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Ode To A Bathroom Mirror

by OS2000

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35 Reviews

Points: 48
Reviews: 35

Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:17 pm
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EKK15 wrote a review...

Hi! I'm stopping by for a quick review!

Ok so I'm gonna start off with saying that the word choice here is pretty interesting. You use a lot of strong words like "Transience" and "petrifies". I think the emotional flow in your poem worked well with the connotations the words carried with them. However, if you have a reader who maybe doesn't follow along well with big words, the whole meaning and purpose of the poem is lost to them. That's where the imagery comes into play. I think your work lacked that extra umph it needed to be fully understood. Write in a way in which readers can see, smell, taste, hear, or feel (inside and outside) what exactly you, or the narrator, is feeling. Those poems are the ones people remember and love; the ones that make them feel something powerful and overtaking.

I also didn't quite understand the formatting you used. The third stanza seemed to be the most rocky and difficult to get through, since the lines often had interruptions in them. I would suggest going back through and shortening the stanzas a bit more as well, if you're trying to get more pauses.

Overall, I liked the idea and concept you portrayed in the piece. I would just try and make it have better flow, whether you adjust the formatting or the word choice. Keep up the good work! Can't wait to see what else you come up with!


OS2000 says...

Thank You!

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955 Reviews

Points: 3775
Reviews: 955

Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:50 am
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Kays wrote a review...

Hi there OS2000! This is Kays dropping in for a review as requested. This is the first of three poems that I'll be reviewing from you which also means that this is the first poem of yours I've read and I'll most likely make a few comments on the overall style and compare in the next two reviews. Anyway, without further ado, let's review.

Mmm, I can already say that I'm not a fan of the aesthetic or overall look of the poem. I've never been much of a fan of words that are capitalized for emphasis or two colons in a row or other obscurities of that kind. While both are stylistic choices, I don't understand. The concept of the poem however, is interesting. I don't mind the content or what's being written about or even what points are being made--those don't need as much work.

What I do mind is the piece's inability to flow or to be fluid which is a gaping flaw. Not only that, a couple of these stanzas drag on for longer than needed and can probably be broken up. Seems that the Publishing Center destroyed the formatting originally in the poem and in this case I suggest taking a screenshot of the poem and uploading that to the Publishing Center instead though that's not the only way to format poetry. Another way is to line up all of the lines in a stanza and then press shift+enter where you're wanting line breaks to be. If that's too vague you can always put a dash between stanzas and there is always a final option which is to link you to the Knowledge Base article How to Format Poetry.

Moving on from that, the word choice and vocabulary are both interesting elements here but I wish that the imagery ended up being put first. Show us instead of telling us and do more with the atmosphere and tone. This isn't the most traditional ode but this is an ode nonetheless. The idea of an ode is twisted and morphed with this poem into something fresh. Keep playing around and experimenting with the structure and the overall aesthetic and the flow and basically the more technical aspects of the poem to make this stronger though what's done well here is done well!

If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask and have a great day!

OS2000 says...


Thank you for the review, it was really helpful. I definitely agree about the formatting. I struggled to put gaps in between the stanzas and all of the lines are oddly spaced throughout, but now that I know about the screen-shot system I will definitely use that.

I agree that imagery is lacking. I did experiment with this when drafting and it didn't seem to gel with the personified mirror. I think this is why you say that the atmosphere and tone are limited, as I don't paint a picture of the scene, I instead wrote from the perspective of being within it.

Many thanks!

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27 Reviews

Points: 1992
Reviews: 27

Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:24 am
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LeutnantSchweinehund wrote a review...

Intriguing. It's not a commonly explored topic, I think. Of course, self-hatred or just the very pains of reaching maturity are a common occurrence in poetry, especially on a site dedicated to writers often going through it.

I still think you had an interesting idea. A mirror's message to man, not the other way around. A pleasant change, good job on that.

The execution, however, could have been a lot better. I know everyone here writes in free-verse and next to no one respects rhymes, sensible line breaks, punctuation or (God forbid) actual rhythm, but there should be at least one of those if you want a decent poem. It's unfortunate, but every poem I review suffers from this problem! It's more or less prose in lines. It's not really lyrical. Poetry is very subjective, right, but you'll see that most legendary poems stay true to some well-established rules.

Not forcing anyone to rhyme, maintain rhythm, good punctuation and proper line breaks all at the same time (though it would be ideal). One of those is enough, and if you want to choose, always go for the rhythm. If a poem doesn't flow, it's rigid. Even prose has to flow.

My recommendation would be fewer multi-syllable words. Most of your work consists of either single or double-syllable words, so adding one with three or four syllables breaks the flow (in most cases).

I didn't understand some of the line breaks. Many of your lines end abruptly mid-sentence, and I don't know how I'm supposed to read it. This does appear in a lot of poetry in small doses (I recall it in a poem about the author's blind, dying father. Forgot the name), but it feels a bit overused here.

Then there's a syntax problem. Punctuation mistakes, capitals used on new lines despite the sentence not being formally ended. I'm a beginner programmer (but a programmer nonetheless), so problems like unfinished sentences, incorrect indents and incorrect line breaks resonate with me very much.

Overall, the idea's solid, but the execution isn't special. It doesn't do anything I'd imagine a poem would do. This isn't just you though. 90% of poetry I read here makes that same mistake of being prose disguised as poetry. What do I know? Maybe I'm the problem. I just prefer reading poetry that flows like a great inland river.

Note: Make sure you don't get discouraged by me. Many reviews here will be overwhelmingly positive and fail to point out glaring issues with your work (although they usually critique my work harshly, which I appreciate), but those review don't help improvement. It's good to get some encouragement, but there needs to be a balancing force. I'm that balancing force. I show that there is always room to improve, and there is always a flaw to be found.

Keep at it mate. Think about some of the things I wrote. I'm not a great poet by any means, but I think some of it should be useful.

OS2000 says...

Hello LeutnantSchweinehund! (Love the name by the way)

I really really appreciate you trying to help me, and I agree some people are too kind on this website, but I just wanted to clear up a few things. I don't want to sound argumentative or angry, but after being quite damningly accused of crimes against grammar and poetry, I thought it would be best to try and clear my name! XD

This was written in verse-paragraphs and in iambic pentameter - a form which does not require rhyme (in fact rhyme would lend a cheesy bounce which would not suit the tone of the poem). Although, there is rhythm in the stressed-unstressed foot of the ten syllable lines. The lines are not to be read separately, but are to be blurred together (this is called enjambment). Also, to counter "capitals used on new lines despite the sentence not being formally ended": In poetry it is custom to begin each new line with a capital letter regardless of its position within a sentence. If read this way you'll notice that none of my sentences are unfinished or unintelligible, as it would have been understandable to think if reading lines one at a time.

However, I can agree with you in that some of my decisions can be a little perplexing. I tend to capitalise what is important to me, "B lood labours to beget S pirits". The break between "your" and "our" was an attempt at a tear to draw attention to the closeness between the mirror and its reflection, in that it becomes clear "your" and "our" are very much one and the same. I split the poem into three stanzas with a refrain line to break and 'reflect' each one.

All the same, I really really appreciate the review! I think it's interesting to have this different perspective, and I agree, perhaps bits of the poem are too cryptic or disjointed. It's certainly something I will think about in the future!

Cheers, mate!

Well, you seem to have a valid reason for your decisions. Fair enough, I withdraw some of my accusations! For now... Yes, for now...

I commend you on that, actually. If you understand your reasoning behind stylistic choices, you seem to be one of few. Most people break lines at random, so it's difficult to make out the difference between legitimately correct uses and incorrect ones.

Still, it's nothing personal. Like I said, I try to be a balancing force, so my reviews are naturally harsh (although I'd like to believe they're honest).

I'll check out "Coming From the Mill," the name's interesting.

OS2000 says...

XD Excellent!

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18 Reviews

Points: 1432
Reviews: 18

Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:23 pm
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Machupicchu14 wrote a review...

Hi there!
Rosalia here for a quick review. :D
First impression: I love the poem, it has a different style than those normally written/seen, but that style which may not be umderstood by some people, it is what makes the poem unique, so profound and beautiful.
The title "Ode to a Bathroom mirror" was excellent, but as the title may refer, I at first thought this poem was gonna have humour and be funny, and it turned out a quite serious one and totally relatable to the theme of the poem. It was a very clever idea of yours.

My favourite part was the last verse, it was just perfect , especially when you say "I've seen corruption fall upon your heart and drown you". This is a very strong line and conveys a strong image and message, the change of people and their personalities as they reach adulthood. While reading this I was like wow! This is awesome! Furthermore, I think personalising a mirror was very effective. It makes the poem much more exciting and interesting. The use of repetition was great, because a mirror will be the only thing to tell you the truth, and will always know who we really are, in times of depression, happiness, etc and this is exactly why I loved your poem!
Overall, congratulations!! Well done! :D

OS2000 says...

Thank You!

"The only time you look in your neighbor's bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don't look in your neighbor's bowl to see if you have as much as them."
— Louis C.K.