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We are [curios about it? Well then, click this!!!!!!!]

by rida


Notes from the pen~
these poems are so poem-y with a hint of poem-y and basically swimming in poem-try so I expect a review if you’ve got time! 


WE ARE FLAMINGOS/ A FLAMINGO IN A PRIDE OF LIONS (couldn’t decide :P)

We are flamingos
trying to be lions.   
but we never quite get it right-       
one twilight-pink feather peaking through     
the blanket of gold-and-murky-brown sunset that we so desperately draped ourselves in     

Or


One high-pitched bird cry shrieking through    
the deafening roars we practice too long to get right


We are flamingos     
desperately trying to be lions     
but we can never quite hide the blush-pink shyness of us    
with mud-brown boldness of them    
or suffocate the shrill-soft bird cries of us      
with deep-sea roars of them

And so the truth is the truth-     
flamingos can never be lions    
like the moon can never be the sun or      
smiles can never quite be the laughter

We push back water from our eyes,    
metal up our spines and     
demand to be lions       
threatening to rip the jungle apart again and again until     
we become them      

But the truth is the simple, plain truth      
that while we are meant to fly,     
to rip the horizons with papery pink wings     
and claim the sun as ours,     
they are meant to roar cry    
chase our flight with incandescent hatred,    
and threaten to rip the jungle apart again and again    
until they become us.



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Wed Jul 28, 2021 4:34 pm
Liminality wrote a review...



Hi there, rida!

The first lines of this poem caught my attention. Flamingos and lions don’t seem all that related to each other, so I was curious to read on. In the end I found both the flamingos and the lions to be sympathetic. The tone of the poem seems honest and emotional, which added to my ability to sympathise with the figures depicted.

Subject, Themes, Narrative

I thought the message of the poem was that the grass is always greener on the other side. There seems to be a theme of trying to change oneself to fit an ideal.

At first I was thinking this might be more of a lyric poem, but then the ‘turn’ in the last stanza when the lions are revealed to want to become flamingos as well made me go ‘ah, that’s the story!’.

An additional interpretation/ thought I had was whether the story of the flamingos and lions is allegorical, for instance depicting specific groups of people in real life who wished they were more like each other, or if it’s meant to be read as it is. As I noted earlier flamingos and lions seem to be an odd combination (to me at least!) so I found myself curious about the relevance of choosing these specific animals.

Language and Imagery

I thought the images of the lions and flamingos were pretty vivid. I could picture them as I read the poem, especially how they contrasted with each other.

one twilight-pink feather peaking through
the blanket of gold-and-murky-brown sunset


I noticed this motif of associating the moon/night with flamingos and the sun with lions. I thought the different aspects of the sun, such as its colour and also its movement from sunrise to sunset, which you chose to base the motif on were interesting.

to rip the horizons with papery pink wings
and claim the sun as ours,


Then the sun motif being brought back to describe the flamingos’ intention to become lions was also effective in conveying the impossibility of their ambition, I think.

I think I would have liked more description on the ‘jungles’ and the ‘horizons’. As far as I know, I don’t think lions live in jungles (they live on plains, where there’s lots of grass), and according to a quick google search neither do flamingos? So I was wondering if ‘jungle’ was a metaphor, like when people say ‘jungle’ to mean a messy situation, or if there’s a meaning attached to lions and flamingos being in the jungle.

On ‘horizons’ – I think it might make the poem even more vivid to have some descriptions of sky colours, since the flamingos fly around towards the end. Some of my favourite sky colours are orange (sunset orange is usually a named shade of colour!), pale yellow, pink, and of course dark cyan~

We push back water from our eyes,
metal up our spines and
demand to be lions
threatening to rip the jungle apart again and again until
we become them


I really loved this stanza. The way “push” is used for both water and metal was a nice way to transition from one line to the next. I wonder why “metal” up their spines, specifically? My guess is that it has to do with “threatening”, as though the flamingos are preparing to fight.

Structure and Sound

We are flamingos
desperately trying to be lions
but we can never quite hide the blush-pink shyness of us


I liked the placement of the line breaks in this part. The way that the lines get consecutively longer built up my anticipation, and then the third line delivers a ‘but’ statement to develop the ‘plot’ of the poem.

The structure of the poem as a whole is based a lot on the line breaks, I think, since it is a free verse poem. The hyphenated images like “twilight-pink” are interesting and give the piece a distinctive style, but I wonder if “gold-and-murky-brown” really needs to be hyphenated? I think hyphens create a kind of jumpy, staccato rhythm when read aloud, which can be nice if used sparingly at the right time, but sometimes staccato can get too much.

the blanket of gold-and-murky-brown sunset that we so desperately draped ourselves in
Or

One high-pitched bird cry shrieking through


The space between the ‘Or’ and the other lines, and singling ‘or’ out for a line of its own didn’t really add an effect for me. If it’s aesthetically pleasing for you, I’d say keep it, but if there was supposed to be an effect there, maybe a different spot in the poem might work for this fragment line?

On the title: I think ‘We are Flamingos’ seems more apt – because ‘flamingo in a pride of lions’ makes me think of only one flamingo that lives with a pride of lions, whereas the poem seems to be about a bunch of flamingos aspiring to become lions.

That's all

Feel free to ask any questions about what I’ve said here. Hopefully you found these comments helpful - and keep writing!

Cheers,
-Lim




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Thu Jul 22, 2021 4:18 pm
averyismediocre wrote a review...



Wow I don’t even know where to start with this. First of all, I love the entire idea of the poem. We’re all trying to pretend to be something we’re not, but it never truly works. There’s always something off. I love the way you describe things as well. You paint a picture with very lovely writing. I specifically loved these two stanzas “And so they truth is the truth- flamingos can never be lions/like the moon can never be the sun or/ smiles can never quite be the laughter” and “we push back water from our eyes, metal up our spines and/ demand to be lions/ threatening to rip the jungle apart again and again until/we become them” Like I said before, the way you paint pictures is very lovely. I like how you keep a lot of the coordinating conjunctions on the line before what they’re connecting. I feel like it adds a place for good rhythm if you ever speak it at a slam poetry event or something. Anyway, that was a lovely poem and I can’t wait to see more from you!




rida says...


:D Thank you so much for the kind review!!!! <3 <3 <3



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Mon Jul 19, 2021 10:55 am
silented1 wrote a review...



We push back water from our eyes,
metal up our spines and
demand to be lions

Best lines in my opinion.

smiles can never quite be the laughter

Good line. Really says there's a beginning to happiness and an expression to it. Both ways. Confusing line to analyze. But good nonetheless.

Remove to change incandescent. It doesn't match.




rida says...


Thanks for the review! ^_^




cron
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— George Santayana