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Empty

by Rosewood


This is an assignment for school, so forgive the rigid stanzas. We were tasked with writing a poem about a place we have strong emotions associated with. I've been at the same school for ten years, and next year, my classmates and I will have to go to different high schools. Me, being the rebel I am, am writing something the exact opposite. 

The school classroom is empty.

Lone desks and bare chairs haunt me.

Echoes of shrill voices still sting my ears.

The chalk dust lands on my tongue.

I gag, remembering my years.

Ten years I've sat,

A decade of that,

and what will I have gained?

remorse, regret, a dash of happy,

a couple friends and a heart, pained.

The feeling is different when I'm here alone.

Few people are only a tap away on my phone.

I should feel something at all I see,

a ghost of longing or sadness?

Instead, I'm empty.


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Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:11 am
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Vil wrote a review...



Woah... Hey there, @Rosewood. I'm reading this poem for the first and I have to wonder if you read this article about emotions in poetry.

Your poem was incredibly moving and it reminded me of when I moved away from a place I had spent most of my life in. Being separated from friends is never easy, even though it was almost two years ago...

Anyways, some critiques--

This was a powerful and extremely negative piece that you have created here. I actually ended up crying because I was so moved by your imagery.

There's really nothing that I think could be improved here, though I think I'd like to see a "Full" poem just to have a nice contrast.

Have a nice [*insert time of day here*]!!!




Rosewood says...


Thank you so much! I haven't read that article but I'll be sure to check it out!



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Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:30 am
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alliyah wrote a review...



Please excuse this review being short - typing it up on mobile.

So your author note was right, this was much unexpected as many people are sentimental about schools it definitely doesn't feel that way for everyone.

I think emotionally it's a tad strange that we hear from the speaker the school has no happiness for them, but rather it's empty -> but the poem doesn't describe just emptiness but "a heart pained" too -> though the speaker doesn't admit it in the conclusion the emotional tone isn't neutral but negative toward the environment.

I like how you contrast the physical emptiness of the classroom to the emotional emptiness, and you do really paint an image. The chalk dust feels a bit dated for a modern poem that has kids tapping away on phonss, but the desks/chairs are certainly pretty classic.

I think one think the poem might missing is the content feels slightly melodramatic. I'm not sure if the tone is purposely so negative but the aspect of not gaining anything seems like an exagerration when the speaker does have friends and probably learned something in 10 years time? I think to fix the melodrama feel there could be more concrete explanations that exhibit the emotions expressed, or it could be a bit less stark.

I think a very strong aspect of this poem was the light rhyme all the way through, this made it flow really well without being so strict as to sound sing-songy. I didn't think the poem felt rigid at all but very expressive all the way through.

Hope you keep writing more!

-alliyah




Rosewood says...


Thank you for the review! I agree with most of your helpful critiques, but where you mentioned the contrast in the emotional tone. I meant throughout most of the poem that I was musing what I could've gained, and at the end, I realize I'm neutral to it all. I see where that could've been a bit confusing, where I ask if I should feel something. I just meant that part to sum up all the rest.



Rosewood says...


Oops, that wasn't worded correctly!

*I agree with most of your helpful critiques, but where you mentioned the contrast in the emotional tone with the emptiness, I meant that, throughout the poem, I was musing what I could've gained. In the last stanza, I realize that I'm neutral to it all.



alliyah says...


Thanks for clarifying Rose! :)



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Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:32 pm
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whatchamacallit wrote a review...



Hi there Rosewood ~ I'm here for a quick #RevMo review on this short & bittersweet poem!

I definitely agree this poem has a formal feeling to it, but I think you've pulled it off pretty well! The rhyming scheme is consistent which I love (I think it's AA_BB in each stanza?), and you've got a good flow going throughout most of the poem. I think the flow and rhyming scheme are the most natural in the first stanza ~ nothing feels forced and the lines are quite smooth. However there are a couple of spots later on in the poem that feel a bit more awkward and/or forced, so I'll point those out and try and give some suggestions for how to make them smoother.

and what will I have gained?

remorse, regret, a dash of happy,

a couple friends and a heart, pained.

^The flow of the middle line here feels a bit abrupt, and I think adding or removing a syllable would work better -> something like "remorse, regret, perhaps a smile" or "remorse, regret, a bit of happiness".
The second thing I want to point out in the above quote is that the rhyme "...a heart, pained" feels a bit forced. If you're okay will a near-rhyme you could consider something like "a couple of friends and some bittersweet pain", or if you'd rather keep it completely rhymed, maybe something along the lines of "a couple of friends and my brain being drained". (Perhaps the second one is too risky for something about school that you're submitting as a school assignment, but hopefully it gives you an idea!)

The feeling is different when I'm here alone.

Few people are only a tap away on my phone.

^The rhyme here is great, but the flow of the second line feels a bit forced. I think it would feel more smooth if you took out to syllables by changing "only a tap" to "arm's length" (or any other phrase that's shorter).

Instead, I'm empty.

^My last comment on flow is for the very last line - it feels a bit too short, and I think adding in a filler word like "utterly" or "totally" would add the extra beats to make it feel smoother. But I can understand why you'd want it to end simplistically, too, so no pressure to add a filler if you prefer it how it is!

(Oh, also, before I forget, re: keeping stanzas separated ~ everything Star said works great, and the only other method I can think of would be to use shift + enter. For all the lines within a stanza, use shift and enter to keep the lines super close together, and then when you want to start a new stanza, just press enter, not shift. Hopefully that makes sense! And you can also use any of the methods Star mentioned!)

Other than flow and rhyming, I'd just like to take a quick look at your descriptions and wording! I really love the line "Echoes of shrill voices still sting my ears" ~ there's some lovely alliteration going on, and the idea of echoes "stinging ears" is very interesting. I would say, though, you use "still" in the previous line as well, so I might suggest switching one of those out for a different word. (Maybe something like "bare chairs"?)

I think you do a great job conveying the loneliness and emptiness with your vocabulary - words like "lone", "haunt", "echoes", and "ghost" work really well together to keep that tone throughout the poem.

Oops I lied, there is actually one more thing yet that I want to mention. Since this poem is so "formal", and you're using punctuation very traditionally and consistently, I'd suggest keeping capitalization consistent and traditional as well -> capitalizing the first letter of every line. You do that for the most part but there are a few lines that start lowercase. I wouldn't usually suggest this, and capitalization is a stylistic choice so if you disagree that's legitimate as well, but since this is a school project and because of how "conventional" everything else is, I'd recommend going the "conventional" route with capitalization as well.

All in all, I think this is a great poem! The rhyme scheme and flow is solid and your tone and vocabulary is consistent. My main suggestions are
1) Maybe consider changing wording ever so slightly to smooth out the flow in some parts
and
2) Taking a quick look capitalization.
I hope this is useful and if you've got any questions feel free to ask!

Keep writing and happy #RevMo!

whatchamacallit


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Rosewood says...


Why thank you for that review! I definitely see your points, and a few my teacher mentioned, and if I don't fix them here, I'll definitely fix them on my paper. Happy #RevMo to you too!



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Thu Sep 10, 2020 1:47 pm
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FadeV says...



This is very enjoyable! I an sympathize with it, and it made my heart pound a little. I enjoyed how you expressed the emotions in this!




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Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:54 am
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paulkfmn says...



I like this one! There is a lot of depth and interpretation for the surrounding feelings. I think the structure you mention serves that message wonderfully here! Well done!




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Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:20 am
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IconspicuoslyAlpacaing wrote a review...



Heya there, Rosewood!

This was a really great poem. In the description you mentioned how you thought this poem was rigid, and while I agree, I feel that it's rather positive in this case. It adds a lot to the tone and voice of this work, not to mention the eerie, almost clinical environment you've described. The only critique I really have is that the rhyme scheme is inconsistent. The first two lines of the poem set up an AABB rhyme scheme, but lines three to five have an ABAB scheme, but then at six and seven, we're back to AABB. It's a bit odd, because not only are you inconsistent, but you're consistent in your inconsistency, if that makes sense. Regardless, the irregular pattern makes for a very clunky and uncomfortable reading experience. Although, I do like that the very last line separates itself from the rest of the poem by not fitting in, but that would've been so much more powerful if the whole poem combined, so the last line had something solid to stand out against.

All in all, good poem, interesting choice in rhyme. I hope the rest of your day, week, month, and life are excellent! but until then, I bid you adieu.

- Connie




Rosewood says...


Oh, yikes! I didn't even realize that! My teacher came and pointed that out to me too... but thank you for the review!



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Thu Sep 10, 2020 2:07 am
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CreativeUsername wrote a review...



Wow I loved this. This was me in middle school, I went to one of the worst schools around, didn't have many friends, had some awful memories. Leaving that school was one of the best days ever. Now I'm in high school and finally having fun, even in this rigid school structure.

The imagery in this poem was amazing, and the way you ended it was perfect. For being 13 you're a good writer, and talented in writing poetry.

Sorry I can't be of much help since I can't think of any critique so umm take compliments instead??

I'm sure someone else will give you some actual good advice for this poem or something, but anyway keep writing




Rosewood says...


Thank you so much!



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Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:24 pm
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LZPianoGirl says...



This year's my last year at my school before highschool, making it nine years total. I can totally relate to this. I am so glad I'm leaving! xD




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Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:10 pm
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Rosewood says...



Agh! I cannot seem to get breaks between the stanzas, so just know that they're there every five lines.




starlitmind says...


Keeping the breaks in poems on YWS can be a bit tricky! If you would like to include them, edit your work, and in the line break, press the space key five times to make sure the line break will stay. Or, you can put a - or a ~ or something else to keep the breaks to stay. This article is also a good resource How to Format Poetry I hope that helps!! <3



Rosewood says...


Thanks!




We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove.
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