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by Gardevite

It's easier to dance
with fish-hooks under
your skin- to keep
your legs moving
and your hips shaking.

It's harder to keep
your hand down
and your lips shut
when you're guided
to shout that you love
something hurtful,
I understand.

But it's not an excuse.
You are stronger than
you know. You could
keep your hands down
and your lips shut if you
wanted, but instead you
use that strength to kick
us in the ribs when we're down.

Do not say you're not part of the problem.

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133 Reviews

Points: 2296
Reviews: 133

Fri May 30, 2014 3:24 pm
PiesAreSquared wrote a review...

Hey high top! I'm here for the exchange! First of all might I say, you are a brilliant poetist! This is a really awesome piece of work and I am disappointed with the number of likes it does not have.

I really like the way to broke up the lines, it was in all the right places.

I have exactly one nitpick.

when you're guided

I think this "guided" here doesn't really fit with the flow of the remainder of the poem. I mean, this is a personal preference, but the narrator is relating to"you" and telling you that you are the problem, so what exactly is guiding you to be a problem?

That's all I've got! Keep poeting!!!!

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861 Reviews

Points: 28996
Reviews: 861

Sun May 25, 2014 7:31 am
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Morrigan wrote a review...

Hi there, High Top! Here with the Ultramarines and the May Poetry Exchange to give your poem a totes fab review! ;)

This is an interesting poem. I think you have potential here, but there are some things that stop it from reaching its potential.

First of all, what is the problem that this poem hinges on? We do not know what the problem is, and therefore, we do not know what the poem is actually about. As Hannah said, we do need some power dynamics in this poem so we can see it more clearly, as it is (probably) about a social situation.

The fish hooks image is great, but we lose that momentum in the second stanza. The fish hooks image is so strong-- and it made me think of a Hindu purification ritual in which they pierce their flesh with hooks-- Thaipusam is the name of the festival, if you care to find more information on it. I was very reminded of this, and it was jarring when such a strong image was converted into keeping your hand down, like a student in a classroom. My advice is to choose an image and stick with that, rather than have the hand raising and the fish hooks.

I also feel that the fish hooks do not play a big enough role in the poem to end up in the title. They appear, and then they dissipate like mist in the rising sun as the poem progresses.

I like the frankness of the last line. It's properly accusatory, and the poem builds up to it nicely. I just wish I had more of an idea what the problem actually is.

Altogether, I quite enjoyed reading this. I hope that this review was helpful! Happy writing!

Gardevite says...

Thank you, Magpie! ^_^ I'm happy you enjoyed the poem!

That festival seems interesting! :O I think I'll read up on it later!

The fish hooks thing is a metaphor for people who are raised with certain harmful beliefs, and use their upbringing as an excuse to keep those harmful beliefs. I hope that clears things up!

Again, thanks for the lovely review! ^_^

magpie says...

Ah! That certainly does clear things up. However, if you could implement that more in the poem, that would be great, as we must know what the author is feeling about the symbol to get what the symbol is about. :)

Gardevite says...

Gotcha! ^_^ thanks again!

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1318 Reviews

Points: 23911
Reviews: 1318

Sun May 25, 2014 5:18 am
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Hannah wrote a review...

Hmmm. I want to know what problem this is referring to. I like that the poem makes me want that information. And the poem makes me want that information because it does such a good job of defining the situation.

You clearly show that this "you" is being influenced by outside forces. I love the grit of the imagery with the fish hooks, too -- that's something sharp and painful, not just pushing but getting within their body. It shows a deep manipulation by a third party.

And that makes the third stanza really nice, especially the last two lines, because we're not expecting that the manipulation actually directly effects the speaker, but it does, and now we see a two against one game. I wonder -- does the third party encourage this puppet to kick them in the ribs, or is that their own decision? I think that could be clarified to make sure the relationships are all clear.

And so we come back to the question of -- does the topic need to be revealed for proper enjoyment of the whole poem? The problem that they're talking about -- do we need to know what it is? Because it feels like this is a poem made about a specific social situation, but all the specifics taken out. If you wanted it to stay with the specifics out, I'd recommend trying to change some words so that it feels like a situation in a completely fictional matter. That way we can see the power dynamics of the narrative without having it be tainted by trying to figure out what it's describing in real life.

If you are describing something in real life, what made you want to stay vague?

I hope these thoughts and suggestions will be helpful as you continue to work on it~
PM me or leave a reply to this review if you have any questions or comments~
Good luck and keep writing!


Gardevite says...

Thank you sooo much Hannah! ^_^ This is such a helpful review!

The social situation I'm talking about isn't that specific. It's about people who are raised with certain beliefs or influences (racism or homophobia for example) and expect that being raised that way to be treated as an excuse in the real world.

I'm happy you enjoyed the poem! :)

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23 Reviews

Points: 490
Reviews: 23

Fri May 23, 2014 6:41 pm
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BethanyMarieWright wrote a review...

Hello there, small review time (probably will not be small at all. I'm a rambler.)

Okay, first off, I love the enjambment use - it gives off this great stuttering effect, like you're being held down, and forcing out these words. Even if I hadn't glanced at the topic of Politics, I would've guessed it. The way you write, it sounds as if this person wants to speak out, to protest and lower the problem, but they're being shoved down into the corner, to be told to kept quiet. I really love that.

I identified with this poem - maybe more than I should've - due to how often I see these issues around my area; the way people who protest get shoved down, and are told to be quiet. I think you gave that idea a voice, and you showed what it's like to be on that side of the argument that we're all fighting.

My favourite line is definitely the last one, 'do not say you're not part of the problem', as it really shows who you're talking to; that you're speaking to the ignorant ones, the people on top who won't listen to the smaller voices.

The only criticisms I have stem from the title; I'm understanding the premise; the idea that when you're caught on a fish-hook, you flop about, and you lose all sense of life and meaning, just dangling until you're laid down. But at the same time, it's mentioned once, in the first line, and left for dead. It feels as if you gave up on the idea and moved on - I like that a little bit, that you're changing directions and routes throughout the piece, but at the same time, to make it a little more coherent, I think the idea of being on a political fish-hook needs to be mentioned a little bit more.

As a ethical and moral person, who strives on opinions and protests; being the little guy, and the one who wants to change the world, hitting down the government parties in the process, there's not much I can say otherwise. I think you've done a bang-up job and you should be proud of this piece.

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
— T.S. Eliot