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Young Writers Society

breaded chicken

by soundofmind

the first years i spent away from home were fragile
a scrapbook composed of failures
more than successes
and now the book collects dust

but i walked by it today and brushed some away
and a plume of smoke filled my house
i remembered the day when i tried to emulate
my favorite dish you’d make         when i was young

staring down into a burning pyrex pan
i wished you’d taught me how to make
breaded chicken
you never were a cook                 and neither was i
but i appreciate now, looking back, how you tried
and with every attempt and chicken i spent
i thought once it’d taste like yours

but i don’t think i’ll replicate the taste of home
in the same way we meant it then
because now my home is far away
and all i have is remembrance

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328 Reviews

Points: 17943
Reviews: 328

Stickied -- Sun Feb 05, 2023 7:45 pm
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Lucrezia says...

This is such a gorgeous, heartbreaking piece. Powerfully emotional. It is, at once, specific and universal. Readers can see themselves and their lives reflected in this story—it's so relatable. Wonderful work.

soundofmind says...

Aw, thank you lucrezia!!!

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235 Reviews

Points: 6841
Reviews: 235

Tue Feb 07, 2023 10:14 pm
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4revgreen wrote a review...

hope you're having a great day, here's my review of your amazing poem :-)

This poem is a reflective piece about the speaker's (i assume yours aha) childhood memories and attempts to recreate the taste of a specific dish that used to be made for them; breaded chicken. The poem is well written, with vivid imagery and emotional depth, making it a pleasure to read.

The poem's structure is straightforward, with the first and second stanzas providing context and setting the stage for the speaker's reflections. The speaker expresses their longing for home and the taste of the dish in the third stanza, which is the poem's main theme. The poem's final lines serve as a moving conclusion, expressing the speaker's realisation that they may never be able to fully recreate the taste of home in the way that it meant to them.

The poem's use of imagery is one of its strongest points. The second stanza's "plume of smoke" and the third stanza's "burning pyrex pan" are particularly effective in conveying the speaker's feelings of nostalgia and longing, really bringing the reader into the memories. Furthermore, the speaker's appreciation for the other person's attempts at cooking, despite their lack of skill, is a touching aspect of the poem.

In conclusion, this poem is an enjoyable and well-written piece that effectively conveys the speaker's longing for home and the taste of a specific dish from their childhood. I is a touching and reflective piece that is sure to resonate with many readers.

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34 Reviews

Points: 3211
Reviews: 34

Sun Feb 05, 2023 5:44 pm
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HalfheartedAmateur wrote a review...

Title - "breaded chicken"
Food seems to almost always be connected with memories, the past, and good times with someone or other people of whom that person cares about and loves. I think it's a universal thing for food to allow us to bond with one another. I looked up images of breaded chicken - that definitely is a mouth watering dish. If you're writing about a mouth-watering dish, then I'm assuming there is something positive and good that came out of it. Whether it's the overall memories surrounding the dish, the experience(s) you got to have, or a collection of key moments with a special someone you reminiscing about or all of those things. Whether or not, breaded chicken sounds delicious and if this poem with ease, tenderness, absorption, and slowly but surely - that'll signify the importance of the underlying message you may be conveying and that people might interpret it as. Now, I don't think you were attempting to overthink the title, but in my opinion, I think that your choice to lowercase everything including the first letter of the word says something. A simple statement that - if people know what breaded chicken is - easily will get people to melt in delight (in general, of course; some people don't like breaded chicken for their personal reason but that's a given) and there isn't much of a need for emphasis through capitalizing the b and c in the breaded chicken since - like I mentioned before - food is usually used for fond memories of time. It's like someone is affectionately recalling memories, moments, and times and they sum it all up through saying "breaded chicken" in a nostalgic way. Although this poem will be about breaded chicken, I know this poem will have intertwined cleverness and a lovely meaning behind it if one is attentive to it.

Again, everything is in lowercase which makes me think of someone being interviewed and the question was "What was a food that you remember fondly about *insert whoever 'you' is in the poem*?" or "What connection can you make between home and food as well as *insert whoever 'you' is in the poem*?" And the person who is getting interviewed has their voice go light and speak softly as they remember and recall out loud. Or it's friends having a conversation of the past, reminiscing and such.
Stanza One - I really like how you represented the duration of time through the word "scrapbook" and addressed the present through the word "book."
Stanza Two - I think the phrase "plume of smoke" and the word "emulate" adds a certain flavor to this stanza because the words that you used in general are all casual words as I like to call them that little kids could most likely understand. It's a nice balance between being easily digestible and keeping the reader captivated to read onward.
Stanza Three - "you never were a cook and neither was i but i appreciate now, looking back, how you tried" It doesn't matter whether or not you can or cannot cook; it's the experience and memories you create while in the process at attempting to create something together that brings a connection and bond between the people who are making food.
Stanza Four - Breaded chicken and the memories that come along with it represent home and the connection this person had with the other person who was trying to create this food. This was a bittersweet ending.

This poem is bittersweet and it's written lovely with sentiment. I don't know whether or not the large spaces in between "my favorite dish you'd make" and "when i was young" as well as "you never were a cook" and "and neither was i" are purposeful writing format choices or something else, but I'm assuming so. Either than that confusion, I think your poem is written with sentimental simplicity and warmhearted emotions/feelings. I enjoyed reading it.

- LiL, aka HalfheartedAmateur

soundofmind says...

Thanks so much for your thoughtful review! I really appreciated hearing your interpretations :^)

This looks like a really bad episode of Green Acres.
— David Letterman