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"Don't Cry"

by LuminescentAnt

CW: Depression and sadness

A tiny baby child, with a feeble body and soft skin, 

Born just last week


She isn't used to this new, loud world

Her newlywed mother says, 

"Don't cry, don't cry."

A  young girl in a polka-dot dress

6 years old


She dropped her ice cream walking from school

Her unknowing father says, 

"Don't cry, don't cry."

A bright and twinkly-eyed tween girl

11 years old


Someone in school said, "shut up" to her

Her "wise" grandmother says, 

"Don't cry, don't cry."

A stressed teenage girl with dark eyebags

16 years old


She has so much work this week, she's stressed

Her naive best friend says, 

"Don't cry, don't cry"

A brokenhearted young woman with running mascara

21 years old


The boyfriend she loved left her so cruelly

Her new boyfriend says, 

"Don't cry, don't cry."

An adult woman, trapped in a cage of sorrow

30 years old


She suffers painful depression from

Bottling up her feelings so much

She says to her therapist, 

"Please don't tell me not to cry, 

I want to cry, I need to."

Her understanding therapist says, 

"Okay, then cry. You can let it out.

It's okay to be sad, it's okay to cry."

And as she said this, a tear fell from her eye. 

And they felt the pain together, 

And they cried. 

Is this a review?



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108 Reviews

Points: 18540
Reviews: 108

Thu Sep 21, 2023 11:50 pm
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Rose wrote a review...

Aloha LuminescentAnt,

Beyond my beloved horizon, I'm setting sail into uncharted pages with an itch for adventure. Through binoculars, I spy with my little eye a poem titled “Don't Cry” that deserves a review. So without further ado, let’s begin.


This story talks about how people feel and cry at different times in their lives. When we're babies, we cry because everything is new and noisy. As we grow up, we're often told not to cry, even when we're sad.

But the story takes a special turn when a woman in her thirties, who's been bottling up her feelings, meets a therapist who understands. The therapist tells her it's okay to cry and be sad, and they cry together.

This story shows that it's okay to express our feelings and get help when we're struggling. It reminds us that crying is a natural way to let out our emotions and that we don't have to hide them.

I must say, I have read many works of you, and you have some real talent when it comes to writing appealing and captivating poems. I enjoy reading all of them, just like I enjoyed reading this one. Good luck with your future writing projects!

That's it, that's all.
Hoping that this review has been of value to you!
While lengthy reviews may dive deep, short reviews can still make a splash.


LuminescentAnt says...

Thank you for the review!

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Points: 61
Reviews: 3

Thu Sep 21, 2023 12:51 am
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VioletSkies wrote a review...

Hi! I'm excited to open up a new world with your poem!

Bold What it's about!

This poem is about many people, crying, and being told not to cry. There are all different ages and all different reasons. Finally, she goes to a therapist and again cries, telling her not to tell her to not cry. And at the end they both cried.

My Critics Idea's

In the poem, the 3rd person you mention crying is the 11 year old girl. For this 3rd person the person telling her to now cry is her wise grandma.

Her "wise" grandmother says

I had to really stop and think about what this was really trying to say, and even now I am not completely sure what it means. Making this a bit clearer of your meaning could really smooth things over
As well, I believe that in the 21 year old women segment, the running mascara was a little too descriptive.
A brokenhearted young woman with running mascara

A metaphor or something that covers more ground for this part could fit better.
A brokenhearted young woman, covering her ruined face

Things I loved

One of the things I love in this piece was the 16 year old girl and her naive friend.
Her naive best friend

This is a great addition and nothing else would have worked as great, because that is the perfect word to describe a 16 year old.
Another part I loved was
A bright and twinkly-eyed tween girl...Crying

I feel like this say so much about how a happy person can still cry, stiff feel all these emotions.

To Wrap It Up

This poem was so unique every step, it went through a lifetime of pain and problems in just a short time. The idea of the poem came through wonderfully.
I enjoyed it and hope to see you write more like it.


LuminescentAnt says...

Thank you for the review!

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223 Reviews

Points: 9181
Reviews: 223

Mon Sep 18, 2023 11:12 pm
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foxmaster wrote a review...

Hi there! Foxmaster here reviewing using the YWS S'more Method today!

Once again, you completely mastered your way with words, and I was wowed with this amazing poem. It was so touching and beautiful I loved it. Now, to the review!

Top Graham Cracker - What I Know
So, what I know is that you are showing the life of a woman, showing moments where she cries, and where people seem to comfort her. Later, it turns out, she suffers from depression, and, when visiting a therapist, she lets it all out and they feel the pain together.

Slightly Burnt Marshmallow - Room for Improvements
Mostly, this was a very well-written piece, but I did happen to find a few mistakes. First of all, I happened to notice that you double spaced in some moments, which isn't really important, but still.
In addition, I feel like the first sentence of the therapist felt a little unsupportive, slightly. When she says, "Okay, then cry" I feel like you could have phrased that a little bit differently, so it seems slightly more sympathetic , rather than, okay, then cry
The part where the girl is sixteen, and you're describing her could have also been phrased a bit differently, as I feel that "dark eyebags" doesn't really get the point across.
The part where she's an woman, and you cut off the line at "from" also seems a bit rushed there, and I feel like that would be a rather bad place to cut it off.
Chocolate Bar - Highlights of the Piece

The boyfriend she loved left her so cruelly

I feel like this sentence really hit the spot here; it felt like you wrapped up a lot of description with just a short little line- the word choice here was really great, and I just loved this part.
An adult woman, trapped in a cage of sorrow

once again, that description was amazing. The way that you said that she was trapped in a "cage" of sorrow was really amazing, describing how she was unable to escape from her depression. 👏
Closing Graham Cracker - Closing Thoughts
Overall, this was a very powerful, beautiful piece, and it felt almost like song lyrics. It was lovely, and I loved your description. Other than those few things, you did a really great job.
happy writing,

LuminescentAnt says...

Thank you for the review!

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54 Reviews

Points: 1842
Reviews: 54

Fri Sep 15, 2023 4:10 pm
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Quillfeather says...

And look at my crying reading this. Man. That was heartbreaking and touching, and gosh I love this one so much

LuminescentAnt says...

<33333 Thank you so much Quill! I am so glad you liked it. I hope it made you feel better.

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135 Reviews

Points: 13364
Reviews: 135

Fri Sep 15, 2023 4:12 am
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OrabellaAvenue wrote a review...

Hiya! This is Orabella here with a short review.

I absolutely love this poem! The repetition of the "crying" and the "don't cry, don't cry" is amazing. It adds another layer to this that makes it so much more interesting. Although I've never had a serious or chronic depression, I can still relate to some of the things in this poem. I love that the therapist understands. I feel like a lot of therapists in stories (real or made up) are evil or just aren't good. It's nice to see that change, and the interactions between characters is really interesting, even though we don't know a single name.

I seriously love this more than I can express, and again I'd like to apologize for the short length. Please keep writing, and have an amazing day/night!

LuminescentAnt says...

Hi Orabella! Thanks for the review! I'm so glad you liked it!

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30 Reviews

Points: 1997
Reviews: 30

Thu Sep 14, 2023 11:28 pm
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ariah347 wrote a review...

Hey there! First off, this journey is so personal that it felt like my own! Kudos to drawing me in and evoking the emotion within me while I read. I'm going to comment on this based on sections. It is written as a journey throughout the years, and it should be looked at within those pieces as well as the whole picture.

For starters, the section regarding the young girl has some great vocabulary: tiny, feeble, soft while contrasting with the new and loud world. This image and message of "don't cry" had me visualizing a young woman holding an infant on a busy, loud bus or subway station or a little small toddler clinging to their mother while they navigate a city street. It could be a woman holding her infant daughter in the middle of the night while sirens blare in the distance. It is vague enough that it can be pictured in many different ways but somehow manages a specification that the theme stays the same.

The young girl section becomes more particular details with the description of her dress, her exact age, and an explanation given as to what caused her tears. Then, the repetition of "don't cry" takes on a new meaning. Before, it felt more coddling and soothing. This time it maintains this edge, but the voice changes.

The next section is also specific in terms of her age and the reasoning behind her tears. Each of these examples and growth feel relatable, plausible, and applicable to the ages they are applied to. I found it intriguing that you put the word wise in quotation marks. This time, "Don't cry" is spoken by her grandmother. It is often assumed and implied that as we age and get older, perhaps to become grandparents, that we should have gathered enough knowledge to be considered "wise," but this is not always so. It almost feels like this is sarcastic or felt in a condescending way. She's telling her not to let her tears fall, but is she genuine? Is she really sympathetic or empathetic? Or is she just telling her to shut up without really using those words? To me, I interpeted that as she is really dismissing her feelings this time, whereas the previous uses of this phrase felt more maternal (literally and figuratively) or authentic.

The growth between the infant up to the 16-year-old, each problem presented, and the subsequent character telling the girl "don't cry" really flows together nicely. I feel like my interpretations of her grandmother being inauthentic and not really caring for the girl's problems are true. This time, her best friend is referred to as "naive." It feels like she is the opposite of the girl who is "intelligent" and "bright." She, although likely meaning well if she is a good person and friend, is not trying to dismiss her feelings, but her naivety makes her unable to understand what the girl is truly feeling. Her words equally take on a less comforting approach compared to the mother's. On the contrary, the problems in the world of an infant/toddler are greatly different than those of a 16-year-old. Because of this, it is a lot easier to soothe and solve the problems of little ones and far more complicated to do so for the problems we face as we age.

This is completely encompassed in the 21-year-old's problem of heartbreak. Her new lover cannot really ease her pain when he tries to comfort her. This can be read as someone trying to console and take away the person they love's pain as well as in a tone of disdain where they do not understand why their lover will not let the pain go on their own and why they must suffer from something they did not do or cause.

The next section, as a 32-year-old woman myself, hit me right in the jugular. First off, I'm an open book and am willing to admit that I, myself, have been in therapy. This section and conversation felt like a situation of Deja Vu. Her taking it upon herself to tell her therapist, an assumed mental health expert, not to tell her to cry really showcases how she has heard this phrase throughout her life. She is advocating for herself and recognizing her feelings. She no longer wants to suppress her feelings for the sake of others. Yet, despite this, I felt like she still struggles with the ability to let them out. Oftentimes, when we bottle things up or ignore them, they either explode out or become swirled into numbness and a plug we cannot pull. The therapist's response of granting her permission to cry felt authentic and like genuine advice you would receive in that setting. I really love the line, "Let it out, so all that is left is happiness." When we hold onto those tears, we can hinder or dampen our smiles. The ending feels bittersweet and prophetic of hope. Overall, I really enjoyed this. Kudos to you! Wishing you well wherever you are in the world <3

LuminescentAnt says...

Hi ariah! Thank you so much for the detailed review! I am glad you were able to relate to the last part, that means a lot to me! Thanks again!

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Thu Sep 14, 2023 6:31 pm
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alliyah wrote a review...

Hi Luminescent! Here to review in honor of Review Month, so let's take a look! I'll be tackling this review through using my YWS S'more Method today.

Just on an off-handed comment, I wanted to mention I really appreciate your clean and clear content warning - you may have seen I recently posted a new article about Content Warnings, and it always make me respect an author to see those used on behalf of their readers who may need or appreciate them, so thank you!

Top Graham Cracker - What I Know (Interpretation)
My interpretation of the poem is a sort of "bird's eye look" at many different humans or maybe one human throughout her life suffering through the experience of life from infancy, to childhood, teenage troubles, and adulthood - at each stage of life when the person suffers people tell them "don't cry". At the end of the piece the adult is in a therapy session and as she is talking about her feelings she tells the therapist, ""Please don't tell me not to cry, I want to cry, I need to." and the therapist agrees she won't do that and they both cry together.

The piece I think will be relatable to many who've felt either internal or external pressure to "bottle up their feelings" and put on a strong face rather than express their sadness. Hopefully readers will take away the message that it's okay to express and feel your real emotions and take away a sense of growth from the piece too.

For me, the piece reminded me of when I worked as a nursing home & hospital chaplain for a year - for my certification for that I went through a fairly intense training, and we were advised usually when a person (care-giver, friend, supporter etc.) tells someone "don't cry" or "don't be sad" or "it'll all be okay" - trying to dismiss sad feelings, it is usually about their own discomfort with that emotion or seeing that emotion expressed - and can often do more harm than good.

I will say that I don't think to me it is very realistic that a therapist would say, "pour you sad feelings into your tears, let it out, so all that is left is happiness" - while the first half of that sentence is supportive, the second half does the same thing that the others had done along the way dismissing negative emotions which I'm not sure would feel supportive to someone experiencing sadness. I would be more apt to say, "You're allowed to be sad. It's okay to be sad. I'm going to support / be here with you through your sadness. " rather than say, "Be sad now, so that you can get to your happiness." which may feel unattainable or unreachable in a very sad moment.

That's just my perspective on that little phrasing, but I thought overall it was a well written and beautiful piece that made a lot of sense in how your structured it!

Slightly Burnt Marshmallow - Suggestions

Capitalization - Consistency
Overall your use of capitalization mainly stuck to a standard consistent practice (capitalizing first letter of every line, even mid-phrase) but towards the end in the last 6 lines you started lowercasing some of those line-beginnings. I would pick either capitalizing at the beginning of each sentence or at the beginning of each line - but choosing one or the other consistently will help your piece look even more polished and flow better.


A slightly older young girl polka-dot dress

Something about the phrase "slightly older young girl" didn't quite work, it felt contradictory - I know what you mean, but I think it's okay to just say "slightly older child / girl" and then missing a word or two between "girl" and "polka-dot dress".

She suffers cold depression from

This phrase also didn't quite hit for me - I wonder if an adjective other than cold might be used? heavy? painful? aching? bitter?

More visual details
I liked at the beginning how you described the small infant and then the 6 year old's dress, I think adding more physical / or other descriptors as the poem goes on would make the phases / characters come alive and connect even more.

Chocolate Bar - Highlights of the Piece

You really have a great usage of repetition within this piece, the use of the refrain "don't cry, don't cry" (as well as the other formatting and phrase repetitions) and how that grew with the piece was really well done and gave a great sense of continuity between each story leading up to the conclusion where the phrase is turned around. Nice progression and clearly very thought out.

I think you kept this a good length too - it covered a wide scope but didn't feel repetitive.

The piece is straightforward but it is very clear in its central narrative and the learning / turn at the end.

Closing Graham Cracker

Overall I enjoyed this read, and look forward to reading more of your poems hopefully in the future! :)



LuminescentAnt says...

Hi alliyah! Thank you so much for the review! I edited the poem and tried my best to improve it based on the feedback you gave - it was really helpful. And I'm glad you enjoyed the poem! Thanks again!

alliyah says...

You're welcome, love the poem, you did a great job with it!

alliyah says...

This poem really packs a punch - it's one that I'd love to see in the "Best of YWS" poetry collection if you're interested in submitting - you definitely have some great poetry that deserves to be in the collection in my opinion! :D The 'Best of YWS' Poetry Collection

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86 Reviews

Points: 560
Reviews: 86

Thu Sep 14, 2023 6:22 pm
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AilahEvelynMae wrote a review...

Hey! Ellie here for a quick review.

1- i love how this poem captures emotional suppression. i love the journey it takes from being a baby to being an adult. bravo to you! I love that and how symbolic it is. i feel like i can so easily apply this to myself and others i know.

2- your use of repetition is well done. i feel like it gives a lot of meaning to the phrase "dont cry" which is something that many of us have hear a lot. There is the option of slightly changing your working of "dony cry" as yoyr character matures through the poem. for example, we may say dont cry to an infant, but use more aggresive works like shut up to an adult. either way, i love the way you presented it.

3- your final stanza is so meaningful. they cried together, wow! what a resolution! it is such a great way to end. i would consider this to be the emotional climax of the poem. it might be nice to consider adding a turning point somewhere in the middle, a climax of dread and hopelessness. still, this was incredible!

Overall, i love it! Id love to read more.

have a wonderful day, my friend!
-Ellie Mae

LuminescentAnt says...

Hi Ellie Mae! Thank you for the review! This is super helpful to know, I%u2019m glad you enjoyed reading it!

There is nothing more radical or counter-cultural, at the moment, than laying down one’s cynicism in favour of tender vulnerability.
— John Green