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"I'm starving."

by Sonder


“I’m starving.”

The phrase summons demons from my past

Emaciated children dying in their mothers’ laps

Given nothing, they receive the gift of death

Brother watches sister take her last breath

Father prays to God for what they lack

Praying for his wife who never came back

.

“I’m starving.”

A little white child who knows no better

Living in a land of freedom and feathers

Food on the table, three meals a day

Not knowing that there is any other way

They have a mommy who can keep them fed

And a loving dad who isn’t already dead

.

“I’m starving.”

These words drive nails through my heart

Dismissing the people I cared about

How can you be so blind to those in need?

Must you lose your eyes to see?

Most of those children I saw four years ago

Are now admiring new angelic halos

.

“I’m starving.”

This is my life in the U.S. of A.

The land of the free and where the rich play

Red white and blue, how we admire

The ability to turn eyes away from needs dire

To this country that is so superb,

“Starving” is only an adjective

Not a verb.


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Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:37 pm
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ChipsMcCoy says...



This is a really inspirational piece of poetry, it has so much truth and meaning to it. It is by far one of my personal favorites on YWS. Keep up the good work, Griff ;)




Sonder says...


Thanks so much, Chips. That means a lot. :)



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Fri Jan 02, 2015 5:57 am
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Rurouni says...



Have you ever read "The Giver" because there was something like this in there and wow.

I like this poem. Though we don't always turn our eyes away from those in need, there are people starving IN the U.S.A.

I do like this though. *star and cookie for you!*




Sonder says...


Thanks Rurouni. I was aiming this at foreign poverty, and although I do know there are people in need in the U.S., it is a fact that they have more options for help than people with corrupt or weak government systems in other countries. Thanks for reading!



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Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:45 am
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LogicAndObjections wrote a review...



Words cannot describe this poem, it has touched my heart and my soul. Nowadays people don't really think about poverty or other problems in the world, it's just at the back of their minds, sitting there. It takes words, action or something to remind them of what the world really is and this was perfect. I love how when you started the poem right off you said;

"I'm starving"

Sometimes people say that when they skip a meal or two, to imagine someone who didn't get any meals and was on the brink of death... it changed the way I thought about those two words. A whole different meaning and all. Especially when you ended the poem with these powerful words;

“Starving” is only an adjective

Not a verb.

It was pretty gripping, I read your poem at least twice and that's a good thing. I cried a bit, that's how emotional attached you got me. When someone like me cries, it's a million out of ten for this poem.




Sonder says...


Thank you! I'm glad I could get my point across. I hope this spurs people on to make a difference in the world. :)



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Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:22 am
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CuriosityCat says...



This is so perfect. I love it so so so much. I really mean it. I feel like my family and one of my friend's family are the only ones not living in a bubble where I live. It just kills me to see kids at school whinging when there are people on the streets outside their homes dying. You captured this brilliantly. You. Are. AMAZING. Understand I don't go around saying this to everyone's poems. ;) *likes poem*




Sonder says...


Thank you! I based this off of a trip I took to Kenya, and what I see in my own country. Thanks again!



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Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:40 pm
erilea says...



Nightcrawler, hello! Like this poem.

One question. Why is your username Griffinclaw down there?




Sonder says...


Hi wisegirl! Thank you. Well, this is an old poem and I changed my name this summer. So the posts that I made when my name was GriffinClaw stay that way. It'll be the same way with you if you ever change your username.



erilea says...


OHHH.



Sonder says...


:)



erilea says...


Hey, we aare online at the same time...that rarely happens.



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Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:16 am
Ccas wrote a review...



This piece speaks amazing truth. The imagery from just one line can conjure up so much. The only thing I thought just didn't really fit:

"They have a mommy who can keep them fed

And a loving dad who isn’t already dead"


I don't really see the entire meaning, point you're trying to make...
So, just in my opinion, it came out as a tangent, per say.
That's it; that is all; carry on.




Sonder says...


Thank you!



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Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:55 pm
bubblybubbles101331 wrote a review...



I am going to tell you the truth. I just cried. This is such an amazing beautiful piece of work, accentuating how ungrateful some are, and how they do not realize that there are some who have so much less than them. As I was reading the specific stanza"
“I’m starving.”

A little white child who knows no better

Living in a land of freedom and feathers

Food on the table, three meals a day

Not knowing that there is any other way

They have a mommy who can keep them fed

And a loving dad who isn’t already dead

I completely lost it. This poem made me realize how much that I have to be grateful for and how ungrateful I have been. Thank you, I hope to see much more from you soon.




Sonder says...


Thank you! *hands tissue*





Hahaha thankyou and no problem :)



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Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:06 pm
Ladyofthedeathroses wrote a review...



So first of all this is an amazing piece of work and struck a chord with me. I agree with what you're trying to get at. So many people in this country don't realize how well off they are they just take it all for granted. I am guilty of this but I manage to remain humble to the best of my abilities. Other than that this is fantastic, I love the way it flows and especially the last few lines 'To this country that is so suberb, "Starving" is only an adjective Not a verb.' It just reaffirmed the whole meaning of the poem. Once again great job and I look forward to reading more of your work.




Sonder says...


Thank you!



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Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:20 am
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FireFox wrote a review...



Okay, I don't typically review poetry, but this piece struck a cord with me. My four and five year old sons constantly use the word starving. It's like a daily word they use in place of "hungry," and I have grown tired of it. I have been trying to figure out how to explain to them that they are not starving; they are, in fact, well fed (three meals a day plus snacks) and have not the slightest clue what it is like to "starve," as I do. If they were older, this poem would be perfect to read to them, and perhaps it would give them a clearer understanding the word that they are tossing around absent-mindedly. Anyway, on to the very short review:

The only issues I have are a few grammatical errors here and there, such as a lacking comma or an oddly phrased part, but I will not nitpick, because I know there are others who will. This is the best poem I have read in a long, long time! PLEASE keep writing! Definitely something you were born to do! If you have any questions, feel free to message me!

-FireFox




Sonder says...


Wow, thank you! I'm glad you understand what I was trying to get at. :)



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Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:51 pm
LittleCaroleen wrote a review...



How very powerful your piece of art is! It tugs and tugs on me. It's the kind of poem that lingers over and sets in on your skin. How very true it is. Although, my life isn't perfect, I do get fed well and I am very guilty of saying, "I'm starving." because I skipped one meal.

At first I thought it might be about eating disorders, and then I realized it was about the people. About my country and their greediness. But I think it's very much about eating disorders in the same way. People who binge eat. People who eat and don't understand what it's like to go without. Isn't that a disorder too? Being wasteful? It's not something I would call orderly.

I also find the rhyme very intriguing in this poem. It flows so perfectly. My favorite part is when you threw off the rhyme at the end. It was very good. I also thought it was interesting what you said. "'Starving' is only an adjective, not a verb". Here I must disagree. I believe that we use it to express our current state, which we would be hungry. But for some people it isn't a current state, it's a constant state and that's the difference.

Although I have yet to read any of your other works, I'm intrigued as to what they might say. You put an entire society in a completely new light and executed killer rhyming skills. Good job.




Sonder says...


Thank you.



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Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:24 am
Ary says...



I'm speechless...and even more after I saw you were the author of this. This is...freaking gold! Do you know how many times during the day I think like this? Ah! Hands down this is the best poem I've read today. *bows*




Sonder says...


Thanks Ary!



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Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:00 am
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MysteryMe wrote a review...



This is so true. People in the U.S. (including me, I admit it) really take advantage of all they have. They just don't realize how lucky they really are. I specifically remember complaining that I was 'starving to death' when I was little because my dinner ran half an hour late...




Sonder says...


Yes, that is what I was trying to get across. I traveled to Kenya a few years ago, and the cafeterias didn't have trash cans, because no one wasted anything. It really opened my eyes to how blessed I really am.
Thanks!



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Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:42 pm
TGS wrote a review...



its very thought provoking. I like how you said "A little white child who knows no better" there are Meany debates about why we don't do more and complain about privileged subjects. About not having signal and computers and its because we have been brought up in a world witch is very privileged and like you say we know no better. It flows really well its not clunky like other poems. I suggest a bit more context. I enjoyed it. It was great

-TGS




Sonder says...


Thank you.



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Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:02 pm
Skydreamer wrote a review...



Maybe this will be stupid afterwards, probably.

I agree with your poem, I do, it is true and you did a fantastic job writing it. It is beautiful in it's own way. But you do realize you put the U.S on a very high level especially with

To this country that is so superb,


when a lot of people there are suffering. But what you said is true cause people in places like Syria and Philippines are facing real starvation daily. And I see now that you had to rhyme with "verb" so I get it. : )

It's funny cause when I write poems, people tend to attack, oh no, sorry, correct my rhyme scheme telling me how it needs to flow and whatever. Well I felt from the rhyme scheme in the beginning to the end it wasn't the same through out. And though I have no problem with this, I thought I'd mention it in case it was just something you missed and you'd like to look it over. No need if you don't want to though.

One more thing I'd like to add...this made me think of the hunger games (this is the part where I think this will be stupid) and right now I am very disturbed because of how emotionally connected I get to books (it's almost scary) and how the book seems to be playing with my heartstrings as supposedly all good books do. So technically I was planning to hate on this. Just so you know, but it's beautiful, just a tad bit cliche.

Yet I couldn't fully link it with the book because of how you continued and ended the poem, but the first stanza definitely reminded me of it. I would just suggest looking through the middle stanza and the last. There are always alternatives to poetry and such. I can understand if you don't feel like changing it though. But feel free to explore. I don't want the poem to continue as the first stanza, but the middle one is so drastic of a change it can confuse the reader. Or at least the line

Dismissing the people I cared about


I don't understand this at all. But feel free to explain it to me. Also, great job!

Keep dreaming and writing.




Sonder says...


Thank you for the review. :) The story behind this poem is that I traveled to the impoverished areas of Kenya a few years ago, and was appalled at how dismissive people were with their riches. I say, "Wow, you have a nice house." They say, "No way, this is a dump." And I would be floored because the people I met in Kenya would think it was a miracle to have a house.
I in no way was trying to connect this to the Hunger Games, though I suppose they have similar themes about poverty...?
And the line you pointed out, well, that is personal to me. Many of the people I met in Kenya are probably dead now, as they were mostly children, and children don't live long there.
Yeah. Thanks again for the review. And try not to go into people's works "planning to hate them." You might end up liking it, just maybe. :)

~GC





haha, I'm sorry I can see it was offensive to say that. I really did like your work. And I don't actually do that. I wasn't even planning on writing a review. Anyways, I'm glad you liked it, now it makes sense for you writing about being white...I was going to point that out too because I am black, but I decided against it and am glad.

It's hard for people to see things the way you did, even people who've went to Kenya and seen suffering, for that I respect and applaud you greatly. : ) Also I'm sorry for the tone I had. It's just that I know suffering (maybe not to some people's) extent and can sympathize. Knowing you had a similar connection makes me happier that the poem was really genuine.



Sonder says...


Thanks for understanding, and thanks for the review. :)



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Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:27 pm
therealme says...



Wow! This is so well written :)




Sonder says...


Thank you!



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Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:40 am
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jls1638 wrote a review...



I like the obvious message behind this and thought that you did a good job conveying that. I think that as a country we think that we have it hard but we truly don't understand how blessed we are and for some don't understand what is happening in the world around them and that's the sad part. You touched on a major issue in the world today, that while some people live the high life and are always wanting more, there are people out there that just want to know that they will be able to eat today. I think that it was very well written and I don't see anything in it that needs specific changing unless you wanted to change the style of poetry from rhyming to a different in depth, abstract feeling poetry, but it would be longer and you would have to add a lot more detail.

Anyways, I think that you did a great job and you should continue. I can't wait to read something else of yours and the best of luck with all of your writings.




Sonder says...


Thank you!



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Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:14 am
EloquentDragon says...



Just so you know, I got an ad for "End world hunger" after this. xD

But on a serious note, the thought does count. This was great.




Sonder says...


Hey, thanks. :)



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Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:54 am
DreamlikeNightmare wrote a review...



I think i want to cry right now.I dont like living in america,no one wants to see the bad.They say they want to make everything better for everyone,but hardly anyone will care to notice the really big issues nowadays.Damn im crying.This was so amazing and touching,and i wouldn't change a thing.




Sonder says...


Thank you. *hands tissue*



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Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:36 am
Swiftfurthewarrior wrote a review...



Hello there griffin!

You've written a wonderful poem there. It gives the reader a new perspective.

However,the last two lines seem a little strange. I suggest tacking on, "Not a verb" onto, "'Starving' is only an adjective"


Overall, I give this poem 4 3/4 stars.


~Swiftfurthewarrior




Sonder says...


Thank you, I will take that into account.



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Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:19 am
horseholio wrote a review...



The last 2 lines really stuck out to me. That was very clever.

Most people don't understand why I hate America so much. We're so privileged and don't even acknowledge what we have. This really shows the divide most people will discuss very seriously, but over a plate of steaming hot food, stuffing their faces without a second thought to anyone else who might need food.




Sonder says...


Thank you. Glad you understand. :)



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Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:19 am
Jibber says...



I really like the perspective put into this poem. It keeps a really great rhythm and the title captured my attention. I hadn't expected the poem to be so meaningful. I'm the type of person who is mythical and I don't usually bring into perspective the truth of the world through my work.

Keep up the good work! I loved this! :)




Sonder says...


Thank you!



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Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:13 pm
Omi1 wrote a review...



That was probably the best poem I've read all day. Such a good message and so well written, too. The rhyme scheme was beautiful and everything flowed wonderfully. I honestly can't think of anything I would say to improve that, really, job well done! :) The last stanza was especially my favorite, it gave a very potent message, one we all need to hear, whether we are American or not.




Sonder says...


Thank you!




Everything has a consequence and every consequence leads to death.
— kattee