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burial of a boy

by Lightsong


in the coffin, he was dressed in a black suit
which he wouldn’t approve. he would want
a three-piece suit. he would prefer peach or
sky blue. i looked at him. it would be perfect
if tears flowed out of my eyes and blended
with the rain falling down my black umbrella.

i wore a black suit. i had to. as i leaned forward
to give him a last kiss, i could see what others couldn’t.

his eyes were closed, but in my mind, they
radiated the colours of the galaxy.
he smelled of jasmine and lavender that bloomed
over the fire. His mouth was closed, but i could hear
his laughter. his brother’s laughter. his friends’.
his mother’s. his brother’s. everyone he used to held
in one hand, determined to not let them slip away.
in the other, he held life. he controlled it
the way he wanted it to be, but it wasn’t enough.

tears escaped, finally. my lip was trembling
as i let it brush over his cheek, and I whispered,
may you incarnate when the world needs light again.
i left him, a part of me, as no matter how much fire
he had ignited in my soul, it would disappear
in a second when faced against the world.


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Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:57 pm
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Lumi wrote a review...



Light again!

Your description of his eyes. ;.;

And how he held together the family. Just. There are points of this that blow me away, and there are points that feel bland. Let's comb through them in a summary.

Your line breaks are a bit iffy on flow, giving more to symmetry than to enhancing the fluidity of your piece. And while I'm blown away by the imagery and the narrative, the flow is always going to be a hiccup. Maybe we could have a one-on-one regarding flow sometime! I'd enjoy that.

The ending is very whispered and high-quality, but the hook (the intro) is a bit of a let-down for me. I understand the need to dress him and address him as it were, but the grammar is a bit botched and the line is bland. This definitely needs some seasoning to kick it up.

So he held the family together. Did he also hold the narrator together?

He had eyes like galaxies. Was he the center of the narrator's world?

And how much gravity did the kiss take on? How much gravity should we give it?

I hope this helps,
Ty




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Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:15 pm
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PrincessInk wrote a review...



Hello Lightsong, another Knight is here to bring your poem out of the Green Room!

In the first stanza, I like the idea about the boy's preferences about his burial clothes. It's as if the speaker is thinking about the boy as if he's alive and well and fussing over his clothes. I'm imagining the speaker is trying to hang on to anything that triggers memories and thoughts about the boy.

I do agree with Kayla that "he" was a little repetitious and the first three sentences were rather choppy in my opinion. I also think that "i looked at him" is unnecessary because I'm already assuming the speaker's looking at the boy, to be able to see his black suit. Unless the speaker dressed him in those clothes?

I liked the part in the second stanza that the speaker was reluctantly wearing a suit. It's as if he was saying, I have to wear it, too. Even if the emotion wasn't stated clearly, I still could feel it like an undercurrent and that's what's great about this part. But I felt that the transition between the suit and the kiss was a little choppy in my opinion compared to some of the smoother parts in your poem.

The third stanza was, in a way, the climax of the poem! The speaker looks in...and sees differently, like the second stanza stated. It's kind of lovely that you coordinated galaxy with "jasmine" and "lavender" but like Kayla I wish that the imagery was continued onto the other parts, such as the laughter signaling more smells.

The fourth was a nice wrap-up. After the speaker places a part of himself into the boy after he sees deep (probably deeper than ever) into the boy and ends up discovering something bigger, he gives him a final kiss, leaving part of himself into the boy. This is my favorite stanza among the four.

The best part is here:

i left him, a part of me, as no matter how much fire
he had ignited in my soul, it would disappear
in a second when faced against the world.


I think the comma between "soul" and "it" is supposed to be a semicolon? And also, "no matter how much" didn't flow so nicely here. It was honestly hard for me to say that part aloud. But I did like the meaning you put here--so I'm assuming the boy will be buried with part of the speaker's soul; with it, the fire the boy had ignited will disappear as well because after the funeral, the speaker will have to face the real world.

Feel free to send me a PM if you want to discuss/have any questions and I hope my review helped. Have a great day and remember that

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Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:21 pm
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Kaylaa wrote a review...



This is Nikayla here dropping in for a review!

I haven't reviewed your poetry in awhile, so I'm here to hop in. Let's jump right in.

in the coffin, he was dressed in a black suit
which he wouldn’t approve. he would want
a three-piece suit. he would prefer peach or
sky blue. i looked at him. it would be perfect
if tears flowed out of my eyes and blended
with the rain falling down my black umbrella.


I suggest adding a comma after the end of the first line, or putting parentheses around the line 'which he wouldn't approve' or even just 'of which he wouldn't approve' would do, but at the moment it's a little awkward. The repetition of 'he' gets bothersome in this stanza, and I'm going to suggest changing it to where it isn't repeated as much or as often. I like the concept of a dead person not being satisfied with what they're buried with, but in the title, it says, 'burial of a boy'. Frankly, I don't believe that a boy would take much interest in what he's buried in. It's not a thought that comes to mind. Of course, I don't know exactly what you mean by 'boy' and some indicator of his age would be helpful. I'd like a more descriptive portrayal of the boy and what he's buried in that flows more smoothly than using the repetition of 'he' and ending the line after telling what he would want. In the second to last line, I suggest adding 'in' after 'blended' to make it smoother and clearer to the reader.

i wore a black suit. i had to. as i leaned forward
to give him a last kiss, i could see what others couldn’t.


I'm going to assume that the speaker is forced to wear a black suit because it's a funeral. Overall, I don't have problems with these two lines, so nice job on them making an emotional impact.

his eyes were closed, but in my mind, they
radiated the colours of the galaxy.
he smelled of jasmine and lavender that bloomed
over the fire. His mouth was closed, but i could hear
his laughter. his brother’s laughter. his friends’.
his mother’s. his brother’s. everyone he used to held
in one hand, determined to not let them slip away.
in the other, he held life. he controlled it
the way he wanted it to be, but it wasn’t enough.


In the poem, I realize that you happen to use a lot of colors. I feel as if this could be further incorporated into the piece and you would talk about how his colors were fading, since this other person in the poem has passed away. In the sixth line, I believe that you mean 'hold' instead of 'held'. And that sort of points out the main flaws in your poetry--in a way I believe all of them regard flow. Flow is hard to master and has caused me trouble in the past, though I believe I've overcome that. Your lines in this piece are a little abrupt in that most of them end quickly, which makes the reader take a breath more often.

tears escaped, finally. my lip was trembling
as i let it brush over his cheek, and I whispered,
may you incarnate when the world needs light again.
i left him, a part of me, as no matter how much fire
he had ignited in my soul, it would disappear
in a second when faced against the world.


For example, here in the first line of the last stanza. The phrase or string of words, 'tears escaped, finally.' which is more troublesome to say than it should be. You can rearrange your words for a better flow, and here, that would be: 'finally, tears escaped.' You just need to learn to know when to do this, and often if you move your words around or reword, you'll get much better results. The ending is a little different from the rest of the piece, but it works for what it is. One last note is that perhaps you could change 'against' in the last line to 'with'.

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

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Look closely. The beautiful may be small.
— Immanuel Kant, Philosopher