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by quitecontrary

Fizzy earth drowns and gorges me
as I collapse on new green grass.
The stars are sleeping bees in limbo
and the emptiness between them
is a lovely quilted window.

My heartbeat's grafted on your scratchy skin
and your slow growth comforts my lungs.
Space has crowned me queen
along with every other peeping violet
and stunning blade of green.

Moments escape reality
as I tread on your hospitality;
agree with me, just for a while,
and the stars in your eyes
will twinkle--false crocodile.

To both be so full of shallow
and overflowing with hollow air;
you can't help but think 'useless,'
and I'd halfway agree if my heart
wasn't making room for tripling kindness.

We'll twirl dandelion chains,
talk of beauty and vain glory,
but your open door is rarely
your only barrier, and the tea granted
has been steeped just barely.

Warm hospitality cures me
of my scuba-diving mind.
Fishy thoughts drawn back to the light
(though rainbow-hued by nature)
no longer have a current to fight.

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136 Reviews

Points: 8990
Reviews: 136

Sun May 09, 2021 2:55 pm
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Liminality wrote a review...

Hiya quitecontrary!

The first thing that hit me when reading this poem was the richness of the imagery. Even the first line starts off very strong with these intense, extreme action verbs. The second thing was the regularities in structure that helped tie everything together and give it a unique rhythm.


I interpreted this poem as being about one person finding respite in another, but that this respite is somehow either temporary or not entirely sincere.
The first stanza depicts the speaker’s mood, which I’d maybe describe as a relief from exhaustion. The “lovely quilted window” makes it seem as though they find comfort in being consumed by the earth, maybe because they’re so tired it’s a relief to be supported by anything at all.

The second stanza introduces an addressee, the “you” in the poem who is the one comforting the speaker. I thought this was a good introduction of the addressee; it felt very smooth and flowed naturally from the first stanza, and the line “and . . . lungs” spoke volumes about who this person is to the speaker.

From the third stanza onwards, I detected some foreshadowing that things are not all as they seem with the addressee. The phrase “just for a while” and the image of the “false crocodile” made me feel that the addressee’s apparent kindness was deceptive in nature. As a side note about structure, I also loved that these two were end-rhymes with each other (in accordance with the pattern of the rest of the poem), as the rhymes here seem to emphasise the connection between them. I interpreted this as showing the speaker’s awareness of how temporary this bliss is going to be, almost. Following that, the fourth stanza seems to suggest differences in opinion between speaker and addressee in the “uselessness” of what they are doing.

and I'd halfway agree if my heart
wasn't making room for tripling kindness.

These two lines interested me. They seem kind of ambiguous: on the one hand, they make me think the speaker means “making room” in their own heart for further kindness from the addressee, even if they’re not sure if it’s going to be a permanent, sure thing. On the other hand, it could also be that the speaker intends to return this kindness threefold? And that they’ll do something to make it continue?

On a different note, I think I was so wrapped up in this sense that the words were foreshadowing some deception that the ending felt a bit confusing to me at first. At least, that was my first reaction. I’m not very sure about this, but the poem seems to end on a positive note, maybe even though there’s something superficial in how the speaker and addressee interact, it’s still a positive for the speaker overall.


I love the word choices in this poem! “drowns” and “gorges” and the subtle contrast between them imply that the earth is both consuming and indulging the speaker. The choice of “grafted” on “scratchy skin” also seems so meaningful and apt – as if the speaker’s heartbeat will soon be scratched off from the addressee. Finally, “tread on your hospitality” is such a ‘wham line’, the moment where the meaning of the title becomes clear. The tentativeness of “tread” combined with the use of a formal, distant word like “hospitality” instead of something more intimate or permanent like “friendship” or “love” works so well with the themes of this piece.

Another thing that stood out to me is the recurring greenery motif that binds a lot of the stanzas together. From the “Fizzy earth” in the first stanza to the “peeping violet”, the atmosphere of the piece seems dream-like, too good to be true, then this seems to be amplified by the “dandelion chains” later.

My favourite lines were:

We'll twirl dandelion chains,
talk of beauty and vain glory,

I just love how the “vain glory” hammers in the sense of a farce or temporariness, and sets us up for the “but . . . “ that comes after.

That's all

Hopefully I didn’t misinterpret anything too terribly and these comments have been reasonably helpful to you. Keep writing!


Thank you for your review! The end of the poem was supposed to reflect on how you can lose yourself trying to think too deeply; sometimes I'd rather hide myself in books than talk to other people, but when I see them try to get to know me it helps me realize I might be acting the snob xD Thank you for your comments, they did help me!

Liminality says...

Ahh I see - that makes sense! I think a bit of an allusion to books, pages etc. might help the reader a bit in that stanza then~

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226 Reviews

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Reviews: 226

Sat May 08, 2021 3:51 pm
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Plume wrote a review...

Hey there! Plume here, with a review! This piece has been in the green room for a bit, so I thought I'd give it a review to bump it out! It's been a while since I reviewed poetry, so hopefully something in here will be helpful!

I liked this poem! I think there were a lot of great things about it. I thought your rhyme scheme was super interesting, rhyming only the 3rd and 5th lines of every stanza; it was unique, and gave your poem this sort of... character. I really liked it, is what I'm trying to say.

One thing I think you also did well was your imagery. I especially loved the last stanza as well as when you said "Space has crowned me queen/along with every other peeping violet/and stunning blade of green." That's one thing I always struggle with, so the way you're able to do it so effortlessly is gorgeous. Every word feels intentionally placed, and it's really masterful.

I also thought the message was very interesting! I'm not the best at interpreting poetry, but to me, I got the kind of vibe that this was kind of like a reprieve from a lot of trying times in the world, but also that the hospitality got strained after a while. I thought it was a super interesting feeling to encapsulate, but I think it really works nicely!


To both be so full of shallow

I feel like here the "full of shallow" part didn't flow as nicely. I feel like since shallow isn't generally used as a singular noun. It also kind of meant my brain was expecting a noun after it, and then it kind of derailed when there wasn't one. That's just my opinion, though, so you don't need to take it. Just a suggestion. :D

Overall: nice work! I really enjoyed this poem, and it was a great little thing to start my morning with! Hope to read some more of your work in the future. Until next time!

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264 Reviews

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Reviews: 264

Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:34 pm
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...

Hi quitecontrary,

Maiilce back for a quick review! :D

I'm still not an expert at rating and reviewing poetry. So hope I haven't totally lost my way here. :D

But what I always like is when you have to pause, and think about what the poet is trying to say. What are the feelings hiding behind the words? What emotions are hidden behind the cheerful terms?

When I read it for the first time, I felt a pleasant, relaxed tension that ends, the further you let yourself be drawn into it, in a kind of weltschmerz (here I had to look it up twice because I wasn't sure that this word is really written like that in English.).

Fishy thoughts drawn back to the light
(though rainbow-hued by nature)
no longer have a current to fight

It was this ending that gave me this feeling that it's actually a very sad poem, where you can see a little bit that the narrator is rather glad to have finally given up.
Also, I think it can be interpreted that the narrator is finally part of a whole, which before she was constantly fighting against and doing but walking around in the same greys as everyone else.
It can also be for that brief moment when the narrator can finally take her mind off herself and not swim and drown in the tears of memories.
I would go so far as to put the end of the poem before the beginning, because it can also be interpreted as a new beginning, and like a circle, it always starts again.

The stars are sleeping bees in limbo
and the emptiness between them
is a lovely quilted window.

I find the attempt to compare the stars with bees very well chosen and interpret it, along with the rest, as the encapsulation of fellow human beings, who are only dangerous when you get too close to them but still you want to be with them.

I think that the second stanza is the only one where I can't find anything that can be seen in a negative way, like a short moment of peace or like your title hospitality.

The third stanza gives again this falseness and this attempt to enjoy only a short moment before the calm before the storm ruins everything.

agree with me, just for a while,

Just here I notice, as if it were an attempt by the narrator, that for once in her life she is given the chance to be right, and she tries, and yet she does not believe her counterpart, as if she herself has been disappointed and lied to too often. And yet there is also this conflict with stanza four, that brain and heart cannot agree. While stanza three still seems as if the brain is trying to gain something, in stanza four the heart is blind and yet remains with her counterpart because of this kindness.

For stanza five, I honestly did a quick look-up of what dandelions mean in the language of flowers, and - my goodness - the meanings are as varied as the poem. The dandelion chain can stand for the eternal ring, never to recover and perhaps also to revive into kindness each time anew. It could also be associated with the fulfilment of a wish. Here I think the narrator also first clearly recognises that this affection is only one-sided, and yet she accepts it in the hope that it might turn out well after all.

I find all these metaphors marvellous and I also love to think about them and to discuss such things with people and to listen to other opinions. I think you've already created something that's going to be quite a conversation piece. The attempt to include connections that come from different walks of life is well chosen and shows a certain disunity as to where one belongs. As written before, after the second (and third time of reading) it seems much more sinister and gloomy, which I like a lot when you hide dreary things behind the façade of beauty.

But maybe I just see too much black in the world. :D


Thank you so much for your review!! And wow, I really love your interpretation, especially of the last stanza! I thought this piece was a little under-developed, but clearly you got a lot out of it which is a really good sign :P
I'm still not an expert at rating and reviewing poetry. So hope I haven't totally lost my way here. :D
Don't worry, your review really helped me and I love listening to other people's interpretations :D

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55 Reviews

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Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:02 am
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akanbright says...

I won't want to say your poems a misappropriacy of words, but its nice anyways.

I understand what you're saying, but in some cases I'm trying to give a word new meaning by using it the way I do. Is there anything in specific that you didn't really like? Sometimes I get ahead of myself and I want to make sure the message comes across clearly :)

akanbright says...


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Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:25 pm
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Kaylen says...

I like your poem, it uses really good vocabulary! Nice to meet you!

'They are afraid of nothing,' I grumbled, watching their approach through the window. 'Together, they would brave Satan and all his legions.'
— Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights