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She Never Drank Tea

by LadySpark


Because of Lumi, I did a thing.

She Never Drank Tea


She was always fascinated by flowers after the rain.
She said they looked like freshly-painted walls in an infant's room.
They're clean, she thinks, and whole; not dying yet.
And though she knows if she picks them, they'll wither from her cold breath,
she knows she must because there's a sadness
that creeps in if you leave the leaves alone
and walk away without taking them to hold.

Petals don't taste when they fall into cold cups of coffee,
but neither does blood that seeps from under her nails.
If she white knuckles the handle hard enough, her skin molds to the ceramic.
The heat recedes though, and leaves her to once again feel the cold
of summer nights against her thighs.

The bruises that flower across her skin,
they are angry burns that fade all too quickly,
and then she replaces them.


When she blows hard enough,
tears roll off her face like seeds of dandelions
blown into the wind.
And she fantasizes
that they become the stars she watches
when she can't sleep at night.

She never said why her favorite flower was a dandelion.

Cups are dirty after they're used, but she hates to wash them
because the stain of coffee reminds her that she made it through another day.

She cannot hold still anymore; she paces the bathroom floor,
resisting the urge to cough up her secrets so she doesn't have to hold them anymore.
She's finds it harder to look out the window now, to see the cars flash past.
No one ever sees the beauty of the morning anymore.

The flowers she's picked have wilted their slow way to death.
And her skin falls off in flakes and becomes the petals for new flowers.


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Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:10 pm
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Lumi says...



no wonder this was published. good god woman.




LadySpark says...


and it's all because of you <33



Lumi says...


<333 never be modest evar



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Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:42 pm
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TinyJarStoredDreams wrote a review...



Hi Tiny here!

Okay I absolutely love this poem. The entire way through I had a mental image of the scene, and that my friend, is a hard thing to do the entire way through a poem this length. The person before me pointed out the mistakes so I'm just going to point out the positives. You know how to leave a reader thinking and you use descriptive words leaving a very intense image. That you for this great poem!

Keep writing 8)




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Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:56 pm
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Audy wrote a review...



Aw, Sparkie,

I love this poem. Insane.

So, here's what to love:

FORM!<3

The juxtaposition of this delineated form and the consistency of your images. So every stanza sort of jumps around to a new scene, a new idea, an emotion and yet, the jumping around works, because we are being anchored/rooted to this image of a flowers, and to the voice of your speaker. It brings each scene a familiarity and yet a new perspective. It keeps ideas fresh and interesting, while still making sense and bringing us back to the main idea. Btw -- your speaker here becomes a character. An interesting one -- I am left wanting to connect/know about her.

The bruises that flower across her skin,

flower is a verb here -- I love that technique. It's the small things, y'know?

Your CONTENT/IDEAS:

She was always fascinated by flowers after the rain.


The thing that makes this interesting here is the word "was" which sets the tone, I think. What makes it interesting is that it's a hint of foreshadowing as well and makes the poem itself cyclical. It gives me a hint like-- she is no longer fascinated - or she used to be fascinated -- and foreshadows either disillusionment or death. A soft image (flowers, rain) but a dark undertone ("was" brings about a question/conflict -- why is she no longer fascinated...or a different interpretation, why is she fascinated...?). The tension between keeps us wondering and reading to the next lines.

She never said why her favorite flower was a dandelion.

ooooo, Flower as a weed here. Nice tie also to the theme of wish fulfillment/fantasy. It really does add a bitterness, darkness so the next image of coffee kind of strengthens and evokes that emotion further. A real nice blend of ideas (as images) here.

The flowers she's picked have wilted their slow way to death.
And her skin falls off in flakes and becomes the petals for new flowers.


The cyclical death/regrowth/circle of life & nature. The ending of new flowers still gives a sense of hope.

IMPROVEMENT/POLISHING.

Reading through the past reviews, and sort of after reading it myself - the biggest problem that crops up is whether the idea is clear enough, right? Like, you write a poem. Check! And you want readers to interpret and bring their own experiences into it, like you don't just want to tell them everything. Check!

But you also want for them to get an underlying idea (whether it's of depression, or of wanting to be reborn as flowers) and you want this idea to be clear to them. You don't want anyone to say "uhh I think it's about this? Not sure?" you want for them to definitely get *something* but how can you clearly communicate this on the page without telling? You know what *you* mean when you put the words down on the page and it seems perfectly clear to you, but what about your readers?

This is my struggle too, and it will forever be the writer's struggle, and I *think* I've figured out why this split in communication occurs-- and it all has to do with (surprise) CLARITY. It's not that the idea isn't there -- because it is! And it's not that you'll need to "tell" your readers anything (because you don't) -- it simply has to do with polishing your diction/cutting back redundancies so that every (singular) word is the most clear, & best word you want to use. This is what gives a poem it's strength (as opposed to vagueness/unclarity)

Think of when you drink a cup of tea and there's just the right ratio of tea/water -- it's delicious! But if there's TOO much water, then you barely taste the tea, you can't really tell what flavor it is :/ So if you want more flavor, you need to drain that water, because water is what is diluting the poem of its strength. Drain the water, keep the beans ;) You'll want your coffee (or tea?) black. Strong.

Here's a clear-cut example of what I mean:

and walk away without taking them to hold.

"taking them to hold" is 1) passive, and 2) wordy
It makes an interesting turn of phrase that lends character, but loses clarity - In poetry it becomes distracting. I would suggest removing the line completely, or leaving it: "and walk away" or "and walk away without them"

Other examples: infant's room can be condensed to nursery, no?

They're clean, she thinks, and whole;not dying yet.
And though she knows if she picks them, they'll wither from her cold breath,


"wither" in your next line alludes to death. Clean and whole -- why not just say pure?

^ Just like this. Go through your poem with your scissors and try to remove any and all redundancies. Keep as much of it as you can by taking things away ;)

Hope this helps,
Audy




LadySpark says...


Thank you so for this review! <3



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Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:22 pm
LittleCaroleen wrote a review...



I'm not sure how I feel about this.

I both really like it and don't like it at the same time and I can't put my finger on what I don't like. It's weird. Maybe because of the way it's written, like the formatting of it. It just seems strange... I guess?? Oh well, you didn't write this to please me, and clearly a lot of other people find it more than suitable.

Your word choice is good. I didn't spot any technical errors. There was random rhyming at the end. I'm not sure if that was on purpose or not. I don't like how you used "anymore" twice in one stanza. But that's just an opinion, it works fine. I don't understand what the title has to do with the poem.

My favorite thing about the poem (and this is why I really, really like this poem): You used the dandelion for the flowers. Dandelions are typically seen as useless weeds that we have to deal with, but she sees the beauty in them. Is this woman considered a weed to the people around her? Is that what makes up her perpetual sadness? Does she find comfort in this flower, because she clearly sees herself in it? That's what makes this poem so good.




LadySpark says...


"It just seems strange... I guess??" How?
"There was random rhyming at the end. I'm not sure if that was on purpose or not. " Everything in this poem was 'on purpose'.
"I don't like how you used "anymore" twice in one stanza. " I used anymore twice on purpose as well.
"I don't understand what the title has to do with the poem. "
if you would have paid attention, you would have noticed that coffee is another reoccurring thing in this poem. Also, most teas have plant leaves in them, so don't it make sense that she'd never drink the fruits of the dead thing that she find the alive counterpart so beautiful? Pay attention.

Darling, it's okay for you not to like my poem. This whole 'just my opinion' thing makes it less of a review and more of a 'I'm going to say what I think you want to hear.'





Well, how it seems strange it's hard for me to put my finger on it.
I figured the rhyming was on purpose, because most inconsistent rhyming has a point (especially if it's at the beginning or at the end of the poem.)
I didn't notice the coffee thing. Honestly, I don't like reading into things too much, because I don't like it when other people do the same to my poems. But I guess you have to in a poem like this. :)

(Sorry it's not exactly the greatest review ever written.)



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Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:01 pm
Blackwood says...



I want to review but I am too tired now XD...




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Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:25 pm
Bellator says...



Wow. This is a stunning piece. I've read many works about depression, but nothing as moving as this.




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Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:31 pm
Clarity says...



Oh honey, this is truly amazing.




LadySpark says...


No babe, you are <3



Clarity says...


You're too talented, gimme some of that talent!



LadySpark says...


You've already got it <3



Clarity says...


Thank you sweetie < 3



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Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:43 am
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EloquentDragon wrote a review...



So, you seem to prefer vague and lyrical style in your poetry as opposed to any form of overtness. That's good, that's fine. It gives this a surreal, beautifully disconnected feel to it.

However, it might be a bit too disconnected.

This here:

The bruises that flower across her skin,
they are angry burns that fade all too quickly,
and then she replaces them.


And this here:
She cannot hold still anymore; she paces the bathroom floor,
resisting the urge to cough up her secrets so she doesn't have to hold them anymore.


Seem to be the crux of the poems meaning. But I can't but feel that I've missed something. I don't know what's happening to her. And maybe that was your intention. Maybe you want this left to interpretation. That's fine too. I just can't help but feel that this would be stronger if you were a tad bit more specific.

(The image that I got from reading this is that it's about a girl dying of depression. I don't know if that's right though.)

"Flowers" and "morning" seem to be the key images you've chosen to use here. And that creates a wonderful, strange juxtaposition with the subject of the poem.

This was fantastic. I don't know what it was about but it was fantastic nonetheless.
~ED




LadySpark says...


I'm so glad you liked it! You're basically spot on with what it was about. Basically the girl is falling apart at the seams, and she just wants out of her skin. She wants to die (be buried, in a sense) and in that way, become the flowers. Thanks for your review <3



LadySpark says...


I'm so glad you liked it! You're basically spot on with what it was about. Basically the girl is falling apart at the seams, and she just wants out of her skin. She wants to die (be buried, in a sense) and in that way, become the flowers. Thanks for your review <3



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Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:13 am
Astronaut says...



Is this a poem about a girl who is messed up because she doesn't drink tea?






ROFL



LadySpark says...


No, hon. And the girl isn't 'messed up' nobody with depression is 'messed up'. Be careful with your choice of words.



OmarEhab says...


@dominusatramentum

As a writer, you're supposed to know that words have power. Each word has an impact on the person you are addressing. It is no laughing matter. "Messed up" is not the smartest choice of words. In fact, you would never talk about something like that. If you have read between the lines, like most writers do, you would've understand that the idea behind this poem is depression. Calling depressed people "messed up" ... Not the smartest move ever.



OmarEhab says...


understood*





Apologies. I should've mentioned that I didn't actually have a chance to read the poem, only skim it. I went through depression once, so I understand why that could've been offensive.





And I really am sorry. I should've been way more careful. I didn't realize how insensitive what I said was.





Also, I knew it wasn't about that. I was joking.




"The rules of capitalization are so unfair to the words in the middle of a sentence."
— John Green, Paper Towns