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Ouroboros

by Chaser


There’s no such thing as charity.
That’s all you should know by now.
It doesn’t matter what you do if
Someone else could ruin it.
Fade that villain into the back of your mind, and focus on
The smiles with names you read and recognize as that people,
The poor people from two worlds away, the helpless souls that
you have a responsibility (as an activist, a good person, a god) to save.
Crushed under the heel of evil development, in Africa or Asia or some other.
Today, it is “India.”
The crops are well-tended, but the farmers are malnourished by their sparsity
and starving in the greasepit of industry. They are
Finding it difficult to smile in the streets, at customers who clutch their wages tight
and falling short of payment, praying on brick and sinking through
convinced that dreams were probably not to be followed anyway.

helpless and in need.
They are in need of a mere pass of money, the secret to open the door.
With borrowed strength could they rise, those snakes
in the dirt, consume each other and become
Ouroboros, who has no need for sustenance.
It is a generation of wealth donated to the generation in poverty.
To lend is to save, to give a chance.
It is life and love and the American dream
Pressed into the soil of India.
For that man to sell fruit, that woman to make clothes, you to lend your power
And wonder at Icarus flying on borrowed wings of green.
This is the charity you seek.
Your gift won’t be so selfishly abused, because it is yours.
Not just money, but the possibility for more. It’s hope and economic stimulation, because
you’re an intelligent savior who believes in human resourcefulness.
(From the good ones, of course.)
There is no charity, but there is hope, and whatever nonsense comes afterward.
This is the future, running with the kite
And wishing for the wind.

(This poem is about microfinance, a system of lending small amounts of money to the poor. This page has more information on its function.)


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Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:53 am
Hannah wrote a review...



Hi there, Chaser!

First of all, you've got a gorgeously selected title for this poem -- right away, just by knowing the subject matter and the meaning of the title, I already have a feeling of what the emotional message is going to be, and if you can get that just from the title and description, MAN.

The section of the poem that describes Ouroboros within the text itself is strong as well, as is the final sentence: "This is the future, running with the kite/ And wishing for the wind". Those two moments are really powerful emotionally but also exposition-wise: they describe the situation and how it can be fruitless. I like this especially when compared with the rest of the poem, which seems to have a lot of exposition through sarcasm. Like, I get that the idea of "saviors" coming in to save "just the good people" is important, because that kind of thought is what may have started the microfinance system, but if you can pull out lines like running with a kite and hoping for the wind, I think you can find a more elegant, emotional, and clearer way to describe that situation.

I think the reason I like the last line and the one about the snakes so much more than any of the other parts of the poem is because they give me solid images to imagine while I'm thinking about the political situation. I feel like images could ground your poem and give readers something to hold on to while you guide them through political consideration. You almost get there when you say "greasepit of industry", because I get that greasy feeling, but nothing to really see, so it still stays vague.

I hope this makes sense. I think you have a great topic and a great sense of the situation, but could figure out a way to make it more tangible while retaining the lovely philosophy you have behind it as well.

Let me know if you have questions/comments about this review.

Good luck, and thanks for sharing,

Hannah

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Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:33 pm
Silberfee wrote a review...



Hi This is Silberfee for a quick review!!
Firstly I like the fact that you are using poetry to increase awareness of a money obsessed society and how micro-lending helps to combat this.

The poem is more like an essay because firstly it has no rhythm - all the sentences varies in length and secondly there is a lack of stylistic devices (metaphors, imagery, similes, etc) which would improve the tone/mood of the piece.

Fade that villain into the back of your mind, and focus on
who is the villain? it would be more effective if you could be less vague.

Crushed under the heel of evil development, in Africa or Asia or some other.

who is the evil development? I don't think its necessary to mention Africa and Asia since they have no other revelance to the poem. Your poem's focus is India.

The poor people from two worlds away, the helpless souls that
you have a responsibility (as an activist, a good person, a god) to save.

This is a statement but in this context I feel you need to justify why 'you,' have a responsiblity ...this statement has the potential.

dreams were probably not to be followed anyway.
sounds clumsy, I would rephrase this and remove the word 'probably.'

I wouldn't mention the 'American Dream,' here, the American Dream is more people who move to America in the pursuit of money, but this is about India, and people trying to survive, so the context sounds weaker.

This might just be me but I find the message in this statement difficult to comprehend:
With borrowed strength could they rise, those snakes
in the dirt, consume each other and become
Ouroboros, who has no need for sustenance.
its sounds contradictory because you mention that the consume each other but then you follow that statement with another saying that they have no need for substance. If they have no need for substance then they won't consume each other?

Again this may just be me but I'm confused about whose perspective this is from:
Your gift won’t be so selfishly abused, because it is yours.



and lastly I find this metaphor weak:
And wishing for the wind
partly because I don't understand how their wish which is presumably for their business to succeed is like the wind?

Also I question the categorisation of the poem as 'satire,' because satire is supposed to be funny, irony, exaggeration or ridicule instead I find your statements very realistic.





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