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Blue Lady

Blue lady old
with wrinkled flesh
stout lines blend
her waist to breast
her back is bent low
now each step is slow.

Rough hands reveal
the years hard spent
yet still a gleam
of dignity shines
from her tired eyes.
Her faded blue dress
is neat and clean
though tattered and frayed
one can easily see
it has always been that way.

She continues her hard work,
cleaning off tables where
people have casually dined.
She is too old and tired
for this kind of work.
Still, she shows no sign
of discontent while she awaits
the beginning and end
of each moment that remains
her living time to come

As I watch her, I wonder
what she looked like when
she was young. Was she
quick and graceful then,
like the blue waters
of a gentle sea?

Now I see her ancient beauty
that knows its finest hour
just before the living power
of her time to come is done.

Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Editing stage: 


This is a very clear portrait of the old woman. Maybe its just me, but I expected a revelation at the end, meaning a reason for the portrait. Not that it is necessary to make the poem work. just that I am accustomed to a tail end sting when reading a portrait poem.

"just before the promised power
of her time to come is done." I am having a bit of difficulty in understanding this clause, especially, what is the 'promised power'. As usual, your use of language is very good.


The most powerful reaction
of mind on mind
is transference of sight

Whilst this is genuine and honest it really lacks prosodic values. (that's a way of saying it's prose, not poetry [grins])

But really, it needs a gracious structure, a kind of relaxed yet vigorous form to match the character.
Consider looking into some traditional Scottish poetry, it would work well here.

New Workshop!-
Critique For New And Old

This is the first rough draft I've entered here on Neopoet. I will take each critique from Mark, Tyro, and Jess seriously as they give it structure, point out repeated words and lack of explanation for some of my word clauses. I found this piece in a pile of papers a couple of days ago. I had written it on a napkin while dining at a restaurant about forty years ago. Thank you all for your valued recommendations.


~ Marthalyn

author comment

that is the hardest part, and we need to find that in this draft. Otherwise the description does not take on metaphor. What universal are we saying bout this old waitress...

Generations have issued
from the center of her.
She is the mother of all
aged, wise and each shall
follow in her form.
Through them, she shall
continue to be for all time.

Here is the beginning, but she too quickly becomes a goddess. What makes her such a powerful presence, "mother of all aged, wise..." ?

Yeats expressed it nicely, on an old woman...

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

so we need to find the pilgrim soul of this subject. This old waitress, who has no doubt lived a hard life.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

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