Down Street, One Knee
#1
This is a poem I've written for someone to read at my wedding ceremony. My partner proposed outside Down Street station following a tour of the disused underground station. This is the first poem I've written and would welcome any feedback that can help me improve it. I'm prepared to rewrite it significantly or give it an alternative form.

Many thanks for your help.


Down Street, one knee, a hushed proposal alone in Mayfair
Stillness snatched from the city's Sunday sleep
 
A spiral staircase, emerald tiles gleam through cracks in the charcoal walls
Faint tap of typewriters from fingers long entombed, a hum of distant trains
that flash and scream through pockets etched in the darkness
Our hidden London beneath the blood tiled arches of this discarded station
 
Concave walls cradle strangers too close, sucked into trains, suffocating
Blind to these estranged tunnels, disconnected and reassigned
A one way mirror, we stand as voyeurs from a parallel time
This is our platform, guarded from the warped blur of faceless bodies
 
In the bowels of the city down disused shafts, our torch beams entwine
Carve a trail through decades of dust which enshrine this hollow cave
Above us, London sprawls in cold sun, a knotted tangle of streets and back alleys
Here, mapped neatly in lines, painting blackened brick walls with Beck's designs
 
Shoulder to shoulder, each morning we breathe the same air
Lock eyes through a smoke of powder as she sweeps her skin
Tunnel vision as we judder along the city's blocked arteries
A carbon labyrinth, our vesselled secret within
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#2
This has some very evocative descriptive elements. I'm a bit surprised that it's going to be read at a wedding--not because it's bad but because the imagery seems more disturbing than I'd see at a wedding it's the subtle choices (again not saying this is a flaw in the poem I'm just surprised that it would be used for the occasion of your wedding).

The opening works for the occasion.

These lines have a darker cast to them:

that flash and scream through pockets etched in the darkness
Our hidden London beneath the blood tiled arches of this discarded station

Same with the claustrophobic:

Concave walls cradle strangers too close, sucked into trains, suffocating (cradle feels like the wrong word here as it is too nurturing for the other imagery and feels disjointed).

Blind to these estranged tunnels, disconnected and reassigned (Estranged is a choice that seems at odds with a wedding).

This is our platform, guarded from the warped blur of faceless bodies (again love the line and image, but a bit eerie).

In the bowels of the city down disused shafts, our torch beams entwine (the entwining of beams works, but then there is the bowels).

Above us, London sprawls in cold sun, a knotted tangle of streets and back alleys (a cold sun...I could go on. I am not saying this is the case but I would hear this and wonder if the writer was regretting their marital choice).

So, in short, good poem odd choice for where to read it even if it reflects the shared experience with your partner.

Just my thoughts, not sure how helpful they are.

Best,

Todd
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#3
A rather skilful use of language. I loved the following lines:

Faint tap of typewriters from fingers long entombed
A one way mirror, we stand as voyeurs from a parallel time
our torch beams entwine
blackened brick walls with Beck's designs
the city's blocked arteries
our vesselled secret within

However, the poem is more about the underground and less about the proposal. The proposal is rather irrelevant to the whole affair here.
The last line is particularly sinister, like burying Fortunato alive in the wall. I shudder, like the city's arteries, to think about what your guests might think!
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#4
(01-31-2020, 12:33 AM)Camer028 Wrote:  This is a poem I've written for someone to read at my wedding ceremony. My partner proposed outside Down Street station following a tour of the disused underground station. This is the first poem I've written and would welcome any feedback that can help me improve it. I'm prepared to rewrite it significantly or give it an alternative form.

Many thanks for your help.


Down Street, one knee, a hushed proposal alone in Mayfair
Stillness snatched from the city's Sunday sleep
 
A spiral staircase, emerald tiles gleam through cracks in the charcoal walls
Faint tap of typewriters from fingers long entombed, a hum of distant trains
that flash and scream through pockets etched in the darkness
Our hidden London beneath the blood tiled arches of this discarded station
 
Concave walls cradle strangers too close, sucked into trains, suffocating
Blind to these estranged tunnels, disconnected and reassigned
A one way mirror, we stand as voyeurs from a parallel time
This is our platform, guarded from the warped blur of faceless bodies
 
In the bowels of the city down disused shafts, our torch beams entwine
Carve a trail through decades of dust which enshrine this hollow cave
Above us, London sprawls in cold sun, a knotted tangle of streets and back alleys
Here, mapped neatly in lines, painting blackened brick walls with Beck's designs
 
Shoulder to shoulder, each morning we breathe the same air
Lock eyes through a smoke of powder as she sweeps her skin
Tunnel vision as we judder along the city's blocked arteries
A carbon labyrinth, our vesselled secret within


I think that this is one of the first effective cyber-poems that I have ever encountered.   You are able to differentiate imagery from architecture, dust-filtered habit from the longing of desire, acculturation of commutation from projected future perception, the unfolding cacoon of the time-sailors berthe with the test tube gestation of the laboratory.   These series of dark, yet hopeful images are - to my mind - allusions to the Underworld's of Huxley or Orwell; where the structures, bi-laws, routes and stations of the establishment are somehow, miraculously, put away while the hope in some immaculate Cyber-Birth is prophecied with fecund and surgical precision.
plutocratic polyphonous pandering 
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