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Crystal Cavern

by Liminality


A light appeared, like a giant
firefly resting by
the dark river.

You had returned,
your roof deceptively grey,
hard-packed, and your mouth
half-open, as if just to let
the breeze in.

I clambered between your teeth,
palms flat against the granite,
and inside felt the familiar warmth
of thousands of crystals brimming
with a pale, buttery gold,
a light from within.

Years ago I would paw
the sides with my hands
trying to find the source.

Now I stand, counting
the thin sharp shapes
as they spiral around the centre,
around me –
like chrysanthemum petals
drifting in tea.



_
Author's Notes:

Some questions for reviewers, if you'd like -

1. What do you think of the setting of this poem? Does it have a 'sense of place' and how might that 'sense of place' be improved?
2. Are there any words or phrases in the poem that seem unnecessary?
3. Do you have any ideas for the title? The one I have now is kind of 'generic' and so I'd like to hear your thoughts!


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Sat Oct 28, 2023 11:16 pm
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Messenger wrote a review...



Hey there! here to wind down Review Day and try to bring my team a win while also reading some great poetry! So, here are a few notes for you:

1. I love this setting. I love poems about nature and things in nature. I love what is a fairly unique idea because while I've read poems of caves, and using the mouth as a metaphor is not entirely unique, I've rarely if ever read one about a crystal cavern.

2. I don't know if you know who Owl City is, but he has some of my favorite lyrics, and a lot of his music has very whimsical, fantastical lyrics that are not at all dissimilar to your own, so that's a big plus for me.

3. I love the idea of someone searching for and finally finding this cavern, and relating it to a friend :) The descriptors are on point, and you made it feel warm and fuzzy, which is how I remember a lot of summer memories from my childhood, especially outside in nature.

Overall this was a fun, easy-to-read, happy poem, that I really enjoyed, and will definitely have me following you in the hopes of more :)

~Messy




Liminality says...


Thanks so much for the review!



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Wed Oct 04, 2023 9:20 pm
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ariah347 wrote a review...



Helloooo Liminality! I'll answer your questions, then do a critique sandwich.

1) The setting is within the poem's title or a "cavern." I enjoy how you have personified this setting. Even without the title, there are takeaways here that also help guide the reader to this setting. Describing the crystals and how they are around the narrator helps build this. Without the title, this may be misinterpreted to be taken more literally with the description of the "mouth" and "teeth." Although I like this description and metaphor, more may need to be added to ease confusion. You could discuss how it is underground, emphasize rocks more, refer to its darkness, dreariness, or how water drips off those crystals or mounds.

2) The section "Years ago I would paw the sides with my hands trying to find the source" seems unnecessary.

3) Echoes in the Earth, Mysteries Below, Whispers in the Abyss

Onto my review sandwich! For the bread/my likes: You have personified the cave pretty well here. I enjoy the use of the word "chrysanthemum." You have several metaphors/similes. First, the light is compared to a firefly. Then, the roof to a mouth with teeth. Lastly, the spirals to petals in tea. I appreciate this imagery.

For the meat, I stand by the fact that you could add more so that the title is not the main component to keep the reader onto the setting/topic. You could incorporate many motifs and other elements to hone in on that more.

For the bread again, I summarize with my understanding of this being a personification of the setting of a cave/cavern. You have accomplished this. I appreciate your questions at the end. Kudos to you for this. This is a neat challenge to do: personifying a location. Wishing you well wherever you are in the world! ♡A




Liminality says...


Hi Ariah! Thanks for the review! I agree that there could have been more description to make it clear that this was a personified cave and not an actual mouth. Additionally, I was hoping to do more than only describe/ personify a location in this poem, so I'll probably have to work on this more to make it do what I want it to do. Thanks for your thoughtful feedback!



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Tue Oct 03, 2023 7:23 pm
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AyumiGosu17 wrote a review...



1. What do you think of the setting of this poem? Does it have a 'sense of place' and how might that 'sense of place' be improved?
The setting confused me at first. The title suggests that this poem is about a cavern, but the setting was highly personified - at some points, I thought we were talking about a human mouth. But as the poem went on, it occurred to me that this cave of glowing crystals might be a huge personification, and I understood at the end that we're in some kind of a cavern or mountain.

2. Are there any words or phrases in the poem that seem unnecessary?
The last stanza doesn't sit right with me for some reason. Particularly:

the thin sharp shapes
as they spiral around the centre,
around me –

The "around me-" feels intrusive and interrupts the flow of the stanza for me. But it's one of those awkward moments where it also still fits in because of the rhyme with the last verse - "drifting in tea."

3. Do you have any ideas for the title? The one I have now is kind of 'generic' and so I'd like to hear your thoughts!
I'm pretty horrible with titles, so I can't say much about your title. It fits the poem's topic, but if you want something metaphorical or whimsy, that's not my strong suit.

I enjoyed reading this! Good job :)




Liminality says...


Thanks for the review! I'm glad you caught that the setting was meant to be a cavern, in the end. I'd gone for the comparison to a mouth since we do say things like "the mouth of a cave" in everyday conversation, so I thought it would be a neat personification to bring the poem to life a bit.

Thanks for the feedback on the last stanza! I always struggle with ending a poem, so it's good to know where the rhythm felt off in this one.

Thanks again!




The important thing is never to stop questioning.
— Albert Einstein