The Critic of a Perfectionist's Play


The Critic of a Perfectionist's Play

I built a stage
   to give my life's performance.
I stepped upon it
   to play my song and dance.

Years went into building it
   from donated materials and labor.
Now was my chance to prove
   the worth of such investments and succor.

The curtain went up.
   The audience politely applauded.
Peering through stage lights,
   I only see fuzzy shapes in rows knotted.

I play my part
   determined to win the crowd.
Giving my all to every scene,
   energy and sweat are my crown.

The final scene complete,
   I, the play's player, awaits audience reaction
and am relieved at the eruption
   of joyous approval and loud acclamation.

Except for one figure
   who sits darkly, quietly in his box seat.
His gaze from dark shadows
   suggests not victory but defeat.

Who is this dark figure?
   How does he dare to judge and reject?
What part did I play wrong?
   I determine to make his approval my object.

Again, I play my play;
   pouring my life into my part.
Completed, drained and exhausted,
   with final bow, who will approve my art?

All! All but he -
   the one who sits as cold stone,
unmoved and critical
   wordlessly demeaning my efforts alone.

Disturbed and angry,
   I try to move out of stage lights to see
who could be so arrogantly
   demanding, rejecting, demeaning, refusing me?

I play the play again
   and again until tearfully I have no more.
Disheveled, hoarse and sweat soaked
   I weakly take my bow and wait for what's in store.

By now the crowd's cheer is dim to me.
   Every fiber is given in attention to the shadow;
the demeaning dark silence of my enemy and critic is the final blow.

I cannot win him.
   Strangely, the cheers and applause hardly matters.
Since I play now only to him,
   all else seems discordant clatter.

Bravely, I move to stage's edge
   determined to look this foe in the eye.
He slowly rises and moves to light
   and how my heart sinks and breaks - for it is I.

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devoted commented on The Critic of a Perfectionist's Play


very realistic and well written! i really enjoyed reading this! great job!



Thanks so much, devoted. I appreciate the encouragement!

A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. It finds the thought and the thought finds the words.

Robert Frost (1875-1963) American Poet.

Weatherstone’s Poems (40)

Title Comments
Title Comments
The Other Side of Night 0
California Quail 0
Tired So Tired 1
Significance 1
The Critic of a Perfectionist
's Play
Help Me Define Reality 0
At War 0
Lost 1
On The Edge of My Map 0
The Devil In the Drink 0
Road of the Broken 3
Cry of the Curlew Bird 0
Ode To Desert Flower 2
Running the Risk 5
Wrestlers 3
For One Dim Light 3
Breathing Atmosphere 2
Spring 2
Dew On Death's Door 5
Hands of Time 2
A Parent's Joy 1
Fall Into Winter 1
My Heart's Flow -5
Sandy Seashore 1
Razor Blade Tongues 2
Mind's Eye 1
Travel 4
The Deepest Part of Me 1
September Tears 3
Descends the Darkness 1
Warm Friend 1
We Are Made 5
Creator's Way 1
Measure of Me 1
Dance Lessons 7
This Mountain 0
Mountain Conqueror 1
My Son 3
That Young Soldier 2
The Measure of Two Lives 1