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growing up is

by Jaybird


Description: A series of stanzas on what growing up means to me.

growing up is

bringing up wood to fuel
the roaring fire in your living room
because you and your cat
are the only witnesses to its
dying flames.

it’s wanting to impulsively buy
a motivational calendar
from the store in the center of town,
but deciding not to because
you never used the sunset one
you got last year.

it’s having an eleven a.m. class
but waking at seven,
leaving at nine,
and arriving at ten--
in case you get caught up
on the way there.

it’s never seeing your family
between going to classes
and your brother’s many
after school activities.
you’ve had leftovers for dinner
on-and-off the past two weeks
and you just want to
eat with everyone at the table again.

it’s being aware of the anxiety
that’s plagued you for years.
it wasn’t bad before you noticed,
but now you feel terrified
at the thought of having to speak
only in spanish
in your first spanish class since
eighth grade.

it’s doubting your own abilities.
you’ve taken them for granted
for years,
but reality has set in
and you’re not sure
you can fulfill your childhood
dream of getting a book published.

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90 Reviews


Points: 2768
Reviews: 90

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Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:12 pm
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LZPianoGirl wrote a review...



**My Thoughts**

Hey Jay! LZ here with a review. I liked this poem, it wasn't too long or too short, and the topic was great. I don't think I've seen a poem with this topic before and it was a powerful poem (in terms of emotion) as well..

**Formatting and Grammar**

The formatting is great! I like how all the stanzas are all around the same length. It helps make this poem look very neat. Just one thing. In the line:

and your brother’s many


You italicize and make the word "many" bigger than all the others. It looks a bit off. It messes the flow of the poem up a little. In my opinion, you should make it like all the other words. As for grammar, I didn't notice anything wrong!

**Punctuation and Capitalization**

I liked how you didn't use capitalization. It helps add the theme of self-doubt and anxiety to the poem. I appreciated how you used full punctuation, it helps make the poem look complete.

**Other**

As I said before, I like the topic (or plot) of this poem. It is very relatable and I don't think I've seen a poem with this topic before.

**Quick Review**

Great poem! Just one thing I would change in formatting.

Keep on writing, I enjoy your poems. Have a good Monday!




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111 Reviews


Points: 9075
Reviews: 111

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Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:55 pm
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tgham99 wrote a review...



Wow, this is a powerful poem in terms of emotion. I actually resonated with a lot of the situations and experiences that you mentioned because I myself have literally been the one to "wake up at seven and leave at nine to arrive at ten" in order to avoid getting caught up along the way. The specificity of this poem makes it very relatable to anyone who's experiencing the tumultuous journey of actually growing up..

In terms of stylistic elements, I like that you chose to use lowercase rather than proper case, and I also like that you opted for proper punctuation. In longer poems like these, I feel like it goes a long way in terms of denoting where thoughts/memories start and end, so that's a small thing that I wanted to point out as a kudos :)

The last stanza in particular was very intense in my opinion; this is where we get a deeper look into the mind of the speaker. This particular stanza shows that you know your audience well -- appealing to the fear of not getting your book published (or any piece, really) is one that I'm sure many people on YWS and the literary community in general are familiar with. However, I like that that one line at the end can be modified to describe any childhood dream that was left unfulfilled -- it's sort of customizable, and can be switched to express a myriad of unfulfilled dreams to relate to various audiences. I thought that was a clever thing to do.

Wonderful poem! I don't have any suggestions because this was very well-written. Write on!!

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Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:19 am
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EverLight wrote a review...



EverLight here with a review! This review is not intended to offend or hurt you or make your novel or poem seem bad, but be warned you may feel offended anyway.

My thoughts
Be still my heart!....
Nitpicks and Grammar
You know how I do this so let's go!

bringing up wood to fuel
the roaring fire in your living room
because you and your cat
are the only witnesses to its
dying flames.

I believe you should remove the word up from the first stanza. It gives it a better flow.

it’s wanting to impulsively buy
a motivational calendar
from the store in the center of town,
but deciding not to because
you never used the sunset one
you got last year.

the but in the third stanza would sound better if replaced by the word and.

it’s having an eleven a.m. class
but waking at seven,
leaving at nine,
and arriving at ten--
in case you get caught up
on the way there.


I'd rewrite that like this-

It's having an eleven a.m class,
waking at seven
and arriving at ten
in case you get caught up on the way there

See the difference?

it’s never seeing your family
between going to classes
and your brother’s many
after school activities.
you’ve had leftovers for dinner
on-and-off the past two weeks
and you just want to
eat with everyone at the table again

I'd remove the word going from the first stanaza, and the word many from the secant stanza.

it’s being aware of the anxiety
that’s plagued you for years.
it wasn’t bad before you noticed,
but now you feel terrified
at the thought of having to speak
only in spanish
in your first spanish class since
eighth grade.

Try writing it like this-
it's being aware of anxiety
that's plagued you for years
it wasn't bad before,
but now you feel terrified
at the thought of having to speak
only in spanish
in your first spanish class
since eight grade


it’s doubting your own abilities.
you’ve taken them for granted
for years,
but reality has set in
and you’re not sure
you can fulfill your childhood
dream of getting a book published.

I'd try writing it like this-

it's doudting your abilities
you've taken them for granted
for years
but reality has set in
and your not sure
if you can fulfill your childhood
dream of getting a book published.

___________________________________________________
Overall
This really pulled at my heartstrings. Which is a sign of a good poet <3

EverLight Out

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Points: 66
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Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:53 am
kstav wrote a review...



Honestly I found this a quite interesting read. Although some are very specific, the examples provided are still very relatable. Maybe it could have used a very light memory from even earlier in childhood before the first stanza. With this I believe that a greater contrast between early childhood innocence and the substantial self-doubt and anxiety that builds up through the teenage years. Overall a very well written poem concerning a topic that is very near and dear to the hearts of many.




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Reviews: 36

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Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:59 pm
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MiniGem26 says...



My heart. Wow. <3 Will review later.





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