valentine

grey car

I know that you’re
a thousand miles away,
yet each grey car I glimpse
demands I look again

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

3 thoughts on “valentine”

  1. With a small adjustment to the unadventurous line breaks, your epigram could enter the strictly metrical world of Alexander Pope’s “Eloisa to Abelard”.

    “I know that you’re a thousand miles away,
    yet each grey car I glimpse demands I look again.”

    Here you’d have a regular iambic pentameter and a regular alexandrine. But such epigrams don’t punch above their weight unless they rhyme. (As a rare alternative, the absence of rhyme could be used to produce a shock, but a rhyming pattern would need to be established previously.)

    Perhaps your two lines are the second half of a heroic quatrain.

    “Your hair, your wife and all your deeds are grey,
    presumably; they cause nobody pain.
    I know that you’re a thousand miles away,
    yet each grey car I glimpse demands I look again.”

    You need a better first two lines than mine.

    You might want to change “yet” to the plainer word “but”.

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    1. Why does your comment make me think of report cards saying “must try harder”?!

      Actually, I don’t think mine ever said that; you are more demanding than any English teacher ever was. (For which: “Thank you.”)

      Having almost a full year till next Valentine’s Day, I have plenty of time to think again.

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    2. I’ve been thinking – and counting on my fingers(!). Surely the fact I’ve got an Alexandrine would mean it couldn’t be half a heroic quatrain? Wouldn’t I need to lose two syllables/ a foot ?

      So, re-jigging, and adding in a cliché or two to celebrate the season, I reach:

      I’m missing you: alone on Valentine’s day
      I’m waiting at the bus stop in the rain;
      although I know you’re half a world away,
      each grey car glimpsed demands I look again.

      (And I still have 11 months & 27 days to make it work.)

      Like

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