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  #11  
Unread 07-21-2021, 11:27 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Susan,

I too think, like Jim, that this poem does its job crisply, cleanly, and without needless distraction. That carries weight. I like your rhyme scheme too. I don't have much in the way of suggestions, but I do think "Fat Old Women" a stronger title than "Overheard in Southern California," which risks sounding, dare I say judgmental, especially alongside the word hipster. I also just think that's the title the poem wants. And might you be able to use of, not from, in the last line?
Anyway, fine poem.

Cheers,
John
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  #12  
Unread 07-22-2021, 06:57 AM
MJ Starling MJ Starling is offline
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Hi Susan,

You could try “young urban creatives.” I saw somewhere that “yuccie” has replaced hipster. Though I don’t know if the term is widely used. Here are some other possibilities. https://onedio.co/content/hipster-mo...xt-thing-16705

I like the poem.
MJ
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  #13  
Unread 07-22-2021, 07:09 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
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Andrew, I am reluctant to break this into quatrains, both because it would disguise the rhyme scheme and because the poem is about connections. The meter is loose iambic. Because I subscribe to the idea of relative stress, I scan L2 "JUST to SAVE eight FAT old WOmen,” ONE" and L8 "the CLUTter of GHOSTS at CARE faCILiTIES?" That downplays the much more complex variations in the lines as spoken, of course. I think you are right that the speaker is only vaguely aware of the meaning of "hipster."

Julie, I notice that no one has concentrated on the elephant in the room, that the speaker is not only old but fat, in the land of the beautiful young. The last four lines may seem wordy, but they are trying to explain why, as people age, they also tend to put on the pounds.

John, I will consider that change. Southern California is known for all its beautiful young people. It is a hard place to be old and fat. It is also where a mask mandate was just reinstated. So, locating the action seemed relevant. But when I first thought of writing the poem, the title I had in mind was "Fat Old Women." I think "of" in the last line might be more ambiguous than "from." The speaker wants to live; she just wants some sweetness in her life, too.

Susan

Last edited by Susan McLean; 07-22-2021 at 07:32 AM.
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  #14  
Unread 07-22-2021, 07:13 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
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MJ, thanks for the education about trends, which I was totally unaware of. But I think the cluelessness of the speaker is perhaps part of the point.

Susan
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  #15  
Unread 07-22-2021, 07:23 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Susan,

Maybe just go with "Southern California," then, without the "Overheard in..."?

Cheers,
John

Last edited by John Isbell; 07-22-2021 at 07:23 AM. Reason: typo
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  #16  
Unread 07-22-2021, 07:24 AM
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Sarah-Jane Crowson Sarah-Jane Crowson is offline
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Hi,

I just wanted to leap in quickly to say that I think the last lines, for me, provoke empathy with the speaker, and that's important. The speaker becomes human, not just offended and grumpy & appalled, but soft and warm and wanting.

I also thought it might be useful to share that although 'Fat old women' is, for me, the better title, it's really good to know (and important, I think) that this is a real-life conversation.

That shocks, and it also means that the poem can't be accused of ageism (just from a different direction old-young rather than young-old).

I'd consider having the tite as FOW & then stating that this was a conversation overheard underneath in italics.

In terms of descriptions of subsets of the population, 'hipster' works for me, but it's quite often used in a derogative manner too. So, I'm not sure. If I can think of any terms that might work in its stead I'll come back.

Sarah-Jane
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  #17  
Unread 07-22-2021, 07:46 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
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Sarah, I have taken your advice (and John's) on changing the title. One reason I want to retain "hipster," even though it is not really a word I use, is that the term implies a desire to be trendy and fit in with the trendy crowd, which of course requires a rejection of anything that is not trendy. There is a certain hardness to the attitude of the young woman, which is contrasted with the physical and emotional softness of the speaker (although you rightly identify that she is also offended).

Susan
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  #18  
Unread 07-22-2021, 07:56 AM
mignon ledgard mignon ledgard is offline
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Default Susan McLean - Fat Old Women

Susan!

I am chuckling. But please, don't change the title! It beckons. I know.
I'm a fat old woman.

Still chuckling,
~mignon
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  #19  
Unread 07-22-2021, 09:34 AM
Jesse Anger Jesse Anger is offline
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Pretty solid poem, Susan. I count five beats across the board, no worries there. But, hipster definitely isn't the right word here.

As was mentioned, hipsters are late 30's early 40's by now - what's creating the problem, though, is the politics. Hipsters are almost certainly progressives who would never complain about masks.

Perhaps one of the generational designations would work:

millennial, or even better, zoomer. Thing is even those are too vague.

Consider searching up the terms: based, chad, and chud...

Bless,

J
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  #20  
Unread 07-22-2021, 11:54 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
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Jesse, I appreciate your wider knowledge of correct terminology, but I think it is part of the characterization of the speaker that she would use the wrong term, not knowing any of the more accurate ones. It is good to learn that you can hear the five beats per line.

Susan
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