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From Down Under

by kimmybee

You only feel it,
When it’s too late.
Then, you can only sigh.
Sigh because you’ve lost-
Before even getting to fight.
There is no will-
Except maybe to survive.
Outside the sun is still shining.
Birds hum their tunes, undeterred.
Life goes on in earnest.
Inside there is death-
Or at least the battle of the dying.
The frail body fights cancer.
Not that kind of cancer;
This is the cancer of life.
You’re happy,
Happier than any- maybe everyone.
Then the tempo slows.
Or your humanity takes over
And you’re pulled under.
The voices far away…
They are calling you back.
You are torn between letting go,
And actually giving it a fight.
The voices are persistent.
The fatigue you feel,
No sleep can relieve.
You tire from smiling,
Saying, “Yeah, it’s alright.”
You tire of life.

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541 Reviews

Points: 370
Reviews: 541

Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:45 am
Lauren2010 wrote a review...

Hey Kimmybee!

I very much like this poem. The language and images you use are refined and strong, yet don't slap the reader over the face with what this poem is supposed to mean. I like that there could be a hundred different circumstances and motivations behind the speaker, and that makes it very universal and something many readers could take in so many different ways (which to me is the beauty of poetry).

For the most part I didn't have any construction sort of issues (grammar, punctuation, etc), except for one. There are several lines you end with a word being cut off (i.e. "sigh because you lost-" and "there is no will-" and "inside there is death-"). You don't need those dashes at the ends of those lines. By breaking the line halfway through a sentence, you're practicing what's called enjambment which gives the effect you're trying to get across with the dashes. In reality, enjambing those lines gives the exact same effect without the distraction of punctuation marks. Poetry is all about feel, and stray marks like that can distract from the rhythm and flow of the poem itself. (However, the line "Happier than any-- maybe everyone" works perfectly well with the dash.)

Other than that, there were a few lines that kind of broke in flow for me. In particular:

Birds hum their tunes, undeterred

Saying, "Yeah, it's alright."

Both of these lines suffer from breaking rhythm. When you read them, they're too different structurally/they sound too different to your inner reader's ear to keep the same pace, or flow. They threw me off when I was reading. Tweaking the language used, or even the way you're saying what you're trying to say, would help to get those back on track.

Other than that, lovely poem! Keep writing!


"Cowards die many times before their deaths; but the valiant will never taste of death but once."
— Julius Caesar