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read between the lines

by Magebird

read between the lines

you tell me to read between the lines
and figure out the secret meaning of our
written correspondence.

but my UV light is buried somewhere
in the depths of my room;
i can't scan a strip of violets and purples
over the invisible ink
you so carefully crafted with the last lemon
you bought before the start of the pandemic.

so i hold up the torn and wrinkled letter
in front of the scorching summer light filtering in
through the open window
and try to make out even the vaguest outlines--
of curves and straight lines and little breaks between.

no matter how i turn the paper,
i wonder why you told me
to read between the lines
and didn't just use
your favorite ballpoint pen.

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Points: 90
Reviews: 4

Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:44 am
TheStreamLights wrote a review...

I really like the creativity with this. However, I do want to point out you could have made every other line bold to make it more distinct from what the twist was. I like how you start out with the twist in the first line. I also like how in the third stanza you can see the struggle to make out the message. I like how you talk about "and didn't just use
your favorite ballpoint pen." and when you said "I wonder why you told me to read between the lines" implements curiosity into the secret message.

I wonder what the message was.

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Points: 100
Reviews: 3

Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:06 pm
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hashes wrote a review...

Hey there! I just read your poem and I really, really liked it. I thought it would be nice if I put my two cents in.

After having read your third stanza, it seems clear to me that the speaker in this poem is nonplussed as to why he/she has to go through such a painstaking, cumbersome procedure to procure the message. I can't help but think this (I have a feeling I'm just over-analyzing things here!) - that the very nature of your poem is strikingly similar to the letter the speaker is trying to decipher in the poem.

As a reader, I find it rather difficult to place what message you are actually trying to convey (though no doubt, the poem is inscrutably beautiful!) - maybe you want me to read your poem in between the lines and follow down the rabbit hole some of my vague interpretations. As I stated before - that's a very far-fetched interpretation, but still an interpretation.

I find your style of writing really appealing. Especially the fact that you deliberately chose not to capitalise any of your words (except for "UV", though I can't place why!). It reminds me of E.E. Cummings; maybe you wanted to keep your poem bare, so that it's only the essentials that stare out at you. It also gives the poem a very 'authentic, real' (I can't seem to find the mot juste!) feel. I just went through some of your older poems. Seems like you write quite a lot this way. Any reasons?

I also love how you have commanded the pace and flow of your poem, by making the first and the last stanzas shorter than the intermediate ones. I feel that it makes me read the stanzas in the middle quicker than the other two.

All in all, I really enjoyed this piece. Looking forward to reading more of your works!


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40 Reviews

Points: 3221
Reviews: 40

Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:03 am
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Cow wrote a review...

Hello, hello! I am here to review!

First off, I am loving the title. Intriguing, to say the least. Fitting, since its poetry!

The first and second stanzas - the first one is definitely made me think. It almost has a sad tone to it, and that just breaks my heart. Its letting you known that something else is going on. By the second stanza, you realize the person or character can't find what they need to know what they are being told. They seem stressed, almost from not being able to find what they need, or even figure out what is being said.

The last two stanzas! The third one shows that they really did try, from sunlight to desk lamps to just full-out staring at the paper until eyes become dry and red. They really wanted to know what they were being told. The last stanza, it seem hollow, almost sad and unexpected. The person, be it you or the character upset that they didn't just tell you what was written between the lines. They are curious what was there, was is there, but they don't understand why they could of just simply told you, of simply said it.

Critques - Hmm. I, personally, viewing the style of this poem, similies would fit very well, but the metaphors you used worked just as well, no worries! Grammar is fine, from what I can tell. It is a little strange to try and understand, it taking a few rereads to get but otherwise not bad.

I liked it!

- Cow

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167 Reviews

Points: 3680
Reviews: 167

Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:45 pm
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JesseWrites wrote a review...

Hello there,

First thought I got from the title was 'woah, this is going to be good.' and I think I was correct in guessing. The stylistic choice fits with the whole atmosphere of everything, which is a little puzzling because this poem is direct and a little on the shorter side, so that can be hard to manage to make it look appealing.

This gives me mystery vibes and I love that. It mainly came from the last stanza, which is more curious toned instead of, as I said, mystery. It is very odd though, but I mean that in a good way.

I think everything flows alright, but some areas are a little off sounding. Like the first line is longer than others, so it can be strange because every other line and stanzas are usually cut off before it gets longer and sound fine longer, like the last. I think it can be fine though, so no worries.

This is sort of hard to understand. It's simple, yet so difficult. Everything can be taken as something else because it's so unclear.

I think the mention of pandemics and stuff like that gave it a realistic feel too, so there is so much going on.

I may have overthought this, so please tell me if I am totally wrong.

Have a good day,

My culinary streak is in everything that I write.
— LadyBird