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The Armchair (1 Viewer)

2020Syd2020

Senior Member
The Armchair


Arrived, the same day you were taken away
in an ambulance. Leaving me behind. That morning,
I sat legs crossed on the living room floor, constituent parts
set out in front of me, arms/legs/cushions. The assembly
instructions spelt out in hieroglyphs, I have never been handy,

and so, like some cowboy builder all shorthand
and temporary fixes I set out to piece it together.
My deadline, your return, at that stage still TBD,
it gave me time, to piece the armchair together,
take the constituent parts and create somewhere for you
to sit when you got home, somewhere to read, to convalesce.

No one has sat in it yet, it wobbles under the weight of
spare cushions and throws, it has become another
……………………………………………………………………... scratching post for the cat.
 

Darren White

co-owner and admin
Staff member
Co-Owner
This is a very beautiful and moving poem. Maybe I wouldn't indent the final line. And not use TBD. I am not a native speaker, I think it stands for "to be determined?" Perhaps a word instead like "unsure?"
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
I like the way you portray 'passing' through the armchair. The reader up until the last two lines is hopeful the TBD will be soon. As Darren said above: This is a very beautiful and moving poem.

I was also unsure of the acronym 'TBD' as (for me) it interrupted the flow of the poem while I tried to decide what it meant.
 

2020Syd2020

Senior Member
Hello,

Thank you both for taking the time to comment on this one for me, your feedback is very kind and much appreciated. The reaction to use of TBD is an interesting one, when I first used it in the very first draft of this it was there as a bit of a filler, but then made it to this version of this piece for two reasons,

1.) it fits in with the idea of shorthand and abbreviations of cowboy builders.

2.) I liked the causal assumption behind it, in that the speaker isn’t certain of when, “you,” will be back but they are certain of the fact that they will be back at some stage. Does that make sense?

I’ll definitely think about changing it though, especially if it’s causing the reader to stumble. I kind of thought it was as ubiquitous as LOL etc.


Again thank you both very giving me something to think about and where to take this piece next.

Cheers

Syd
 

dannyboy

Friends of WF
really liked this, kind of reminds me of the red wheelbarrow by William Carlos Wiliams (that's a good thing), TBD doesn't bother me, it does jar but you are right, it fits, and if the I is not jarred by the events at that point.....the indent might be overkill, the poem doesn't need it. I am having problems with your comma use, they keeps throwing me out of the poem and into the awareness I am reading the poem. I will try to get back to this today and play around with an edit - if that is okay with you Syd?
 

2020Syd2020

Senior Member
really liked this, kind of reminds me of the red wheelbarrow by William Carlos Wiliams (that's a good thing), TBD doesn't bother me, it does jar but you are right, it fits, and if the I is not jarred by the events at that point.....the indent might be overkill, the poem doesn't need it. I am having problems with your comma use, they keeps throwing me out of the poem and into the awareness I am reading the poem. I will try to get back to this today and play around with an edit - if that is okay with you Syd?

Feel free to come back with an edit, I’d be very interested to see what you’d do with it. The indent is something I’ve been playing around with a little in a few things I’ve written I’ve not quite got the balance with it yet, I used it on this occasion because I didn’t like the idea of a tradition stanza with the final line being shorter than the previous one. I fall victim to having a set idea of what it looks like as much as how it reads or sounds? Does that make sense?

I’ve always been crazy with commas, I go for a more, more, more method when using them. I think it’s because I never really grasped the subtlety of punctuation. I get it, but maybe never mastered it. Which is a shame when poetry is my means of expression.

Anyway thank you for taking the time to read and leave me some feedback, I’ll check out the WCW piece as I’ve actually not read it before.

Cheers

Syd
 

Firemajic

Poetry Mentor
Staff member
Senior Mentor
I love this poem.. the imagery of someone unpacking and assembling the chair with all the bits and pieces spread around, anticipating the return of their loved one, sitting in the chair, recovering... enjoying the comfort of the chair... it is an act of love, and thoughtfulness, the putting together of the chair and having it ready... Then, when the chair sits there, empty... well... it becomes a painful reminder of what is missing...
the chair is a symbol of hope... unfulfilled...

JMO...TBD is not poetic, and IMP needs to go ASAP ;)

I do not believe one should be a slave to form and rules, BUT... there is a part of me that longs to see this poem in proper stanzas...

Presentation is important, yes?

Love this, it is real, and something your reader can understand and connect with the message and emotion... thank you for sharing...
 

dannyboy

Friends of WF
The Armchair


Arrived, the same day the ambulance arrived.
Left behind that morning
on the living room floor, constituent parts
set out, arms/legs/cushions. The assembly
instructions in hieroglyphs, never handy,

and so, a cowboy builder, all shorthand
and temporary fixes used to piece me together.
The deadline, your return, at that stage still unknown,
it granted time to unite separate pieces,
to create somewhere for you to sit, to read, to convalesce.

No one has sat in me yet, I wobble under the weight of
spare cushions and throws, I have become another
... scratching post for the cat.
scratching post for the cat.

not completely how I'd tackle this but I was curious what would happen if the armchair itself became central...longing for the person to return...never sat in etc...
 

2020Syd2020

Senior Member
not completely how I'd tackle this but I was curious what would happen if the armchair itself became central...longing for the person to return...never sat in etc...

Really interesting twist, I really like it. It puts me in mind of a poem that I once read from the perspective of a newborn. I like the way that it gives you this different worldview that you wouldn’t normally see, the personification of the Armchair creates a unique character for the piece and it puts the loss of the current narrator into a different light.

Hopefully I’ll come back with a revision sooner rather than later.

Thank you so much for taking the time on this one.

Cheers

Syd
 

Gumby

Staff member
Co-Owner
[FONT=Lucida Console, monospace]The TBD didn't bother me, but I knew what it meant and I can see how not knowing takes you out of the poem for a bit. I do like the abbreviation for the reasons you used it, it fits the casual air of it.

Maybe you can format it using a superscript? But that might be just as distracting.
[/FONT]

[FONT=Lucida Console, monospace]

T
[SUB]o[/SUB]B[SUB]e[/SUB]D[SUB]etermined
[/SUB][/FONT]

[FONT=Lucida Console, monospace][SUB][/SUB][/FONT]
 
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