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by AtlasW

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894 Reviews

Points: 29595
Reviews: 894

Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:42 am
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alliyah wrote a review...

Hey Atlas, here to review your poem!

So I do like the premise of the poem, while the first stanza was a bit generic, the angels smoking thing was really different. It felt like a poem that didn't quite commit to being humorous or just unsettling, and just a little sacrilegious too. It reminds me of some of LordWolf's work - with the unexpected, & somewhat subversive blend of faith and life.

So let's take a look at each stanza.

Stanza 1 -
as mentioned, the first stanza describing the storm felt a little generic. Even the phrasing "assaulted my senses" felt a little too formal for the moment that was supposed to be scary. I think the poem could benefit from a little onomatopoeia for the thunder & lightening, or some interesting storm metaphor to build up the storm a bit more and really make it seem scary.

Stanza 2 -
imagery is better here, and I really like the way you go right into "momma told me" rather than "and then my mother told me" -- it makes it seem more like a child, and also puts the reader more in the present action. The lowercased "g" in "God" also puts a little hint that the poem might be moving to being a bit subversive too. I like the line breaks a lot, and I normally don't like poems to be centered - but I think with the way the lines were fairly varied in length the centering actually worked well.

Stanza 3 -
Very matter-of-fact, it's edging towards being humorous.
I wonder if you could draw the moment out a bit more - with this stanza just being 2 lines. I don't really know how you could make it funnier, but either drawing it out, or just making the stanza be solely "but I hate bowling" - to really highlight the humor more.

Stanza 4 -
I don't know why the poem is diverging into formal language again with the "ceased" - it doesn't feel like something a kid would say after a moment of being scared.
I like lightning smile - that's clever without being too puny - and was good use of imagery too. One thing I don't get though, is how angels smoking would be an explanation for thunder? It doesn't really make sense to me? Maybe it could be their lighters snapping as they lit up cigarettes in heaven? I think there needs to be a more obvious connection in there.

Stanza 5 -
It's a cute image, like that'd be a really interesting painting - and is just laced with this good contrast of innocence and misbehaving / really nice. But the problem is I don't get the logic of the poem - like is the grandfather saying, they're bowling in heaven during storms, but they're also smoking - like ... why would he say that in an attempt to soothe the kid? I'm not following the train of thought. If the smoking was an alternative explanation to the thunder I think it'd make a bit more sense, but then why are they still wearing the bowling shoes?

Overall -
Overall, the poem was a bit difficult to discern a "greater" meaning - but I think it's primarily a sort of whimsical reflection that is supposed to stir up mixed feelings of youth and care-free imagination. The final stanza really paints a great image, but I think a bit more could be done to figure out how we get there.

I liked the punctuation choices you made as well as the lack of capitalization - I didn't notice any spelling mistakes, so good job on the grammar/structure front.

Good luck in your future writing, please let me know if you had any questions about my review!

- alliyah

AtlasW says...


thank you so much for the wonderful review! I definitely agree that there are a few a few logistical issues with the story behind this poem, as well as some thematic issues. I don't know if I'm going to rewrite this poem or just leave it as is, despite its flaws, but I really do appreciate (and agree with) everything you said in your review nonetheless!

thanks again,

alliyah says...

You're very welcome!

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325 Reviews

Points: 689
Reviews: 325

Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:01 am
SunsetTree wrote a review...

You have a nice sense of poetic form. The way the words are layered on the page is very poised and focused. Though its a simple centered-alignment, I think it reads well for this type of poem and I even think your little line-breaks are a unique, stylistically-interesting decision that works well here.

I think the first stanza is probably the weakest here -- for some reason you fall on cliches to depict the lightning storm (crack of thunder, flash of lightning, etc) when the rest of the poem proves you're capable of being so so much more creative than that. I ADORE the imagery in the rest of the poem. Marlboros clamped between their holy lips? Smoking cigarettes behind god's back? God and his angels going bowling? You have this meshing of rural-esque, laid-back suburban imagery with spiritual matters in such a cool, natural style.

The one other thing I think you can change is the title. For some reason, you borrowed the title from the first stanza, which kind of feels like a lazy cop-out. Titles should tell us something we don't know about the poem otherwise, or at least encompass the poem as a whole. The current title does nothing.

But those two issues aside, I really do like this poem a whole lot and really want to thank you for sharing it. You have talent.

AtlasW says...


Thank you for the review! I really appreciate the advice! :)

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126 Reviews

Points: 3
Reviews: 126

Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:53 pm
nogutsnoglory wrote a review...

Hi! Oliver here to review!

Wow Shane, I really love this poem. I particularly love the line 'a lightning bolt grin crackling across his face'. I really also love the last stanza, the 'wearing bowling shoes / marlboros clamped between / their holy lips'. I also really enjoy the childishness of this poem, the overall naivety of the speaker.

I also agree with clancy in that this poem is very well written because it is simply written. It tells a simple and interesting story without being caught up in the over-usage of metaphors or imagery.

Overall this was a really enjoyable poem to read and I hope to read more of your poetry in the future!

Keep writing,

- o.s.e.k

AtlasW says...

Thank you, Ollie, I'm delighted to hear you like it!

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8 Reviews

Points: 20
Reviews: 8

Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:43 pm
clancy wrote a review...

First, I love this so much because I was always told those things when I was little too, but in my case I love thunder storms.

I love how this is written and it may be just me but I haven’t read a poem in quite awhile that told a story plainly, usually I read dramatic poems full of hidden deep meanings or something of the like, so this is very refreshing.
It made me feel 7 again and back in a little house in Missouri, which I gotta admit is pretty trippy haha.
Anyways, this is very well written as far as I can tell and I can’t wait to read more from you.

AtlasW says...

Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

Your hesitation suggests you are trying to protect my feelings. However, since I have none, I would prefer you to be honest. An artist's growth depends upon accurate feedback.
— LCDR Data