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Underdog

by Morrigan


A black dog stalks the night,
barking over the fence. We gather
around the light like moths in the old warehouse,
sheltered from the rain, but not the cold.

She passes the pipe
to me, the new girl. I inhale nebulous clouds,
but nothing changes. The wan florescence flashes
off my leather jacket.

I never wanted to be annoying,
but she labels me as I attempt conversation.
She takes back the lighter,
her hands like liquid nitrogen, rejecting
any claim to cool I ever had. 


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73 Reviews


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Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:15 pm
NightKaizer wrote a review...



HEELLO Morrigan,
A poem about trying to fit in. I feel you. When you enter a new class, a new school, a new group of people, you are instantly left out. No one wants to take the risk of becoming friends with you and then ruining their reputation later. No one wants to give a hand to the newbie because then, that would single them out.
The second stanza is about smoking, I bet? You take the drug, try it out, think it makes you look cool. "But nothing changes". You are still you. Maybe an even worse version since you started smoking. So it doesn't help if you try too hard.
"But she labels me as I attempt conversation". Nothing you say comes out right. It's either the wrong word or the wrong time. But then when someone else says it, everybody nods their heads and grins. It doesn't work like that for the newbie.
This poetry has more complete sentences than most. That makes it easier to understand so good job! I'm a crappy reviewer so I don't like thinking about what this and that means in poetry.

Thanks for making it easier for me!

Night Kaizer




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Points: 234
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Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:26 am
Jolley10101 says...



Hey, it's Jolley10101 just reviewing your poem. I believed it was an amazing poem. It can relate to everyday peer-pressure to teenagers or high-schoolers. Even to adult. The only problem is the stanzas confuse me a little. Maybe switch up the lines to fit the commas and periods.
Thank you, that was an amazing, relatable poem.
Hoped I helped.




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Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:45 pm
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Lightsong wrote a review...



Hey, I'm here to review. Poetry noob here, so don't be surprise if the review lacks quality! xD Here it goes.

A black dog stalks the night,
barking over the fence. We gather
around the light like moths in the old warehouse,
sheltered from the rain, but not the cold.


I love the vividness of this imagery and how it is casual in building up the atmosphere. There seems to be no hidden meaning or metaphor in the scene which makes it pleasant for a poetry beginner like me. A poem that delivers the message straight and swift is always a plus. The flow shown from the line breaks is also excellent.

Context-wise, I see this as a group of people having shelter in the warehouse from the rain. The use of 'black dog' and 'old warehouse' as well as 'from the rain, but not the cold' pretty much phrases that quickly build a slightly dark, moody atmosphere. The simile is also interesting in itself because it opens for interpretations, such as whether it is not good to be moths attracted to the light.

She passes the pipe
to me, the new girl. I inhale nebulous clouds,
but nothing changes. The wan florescence flashes
off my leather jacket.


Here we can see actions from the main characters, the persona and the girl she is with. I like the cultural info in the first stanza as it gives us a possible setting where the poem takes place (first guess flashing off my mind is a place of a Western country). While the exact location is still vague, cultural clue like this helps me to imagine where this can take place at.

The futility of inhaling the pipe as it provides no change is the main message that can be taken here. The reason for lack of change might be because the persona's mood is too sorrowful or negative for the effect of the pipe to take place or the pipe is simply inefficient. Either way, I think the portrayal of how ineffective the pipe is is presented in the line 'The wan florescence flashes/off my leather jacket.'

I never wanted to be annoying,
but she labels me as I attempt conversation.
She takes back the lighter,
her hands like liquid nitrogen, rejecting
any claim to cool I ever had.


The final stanza here best delivers the dynamic between the persona and the girl with the first two lines being the main indications. However, I am a bit unsatisfied with the incomplete train of thought in the second line where the persona does not state the labels the girl gives here.

It also makes the title relevant as it indicates very strongly that the change of possession of the lighter resembles how the persona is an underdog in the sense that she cannot fight for it.I am not sure about the liquid nitrogen and how it can describe the girl's hands, so please give me an explanation for it. Sometimes I can be oblivious. c:

The rejection of claim is confusing. I mean, reading the first stanza, coolness seems to be something that the persona wants to get rid of, so if the girl takes it away from her, is not that a good thing? However, as I rethink again, I believe the cool here refers to a description of a persons' personality or character, in which case I concede my confusion and applaud you for taking both the meaning of it into the poem (the cool location, the cool person). It also hints the scepticism of the concept of a cool person to me.

And that is all! I apologize if the review does not taste that good. Keep up the good job! :D




Morrigan says...


Thanks!
Liquid nitrogen is extremely cold, like her hands. I wanted to play with the idea of cold and "cool," not in the literal sense, but in the personality sense.
As for the labeling part, she's labeling me as annoying. I'll try to improve the clarity there.
Thank you for your review!



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Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:11 am
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Kaylaa wrote a review...



This is Nikayla here for a review!

Since you wrote this in the jam pad that was open, I decided that I would review this. And I have to say, I enjoy what you made out of the prompt, 'nebulous doggo hands' which in my opinion should have been the title of the poem, (Joking, I don't think that'd fit this poem.) but Underdog works just as well. :p

A black dog stalks the night,
barking over the fence. We gather
around the light like moths in the old warehouse,
sheltered from the rain, but not the cold.


This is a strong start to the rest of the poem, let's jump into why. I like the first line because it feels a little weird and gives off this tone of nighttime due to the dog stalking the night. The stanza does well in terms of imagery and I didn't have a whole lot of complaints about it, but line two does seem a little awkward in my mind in a technical sense that dogs don't really bark over fences, but it works. The way that you set-up the tone is strong and I think the moths simile is one of the stronger parts of this stanza. At this point in the poem, I'm interested as to who the speaker is and what they're doing in a warehouse. I'm envisioning this small town where there's this dog, keeping people up from sleeping, and then it's also a little abandoned in places.

She passes the pipe
to me, the new girl. I inhale nebulous clouds,
but nothing changes. The wan florescence flashes
off my leather jacket.


The second stanza adds a new layer to the poem and we find out who the speaker is in relations to the other people involved in the poem. We get to see that the speaker is the new girl which adds a whole new layer to this neighborhood since she's new to it. I'm assuming that the pipe includes some sort of drug or smoke and then it doesn't do anything to the speaker. I also wanted to point out the spelling of 'florescence' which is actually spelled 'fluorescence'. This is another small thing, but I didn't really think that the word 'wan' fit well in the third line. I'm not in absolute love with this stanza, but it works for what it is. It feels like a bit of an experience, which is one of the strengths of the poem as a whole.

I never wanted to be annoying,
but she labels me as I attempt conversation.
She takes back the lighter,
her hands like liquid nitrogen, rejecting
any claim to cool I ever had.


There's not a whole lot of power or emotion running throughout this poem, but at the same time, there doesn't need to me. This is the best example of that. We see that the speaker tries to talk but is immediately shut down by the girl in the situation. One of the things that I did want to touch on is the sort of cliche feeling that comes off from the poem in the fact that the speaker is this new girl and doesn't really fit in or people don't really like her. Something to think on is the reactions of the other people (I'm assuming there are other people as you made it seem that way in the second stanza) from meeting her.

Do they not like her either? Do they want to use her? Do they think that because she's new that they can immediately go after her for a significant other? You don't need to do this for the poem to succeed, it's more just some food for thought. The poem ends off on a strong note with the girl taking the lighter back (which I think could be portrayed stronger, such as the girl snatching it back) and the speaker losing their 'claim to cool' which I thought was an interesting and strong way to end the poem off.

I would like to see the poem be more atmospheric in terms of the imagery, because while what's there is great, I'd love to see that be built on because the tone you set is a strength. I enjoyed looking through this perspective of being a new person in town and a bit of how it feels but at points it felt a little overdone and reminded me of the 'new kid' thing you see in books that involve school.

This is an overall lovely poem. I hope I helped and have a great day!




Morrigan says...


Thanks for your thoughts.
While it might be overdone, it's true. I just moved to California and I'm trying to fit in with my cousin's friends. True story, bro. Thanks again!



Kaylaa says...


I figured it was true since I knew you had moved and talked about that earlier in the pad, haha, I just didn't want to assume anything like if it was true or not. :p




“Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
— L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables