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napo2020 #4

by BluesClues

what are titles

[transcript of photo at bottom]


the magnolia trees are in bloom

half the church signs say happy easter

the other half say all services cancelled

the world cracks like an egg

cars are parked in driveways,

the traffic lights change for no one

friends skirt each other like strangers

and masked faces greet us everywhere

and my parents couldn't visit this spring

but when the world feels shattered

my neighbor mows her lawn

exhaust and the swift green scent of grass

and the kids ride bikes down the street

and the pink and white buds

on the magnolia trees unfurl.

winter is long

spring is coming

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515 Reviews

Points: 18461
Reviews: 515

Wed May 06, 2020 9:04 pm
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Lavvie wrote a review...

Hi Blues!

First impressions: this is good, although it lacks a little more oomph (oomph is totally a technical term). Your poem, emotionally, reads to me as somewhat dissociated which is totally acceptable since I think everyone is feeling fairly dissociated right now. However, when I evaluate its overall strength, I am confronted with some hills and valleys. In other words, I think the first four lines are powerful, economical, and there's continuity of imagery. The next six lines seem somewhat forced, a little scattered. Consider this:

Spoiler! :

^ also very technical, clearly

In other words, instead of the images + related expression linking up like in that photo in lines 5 to 10, it feels disjointed. There is lack of continuity which is somewhat jarring. Perhaps this was your intent, but at the same time we need to preserve some elements of connectivity. Stand alone, I like these lines. Together, they don't seem to work comfortably and this might be because the beginning and the end maintain springtime imagery, while the middle has more urban and sterile images going on? Sometimes I like to think of a poem as being a string: everything keeps on going and is somehow tied together.

While I also understand you're trying to convey that while our world is working very opposite to normal, things keep on going/there is still some hope, I think it could be more effective if there's more than just "my parents couldn't visit this spring" <-- I would like to read what that looks like. Could you explore this by describing how their car is not moving in your direction? Or something like that.

Overall, I appreciated this because, well, we're all in a similar boat right now. At the same time, I don't think it does the negative social consequences of the pandemic justice - the sadness, paranoia, and mourning for social interactions evades me when I read this. Obviously, this just means a few revisions here and there.

Thanks for sharing and congratulations on NaPo!


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18 Reviews

Points: 1949
Reviews: 18

Sat May 02, 2020 10:41 am
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JellyRose wrote a review...

Hello there! I hope all is well, my name is JellyRose and I am here to give you a review.

Right away, I love this. The first time I read through this it brought tears to my eyes because this is what my world looks like as well due to the pandemic. You described it so beautifully. That our world is changing, and it's so scary. But at the same time, the calmness of seeing your neighbor just mowing her lawn and watching children ride their bikes down the street reminds you that life goes on. Sure, things are scary right now, we're all scared, but seeing little things like that reminds us that things will be okay, we'll be okay. The magnolia tree blossoming reminds me that like you wrote, "Spring is coming."

Not to be silly, but my mom walked in the room while I was reading this over, and she asked what I was reading, so I read it out loud to her. I did stumble a bit while reading, but that is also because of me being sleepy but I wanted to wake up early for some reason haha. She really likes it too, she works in the medical field as nursing home nurse, and she was like yeah, this person is right. She really liked it too haha.

Overall, this is really good and I have to read more of your works now! Thank you for creating this. Have an awesome day!

BluesClues says...

Aww, thank you so much!

Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.
— Maya Angelou