Sunday, February 3, 2013

Analysis of "Two Plays" by Lloyd Schwartz

Original poem reprinted online here:  "Two Plays" by Lloyd Schwartz
Originally read: November 30, 2012 (I don't know)
More information about the Poet:  Lloyd Schwartz







I want to focus on the last comment I wrote which was:

The ending is clever -- it's one of those expected endings.  I guess that's why I am dissapointed [sic]  a bit.  The narrator foreshadows the poem pitch perfect, yet after the second or third read the foreshadowing doesn't keep me interested.

Besides the atrocious spelling and grammar errors, I wonder why I thought the way I did when I read it.  So I reread the poem again and the problem for me consisted of two things.

1) Part I was heavy on the exposition.  Exposition is not a bad thing.  Of course I want background on things in writing and in real life.  Example:

"Hey did you hear that <insert person here> is in jail for life?"
"Oh really, what happened"
"Well <insert exposition here about like traffic tickets or jaywalking or murder or drug offense or writing a poetry blog that states negative things about poem here>"

Exposition, in short, contextualizes drama; however, when drama is contextualized, especially if it's from one source, a bias and risk is more apparent the longer the exposition piece goes on.  The longer the exposition goes, there is a risk of: a) overshadowing too much, and/or  b) exposition taking over the main point.  I think the problem for me was a) the overshadowing.

Yes, from Part I -- I know the response in Part II will be about a scam, a woman, and there will either be a shaming or a praise for the woman figure based on the issues brought up in Part I.  Nothing too surprising.

2)  This line in part II, "She's not a joke.  She isn't a play" is perfect..a bit too on the nose perfect.  If I take into account the knowledge I had in Part I into Part II, then there's too much of a focus in the call and response. I can see the intrigue after a first read.  But after many reads (this being my fifth or sixth I think) the poem reads to me like this:

Part I: "Psst, you want to know more about the story refer to Part II."
Part II: "Psst, you want to know more about the story refer to Part I."

It's not a bad thing and the poem isn't about exposition/foreshadowing, but it's the aspect sticks out the most to me. Meh.
 

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