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The Last of The Ivory Days

by Istellur

In the hold of a dark night

In the form of a sincere whisper

Did bold spirials spill into mind

In their windstorm, a bitter color

That coats the halls of memory

With all their misery and such

Tis the last of the ivory days

At last, the brush of death comes

In a gust of wind dancing gracefully

Through my open window in the corner

All customs lost, no tapping to warn me

That it was to gather at my bed's foot

And take it's freedoms with callousness

Forming the visige now rendered mute in memory

And it's maxims forever lost to history

As it lifted me away from my heart

Taking with me the last cries of truth

Locked in the land with tart gales

Do I write to my youth and foolishness

That they too must go to death's arms.

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305 Reviews

Points: 7570
Reviews: 305

Mon Aug 08, 2022 12:11 pm
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Liminality wrote a review...

Hi there Istellur! Lim here to review your poem.

First Impressions
This is quite a mysterious piece. It feels dark and gloomy. The lines are very cryptic, for example, it’s hard to tell why exactly certain things are happening to the speaker. What do they mean by “ivory days”? And how were they taken “away” from their “heart”? It almost reminds me of modernist poetry: T.S. Elliot, Wallace Stevens and the like.

Subject, Themes, Interpretations

You mentioned that “the night” was your theme here, so that is what I had in mind when reading the poem. I interpreted the poem as having a more abstract take on ‘night’. It felt like it was describing a civilisation’s end or maybe the end of a particular era, the “ivory days”.

One of the themes I read from this was the loss of culture or history. There’s a few references to memory and how history is being “lost”. There also seems to be a strong theme of death, which is explicitly mentioned in the beginning and end of the poem. The speaker also seems to be chased/ entrapped by the “brush of death”, entering the speaker’s bedroom and taking them away.


Something that could be worked on I think is making the form of the poem (that is, shape, structure, the way it sounds) match the content. At the moment, it feels like there’s quite a lot of action happening in the language (spirals are spilling, there’s a storm, death is arriving in a gust of wind) but there is no change in the stanza structure, line length or type. All the lines are grouped together in a single stanza, which makes the visual rhythm of the poem feel very uniform and static, especially since the length of the line only changes a little bit, such as with the unusually long:

Forming the visige now rendered mute in memory

This makes it harder for me as a reader to feel what the speaker is feeling, since the words are telling me I should feel shocked, horrified, haunted or that I should dread something, but the form is telling me I should feel the same as whatever I felt during the first line. Hope that makes sense!

Some ideas and suggestions I’d have would be to experiment using different stanza breaks. Is there a moment of shift, like when death enters the room? Maybe that would be a good place to hit enter and start a new stanza. Is there a dramatic ‘Wham!’ moment you want to emphasise? Try conveying it with a really short line.

I do like that there’s quite a few sound devices in the poem, though! For example the rhymes between memory/ history/ gracefully /me are pretty rhythmic. I also liked the alliteration, like “spirals spill” and “mute in memory”.

Imagery and Repetition

Something I like about your poem is the unified imagery. Unlike the overall crypticness of the poem that I mentioned, the poem’s word choices feel very pre-20th century. (For instance: “’Tis”, “At last”, “tart”)

a bitter color
That coats the halls of memory

This feels abstract, yet still linked to a concrete image (death is compared to paint, and memory to a hall being painted over), which makes it easier for me to imagine. Its also echoed later on with “rendered mute in memory”, as the speaker is being taken away by death just as they feared.

I also like how the “bold spirals” and the “gust of wind” kind of resonate with each other. I associate wind with spiral patterns, which is probably why, but I still thought it was a nice touch, and as above, I like that you returned to the wind imagery a third time with the “tart gales”. This repetition helps to maintain a sense of atmosphere, so the whole poem is situated in this dark and stormy night.


I liked the interconnectedness and the pattern-y feeling of this poem best. It kind of makes me think of a lyric poem or a ballad – something like that. It would be interesting to see experimentation with more ‘specific’ and ‘concrete’ poetic techniques like personification, sensory detail of smell, touch and taste, etc. but poetry definitely doesn’t *need* to have all those things to be good and interesting. The atmosphere and voice here are consistent, which helps pull me into the world of the poem.

Hope some of this helps, and feel free to ask for more feedback!

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12 Reviews

Points: 13
Reviews: 12

Thu Jun 30, 2022 7:52 am
stevebayor wrote a review...

This is an interesting piece. I like the imagery, and the message was well passed across. It's colorful, it's real in every sense of the word. However, i think it may not be entirely necessary to always start every like with upper case. Since you want it to flow as part of the same storyline, you could use commas and lower case and maybe full stops along the line when you feel a new idea is about to begin on the next line. I don't know if that makes sense to you.
But overall, this is beautiful.

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356 Reviews

Points: 32
Reviews: 356

Wed Jun 29, 2022 12:09 am
vampricone6783 wrote a review...

The very last days of blissfulness.The last of the ivory days as the poem says.It’s too late to run from fate.That’s just what happens.It is the inevitable darkness that is to come.It threatens to steal those that are bright and beautiful.This certainly was a compelling read.What once shown is now just a cloud of darkness.I hope that you have a lovely day/night.

The same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg. It's about what you're made of, not the circumstances.
— Unknown