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Location: UK


Post by Gyppo » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:45 am


Just once, when working at a TV studio,
I had a gold star on my dressing room door.
There were real porcelain sinks, 
three-angled make up mirrors,
hair driers which worked
and a lockable wardrobe for clothes.
Luxurious padded chairs
with full tilt and turn.
The walls a soothing green.

Down the corridor the rest of the troupe
bumped and jostled in half the space. 
Clothes piled on wobbly nails in bare plasterboard,
trampled on dropped makeup
and changed costumes with casual nudity.

Once ready I ambled down to see them,
missing the banter, the sweat,
the friendship, the bad jokes.,
and the shared pre-show nerves.
We were more at home in tents, 
or the backs of road weary vans
at village fetes, the natural home
of the travelling showman.

They trooped up to my room,
some still only half dressed,
where they goggled at the luxury. 

I looked at the star on my door,
relieved it was only temporary,
hanging tenuously from Blu-Tack.

I've been writing ever since I realised I could.  Storytelling since I started talking.  Poetry however comes and goes  ;-)

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Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:35 pm

Re: Star

Post by ajduclos » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:10 am

Hey Gyppo - a wonderful read down memory lane...

"I looked at the star on my door,
relieved it was only temporary,
hanging tenuously from Blu-Tack."

Thanks for that bit of your soul.


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Re: Star

Post by Dave » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:31 pm

A pleasant and typically well-told story. The main weakness if it is that is the fact that the ending is telegraphed way too early and so the enjoyment comes more from how well it is told than the actual 'punchline'.

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Re: Star

Post by ajduclos » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:14 am

I sensed the whole poem was telling the the story of the final stanza.............


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Tracy Mitchell
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Re: Star

Post by Tracy Mitchell » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:42 pm

The narrative presents a sweet and engaging glimpse into the Speaker’s unease at being singled out as the “star”.  S/he is discomfited by a perceived elevation in status over “the rest of the troupe”.

My suggestions for consideration, or rejection. :)

S.1 L.1 & L2. – The poem opens with an explanatory, scene-setting clause.  A much stronger opening for the poem would be L.2 - “A gold star on my dressing room door” - more of a grabber.

S.1 L.3-9 – This 7-item list showing the luxurious state of the Speaker’s dressing room could be reduced to perhaps 3-4 of the strongest images.

S.2 L.3 – consider moving the line to the end of the stanza.  Its current placement confuses the subject for the verbs “trampled” in L.4, and “changed” in L.5.  Grammatically, the subject would be “clothes” and it is clear that is not the intention, but rather “the rest of the troupe”.  Additionally, consider “layered” instead of “piled”.

S.3 L.1 Is there a better word for “ambled”?  It connotes confidence and almost swagger, which this Speaker seems otherwise not to be experiencing.

S.3 L.5-8 – This reference needs more to make it feel like part of the poem – Is there a history of this speaker living in tents with these actors?  Or is it a general reference to actors at large?

S.4 L.1  – “They trooped. . . .”  Who trooped – the troupe trooped? You don’t want your reader doing that.

S.4 L.3 – “goggle at the luxury” – Is there a lighter phrase?  This seems like melodramatic over-reaction to hair driers that work, chairs that are padded, and walls that are green.  Maybe I missed something about the “troupe”

S.5 L.2 – relieved > content / pleased ?  “relieved” suggests reaction to new knowledge, and yet it seems that the Speaker knew all along that the arrangement was temporary.

Just my thought – use or loose.

Thanks for sharing this.



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