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Sugar

by inktopus


the sugar tends to fall to the bottom.

and that sweetness becomes cloying,

coating my mouth until it is bitter

with the flavor of resentment.

it bathes my tongue in acrid hate

and poisons words,

spilling from sugared lips.

sharpened into deadly daggers by spite.

and slowly, this bitterness

begins to infect the tongues of

more gullible mouths,

worming between petal lips

to spill out dangerous words

that break the backs

of those responsible enough

to care.

disillusioned by aching backs

and hurting minds,

they too, taste the sugar.

and bitter words enfoul their pallets,

until the whole world is united

in a mutual resentment of everything.

and everything,

inevitably,

is encrusted with a coating of sugar


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745 Reviews


Points: 1626
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Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:48 pm
Lumi wrote a review...



It's difficult for me to explain how I'm a fan of this, but let's say that your narrative bob and weave are simply seamless, and my notes for improvement fall into flow, execution, and resolution. So let's talk about that.

Flow!

The first stanza, the draw-me-in stanza, is broken due to the adjective dump, and by proxy the setup of syntax to let the adjectives drop into the desert. Upon reading many times I want to forgive it because it sets up the remainder of the poem, but I want it to come across more seamlessly, and the way you're going now doesn't seem correct? I think, perhaps, the narrative of brewing the coffee/tea, or a stream of consciousness while stirring the sugar before it all cakes down anywaybecauseitalwayscakesdownanyway would work nicely for you? It's worth an experiment, at least? Maybe?

The flow throughout the rest, I believe, comes down to line break choice and positioning. I'm not tooooo picky about this, but I also don't want you to lose quality points for presenting something that really could be smoother with just some finishing touches.

Execution!

The main course of understanding up in here is that the bitterness spreads deceptively upwards and outwards from the bottom (at least that's how I took it--"the sugar always settles at the bottom") and on route to the top it just has the butterfly effect on things far away, causing callousness in the world. This is what sold it for me. I mean, I already think this has happened and I already think it's true, but it made me reflect on how with each new generation born the previous sugared generation has to instill the good traits of humanity into their progeny and move on until they're bitter as well. It's a cynical cycle that would depress a bunch of folks. And it's executed well, save for lacking more exploration, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Resolution!

The ending isn't quite the ending with me because I find it ended at the beginning, which can be a ploy, but it was a nice theory to have. It ties into my previous thoughts on the generational teaching deal I took away from this--all inferenced, of course.

It's a good poem. You're a good poet. Keep it up.

All my best,
Ty




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364 Reviews


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Reviews: 364

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Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:17 pm
zaminami wrote a review...



Hello Stormcloud! Kara here for a (hopefully) quick review!

Give me your soul.

With that aside, I'm not the best at poetry but here we go!

Bold = grammar and flow issues.
Italics = suggestions and overall
Strikethrough = remove
Underline = krazy Kara komments.

Spoiler! :
the sugar tends to fall to the bottom.

and that sweetness becomes cloying,

coating my mouth until it is bitter

with the flavor of resentment.


it bathes my tongue in acrid hate

and poisons words, {Flow's off in this paragraph}

spilling from sugared lips.

sharpened into deadly daggers by spite. {This line doesn't seem to be needed}


and slowly, this bitterness

begins to infect the tongues of

more gullible mouths,

worming between petal lips{.} {Note: I only did that because most of the other stanzas have a period at the end and punctuation flow}


to spill out dangerous words

that break the backs

of those responsible enough

to care. {This is very short compared to your other lines, breaking up flow. That isn't good for this type of poem}


disillusioned by aching backs

and hurting minds,

they too, taste the sugar.

and bitter words enfoul their pallets,


until the whole world is united

in a mutual resentment of everything.

and everything,

inevitably,

is encrusted with a coating of sugar{.}


Overall, it's very good. The metaphor with sugar is used excellently. However, I do agree with Pan with saying that I'm confused at how sugar could taste bitter. The imagery, metaphors, and other poetic elements are well done in this poem and I say great job and keep up the great work.

Why haven’t you given me your soul yet? --

Kara

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inktopus says...


Unfortunately, I already sold my soul on ebay. (back when chat was actually on YWS). I did get a nifty 2 dollars though



zaminami says...


Two dollars?! Damn that's cheap.



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641 Reviews


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Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:11 pm
Panikos wrote a review...



Hi, Stormcloud! Pan here to review. I'm not a big poetry writer, but I'll try to do my best to be helpful. I'm going to break the critique down, looking at the style first and then the message, and work through what I liked and what needs work.

Style

I quite like your decision to write in a stripped down style with limited punctuation, as I think it actually contributes to the apathetic tone of the poem. Part of me thinks you should go the whole hog and do away with the commas and full stops as well, as it seems a bit neither here nor there to have those but no capitals. Consistency is key.

One thing that does bother me about this poem is the line breaks. They feel random. It doesn't feel like you've thought about whether they're appropriate or not, more like you've just chucked them in because you felt like it was time for a new line. If line breaks occur in the middle of a clause or an idea, they can be jarring to read.

If you don't already, make sure you read your poem out loud repeatedly as you write it. It's crucial to testing the rhythm. Toy around with where the line breaks occur and see whether it makes the rhythm more or less disjointed. Experimentation is the route to good poetry.

Even though you have some great lines and some good moments of imagery - I love your opening line, and the metaphor 'worming between petal lips' is excellent - it doesn't always hold together. I was a bit confused by this:

and that sweetness becomes cloying,

coating my mouth until it is bitter


I'm not sure how an excess of sweetness could taste bitter? They're complete opposites, flavour-wise. I'm also not sure how the cloying sweetness links in with the fact that the sugar sinks to the bottom; surely if it's at the bottom, the sweetness wouldn't hit until the last few mouthfuls. None of the imagery in that first verse really ties together, though it works in isolation.

The key with poetry is to not get tangled in pretty words. Your descriptions can't just be flowery bits of language play - they have to be rooted in meaning, or else the whole point of the poem gets lost.

So, in summary, plot your line breaks more carefully and ensure that your metaphors accurately reflect what you're trying to describe. You've got poetic ability, but you just need to sharpen it up a little more.

Message

I like the ambiguity in the piece, as I think it's essential that the meaning of a poem isn't immediately obvious. There should be elements that can't be understood on a first read through. That said, I do think the reader should be able to make a decent stab at what the focus of the poem is - if they can't make any kind of guess, the message isn't coming through clearly enough.

It may be because of the conflicting imagery that I mentioned, but I'm finding it quite difficult to track what the message or meaning of the poem is. You seem to be talking about how we cover our resentment in false positivity, but there's a lack of cohesion in how you explore the idea. You start by saying that the sugar falls to the bottom, which would suggest that positivity actually gets lost beneath the negativity, yet at the closing of the poem, you say things are coated with sugar. So which is it? I can't find the thread between the stanzas.

There's also the juxtaposition of sweetness and bitterness that confuses the message somewhat. Is it suggesting that too much sweetness is bad? If so, that would be a solid point to make, but it would need to be expressed with a more coherent metaphor. Too much sweetness is sickening. It makes us feel ill. But it doesn't taste bitter. Bitterness after sweetness would be welcome, in fact, so the imagery kind of falls flat.

I'm going to leave the review here because I don't want to end up repeating myself. I hope this has been helpful, and I'm sorry I didn't have more specific pointers to give you. It isn't a bad poem, but it seems like there's a mismatch between the imagery and your message, which makes it quite hard to make sense of either. I think you need to think clearly about your idea and hone in on the clearest, most appropriate way to describe and explore it. To me, this poem feels like it's being led by a desire to do interesting things with words rather than to convey a message.

Keep writing! :D
~Pan





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