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swamp thing

by Morrigan


swamp thing hauls herself
through muck, whites of her eyes
glinting through a veil of duckweed.

she didn't start here. at least she thinks
she must have come into existence elsewhere--
visions of a desert, but even that place
was stormy and soaking, somehow.

effort multiplies; she punishes herself for wondering.
there is nothing to do now but find the exit.
the swamp is a labyrinthine library
of mosquito species, cypress branches
shelving indexes of spanish moss.

swamp thing rises from all fours
smeared with mud, dripping and screeching,
but the endless vegetation dampens the sound,
blending fury into distant bird calls.


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Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:55 pm
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Snoink wrote a review...



Hi Morrigan!

Thanks for letting me review this poem! It's nice to review poetry again. :)

So, this is an interesting poem because there is just so much visual imagery going on. It starts off with an image of a creature rising up from a swamp -- only for a revelation that the creature perhaps did not first belong into the swamp.Only for the scene to transform into a library. Only for it to return to the swamp. So, there is a LOT that is going on in this poem!

Now, I think the tricky part of this poem (which you might want to think about a little bit more!) is try to figure out this swamp creature more. Because she doesn't really seem to belong anywhere. Like, the first stanza and the last stanza, it seems like she is totally in her element being the swamp thing. She is hauling through muck like a boss, she is being ferocious (which might possibly be a good thing? I am not sure?) and it sounds like she's having a fun time being a swamp monster -- which, honestly, I can't blame her. If I were a swamp thing, I would probably want to be a fiercesome beast and lay around in the muck all day, lol! (Who is more oozy??? Swamp Snoink thing or the Swamp??? SWAMP SNOINK THING WINS, HOORAY!!!!)

But, the middle stanzas, there is definitely a discomfort that is introduced. It is revealed that Swamp Thing actually doesn't really belong and is actively trying to get out.

But the weird thing is that when you introduce this discomfort about her not feeling quite out of it, you introduce other worlds. So, there's this odd feeling about the poem... is the discomfort because of a yearning for a different place and is tired of this swamp? Does she have an actual memory of being in these places? Are they just dreams to her and all she knows is the swamp?

I sort of get the feeling that all she knows is the swamp and that the other places are mere dreams, and that, while she is trying to get out, there is no place to really get out to, or at least she doesn't think that there's a place to get out too, and that's why she is furious. Meanwhile, the birds are singing far away, alluding to that dream world that she can perhaps never get to.

Anyway. Things to improve, maybe?

The way that you introduce this discomfort of being out of place can be improved! The poem kind of stumbles on itself when you tell us that she is thinking or punishing herself for wondering, but it shines when you show us the stormy, soaking desert. (I think the library analogy is a bit stretched, honestly, since it's hard to think of mosquitoes stacked on shelves, lol!) So, I dunno... maybe describe the desert more? That seems like it would be wonderful. In fact, I might scrap the library analogy entirely and just describe the desert more. There seem to be so many places here that having two dissimilar places (swamp/desert) together and contrasted with each other might give you that powerful impact that we poets desire!

Anyway, I am going to finish my coffee now. :) Let me know if you have any questions, and I hope my review (which was my first review in quite a while, lol!) was helpful to you. :)




Morrigan says...


Thank you! I'll work on that



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Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:52 pm
MeherazulAzim16 wrote a review...



Hi Morrigan!

I loved your poem. It made me think, so I'm here with a review. You've incorporated some very interesting images into this one ("whites of her eyes
glinting through a veil of duckweed," "cypress branches
shelving indexes of spanish moss").

she didn't start here. at least she thinks
she must have come into existence elsewhere--
visions of a desert, but even that place
was stormy and soaking, somehow.


The second verse may be the weak link in the poem, or so I think. Is this a reference the comic book character? A part of Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing dealt with what it means to be the Swamp Thing, what is its origin and purpose. Maybe I'm missing something but I'm unable to get what this verse is expressing.

Wait... or, maybe "but even that place was stormy and soaking, somehow" means that the narrator's current situation is affecting how they perceive things and places from their past. Though I think I'm reaching here.

the swamp is a labyrinthine library
of mosquito species


I love this line. In this swamp, you never know which species of mosquito is biting you. It's hard to tell, so it's labyrinthine.

swamp thing rises from all fours
smeared with mud, dripping and screeching,
but the endless vegetation dampens the sound,
blending fury into distant bird calls.


Until this verse, we knew what the swamp thing looked like and now we know what she sounds like. The last bit of description ("blending fury into distant bird calls") really completes the image.

This poem, the way I see it, evokes this feeling of restriction. The Swamp Thing wants to be free but the swamp is all she has. The veil of duckweed restricts her vision, the endless vegetation restricts her voice. She is stuck in a labyrinth, unable to navigate past its walls. It's agonizing, so she screams, but even that is restricted. To someone hearing it from faraway, it'll be all but some distant bird call. They'll never know that it's coming from someone in need of help. I don't know if I got it; it could still be reaching here. But those are my thoughts.

That's the review! Hope you stay safe and keep on writing!

~MAS




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Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:43 pm
WinnyWriter wrote a review...



Hey, there. This is very creative and imaginative. I really like the library imagery. You've also given us a mental picture of endlessness by using the term "labyrinthine" and by the subject's confusion. The whole thing depicts being lost and trapped in some situation or way of thinking that has gone on for so long that one can no longer remember what life was like before it. Whether or not this is what you intended to convey, this is definitely the message I get from it. I do kind of like how you didn't include an interpretation, though. It leaves it subjective to the reader, which opens the opportunity for each individual to relate this poem's content to something specific that they are thinking of. I commend your talent.

Keep writing! :)




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Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:03 pm
Flamefeather says...



This is very intriguing! Keep up the good work!




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Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:18 am
RaziaR says...



Great job. An interesting poem.




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Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:35 pm
margrite says...



lovely use of words! very curious




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Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:08 am
fortis says...



Man, I'm a sucker for swamp imagery. Duckweed? that's my jam. Mosquitoes in poetry? heck yeah. This poem rocks.





I exist as I am, that is enough
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