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In the Dark Wood

by Liminality

Twisting and gnarled

the horns of this

root-entangled creature

lurking and softly breathing

amidst the branches

of black trees.


Tufts of hair

that cover the eyes,

it waits for prey

to come ambling by,

a lone wanderer

with his stick --


and then it pounces

feet padded thick

to protect against the prickly

grounds, now pushing

the man down by his shoulders

a tongue lolling out

to lick his face,

the hug monster.


Author's Questions (you don't have to answer all or any of them, just things I was interested in):

1. Did it make you laugh? If yes, why, and if no, why not? 

2. Does this feel like a poem?

3. Any word choice or punctuation comments/ suggestions?

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12 Reviews

Points: 13
Reviews: 12

Thu Jun 30, 2022 8:15 am
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stevebayor wrote a review...

Hey... This poem is amazing. I did really enjoy reading it. The punctuations and word choices were on point . The imagery was vivid. I like the buildup from the start to finish. I like how it kind of cools down the tension at the end. In all, i would say this is an above average piece of art. I hope you keep writing great poems.
Well done

Liminality says...

Thanks for the review!

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17 Reviews

Points: 500
Reviews: 17

Tue Jun 28, 2022 4:32 pm
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WishIHadASword wrote a review...

Hey there, first and foremost I LOVE this poem! But before I get to gushing about everything I thought was so cool, I'll answer your author questions.

This poem definitely did make me laugh at the end because there was all the tense, unnerving, even a little scary buildup at the beginning. But just as I thought this man was going to be attacked, it turns out it was the HUG monster and the monster just licked his face! Talk about a major plot twist haha. It really made me smile and I crown it as one of my favorite poems!

It most definitely did feel like a poem, especially with all the beautiful imagery (which I obsess over every time lol) and all the buildup at the beginning! The format is perfect for a poem, and in my opinion the lines flow beautifully.

I don't really know if I have any suggestions with punctuation of word choice! You have a good vocabulary, and I'm unsure if it was intentionally, but some of the lines have a little rhyme scheme. It flows nicely when reading it (just like I said above) and it shows off your skill with writing poems!

Now I'll give my overall thoughts, even though I've stated most of my feelings already. This poem was so fun to read and I really do love it! The beginning had me hooked because of the intrigue, which led me to believe that's what the entire mood of the poem would be, especially because of the almost ominous title. But then at the end there's the unexpected silliness which makes it all that much better! Please keep writing stuff like this, you're very talented! I hope the rest of your day/night/whatever is wonderful! Adios~

Liminality says...

Thanks so much for the review! Really glad you enjoyed the poem :D I just noticed I had an accidental end rhyme here and there (eye/ by in the third stanza) now that you mention it. Thanks again!

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77 Reviews

Points: 93
Reviews: 77

Tue Jun 28, 2022 11:51 am
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Buranko wrote a review...

Hi Lim, glad to read your poem as the first thing I review after my exam season hiatus.

This poem created a very specific image in my head, one that I use as my profile picture in an attempt to show you what I mean. It's got the horns, the hair, the eldritch vibe. If you wish to see it in more detail, it is Elderwood Bard in Google Images.

I see how you made the "hug monster" really belong ti the forest scenery. Epithets like "root entangled", "amidst the branches" really create a home environment for this creature, a feeling any reader gets while interpreting this or simply reading it.

The creature has a caricature side as well, the "hug monster" side. Even with it being a funny thing to add to a creature described as "gnarly" and a hunter, I didn't actuaIly laugh because the poem felt more of a poem a mother would make up on the spot to tell her child, in other words a sweet and childish poem.

What are the things I would change to it ? Well, in the second stanza, the description of the prey, "lone wanderer/with his stick" feels pretty off when read aloud. It is difficult to read the stanza and, at the same time, it takes the spotlight of the hug monster. Prey as a sole word works best simply because it gives a glimpse in the creature's instinctual nature, of considering who it hugs, simple prey.

This feels like a poem, yes, absolutely! It's not because of the format, were you to write this in prose format I would still feel it to be a poem. It just feels like this.

Great job, loved it!

Buranko says...

P.S. Your profile picture is so cool!

Liminality says...

Thanks for the review, Buranko! Great to see you back :D That's a good point about the image of the wanderer interrupting the focus! (And the Elderwood Bard really has a great design -- your profile picture looks cool as well!)

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99 Reviews

Points: 82
Reviews: 99

Sun Jun 26, 2022 7:41 pm
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Em16 wrote a review...

1. It didn’t make me laugh until the end. Honestly, it seemed a little scary to me at first, but when I got to the last line with the “hug monster”, I chuckled a bit.
2. This does feel like a poem, because of the careful way you fragment each sentence and arrange the lines.
3. I think adding some alliteration to the poem would be a great way to add texture, and elaborating more on the imagery of the hug monster would make it more effective. I also think you should be more purposeful in the arrangement of the stanzas. Since it’s only three stanzas, I feel like each stanza should introduce something new and be a twist on the last stanza- if two of the stanzas are just talking about the same thing, it would make more sense to combine them as one stanza. I think I see a little bit of this in the current arrangement, where each stanza ups the ante and increases the suspense, until the final resolution in the last stanza, but I would draw that out even more, and show more of an increase in suspense between the first and second stanza.
4. I thought this was a really interesting poem that totally subverted my expectations! I thought it was like a dramatic, scary poem at first, but then I thought it was really cute that the creature was actually a “hug monster”. That’s such an original, creative idea, and I love it.

Liminality says...

Thanks for the review! That's a good idea about the alliteration and structure of the poem. I'll keep that it mind if I revise this, and for future poems as well!

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356 Reviews

Points: 32
Reviews: 356

Sun Jun 26, 2022 6:42 pm
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vampricone6783 wrote a review...

Did it make me laugh? No because it takes a lot to get a laugh out of me XD.Does this feel like a poem? My answer is the same as @Sunflowerdemon3712.No I don’t have any suggestions for this poem.It’s cute that all this time in the dark woods there was a friendly hug monster! I hope that you will have a beautiful day/night.

Liminality says...

Thanks for the review!

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39 Reviews

Points: 60
Reviews: 39

Fri Jun 24, 2022 7:01 pm
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Sunflowerdemon3712 wrote a review...

Hello, Sunflower here for a quick review.

So I'm just here to answer some of the questions you yourself asked.
So as for the first question:Did it make you laugh? If yes, why, and if no, why not?

No this poem didn't really make me laugh. But it made me smile! I always think it's cute when poems do twists like that, I don't know I just think its neat!

The second question: Does this feel like a poem?

Yes and no. I don't really think it felt like a poem in the way it felt more like a childrens story kind of thing. You know like in Disney movies when someone is telling a story to the main character and they have it to use later in the story! I mean that in the best way possible of course. On the other hand I also think yes! I think this is a poem mainly due to the structure of the poem and honestly I think because of the words you use if that makes any sense!

Finally as for the third question: Any word choice or punctuation comments/ suggestions?

I have no clue, I myself am actually terrible with punctuation and such. I do hope the rest of my comments helped you out though!

Having said that I think that's all I have to say and I hope you have a fantastic day/night, bye!


Liminality says...

Thank you very much for the review! I'm glad to hear the twist made you smile. Both you and another reviewer mentioned it, so I'm definitely seeing how this poem could fit a children's story :D -- might be a nice direction for other poems I write in this style to take, actually.

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26 Reviews

Points: 101
Reviews: 26

Fri Jun 24, 2022 8:20 am
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saadamansayyed wrote a review...

Hiya Liminality!
Here with a quick review for some awesome poetry :)

I would like to start by answering the Author's Questions before some comments in general on the poem.

1. Did it make you laugh? If yes, why, and if no, why not?

I have to be honest with you here, it didn't really make me laugh. It gave me a big smile, but I felt wholesomeness more than that humor here. I think I let out a few chuckles, but I think this is more of the cozy poem than the funny poem (although the descriptions were funny).

2. Does this feel like a poem?

Yes, it does. Although, it feels more like a children's storybook/board book. This is because of how much it edges on being simplistic prose and the overall subject matter.

3. Any word choice or punctuation comments/ suggestions?

Not any that I can think of.

As mentioned in my answers, this definitely feels very storybook-like due to a childish premise and the overall wording. I found it quite wholesome. It is a nice little bit of detour to read when stressed.

Here's two claps and a half for you!

Liminality says...

Thank you so much for the review! I super appreciate hearing your impressions of the piece :D

“A good book isn't written, it's rewritten.”
— Phyllis A. Whitney, Guide to Fiction Writing