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Unread 12-01-2019, 08:54 PM
maggie flanagan-wilkie maggie flanagan-wilkie is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: devens, ma, usa
Posts: 405
Default A Diary Entry I Won't Make


The sky is low and grey
under the weight
of threatening rain;
it's as if the standard for night
has been undermined,
leaving visible light to define
each of the trees edging
an empty street as one planed,
lifeless object next to another—
the collective, distinctive as modern art.
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Unread 12-02-2019, 07:28 PM
Phil Bulman Phil Bulman is offline
New Member
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 21

Interesting brooding mood; it must be gloomy where you are.

I think you could cut the "it's" at the beginning of line four.

Thanks for sharing this.
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Unread 12-03-2019, 11:09 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,820

Hi Maggie,

I've read this a few times and I'll come back to it more. The images in the second half of the poem really work for me. The first three lines seem like throat clearing, and might serve to create an evocative title.

One thing that jumps out at me is that two of the words in lines 4 and 5:

it's as if the standard for night
has been undermined,

clash, because both take their origins from military terms, but those secondary meanings don't connect here. It feels like a place to change the simile to something like "it's as if night's rampart / has been undermined."
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Unread 12-03-2019, 06:40 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,060

I don't find the opening to be very original. It's the weather. Starting with "it's as if the standard for night" would be better. A touch of mystery remains. I would also cut the last clause. By comparing it to modern art you place the observation, and the poem is essentially an observation, into a clearly defined box. The poem works best without too much definition.

I hope this helps.

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