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[To the shoreline]

by Liminality

She stood in brackish waters

with trousers rolled to the knee.

The hard rains hammered down,

and drenched her, and stormed her.

With an unreadable line from

her forehead to the tip of her nose,

silver with the water, she turned

and beckoned to us with her hand.

We stopped and stared,

standing on the sand dunes,

then beginning to descend

with large, lilting steps,

and tumbling down into the sea --

she caught us in her arms.


He sat on the soft sands,

when the showers ended,

both hands bent at the wrist

to prop himself up.

The scent of the foilage

green and dewy, wafted by.

His chin was like a slipper of the moon.

He sang a siren song in the quiet night,

that purple night, leaking twilight.

We sat on the rocks and listened,

instead of running away, we realised

we had the beach to ourselves.

A/N: Hi there, prospective reviewer! If you're looking for something to comment on, I'd really like to know what you think the 'story' or the 'message' is with this poem. I also have a question for you: what are your general impressions about the 'she' and the 'he' in this poem? Are they more similar or more different? What are those differences and similarities? Many thanks for reading!

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284 Reviews

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Wed Nov 03, 2021 4:29 am
silented1 says...

How many writes do you do?

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Sun Oct 17, 2021 5:13 pm
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cryptologenic wrote a review...

hihi here to review :3

silver with the water,

i like the imagery of this line.

i feel like the tone is pretty poignant? especially in the last lines
instead of running away, we realised

we had the beach to ourselves.

as for the differences between the two of them, i think it's interesting how the female figure beckons for 'us' to come and we descend "with large, lilting steps," but the male figure sings a siren song instead. i feel like this has the implication that 'we' are held there under duress, not necessarily because we want to be there. the way that you describe the two different figures is interesting too. 'she' is described in a manner that is very... human?
with trousers rolled to the knee.

The hard rains hammered down,

and drenched her, and stormed her.

she is very obviously affected by the physical environment, and descriptions of her are grounded in the physical world. at least in comparison to the male figure, whose
chin was like a slipper of the moon.

He sang a siren song in the quiet night,

giving him a much more ethereal feel since the comparison of a 'chin' to a 'slipper of the moon' is very abstract (in my opinion, either that or i'm not flexible enough to understand the comparison ahaha). the siren song also lends him an air of mysticism and magic. i also liked the way you described his sitting posture:
both hands bent at the wrist

to prop himself up.

again, i /feel/ like it's slightly inhuman? not sure how to explain why. i think when you go into the mechanics of a person's actions that's the effect you get.

anyway, on to the story aspect. even though the passage of time is denoted in "when the showers ended," i feel like the time that passes between the two stanzas is much longer. i can't quite explain why, but it makes me feel like the male figure has replaced the female one as a protector of 'us' in between this time, and that the female figure has somehow left. personally, the fact that even running away is implied to be something that 'we' are supposed to consider doing, lends the end of the poem a bit of an ominous feel. it makes me think questions like: where did the female figure go? why is the male one here? why does he need to sing a siren song? to keep 'us' there?
while the female figure in the first stanza is characterised by struggle and protection in a harsh environment, the male figure beckons 'us' to stay while "The scent of the foilage // green and dewy, wafted by." which might actually be more dangerous in an insidious way. there is no clear & direct visual danger after the rain, but the real danger might actually lie in the male figure instead. this was the impression that the poem gave me upon second reading, at least. my interpretation of the two figures at first was quite similar to the other reviews, so i won't bother hehe.

man i didn't realise how much i wrote up to this point (´・ω・)
i really really hope i didn't completely misinterpret your poem or something ahsdjsdhflaks this was super fun to analyse, thanks for posting!

Liminality says...

Thanks for the review! Your interpretation was really interesting - I enjoyed reading it. I hadn't noticed the 'ethereal' feeling that the 'he' had in comparison to the 'she', so thanks for that observation.

i think when you go into the mechanics of a person's actions that's the effect you get.

Ah that's certainly very true!

Thanks again!

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Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:23 am
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Phillauthet wrote a review...

Hi! I'm here for a review.

I think this poem portrayed two different kinds of... not exactly people, but personalities. The message I got from this poem was that though one path may seem better, or more bold and obvious, the other one isn't any less. It's a little subtler and gentler, but it has the same effect. This reflects on our thoughts about people. Though one's approach may seem pointless to us, it's as effective as the other. We mustn't judge based on what we 'think' it will lead to.

I feel that 'she' is headstrong and bold, but not to the point of arrogance. She is also pretty strong, to be more specific, mentally strong. I love how you show that though the rain is hammering down on her, she stands tall. She is determined.

On the other hand, 'he' is a little more subtle. However, that doesn't mean he doubts himself. He seems to exhibit calm confidence, which passes on to 'us'. He doesn't beckon them by action, but simply with his presence and 'siren song'.

'She' and 'he' are similar in a few ways. Though their paths are different, they accomplish the same thing.

I have to say, I love the imagery you use. It's multisensory, and I can picture the scene perfectly. Hats off to you!

His chin was like a slipper of the moon.

I didn't really understand that line. A little clarification would be useful.

Overall, this was a very deep poem. It makes the reader think, and see things from a new point of view. We need more poems like this. Thanks for sharing yours!!

Keep Writing!!

Liminality says...

Thanks for the review, Phillauthet! I agree about the "slipper of the moon" image - I'll probably work on that in the revisions. Thanks again!

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Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:57 pm
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FireEyes wrote a review...

Hey Lim! Incoming review!

As you noted in your author's note at the end I will be giving my interpretation on your poem. Let's get into it!

My first impression when reading the first stanza would be of a girl on the shorelines after something happened. It might have been the loss of someone, a breakup, or a personal failure of hers. I can feel her connection with the waves as they're pushed and pulled and perhaps that's why she's there. And I could think her expression is something near to defeated perseverance. But once we are in the picture I can feel her needing to be the mother of the group. Not like "the mom friend" more so like the nurturing mother figure that can also join in on the chaotic (maybe illegal) fun. Somewhat of how a mother might not show the struggle of life for her children. And that's why the girl is more strong in my opinion.

And now for my interpretations on the "he" portion. This part seems a lot more chill and the air around him feels stagnant in a cool way. Somewhat like if one wrong sound were to be uttered the atmosphere would be ruined. I actually have 2 perspectives on this portion so I might as well say both of them. It really comes from the lenience of using "we". It could either be the guy sitting with me and just having one of those deep cliffside conversations in the middle of night. And when we ran out of things to say he started singing. Like in a musical, words can't convey what he wants to say so he sings.

The other perspective I have is the guy is alone. And you and I happen upon his siren like singing. Then is where we sit on the rocks. The line

we had the beach to ourselves.
Lends me to think the the guy is a siren of sorts or even just the voice of the moon. But if he is a real person, the lines
He sang a siren song in the quiet night,

that purple night, leaking twilight.
Makes me think he's singing a song to the sky in honor of a fallen on of his.

Now with the interpretations out of the way, let me answer the questions you had.
what are your general impressions about the 'she' and the 'he' in this poem?
I think my impression of "she" was a warrior of sorts. She's strong and hardened but she also has the greatest capability to love. And "he" is soft and thoughtful. Frail to the point of breakage. He rather likes himself being alone than being with others that could be too rough and shatter his soul.

But that's all I have for today. I hope you found some of this useful! This was very interesting to review. No real true meaning, it let me break free to say what I saw in your words. Because if I'm being honest, your poetry intimidates me because it is so thought out. And I know my thoughts are very to the point and that's why I don't usually give my interpretations on poetry because the theme is usually more dynamic than what I see. But you made some great poetry here and I hope I can review another one of your works soon! Anyway byeeeeeeeeeeee<333

Liminality says...

Thanks for the review, FireEyes! I enjoyed reading your interpretations and thought they were very interesting c:

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Mon Oct 11, 2021 3:42 pm
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vampricone6783 wrote a review...

I thought this poem was interesting.I believe it’s about a guy being lost in life,then,finding someone,a woman in his life,who would lead him to the right direction in finding himself.I think they are more similar than different,because they understand each other so well,as if they were the same person in different bodies.Good job and have a wonderful day/night!

Liminality says...

Thanks for the review and interpretation!

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Sun Oct 10, 2021 4:08 am
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AlyTheBookworm wrote a review...

Hey Liminality!

This was a really interesting read- and I love the mental images and feelings that are conjured up by the words and phrases you chose. I'm not entirely sure of what the story/message is, or of what exactly you meant to convey, but the first interpretation that came to mind was that both "he" and "she" represent two different approaches to life, and two different kinds of leadership.

"She" is a fierce, strong leader. Someone who dives headfirst into life and refuses to run or hide, but bravely faces everything and becomes a model and a pillar of strength for others. She is prepared and resolute, with trousers rolled to the knee. She beckons to those who attempt to follow her- calm and unwavering where they are hesitant and timid. When they try to imitate her they stumble and fall, but she is ready to catch them and lift them up to stand beside her in the storm.

"He" is less clear to me. He strikes me as more of a loner- or at least, he perhaps unknowingly or without intention leads by example, where "she" is more intentional in her leadership. His is the strength of peace and acceptance. He isn't trying to fight anything, but waits until the storm has passed. He influences others not through his actions (like "her"), but with his "siren song". With words, reflection, and thought, he leads others (the "we") to the same resolution that "she" lead others to using a different method (showing, rather than telling): They don't need to run away, or to be afraid. The beach/life can belong to them if they're brave enough to seize it.

"She" is active, while "he" is more passive. She is a "do-er" while he is a "thinker". However, both seem strong, firm, and immovable- two figures that their peers seek to emulate.


I have zero ideas of what a chin like a "slipper of the moon" might possibly mean, but I love the image it creates.

If I were to critique anything about this, it'd be how vague it is. I wish I'd gotten some stronger characterization and more information about the two characters and what they're supposed to mean. Some ideas seemed unrelated and I couldn't see the connection (for example, the scent of green foliage in contrast to the waves and beach). I had fun drawing my own conclusions from the little you gave, but I still feel like they're loosely defined enough that they could be taken in many different ways. Which, granted, might be exactly what you were going for. I dunno. Just a thought.

Not sure how far off I am in my interpretations hahaha, but I really enjoyed reading this and rambling about my theories! I'm very curious as to what the actual meaning of it is, but I doubt you'll make it easy for me by telling me outright lol

Thanks for sharing! c:

- Aly

Liminality says...

Thanks so much for this review, Aly! I loved reading your interpretations. The leadership aspect I can totally see now that you've mentioned it, though I think I was composing this poem in tiny chunks, so I didn't notice that overall it gave that sort of meaning. I can also definitely see how some of the images are less connected than I probably thought they were at the time of writing, so I'll be sure to work on that when revising this poem. Hmm . . . as to the meaning I had in mind, I can say it has something to do with maybe older family members that the speakers admire c: but leaders are also just around that same cluster of ideas~

Reading this again with that new bit of personal context in mind, I think I enjoyed and related to it even more. It makes me think of how I view some of my own older brothers and sisters. Now that I think about it, I have an older sister like "her" and an older brother like "him". Anyways, I'm glad you liked my interpretation! Looking forward to your future poems :)

Poetry is like a bird, it ignores all frontiers.
— Yevgeny Yevtushenko