This Poem was Submitted By: Annette L Cowling On Date: 2003-11-09 10:52:37 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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The Boarder

The curtain moves slightly on the window, As the taxi departs down the winding road, Carrying...the boarder. He had the momentary figment of a life, Distantly part of her own fragile existence. He often lingered in the kitchen after dinner, With refined stories laced with detachment.      The book closed long ago      Was marked at a new page,      Because of...the boarder. Her lip quivered slightly and her hands Remained tucked in the pockets of her pinafore, As she made a nonchalant comment about a storm coming. Wide white sheets whipped frantically in The summers wind turned wicked, like  Uncontrolled outbursts of temper tantrums. And the chalk games of the neighbor's children, Went streaming with the rain down the sidewalk, Taking with it any remnants of...the boarder.

Copyright © November 2003 Annette L Cowling

This Poem was Critiqued By: April Rose Ochinang Claessens On Date: 2003-12-05 22:57:58
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 8.40000
annette, thanks for sharing this poem. the images you used are apt. the part i enjoyed reading the most is The book closed long ago Was marked at a new page, Because of...the boarder. Her lip quivered slightly and her hands Remained tucked in the pockets of her pinafore, As she made a nonchalant comment about a storm coming. the melancholy was effectively expressed throughout the piece having used DEPARTS DOWN THE WINDING ROAD, MOMENTARY FIGMENT OF LIFE,FRAGILE EXISTENCE,REFINED STORIES LACED WITH DETACHMENT,BOOK CLOSED LONG AGO,LIP QUIVERED, HANDS TUCKED IN THE POCKETS OF PINAFORE...RAIN DOWN THE SIDEWALK....again thanks for posting it here for us to read.God bless. april

This Poem was Critiqued By: Claire H. Currier On Date: 2003-11-25 08:13:44
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.54348
Poet....the curtain moves slightly perhaps due to one's sneaking a peak outside the window to watch the boarder depart down the windy not life like that too.....many roads twisting and turning into whatever direction we find ourselves? Can one be so taken in by a total stranger that they do put their 'life' on hold while this stranger is around? I think so.....The book closed long ago was marked at a new page, because of...the boarder. It has all the earmarks for a quick and intense, but lost and lonely love affair.. This read reminds me of different times in life when a total stranger comes in, makes themself at home, as though they have always been and will always be there within your heart.....yet, comes the day they too depart.....let it not be said that love is easy and the pain associated with the parting is most difficult... nicely structured, good word flow withimages throughout the entire read........those sheets in the winds.......they seem angry at this stranger as well for leaving......nicely done poet. Thanks for sharing this with us and I look forward to more of your safe, God Bless, Claire
This Poem was Critiqued By: Jane A Day On Date: 2003-11-20 14:11:00
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Dear Annette, This is a lovely prose poem. Thank you for sharing. I love the last stanza. The image of the streaking chalk is striking and I shall carry it with me through the rainstorm that is baring down on me even now. I shall look down as I walk the neighborhood to see if any childhood or hope is being washed away. The open reads a little like a the tone of the Awakening by Kate Chopin. A lot of drama. I feel cold and shut out a bit. I wonder what would happen if you moved the poem into the first person and gave use a hint at the language of the boarder vs the speaker through a glance at one of his stories. I sense a lot in this poem and wouldn't mind staying with them longer. Thanks again, Jane
This Poem was Critiqued By: Thomas Edward Wright On Date: 2003-11-19 22:21:41
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Annette I think the poem would be more effective without the "..." (ellipsis?) There is much unsaid and left to the reader's imagination, which is effective, in that it draws the reader on, looking for confirmation or redirection. Well done. Tom
This Poem was Critiqued By: Turner Lee Williams On Date: 2003-11-11 16:44:12
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.83333
Annette--I find you still at the top of my critique list (no complaints from me). This poem reads like the Clint Eastwood movie, "Bridges of Madison County," which I still regard as one of my favorites. This well-traveled male stranger had a profound affect on one lonely female: she's totally put her ho-hum life on hold while "...the boarder" is present: The book closed long ago was marked at a new page, because of...the boarder. It has all the earmarks for a quick and intense, but doomed affair: worldly person and indigent! This scenario has the bittersweet descriptors befitting a "...better to have loved and lost than to never to have loved at all" script. No one said love and romance always endures or even ends on positive terms. Thanks for sharing another one of your excellent pieces with your fellow TPLers. TLW
This Poem was Critiqued By: Jordan Brendez Bandojo On Date: 2003-11-10 13:51:14
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.85714
Hi Annette, This is my first time to see your poem, I think you are neophyte here in the link. For that, my warmest welcome! The caught my attention as in my first glance it drew a curiosity in me what the subject is all about. Some intriguing questions popped up in my mind like: is it about a man who who pays a stipulated sum in return for regular meals or for meals and lodging? is this about the one who goes on board a vessel as part of an assault or military action? or in the realm of sport, is this about the person who skies? One who rides a skateboard? or One who uses a snowboard? But I will be more interesting if it talks about a person who lodges in a boarding house because I have been boarding since I entered college, away from home. Well, let me see.... Interestingly, this one talks about the boarder flared up the heart, (that had been closed long ago), of this land lady. The tone of the poem is poignant or plaintive because the with respect to the land lady. You make a good introduction with its action and thrill... The curtain moves slightly on the window, As the taxi departs down the winding road, Carrying...the boarder. The of the three dots representing an ellipsis creates an emphasis to the...boarder. That's a good point because the thrill is reinforced, in my opinion. This first input starts the plaintive tone suggesting a departing of ways. I could picture out that the SHE is sadly witnessing as the boarder departs. The second stanza highlight some interesting descriptors like "figment of a life", "fragile existence" and "stories laced with detachment". The choice of words is appealing. The indention of the third stanza is a unique concept that catches an attention. It seems to imply a degree of emphasis. I can figure out that that it is where the gist of the subject is derived from: "The book closed long ago Was marked at a new page, Because of...the boarder." I said the gist can be extracted from there because, it bruites out the essential story. That because of the boarder the heart of the SHE that had been closed already, it was again opened. It seems that the SHE finds the things that SHE needs for life but it was only a mere fantasy, it was not satisfied. The use alliterations, assonance and figurative language spiced up the strength of the poem. There is a fricative 'f', the 'p' in "pockets/pinafore". It is a good credit. Wide white sheets whipped frantically in The summers wind turned wicked, like Uncontrolled outbursts of temper tantrums. ----in this line, I think there is a little redundancy. 'tantrum' in itself is a bad temper. maybe you can drop "temper". Or maybe, you can drop "tantrums". Just a suggestion. You have just ended the poem effectively. The association of "chalk games of the children" fits in the mood. Thank you so much for sharing. You did not disappoint me with your first submission, Annette. Write more and of course submit more! Jordan
This Poem was Critiqued By: Sean Donaghy On Date: 2003-11-10 12:33:23
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 8.20000
Annette - Good tale! Well told! A bit wordy to be poetically solid but that could be easily fixed using your obviously good feel for structure, a good ear and an unstinting editor's pencil! Go for it! Thank you for sharing your effort. S.
This Poem was Critiqued By: stephen g skipper On Date: 2003-11-09 20:05:51
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Hi Annette, Well to start with I enjoyed your poem I particularily liked the weather/emotional state contrasts also earlier in the poem the interaction of the boarder and land lady Laced with detachment Was one of my favorite phrases Two people sharing a house but not a life, nice commentary it makes you feel if the boarder was wanted to be more by the landlady there is a wistful tone to this piece again that I liked Thanks for the read Take care be happy steve
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mell W. Morris On Date: 2003-11-09 16:05:16
Critiquer Rating During Critique: Unknown
Annette: This is the first poem of yours I've seen. If you are new, welcome; if I have missed you before, it was my loss. This is a poignant, deftly- written piece which will stay with me long after today. It is haunting, plangent, and your word choices and style are breaths of fresh air. "The curtain moves slightly on the window, As the taxi departs down the winding road, Carrying...the boarder." The use of ellipsis before "boarder" makes the character more significant. Someone is apparently watching from the window and this first stanza is a "hook" as the reader wants to know who he is and who is observing. The assonance of slightly/taxi and window/road is harmonious. "He had the momentary figment of a life, Distantly part of her own fragile existence. He often lingered in the kitchen after dinner, With refined stories laced with detachment." The observer is a delicate lady to whom the boarder was arms' length. Your linguistics in "figment of a life" and "laced with detachment" is superb. Good use of the fricative F sounds and life/lingered/ laced caress the reader's ears. "The book closed long ago Was marked at a new page, Because of...the boarder." Fitting metaphor that her life was a closed book due to past hurts (I assume) until...the boarder reopens the tome. Stanza 3 is set apart for emphasis which tells me this is vital to the import of the poem. "Her lip quivered slightly and her hands Remained tucked in the pockets of her pinafore, As she made a nonchalant comment about a storm coming. Wide white sheets whipped frantically (In) the summers wind turned wicked, like Uncontrolled outbursts of temper tantrums." I cannot point out each poetic device used as there are too many. You continue masterful assonance and the allits: pockets/pinafore and wide/white/whipped/wind/wicked and temper/tantrum, are spot on. (IMO, tantrum is not necessary but has a nice sound here). The heroine pretends indifferece to ...the boarder's departure but her trembling lips and hidden hands (undoubtedly temulous) betray her feelings. Your simile in stanza 5 is grand! And what could be more perfect for the poem's denouement than a storm? As the one raging inside her fragile being. "And the chalk games of the neighbor's children, Went streaming with the rain down the sidewalk, Taking with it any remnants of...the boarder." The quintessential ending to your poem..the storm clears the air, washing away traces of the man who brought hurt again to our heroine. But does it really? I think not, from your depiction of the fragile woman whose book has been opened after gathering dust for decades. S6 utilizes the rhyme of chalk/walk and the wondrous assonance as seen throughout the poem. In six stanzas, you have seventeen hard K sounds, my favorite consonant sound; ergo, your poem plays a symphony to my ears. Your female character is reminiscent of Emily Dickinson for whatever reason and likely no other poet would think that. Your poem is certainly as lyrical as some of hers (huge compliment rarely paid) and reading "The Boarder" has made my Sunday afternoon an enjoyable one. Thank you for posting such evocative fare (of enormous impact for me.) Kudos and standing ovation! Encore! Best, Mell Morris
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