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by TheOffBroadwayAuthor

Without warning, the bell jar falls,

And traps my helpless mind within its walls.

I try to push through, despite it all,

And smile through the glass.


A knife in my chest, a pain in my heart,

As well-worn chains tear my soul apart.

Hope turns to despair as the motor starts

And sucks my life away.


I stumble, I fall, I can’t break free;

The glass weighs down so heavy on me.

I want to get up. I wish I could flee.

But I can’t! Not today.

I’m sorry.

Is this a review?



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41 Reviews

Points: 3706
Reviews: 41

Sun Jan 22, 2023 7:20 pm
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HalfheartedAmateur wrote a review...

Title - "Falter"
According to Google, falter means to "start to lose strength or momentum," "speak in a hesitant or unsteady voice," and "move unsteadily or in a way that shows lack of confidence." You mentioned in the description of what this would be about that "this is the poem [you] show to people when [you] need to explain [your] depression." I think that depression can be described as the word you've chosen for your title for this poem because depression does involve losing strength/momentum as well it does make you unsteady both mentally, physically, and emotionally - and perhaps spiritually if one is a believer of that. Depression makes someone weak, yet it does not make you weak nor is it a weakness if you have depression. What I mean by "depression makes someone weak," is that you sometimes cannot physically force yourself to function like a "normal" human being such as getting out of bed, changing into new clothes, completing homework, taking care of oneself, and so much more. Someone with depression could begin to do something but then suddenly/abruptly stop - not because they don't want to, but because they simply can't. And I think this word "falter" you've chosen fits perfectly as a word to describe/sum up what depression is and how it can make you feel. There are so many poems about depression and I think it's beautiful that through poetry, people open up about their own experience and perspective of depression. Depression itself isn't beautiful, but the poetry allows people with depression and people with empathetic/sympathetic hearts and open minds to come together and connect in some way or another. I think it's an incredibly beautiful thing when people resonate with something together.

Fun Fact ~ Did you know there is a book called The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath? If not, perhaps you should read it because it's about depression. Maybe it'll resonate with you or if you're an enthusiastic reader with a passion for fictional mental health books, then maybe this book might appeal to you.

Interpretations/Commentaries (Just First Stanza):
Line One (Without warning, the bell jar falls,) - According to Google, a bell jar is "a bell-shaped glass cover used for covering delicate objects or used in a laboratory, typically for enclosing samples" as well as "an environment in which someone is protected or cut off from the outside world." [Just a reference for those who don't know what a bell jar is and need context for this extended metaphor.]
Line Two (And traps my helpless mind within its walls.) - That's an intriguing illustration to imagine. Perhaps the bell jar is on this person's head, stuck and trapped on - no escape. The bell jar suffocates this person's head, becoming claustrophobic, forcing the person inside the bell jar to suffer.
Line Three (I try to push through, despite it all,) - This is such a relatable line whether or not you have depression because out of context it could apply to almost anything.
Line Four (And smile through the glass) - That is such an impactful image to imagine and the message of the illustration is so incredibly powerful.

Quite touching, hit a bit too close to home, struck a nerve, and brilliantly written. Well done and kudos to you for putting your perspective of depression into words that you can share to others and maybe reach someone. Thank you for sharing this.

TheOffBroadwayAuthor says...

Thank you for your review! This is actually inspired by "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath.

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9 Reviews

Points: 85
Reviews: 9

Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:46 pm
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AddisonHardy wrote a review...

Hello TheOffBroadwayAuthor! (love your name, by the way :) )
As someone who struggles with trauma, depression, and other mental health issues, I definitely appreciate this poem. It captures the essence of living with something so dark and deep inside you, and often times it's hard to get that in words, but you pulled it off absolutely flawlessly.
The imagery of the broken glass really resonates with me, and I'd LOVE to do something like this for a monologue in theatre class, just as you said in the description.
One quick thing, the final stanza seemed a tad bit halting to me, but other than that it was perfect!
Again, great job, and congrats on writing such an amazing peice!

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23 Reviews

Points: 1966
Reviews: 23

Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:56 pm
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blueca wrote a review...

Oh wow, I love this! The imagery is powerful, especially the focus on weight, emptyness, and ensnarement. The vaccuum chamber metaphor is a little dicey, I didn't get it until reading the other reviews, and I don't think that's something most audiences will understand right away. Once it landed, though, it was incredible and tied together the poem and it's theme well.

With a focus on the spoken word context, there could be some improvements with the rhythm and flow. In a couple spots, there's just one or two more syllables then what feels natural in a line. I think cutting out some of the conjunctions could help with this. Read it aloud a few times and revise any spots that don't sound quite right, then you're golden. Keep writing!

TheOffBroadwayAuthor says...

Thank you! I can see what you mean about the flow of the poem. I'll take a look at that.

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5 Reviews

Points: 167
Reviews: 5

Mon Mar 08, 2021 2:43 pm
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Ryu wrote a review...

Hey there! I’m gonna be leaving a review for this vivid piece of art you made here.

First, I really love your imagery and symbolism. It provides so much depth and gives us readers the image in our heads that you were attempting to share when you wrote this poem. Great work!

Second, I would try to use even less metaphorical phrases and focus more on the feeling of the poem. Maybe try to use negative connotations. Focus more on how you want us to feel rather than using metaphors to convey this point, you know what I mean?

You said: “For the glass weighs heavy on me.”
You could have said: “For I am burdened by the glass,” or “For the glass leaves me suffering.”

Again, amazing job! You’re very talented!!

TheOffBroadwayAuthor says...

Thank you so much! I'll remember the focusing on feelings over symbolism in my next poems. That's really helpful!

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700 Reviews

Points: 50305
Reviews: 700

Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:50 am
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ForeverYoung299 wrote a review...

Hello, foreveryoung299 here to review your work.

It's your first work here and you mastered it. That's great.

You are successful in conveying your message– your depression. It's really sad how depression is eating up the world. I liked the concept.

“Without warning warning, the bell jar falls ”
There should be one warning. It's just a typo I think.

This might be a little vague as I am not that sure what yoy actually meant. You described the bell jar or the glass as your depression. It came to you suddenly without any warning. You try to come out of your depression and smile but you can't. I genuinely loved that line where you said a knife in... This line tells that you are heart broken. You can't bear it anymore. It is bounding you like a chain. What do you mean by motor? Journey of life? I think so although not sure. Then you say that the depression is too heavy that you can't come out of it.

I liked it. You have a great potential as a poet. Keep writing.



TheOffBroadwayAuthor says...

Thank you for your feedback! I'll fix that typo. For the motor, I meant it more literally. A bell jar is a device used to create a vacuum, and it uses a motor to suck out the air under it. But hey, death of the author, your interpretation is just as valid.

ForeverYoung299 says...

Now, I understand your interpretation. Everyone has a unique way to interpret

"What is a poet? An unhappy person who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music."
— Søren Kierkegaard, Philosopher & Theologian