Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Poetry » Narrative

E - Everyone

Echoes of Summer

by 4revgreen


This is the first poem I have written in months, and I really need feedback, particularly on the structure! 

In the summer, my hair would go strawberry blonde,

my eyes a milky blue.

I would wear long, flowing dresses, 

and put flowers in my hair. 

I would talk to the trees,

Like old friends I never had.

And run through the forests,

smiling at the birds and the bees.

In the summer I could breathe,

and listen to The Smiths as I sat and wrote stories,

from dusk until dawn.

.

But come winter, my hair would darken,

and my eyes would fade.

The flowers would shrivel up and die,

Like the ideas I left behind.

My smile stayed in the forest,

and remained there until the sun came out again.

The only laughter you could hear in winter

were the distant and secluded echoes of summer.


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
5 Reviews


Points: 245
Reviews: 5

Donate
Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:52 pm
View Likes
DavidFoxx wrote a review...



Hi There!
I'm here for a review.
Mine will be shorter, since as far as I see, the reviewers below have given great, extensive feedback.

Besides the really beautiful pictures you paint with words, I could also hear sounds.
Great idea to bring music into the picture and the Smiths are a perfect match.
I love it. It's the best thing I read in a while.

Thank you.




4revgreen says...


Thank you so much!! This means a a lot, really <3



User avatar
225 Reviews


Points: 15778
Reviews: 225

Donate
Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:52 pm
View Likes
whatchamacallit wrote a review...



Hi 4revgreen!

I love how simple and minimal this poem is - it lets me focus on the sweet imagery and the lovely flow. I especially enjoyed the descriptions in the last four lines,

My smile stayed in the forest,

and remained there until the sun came out again.

The only laughter you could hear in winter

were the distant and secluded echoes of summer.

because they refer back to the summer stanza really well, and use some beautiful figurative language. I think you've balanced literal and figurative language nicely in this poem - the reader understands quite clearly what the poem is about, but still gets to enjoy how poetic it is.

I would say my favourite part of this poem is the comparison and contrast between summer and winter, especially how in the winter stanza you take summer imagery and change it slightly to reflect how winter is different. It gives the poem an overall connected feel but also doesn't get repetitive or boring.

One thing I want to point out about this poem is tense - you use "would" and "could" throughout much of the poem, referring to a possible future, but change briefly to past tense in the second stanza.

My smile stayed in the forest,

and remained there until the sun came out again.


I think that since everything else is in a different tense, you should probably stay in that tense to be consistent, so those two lines would become
My smile would stay in the forest,
and remain there until the sun would come out again.


Having said that, you could choose to actually have the two stanzas in two different tenses, to further contrast how they're different. To do that, you'd have to choose which season it is at the present - I think it would be interesting if you decide winter is in the present, and change all the verbs in the second stanza to be present tense accordingly.

Spoiler! :
This is what that would look like:
But come winter, my hair darkens,

and my eyes fade.

The flowers shrivel up and die,

Like the ideas I left behind.

My smile stays in the forest,

and remains there until the sun comes out again.

The only laughter you can hear in winter

is the distant and secluded echoes of summer.


The first stanza would stay the same, which would give the impression that the narrator is reflecting on how they miss summer while they're stuck in winter. No need to change the tenses if you like it how it is, but I think that could have a really neat effect on the poem. (Also, if this explanation doesn't make sense, feel free to ask for clarification!)

Anyway, if you decide to keep everything in the "would" and "could" tense, I would recommend changing those two lines to match.

Enough about tense! There are a couple very minor wording suggestions I wanted to touch on before I wrap up this review.

and my eyes would fade.

^Since this is referring back to the "milky blue" eyes, I'm not sure "fade" really means much, since milky blue eyes are generally already quite pale. Maybe something like "dull" would work better?

The only laughter you could hear in winter

were the distant and secluded echoes of summer.

^This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you change from first person ("I") to second person ("you") in this line, and it's the only place you do so. I might suggest just sticking to "I", since I don't feel like changing persons is adding any meaning or emphasis. But that's just a personal opinion, so feel free to disregard!

Overall, I really love the concept of this poem, and I think your imagery works really well with contrasting the two seasons! You could experiment with tense and see how that changes the meaning of the poem a little, but other than that there isn't much to critique :)

I hope this review is helpful, and again, if anything I said is confusing feel free to ask.

Keep writing!

whatchamacallit




4revgreen says...


thank you so much! This is really useful feedback, i really appreciate it <3



User avatar
88 Reviews


Points: 5650
Reviews: 88

Donate
Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:55 pm
View Likes
StarlitMind wrote a review...



Hey there!
Like IconspicuoslyAlpacaing said, this is quite a lovely poem, especially when you haven't written in months. I enjoyed your imagery in descriptions. The contrasts between summer and winter worked really well. I think my two favourite lines are "The only laughter you could hear in winter/were the distant and secluded echoes of summer." You did a really lovely job with this poem! I have a few things I'd like to mention. These are just suggestions, so please feel free to ignore if you don't agree!

The first thing I'd like to mention is capitalization. Usually, you capitalize the beginning of every sentence/the first word after the period. But then there are two instances where you just end up capitalizing the first word of the line. I'll quote them below

I would talk to the trees,

Like old friends I never had.


The flowers would shrivel up and die,

Like the ideas I left behind.


Although capitalization is a stylistic choice in poetry, I think it's important to remain consistent in when and where you capitalize your words.

The next thing I'd like to mention is punctuation. Punctuation is stylistic in poetry as well, so please feel free to ignore this if you don't agree. You have a punctuation mark in every single line except this one

The only laughter you could hear in winter


There's nothing wrong with that at all, but this line sticks out a bit since it doesn't follow the same pattern. While reading this, I found a few spots where I would eliminate not needed (to me) commas/periods at the end of some lines, which would help with the overall flow, and would also help with this line not sticking out so much. I'll quote them below.

I would wear long, flowing dresses,

and put flowers in my hair.


Since the second line is a continuation of the first, I personally wouldn't put a comma at the end of the first line (and if this was prose, you wouldn't need a comma).

I would talk to the trees,

Like old friends I never had.

And run through the forests,


Since the third line is a continuation of the first two lines, I wouldn't put a period at the end of the second line.

In the summer I could breathe,

and listen to The Smiths as I sat and wrote stories,


Since the second line is a continuation of the first, I personally wouldn't put a comma at the end of the first line (and if this was prose, you wouldn't need a comma). I like how you mentioned a band; it makes this poem more specific and personal.

My smile stayed in the forest,

and remained there until the sun came out again.


Since the second line is a continuation of the first, I personally wouldn't put a comma at the end of the first line (and if this was prose, you wouldn't need a comma).

And those are all the spots! Again, punctuation is stylistic, so feel free to ignore.

Overall, I really liked this poem! I like how when you mentioned something in the summer section, you show how it changed in the winter section. This poem was well done, and I hope this helped!




4revgreen says...


Thank you so much! This has really helped, since the things you pointed out are the things i struggle with most when it comes to poetry!



StarlitMind says...


Of course! I'm glad to hear :D



User avatar
51 Reviews


Points: 3510
Reviews: 51

Donate
Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:15 pm
View Likes
IconspicuoslyAlpacaing wrote a review...



Greetings and salutations, friend! I have come for reviewing purposes.

For the first poem you've written in a while, this is absolutely wonderful. The imagery is extremely effective, and gave me a clear and vivid idea of the picture you were painting. As for the structure, the only thing I feel the need to point out is the difference in length between your two stanzas. I'm not sure if that was supposed to hold any kind of significance to the subject of the poem (i.e. The winter stanza is shorter because it feels like summer was ripped away from the narrator in no time at all), but if it doesn't, it's just a little distracting. As for the nitpick-y stuff, in the line 'In the summer I could breath,' 'breath' should be spelt 'breathe', but that's the only spelling/grammatical error I could find. Kudos to you for this amazing poem!

Hope this was helpful :)

- Alpacas




4revgreen says...


thank you so much! Yeah, I'm never sure how to structure my poems so i just kinda write it and hope for the best.




Beware of advice—even this.
— Carl Sandburg