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the deep end of the pool is magical

by Lib

ix. the deep end of the pool is magical

i sucked in a deep breath
and dove into the deep end of the pool
where no one but the experienced swam.
the water engulfed me in its warmth,
spreading invisible goosebumps up my arms.
i stayed still as the water worked its magic
and brought me up to the surface.
it's science, i know, but i like to think of it as magic.
i rolled around on the surface,
back, front, back, front, back, front
and eventually i reached the other end – the shallow end.
when my feet touched the pool floor,
i flinched at the coldness of it.
i liked it better when
i didn’t have to experience the coldness
of the world.
i like it better when
i could experience magic,
and fly like a free bird.


A/N: I messed up the capitalization on purpose, so don't bother saying anything about that. :) 

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444 Reviews

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Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:18 pm
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Hijinks wrote a review...

Hey Lib! I'm here to review your lovely poem :)

I totally agree with Mage, the title and the concept of this poem is gorgeous. I especially love the lines "the water engulfed me in its warmth, // spreading invisible goosebumps up my arms." It almost feels contradictory, warmth giving goosebumps, but to me that just adds to the magical mood of the poem.

You've got some really great imagery in this poem, but one thing I might suggest is focusing on several senses, as opposed to mostly just touch. You describe warmth, cold, feet touching the pool floor, and flying - which are all great descriptions, but they all describe a feeling. It's true that while you're underwater you can't taste or hear much, and probably not see much either, but you could still incorporate descriptions involving those senses into the poem. For example, when the narrator describes sucking in a breath in the opening line, you could describe the turquoise smell of chlorine filling her lungs, or something like that. Then when the narrator says she rolls around on the surface, you could add something about seeing the sunny day, blurry underwater, sunny day, blurry underwater - not that exactly, but hopefully you get the point!

One thing I really love about this poem is the flow - each line sort of tugs into the next, and for me it feels a bit like the tug of a current. (Pools don't really have currents, of course, but ya know, water imagery :D)

The only other critique I have is very nitpicky wording thing -

i flinched at the coldness of it.
i liked it better when
i didn’t have to experience the coldness

I feel like it'd be stronger if you didn't repeat coldness twice, so close together, but that's just a small little detail!

I found the theme of this poem really relatable, just wanting to stay in the magic for a bit longer, avoiding the real world for as long as possible, and I think you conveyed that idea really well - I love how you described it like the deep end!

Overall, really well done! I super enjoyed reading this poem, and I hope you find this review useful :)

Keep writing! <3


Lib says...

Ah thanks for the review! Glad you enjoyed it <3

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Sun May 31, 2020 7:08 pm
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Mageheart wrote a review...

Hello again! :)

First things first: I love the title of this poem. The best way I can describe it is that it's something that I might have found in a professional poetry book or collection - it has an abstract, mystical air that connects to the story you're telling in the stanzas. Part of the reason why I saved this poem for last was because I was so intrigued by the title; I wanted to save the best for last!

I'm glad I did. I'm not sure words can describe how much I love this poem. It hits every single poetry trope that I love - it has a magical touch to it and guides me in imagining a moment I already feel a connection for. My initial critique of it was going to be that you should probably break it up into stanzas to make it easier to read, but, after reading the entire poem, I think the formatting you chose works perfectly. I especially love how you formatted it in the center of the page. It really drew me in.

The only critique of it that I have left is this one line, which @Wynnorific already mentioned in their review:

it's science, i know, but i like to think of it as magic.

It's the only line that broke the magic sorry not sorry for the somewhat pun of the poem. Everything is so specific up until that point; "science" is such a general term in comparison. If you really love the mention of science being responsible, I would suggest expanding on it - maybe something about how science pushes the speaker up towards the surface.

Alternatively, you could take out that line. You mention magic in an earlier one, and the reader knows that floating is caused by scientific principles.

But nitpicks aside, this poem was amazing! I don't usually reread poetry, but I'd love to revisit this poem someday in the future just to enjoy it again.


Lib says...

Aw man thanks for the review! Glad you enjoyed it~ :)

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Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:47 pm
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Wynorrific wrote a review...

Hey Liberty, this is a beautiful poem. You created a soothing image in my head--- I really pictured floating on the deep end of a pool. I had actually never thought of it like this. While reading the poem, I saw it as an extended metaphor for something (glad to have that confirmed in the comments). Every word you use builds upon that imagery.

My opinion is that in "the water did its magic", you could have used a stronger word than "did", but that's really up to you. Also, the omission of "it's" before "science, i know..." made the line a little awkward because "science" reads as a subject until you get to "but I like to think...".

Your pattern in this poem seems to be using correct grammar (with the exception of the capitalization) and complete sentences. If that's so, you might want to take a look at the last part. Essentially, the line is this: "I liked it better when I didn't have to experience the coldness of the world, and I could experience magic, and fly like a free bird." This is an awkward sentence. No matter what the last bit "and fly like a free bird" is meant to follow ("when I..." as part of a list, or "experience magic" as a compound verb), it isn't grammatically correct. In the second case, which I suspect is the most likely one, you should remove the comma. Even so, the repetition of "and" doesn't sound right in the very end. It might help to rephrase that bit.

Those are the only problems I noticed. Everything else looks fantastic. Great pacing, great use of language. It's a unique metaphor for sure. I love the message, and I love that you conveyed it this way. Write on, my friend!

Lib says...

Thanks for the review! I'll keep what you said in mind! :)

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Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:30 pm
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MoonIris wrote a review...

Hey. I really liked your poem. I'm a person who enjoys staying in the water( pool, ocean...). I always seemed to enjoy going on the bottom of it and then up again. But I don't really think this poem was meant to be just about playing in a swimming pool. I think you can replace the pool with sometimes your goals. When you worked so hard to reach your goals and except everything to be amazing and great and sometimes you get disappointed or you just realized that it can be unpleasant and you need to do even more sacrifice then you had to do before. Of course it can be absolutely amazing but sometimes not at all or not completely. I think your poem really explained that! Did you want that the poem to send to us another message? I really liked it:) I hope you finish the Harry Potter review day great!

Lib says...

I love that people see poems in different ways than others do.

Spoiler! :
The way I had pictured it was that the deep end of the pool was magical because you could fly (float) and not go near the evil people (cruelness of the world) and stay with those who you love (experienced swimmers). And when "i" kept on swimming, she swam all the way to the shallow end and her feet touched the cold floor (cruel world).

Thanks for the review and I'm glad you enjoyed this!

MoonIris says...

I didn't think of this but it makes sense. I agree the perspective can change with the person and it's really interesting!

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Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:28 pm
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JesseWrites wrote a review...

Jesse here to review, so I am hopping in now.

I read the author note, so i won't bring that up again.

I didn't really get a rhythm from this, but some poems choose not to. That's probably what you went for.

I like the aspect of adding small details like "goosebumps". It made the reading enjoyable and kind of realistic.

I don't really have any other things to critique, so whoo. I am still baffled that you got it in during Review Day, but I am not questioning.


Lib says...

Thanks for the review!

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Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:27 pm
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Icon wrote a review...

This was awesome! As someone who likes to just sorta float around the surface of the pool, I don't hav a preferred depth, but this made me love the deep end! I love how it reads as a stream of thoughts one would have while in a pool. It's grounded, yet etherial, and airy. I'm always a sucker for some water themed poetry, and this easily one of my favorites so far!

Lib says...

Thank you so much! <3

All we can do is our best, and hope that it was enough.
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