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There Was Once A Girl Uglier Than The Wind

by NewHope

The thing is, nobody has ever seen the wind.

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433 Reviews

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Reviews: 433

Wed Sep 14, 2022 1:21 am
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Horisun wrote a review...

Hello! I hope you're having a good day or night!
Pardon the personal story here, but in my writing class the other day, we actually talked about Ernest Hemingways piece of micro-fiction. I was about to say what it was entitled, but I'll just quote the work here;

For sale, baby shoes, never worn

Though of course, the meaning you're trying to convey here is very different. Though this may be a tad different from what you intended, I read this to be about how society doesn't seem to see ugly people. Those who aren't conventionally attractive are deemed invisible. Its impressive how much you can convey in just two sentences! (counting, of course, the title) Frankly, I feel like I got a whole poem out of this single stanza!
This did feel a little clunky though. I don't know if it was because I read the title while browsing the green room, and then the sentence, or if it's "The thing is" that's throwing me off, either way, I thought it might be something you should consider.
In any case, I was very excited to read this! It's always good to see something new attempted by writers, and honestly? This worked out amazing! The fact that we're sitting here writing a two hundred worded review for a one sentence piece should speak for itself! So, yeah, keep on writing and have a great day!

NewHope says...

Thank you so much for the review, Horisun

We%u2019ve actually been writing flash fiction essays for English class and I was looking online at other writers like a perfectionist writer and stumbled upon two. There was the above mentioned Ernest Hemingway and another about being a widow.

I really liked your interpretation. It%u2019s amazing for me that you got that message out of just what I wrote. I feel very satisfied with the depth of the poem. But I think you%u2019re right I was struggling a little with coming up with how to connect them and added the weird %u201CThe thing is%u201D.

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444 Reviews

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Reviews: 444

Wed Sep 14, 2022 12:42 am
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Hijinks wrote a review...

Hi there, Moonglade! I'm here for a short review on this very interesting poem/literary work!

I was sort of surprised when I clicked to this work and there was only one sentence - for a moment my brain was like "it's just not done loading the rest, give it a sec" but, as it turns out, the poem is the sentence! So immediately my expectations as a reader were turned upside down when I first saw the poem. Not in a bad way at all, my brain is just acclimatized to associating poems with length for the most part.

Another thing I found kind of fun is that the title is the same number of words as the literary work itself - not sure if that was intentional or not, but it's a neat detail all the same. The way that the body text is a continuation of the thought in the title also makes it feel like the title is very much an important part of the poem (more so than a sonnet named "Love XI" or what have you). For that reason I wonder if it would make more sense to have the title in sentence case, as opposed to using conventional title capitalization rules? Like so:

There was once a girl uglier than the wind:

and maybe you could even add some punctuation at the end like a dash or colon to connect smoothly to the start of the poem. Those are definitely very small details, but given the length of the piece it's the small details that count!

Considering the very short length of this piece, I think it's really impressive how nuanced a message you convey. Like, the implication that beauty is entirely subjective - since it's impossible to know what it means to be "uglier than the wind", if no one's seen the wind - is a very complex topic to cover in just one sentence, but you do so extraordinarily well. It's super concise but still very evocative and thought-provoking, which is something I struggle to achieve in my writing and find all the more impressive in other people's!

(Also a side note - this reminds me a bit of a poem I memorized when I was younger, Who Has Seen The Wind? by Christina Rosetti.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

The message is definitely different, but the imagery is very similar :) I really loved Christina's poem when I was younger! It's simple but poignant, much like yours.)

If there was one thing I think might add a bit more oomph, it would be creating a slightly more distinctive voice. Obviously that's difficult to do when you're working with 9 words, but right now the language feels very proper and I'd like to see what it'd be like if the language was more personal or flawed. For example, if you just take off "The" from the beginning of the sentence and turned "nobody has" into "nobody's", the tone becomes vastly different -
Thing is, nobody's ever seen the wind.

Maybe that's not the vibe you're going for, but I do think it could be interesting to play around with that!

All in all, this poem was a very lovely surprise. It's a very effective interpretation of minimalism, I think, and also manages to remain thought-provoking despite the length constraints. Great job overall!


NewHope says...

Thank you, Seirre!!!

You made some really good points and I think that all the advice you%u2019ve give I will need to look into. (I actually do know that poem%u2026 this poem is more inspired by microfiction like Ernest Hemingway%u2019s work%u2026 but I used to really like that poem when I was younger.)

Thank you again

NewHope says...

I was wondering what you%u2019d think if I said:

There was once a girl uglier than the wind:

But nobody%u2019s ever seen the wind.

Hijinks says...

I like that! From a grammatical perspective though, if you swap out "The thing is" for "but" then the colon after "wind" should technically just become a comma ^^

I say, in matters of the heart, treat yo' self.
— Donna, Parks & Rec