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Last School Picture

by Magebird

A Brief Explanation: This poem was created as a warmup exercise in my creative writing class. On the way to our school pictures, we were supposed to jot down different sensory details we observed, and, when we returned to the classroom, we were supposed to create a literary piece based on them. I chose to do a poem for it. Because of that, it's focused on a lot of details specific to my school - so if you need clarification on what I'm referring to in some parts, please let me know!

Last School Picture

Turning out into the hallway,
the voices of my classmates
ring out in the thick, humid air.
Interspersed between them are
footsteps on old tile floors,
illuminated by dim lights.

Heat transitions to cold as
we step off of tiles and onto
dark carpets – fine but soft.
My fingertips fidget with my
smooth collar, and run
through my hair;
I want this picture to be perfect.

Lights flash with little clicks
as I hold the small pencil
in my hands.
I jot down my name,
tasting the saliva in
my mouth as I prepare
for my last school picture.

I can hear my feet
hitting the hard tiles
now beneath me as the photographer
gestures me over.
Her voice – pleasant, familiar –
tells me to lower my chin and
look straight ahead.

I do as asked;
the lights flash
one final time,
accompanied by a click.
She smiles and says
that I'm done.
I slip off the stage,
landing softly on the carpet.

As my classmates assemble,
in the velvety auditorium chairs,
I cast one last glance
at the photographer and her setup.
The memory begins to fade
as we enter the muggy hallways
and as we leave behind
yet another final experience
as we return to the classroom.

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28 Reviews

Points: 316
Reviews: 28

Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:40 pm
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HollyM64 wrote a review...

As a senior myself, wow this felt too real! You have a really nice writing style and the structure of the poem really adds to that. I enjoyed the rhythm and flow of the poem, even if the line breaks seemed strange occasionally. I really like the sensory descriptions, though be careful about spreading them out or the stanza can feel a little saturated.
Overall though, a really nice poem, well done!

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102 Reviews

Points: 2846
Reviews: 102

Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:14 am
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TheBlueCat wrote a review...

Heya Saen! Cat here to review this awesome poem! I'll start by going stanza-by-stanza, so let's get going.

First stanza is already full of sensor details. Sometimes it feels like there were a few details that were forcefully packed in, but it wasn't a huge sore thumb.

Third stanza; the 'tasting my saliva' is really weird to me? Like it doesn't make sense? and is uncomfortable?? I'm not sure why. Maybe it wouldn't be as weird if it was like the taste of the pretzels you just ate or something?

I don't really have anything to say after that. I love all the details, and I feel like I could actually be there. I just recently had my first school picture in three years, so I now understand this vividly. I love the feeling of almost-regret as you think of the fact that this is your last school picture.

Line breaks are a little funky or me at times if I'm to be perfectly honest. Flow was really good, as was rhythm. I think you accomplished your goal for the sensory details; I love all of it!

Overall, I love this poem quite a bit! I think you did a great job, and I hope this was helpful!

Keep writing! =^-^=

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951 Reviews

Points: 123731
Reviews: 951

Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:07 am
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alliyah says...

This narrative poem did a lovely job of capturing a specific moment in a way I think a lot of people can relate to! I'd love to see a bit more in terms of poetic devices - simile, metaphor, consonance, rhymes. But this poem still paints a lovely picture with your vibrant imagery. :) I hope to keep seeing poetry from you in the future Saen!

Magebird says...

Thanks! You probably will - our first unit in creative writing is poetry, so I've got poems on the brain right now.

alliyah says...

Oh nice!! :D *starts chanting* "poetry! poetry! poetry! poetry!" :)

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17 Reviews

Points: 550
Reviews: 17

Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:29 am
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wafflewolf7 says...

This is the kind of thing that makes me really mad that I suck at poetry.... Really good descriptive storytelling!

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47 Reviews

Points: 574
Reviews: 47

Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:36 pm
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SubSubLibrarian says...

Saen, I really appreciate your poem. I'm a senior too and recently went for my last picture. I like how you brought out the nervousness and the finality. I didn't even realize I was nervous until we got the gym, where we go for photos. I like how easy it is for people to relate to this poem because so many of us have experienced the same thing. We may go to different high schools, but it's an experience we share, regardless.

Stupidity's the deliberate cultivation of ignorance.
— William Gaddis