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growing up

by TheBlueCat


i can barely remember

the time when my face was still round and pudgy

and you could find constellations in my freckles

under my eyes bigger than my dreams.

i know it was then 

that your wealth was measured

in pokemon cards and silly bands

and you could rule a kingdom

by running the quickest during freeze tag.

the popular kids were the ones

who make the most kids laugh

or drew the best.

it was all so much simpler then.

~

i can clearly remember

(and i wish I could forget)

when girls and boys decided they liked each other

and it wasn't gross to hold hands anymore.

i had to stop hanging out with my guys friends

if i didn't want to be teased

and sung the stupid rhyme about sitting in trees together.

i was no longer popular because i could draw,

but rather i was weird 

because of my doodles in my notebooks,

the fact that i knew the answers

so i raised my hand and participated,

and still played sports in gym class

even though "i was no good at it."

i was put into a category,

why, i couldn't tell you.

i was now a "nerd",

and that was that.

i was also weird because i didn't like anyone,

but back then, i was just ignored.

things were weird

and overly complicated then,

like we were playing a game 

i didn't know the rules to.

~

i don't even want to recall

when the above became magnified

and swear words became common vocabulary.

i was now "gay"

(even though i thought it just meant happy

because that's how i read it in narnia

and what my mom and the dictionary said)

because i didn't like guys,

but i just wasn't ready for a "boyfriend" yet,

that was all.

i was made fun of for my beliefs,

like when i stood up for my choice to not swear,

or when i said i wasn't allowed to date until college.

i was told to stop trying to be so perfect,

go make some mistakes,

live a little.

i said no.

they laughed and bullied me some more.

the game is getting too complicated,

and now the rules keep changing.

~

and i'm not through yet.


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509 Reviews


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Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:48 pm
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Jaybird wrote a review...



Hey there! I'm here to review your work.

I know it's a weird thing to start with, but your style of poetry reminds me of my own. We both have a love of imagery and reflection in long poems, and it's cool seeing another person who loves writing about their feelings and observations in the same way.

I can't speak for my own skills with imagery. However, I can speak for yours, and I can definitely say that I loved all of the different bits of imagery you threw in. It made the poem spring to life on the screen - every little poetic instance of the hard parts of growing up struck me hard. Like @Querencia, I saw myself in your poem. Not entirely, but just enough to wish I could have been there for the girl who you were describing.

Since we have similar writing styles, the only (somewhat) critique I can give is that you might want to cut the length of your poem. I honestly have no idea where you would want to make it more concise. I'm also not entirely sure if you need to - the entire poem feels like it flows naturally, and I think taking some parts away might ruin the bigger picture.

At the very least, you could always make it a collection of poems about growing up, and expand more on each time period.

I hope my review helps, and thank you for writing this wonderful piece. <3

(I'll also admit that this poem won me over, so expect more reviews of your poetry to be popping up in the next hour.)

Image




TheBlueCat says...


<333 thank you so much mage!! c:



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Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:12 pm
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Querencia wrote a review...



Hi Cat!

I loved reading this poem so much, even though it made me sad. It also reminded me of myself a little bit. I don't review poetry a ton, so please forgive me if I don't do the best job of it!

i can barely remember
the time when my face was still round and pudgy
and you could find constellations in my freckles
under my eyes bigger than my dreams.

Your imagery is clear enough that the first line doesn't seem quite fitting, but I also love the way it lines up with the next two stanzas to create an overall image, so I think that you should keep it.

Also, I really enjoy the imagery here, but I'm not sure if it all quite makes sense. The "constellations in my freckles" seems very fanciful, but there's no other imagery like this throughout the poem--it seems to be more straightforward. And there's also no reference to being teased for freckles later. I just feel like it needs to connect back in somehow, whether there's more pretty imagery to come or some way that this beautiful thing has been turned against the narrator, like some of the other things listed (drawing, for example).

One last thing I wanted to point out is the "eyes bigger than my dreams" line. I feel like in childhood, dreams were really big, but the line says that the eyes are bigger than dreams, which makes the dreams feel limited and smaller than the eyes--which isn't something thematically that happens until the narrator of your poem gets older. So I don't know if you could play around with that a little more?

that your wealth was measured
in pokemon cards and silly bands
and you could rule a kingdom
by running the quickest during freeze tag.

Truth! XD Good job capturing that. Also the king of foursquare was basically the king of the world.

i had to stop hanging out with my guys friends
if i didn't want to be teased
and sung the stupid rhyme about sitting in trees together.

I know you're using sung like "the song was sung to me", but that seems sort of passive to me. I think it might be a little more impactful if you say, "and hear the stupid rhyme..." or "and watch them/have them sing the stupid rhyme..." The second one is a little longer, and it has a clear 'them' which I'm not sure is good or bad, but it might be something to experiment with. Maybe you want to focus on the narrator instead and do something like the first example.

i was put into a category,
why, i couldn't tell you.
i was now a "nerd",
and that was that.

I feel like there needs to be a little something else here, like, "and that was considered something bad", because sometimes people can own the nerdiness and sort of glory in it. I think it would be good to make clear that the narrator is assigned this category and didn't choose it and that it's been sort of hurtful.

i was told to stop trying to be so perfect,
go make some mistakes,
live a little.
i said no.

I feel like this could have been a little more violent? I mean, not physically, but the language which others use to call the narrator out could be a little stronger. When I tried to stand up to my friends about swearing and inappropriate content, they didn't try to call me perfect, but they said I was prudish and a goody two-shoes and stuff like that. Pretty immature, but that's what they do. "Live a little" is pretty gentle as well, like I could say that teasingly to a friend (obviously that's not what's happening here of course!). But maybe, "Stop hiding under a rock" "This is how the world is, deal with it" could be a little harsher and more impactful.

and now the rules keep changing.

~

and i'm not through yet.

I sort of wish these didn't both start with and. I think it ruins the impact of the first line a little? You could say "but I know I'm not through yet" or something similar and that would have a more solid feel than starting after a break with the word "and".

One last thing I want to mention is the narrator's emotional state. It's... never really addressed? And I think it's fine, because the second two parts especially help us to understand the changes happening in his/her life and obviously no one is going to be happy when they're being bullied and called weird! But at least in the first part about childhood, it might be good to have a line about "everyone got along" or "it was easy to fit in" or "fights over the first one to go on the swings were settled and forgotten within minutes" to show that there's not any of the tension that is so clearly present in the second two. While the silly bands and freeze-tag characterize childhood physically, there's not too much evidence that the narrator is still hopeful and happy (though I assume he/she is!).

Again, this was really impactful. I think a lot of us have been through that kind of process! I know it was weird for me, and that line about having to stop having guy friends was so accurate because so many of my elementary school friends had been boys (because girls were bullies). And yeah, the game isn't over yet. Some people in college still have these immature mentalities of trying to get ahead and put others down. But you do such a good job of saying this without needing to list specific ages or stages of schooling and just letting us watch this person growing up. I love it (even though it's so sad)! Good luck with writing. :)

-Q




TheBlueCat says...


Thank you so much!! <3 All of this is super helpful and I'm so happy you enjoyed it c: Please come and review my poems again anytime <3




It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.
— Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind