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E - Everyone

The title of this is at the end.

by Traves

Our children must have bright eyes.

Eyes that will not stay parched when tears must run.

Eyes that will make those uncomfortable who should be

Eyes that will not waver, that will not flood in defeat.

They will see all they need to then.

Give them a sharp mind,

Not so sharp that they cut themselves.

Sharp enough to cut through the densest brush

and grasp the highest fruit.

Sharp enough to cut through biases and protect the truth.

They will learn all they need to then.

Don’t give them strong hearts—

hearts of steel that are unbent under pressure until they aren’t;

until they fold so bad there’s no way to get them back like they were.

hearts of glass that shine, brittle and beautiful until they aren’t;

until they break so hard there’s no way to get them back like they were.

Give them heart.

So that they will pound and fold and crumble and break;

but will heal all over, scarred and stronger than they were.

Hearts that will push them on and the ones around to go beyond.

They will know what to do then.

Teach them to stand back up if they fall down.

Teach them to ask for help if they can’t get off the ground.

Teach them to pick someone up when they cry for help.

Teach them to listen to the cries not heard but felt.

They will know who to help then.

Do this because humans never could.

Do this because humans never would.

  • —the Artificial Intelligence Training School’s mission

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551 Reviews

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Reviews: 551

Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:27 pm
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FlamingPhoenix says...

I love reading this poem. I don't normally like reading poems but i loved yours. So well done. I hope You post more.

Traves says...

Thank you!

Your welcome. It was really good.

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Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:14 am
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metrophobia wrote a review...

"the title for this is at the end" is a sweet title on its own actually!
I liked this poem because it flipped expectations and that's exactly what good poems are supposed to do. Serve it up like it's one thing, then dish out the truth. The ending surprised me when we found out the subjects weren't even humans. I'm curious what sort of "AI" you had in mind for the subject though.

Overall, interesting concept - the lines themselves seemed a bit robotic/not all that lyrical or rhythmically pleasing. It might have been because of the repetitiveness of the format of every single line being "Capital letter" - complete sentence - "punctuation mark". If you'd mix it up and have some sentences bleed into the next line, it'd make it a bit more interesting. Although if you were going for the robotic feel - you've got it.

Good luck with the rest of your poetry writing.


Don't be afraid of poetry! It's good for ya!

Traves says...

Not the proto AIs we have right now, obviously.
In the near future I'm pretty sure AI will be better 'humans' than humans , unless taught ptherwise

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Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:47 am
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Aley wrote a review...

Hey Traves,

I'm really glad to hear from you about wanting something reviewed. I created my thread because of BRB so I'm glad to see it's getting some traction.

You say you want me to be brutally honest, but honestly, I don't think that's the best way to improve. The best way to improve is to read more poetry and analyze it, so I'm going to give you a reading list based on the style I see from your writing in order to expand upon your current wheelhouse of poetry knowledge. I'll also review your poem, but if you want to "write only to improve" you really need to "read" only to improve. Aeoreopagitica states "... a wise man like a good refiner can gather gold out of the drossiest volume ..." In so saying that reading the bad is just as important as the good for there is much to gain in finding what you dislike as there is to gain from finding what you like. To me, writing is half the battle to improve, the other is to read and absorb what you like. If you limit yourself to only writing gold, you'll never pick up a pen. You have to be able to identify the good that you've already written, not become Midas. With my preamble over, let's get into this.

To begin with, there are some general stylistic choices that I'm seeing you use which hinder the poem's flow and tend to stilt the way in which it's read.

I think this poem is definitely ambitious with what it's message. It sets up a story and your turn at the end of it being for an AI group which is actually the "title" is rather interesting. It creates a juxtaposition between what we're expecting and what we recieve which is nice.

In this poem you're using a prodominantly end punctuation heavy style which means that your sentences tend to end at the end of your lines. This means that you're closing everything at a perfect spot to get distracted and go elsewhere for new information. With our styles of reading today, this isn't going to keep people involved in the reading. It's more encouraging to use enjambent which is the flow of one line to another.

For more reading on punctuation in poetry, check out my article Punctuation in Poetry where I go over all the different stylistic choices and when they might be most applicable.

You're using straight line capitalization meaning the first letter of every line is capitalized. That's really making this feel archaic and old. It doesn't help with the repetition and syntax. In this case, I'd encourage using more loose language despite it being a mission statement. A mission statement is usually a paragraph, so making this feel all like it's on the same level within the paragraph rather than one major level can help get rid of some of the rigidity that's hampering the readability of this poem.

For more reading on capitalization in poetry, check out my article Capitalization in Poetry where I go over all of the different stylistic choices and when they might be most applicable.

Most of my problem with this is that it's in this "we must" sort of langauge where you're repeating yourself quite a bit. Every sentence is laid out in the same way and after the first sentence, you repeat the first word repeatedly. Usually in poetry, I suggest no more than 1 or 2 repetitions of a word unless it is being used as a refrain.

A refrain is best when you're looking to change the idea of a sentence through the context of the previous statements. So if the sentence means the same thing every time, it's usually not the best time to use a refrain, just say it once.

Now that we've looked at some of the style things, lets go over specifics in this poem.

This first stanza caught me off guard because the things you're suggesting should happen because of a person seem unlikely to happen. You can never be sure that people will cry when they're 'supposed to' or that they will be intimidating, or that they will never break down in defeat, or that they won't be blinded by perspective. Those are unrealistic goals to set for anything that can think and function. I believe it's unrealistic in terms of AI and I know it's unrealistic in terms of people.

After the first stanza, I started getting an understanding of what this poem was going to be like, and I saw that it was sort of this idea that these people are parents of these children, and they want them to be perfect in respect to everything.

That's about when I lost interest.

Honestly, perfection to me is the last thing that I find interesting in a poem. Your idea of perfection, my idea of perfection, all of it. Perfection is always going to be different from person to person, and while it's nice that you define what perfection is to you, it's still just to you.

This poem would be more interesting if it was a dicussion of the different varieties of perfection. I can see that you know what other people think is perfect because you have the line "Don’t give them strong hearts—" which is to counter that you want them the strongest, fastest, smartest, kindest, etc. and to say "they don't need to be strongest, as long as they are compassionate." and yet in your compassionate section, you ruin that by saying "but will heal all over, scarred and stronger than they were" which is basically saying that one day they will be strongest.

You can teach people though. Teaching people is possible. It's like that really old addage "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." Same thing with teaching people. You can teach them, but you can't make them use what you teach them.

I think the whole point of AI is that it has the ability to learn anyway, so why do you have all of this stuff about personality and free will when really the only mission of a training school is to train?

The last two lines were rather uneventful for me too because humans never will do these things since they're not something we can do. It's impossible to be perfect, so we're not. Instead, we accept differences and control cruelty through laws and accept that people will not act how we expect, therefor we need laws to protect each other. This poem seems to overlook that necessity saying that a training school can do everything from make the person kind to making them feel compassion. It seems a bit far fetched to me.

All in all, I think you have good word choice, and the poem's turn with the title is a nice touch, but you have quite a bit to work on in my opinion. First and foremost, the poem needs to have something to connect to such as a commonality between humans and AI, because so far in this poem, I didn't really connect or relate to it. Everything is too perfect for me to feel like I could say "Yeah, I get where that is coming from." I want something that's more realistic, and as far as mission statements go, this statement could be "I want to move the wind with my sheer willpower" and it'd be just as realistic in my opinion. You did nothing in the poem to convince me that this was possible. Also the repetition in the poem became tedious after about the third line down. I wanted some variety. Lastly, the syntax, punctuation, and capitalization might be better off in different styles. I suggest you explore that.

Anyway, I hope you have some time to read! Here are some poems I think you'd like. I'm picking out poems with refrains for you! ... villanelle

The last two are plays on the villanelle!

Traves says...

Hi Aley. Thanks for the much needed review!
This is better than what I'd hoped for!

1. Reading your review has made stronger my belief in the main problem with my writing - I have the nuances of things in my head clear, but I fail to get them to translate correctly in the readers' head. (This is evident from reviews and replies on my previous poems.) If I explain everything I feel like I'm being condescending and boring so I don't know what to leave in for a better read. (explained in .4)

2. I don't think reading is half the battle. I think it's more like 75% . And I am a even more of a beginner to poetry than I am to writing. 85% of stuff I've read has been non fiction, and no poetry, I'd been postponing that. So I'll read your poetry suggestions pretty soon. Feel free to give any recs I love reading more than I do writing.

3. I don't know the technicalities of poetry at all, so I'll implement the changes you suggested, since I change my "style" with every poem (in the last one I maintained strict syllable count and sonnet rhyme scheme). thanks for the links.

4. In the "strong hearts" example, I meant don't make children strong, and without feeling, taking every setback in stride or something. Don't make them proud and basing self worth on personality, "beautiful brittle glass hearts" . I meant that give them a very human heart, that feels everything, that is hurt, but it learns from experience and gets better ( people who've studied AI or machine learning would get that inside joke).
And I didn't know how much of that to add or leave in.

5. Repetition of stuff, 100% agreed. I've criticized others for the same thing. And since I have a mish mash of ideas in my head, I thought "why not". Plus this was the first draft, I'll edit in a day or two. and capitalization? I didn't know that was even a thing, I just let Word do it for me.

I'm glad ya reviewed, after I implement your suggestions, I'll request again ( :

Traves says...

As for your last point about finding commonality, that too was my failure to get across. The whole theme was that students should be <insert impossible ideal> in various ways. that they should have high EQ (1st para) and high IQ (2nd para) , be motivated, good samaritans, etc.
The one place where I seemingly deviate is that I don't want them to have a strong heart, which sounds like I don't want them to be a weakling. that whole para was from watching too much anime where kids from famous schools with varying ideals fight. One school teaches kids to be strong no matter what, to never show weakness. the other teaches them to be proud. the third tells them to just push themselves, learn from experience and get along in life. But even that can be unrealistic.

Any supposed commonality comes from the fact that AI is designed based on humans, supposed to have all the good rational side ( a 'good' AI might not hesitate to help a bully who's in trouble, it just sees someone who fell down, whereas a good human might.)

Aley says...

If its your goal to write a poem about the complexity of AI, then try writing it with examples of events. Show us the story of the AI who helps a bully, show us an AI who was trained differently. Maybe name those AI for their training style. That would be a more entertaining poem. Also in terms of poetry lingo when you say para, i think thats for paragraph? They are called stanzas in poetry because they do a slightly different function. A stanza and a line tend to encompass one movement for a poem, one idea that can be uniquely read alone and still hold water, still be interesting and thought provoking. Paragraphs just divide the story into smaller ideas but they need their neighbors to make sense ^^ see the difference?

Traves says...


Traves says...

Although the goal was to say that humans think they are a certain way, or they want to be, but that could also be done by a smart self sufficient system like AI. An AI could be a better human than a human, was more of the point.

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Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:44 pm
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Aranya wrote a review...

Hello Traves!

While reviewing a poem/story/etc, what one does is, he runs his mind through words and phrases, jumps from line to line and slides from para to para. And then he counts his steps back, where he encountered pits , or cracks or crevices or simply a large boulder that he might have tripped on.

But the point is, there are poems where the reader simply gets lost, floating ethereal .

He abandons any zeal to comment or make remarks. He simply wishes to wander in the lanes and by lanes of the mind that the poem just cracked open. To get stuck and cherish the infinite maze he chose for himself and witnessed its construction. How bad can a little weed be in an orchard of ideas?

He drops his pen to write , because the ink dries up in the holy warmth of ideas . He doesn't utter any words of critique. Who shall open the mouth when the poem is melting its sweetness in it.

Good bless you and keep writing!

Traves says...

%uD83C%uDF08:O:O( _ )

Traves says...

Ye thanks for the wonderful words which are easily more poetic than the poem itself

Aranya says...

Are they set of emojis or just gibberish?

Traves says...

They are what they want to be ^_^

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Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:15 am
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DrFeelGood says...

This is gold.

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Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:23 pm
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GreyMatter says...

A beautiful turned badass poem!

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Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:56 pm
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Dossereana wrote a review...

Hi there @Traves I am here to do a review on you poem, first thing is that this poem is a grate length so grate job on that, Our children must have bright eyes, I am not really shore about this line, for we all need bright eyes ,Eyes that will not stay parched when tears must run, not really shore about this line I there, it all needs a bit of work, I don't really no what you mean by parched, Eyes that will make those uncomfortable who should be, Okay I am really comfoused now for this last word be, what is that be doing, what is its perise, for right now it is not doing eney thing, Okay spot the difronse,
what you have said, They will see all they need to then. What I have said, They will see all they need to with them. I hop that helps you a bit more,
spot the difonse.
what you have said, Give them heart, what I am saying, Give them a sweet heart, I hop that is help fill to you, my favrit lines Do this because humans never could, Do this because humans never would, the rest was good, so I hop that this was hop fill, you do not have to take my ad vise, keep up on the good work, :D

@EagleFly out to seek and kill

Traves says...

Thanks for the review @EagleFly .
Can I ask how old you are?

Dossereana says...

yes :D I am sixteen.

Traves says...

Well, parched means completely dry, so that line means that eyes should cry when they need to, instead of staying dry.

And heart is used as an uncountable abstract noun, not as a thing.

It's like saying "have courage"

Dossereana says...

okay thanks

Remember: no stress allowed. Have fun, and learn from your fellow writers - that's what storybooks are all about.
— Wolfical