readergirlz writing contest (2): the story song winner

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The second readergirlz contest asked writers to think out loud about the way their own work is choreographed—how it moves across the page, and from sound toward meaning. Our winner is Q. Here is her poem, and her reasoning. Q receives a signed copy of House of Dance.


Tinged with regret
The girl in the bus
window
sees me on a park bench,
me with all my waiting and
watching her,
too.

I might have known her
once,
and I wonder if she saw me
for who I was,
for who I am,
or for who I'd like to be.

And how do I see
her?

She is a sheet of
paper,
breezing by on the wind
of the bus she sits in.

(Maybe I should have
sung
when I had the chance.)


When I write a poem, each sentence is its own stanza. I break lines where the next word should be emphasized more, leave a word on its own when it should be said slower and more alone, and leave lines together where they ought to be said faster. That, however, is just the basic structure.


I imagine this speaker thinking about the direction her life is taking and, perhaps, not really knowing where it leads. The girl on the bus could be anyone--like the sheet of paper, she is generic and fleeting. Yet, the poem starts with her perspective because it ends with the speaker's. She allows the speaker to build to a climax at the end of the second stanza, and then draws the speaker to her regretful conclusion, all without saying a word.

7 comments:

septembermom said...

Congratulations Q! I love the feeling of vulnerability in these lines. Wonderful poem :)

Sherry said...

Congratulations Q! Wonderful thoughts on your choreography, allowing someone a voice in the whole even though silent. Love it.

hwalk said...

Q is amazing! I especially like the word "window" all alone. With one word alone in each stanza, this poem really does have a good rhythm, and creates its own form that is beautiful.

Melissa Walker said...

I love the "too" all alone. It says so much. Lovely work, Q!

Little Willow said...

Congratulations, Q!
Sing always.

maya ganesan said...

Congratulations, Q! The poem is so beautiful. I'm so happy for you :)

Myrna Foster said...

Congratulations Q!

I like the way you use repetition to emphasize the differences between whos. Thinking about differences between my whos made me thinks of similarities as well. And comparing the other girl to paper was--wow!

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