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diploma, n. < Latin diploma an official document conferring some favour or privilege (OED)

by Stringbean

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47 Reviews

Points: 251
Reviews: 47

Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:41 pm
LilPWilly says...

I just said frick it this year, failed a couple classes, and still got into the college I was aiming for from the beginning. I swear, all this pressure is way worse than it has to be.

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78 Reviews

Points: 40
Reviews: 78

Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:54 pm
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NivedaJames22 wrote a review...

Hey Stringbean!

I think you accurately explain the sentiments that you feel, about how we keep placing a lot of importance on meaningless degrees and academic awards, and struggle through our student years, only to realise how futile it all was when you finally finish with it all.

I like the part where you say that a faculty member will bombard you with "cliche words of encouragement, inspiration, admiration, empowerment." It feels really relatable, because sometimes you work for years on end and then win something, and all the people who never cared about you suddenly are "so proud and happy for you" and this random person you've probably never met before hands you a little piece of paper and showers you with their unasked for compliments.

I like the second verse, especially the part where you say that the certificate officiates all the pain, both physical and mental, that you have suffered through, and the opportunities that you missed inorder to get this.

The ending really sums up the feelings that you are going through, how you just want to go home, and cry yourself out until you feel better in a corner of a room.

The only line where I found a possible error is in the second line of the first stanza. I think "queue" would make more sense than "que" in that line.

On the whole, it is great poem, that expresses some really deep feelings. You express your frustration in a beautiful manner. Can't wait to read more of your work.

Keep writing. <3

Stringbean says...

Ah, yeah, I never do use the right word there, queue, I'll be sure to change that XD

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100 Reviews

Points: 7
Reviews: 100

Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:08 pm
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Em16 wrote a review...

Hey! I absolutely freaking love this poem. It is amazing. You captured the feeling and the horror of being a student so well, the complete farce that is the modern education, where we pretend it’s valuable, when in truth it’s really just miserable. I love the bitterness and anger in this poem. For me, it felt so empowering to read it because these moments, the late nights writing papers, the days spend exhausted and sleep deprived, they are not part of the official narrative, so I think it was really powerful that you were able to express them in a poem. It felt powerful to me, at least, to see my own experiences reflected in this poem, where I feel like they’re not acknowledged by teachers or school administrators or the school system as whole. I love the way you play with the idea of a diploma, using the Latin definition, which says nothing about learning, but instead focuses on a “favor”. This poem, I think, is a pretty damning critique of modern education, and I love it. I'd say this poem demonstrates the real power of writing, to express our experiences, and to add weight to our own story, even if the rest of the word devalues it.
I love how you start off with the word “urgently” in the first line, because it lends a sense of intensity to the poem that I think is appropriate. The speaker feels getting their diploma is “urgent” because the sooner they can get their diploma the sooner they can go home and “cry in peace”, as they mention in the last line. I felt this description, of being able to “cry in peace” is so poignant, because when you’re in school and you want to cry, you can’t “cry in peace”. You always have some assignment to do or to stress over, so you can never really find peace, even if you’re having a breakdown and need that moment of peace.
I also love the flow and the rhythm of the poem- I thought you set up a pretty good pace that made reading this poem almost effortless. You also have so many beautiful but haunting descriptions. I love the description of the “cheap flashy gold seal”, which implies that the seal doesn’t really have any meaning behind it, it’s just there to impress (which it is). The repetition of official, in between descriptions of all the overwork and misery required by the school system, helps the meaning of the word “official” become almost ironic, as the reader questions what “official” really means, if it means anything. And then I loved the repetition of “stacks" of “literary analyses lab reports and calculus” which represents the endless workload of a high school student. I found the description of “tears long washed” and “forced back at 3 am” all too personal- I’ve felt that before, and I know so have many of my friends. This part of the poem feels like such a retort, like a refute of everything this “diploma” stands for and requires, and as a reader, you are forced to question, to take a good look, at the set up of school in the modern era. I also love the description of “the dark smudges tattooed through force”. The use of the word “tattoo” implies their permanence, and the use of the word “force” shows the reluctance of the student, the fact that they have been forced by their surroundings into this kind of semi-vampiric lifestyle.
The last stanza is a perfect way to close the poem. It’s so short, and I feel that brevity reflects the exhaustion the speaker feels. They don’t have the energy to say anything more, just want to put this all behind them, forget about high school. They’re too tired even to fight, so they just “smile politely”, but still reveal their anger in their mind by calling the people around them “faceless bastards” (I cannot tell you how much I love that line! I feel like it really reveals the fakeness that pervades high school- why is getting a piece of paper in front of hundreds of people you don’t know supposed to be an important moment? The people clapping for you don’t even know you. I think you really captured that emptiness so perfectly and succinctly by describing everyone around the speaker as “all you faceless bastards”). I also love how, even in this final stanza, you refuse to refer to it as a diploma, but call it "finishing paper", which seems like a much more accurate description, and in the same move, devalues it as just a piece of paper. And of course, the last four lines are so beautiful. They show how even once school is over, the wounds still remain in us, we still have the trauma and sadness from all those years slaving away.
Overall, this was a gorgeous, amazing, astounding poem. I really, really love it. I think what you have to say is so important and the writing in this poem is so beautiful. I had so many feelings and reactions while reading this poem, and it made me remember all my own experiences in school. I hope you continue to write and I look forward to reading more poetry from you in the future!

Stringbean says...

Thanks for the thoughtful review! It's really neat to see your analysis and what stood out to you, how you interpreted things.

I've written this as a college student actually, not thinking about high school until you mentioned it, but you're absolutely right--it's a very similar sort of experience unfortunately.

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375 Reviews

Points: 26330
Reviews: 375

Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:45 am
Dossereana wrote a review...

Hi it's Dossereana here with a short review for you. So let's get right into it.

I really liked reading this, you put the lines together so well I couldn't help but read own. It was instantly captivating even the name of this peace was. You great at writing poetry that's for sure. I love how you ended it, I started with such happiness and like, then this relive almost. there was so much imagery and feeling's behind it that I couldn't help but just see all of it happening before my eyes. Such a wonderful seen you made here.

That's all I can say I no it's not much, this was wonderful to read, you great at writing poetry and I look forward to reading more from you for sure. :)

I hope you have a great day/night witch ever side of the world your on.

@Dossereana Flying Over The Green Room And Spreading Shards Of Encouragement

Stringbean says...


“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
— L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables