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Dining Set

by Chaser

I have a bowl that comes
in two halves.
The outside is a webwork of cobalt blue;
the inside aglow with red enamel.
It is imitation china and the most valuable thing I own.

I hate that bowl.

I hate the soft curve of the ceramic. When I try to stack it with other bowls it clinks
and scrapes and screams.
I hate the cracks in the glaze -
crazing is what they call it -
that fracture the skin into a million little pieces.

I hate having the bowl. I hate having to carry it, but more than anything,
I hate all the times it turns up empty and begging.
I hate halving the bowl:
when I do, everything inside falls away.

Oh, it’s a fine bowl. Expensive,
probably. Probably took the potter good time to make. But I hate that bowl,
that human heirloom passed down through me.

I do love my forks. They pick and stab at things, picking,
picking with their ivory tines.
The fork is choice, the fork is action.
It holds nothing, takes everything,
runs it through
and through.

The forks are entirely my own; if I look closely I can see fingerprints
pressed into the metal. If I press even harder,
there is a shine deep inside, past the flesh of things.

The world is my oyster; I will dine on it gladly
(I’m happy just to take).
But I’ll never forgive the scraping
of fork against bowl
that comes when I
close my fist.

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740 Reviews

Points: 28275
Reviews: 740

Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:06 am
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ShadowVyper wrote a review...

Heya Chaser,

Shady here with a quick review for your poem tonight!

I really like the topic of your poem. I was intrigued by the title, and enjoyed seeing how you were able to write a poem based on such seemingly ordinary items as would be found in a dining set. I'm always a big fan of when poetry is able to combine the tangible with the emotions the poet wishes to express, and I think you did a great job there.

and scrapes and screams.

I particularly liked this line. As I'm sure you know, word choice is so important in poetry, and the "screams" in relation to a piece of china was startling -- but illicited a very specific emotion, so that was awesomely done!

I hate all the times it turns up empty and begging.

This was also an emotion-packed line that I was, honestly, kind of hoping you were going to expand on a bit more. I was wondering if this poem was going to head towards a hunger sort of theme, which seemed to be hinted at here, but at the end it left me wondering if it instead maybe had something more to do with like either an eating disorder or like a dysfunctional family where meal times are tied with bad memories. Just my musings here -- not something that necessarily has to be answered.

But even with all these questions I still have about the t r u e m e a n i n g whatever that is lol I did feel an emotional connection with this piece and that's great!

The one suggestion I do have for you is maybe looking at the flow of this poem a bit more. I know that poetry is a lot more free-spirited than prose so there's no like hard or fast rule that you've got to adhere to -- but at the same time, an allure of poetry to me is the cadence of it. If you can make your words work towards the emotion you're hoping to elicit -- choppy, or flowing, or whatever it is that your topic is dealing with, it can make it a more... immersive? I guess would be the word for it, experience for your readers.

This poem was good and had great imagery and such, but a lot of the flow read more like prose than poetry. I was having a hard time keying in to what sort of meter I was supposed to be reading this in and getting a good flow in my head.

Kiss My Assonance is an article in the Knowledge Base that talks a lot about poetic devices you can use in poetry, and may be worth a read if you're ever interested. The assonance and consonance in particular struck me as I was skimming through trying to figure out how I was wanting to express what I wanted to say in terms of your poem, so maybe playing around with something like that would make this read a bit smoother?

Anyhow, I think that's all I've got for you! Great poem, thanks for sharing!

~Shady 8)

Chaser says...

thank you and what if I told you that the bowl was two hands and forks are fingers

ShadowVyper says...

Ooh that definitely does make me read the poem in another light. Little confusing since you made a point of describing the appearance of the ceramic bowl being red and blue -- but makes the last stanza make a lot more sense lol

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12 Reviews

Points: 499
Reviews: 12

Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:13 pm
riotheselcouth wrote a review...

Hi Darling Chaser, Good morning (': I'm Riothe Selcouth, pleasure to read the one of your masterpieces.But, am going to critique it. Btw I really like poetry.

Here, Let's talk about your "bowl", your poem focus on that specific thing that makes me confused. What about bowl? I guess there's a something or someone describing that bowl. I can't say that it was just a simple poem because I know, this poem has a deep inspiration and full of metaphors.

"Dining Set", your title is very capturing. When I first read that title of yours, i ask myself and i said, "it is literal dining set?" but in the end, am wrong.


I just want to say as a writer. Keep on writing, keep your pen's up. Spread your words and thoughts to all of us. Thank you.

—riothe selcouth 🍂

People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.
— Albus Dumbledore