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Afraid

by KaBooomm



He is afraid.
No-- no, he's terrified.
I see the strings of fear
tied to his limbs.
Fear, like a puppeteer controls him.
I can hear his surging heart slamming
against the bone-bars of its prison.
Paralyzed droplets of moisture
cast clear shadows on his eyes.
I can feel his fingers trembling
against his stiff body.
His entire being screaming
at cemented feet to
Run. Hide. Escape.
Anywhere but here.
But his body,
with sheer terror, is frozen.

Thorns prick my lungs,
as tendrils of realization choke me.
He is afraid.
He is so very afraid..

                                                                                              ..of me. 



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8 Reviews


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Sat May 06, 2017 9:52 pm
BelleTheWriter wrote a review...



Hello :)
BelleTheWriter here for a review~
I really enjoyed the piece as a whole. I enjoyed the way that the writing triggered emotions and how the descriptions that you used helped to accomplish that.
I personally wouldn't change a thing.
You're an amazing writer and I wouldn't change a thing!
Sincerly,
BelleTheWriter




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8 Reviews


Points: 4
Reviews: 8

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Sat May 06, 2017 9:46 pm
BelleTheWriter says...






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Thu May 04, 2017 2:02 pm
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Audy wrote a review...



Hey KaBooom,

I felt the piece was super dramatic there was a lot of clever use of tension and you do a wonderful job of building that tension and holding my attention from start to middle. The ending I think disappointed me a little whilst I read because it felt anticlimactic. I had the sensation of the piece building and part of that was not knowing what it was building to.

We enter the poem observing along with the narrator the fear of a third party. By the time we get to the "thorns prick my lungs / as tendrils of realization choke me" the line itself seems to be a turning point.

We are no longer talking about the third party's fear. But the narrator's own fear. I really like how you were able to turn it that way. It is terrifying to observe someone who is in the grip of fear, it is worse when we ourselves are in the grip of fear. That holds true for me.

But the "realization" and that end line that the narrator realized he was afraid. That felt kind of weak and anticlimactic. The narrator had been discussing all this time the third party's fear, so the last line "he was afraid" felt obvious and repetitive.

I understand it is supoosed to pause for the dramatic weight of the "....of me!" twist. I think the poem is supposed to feel like... the guilt and horrible realization that *you* could cause someone this level of fear, that *you* could be the bad guy. That is a real fear because we so often see ourselves as innocent. I like the concept. I feel it could be better described and shown rather than just told. otherwise the ending begins to feel like a gimmick.

It doesn't have to describe like a scene where the narrator is stabbing a guy, it doesn't have to be like a serial killer scene. But /some/ scene.

An older brother and younger brother and the older brother raises his hand to "high five" but the younger flinches as though he were about to get struck.

A police man doing his duty and stopping a speeding vehicle only to see the man in the car terrified for his life.

It can be any little thing. Scene and context and allowing us to see, hear, taste and smell rather than just being told will help carry the weight of that dramatic fear more effectively, I think, than the spaced up words.

I hope this helps.

~ as always, Audy




KaBooomm says...


Thank you!!! This was really helpful %uD83D%uDC9C



KaBooomm says...


<3*



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Thu May 04, 2017 10:15 am
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Kaylaa wrote a review...



This is Nikayla here dropping in for a review!

So this is interesting at the very least, though I do believe that it could use some work. We'll first start off with the overall piece and theme, which is that this other person in the poem is afraid of the speaker. Yet, we never get to understand why, because we don't know what the speaker has done to them, or even who the speaker is.

He is afraid.
No-- no, he's terrified.
I see the strings of fear
tied to his limbs.


Afraid. Terrified. Fear. Three emotions that mean the exact same in the first four lines. I don't like that. Instead of using all three, can't you just use the strongest synonym and instead of trying to connect with the reader by using these words, some sort of figurative language to help get your message across. We've already established that the speaker is afraid, you don't need to tell us this again. The repetition doesn't enforce the idea here since there's no dead space between these lines and uses of repetition, so it only harms the work. I suggest rewording and reworking these first four lines, since I don't see them as being a particularly strong hook for the reader.

Fear, like a puppeteer controls him.
I can hear his surging heart slamming
against the bone-bars of its prison.
Paralyzed droplets of moisture
cast clear shadows on his eyes.


The same problem here with the first four lines with fear in the first line here. You don't need it. It's unnecessary. We understand that he's afraid. If there weren't so many repetitions of the same fact that you've already introduced, this poem would be a lot stronger since the imagery here actually is stronger than I expected it to be. Though at the same time, the imagery is worded a little odd with 'bone-bars' and 'paralyzed droplets of moisture' but those can be reworked and reworded better in your editing.

I can feel his fingers trembling
against his stiff body.
His entire being screaming
at cemented feet to
Run. Hide. Escape.
Anywhere but here.
But his body,
with sheer terror, is frozen.


The piece is a little too melodramatic for my liking. It gets a little too focused on this idea of him being afraid, yet at the same time we never find out why he's afraid of the speaker so badly. The flow here isn't that great, and I believe that's due to the use of 'his fingers', 'his stiff body', 'his entire being', and 'his body' being repeated not long after each other. I wouldn't mind it as much if you just decided to say what was important and have more brevity or preciseness in this poem.

I also wouldn't even mind if you created more of a metaphor or simile as to why he's afraid, or any other form of poetic device that you believe suits the piece and gets across to the reader his fear. We don't want to be told that he's scared, we want to feel it for ourselves, and to an extent, you accomplish that. But that is to an extent, and the full potential of the piece is not used.

Thorns prick my lungs,
as tendrils of realization choke me.
He is afraid.
He is so very afraid..

..of me.


The first two lines actually aren't bad, but the ending just feels too dramatic for my tastes since we never get to learn why. Not even earn any context clues that hint as to why this other person is so afraid of the speaker. Instead of repeating 'afraid' in so many different words, create that atmosphere or tone with your imagery and word choice. Choose words that have a connotation related to fear or being afraid to build up the atmosphere and tone of the piece.

If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask! I hope I helped and have a great day.

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KaBooomm says...


Thank you!! This was really helpful <3



Kaylaa says...


No problem! Glad I helped. c:




"While we may come from different places and speak in different tongues, our hearts beat as one."
— Albus Dumbledore