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Antithesis

by Buranko


The darkness of the night slowly takes over.
Yet my mind is brightly shining.
I grab my cheap pen,
And head over to the expensive wooden desk.
My parents bought it years ago
It has been used in this family years before I was born
So the young me respectfully bows,
In front of its old age.

The pen's ink flows furiously
On the calm, serene surface of the paper.
Words, phrases crowd together.
In this lonely white desert.

The clock loudly bangs announcing
Late hours.
Poor silence, it is harmed!
Ah nevermind, it healed itself...


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Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:24 pm
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mellifera wrote a review...



Hey Buranko!


I hope you don't mind if I swing by for a review today! I'm not well-versed in reviewing (or writing) poetry, so I've been reading some of our poetry reviewing articles from the Knowledge Base! That said, take my word with a gain of salt, and I'll try to provide you the best feedback I can :)

Yet my mind is brightly shining.


I'm not much of a fan of describing it was "brightly shining"? I know you're trying to contrast the "darkness of the night", but if you want to accomplish that, I think it would be better served to write something about a desk lamp being on and being "bright". I tend to think of a very active/awake mind as "racing" or just as I said, awake. You could have a line about sleep (something like: "As the darkness of night slowly takes over / and the world begins its descent to slumber"), and then contrast it with something along the lines of "but my mind is persistently awake" (or however you would word it). Then you could have a sleep/awake contrast as well as a darkness/light contrast (if you were to include mention of a "bright lamp").

I grab my cheap pen,
And head over to the expensive wooden desk.
My parents bought it years ago
It has been used in this family years before I was born
So the young me respectfully bows,
In front of its old age.


I read this out loud (and I would suggest when you're writing poetry⁠—or anything, honestly⁠—that you read it out loud and find where you stumble or what sounds off), and I found that it doesn't flow well together? I had to pause on "It has been used in this family years before I was born" because "it has" is one of those things where it doesn't occur as naturally as "it's", just because it's short and easier to say.

Again, I really like the contrasts you're putting in here (cheap/expensive and young/old), but I think they could be worded so they flow more fluidly with each other? Perhaps something like "I grab my pen I bought from the dollar store [or corner store or any place you'd buy pens cheap] / I settle down at the antique wooden desk [antiques are usually expensive, plus it alludes already that the desk is old]".

I know what you were going for with the "My parents bought it years ago / It has been used in this family years before I was born", but as far as the lines go, both sound kind of repetitive? I think if you could attach the age onto a memory that brands it as old (scuff marks, cracks in the wood, stains where a cup wasn't put on a coaster, etc), it would attach more meaning/emotion to the line. For example "There's a white ring near the left corner / One of the stains from my father's coffee older than I am" or whatever variance you would go for. Or you could allude to its stability and good aging in that's older than the author.

I really like the lines "So the young me respectfully bows, / In front of its old age", but I'm not as happy with the flow of these lines? I might suggest something more fluid like "So in my youth I bow / To the years it holds over me" or however you would want to word it (basically I just think some rewording might be in order :) )

The pen's ink flows furiously
On the calm, serene surface of the paper.
Words, phrases crowd together.
In this lonely white desert.


There's not as much discrepancy in the flow of these lines, so I'm just pulling this down because I really like these imagery :D

The clock loudly bangs announcing
Late hours.
Poor silence, it is harmed!
Ah nevermind, it healed itself...


This part I'm not as fond of compared to the rest of the piece? I think I'd prefer the ending of the furious scribbling onto paper because it really encapsulates the feverish intensity of needing to write, even at the worst times possible (like the middle of the night lol). But you did already mention that it was late, so I feel this last part really doesn't add anything to the poem. I would love if the main focus was about the actual writing/act of writing and not as heavily focusing on the time (though I'm glad it was included in the beginning because it's so very, very relatable).


Overall, I really enjoyed this poem! I'm love the duality here that's woven in so well into the poetry without calling massive attention to itself (in the sense that it wasn't being pushed in the reader's face, but was just a part of the poem, it was very well done). Hopefully this was helpful to you, and if you have any comments or questions, feel free to let me know!

I hope you have a wonderful day! Happy RevMo!

Image




Buranko says...


Woow thanks for the tips. I do read it loud, but I kinda liked the effect it had. That stumble in the flow gave me the impression of a really massive old desk, and hoped it would have the same effect on others. Anyway, sweet name, I will go get some honey.



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Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:46 am
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alliyah wrote a review...



Ah I like the premise of everything sort of being two sides of the same related coin with the whole theme of antithesis! I didn't quite get it, then read the title and read it again and thought the pairings were pretty clever!

You've got the pair of night vs shining, cheap vs expensive, parents vs child, youth vs age, fury vs calm, flow vs surface, crowd vs lonely, and then noise vs silence. I think it'd be nice if it kind of cycled over to morning by the end to be an even fuller-cycle of antithesis, but overall this was neat to read.

I have a few phrasing / form critiques in here -

1) I don't understand what you're doing with punctuation - you of course don't have to do punctuation according to grammatical conventions, this is poetry after all, but I don't see a pattern of how you're using commas or periods and there seems to be a lot of stilted incomplete sentences, that appear even more stilted and removed from their full thought because of the capital letters at each line. I think I'd revisit each punctuation mark and ask what its doing there, and then read each line individually and each "sentence" and see if things are making sense. For instance, why is "In this lonely white desert." all alone as an independent incomplete sentence, and yet "In front of its old age." is part of the sentence in the line above even thought it's similiarally structured? I'm not quite understanding the logic.

2) Quick spelling error: In the last line I think you mean "itself" rather than "itseld" I think you had good spelling in the rest though from what I could tell!

3) The last stanza is broken up a bit awkwardly for flow and sense, the personification of "silence" being harmed is a bit hard to process / visualize. And all over the lines are a bit uneven. Your second stanza breaks up lines nice, but I think the other two could get a second look.

4) The descriptions are all tied to the act of writing, but in some ways they feel disjointed from each other. Why is the desk being described? What does it add to the story? How is the writing effected by the clock striking? How does darkness effect the rest of the scene?

Some things you did well on

1) Great balance of movement and description this is something I'm always talking about in poetry reviews. But it's really important that even in a poem where you're only describing things, that things still need happen, there still needs to be some form of action or else the poem feels stagnant and uninteresting for the reader. You also have to be careful not to have only action or only internal dialogue because then it doesn't end up feeling very poetic or visual! I liked that the poem didn't just describe the room, but that the speaker moved through the room throughout the piece - this gave a sense of development. Nice work!

2) Good usage of multiple senses! You worked in sound, and light, and feel - nice work! This made the poem's descriptions feel more layered!

3) You had some unique usage of phrasings that felt interesting - like the words being in a desert of a blank white page! That was a clever comparison I wouldn't have thought of.

Overall
Overall, this was a clever little form / idea to have these opposite pairings throughout, and I think you executed it nicely! :)

~ alliyah

Happy Revmo




Buranko says...


Thanks alli for the review. Yeaaa it would have been soo much better if it cycled to morning.



Buranko says...


As I said before I love details to a certain extent. When I feel like detailing everything I write about I do it but usually I prefer to leave everything to the reader. The desk is a motif I love using along with the pen; helpers in creating the poem. I said that it was old to imply that it has been used a lot, it has helped many people write their works.



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Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:13 pm
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sevynpetronella says...



Damn, This is really good. The simplicity of it really actually makes it shine as to how easy it is for you to create a good piece. Deff impressed.




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Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:30 pm
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silented1 says...



"The pen's ink flows furiously" Change furiously to another word. It counters the next line.




Buranko says...


Oof you didn't understand the essence. It's all about contradictions, antithesis: furious-calm crowded-lonely



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Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:15 pm
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Vil wrote a review...



*peers in on you*

Hmm... This looks interesting.

Hey there, @Buranko, it's Vil with a review!

What I Liked
I love your imagery in this poem, especially "Words, phrases crowd together/in this lonely white desert." That is the perfect way to describe a blank sheet of paper.

What I Disliked
Like @EverLight, "Early, I wasn't born" feels kinda awkward and stiff.

In Summary
I really liked this poem. It's got a great flow, and you've used excellent imagery here.

Have a nice [*insert time of day here*]!!!




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Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:43 pm
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EverLight wrote a review...



EverLight here with a review! My critique is not meant to hurt you, offend you, or make your novel or poem seem like it's bad, but be warned-you may feel offended anyway.

Praise
You use some interesting imagery in this piece. I especially enjoyed, none-other then your first few lines-

The darkness of the night slowly takes over.
Yet my mind is brightly shining.

That, all by itself, perfectly conveys what it's like to be a writer-at least with my experience. I have no idea why, but I always get a majority of my inspiration during the darker hours of the day, and even when I don't, I'm always turning over the ideas I convinced during the 'bright hours'. Yeah, I have an overactive mind uwu ahaha. Anyway that 'mind is brightly shining' really does describe what it's like to feel inspired.
Of course, I've got to mention this bit-
On the calm, serene surface of the paper.
Words, phrases crowd together.
In this lonely white desert.

I love how you described the papers surface as calm and serene, and then later, as a lonely white desert. That's pretty poetic if you ask this person uh-huh.
Critique
Right, now time to take back everything I said in the previous piece :P Your review, is starting now.
My first critique has nothing to do with stanza-and everything to do with an ill-explored subject. This poem is about, well, the writing of a poem, and while it does a neat job of describing the literal act of writing a poem, it doesn't go into detail about describing the struggles that a poet, or a normal writer would have. And I was really, really, praying that this poem would go into the struggles of writing a poem.
What about writers block? The self-doubt, the wondering if this word or this stanza is 'prosy enough'? Or what about simply, trying to finish a poem on time?
When you wrote 'The clock loudly bangs announcing' I thought you were going to delve into a poets struggles against time. But I was disappointed.
Definitely, you should explore that.

Early, I wasn't born.
So the young me respectfully bows,
In front of its old age.

This is probably just me, but...that 'early, I wasn't born' threw me off for a secant there, because I associated that early with 'earlier' as in a few minuets, or a few secants ago you weren't born and I was just so confused, and I was all, wait a minuet a baby is actually writing a poem????? WHAAAAAT????
And then I realized what you meant.
My advice would be to maybe change that? I know I'm not the only reader who'll have the same mix up that's for sure :P

I grab my cheap pen,

Again, this is probably just me :P But I found the usage of the word 'cheap' a little off putting, and it really interrupted with the flow of the poem for me. So that might be something you should consider changing.
Other then the above issues I really enjoyed this peace.
Conclusion
To conclude this review I think you do an excellent job summing up what it's like to be an inspired poet, but you could delve into the struggles a poet would face, because inspiration is only half of poetry.
I hope you found this helpful, and as usual, I encourage you to keep writing-
The one and only Ever




Buranko says...


I am pretty content with "cheap pen", but I agree that "early i wasn't born" is a little too basic and lacks that poetic feel. I will think of some way to change it. Thx bro for the review! I wanted to focus on inspiration but leave the freedom to the reader to find something to relate to. I expect the reader to complete the vague parts and get what he/she wants from it.



EverLight says...


Your welcome, I'm glad you found this at least a little helpful <3



Buranko says...


Oh and I never get offended by anyone's opinion as long as it is strictly related to my poem. When it strays off and tries to mess with my personal life, beliefs and stuff like that, I get pretty defensive. So do ur thing and just be honest in your review, I will surely find it useful




"While we may come from different places and speak in different tongues, our hearts beat as one."
— Albus Dumbledore