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Death of a Child

by dasiamari

I step forward,
and take her freezing hand.
Her sunken eyes seem to say,
"Follow me."
So I do.

As she leads me away
I hear my mother crying,
"Why is she crying?
I'm going to play with my new friend."

I follow her footsteps
which seem to sink into the black nothingness
that surrounds us.

And then we reach the light,
where we can play,

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14 Reviews

Points: 252
Reviews: 14

Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:26 am
storyisking wrote a review...

Hello dasiamari! storyisking here, delivering a review!

Okay, first off: I really like the idea of this poem. As dog already states, the idea of death being a playmate is fascinating, and I think you handled that way. I only have a few critiques.

I think, while this is a nice poem, there's so much potential that can make it so much better. More deph feels needed, only because it is such a great idea that you can do so much with. Reading the stanzas, I would sometimes feel just a little underwhelmed-it's as though you lead us somewhere interesting, but then hit a dead end.

"I follow her footsteps
which seem to sink into the black nothingness
that surrounds us."

The 'black nothingness' is a very cliche term that I personally feel is very overdone. My suggestion is changing it to something akin to "the black abyss"? But that is just me.

Keep up the writing! You are clearly good at it. This poem needs some work, and it is very clear you have the potential to make it even better! I look forward to reading more of your works.


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662 Reviews

Points: 52441
Reviews: 662

Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:38 pm
dogs wrote a review...

Hello there Dasia! Dogs here with your review. Ok, to start things off I really like the idea of this piece and using death as a play fellow. That theme as a lot of potential and you do a great job with it. I do think that you can push it a little more however, but we'll get there. Let's dive in now shall we?

"and take her freezing hand."

This is really just me, but I much prefer the idea of having death has a genderless person. Automatically the reader makes judgements and assumptions based upon the gender you define death as. So try to keep that neutral and say: "and take the freezing hand.."

Ok, here is a great opportunity to push your theme with the "freezing hand" bit. What I want you to do is to add in a few short lines about the hand. Is it bony? Is it clammy? Is it firm? Give us some more details here, this is an excellent way to strongly describe that it's death without actually saying it. Personally I love love love poems and short stories that are written around the grim reaper and death, the book thief being one of my favorite books. But give us a little more imagery that what you left us dangling with. I want to read more of your excellent writing.

"I hear my mother crying,
"Why is she crying?"

The double use of "crying" in this line sounds a little odd. It breaks off your excellent flow in your writing. Try editing out the first "crying," with perhaps "sobbing" or something along those lines. Look it up in a thesaurus if you're having troubles finding the right word. I use it every time I write any sort of literature.

"sink into black nothingness"

Again, you need to add in some more description here. How does the black taste, feel, hear, look, smell like? Add in some more imagery again.

I think the biggest issue in this poem is the lack of excellent imagery that you can throw in here. You have so many opportunities to blast our socks off with your amazing writing. All and all a good piece and I enjoyed reading it. I hope my comments were helpful, let me know if you ever need a review. Keep up the good work!

TuckEr EllsworTh :smt032

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1313 Reviews

Points: 23286
Reviews: 1313

Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:50 pm
Hannah wrote a review...

Ahh! I don't know! I feel like I've seen this before, even if indie hasn't. It always gets played the same way: the kid's too innocent to even know what's going on, so they ask, "Why is mommy crying", but you sabotage that innocence in the same stroke when the child is knowledgeable enough to say we can play forever, implying she has some sort of idea of what is going on. That's probably the biggest problem for me.

Next, take a good look at the adjectives you use, too. "freezing, sunken, black". That's the extent of them. It's awesome that you've left words to speak for themselves, really, but you've not chosen the strongest of words. Your nouns: "hand, eyes, mother, footsteps, nothingness, light". Your verbs: "step, take, seem, do, lead, hear, cry, go, play, follow, seem, sink, surround, reach, play". Nothing stands out. Nothing is specific. The adjectives are the only thing with flavor, but the flavor they have is one I've tried too many times to like anymore. Death is freezing, eyes are sunken, and death is black. That's nothing new.

I think deeper thought is in order. What made you want to write this poem. What emotion or narrative did you want to capture? Spell it out plain and simple. State your motive, and then see if you can write around it. Where can you bring that in? What words fit the tone you're going for? Choosing grass instead of metal sets a different sort of death. Choosing gray instead of beige sets a different sort of tone. You make choices the whole way through and you can choose anything, so go for words that will have a deeper impact.

I hope this helped! (: PM me if you have any questions, please~
Good luck and keep writing!

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Points: 284
Reviews: 2

Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:10 pm
Stripelife1 says...

i really liked it.

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67 Reviews

Points: 1337
Reviews: 67

Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:20 pm
indieeloise wrote a review...

Hello, Dasia! Indie here with a review for you today. :) So I really like the content of this poem, definitely original because I haven’t read anything like this before. But I think you could work on a few little things. I’ll digest this by stanza.

1st Stanza:

I step forward,

The first line of a poem is very important in regards to capturing the attention of your reader. I don’t particularly like this first line, because yes this is a somewhat narrative poem, but it’s not prose so I’m a little hesitant about this in medias res (basically, jumping right into the middle of the action). It’s very different, and different is always good, but the way you present it could use a little tuning. It’s fine that you don’t offer a backstory as to why the narrator is dying because it adds surprise at the end, but I think you’re missing at least a line or two of the nameless girl offering her hand to cross into death, persay. Also, the comma isn’t really necessary.

and take her freezing hand.

Why is it cold? Unless you take my advice about having a line or two before this to clear things up and fit it in somewhere in there, there really is no indication of the temperature or why it is important. Even so, “freezing” is a pretty boring word.

Her sunken eyes

Ooh. I really like “sunken” here. It really exemplifies the metaphor of death you have going on throughout this piece. Nice!

”Follow me.”

Her eyes “seem” to say - they aren’t “saying” the above phrase, so this should be in italics.

So I do.

I think this would have so much more impact if it was just simply: “I do.” The word “so” just kind of takes away from it.

2nd Stanza:
Probably my favorite stanza because it is so bittersweet and sad. The emotion in this really comes forth here, great job.

As she leads me away

To be consistent with your use of punctuation in this, you should probably place a comma after “away.”

I hear my mother crying,

Okay, definitely don’t need a comma here. It sets up the next line as if the mother is asking that question, which, from what I gather, was not its intended purpose. Just replace that comma with a period, and consider placing the third and fourth lines in italics, since they are the thoughts of the narrator. I think it would be more personal that way.

3rd stanza:

which seem to sink into the black nothingness

Whoa, sudden-and-extremely-long line here. It throws of the rhythm, it’s so long, so maybe you could use a little more creative enjambment here. Also, black nothingness is kind of a bland word.

4th stanza:

And then we reach the light,

I feel like the narrator and the angel/guider/person got from the darkness to light far too quickly. Maybe you could elaborate a little about the journey in that “grayish”, in between area? It would allow this and the previous stanza to flow much more smoothly. Also, again, less is more. The words “and”, as well as “then,” are useless fluff. Try just “We reach the light”.

where we can play,

Aww. The innocence in this is heart-breaking. I think it would be interesting if you included a subtle indication to the age of the narrator - since the narrator seems young, it would impact the reader more deeply. (Also, don’t need a comma here.)

All in all, I really loved it! If you make any revisions or have any questions or comments about my review, please PM me! Loved reading it. :)

Until next time,


If I seem to wander, if I seem to stray, remember that true stories seldom take the straightest way.
— Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind