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even in pain

by Liberty

on my knees,

i hunch down low.

people watching,

a solid group.

"it's just rehersal."

i tell myself.

once i stand,

there's gasps of horror,

there's people pointing.

i look down at me,

and see dark blood.

(my white jeans,

ruined afterall.)

running to the bathroom,

i tell myself,

"it's okay."

"it's  big deal."

pulled my jeans up,

froze in shock.

blood oozing out,

of a very deep gash.

(on my knee.)

i call the teacher,

"bring my mother."


we drive back home.

mum cleans me up.

my thoughts swirling.

"feeling woozy."

i whisper to her.

mum talks and talks,

but i hear nothing.

only a jumble of words,

and far-off sounds.

feeling scared,

i hysterically laugh.

mum stares in shock,

but i continue.

she brings me downstairs,

and settles me in.

she gives me water,

i gulp it down.

she gives me ice-cream,

i stuff my mouth.

now i'm in the living.

watching TV.

mum rubs my knee,


i grin again,

the pain screaming at me.

soon i doze off,

in a restless sleep.

what happened that day,

i do not know.

all i do know,

is that i kept a smile on,

even in pain.

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111 Reviews

Points: 9075
Reviews: 111

Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:59 am
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tgham99 wrote a review...

After reading @alliyah 's review I got a better idea of what kind of tone you were going for here, and it helped me understand the narration a little bit more. I do think that this piece would have benefited from maybe a prologue or just a few more details regarding what led the speaker to start bleeding from their knee; the imagery itself is interesting and shocking enough to get me to keep reading, but I'll admit that I was struggling a bit to figure out what it was symbolizing (if anything at all).

I like how concise each line is, which helped me keep a flowing rhythm going while I read through the poem. I feel like this structural decision does a lot to emphasize the jarring effect that pain can have on a person -- in many ways, the choppy nature of the lines can be interpreted as the stabbing sensations associated with shooting pain. Not sure if that makes sense but I figured I'd mention it in case anyone else got the same interpretation from it!

Focusing on the idea of smiling through pain is very interesting to me in terms of the poem's subject, though I will say that there were a few points in which I had a bit of a hard time tying everything back to the main idea (specifically, the anecdotal sections about eating ice cream and having mom's reassurance).

Last note: I believe you left out a word in one of the earlier lines; as of right now, the line says "it's big deal" which I assume you meant to change to "it's no big deal". Just wanted to point this out in case someone else didn't get to it before me :)

All in all, though, I liked the poem and would love to see more of your poetry as you continue to grow as a writer <3

Liberty says...

Thanks for the review! =)

Liberty says...

Thanks for the review! =)

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951 Reviews

Points: 123731
Reviews: 951

Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:07 pm
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alliyah wrote a review...

Smiling through the pain is kind of an odd theme to highlight? Besides that the narrative flowed pretty well, but I think could have used a bit more at the beginning of just how the person injured their knee.

This poem struggled to also have significance, because the injury wasn't linked to anything important - poetry doesn't necessary have to have a "moral of the story" but in cases that it doesn't the other two routes one can go are evoking emotion, or evoking a sense of awe. Here's what I think could be improved on those three fronts.

1) Narrative - we need to know more about how the character injured their knee I think in order for the story to make sense, and maybe also some justification for why they're all smiley despite being in pain - because that's not a natural response, it is a bit jolting and confusing. I could see this being a powerful critique of the difficulty about being a good actor or actress, that the real emotion is hidden - more theater links would definitely make this feel like a fuller poem, and carry some more narrative continuity.

2) Emotion - I struggled to have much of an empathetic emotional connection to the speaker because I couldn't tell why they were feeling this way - why were they smiling while in pain? You could also highlight the pain more specifically by describing it - the spot in the poem where you describe the pain as screaming, is good personification, I'd like to see even more of this.

3) A sense of Awe - It didn't really feel like there was anything extraordinary happening in this poem, just a run-of-the-mill scraped knee. Either amplifying the injury or going deeper into the speaker's emotional impact could help you out here.


I could not tell if maybe you actually meant for this to be a humorous poem? If that is the case I think the irony and ridiculousness needs to go up a factor. Two aspects made me think it was possibly intended to be a humorous rather than dramatic poem - 1) the parenthetical aside where you clarify that the injury is with the knee... I initially thought maybe this was a menstrual situation based on the first few poems, and then there was a total change of what was happening and a turn of expectations. Turning expectations is one of the best ways to evoke humor in poetry. (if you didn't intend for the poem to be funny, maybe clarify earlier on that it's the knee rather than something else going on). And then I also thought it was funny based on the drama of the presentation juxtaposed to what was happening. You have dramatic descriptors and line breaks - and yet what the poem is describing is maybe just a scraped knee - that made it seem a little ironic, and humorous to me. (again if it's not intended to be funny, just heighten up the injury and the poem will seem more naturally dramatic).

Good stuff
Nice work being consistent with capitalization and punctuation - it flowed nicely and looked clean on the page.

Good organization of poem and good work being concise - narrative poems can sometimes be hard because you have a limited space to tell the story, that means as an author you really have to stay on track and not include extra story-lines into the main one for the most part - you did a good job keeping the poem focused so as a reader I knew right what the story was.

Looking forward to reading more of your poetry!


Liberty says...

Thanks for the review! My character started laughing because they were in shock when they saw so much blood coming from their knee. And yeah, it was meant to be sort of humorous. :P

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105 Reviews

Points: 2247
Reviews: 105

Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:30 pm
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LZPianoGirl wrote a review...

**My Thoughts**

Hey Liberty! LZ here with a review! I think this might be the first piece of yours I've reviewed. I really liked it. It was unique.

**Formatting and Grammar**

I liked how short you kept each line. It looked very neat! I also liked how you didn't separate it into stanzas! It just flows nicely!

As for grammar, I didn't notice anything!

**Punctuation and Capitalization**

As for punctuation, I noticed you used full punctuation and not just commas or periods. One thing. I think that the things you put in parentheses don't have to be parentheses. It would flow just as well without them!

I liked how you didn't capitalize! I don't know why, but it looks cool!

**Quick Review**

I loved it! You didn't need to use parentheses. I liked how you didn't capitalize.

Keep on writing and have a great 2020!!

Liberty says...

Thank you! %u2661

Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others.
— Groucho Marx