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Frittering away

by Hkumar

Trapped in this vicious circle of
leaving things for the morrow.
Making a fresh to-do list for work
and setting an impossible deadline.
 My conscience laughs at me
for it knows this isn't the first time,
I have been lying to myself forever.

Time flies, like birds in the sky.
I can feel it slipping between my
fingers like the grains of sand.
The days quickly melt into weeks
as I sleep throughout the month.
Algae grows on my now overdue list
but my tomorrow never comes.

Yesterday died in a futile attempt
and Today succumbed to despair;
Tomorrow is waiting with a wide smirk
filled with forlorn hopes and aspirations,
but it will be neglected just like the others.
My mind is fully consumed by this plague
that leeches time of my circadian clock.

I know it's time to get things started
but still I procrastinate, waiting for that
eleventh hour to knock upon my idle mind
My responsibilities are frowning while
their disappointed faces haunt me.
Then I  aim to go for the impossible,
foolishly and disordered, I finally begin
trying to finish my tasks all at once.
While cursing myself for being a mess
and letting this happen, but like they
say, there's no use crying over spilt milk.

Procrastination is a thief of time and
I let him steal productivity away from me like
the wind steals sand from the dunes of a desert.

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56 Reviews

Points: 3854
Reviews: 56

Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:06 pm
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StarlitMind says...

I love this poem and your imagery! <3

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7 Reviews

Points: 390
Reviews: 7

Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:39 pm
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lulon wrote a review...

hey hkumar! lulon is here to review, upon your request. thanks for asking, by the way! anyways, let’s jump into this poem you have here.

first, lets take a quick moment to appreciate how incredibly relatable this was! every teen i know struggles with procrastination, and also many adults as well. with all the cool activties have to do today instead of get our priorities done, it’s very easy to do. awesome thoughts on procrastination, so thanks for sharing!

second, some pretty cool imagery you got there bro. it wasn’t overused, yet not underused. it’s a perfect balance. and they were really creative, very original. great job there!

i only have one critique: i feel like everything was very cramped together. it was kind of overwhelming to read.

that’s it! i hope you found my insight helpful. have a lovely day!


Hkumar says...

Thanks for the review :D I really appreciate it. I tried to put in all my frustrations in it, I guess that's why it was a bit overwhelming. Thanks!

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58 Reviews

Points: 1519
Reviews: 58

Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:11 am
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BhavyaMehta123 wrote a review...

Hi! As I went through the poem I was like, " This is me" Procrastination is like blood running in our veins. The poem is exceptionally well- written. I loved reading it. We are on the same page in this. But I feel the best way to combat procrastination is to fight with it. This is something which works everytime for me. Might as well help you. So all the best for that. And also sometimes falling in love with your work is a great idea too...
The last lines are just so well done. And this poem is so relatable which made me enjoyed it a lot more. After all this is everyone's story. Some people just don't say it.
I'll take your leave now. All the best for your future work.
Keep Writing!
From: Bhavya

Hkumar says...

Thank you so much for the review :) I guess this procrastination is a universal phenomenon that we all need to fight with.

Surely it is. We will fight it. :)

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208 Reviews

Points: 14243
Reviews: 208

Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:09 pm
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whatchamacallit wrote a review...

Hello Hkumar! I'm here for the requested review!

I think you really capture how frustrating procrastination is, and how easy it is to fall prey to it. You've got some really nice imagery, as well, comparing time to birds, sand, algae, leeches, and so forth. I would say, you use a lot of disconnected comparisons and I'd love to see some more continuity. Say you were to choose to stick to sand imagery for the most part, you could then incorporate desert, cactus, sandstorms, sun, heat, and other elements like that. This would give you a wide variety of things to work with, but they would feel more connected. I hope that makes sense, if not feel free to ask for clarification!

Another small thing that I've noticed in the poem is a lot of full stops and periods. It makes a lot of shorter sentences and they can sometimes feel sort of disjointed. Most of your sentences are one or two lines long, and at most, three. I'm not saying you need run-on sentences, but exchanging some periods for commas, semicolons, or dashes, might make the poem flow slightly smoother.

There are a few very tiny nitpicks that I've pointed out below, as well.

Making a fresh to-do list for work
and setting an impossible deadline.
While my conscience laughs at me
for it knows this isn't the first time.

"While" here is unnecessary, unless you choose to combine these two sentences.

Algae grows on my long due list
but my tomorrow never comes.

This is some really interesting imagery! Also, a minor nitpick, but I'm not sure what you mean by "due list"? Maybe that was supposed to be "to-do list"?

Tomorrow is waiting with a wide smirk,
filled with forlorn hopes and aspirations.
But it was neglected just like the others.
My mind is fully consumed by this plague
that leeches time off my circadian clock.

Since we're talking about Tomorrow here, I would probably say "will be neglected" instead of "was neglected". Also, some more really cool and unusual imagery with the leeches! I might just suggest adding "of" after "off".

that eleventh hour to make a knock.

This feels a bit awkwardly worded; usually I would expect a sentence structure like this if a poet is trying to get two lines to rhyme. However I don't think there's a rhyming scheme here, unless you're trying to rhyme this with clock? Either way, I would suggest rewording this to make it feel more natural: for example,
"that eleventh hour to knock upon my lethargic mind"
or something like that.

Then I try to go for the impossible,
foolishly and disordered, I finally begin
trying to finish my tasks all at once.

I would try (pun not intended) to not use the same verb, "try"/"trying", twice in the same sentence. It just feels a little bit repetitive.

Procrastination is a thief of time and
I let him steal away from me everytime.

I love your choice to italicize these two closing lines! It summarizes the whole poem, and makes the poem feel finished, as well. I think perhaps "away" is unnecessary here - it would imply that procrastination is elusive, whereas I think you mean that procrastination is stealing from you. Also, one thing you could consider adding to these closing lines is something like,
I let him steal productivity away from me
like the wind steals sand from the dunes of a desert.

That's maybe not the best idea, but hopefully you get what I mean - I think adding a comparison would give some extra oomph to the closing lines. (And you could tie back to whatever family of imagery is predominant, such as sand.)

All that being said, I do really like this poem. You use a very nice, varied vocabulary, your grammar is great, and you really do capture how awful procrastination can be. I hope this review helps, and thank you for requesting one!

Keep writing!



Hkumar says...

Thank you so much whatchamacallit for that detailed review and your valuable suggestions. I will be making some changes like you said. I am glad that I approached you through your WRFF :)

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5 Reviews

Points: 152
Reviews: 5

Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:07 pm
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apricot wrote a review...

i think this was the perfect way to describe procrastinating especially the algae grows on the to do list was a very nice touch and i felt a bit of self disappointment in there and guilt . And what i liked the best was using "him" to describe procrastination as like a person instead of a word to describe someone. You turned something most people joke about and just laugh off and put it into the real eyes of something time consuming and a bad habit. I am a procrastinator myself 50 50 so if i wasn't at all this would give me good insight the feelings and thoughts going through your head or anyone's head. When writing poetry people always say avoid cliches so i think the only thing would be different was "time flies by like a bird in the sky" "to time fly's by like the sun and moon in the sky" because those literally help tell time. But overall I loved it sorry for the long review lol

Hkumar says...

Thanks for the review <3

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10 Reviews

Points: 739
Reviews: 10

Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:21 pm
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thegoldenbird wrote a review...

Hey HKumar!
I dropped by to tell you that this work is really beautifully written. Being a procrastinator myself, I successfully manage to waste and while away most of my time. And this poem of yours was like a slap of reality into my face, making me address my worries about my procrastinating habits which I usually shove under the rug. It's realistic and metaphorical to the right amount and makes the reader think, which I suppose was basically the point.
However there is something I would like to point out to you.
In the second stanza, you mention that you can feel time creeping through your fingers like grains of sand. When I read this, I was instantly reminded of the poem "A dream within a dream" by Edgar Allan Poe. It has the lines:
"... and I hold within my hand
grains of the golden sand.
How few, yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep..."
And, although I know the lines in your poem were original, it just made me think for a moment that this is where you had gotten the idea for. It made me, just for a moment, think about a tiny bit of plagiarism, which I'm quite sure you didn't do. Though I'm sorry for thinking that way about a fellow writer, I would like to say that other people might also think the same as I did. You could change the "sand" to "water" if you like. Or keep it that way if it doesn't bother you. I just wanted you to know. The rest is up to you to decide.

Once again, wonderful poem with beautiful and meticulous use of words.
Keep writing!

Hkumar says...

Thanks @thegoldenbird for the appreciation :D. As for those lines it's the first time I heard of that poem and had to google it. I think that poet is millions of times better than me and had used those words in a much better and deeper sense.
This expression is very commonly used in hindi poems and movies. Also 'slipping through one's fingers' is a very common idiom that means failing to seize any opportunity and sand's reference could be taken from an hourglass. Besides, the image of sand slipping through one's finger is very common in one's mind and can be implied how easily we can lose time which can't be brought back.
It's good that you raised your concern and thanks for letting me know of such a beautiful poem. Again thanks for the review. :)

You're most welcome. I myself am no stranger to Hindi literature and the idiom. I just pointed it out for your reference :)

Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
— C. Northcote Parkinson