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i’ve written a poem? feedback?

hi!
i’ve written a (fairly long) poem that’s VERY rough around the edges. it’s my first time trying to write something really, it was just randomly fuelled by my own experiences recently - decided to be dramatic and convert my crippling teen heartbreak and sadness into poetry haha. anyway i guess i’d just appreciate any thoughts at all? please do be honest, i’m already aware of a lot of its shortcomings and i just want to know how to improve. plus they say ‘write what you know’ and i’m only familiar with a small portion of what i’ve written about lol so it will probably be quite flawed in that regards. it doesn’t have a title as of yet but any suggestions would be more than welcome! thanks :smile:

here goes:

vodka cokes and male indifference
unlikely twins, it must be said
and yet the pair draw the same rose chariot
hand-in-hand over the beds of young women
for what is love but another drink?

the dull thud of hopes as they join expectations
make your raw head throb and your insides lurch,
and the rushing of blood and sweat and light
and of saline panic rising in your throat,
mingled with the product of your nausea -
why?
and in that moment
man is cruel
but the earth is crueller
for it refuses to swallow you whole, to
open up some abyss into which you can hurl yourself
and fall
forever - eyes shut, cradling your knees -
you are already falling anyway, it would make no difference
for what is love but to fall with no end?

but in fact, we fall as beads of rain from the heavens,
past the canopy of green crowns and through the thick of the forest.
and between the sky and soil there is nought but trees,
and on the trees there is nought but leaves.
and we slide from one leaf to another
from one lover to the next
a gentle cascade that keeps us afloat
suspended for a while with each step
and soon there will be another leaf
another love to hold you in place
for what is love but to be held for a moment,
to be cradled in brief reprieve from a bittersweet epilogue?

and soon someone will hold you so tightly that
your joints click back into place with a familiar rhythm
and your sinews bind you together again
and they will press your body into theirs so deeply
that their sweat seeps into you and strips away at your skin,
so that you are no more than blood and bone and flesh and a soul,
defenceless yet whole,
for what is love but to be broken in the right ways?

and as you lie there, they will know you
and usurp the sadness from your bones
(not from the marrows, though, as love’s wounds run deep -
as an oak knows its age by its ribcage of dark rings,
so grief imprints itself upon us)
and you will realise
that man is fiercely gentle
and the earth will spread
its roots and tendrils
and vines with fingertips of rose
and they will twine around you and hold you together,
leaves and buds and thorns and all,
so that you are torn and ugly and beautiful and
complete
for what is love but gloriously bare-faced contradiction?

so when it comes
shrug the dust jacket from an unfamiliar heart
once jade, now jaded
once splintered, twice whole.
(the keen sting is now but a dull ache).
embrace the effacement of congealed tears, forged in a gaze of blazing intensity,
and drink
to love
again.
for what is love but another drink?

(if you actually read this far thank you so much! especially given my prefatory waffle at the start ahaha)
i loved this!! ideas are very relatable

thoughts: what i loved was the way that you immediately went from the imagery of “panic” (with focus on the bodily responses everyone has) to nature “earth… refuses to swallow you whole” and continued the nature idea into the next stanza. i think the juxtaposition of the two ideas “blood and sweat and light” with “beads of rain from the heavens” really showcases the difficulty of the human experience + creates sympathy

liked the style and the vocabulary EXCEPT for one thing: use of the word “nought” where I think “nothing” would do and is synonymous. maybe you like it for the plosive effect of nought + but but I’d argue that “nothing” which sounds softer and emptier would work better with your ideas.


i like the first stanza and i think the words “vodka cokes and male indifference” were great. however, it didn’t feel like they set the tone of the poem accurately. it’s a good way to grab attention definitely drew mine but conflictingly, i’d also suggest getting rid of it so the poem could work better as a whole and progress with each stanza? i know the temptation to introduce people to the topic of your poem is hard to resist, but i think without it the poem would feel far more immediate the experiences the poetic voice is talking about would feel closer and they would be given the opportunity to encapsulate the reader more. perhaps change the second stanza slightly if it’s the new first. just a thought though and it may not work with the vision you have for YOUR poem so pls take with a grain of salt!!

loved LOADS of the phrases, here are the ones that stood out to me:
“vodka cokes and male indifference”
“saline panic rising in your throat”
“but the earth is crueller / for it refuses to swallow you whole, to
open up some abyss into which you can hurl yourself /and fall /forever - eyes shut, cradling your knees - / you are already falling anyway, it would make no difference”
“past the canopy of green crowns and through the thick of the forest”
“and we slide from one leaf to another / from one lover to the next / a gentle cascade that keeps us afloat”
“and soon someone will hold you so tightly that / your joints click back into place with a familiar rhythm”
“they will press your body into theirs so deeply / that their sweat seeps into you and strips away at your skin,”
“as an oak knows its age by its ribcage of dark rings”
“so when it comes
shrug the dust jacket”
“once jade, now jaded”

overall i love your poetry + the way you use imagery. do you write often and how old are you?? i feel like you’d have a chance at winning competitions if you entered
Reply 2
Original post by Anonymous
i loved this!! ideas are very relatable
thoughts: what i loved was the way that you immediately went from the imagery of “panic” (with focus on the bodily responses everyone has) to nature “earth… refuses to swallow you whole” and continued the nature idea into the next stanza. i think the juxtaposition of the two ideas “blood and sweat and light” with “beads of rain from the heavens” really showcases the difficulty of the human experience + creates sympathy
liked the style and the vocabulary EXCEPT for one thing: use of the word “nought” where I think “nothing” would do and is synonymous. maybe you like it for the plosive effect of nought + but but I’d argue that “nothing” which sounds softer and emptier would work better with your ideas.
i like the first stanza and i think the words “vodka cokes and male indifference” were great. however, it didn’t feel like they set the tone of the poem accurately. it’s a good way to grab attention definitely drew mine but conflictingly, i’d also suggest getting rid of it so the poem could work better as a whole and progress with each stanza? i know the temptation to introduce people to the topic of your poem is hard to resist, but i think without it the poem would feel far more immediate the experiences the poetic voice is talking about would feel closer and they would be given the opportunity to encapsulate the reader more. perhaps change the second stanza slightly if it’s the new first. just a thought though and it may not work with the vision you have for YOUR poem so pls take with a grain of salt!!
loved LOADS of the phrases, here are the ones that stood out to me:
“vodka cokes and male indifference”
“saline panic rising in your throat”
“but the earth is crueller / for it refuses to swallow you whole, to
open up some abyss into which you can hurl yourself /and fall /forever - eyes shut, cradling your knees - / you are already falling anyway, it would make no difference”
“past the canopy of green crowns and through the thick of the forest”
“and we slide from one leaf to another / from one lover to the next / a gentle cascade that keeps us afloat”
“and soon someone will hold you so tightly that / your joints click back into place with a familiar rhythm”
“they will press your body into theirs so deeply / that their sweat seeps into you and strips away at your skin,”
“as an oak knows its age by its ribcage of dark rings”
“so when it comes
shrug the dust jacket”
“once jade, now jaded”
overall i love your poetry + the way you use imagery. do you write often and how old are you?? i feel like you’d have a chance at winning competitions if you entered

thank you so much!! i felt exactly the same way about the opening line, i wrote it intending to go in a different direction and then it strayed from that, so thanks for confirming that it doesn’t really fit- i felt that too. thanks so much for all the other feedback, was super helpful!
to answer your question, i’m 17. this is the first thing i’ve ever written really so cant say i write often haha. but thank you so much for your comment, that’s so kind! maybe i’ll try writing more stuff!
no problem!! i have the same problem re opening lines they never want to stick to the same subject. and omg that’s the first time you’ve written properly?? wtf?? that’s brilliant keep going!!

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