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Two Rondeaus

by Rook

Eating Slugs

The slugs were hiding underneath damp

leaves, old logs, and moss like hair.

I ate a few today at camp

to conceal my crush in truth or dare.

They squirmed and wormed and slid right down

my throat like gooey mucus pills.

She saw me then. I saw her frown,

then she was ill.


Staying In

I’ll stay in my bed today,
refusing work. No one can make me
get on my feet and grind away
in fresh new hells. No one can take me
from this sheet and perfect mattress
while it rains outside. I’ll pay in
regrets later. I won’t get dressed.
I’ll stay in.

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174 Reviews

Points: 717
Reviews: 174

Sun Sep 25, 2022 3:48 am
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MaybeAndrew wrote a review...

Hey Andrew here with a speedy review! I read this, and decided to leave it to someone more skilled, but nobody came along, so I came back XD.
Since I'm reading poetry, I would like to start with a dsiclaimer. I suck at poetry, so take this with a grain of salt.
Poem One, Eating Slugs
First impressions
I enjoyed the rhythm of this poem (ngl i googled rondeau because I'm not very familiar, but I certainly like it.) My favorite part is the, "The slugs were hiding underneath damp/I ate a few today at camp" rhyme.
I'd say the last line "then she was ill." is the least powerful of the bunch and kinda end flat. It isn't a true rhyme to anything, and kinda ends the sweet tinkling feeling of the rest of the poem. I wondered if the last line not fully rhyming is a part of the structure of a rondeaus, and according to my (very limited) googling, it is not. So my biggest critique would be that last line, I'd say it falls a bit flat.
Things I liked
Its such a sweet little subject matter (actually, I don't know how slugs taste, maybe kinda bitter?) and the arc of the story is very simple but suggests a lot. I enjoyed the wording quite a bit, especially

They squirmed and wormed and slid right down

I planned on reviewing both poems, but it is midnight and I have church early tomorrow, so I'll do that tomorrow.
Thanks, and keep writing,

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370 Reviews

Points: 15455
Reviews: 370

Sun Sep 25, 2022 1:51 am
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Liminality wrote a review...

Hi again Rook! Lim here with a review.

Eating Slugs

My first impression is that this one is a humorous poem about someone’s awkward/ embarrassing camp experience. The slug-eating and the crush seeing it afterwards (and presumably throwing up? Is that what “was ill” means in this context?) were both ‘surprising’ turns of events that kind of gives me the vibe of humor. It took me a while to figure out that “conceal my crush in truth or dare” meant that the speaker chose ‘dare’ and the dare was to eat slugs, but that probably just shows my inexperience with camp xD I think a more angsty interpretation is also possible on the second or third read, like maybe the speaker is taking it that the crush is grossed out by them? The speaker’s tone is quite ambiguous, for instance the last few lines come across as dramatic because of the repeated structure “She saw . . .I saw . . . “ and the short last line, but sometimes comedy poems also have dramatic structures like that for parody/irony.

Something I like about the word choices are how it sets up the atmosphere of a kids’ school camp. “damp leaves, old logs” shows that they’re in a forest, and “truth or dare” brought the image to mind of a group of kids sitting in a circle around a campfire playing the game. I was a bit unsure why the first line breaks off at “damp”. Is it to emphasise the ‘texture’ of the slugs so to speak, which is brought up again later?

Staying In

The biggest thing that stands out to me here is the speaker’s tone. I like how determined they sound and how that contrasts with the seeming relaxed-ness of staying in bed. I think this poem makes the act of staying in bed sound kind of rebellious or maybe battle-like because of said tone. Another thing that makes the tone stand out is how idyllic some descriptions seem to be, like oh, the mattress is perfect and it’s raining outside -- and the speaker is on this big mission to stay in bed today.

By and large the word choices seem to follow two lines: the intense declaration of the speaker which uses words like “refusing” and the repetition of “No one . .. “, and then the descriptions of the lovely rainy day and mattress. “fresh new hells” kind of felt like an odd-one-out to me, because it somehow sounds more colloquial than the rest of the poem.

Something I like about this poem is the rhythm. I like how both the “No one can . . . “ phrases are at the ends of their lines as the enjambment then helps to emphasise the repetition. Each of those thoughts also lasts approximately the same amount of ‘time’ in the poem too, (about 3 lines) which is really neat. The last lines, like in the first poem, have the rule of three to make it more impactful, and in this one at leats it feels like the speaker’s resolve is coming to a high point. I wonder if that’s intrinsically a part of the rondeau form or if that rule of three thing is a special touch of your own? Either way it works really well here.


Both poems were really interesting and enjoyable to read! I think I could relate to the sentiment of the second one a little better because it’s presented in a more straightforward way, but the first poem had lines I could vividly picture in my head as well. It’s really cool how you’re able to create a narrative and mood within 10-13 lines, and such different ones in each poem, too.

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

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462 Reviews

Points: 121
Reviews: 462

Sat Sep 24, 2022 5:32 pm
vampricone6783 wrote a review...

Eating slugs:A young boy crushes hard on one of the girls. She is the only thing on his mind . His friends grow annoyed with him. They dare him to eat slugs in front of the girl he like to prove his loyalty to them. He does it, regretfully. The girl sees and goes ill with disgust. His punishment was to live through it. Staying in:Someone is tired of working and moving with life. They stay hidden under the covers. Interesting poems…Have a good day/night.

When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her weirdness. They wanted her to change back into what she always had been. But she had wings.
— Dean Jackson