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Death of a Nation

by Willard


at this point, we're only gonna be old friends;
(the heat that forms from the student section
and travels through sweat and cotton
to enter forearm skin abrasions
for moments at a time)
portrayed by frantic text messages
of non-sequitur obscenities
about the collapse of our great nation.
i can hear worry in their voice,
i can feel kidney stones in their throat
and stress clots in their blood.

if i had a nickel for every time
"future" has been said
in the past three days,
i could afford a college education
or enough to buy the local swim center
so we could debrief more in the kid's pool.
we could listen to water float over the wall
or hold hands and drown in the deep end.

because, in six years,
i'll be alive in New York
or dead in an apartment
and contact lists will be empty,
bookshelves too.

but i still want to hear their voice.
no matter the pitch,
no matter the context,
because there's no need for nihilism
nor faux philosophy,
only support and optimism.

i know i've hated life the past few months
and sat still with hopes of getting out of here,
but love, platonic or not, can break the wall
we're not sure is going to exist.


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200 Reviews


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Reviews: 200

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Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:55 pm
kman134 wrote a review...



Hi. This is kman134.

I am here to review your work.

Frankly, i can understand this sense of dread. After the 2016 election, most people are feeling like it's going to be an end to the American Dream due to Trump becoming our new Commander-in-Chief. However, even though these people aren't somewhat capable of running the country, we can't judge their skills so quickly and should see how they do.

There's no need to be nihilistic, not lose hope that there's still a chance for salvation. all we can do is unite and strive for the future. hopefully, we can find the light that will save us from ourselves, or from the tyrants and demagogues who have taken over power.

Anyways, this was a pretty good poem. hope you write some more.




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624 Reviews


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Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:23 am
Casanova wrote a review...



Heya, Strange! Casanova here to review!

The first thing I noticed was these lines-

(the heat that forms from the student section
and travels through sweat and cotton
to enter forearm skin abrasions
for moments at a time)


Now, the first part,"The heat that forms from the student section," I understand. I think you're meaning the younger generation being rather agitated either about the outcome of the election, or at not being able to vote at the election. Either way props, I enjoyed those lines. The thing I do not understand is the next few lines. They seem completely unrelated, and they didn't really offer me much insight to the poem. You could use them, or go without them, and it wouldn't make much difference.

The next thing I noticed was these lines-

because, in six years,
i'll be alive in New York
or dead in an apartment
and contact lists will be empty,
bookshelves too.


I'm probably taking these lines a bit too literal, but they really hit deep and I particularly enjoyed them. I don't think I have any criticism for these, so props for that.

The next thing I noticed was your ending lines-

i know i've hated life the past few months
and sat still with hopes of getting out of here,
but love, platonic or not, can break the wall
we're not sure is going to exist.


The first two lines were kinda meh, I didn't think they added anything special to the poem. But the ending two lines were much, much better and I appreciated them. They seem like they could be a standalone line, with a stanza without the previous two lines.

Anyway, overall this is an alright poem. I don't agree eye to eye with it, but I give props for the decency.

Keep on doing what you're doing, and keep on keeping on.

Your friend, Matt




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Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:04 pm
Kaylaa wrote a review...



This is Kaos here for a review!

at this point, we're only gonna be old friends;
(the heat that forms from the student section
and travels through sweat and cotton
to enter forearm skin abrasions
for moments at a time)
portrayed by frantic text messages
of non-sequitur obscenities
about the collapse of our great nation.
i can hear worry in their voice,
i can feel kidney stones in their throat
and stress clots in their blood.


I like these first few lines that you have, but I didn't know what "student section" was supposed to mean. The reader gets a feeling of nostalgia and memories through the first line but after the semicolon, it was a little harder for me to decipher. What I got from the lines from parentheses was getting a tattoo and that somehow relating to memories or something permanent.

After the parentheses, it becomes m ore apparent that this is turning out to be or is about the election. The last three lines here were genius. One thing that I did want to kind of point out is the lack of punctuation in terms of ending the sentences, but this seems to be also a stylistic choice? I think that you can use this to your advantage to use periods for something more striking and more powerful.

if i had a nickel for every time
"future" has been said
in the past three days,
i could afford a college education
or enough to buy the local swim center
so we could debrief more in the kid's pool.
we could listen to water float over the wall
or hold hands and drown in the deep end.


The whole thing with having a nickel every time the word "future" has been said was smart. Line five and six kind of dragged on when they could have ended. I suggest having it end at line five and then cutting out the "so" in line six and have it be individual. It would give it more power and help the flow. I like how you tie things together but the local swim center part came out of nowhere a bit for me. The wall reference here didn't work for me, it felt a little forced and wasn't really needed to be there.

Didn't have much to say on the third stanza, the wording of the last two lines was a little awkward. It didn't have the impact that the other stanzas did in terms of emotion or what it made the reader feel, but it works. Perhaps expanding on it with the apartment part in terms of imagery would make it have a greater effect.

but i still want to hear their voice.
no matter the pitch,
no matter the context,
because there's no need for nihilism
nor faux philosophy,
only support and optimism.


The first line of this stanza was the strongest. This is kind of what I was talking about when it comes to using punctuation to your advantage, which is something that I think you know and do, especially when tying stanzas together. Along with that, this was the weakest stanza for me. I didn't really find anything special inside of it, but I do think the idea of "hearing their voice" could be salvaged with a different way of expressing the imagery or some stronger images.

i know i've hated life the past few months
and sat still with hopes of getting out of here,
but love, platonic or not, can break the wall
we're not sure is going to exist.


The poem wraps up nicely here with a more optimistic approach than your other poems with the still part of anxiety of your other poems. I couldn't tell if the "getting out of here" was something personal or was still in relation to the political part of the poem. I like the way handled and approached this poem and that shows most in the ending, so props for that.

I hope I helped and have a great day!




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133 Reviews


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Sat Nov 12, 2016 5:41 pm
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DrFeelGood says...



i can hear worry in their voice,
i can feel kidney stones in their throat


Genius.





“If lightning is the anger of the gods, then the gods are concerned mostly about trees.”
— Lao Tzu