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Violence

​A Eulogy to Alphonsa

by NivedaJames22


(TW: Violence, knives, murder, burning)

The late-summer drizzle turned into a thunderstorm as I sat

hunched low on the couch, by the dewed window, bare feet on the cold floor,

the last remnant of the fleeting warmth in my hands - lovely, sweet, Alphonsa.


I held her tenderly, inhaling the scent reminiscent of youth -

the smell of fresh, white blossoms on ageing trees, of clement mornings,

biding a reluctant goodbye to her gentle passion and sunkissed bliss.


Then I grab the hilt of a near-blunt knife, fingers trembling as I

plunge the tip into her flesh, etching onto her skin and my mind a scar

that will last forever, as her ichor trickles down my hands, searing skin.


The stench of scorching flesh overrides as godly blood carves a mark,

a golden tattoo on my wrist; her scent becomes one with my skin.

My tears fall on Alphonsa's rotting skin as I bid adieu to my childhood friend.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(This is the end of the poem, but I've included a breakdown of what I intended to convey through the poem below, if you're interested.)


**Breakdown:

'Alphonsa', or the alphonso mango symbolises the summer of youth. Killing Alphonsa is not the literal murder of a person, but the compulsory, tearful goodbye one must bid to one's youth, as one takes shelter in the dusky shadow of age. 


The thunderstorms approaching too signifies the end of summer. For reference, where I live, summer is from March to May and is followed by the monsoons. Mangoes are a staple of the summer months, which is when they ripen and are plucked.


Yet, despite the parting of Alphonsa, or one's youth, the spirit and memories of those times remain, and shall forever be burnished into one's being in the form of a golden tattoo. Slitting Alphonsa's skin spills ichor instead of blood, showing the eternal relevance, the immortality of that period of one's life. **


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159 Reviews


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Mon Jun 13, 2022 8:01 pm
MaybeAndrew wrote a review...



Aaaaandrew here with a speedy review!
The poem grabs me and elicits different types of emotions than I'd expect from something about the end of childhood (murder isn't the gentlest of metaphors XD)
I really liked these lines

I held her tenderly, inhaling the scent reminiscent of youth -

the smell of fresh, white blossoms on ageing trees, of clement mornings,

biding a reluctant goodbye to her gentle passion and sunkissed bliss.

Really captures the feeling of childhood and summer very well
My biggest critique is actually the breakdown. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm an idiot at poetry, so I don't mind a breakdown. But it is not the existence a breakdown that gets me, its the fact you thought it was necessary. An artistic piece should be able to speak for itself and be able to communicate the metaphor without the outside intervention of the narrator. Animal Farm is an amazing example of this. It's a metaphor for the Russian revolution, but even if you didn't know the details of the Russian revolution (like I don't) or even if you were some person from a far-off land who didn't even know about Russia, the story can still tell you something. You can still get that message that power turns well-meaning revolutionaries into corrupt and oppressive leaders worse than those your overthrow.
Also, if you do know the details of the Russian revolution, the connection can be made without Orwell having to spell it out.
I'd say this story would be stronger if the metaphors and all the weight behind it could be received without the explanation. Maybe a way you could insert into the poem those ideas, without having to say them after the poem.
But that's all just my two cents (and bad ones at that, I'm terrible with poetry) hope it helps!
But, with the context in view, the idea of the poem is well done and very much captures that gut-wrenching feeling of ending childhood. Well done!
Thanks, and keep writing,
Andrew




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Mon Jun 06, 2022 7:56 pm
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FireEyes wrote a review...



Hey Niveda! Incoming review!

I appreciate your breakdown at the end of your work. I'm one of the densest people I know and it makes me appreciate your poem a lot more with the explicit explanation of the extended metaphor you used. With that said, lets get on with the review.

I'll start out with critiques.

Then I grab the hilt of a near-blunt knife, fingers trembling as I

plunge the tip into her flesh, etching onto her skin and my mind a scar

that will last forever, as her ichor trickles down my hands, searing skin.
All I could really find to critique is how the verb tense went from past to now present. As I read further, the last stanza was in future tense. It makes sense, yet the contrast ticked something in my head and it felt off. I'm particularly sensitive to verb tense changing but I think it works well here. I thought I'd put it under critique because it is something that could be changed, but doesn't necessarily need to be changed.

Okay, with critique out of the way, let me praise your poem!
the smell of fresh, white blossoms on ageing trees, of clement mornings,

biding a reluctant goodbye to her gentle passion and sunkissed bliss.
I think your struck the perfect ratio of frivolous writing and having it bear meaning to your work. I think sometimes as writers we think we need to use the most fancy or longest words we can but we don't. We need to use the right words. There should be some fanciful thinking but I believe you struck a perfect balance of your words flowing like a spell but not to where I feel like I'm reading something completely out of my league.

I like the amount of effort you took into explaining your poem and all the details that make it what it is. There isn't anything I could say to make you love your work anymore than I do because what really matters is that you find pleasure in your work. Only hen can others find true joy within it. I just love the care in the detail you put such as:
despite the parting of Alphonsa, or one's youth, the spirit and memories of those times remain, and shall forever be burnished into one's being in the form of a golden tattoo. Slitting Alphonsa's skin spills ichor instead of blood, showing the eternal relevance, the immortality of that period of one's life.


But that's all I have for today. I hope you found some of this useful. This was one of my favourite poems to read yet and I wish for you to continue! Anyway byeeeeeeeeeee<3






Thank you so much for the review! I'll work on the verb tense bit, thanks for the tip :>



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Tue May 24, 2022 7:45 pm
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momonster says...



this is heart-wrenchingly beautiful. good job. <3






thanks momo! :>




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