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Young Writers Society

The Restless Statue

by Liminality

The dust I kicked up from my walk is gone.
It must have settled in the ruined stone,
in cracks where flowers sway, perfect their con
pretending they smell sweeter than they’re known.

I let the moss grow on my head and eyes,
reminding me of forests I once stalked.
My chest has lost its fire – here it lies
in embers spent on food, and drink, and talk.

I slouch among my still and smiling friends,
whose lips are sealed with plaster, clay, and vines.
The winds are singing for them, to their ends,
that journey’s end is sweetest, loved by pines.

Then stars like crickets in the night leap out –
and instantly, I crave the shining route.

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37 Reviews

Points: 109
Reviews: 37

Mon Apr 03, 2023 12:56 am
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YellowSweater wrote a review...

I love the concept so much, and it is beautiful executed. Here are some thoughts:

I don't know if it would mess up your syllable count or meter ( I haven't scanned the poem) but I think semantically it would be a bit more sense if your wrote "pretending to smell sweeter than what they have known" or pretending to smell sweeter than how they're known" but I also might be a little confused by what this line means.

The juxtaposition of the forest imagery and the fire imagery in the second stanza is an intriguing one, as they are contradictory but both necessary for life. Maybe that is something worth exploring more...? it's also cool to leave it as it is.

"The winds are singing for them" love this so much. I'm a little confused by the "loved by pines."

The final stanza is my favorite! So beautiful. Such a strong end! Once again, great poem!

Liminality says...

Thanks for the review! I thought it was interesting that you pointed out a forest/fire juxtaposition - when I was writing the poem they didn't seem to contrast, since one could set up a campfire in a forest clearing (which is what I imagined the 'statues' were doing here). Thanks for letting me know which parts were confusing -- it's a bit hard to write a sonnet without using some unusual syntax here and there, so you've guided me to the right spots for revision!

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59 Reviews

Points: 25
Reviews: 59

Sun Apr 02, 2023 3:13 pm
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TheCornDogEnthusiast wrote a review...

This is a captivating and thought-provoking poem that explores themes of time, aging, and mortality. The author uses vivid and evocative imagery to create a mood of melancholy and reflection. The metaphor of the dust settling in the ruined stone represents the passing of time and the impermanence of life.

The use of natural imagery, such as the flowers and moss, adds a layer of beauty and complexity to the poem. The speaker's memories of the forests they once stalked and the fire that has been lost in their chest evoke a sense of nostalgia and longing. The line "journey's end is sweetest, loved by pines" suggests that the speaker has accepted their mortality and is at peace with the idea of death.

The poem concludes with the image of stars like crickets in the night, symbolizing the journey towards death and the afterlife. The use of the word "crave" in the final line suggests a sense of yearning and desire, perhaps for a new beginning or a release from the burdens of life.

Overall, this is a beautifully crafted poem that invites the reader to contemplate the fleeting nature of life and the inevitability of death. Yoour use of rich imagery and metaphor makes the poem a compelling and poignant read.

Liminality says...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I hadn't realised that 'death' was coming into play as a theme here, so that's interesting to know.

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1260 Reviews

Points: 1630
Reviews: 1260

Sun Apr 02, 2023 3:03 am
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Elinor wrote a review...

Hey Liminality!

Elinor here to drop by with a quick review on this poem. I really enjoyed reading this-- it's a fun and unique concept for a poem. It reminds me of a game that we used to play in my acting classes called Janitor, where one person would be assigned the "Janitor" role and you would have to move without them catching you. Anyway, just a fun aside.

Overall, this is a really solid piece, but I did have a few quick notes. Firstly, I've read this a few times, and I'm not really sure what it means.

My chest has lost its fire – here it lies
in embers spent on food, and drink, and talk.

Secondly, there's parts of the poem that are a little bit unclear, like if this statue was once a person who got turned into one or if it's a Toy Story type situation where they can move around when no one is watching. If I hadn't read your brief blurb on this in the green room, I think I'd be a bit lost.

I think here you could give insight, but I still found it a bit confusing.

I slouch among my still and smiling friends,
whose lips are sealed with plaster, clay, and vines.

So do they all move? Were they all once people, or was the narrator the only one that has moved before?

The other thing is that I'd like to see a little bit more of a sense of time and place. I was assuming this was some sort of park, but I wasn't entirely sure. It'd also be interesting to know what sort of statues these are.

Beyond that, your last two lines were fantastic. I things there's a lot of directions you could take this poem if you so choose.

Happy writing!


Liminality says...

Thanks for the review! It's good to know where there's some unintentional ambiguity -- I did have a particular setting in mind for this, and so I'd probably add more on that during revisions. I think I'd like to keep some of the ambiguity surrounding what the statues 'are' (i.e. Toy Story scenario or otherwise) since I'd like for allegorical readings of the poem to be possible. Thanks again for the feedback!

Elinor says...

Yeah that's totally fair on the intentional ambiguity regarding the situation of the statues, but as you noted, you can keep the rest in mind for revisions! :) Have a great a day!

Beware of advice—even this.
— Carl Sandburg