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Interesting. Just think if I'd given you something more to work with.

As far as the weak/strong thing goes its largely subjective I'm guessing.

If I actually try to fix this, the challenge will be fitting the rhythm in in a way that doesn't torture the syntax--not a concern I had a few decades ago
"As far as the weak/strong thing goes its largely subjective I'm guessing."

I think on ending lines it is less subjective as there are very obvious technical things one can point to. Opening lines are more difficult because it depends on how the poem is going to unfold. But unless you meant rhythmically when saying the first line is weak, I think you are inaccurate. If it were a weak line content-wise, you wouldn't have gotten all this interest about seeing the rest of the poem look liked.

Dale
I'm talking more about content. I take each line independently before looking at them as joint units. If I'd simply posted the first line I'd have gotten no interest.

She was old and feeble

To me that is a static weak line, again I see that as a largely subjective argument. Different writers have different hot buttons when they create something.
When you say "static and weak", are you meaning uninteresting? Because I don't think it is a static line. You say,

"She was old and feeble..."

and I want to say, "and...?"

But you can always spice it up by going to

She was infirmed and decrepit

You can get overly cutesy as well as alliterative with

"a seasoned, senile, senior"

Whatever, just find you some synonyms that you like and put them in there instead.

However, the point to me is, this is not the point of emphasis, it is simply a terse statement that adequately describes "her" so you can get to the part that is the meat of the line. Plus by not making it cute, dynamic or involved, it makes it easier to juxtapose against the pushed her down the stairs, thus eliciting that voyeuristic reaction you saw from everybody. What makes music is both the pitched tones, and the pauses in between. That part of the line needs to be an adequate "foil" to the other part, the Dr. Watson, to Holmes. I'm the first to rail against cliche, and trite phrases, but in some cases such as this, worn and familiar serves the best.

That's my take anyway!

Dale
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