Blind Woman in the Rattling Wind

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Antcliff
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Blind Woman in the Rattling Wind

Post by Antcliff » Mon May 13, 2013 1:54 pm

She moved again,
as though to touch,

but found only the hollow,
purchaseless air.

“Answer me,” she said,
listening hard.

So many paper dolls.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

ray miller
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Re: Blind Woman in the Rattling Wind

Post by ray miller » Mon May 13, 2013 3:39 pm

For me, it doesn't do a great deal, Seth. The closing line is rather vague, I thought, but maybe I'm missing something. You would, at least, be able to touch paper dolls.

but found only the hollow,
purchaseless air.

My first thought was that it would sound better "air purchaseless" but that doesn't really make sense and your lines have grown on me. "Answer me," - maybe you could do without "me".

Ray
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Blind Woman in the Rattling Wind

Post by Macavity » Tue May 14, 2013 7:32 pm

hi Seth
I thought your poem conveyed the spaces that the woman has to negotiate.
She moved again,...............perhaps the wind has rattled her about like a doll, disorientated her, the stillness was for assurance
as though to touch,

but found only the hollow,
purchaseless air.............................I did feel 'purchaseless' was a bit of a mouthful

“Answer me,” she said,
listening hard.........................touch/hearing give her no means to escape

So many paper dolls.
cheers

mac

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Re: Blind Woman in the Rattling Wind

Post by Antcliff » Tue May 14, 2013 10:01 pm

Thanks, MacRay.

I have shown this to a few people and each has come up with a different interpretation of what is going on. I don't know whether that is a good or bad thing. I'm not so fond of the riddler/diddler/find-your-own-interpretation end of poetry....but I seem to be swimming at that end of the pool this month. (Too much reading of Found Poetry I'm sure..)

Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Blind Woman in the Rattling Wind

Post by JamesM » Wed May 15, 2013 7:32 am

hello Seth
this poses more questions than answers, which might be a good thing given the woman's predicament. As with all short pieces every word needs to earn it's keep and it is your word choices that intrigue: meaning looming and receding throughout. "again", "as though", "answer me", "listening hard"-- so an unfulfilled need is established; a response to a question or demand the reader is not privy to-- the whole thing is predicated on absences. Blind in the title has me thinking that this is about a state of loss, and not necessarily a discrete crisis: a Yeatsian mourning.

"rattling", the ambiguity begins here in a landscape devoid of discernible objects, but it's secondary meaning of upsetting alerts us to something being endured.

"she moved again" implies this is part of a series of responsive actions, then, "as though"-- the conditional perplexes here but left me with a sense of a knowing absence, either she, us or both are aware there is nothing to touch.

"but found......." her disappointment and thwarted expectation-- now her distress and our role as witnesses to it are made clear. You get a windy sibilence, but might read better ....the purchase of hollow air....maybe/maybe not

"so many paper dolls", A compelling but confusing final, and while insufficiency is established the full significance of such a specific image eludes me.

enjoyed thinking about this
regards
James

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Re: Blind Woman in the Rattling Wind

Post by Macavity » Wed May 15, 2013 1:14 pm

have shown this to a few people and each has come up with a different interpretation of what is going on. I don't know whether that is a good or bad thing. I'm not so fond of the riddler/diddler/find-your-own-interpretation end of poetry....but I seem to be swimming at that end of the pool this month.
A playground for the 'creative' reader :) Actually, I think James has illustrated that this poem is more than that.

mac

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Re: Blind Woman in the Rattling Wind

Post by twoleftfeet » Thu May 16, 2013 11:52 am

Hi, Seth

This isn't working for me, I'm afraid.

"Paper dolls" is an intriguing, but elusive image especially in the context of blindness/sound.

"Touch" sounds out without an object.

"Purchaseless" - I think I know what you mean, but even so it sounds odd.

Geoff
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: Blind Woman in the Rattling Wind

Post by Antcliff » Thu May 16, 2013 4:49 pm

Thanks for returning, Mac.
And positivity...a playground it is. :D

Thanks James for this detailed response. It has been interesting to think through. Yes, we hebrideans know of the rattling wind in the simple and extended sense (disturbing) that you pick up on. I am content if the ending is compelling though confusing. And yes, I am especially glad that you saw a state of loss..
Blind in the title has me thinking that this is about a state of loss, and not necessarily a discrete crisis.
Insofar as there was a main intention...it was that.

Thanks again.

Thanks Geoff,
for particular comments and overall response. It helps.

Seth.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Blind Woman in the Rattling Wind

Post by David2 » Thu May 16, 2013 5:18 pm

It put me in the mind of The Cumberland Beggar, which is never a bad thing. I enjoyed it up to the last line, which I thought was too enigmatic. Certainly leaves you thinking though.

I think "purchaseless air" is excellent. Not sure about "hollow", though.

Cheers

David

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Re: Blind Woman in the Rattling Wind

Post by ljordan » Thu May 16, 2013 5:56 pm

For me the 'paper dolls' infers the making of an idealized self, a culture, a want to be. They work with wind in various ways. I wonder at 'blind'. It describes a condition that doesn't figure with the other elements. She hears, touches and without being able to see the dolls limits their value as a point of contemplation, a point from which the subject manages the wind. The other word that doesn't do much is 'hollow' as David pointed out. 'purchaseless' is especially telling in its sense of not being able to hold making the dolls susceptible to wind. I think the sense of loss, of unrequitedness is sharpened by the juxtapositions of 'touch,' 'dolls' and 'air.'

larry

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