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'I have been to a place'

by Zenith

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100 Reviews

Points: 618
Reviews: 100

Sun Mar 26, 2023 11:11 pm
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tatteredbones wrote a review...

This is gem hoping in for a review before all the slots are taken!

Oh, my goodness this piece is beautiful! I came because I liked the name, I stayed because the format was gorgeous, and I reviewed because the poem definitely speaks for itself!

I love the effect of parenthesis in poems I'll say it once I'll say it a thousand times it emphasizes the effect of the quiet thoughts you have to offer in poetry and when used makes you think and rethink what was said! I also love the way they are just off to the side of the paragraphs like a reflection of the real meaning!

The imagery here is beautiful! I love the poem, but the tone is soft and wistful and i think that lowercasing your words would fit that soft aesthetic as well if you would like that effect! Overall wonderful job!

Keep writing!

This is gem signing off!

gem- he/him~

Zenith says...

Thank you so much for the review and I am glad you like it. I'm grateful that you could tell that the lines in brackets were meant to be thoughts connecting to the main poem. Also, I might lowercase this someday when I am not being lazy. :-p

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87 Reviews

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Reviews: 87

Tue Mar 14, 2023 3:45 am
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starshipgirl says...

This is beautiful. Reading it made me feel at home. Keep writing.

Zenith says...

Thank you so much. :)

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443 Reviews

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Reviews: 443

Tue Mar 14, 2023 1:11 am
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Seirre wrote a review...

Hi there Zenith!

I find this poem very intriguing! It walks the fine line between absurd and concrete, and you use an interesting mix of traditional and experimental formatting/stylistic aspects. It kind of leaves me wondering what this poem is trying to be - not in a bad way, more in a "huh! interesting" way.

Visual Aspects
I like how you use different fonts to break up different trains of thought! It makes it feel like I'm reading several poems that are simultaneously having a conversation with each other. The different fonts also feel like they have slightly different voices/vocabularies. The script-like font in parenthesis comes across as a bit more technical, and uses shorter sentences, whereas the serif font is more wandering and poetic and uses far longer sentences.

I will say that everything that's going on visually makes it hard to read. I think in part that's just due to the fact that the photo is a bit pixelated, but also the white-on-black is not super comfy on my eyes. Maybe that's what you were going for - a more jarring reading experience - in which case, fair!

I feel like the background photo actually doesn't add much, especially since you essentially describe the exact same scene in the left-hand stanza. As soon as I clue in to the fact that the imagery being described is the very same imagery as the background (which for me happened when I read "luminous orbs"), I stopped actually picturing the things in my head and instead just looked at them on the page. At least for me, I feel like picturing things in your head is a pretty big part of reading poetry, so I would consider maybe seeing what happens if you get rid of the background photo and just have text. It's definitely subjective, though, so just something to play around with and see how you feel!

The most obvious interpretation is that the speaker is trying to describe a magical place to the person they're addressing, but ultimately aren't able to convey the beauty of the place in words and end up being like "well, you'll just have to go there to see it yourself then I guess".

If I were to read into it more, though, I think it could be about trying to communicate a feeling or experience to someone and not being able to because words fall short. Perhaps even the narrator is trying to help the other person grow or move on from something but ultimately isn't able to, because you can't help someone who isn't ready. I especially get that interpretation from "you may not believe me if I speak / of this place" and "Our most ideal versions / are not just characters" and "But if someday joy creeps into the edges of your conscience". Those phrases honestly have a similar vibe to me and my friend telling each other we won't always be sad and depressed, and that the future will be better. And "this place" that gets described throughout the poem would be representative of a happier, calmer state of mind/ a happier future.

Your use of capitalization is sort of inconsistent - sometimes you capitalize the first letter of each line, sometimes you use sentence case - so I'm not sure if that was intentional, or if you might want to go through and edit for consistency. I know it's annoying when people pester about capitalization choices, though, so I'll leave it at that!

There are some really beautiful nuggets scattered throughout this poem! To be honest, though, my favourite parts are some of the simplest images. Like I adore the phrases "paper wrapped in words" and "fistfuls of clouds". Golden.

Overall, this was a really fun read! There are lot of layers to this poem and I think I could reading it over and over and finding new details, which is always a treat. Let me know if you'd like me to elaborate on anything I said, or if you'd like me to cover anything I didn't mention in the review!


Zenith says...

Thank you for your review. It was very helpful and as you can see I followed your advice and removed the background image which hopefully makes it a little easier to understand. Also, yes some parts are supposed to be more difficult to read because they symbolize incoherent thoughts. Your interpretation is good and 'this place' doesn't necessarily symbolize a place but any happy thought/experience/person, etc. Even if the narrator couldn't share 'this place' with their friend, they hope that the friend finds their own 'this place' in good time. Also, no matter how much we try to describe our imagination, at the end of the day words will still fall short. No one else can know for sure what we are exactly thinking or creating inside our heads.

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