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this is not poetry

by Kelisot

Okay, I know some of you are surprised this new post isn't Vendetta (which is almost done, by the way!), but rather a story completely unrelated to my little world. I decided to write this short story (this is not poetry) for another project that somewhat relates to my little Universe... a spin-off, you can say.

If you have enjoyed this literature, make sure to give a like, comment (review if you want to get points!) and a follow if you want to!


this is not poetry

where i speak all

singing great deeds

lamenting life

this is not curiosity

where i open all

questioning life

ignoring warnings

this is not temperance

where i restrict all

consuming nihility

fasting myself

this is not hope

where i pray all

waiting patiently

anticipating light

this is not love

where i adore all

embracing you

comforting others

this is not heaven

where i enjoy all

flying around


this is not hevel

where i shame all

crying aloud



"That's enough!" I heard someone speaking, "we don't need any more poetry anymore!"

I paused with shock as I disbelieved what I just heard. Did they just say that they didn't need my poetry anymore? That I, as a messenger of a God, was forbidden? Heck, I did expect some bitterness among the wicked mass, but seriously, now?

"Get out!" one of them yelled, throwing sharp objects over me, "you have spoken blasphemy against Theta-Nomos!"

Fools, I thought, you're the ones that are speaking blasphemies.

"O Great Theta-Nomos," I prayed desperately. "Destroy these wicked sinners you have given mercy, for they continue to defile your name with profanities."

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542 Reviews

Points: 41664
Reviews: 542

Thu Jun 02, 2022 12:30 pm
Liminality wrote a review...

Hi there Kelisot!

My first impression of this work is that it seems to show a point of conflict, though I’m not sure by the end if the conflict is meant to be resolved. You’ve put it into the genre ‘script’, but the formatting of the work is quite different from how I’d imagine a script to look like (I’m thinking of a play script or a video script). What catches my eye the most though is the line “we don’t need any more poetry anymore”, because that was an interesting turn. It wasn’t how I thought this work was going to go.

I like the concept behind the work. I googled ‘theta’ and ‘nomos’ separately, and it looks like you’re referencing Ancient Greek culture here. From what I can tell, ‘nomos’ might refer to the daemon of human laws, so maybe Theta-Nomos is a deity that inverts human law? That’s what I see in the poem part anyway, as the narrator repeats “this is not . . . this is not . . . “ in reference to a lot of things contained in human culture like poetry, love and temperance. (Unless these things are meant to be divine in the setting you've built.)

The inner voice of this God messenger contrasts their speaking voice quite a bit, and I wonder if that was intentional. For example, they sound very formal and dare I say loaded when they say “defile your name” and “destroy these wicked sinners”. Then in their own head they say things like “heck” and “but seriously, now?” which make them sound more like just another person, maybe even a kid. It kind of confused me a bit, and I found it hard to suspend disbelief in that scene. Another thing I was wondering about is if the messenger spoke out the “[ERASED]” line in that way, or if the narrator was speaking aloud at all. It sure looks like they were speaking, since the other characters are reacting to their speech in the scene, but I can’t imagine someone reading out a line ‘erased’ unless they were a computer or if this was a modern setting with experimental spoken word poetry.

I appreciate how you’ve played around with the formatting here. When reading it the first time, I definitely didn’t expect the poem/speech/monologue to break off into a scene. I think I was absorbed into the words and not thinking about the title anymore. I like how that switch to prose maybe contrasts between the divine and the worldly. In this work at least it looks like the worldly chaos, or the “wicked mass” as the narrator expresses it has become disconnected from the divine order. Form fitting content is always neat, even if “this is not poetry” c:

Now for some quick nitpicks:

I paused with shock as I disbelieved what I just heard.

The flow of thought is a bit hard to follow in this line. “I disbelieved” feels like an odd way to describe it for me because unlike the other verbs in this line it’s not really an ‘action’?

"Get out!" one of them yelled, throwing sharp objects over me

‘over’ makes me think they’re deliberately aiming the sharp objects to fly over the messenger’s head, whereas usually in these situations they would be aiming ‘at’ the messenger.

Overall, this was an interesting work that presented a nice piece of worldbuilding. I’d imagine it could lead to some twists in a preexisting plot about the religion of Theta-Nomos, or it could be a story on its own about the God’s messenger and what they have to deal with on a daily basis.

Hope some of this is helpful, and feel free to ask for more feedback!

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Kelisot says...

Thank you for reviewing!!! And yes, Theta-Nomos possibly might be one of the most important figures in History who had made Earth become how it is...

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1228 Reviews

Points: 144000
Reviews: 1228

Sat Mar 12, 2022 5:06 am
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alliyah wrote a review...

Hey there! This is extremely intriguing - not sure quite what it is, but love a genre-bending piece! :) Are you writing a play? Is it connected to more? I also love the literary description you had of this too.

You've got some excellent turns of phrase in the poem / not-poem part at the beginning.

The first part seems at least somewhat inspired by the book of Ecclesiastes with the reference to
"this is not temperance
where i restrict all
consuming nihility
fasting myself"

^ definitely has some Ecclesiastes vibes, like maybe the speaker is trying to say everything can't be poetry - just like the Ecclesiastes author says "all is vanity" etc.

And then the reference to "hevel" at the end in "this is not hevel / where i shame all" also definitely had Ecclesiastes vibes to me. Which was an awesome nugget to stumble across a little Hebrew reference on YWS - I've taken some courses in Biblical Hebrew and Greek - so I think I just have to review this piece since you have both. :]

Later you reference a "theta-nomos" which I think is a character you're making up, unless it's some sort of mythological character I don't know of. I guess you're combining the letter "theta" which was sometimes used as a symbol also for death as well as being the 8th letter of the Greek alphabet with "nomos" which is law -> so "death-law" ? a bit like "thanatos" god of death, but not quite. Interesting. I can't quite tell what's happening in the conflict at the end of the play except that I'm interpreting that character 1 gets mad at the narrator for doing poetry even though what they had done they had declared wasn't a poem. They accuse the narrator of blaspheming against "theta-nomos" or "death-law" and the narrator thinks that really the accuser is the one who is guilty.

I'd love to see this developed further - because a story involving gods that dislike poetry is incredibly interesting for sure.

A few suggestions ~

This story would be more compelling with a little more information on who the accuser is -> I don't know that it's necessary to know who the narrator is, but just to have "someone" speaking is a little too much mystery to wrap my mind around. You could have the speaker be the personification of something else or even just hint at an anonymous identity - but just having them be a voice I think is a little ambiguous to follow unless there's a reason for this.

In the line "That I, as a messenger of a [G]od, was forbidden" <- in this context I believe "god" should be lowercased, because in this world there are multiple gods it sounds like rather than one [G]od.

I like the dramatic end of the poetic section, and also how you jumped right into it because it adds to the mystery and drama of the whole piece, the only thing I didn't love was the ellipses that ended the poem portion. An ellipses very rarely is used very effectively in poetry, because it can stand for too many things it's mood becomes humorous or ambiguous. An ellipses can stand for a pause because of confusion, uncertainty, dramatic tension, a pause before a joke punch line, or just hesitation and I think also makes the poem look less polished when the rest of the poem is so even and consistently formatted.

Last critique, in your literary description and the piece itself you say your piece isn't a poem, but then in your author's note you say "If you have enjoyed this poem..." I found this a little confusing :) Pick to present it as one way or another - if it's a script, then go with that, if it's a poem + script then go with that, but to say both "it's not a poem" and "this is a poem" gives a bit too much confusion to me.

Overall this was really interesting, and I look forward to seeing some more of your work on the site!


Kelisot says...

Thank you for the review!!!
I'm really surprised that someone was able to get some special references here... Amazing!!

I’d heard he had started a fistfight in one of the seedier local taverns because someone had insisted on saying the word “utilize” instead of “use".
— Patrick Rothfuss, A Wise Man's Fear