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Makeup

by JoyDark


I thought this wasn’t me.

Eyelashes dyed black, with

Lip gloss like red berries, and

It looks like my lips are

Bleeding.
__

My fingers

Trace my skin, wondering

Where the contours begin,

Where on my face this

Tan powder should live.
__

I was always the girl who

Scorned face paint, who

Bared my lips from my teeth

When any hint of lipstick

Was placed around my mouth,

Not understanding this beauty shtick.
__

But here I am, ever

The hypocrite, trying

To figure out the craft

Of shadow and eyelining.

I watch my sister, patting

Blush on her cheeks, drawing

Dark ebony across her lashes.

How does she do it?

How she pull off girliness

With such grace? How is

It possible to create a face

Without flaws, makeup caked

Over pores, making haste

While covering up pimples?
__

This new interest scares me.

But somehow it’s exciting

Watching how to add color

To my eyelids, learning more

About beauty in the world

That I live in.
__

And maybe now I’m learning

I can’t just sit back and watch,

So I dig into my sister’s stash

Of shimmer and color and powder

Every morning, holding the

Different brushes to my face,

Remembering to hold the

Eyeliner pen true,

Wondering if makeup would look

Good on me too.


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Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:02 am
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whatchamacallit wrote a review...



Hi there JoyDark! I'm here for a quick review on this lovely poem of yours! ^^

I agree with Lavvie that you do a great job of showing how the narrator's attitude towards makeup shifts as the poem progresses - first contempt, then curiosity, then desire. Your words choice helps to convey the shift in tone; at the start, you use negative descriptions like "bleeding", then in the middle the descriptions are more neutral and matter of fact ("covering up pimples"), and finally they're more positive -> "shimmer and color and powder".

I do feel that you also seem to shift style ever so slightly from start to finish. In the opening stanza you have some poetic descriptions of makeup, describing it like berries and bleeding. But by the final stanza, the language seems significantly more matter of fact? Even while "shimmer and color and powder" is a lovely description, there's nothing figurative about it, per se. I don't actually think this change in style is a bad thing; in fact, I think it complements the shift in perspective nicely. However, I think it'd be even more effective if you made the poetic descriptions at the start even more obviously poetic. For example:

It looks like my lips are

Bleeding.
Could become:
It looks like my lips are

crushed pomegranate seeds

bleeding crimson juice.


Similarly, in the third stanza, you could make the descriptions a little more extreme; dig into the "baring my lips" image a bit more -> what's the narrator baring them like? a snarling lion? And maybe consider a more negative verb instead of "placed" -> something like "stained" would work well, I think, to show the narrator's feelings towards makeup.

If you make the starting descriptions more "extravagant", for lack of a better term, it will make the shift from figurative to literal image more stark and dramatic, which I think would be fabulous! <3

I really enjoyed the subtle rhyming scheme you employed throughout the poem. It wasn't super consistent, but it obviously wasn't meant to be, so I didn't mind that at all! You used it where it made sense, and sounded natural, and complimented the flow, instead of contorting lines to make a forced rhyme fit. I especially liked the "grace / face / haste" rhyme in the fifth stanza, and the fact that "grace" was in the middle of a line instead of at the end. It makes the rhyming feel less noisy and more natural, if that makes sense! :)

Altogether, this was a really strong poem and a really enjoyable read <3 I hope this review is helpful, and if you have any questions about anything I've said, feel free to ask ^^

Keep writing!

whatcha




JoyDark says...


Thank you for this! I didn%u2019t even realize the transition of language from poetic to more blunt, which is awesome that you even picked that out. That is why I didn%u2019t put a lot of thought into imagery, per se.



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Wed Jan 27, 2021 1:58 am
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Lavvie wrote a review...



Hi there!

I think this poem is quite interesting because it speaks to nascent curiosity about makeup, looking up to an older sister (at least, I presumed it's an older sibling), and sort of shines a light on the criticisms of makeup use while at the same time speaking to the possible benefits of makeup.

What I find most alluring is the difference in the poem from start to finish. You have definitely told a story here, as the beginning points to a feeling of almost reticence to using makeup. Yet, in the last stanza, the speaker seems definitely a lot more open to it. You've done a really wonderful job in highlighting this change and incorporating the worries and other thoughts that the speaker (possibly you?) has.

I have just a few suggestions for revision: first, I found the dashes between each stanza really broke it up too much for me. I strongly feel that each stanza flows fluidly into the other, and removing those visual breaks might help promote that a bit more. I wonder if you might also consider incorporating some more imagery? Right now, you already have some nice images, but I was wondering if you might want to include a little more - perhaps colours (makeup can be really bright!) or smells or touch. Engage your five natural senses, and I assure you that you will be able to flesh out some deep visuals for your poem.

Overall, well done.

Best,
Lavvie




JoyDark says...


Thank you so much! I%u2019m glad you liked the poem. (It%u2019s actually a younger sister, I%u2019m just the older sister noob who barely has a social life ;))



JoyDark says...


And yes, you are completely right about the lack of imagery. I kind of wanted to convey more of an idea than language itself... does that make sense? And the line breaks I was actually thinking about changing, too, even before you said so. So... thanks a lot!



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Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:32 pm
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forgottenparadise wrote a review...



Thinking that you aren't beautiful, so your'll do anything to make your self beautiful.
I like your poem and its very good.
I dislike make up due to my face and it never looks good on me and i question why my sister looks so pretty with makeup and all the stuff she wears, it makes me sick thinking why can't i be as pretty and graceful as her.




JoyDark says...


Thank you for this review! :D




Poetry and prayer are very similar.
— Carol Ann Duffy