Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Poetry » Horror

12+ Mature Content

Pain as an Afterthought 2.0

by Em16


I was devastated, at first.
My eyes were unused to the dark
Unable to see the pillars of misery
Waiting to topple me.

Stumbling, sobbing, screaming
I collapsed onto bruised knees
Knives penetrating my heart
Over and over and over again.

My only lifeline was a small bit
Of hope, that hazy yellow bird
Who grew ever more fantastical
With each drop of blood that fell.

In anger, I smashed all the mirrors
Trying to destroy who I’d become
But I only hurt myself more
With each shard of glass I stepped on.

I watched the blood, the tears
Wash over my fragile hands
And I was determined
They would not be shed in vain.

No, they were just the first steps
In the construction of an internal wall,
A battlement to protect me
From my ever-present foes.

A wall to keep at bay
The poisonous leaves
And the vicious hyenas
Waiting to devour me.

A wall to protect me from those wishing
To see me rot under their foul influence
Wasting away as they jeer
And dance around my corpse.

If it sounds horrible
That’s because it is.
A prison as much as a protection
A restraint as much as a relief.

I wish I’d never shut the gate.
I wish I was still as open
As the leaves of a sunflower
Stretching towards the sun.

I wish I was still a victim
Not a twisted, torn mess
Of a survivor, limping
Among the ranks of the healthy.

But the pain, the vicious pain
Has invaded my body so smoothly
And colored my world so thoroughly
It is nothing more than an afterthought. 


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: 174
Reviews: 5

Donate
Thu Jun 18, 2020 11:43 am
SummerBlues wrote a review...



Hello Em, I am here for a review.

I think you write one of the best poems here, and this one is certainly one of my favourites.

"My only lifeline was a small bit
Of hope, that hazy yellow bird
Who grew ever more fantastical
With each drop of blood that fell."

The representation of the "hazy yellow bird" here as "hope" reminds me of Emily Dickinson's "Hope is the Thing With Feathers".

"A wall to keep at bay
The poisonous leaves
And the vicious hyenas
Waiting to devour me."

"I wish I’d never shut the gate.
I wish I was still as open
As the leaves of a sunflower
Stretching towards the sun."

I love how you play with the imagery and metaphors throughout the piece -- "the leaves of a sunflower stretching towards the sun", or "that hazy yellow bird" -- they are all very beautifully-written. It is also interesting to see how you draw on different comparison on the same object, like how "the poisonous leaves" was once "the leaves of a sunflower stretching towards the sun".

I have also noticed that the mood of the poem shifts along with the imageries, from the bird to the mirror, the corpse to a sunflower. It is a very clever way to present the change in the narratorial tone and signals for the readers to pay attention to the shifting, dynamic movement of one's emotions.

Lastly, the comparison of a "victim" and a "survivor" is very nicely done, I can really feel the renewed, different kind of anguish a survivor must have felt to be "limping among the ranks of the healthy" -- the kind of marginalisation and deeply-felt alienation from the rest of the world. You deliver the theme of pain very well in this poem.




Em16 says...


Thank you for the review!



User avatar
959 Reviews


Points: 117973
Reviews: 959

Donate
Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:19 am
alliyah wrote a review...



Hey there!

I thought I should stop by and say the imagery of your poem really leaves an impression! It's both striking and harsh, bordering on gory at places, but really nicely communicates the emotions of your poem.

A critique of the piece is that while the imagery was very strong, I felt like the poem sort of danced around whatever caused the pain that the subject of the poem is about - I'm not sure if that was purposeful or not. Sometimes really painful things are just by their nature difficult/traumatic to talk about, so can definitely understand that perspective. I wonder if the poem might allude a bit more to the nature of the pain though; I think it'd go a long way in making the poem stick with the reader more - making the reader able to connect with the poem and empathize with the speaker.

I think you used a great array of metaphors in the poem too! This was my favorite stanza I think,

I wish I’d never shut the gate.
I wish I was still as open
As the leaves of a sunflower
Stretching towards the sun.


^ This makes it seem like the speaker got hurt by being too open / vulnerable, and now it's caused them to shut out people and experiences.

While I liked the variety of metaphors you used, I think the length and breadth of the piece did take some of the clarity out, since it felt a bit like you were talking about multiple subjects and comparisons instead of one focused subject. I think bringing a little more focus into one particular aspect of pain as an afterthought that lingers on, and limiting your number of metaphors will allow you to dig even deeper into the subject.

Your conclusion nicely brought some sense of closure to the piece - and overall I liked the consistency in the form - it made the piece seem polished and put together.

This piece definitely leaves a strong sense of hurt and the emotion is very clearly expressed - which I think was probably the main intention, so nicely done on those grounds!

Keep on writing! :)

~ alliyah

Image




Em16 says...


Thank you so much for the feedback! I really appreciate it.



alliyah says...


You're welcome! :)



Random avatar

Points: 371
Reviews: 7

Donate
Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:41 pm
Vaibhav wrote a review...



Hey Em,
Your title "pain" is the most straightforward thing in this title. I mean, you could have done better with title if you used a metaphor like the one you used here

"My only lifeline was a small bit
Of hope, that hazy yellow bird
Who grew ever more fantastical
With each drop of blood that fell."

The yellow hazy bird, seems to be very apt. I would have suggested to used a colour for pain too. Or something that suits you better. Though for ones I would like to ask what you want to tell by using yellow hazy?
Plus "my only lifeline". "Only" seems to be redundant in this one. In its place you could have used some other adjective to your dwindling lifeline.
" Who grew even more fantastical".
U see that this statement sounds better with even rather than ever.

"I watched the blood, the tears
Wash over my fragile hands
And I was determined
They would not be shed in vain."

Re:" I watched as blood and tears
Washed my fragile hands
Which determined me
To not let them shed in vain"
This, as it goes is just a suggestion. But it was a oddly sounding paragraph as you would say.

"If it sounds horrible
That’s because it is.
A prison as much as a protection
A restraint as much as a relief."
Here you could have done better with the first two statements. Something that you are suggesting here is a bit of a contrast to me. Sounds good but bites an eyelid as it nowhere supports you first two statements.

In addition to this there are some times that statements want to rhyme but some how failed to do so. Example given
"But the pain, the vicious pain
Has invaded my body so smoothly
And colored my world so thoroughly
It is nothing more than an afterthought."
The word afterthought was a flat tone in a middle of a song. Otherwise the ending would have been a blast.
"My eyes were unused to the dark"
Unused doesnt makes sense try using many other synonym like

" My eyes, unfamiliar to the dark
were unable to see the misery"

Like all other suggestion, this is also a suggestion. You can always choose to reject it because it is a poem. I would rather say a scribble but pain has always been and will be a poem to me and to everyone who understands it. In addition to this, there are various times when a para is rhyming, sometimes it is just a bunch of words and other times it is bit of a literary statement joined together with proper conjunctions.
Poems are of various types as you would know and that is just the foundation of poetry. U can easily find it on internet. But the main things that a reader sees is uniformity. Disharmony in the type of poem that you choose to write can be deadly.
Thanks.




User avatar
41 Reviews


Points: 2488
Reviews: 41

Donate
Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:32 pm
Cow wrote a review...



Huh. That's my first thought. Huh. It's wonderful, really. It doesn't make you think too hard but really lets you know what happening, I suppose.

I presume it's about, whoever this is I shan't presume who, went through some awful stuff and now their years past it, maybe months who knows. Mentally still recovering and wish that the didn't go through it, or didn't have the physical scars or mental ones to show for it, they may not want to seem weak or have the pity. They don't want to deal with the memories and people looking down on them.

And at this point, maybe they haven't gotten ahold of it. Maybe they are just so used to the pain from the memories and other issues that they aren't sure how life was without it. It's just an afterthought, a thing they do without realizing it. Like blinking.

The last stanza is most likely my favorite. At the start, you think maybe they've start getting better and its just the memories. And now you think, maybe they never got better and they are just used to the issues that they have to deal with now because of not being able to get better. It hurts, to be honest. Reading that.

- Cow





The chains of habits are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.
— Warren Buffet