Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Poetry » Literature


Letter to the one

by Buranko


To: my love wherever she might be


Finally, my darling, I hear about
your lengthy sunset walk.
How is it,
away from the nervewracking pain
of life in general?
Is it not a great way
to be happy ?

Without your letters, I am miserable.
Simply writing to each other,
feels like holding you tight.
My own heart,
needs your grip,
your pale hands.

I don't know why, but my letters have ended
this sad
for the last week or two.
Let us hug, my love
but if not with hands
then with our complaints!

                                                     Buranko


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
301 Reviews


Points: 6995
Reviews: 301

Donate
Sun Jul 17, 2022 1:46 am
Liminality wrote a review...



Hi there Buranko!

First Impressions and Interpretation

I thought this poem kind of had a domestic vibe, even though the two lovers are apart. Some lines seem to have a longing or fond tone, but others seem a lot more extreme in negative emotion, with words like “nervewracking pain” and “miserable”. The first and last lines still give me the impression of an ‘everyday letter’, though. My favourite lines were:

Let us hug, my love
but if not with hands
then with our complaints!

These made me chuckle, as the idea of ‘hugging’ with complaints reminds me of what people tend to do when they haven’t seen each other in a long time.
At times, the speaker seems to go between longing for the lover and lamenting their present condition really fast.
How is it,
away from the nervewracking pain
of life in general?
Is it not a great way
to be happy ?

The speaker almost sounds bitter here, as though the lover is living a much better life than them. I’m not sure if that is what is intended, but on a second read, it kind of creates a sense of desperate longing not just for the lover but also the happiness associated with them. So my interpretation shifted away from nostalgia/fondness to desperation/longing the more times I read the poem.

Structure

I like the three-stanza structure of the poem because it feels like there is a new development with the beginning of each stanza. I often struggle with getting that kind of motion in my own poems, so it’s cool to be able to see it here. The first stanza begins with the speaker’s response to what the addressee said in their previous letter. Then stanza 2 expands on the speaker’s feelings of longing that were hinted by the “Finally” in stanza 1. Stanza 3 seems to be a call to action for the addressee to write back.
I’ve read a couple of Kafka’s letters to Felice before (though that was a long time ago), and I can kind of see the inspiration here. The first-person voice you use is consistently direct, kind of intense, and brooding, with lines like “Is it not a great way/ to be happy?”.

Language

I thought there were a couple of places where there weren’t much sensory images for the reader to go off of. This was part of why I think the tone/meaning was a little ambiguous for me as I read into it. The first sensory image is the “lengthy sunset walk” in the beginning, which creates this slow and kind of nostalgic atmosphere for me, and I think it might have influenced how I read the rest of the poem. The next concrete image that was significant was “your grip, your pale hands”, which I felt was interesting. “grip” and “pale” seems to be very ‘hard’ compared to the ‘soft’ imagery of the sunset walk.
(On a third read, I’m thinking that “lengthy” is meant to emphasise how long it has been since the speaker and the lover met each other. Or, at least the ‘slow’ feeling of that image is meant to do that. I think the nostalgia interpretation kind of won out on my first read, though, because of the associations of warmth I have with sunset.)
To contrast, phrases like “writing to each other” and “holding you tight” are less specific, which makes it harder to imagine. They come across less vividly than the other two images I discussed, so I personally didn’t linger on them for very long.

Overall

On the whole, I like the idea and the general structure of the poem. I also like how the poem is formatted to look like a letter, having an address and also a signature at the end. That gives it more context and also stays true to the inspiration behind it. My idea on what could be worked on basically boils down to evoking the senses a bit more with particular images. For example, how are they writing to each other? Are their pens scribbling furiously in the night? Are they surreptitiously scrawling sweet words in the daytime, when they’re supposed to be doing something else?

Hope some of this is helpful, and feel free to ask for more feedback!
-Lim




Buranko says...


Thanks for the review Lim ^^. I'm glad to see you enjoyed the structure (i worked really hard to make it barely resemble a poem, not prose). I agree with a certain lack of imagery. This poem is a huge jump from my comfort zone and it's visible



User avatar
412 Reviews


Points: 20928
Reviews: 412

Donate
Wed Jul 06, 2022 4:23 pm
View Likes
Seirre wrote a review...



Hi Buranko! I was perusing the Green Room and came across your poem, so here I am with a review c:

To: my love wherever she might be

I'm not sure if you intend this to be read as part of the poem, but regardless, I find it intriguing! I read it quickly the first time and my brain autocorrected to "my love, whoever she might be", but when I read it again I saw that's not actually what you had written. The version my brain came up with gives a totally different context to the poem; that the narrator is imagining they are writing to someone they have fallen in love with in the future, when in reality they are alone. But the actual line you wrote gives the impression that the love interest may be real, but the narrator doesn't know precisely where she is in the world - which is very interesting. You would expect that if someone's partner went off on a trip, and they sent her letters, they would know where to sent the letter to. So then, to me, this opening line implies that perhaps the letter is being written and then kept in a box somewhere for when the partner returns, since the narrator doesn't know where to send it to. That creates a tone of more introspective self-reflection, rather than conversation, when I read through the poem now.

Anyway, enough about context already! Since we're already on the topic of tone, I'll start there. The tone you've created here is reminiscent of an old fashioned letter, definitely, which I'd assume is what you're going for since you based it off of Kafka's Letters to Felice. So good job with that! Phrases like "my darling" and "my love" make it feel more personal, as well. And the use of some rhetorical questions at the start kind of mimics how people tend to ask the recipient of a letter a few questions that can be answered in the response.

My main suggestion/question for you is, what message or emotion do you want the reader to come away from this poem feeling? Is it just supposed to be a slice-of-life poem that leaves the reader feeling heart-warmed? Or should it leave them feeling a bit lonely? Or is there a message you want them to take away, maybe that you should appreciate the little things and the little moments you get to spend with someone?

And then, once you've figured that out, I would suggest you edit your poem so that everything is consistent with that goal/message/vibe that you're aiming for. Because right now, when I'm done reading the poem, I'm not entirely sure what my takeaway should be? As well, by having everything move towards a certain message or idea, I think you can create a bit more direction or movement in the poem which is always a plus.

Overall though, I found you did a great job of creating tone, and I find the format & inspo for the poem to be very interesting and unique! I hope this review proves useful for you, and if you have any questions or want me to elaborate on anything, just let me know ^-^

Keep writing!
Seirre




Buranko says...


I was actually going for the slice of life (warm, fuzzy poeric aftertaste) but I guess it doesn't get that feeling across. Thank you for pointing that out!



Buranko says...


poetic*



Seirre says...


That makes sense! I was kinda getting that vibe, but I think a bit of editing could make it even stronger ^-^



User avatar
77 Reviews


Points: 93
Reviews: 77

Donate
Tue Jun 28, 2022 1:05 pm
Buranko says...



Inspired by Kafka's Letters to Felice





No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.
— John Donne