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Perfect

by R.Harini


Glaring into the mirror I view,

An abomination so disgustingly disappointing,

Filled to the brim with worthlessness,

A hollow shell scarred and chipped,

By those hushed whispers and frustrated sighs,

Never wanted, never pleasing, never perfect.

I have to be, I must.

My trembling hands treacherously smear and chisel,

A mask so obtrusively magnificent,

The voices inside my head jeer maliciously,

Trampling down on my whimpering conscious,

I blink away the cascading tears,

And plaster on a disguise,

So flawless, so dazzling, so perfect.

I have to be, I must.

Draping my emotions and snapping of my sanity,

I walk along this brambled hell upright,

Each fibre of my being strained to achieve outstandingly,

Every comment, every wish, every demand I suck in,

Emptying the contents of the illusion of excellence,

Shutting out the concerned glances and pleading shrieks,

I am an empty canvas, spotless and clear,

Shrouded by the landscape of perfection.

I am, I am now.

Daily dinners emptied into the toilet bowl,

Hopeful dreams crumbling into the fragile memoirs of the distant past,

Any variance weeded out, any contrast shaded upon,

Sensations and sentiments blurring into the swirling rabbit hole,

No glee I witness, no joy I feel,

My very existence ebbing out of the empty, ornate vase I call “myself”,

The blemishes are dutifully scrubbed away,

Leaving behind the very epitome of perfection.

I am, but I cannot be anymore.

The butchered fragments of my individualism lie tattered,

My veins flowing with regret and pain,

The dark eyes in the mirror stare back lifeless,

Concoctions of deceptive brilliance bleeding into my skin,

The masquerades dissolve into the unforgiving reality,

Fetters around me bind tighter as I fall,

Drowning into the unending abyss,

I wildly chase around, beseeching for a glimpse,

Of the human I once was, now washed away.

I am empty, I am lost, I am inhuman, I am perfect,

Something I prayed I never wished to be.


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Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:03 pm
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Clairia wrote a review...



Hello! I'm Clairia, here to review as requested.

As I mentioned in my review for your previous piece, you're very articulate and you provide excellent imagery for the reader. Your extensive vocabulary is quite impressive--I applaud you for your choice of words throughout your work.

This time around I'd like to cover something that I failed to mention in the last review; your use of commas. Although commas are often key in poetry, they don't seem to be helping your writing flow very well; this is likely due to over-usage. Let's break down your first stanza:

Glaring into the mirror I view,

An abomination so disgustingly disappointing,

Filled to the brim with worthlessness,

A hollow shell scarred and chipped,

By those hushed whispers and frustrated sighs,

Never wanted, never pleasing, never perfect.

I have to be, I must.

There are a couple things here that need a bit of tweaking. I'll go over the comma issue first, however.
You have a comma after every line (save the last one). Something to keep in mind is that you can continue a thought without a comma--particularly in poetry. One or two works well, but going over that is pushing the limit of being repetitive.

First stanza revised
Glaring into the mirror I view

An abomination so disgustingly disappointing

Filled to the brim with worthlessness.

A hollow shell scarred and chipped

By those hushed whispers and frustrated sighs

Never wanted, never pleasing, never perfect.

I have to be. I must.


I also added some periods to break off different 'sections'. Separating certain thoughts from others can be beneficial to your poetry by improving the flow. Remember to check your comma usage in the future to avoid chunky writing.

There isn't much else that I can critique. You've clearly got a very vivid imagination--it seeps into your writing in the best way. I've loved reviewing your poetry, and I simply can't wait to see what's in store for your short story.

Thank you so much for stopping by The Review Tavern!
Best,

Clairia




R.Harini says...


Thank you so much. An incredible critique.



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Sun Apr 19, 2020 2:09 pm
shima wrote a review...



Bloody hell, this is marvelous. Loving it, really. As someone who has struggled with his own identity for most of his life, this is really something I feel and relate to. Beautiful, truly stunning, amazingly written and shown off. The main character is clearly suffering from the duality in his soul, the duality between being someone perfect and someone lost, the duality that many people - especially teenagers - are suffering from in the modern age. And it is rarely that I see this described so succinctly, so marvelously, so beautifully, in a way that is so easily accessible to anyone who reads it.

I mean, what else is there to say about it? The language is poetic and descriptive, the metaphors beautiful, the general feeling really unique and realistic. You are the main character when you read this story and in my opinion, this is the best thing anyone can achieve.




R.Harini says...


Thank you again for this wonderful review.



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Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:26 pm
Em16 wrote a review...



Specific Comments:
Stanza 1, Line 2: Nice alliteration!
Stanza 1, Lines 3-5: I love the imagery here. It brings to my mind a pottery vase or bowl, being shaped by “hushed whispers and frustrated sighs”.
Stanza 1, Line 9: I love this phrase. The grandiose nature of “obtrusively magnificent” contrasts so much with the actual meaning of a false mask constructed to hide inner doubts.
Stanza 1, Line 15: I love the way you use “draping” and “snapping” to describe your emotions and sanity. There’s such physical verbs, and they bring a realness to the abstract concepts of sanity and emotion.
Stanza 1, Line 18: Is outstandingly a word? I know what you’re trying to say here, that the speaker wants to be “outstanding”, but I would suggest rephrasing it.
Stanza 1, Lines 19-24: I was a bit confused by these lines. They seemed to imply both that the narrator gave in to the ideas of perfection imposed upon her (“every demand I suck in”), and also that she ignored them (“shutting out the concerned glances”). Maybe I’m misinterpreting it, but I feel like these few lines aren’t completely clear.
Stanza 1, Line 28: I love the idea of “sensations and sentiments blurring”. It has both alliteration and imagery, and it makes me think of personality “blurring”. Like the speaker’s image of herself/himself is fading. However, I was confused by the “swirling rabbit hole”. The “rabbit hole” makes me think of Alice in Wonderland, and I didn’t really see how that related to the rest of the poem.
Stanza 1, Line 33: I love the repetition of “I am, I am now” to “I am, but I cannot be anymore”. It emphasizes the change that has occurred in the speaker.
Stanza 1, Line 35: I love the imagery here, and the idea that the speaker is completely made of “regret and pain”. It subtly contrasts with the idea of perfection.
Stanza, Line 43-44: Wow. These last lines are amazing. There’s an intensity in them from the repeated “I am” statements. It’s like the last crescendo of a song, building and building until it ends. I also love the way you phrased the last line, ending with “I never wished to be”. I think it was a good choice to end with the words “to be”. It suggests a theme of existence/existential struggles that’s present throughout the whole poem.
General Comments
I loved this poem! It was a joy to read. There was a lot of really, really vivid imagery, and it made reading a very sensory experience. This poem is a perfect example of the maxim “show, don’t tell”. You weren’t trying to explain the facts, you were trying to make the reader feel what you were feeling, and you completely succeeded.
It’s mostly perfect, but the one thing that I thought could be slightly improved was the structure. I would suggest splitting the poem up into multiple stanzas (if you don’t know how to format stanzas on the YWS site, check out this article How to Format Poetry ). I felt like splitting it up into stanzas could have organized the different ideas a little more. Also, I felt like the poem would have benefited from a little evolution. I didn’t really feel like the speaker changed from the beginning to the end; it was mostly static. I would have liked to see either their transition from a healthy state to perfectionism, or from perfectionism to a healthy state. You could trace each moment that changed them and lead them deeper into their perfectionism. It doesn’t have to be a huge change, but I think even a little change could make the poem even more impactful.
Overall, though, this was an amazing poem, and I’m not just saying that. Personally, I related to a lot of the sentiments in this poem, and I think you were able to eloquently describe a lot of the elements of perfectionism. Keep writing!




R.Harini says...


Thank you so much. I am so grateful for your in depth review. Also thanks for the formatting link, I did not have a clue how to do so.
I will continue to post and entertain the readers here, Thank you



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Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:56 am
Necromancer14 wrote a review...



Very interesting! Now, I don't normally review poems, but since you asked me too, here it is.

Here's my review:

Wow. This was a really good poem. It was incredibly descriptive, and it resonates with probably everybody.

A hollow shell scarred and chipped,


A "hollow shell?" I feel like this would be more like what you end up as at the end. Perfect on the outside, nothing on the inside.

Draping my emotions and snapping of my sanity,

I walk along this brambled hell upright,

Each fibre of my being strained to achieve outstandingly,


I liked this part. The first two lines here were quite descriptive, and the last one was spot-on accurate, and quite resonate-able.

Daily dinners emptied into the toilet bowl,


This seemed a tad random. Maybe it's an expression I haven't heard of and in that case it's fine, but otherwise it didn't make much sense. Is it, like, a vague metaphor? That's what I'm guessing, but if it is, I'd say it's too vague."

The butchered fragments of my individualism lie tattered,

My veins flowing with regret and pain,

The dark eyes in the mirror stare back lifeless,


Now, it was hard for me not to add a few more of your lines to this quote... and then a few more... and then some more... until suddenly I had the rest of the poem. This was super descriptive. In fact, the whole rest of the poem was extremely powerful. This part was really good, but so was the next part, and the next part, etc. I mean, the beginning was quite good too, but from here to the end I think was a even a little better.

Anyway, I really liked your poem! Good job.

Well, that's my review! I hope it was helpful.




R.Harini says...


Thank you so much. I am so glad you loved it



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Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:36 pm
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SpencerReidIsMyLife wrote a review...



R. Harini--

First things first--I love this poem. Your descriptions are very detailed, and I could see a clear picture in my head. A few of my notes while reading this:

1. I love how the reader is able to follow the speaker's narrative throughout the entire poem. When the concept of the facemask (that's what I thought the speaker was applying to her face in the bathroom anyway) is brought in periodically throughout the poem, AND brought in at the end to wrap things up...idk it just really worked for me.

2. I love your alliteration with "disgustingly disappointing" (line 2), and your parallel structure(?-I think that's the right term lol) with "Never wanted, never pleasing, never perfect" (line 6). They really helped with the flow of the poem.

3. I also loved your use of repetition and variations of the line "I have to be, I must" (lines 7 and 15). I especially loved when it changed into "I am now" (line 24) and "I am, but cannot be anymore" (line 33). These really show the evolution of the speaker and their struggles throughout our journey with them.

4. I wanted to make a quick note about the subject matter--I think this was very well written, and it made me relate to what the speaker is feeling. As someone who has experiences with eating disorders, sometimes (especially while being stuck at home in the middle of a [capital P] PANDEMIC) disorders like eating disorders, depression, anxiety, etc. can showcase themselves more (I hope that made sense). Point is: I related to this poem, and the way you wrote it helped me to feel like I'm not completely alone right now.

Anyways, sorry about the long rant. Great poem, can't wait to see you write more!

With Love,

Mac
(Feel free to DM me if you need clarification on any critiques)




R.Harini says...


Thank you so much. I am glad you liked it. I will continue to post more of my works here.



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Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:55 pm
whatchamacallit wrote a review...



Hi R.Harini! Whatchamacallit here for a review. First of all, welcome to YWS! If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

So to dive into the review!

The first thing I notice, immediately, is a lack of stanzas. If you don't know, stanzas are how a big chunk of poetry is divided into smaller pieces - sort of like paragraphs.

An example of how you could divide up the first half of your poem:

Spoiler! :

Glaring into the mirror I view,

An abomination so disgustingly disappointing,

Filled to the brim with worthlessness,

A hollow shell scarred and chipped,

By those hushed whispers and frustrated sighs,

Never wanted, never pleasing, never perfect.

I have to be, I must.


My trembling hands treacherously smear and chisel,

A mask so obtrusively magnificent,

The voices inside my head jeer maliciously,

Trampling down on my whimpering conscious,

I blink away the cascading tears,

And plaster on a disguise,

So flawless, so dazzling, so perfect.

I have to be, I must.


Draping my emotions and snapping of my sanity,

I walk along this brambled hell upright,

Each fibre of my being strained to achieve outstandingly,

Every comment, every wish, every demand I suck in,

Emptying the contents of the illusion of excellence,

Shutting out the concerned glances and pleading shrieks,

I am an empty canvas, spotless and clear,

Shrouded by the landscape of perfection.

I am, I am now.


You know what else I notice? This a really emotional, touching, relatable poem about the pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect, look perfect, and act perfect. Your repetition and variance on the line "I have to be, I must" is very effective.

I would say, regarding "I have to be, I must", and "I am, I am now", etc., that since all of them are slightly different except for the first two, I would alter the first or second so that all of them are different. If that doesn't make sense, I've put a spoiler below.

Spoiler! :

I have to be, I must -> change to something different, like I will be, I need to be

I have to be, I must

I am, I am now

I am, but I cannot be anymore


Another suggestion would be to add another short line at the end, to tie the poem together and recall the other four variations. Something like "I am, I am not" or "I am, I am perfect" or "I am gone" or "I am no longer me". That's just a preference thing, though, totally up to you.

The next spoiler contains grammar, spelling, and wording nitpicks.

Spoiler! :

Glaring into the mirror I view, -> unnecessary comma

An abomination so disgustingly disappointing,

Filled to the brim with worthlessness,

A hollow shell scarred and chipped, -> maybe end this thought with a period?

By those hushed whispers and frustrated sighs,

Never wanted, never pleasing, never perfect.

I have to be, I must.

My trembling hands treacherously smear and chisel,

A mask so obtrusively magnificent, -> I would also put a period here.

The voices inside my head jeer maliciously,

Trampling down on my whimpering conscious, -> period.

I blink away the cascading tears,

And plaster on a disguise,

So flawless, so dazzling, so perfect.

I have to be, I must.

Draping my emotions and snapping off my sanity,

I walk along this brambled hell upright,

Each fibre of my being strained to achieve outstandingly,

Every comment, every wish, every demand I suck in,

Emptying the contents of the illusion of excellence,

Shutting out the concerned glances and pleading shrieks, -> period.

I am an empty canvas, spotless and clear,

Shrouded by the landscape of perfection.

I am, I am now.

Daily dinners emptied into the toilet bowl,

Hopeful dreams crumbling into the fragile memoirs of the distant past,

Any variance weeded out, any contrast shaded upon,

Sensations and sentiments blurring into the swirling rabbit hole, -> I find it unclear what you mean by "rabbit hole"

No glee I witness, no joy I feel,

My very existence ebbing out of the empty, ornate vase I call “myself”,

The blemishes are dutifully scrubbed away,

Leaving behind the very epitome of perfection.

I am, but I cannot be anymore.

The butchered fragments of my individualism lie tattered,

My veins flowing with regret and pain,

The dark eyes in the mirror stare back lifeless, -> staring

Concoctions of deceptive brilliance bleeding into my skin,

The masquerades dissolve into the unforgiving reality, -> dissolving ->period.

Fetters around me bind tighter as I fall,

Drowning into the unending abyss,

I wildly chase around, beseeching for a glimpse,

Of the human I once was, now washed away.

I am empty, I am lost, I am inhuman, I am perfect,

Something I prayed I never wished to be.



That's it for my review, hope you found it helpful! Your poem is wonderful and I encourage you to continue writing poetry!

Whatchamacallit




R.Harini says...


Thank you so much
I will definitely keep in mind your points while working further





No problem! It was a pleasure to read your poem



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Mon Apr 06, 2020 12:40 pm
R.Harini says...







Hail Hydra
— Stan Lee