The Window Washer

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Namyh
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The Window Washer

Post by Namyh » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:18 am

The Window Washer

There was a secretary working on the 34th floor
at her desk in a chair by the new boss’s door.
She could work and polish nails with a snobbish delight,
type a letter, take dictation in the absence of light,
brew the coffee, answer phones, solve the problems that bind,
dab on lipstick and perfume, arrange a meeting on time.

Outside her window, lightly beat the rain and freezing snow
on a window washer working on the 34th floor.
Up at dawn, pack a lunch, wife and kids are asleep.
Off to work, catch a train from the somber, silent street.
Check the gears, add some oil and it’s up and up he’ll go
to meet with Mr. Clean upon the 34th floor.

She writes a note and holds it up. He sees it at last.
His frozen fingers write one too and puts it up to glass.
Her’s said “It’s 72 degrees! Come in and take a chair.”
His said “It’s 50 bucks an hour ma'am, in freezing rain out here.”

Just when you think your thinking is the only way that’s true,
there’s a window washer working with another point of view.


Namyh
Last edited by Namyh on Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Macavity
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Re: The Window Washer

Post by Macavity » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:46 am

she could work and polish nails with a snobbish delight,
That judgement call rather tells the poem.
beat the rain and freezing snow
sleet?

Overall though Namyh I like the set-up

cheers

mac

Namyh
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Re: The Window Washer

Post by Namyh » Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:26 pm

Macavity - From the big city streets of my youth, I could look up the skyscrapers and see men on scaffolds washing windows in winter. From the sky, some may say the precipitation was 'sleet'. On my streets, it was always just 'freezing rain'. And very much like this poem, I guess it's all about the choices we make. Mighty glad you enjoyed this window washing work Macavity and thanks for spendin' a spell. Namyh

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Luce
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Re: The Window Washer

Post by Luce » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:38 am

Cute poem Namyh,

You keep the story going nicely and the majority of the end rhymes are tight. Love the closing lines.

There are two end rhyme that did stand out to me but not in a good way. "Bind/time" sounds a bit forced, especially "problems that bind". Perhaps another rhyming pair would do or if you want to keep one of the rhymes in this pair, perhaps "brew the coffee, answer phones, order package twine." And maybe instead of "arrange a meeting on time" you could say "arrange a meeting for nine."

Another rhyming pair was chair/here. To my ear, it doesn't rhyme at all. And these lines are crucial since it leads to the couplet which I really like.

Perhaps you can say "His said, "It's 50 bucks an hour ma'am in foul weather or fair." Fair definitely rhymes with chair.


Luce



Namyh wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:18 am
The Window Washer

There was a secretary working on the 34th floor
at her desk in a chair by the new boss’s door.
She could work and polish nails with a snobbish delight,
type a letter, take dictation in the absence of light,
brew the coffee, answer phones, solve the problems that bind,
dab on lipstick and perfume, arrange a meeting on time.

Outside her window, lightly beat the rain and freezing snow
on a window washer working on the 34th floor.
Up at dawn, pack a lunch, wife and kids are asleep.
Off to work, catch a train from the somber, silent street.
Check the gears, add some oil and it’s up and up he’ll go
to meet with Mr. Clean upon the 34th floor.

She writes a note and holds it up. He sees it at last.
His frozen fingers write one too and puts it up to glass.
Her’s said “It’s 72 degrees! Come in and take a chair.”
His said “It’s 50 bucks an hour mam, in freezing rain out here.”

Just when you think your thinking is the only way that’s true,
there’s a window washer working with another point of view.


Namyh
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train

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Perry
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Re: The Window Washer

Post by Perry » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:56 am

I didn't at first read the poem because it was all centered. I usually pass over poems that are all centered because they are hard to read. But I did finally read it, and it was funny and cute with a good ending. However, I do recommend that put it in a left-justified format.
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

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JJWilliamson
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Re: The Window Washer

Post by JJWilliamson » Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:34 am

Enjoyable read, Namyh, with a super close.

You seem to be employing anapestic meter for the most part but there are a few hiccoughs along the way, which could be considered as substitutions. I'm not sure if the irregularities help or not but they did make me pause. L1, for example, almost sets the meter then L2 nails it with flawless anapaestic meter and four clear feet. Then I noticed a few lines of iambic meter and wondered if I was missing something. However, it didn't trouble me too much.

Loved the story and the different perspectives.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: The Window Washer

Post by bjondon » Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:37 pm

Hi Namyh - this has a rather brilliant aplomb to it, the gentle sucker punch at the end perfectly pitched . . . It deserves to be perfect, so I'll add my two cents . . . Basically just L3 and L14 that niggle.
I'm ok with the pre-flagged 'snobbish delight' but maybe instead of 'polish her nails' (which just hits the same note as the later perfume/lipstick) - 'boss the other girls'
The sonics and grammar of L14 seem a bit awkward to me ('he' wants 'puts', but 'fingers' wants 'put').
Perhaps : 'His reply, penned with frozen fingers, held up to the glass'

Best regards,
Jules

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riverrun
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Re: The Window Washer

Post by riverrun » Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:40 pm

The Window Washer is the worst voyeur in the world. That is why this poem is very interesting from a conceptual point of view. Flaubert once said that it is essential to "write the mediocre well." Unlike rear window hitchcock's voyeur, the window washer is there, completely exposed, everyone knows he is there. But even so, no one bothers to easily reveal details and little secrets in the simplest gestures. I loved the inversion of voyeurism. Also the centralized alignment of the text offers an idea of building, making it very coherent and aesthetically pleasant.

best

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