Young Writers Society



Rote Learning

by Seirre


I want to feel something deep, and meaningful,
To articulate some seismograph-skittering self-revelation
Until I feel the earthquake rumble from my mouth
And pound from my feet. I have choreographed dance steps
That send my heels digging in the patio bricks loudly, metallically,
Have rehearsed big words that slam into the air, that sound
As though every syllable is an epiphany, because I could swear
There are tectonic plates gently shifting
Somewhere in my bone marrow. But they evade
All my attempts to dig them out, claiming I cannot force a volcano.
They promise they are comfortable nestled under my soft, still skin.

I hear assuring, creaking, sifting whispers that we already had
A tsunami last month, and my eyes got left to do
The bulk of the work like the starry pupils they are.
There are only so many in-human disasters that can take center stage
At a time, and cannot be willed into existence
Simply because there is comfort beckoning in the turmoil.
Revel in the lack of it, bones purr softly at me. I cannot;
I am far too adjusted to feeling the pulse of the tectonic plates
All the way above ground, ribbiting against my skin.
It’s reassuring to know things are still out of my control,
After all, I cannot be held responsible for an earthquake. 


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Tue Jul 19, 2022 2:11 am
lliyah wrote a review...



Hey Seirre! I'm late as usual aha but I always get where I say I'm going eventually! Thanks for sharing your poetry in June ~ we were having a bit of a poetry drought!

I really enjoyed reading you tackle some imagery that I haven't encountered in your poetry very much before - though I know you've got a few poems that have a scientific edge, and certainly have a lot of pieces with the uncomfy bodily imagery in there too. The earthquake image was a perfect metaphor for the wanting to feel something more - it reminded me of people who sometimes complain about feeling numb to the world; some medications can also sort of have that affect of making all the emotions more mild/even - but the first stanza I think can be interpreted to show how that in itself can be really uncomfortable. I think another interpretation is that the speaker is looking for meaning in their life, and maybe specifically personal / identity-focused meaning or revelation, but they can't seem to be able to pick it out. In the second stanza it seems like the "event" they were waiting for to find meaning / feeling sort of happens, and yet they are still unresolved in a way - especially with those final lines that say that things are still out of their control.

You did a great job linking up the earthquake & disaster language into the body language so that it created one cohesive picture rather than competing images. The poem is a little elusive, but not necessarily in a bad way! And I think it's definitely an enjoyable read especially because it brings the reader somewhere and gives the reader specific feelings and images to connect with.

One question - I wasn't quite sure what you meant by "in-human disasters" but interpreted it as a little play on disasters that involve humans or are cased by humans & "inhumane" disasters - but I wasn't quite sure. :)

Thanks for sharing!

~ alliyah




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Sun Jun 12, 2022 10:14 pm
vampricone6783 wrote a review...



We find comfort in the chaos.We won’t be blamed for causing it.If we are in the red then we can just come up with excuses.This makes me think it is about someone who won’t take ownership for their mistakes because it is “too hard.” Those are just my thoughts.It could be completely different though.I hope that you have a nice day/night.




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Sun Jun 12, 2022 1:24 am
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FireEyes wrote a review...



Heya Seirre! Incoming review!

I really liked the extended metaphor you used with geological and earth tie ins. They were interesting and I don't see it a lot in poetry. With that said, lets get on with the review!

I'll start with critique. The only thing I could really find to say is about how each line in auto capitalized. The poem works pretty well with the capitalization as is, but I think it could be leveled up if for each "sentence" you keep the first word of a line lowercase. I always have trouble explaining what I mean. I think of my poem in prose and if where the line break is, the sentence continues, I don't capitalize the word. With your poem in particular, with the longer lines and periods mid-line, the poem could read a little better. It's just a thought to keep in mind because, after all, capitalization is a stylistic choice.

I hear assuring, creaking, sifting whispers that we already had
A tsunami last month, and my eyes got left to do
The bulk of the work like the starry pupils they are.
I think sentences like this would annoy English teachers. I don't believe there is anything wrong grammatically, but just a point to keep in mind is that sometimes people will see the punctuation in your poem and disregard the line breaks for pauses and instead use the punctuation for pauses. In short, they might read it like prose. I don't have a problem with it because every thought that goes through my head is like two run-on sentences side by side.

Okay, that's it for critique, let me praise your work!
To articulate some seismograph-skittering self-revelation
I am a sucker to alliterations. It was what immediately sucked me into the poem and kept reading. *Clap clap* good job with the alliteration.

There are tectonic plates gently shifting
Somewhere in my bone marrow.
Usually, bone marrow and anything of that sort makes my skin crawl, yet I think it was nicely used. Goodness, I just can't get over the wonderful imagery you used in this one. It all ties in together so well and even though I might not be able to get some type of message from it, as poetry and literature is kind of hard for me to dissect for meaning, I just loved reading this for my own enjoyment.

After all, I cannot be held responsible for an earthquake.
And this is my favourite line. It speaks to me in a way. I've been in a position where I want to help with something completely out of my own control. It reminds me of my father's friend's saying, "If you can't change it, don't worry about it." This line just solidifies the fact that I can't be responsible for whatever will happen in the situation, whatever happens happens and I can be along for the ride if I oh so wish.

But that's all I have for today. I hope you found some of this useful! I will for sure read back on this some day when I remember it. Again, beautifully done and have a great day! Anyway byeeeeeeeeee<3333333




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Sat Jun 11, 2022 3:45 am
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reallife says...



good





Too often we crave the extraordinary in life, without even learning how to cherish the ordinary first. Friend, I promise you this: if you can learn to take joy in the simple mundane things in life, the extraordinary will take care of itself, it'll be on its way, hurrying towards you. But if you skip the first part, it'll ever evade you.
— Arcticus