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Either/Or/Nothing

by HostofHorus


Either I have said something

or

I have not

in either case

no matter now, for what

was once is not and

what was hope could

never truly be.

--

In this limbo there could be

but two souls, two parallels,

no collision without

divergence.

And so I am suspended.

Reality. Fantasy.

What difference is there?

Both are necessarily false.

Those two foundations:

Honesty. Vulnerability.

Both forfeit for

a fear of loss.

--

A heart set free must be

in shackles

lest the freedom offer no support.

Reparations call

for fractures resolved only

when they’re

unresolved


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Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:31 pm
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niteowl wrote a review...



Hi there HostofHorus! Niteowl here to review. I'm going to try to get at the meaning of each stanza and then offer my thoughts.

In the first stanza, the speaker seems to be regretting both the things they said and the things they didn't say. However, they conclude that none of this matters because the outcome they want is impossible no matter what they say.

The second stanza brings in another person, but the line "no collision without divergence" implies that they can't get close to this person because they will inevitably grow back apart. The speaker then seems confused about what is reality and fantasy, but ultimately concludes that they can't be honest with this other person or they will be lost. The punctuation here is also interesting because it makes the thoughts feel fragmented and certain.

The third stanza presents a tension in their heart between wanting to be free and wanting to be supported and secure. Honestly, I've been going over the last sentence and I'm not really sure what it means. The speaker wants some sort of payback to fix their heart and yet also feels like the fractures should remain unfixed? That's the best I got. The lack of punctuation in this stanza makes the words feel less certain and resolved than the second stanza.

There are some strong lines, like "A heart set free must be in shackles" and "no collision without divergence" and I think the poem has some interesting ideas. However, I feel like there's not enough imagery to really ground the ideas. Concrete images help the reader visualize the scene and get at the meaning. There's also some awkward phrasing like "both forfeit for a fear of loss" and "what was once is not and what was hope could never truly be". The way these sentences are written is kind of odd and made it hard to figure out what the poem is saying.

Overall, I like the ideas of this poem and the themes of loss, concealment, and regret, but I found some parts confusing and I would like to see more imagery. Keep writing! :D




HostofHorus says...


Hey niteowl,

Thanks for the review. I think you're probably right about the imagery. These were some fragments I wrote when I was concerned that telling a really good friend that I had romantic feelings for her was going to ruin our relationship entirely. I think I was focused on just getting some of my feelings on paper, but I will definitely look at adding some imagery in future revisions!

I thought I might try to explain the difficult lines? Idk if you care haha xD

"for what was once is not and what was hope could never truly be"

Was meant to explain the feeling that our deep friendship was no more and what I had hoped for, a romance of sorts, was never actually plausible.

"Both forfeit for the fear of loss"

This refers to how lying and concealing feelings due to a fear of the potential consequences inherently negates the foundations of our relationship: honesty and vulnerability.

And then the last stanza.. It was meant to show the feeling that if I should seek to repair those foundations by telling her my feelings, that honesty and vulnerability would inevitably cause fractures in our relationship.. So maybe it was best to not try to fix things, because maybe that was the best opportunity for resolution?

Thanks again! Will definitely look at the imagery!



niteowl says...


Hi! Thanks for commenting. I think I understood the meaning of the first two stanzas, but I didn't think they flowed that well.

As for the last stanza, your explanation makes sense, but I think I was thrown off by the use of the word "reparations" which I've only ever seen in a political/historical context to mean "the compensation for war damage paid by a defeated state." (e.g. after Germany lost WWI, they had to pay reparations). The other definition I see is "the making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged.", so maybe that's not quite the right word?



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Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:26 pm
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PoTatOe001 wrote a review...



Wow!! First of all I must say, you really just spoke to me!! I love this piece!! I must say, I really like where you say "A heart set free must be in shackles." That was really relatable to me in my life. I would love to read more of your writings if you want to suggest some to me. Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on some of my pieces. I have written "hurt" "Pain Pain" "Final Places" and "Undercover" Please read them and share your thoughts. Please be honest, even if you think it's brutal. Have a great day!! And Happy Writings and Readings!!!





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