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Young Writers Society



Small Steps

by Liminality


Sometimes we don’t fight monsters.

Sometimes we pick up scales and teeth
which beasts leave behind, and sell them
at a shady market at the docks.

Mostly we spend months gathering
map pieces, and urchins’ rumours,
to avoid heavily-guarded treasures
and sail from A to B, unharmed in the vortex.

A hero is mostly minding
the next step, and the next. The wind in the sail,
the mould in the planks.

Sometimes we don’t work for honour.

Sometimes we work for coin.
All clattering and clinking in the sack,
so the silent valuable things might one day
come back, and be with us at sea.

A hero is working a job to fix the world.
Nobody notices it. People expect it.

Except for people like you,
maybe, scraping and collecting
stray golden wishes,
wishes that we can stay like this,
just whiling the day away.



__

Author's note: I'm using the UK spellings for words like 'mould' (mold) and 'honour' (honor) here - just thought I'd mention that! Additionally, here are some questions for reviewers, if you'd like to answer them :D

1. What do you think of the poem's structure? Too many stanza breaks, too few? Too little story, too little description? etc.
2. What is the impression you get of heroes and of the 'you' in the poem?


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Stickied -- Wed Dec 13, 2023 2:04 pm
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Liminality says...



Just for fun, this poem is actually a total rewrite of a poem I wrote for this year's NaPo. It uses the same general idea but a different setting and hopefully, a richer and more interesting approach.




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Mon Dec 25, 2023 11:22 pm
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GengarIsBestBoy wrote a review...



[center]Howdy hey! Gengar here to leave a review! I'm reviewing using the YWS S'more Method today!



Top Graham Cracker - What I Know

I really like the high fantasy vibe this gives off! To answer the second question, I kind of saw this as a jaded or retired old hero giving a speech to an aspiring hero about how the hero life actually is

Slightly Burnt Marshmallow - Room for Improvements

This is kinda answering the first question: I think the poem's structure works pretty well in most places, except for this stanza:

A hero is mostly minding
the next step, and the next. The wind in the sail,
the mould in the planks.


I feel like the middle line may have been too long which kind of threw off the poem's flow. Maybe you could break it into four lines instead to make it more consistent with the other stanzas

Chocolate Bar - Highlights of the Piece

I really like the tone of the poem. It feels very informative and matter-of-fact, but at the end it feels kind of hopeful and bittersweet for the future. It adds to the mentor and mentee vibe I mentioned earlier. is mentee a word? well it is now!

Closing Graham Cracker - Closing Thoughts

I hope that my review could be helpful to you! :D

--GengarIsBestBoy




Liminality says...


Thanks for the review! That observation about the long middle line and your thoughts about the poem's 'story' are really helpful :D



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Sun Dec 17, 2023 4:13 am
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Spearmint says...



Oh very interesting poem, Lim! I love this perspective of a hero's life <3
Favorite phrases: "and sail from A to B" and "the mould in the planks." :D




Liminality says...


Thanks for reading! :D



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Wed Dec 13, 2023 8:50 pm
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Ley wrote a review...



Hiya! Ley here to review.<3

First impressions... I'm a sucker for old-timey, English poetry. This gives me a fantasy vibe as well, which I'm digging! I wished that I was inside the poem-- and with your use of imagery I was really able to picture it in my head.

When I was reading this I felt... Epic, longing for adventure. Now that I think about it, this reminds me of a cool prologue to an awesome fantasy-driven novel!

My favorite line/quote is...I chose these two lines because I feel like they also can be compared to life now, how everyone can be a hero but everyone expects it, and when they are heroes, nobody would notice. I loved this stanza:

A hero is working a job to fix the world.
Nobody notices it. People expect it.


Some things I would change would be... I wouldn't change anything about this poem, except for maybe more information about the time period--unless you'd want to leave that to the reader's discretion :D.

Overall... I loved this poem!

And now, the questions that you asked at the end!
1. What do you think of the poem's structure? Too many stanza breaks, too few? Too little story, too little description? etc.
I don't think there were too many stanza breaks! Like I said above, maybe a little more info on the time era?

2. What is the impression you get of heroes and of the 'you' in the poem?
When I think of 'you', I assumed that the narrator was writing to maybe someone lower than him? I'm not sure if this was your intention though, and I'd love to know what you implied when you wrote the last stanza :) As for the heroes, I saw them as pirates. xD

With Love,
Leya




Liminality says...


Hi Leya! Thanks for the review! I'd intended the last stanza someone close to the narrator that they secretly want to spend time with instead of hero-ing away haha - but that is a bit too much information to convey in one last stanza, now that I look at it. Thanks for telling me your impressions and interpretations - I enjoyed reading them and they're really helpful for revising poems :D


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wuckertrhea says...


Many thanks for the feedback! In the last verse, I had envisioned the narrator spending time with a loved one who they secretly long to spend time with rather than hero-ing away, hehe %u2014 Looking back, I see it was a little too much information to portray in that final stanza. #FFFFFF ">wordle today




We are great at fearing the wrong things.
— Hank Green