly consistent so I thought I would just run through the remainder with my suggestions.
I have to say I anticipate you will not like most of the suggestions I made. But however you work the next draft of this, I hope you can see the difference between what was missing and what I added. What I said could be done in fewer words if that suits your purpose better but I suggested the changes I did more for illustration. The way poetry fits together is more an intuitive process for me, just something I pick up on and “know” more than I can always describe. I look forward to your next draft and seeing what changes you keep, remove, or change further.
Believe it or not, I'm gonna switch sides a moment.
You aptly covered what was missing in your revision but it almost feels too short now (referring to your first two stanzas).
The first draft they were artful but missing an action (they were pure description). In the second draft, however, it feels almost...boring by comparison.
The First draft (D1) drew the reader in, despite what was missing. D2 almost makes the first two stanza's obsolete.
Sitting across each other Pretending there is no other.
Book fell. Both bent.
Hearts knocked. As eyes locked.
This could stand alone now . But that is not what I think you want nor what I would recommend.
From "Book fell" down, I think those four lines are solid (I'm not crazy about "knocked" I think swooned works towards the emotions you were trying to portray better, but knocked is better than rocked ).
Let's cut back to your first (now three) stanzas.
I think for the first two, you need to find a way to drop the "she's" and "he's" because they do not lend to creating interest in what said persons are doing. You can tell from my original suggestions I imagined this taking place in a library.
What about something like:
Yellow dress flutterd under green cardigan as she ran for the terminal.
Greige trousers and cordovan shirt clung tightly as he neared the boarding gate.
Book fell. Both bent.
Hearts swooned, As eyes locked.
You could even replace book with passport or ticket (etc) to futher emphasize location if that is important to you (I also originally had "the counter" instead of "the boarding gate". I have a feeling the banter will continue through several more posts . But stick with it till you find a draft that makes you happy, I'm only here to supply ideas you may not have otherwise pursued.
Okay, let me try this again... I put in the original and made some more additions. Certainly looks better but I would appreciate your opinions:
Reading, in a yellow dress and a bright cardigan, Green as her eyes had become. She lowered her book and paused.
Lounging, in greige trousers, a camel jacket, and shirt in cordovan, he stared, from the corners of his eyes. With a hint of a smile.
Book fell. Both bent.
Hearts knocked. As eyes locked.
Thanks for any input. Actually, I was thinking of making the title "Fancy meeting " and was humming a song..." fancy meeting you, alone in a crowd, couldn't help but notice your smile...while everybody else around us is going about,,,let's stop and talk a while...."
Ecce quam bonum et quam jucundum habitare fratres in unum ~ Psalm133
Posts: 1850 | Location: New York, NY | Registered: 08-25-10
In the first two stanzas, I think there should be some punctuation changes:
Reading in a yellow dress and a bright cardigan, Green as her eyes had become, She lowered her book and paused.
I'm hesitant to make the period a comma but a full stop felt...off to me a bit. Its not a major issue, if you like the period better feel free to keep it, I myself would advocate semi colon or comma.
Lounging in greige trousers, a camel jacket, and shirt in cordovan, he stared from the corners of his eyes. With a hint of a smile.
Removed the commas in line 1 and 5 here. Other than that this stanza is great.
When I look at the content of your first two stanzas now, they feel much more complete. I really like the ending of the second stanza (you worded those two lines well). The last two lines of the first feel a little lackluster in comparison but they work well enough if you are happy with them.
First couplet is solid, second couplet you already know what I'd suggest to change so I won't repeat it ().
Overall I'd say this is shaping up well or even looking nearly finished.
The process of creation can oft be frustrating if you can't find just the right words to express the idea or feeling you want to. You've done well thus far.
Yes to stanza one.
Yes to stanza two.
No to stanza three.
Yes to stanza four.
You're first, second, and fourth stanzas are great as they stand (remove the comma from stanza 4 line 1. The comma in line three is optional but I would vote remove it as well.).
Your third stanza is too..."lead me by the hand" and "this is exactly what happened."
Remember that as you've told the story thus far, the man is already interested in the woman (somewhat. The character is a bit shy and looking for some opening to serve as a point of introduction or communication). She is the one unawares. So on his part it would be less instinct than chivalry.
You also don't want to simply say "she dropped the book." I don't think you would but just saying . What if you took the route of something startling her? A car honk or an announcer over the PA. Something that won't take 4-8 lines to set up, but could be a reason she would just drop the book.
Just my thoughts right now, I'm hesitant to put words into your proverbial mouth because you've done a great job finding your own words for my suggestions. I'll wait to see what your thoughts are on the matter. Other three stanzas are solid, unless one makes you really unhappy, I'd leave them be.
(And I'll apologize now haha. From your first draft to this it would appear I'm pushing you to write a damned book )
Well since you dared me tough guy, I have to say this: well done!
In the last line of your second stanza, see how you feel replacing the first "a" with "the." Either works fine, I'm partial to the "the" though. Just a preference thing.
Remove the comma in the first line of the last stanza. (This one I do recommend instead of making it a preference call. The pause doesn't serve well there. Or, if you remove the word "as" from the following line, the comma works fine before it. But "as" or the comma should go.)
Other than those two minor nits, I'd say you've done well and right by this piece. If you're satisfied, let me know and I'll lock this up so you can move it on to the PPF or back to your own private collection .
Good work sir,
-AerasThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Aeras,