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Young Writers Society

Textbook Reading

by Plume

Beyond China’s central role in East Asia was its economic interaction...

I can't.
are these words
DANCING on the page?

Think they've gone

Or maybe I'm the crazy one.

Beyond China’s central role in East Asia...

Nope, not today.
Advanced Placement?
More like
Could probably use an AP HuG right now
...or APUSH off a cliff
I'm not picky.

Beyond China’s central role...

I'm not doing this.
many visual aids does one need
to accurately comprehend
and the thrilling

Beyond China’s central...

And no, sorry, Ms. G
I'm not really in the mood to talk about
two thousand years


This word I do comprehend.
Going to be needing it soon, I think.
"How many weeks
the due date can I turn something in?"
"I didn't know you could go that far
F in the gradebook."

This textbook is better at reading me
than I am at reading it.

I say
don't be boring."

And it says
Beyond China’s central role in East Asia was its economic interaction with the wider world of Eurasia...

Is this a review?



User avatar
122 Reviews

Points: 10714
Reviews: 122

Tue Oct 27, 2020 7:32 pm

I have never read a poem like this before, but I loved it. I can totally relate to you and your poem. Great job.

Plume says...

Thanks!! I'm glad you enjoyed!!

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56 Reviews

Points: 962
Reviews: 56

Mon Oct 05, 2020 9:22 pm
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JoyDark says...

I absolutely love this poem. Don't really have the time to write a review, but just wanted to put that out there. It's snarky and I very much relate to it. :mrgreen:

Plume says...

Ahh thank you. Glad you were able to relate!

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Points: 160
Reviews: 2

Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:43 pm
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Fictional Dare wrote a review...

The minute I read this I was distinctly impressed. The poem is completely relatable and introduces such expressive feelings to a moment very few find the words to describe. The humor is perfectly aligned and masterfully crafted at the end. I absolutely love this. Could have used more imagery though, just putting it out there. It's your work and you knew what you wanted to convey and I'm sure you hit the mark precisely.

Plume says...

Thank you!! Glad you liked it.

Plume says...

Thank you!! Glad you liked it.

User avatar
45 Reviews

Points: 69
Reviews: 45

Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:38 am
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rida wrote a review...

Well, this was a tiny bit confusing, I didn’t get the feeling, so, like Vil wrote, you should use imagery. And, I really loved the last line,
“ I say
don’t be boring.

And it says
Beyond China’s central role in East Asia was its economic interaction with wider world of Eurasia.”

It was funny. I liked this poem otherwise. Keep writing. Bye.

Plume says...

Thank you for your review!

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311 Reviews

Points: 0
Reviews: 311

Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:53 pm
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Riverlight wrote a review...

Hey there, @silverquill12! It's Vilnius here with a review! :)

What I Like
I am taking much pleasure in your pain and suffering in Chinese economic history, mostly because economics = politics = I am a happy person. I'll do the reading for you! XD

I think that by using caps-only in some of the words, you place extra emphasis behind them, lending to how I love reading about how tortured you feel... er, I mean... uh... You know what I mean XD

What I Dislike
I feel like more imagery could have been used as you described your pain, allowing me to enjoy it all the more letting the readers more adequately understand how you feel.

In Summary
I liked this, but I think a bit more imagery could have been used to more effectively describe your mental pains with this so that I could better enjoy it.

Have a nice [*insert time of day here*]!!!

Plume says...

Thanks for your thoughts! I don't like reading imagery, personally, and so I kinda assume nobody else does either, so I just kinda... don't use it. I'll keep what you say in mind. And, you know, it's nice to know one of us delights in my suffering. I did do the reading, and it actually wasn't that bad. Now I guess I'm educated about China and its relationship with the Eurasian world economy lol.

Riverlight says...


I like imagery, I just can't always write it XD

User avatar
560 Reviews

Points: 31375
Reviews: 560

Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:53 pm
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Atticus wrote a review...

Hi there silverquill! Tuck here to bring you a review today.

Overall, I found the message to be something every student can relate to. I can appreciate and relate to the angst that accompanies taking advanced courses in high school, as well as the way advanced history textbooks seem to be particularly dry. The repetition of "beyond" began to take on a double meaning that I felt you executed well to create some structure and well-utilized repetition in your poem. On the whole, your message was solid, so allow me to get picky for a bit with the presentation and execution of that message.

Something I'd love to see you do more with this poem is play around with the positioning of the words on the page. For example, your first stanza:

are these words
DANCING on the page?

If you were to spread the word "dancing" across the page, it would better communicate the idea of words dancing to the reader, and would also add another level of engagement. This brings to mind @ShadowVyper's most recent poem, there is no failure without i, which utilizes the placement of words on the page to communicate an idea. It adds another layer to the poem and could be a very effective way to demonstrate the scatter-brained-ness of the writer to the reader.

Similarly, I didn't find capitalization to be the best option to emphasize ideas in this poem. It was used frequently enough that it lost some of its power, and it was somewhat jarring and interrupting to the flow of the poem. If you were to experiment with trying out a different format, using different sized-fonts or different fonts altogether may better lend emphasis to these ideas. If you wanted to stick with the traditional format, capitalizing fewer words may make your emphasis more powerful when you chose to use it.

Moving onto some actual content of this poem, I believe it may boost your poem to use some more figurative and metaphorical language. One of my favorite quotes about poetry that I use in reviews perhaps too often is "Tell the truth, but tell it slant" (Emily Dickinson). Rather than just stating facts, beliefs, and emotions, let the reader see the frustration by describing the chewed nails, the pulled-out hair, the crumpled notebook and textbook pages, etc. Your poem was very straightforward and cut-and-dry, which is a good starting point because it means you've clearly defined what you want to communicate, but to elevate it to the level of poetic art, you must venture into the arena of rhetorical and poetic devices.

On the whole, this was a strong expression of frustration with a difficult and boring class that I could relate to, and I hope that some of my suggestions have given you some ideas for how to potentially improve it! Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.


Riverlight says...

We must've been just seconds off XD

Atticus says...

Aha, did your message say first or second review?

Riverlight says...

It-- didn't, actually XD

Plume says...

Thanks for your review! Yeah, I'm a lazy person, and this poem was penned while I was supposed to be reading a history textbook, so I didn't really have time to play around with the formatting. I do agree that it could benefit from a visual aspect, though! And yeah. I'm not a very beat-around-the-bush type of person. I go straight through that bush in the bluntest way possible. (I realize now using a metaphor to illustrate that point may be slightly counterproductive). I focus more on the wordplay and the repetition you noticed. And when I write poetry, I write it more for a sort of slam-style performative format, so I understand if that doesn't translate well on the page. Needless to say, I think you raised some beneficial points and I will certainly take them all into account. Thanks again!

You wanna be a writer? You don't know how or when? Find a quiet place, use a humble pen.
— Paul Simon