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Terra

by abigaileigh


My name means earth but I live in the sky,

the clouds know me better than anyone.

I used to fly with stars and stripes on my wings,

but I only cared about one of those anyway.

When I'd ascend I'd be returning home,

and before descent I'd pack my bags

full of starlight and mist, sunsets and new snow,

until I got tired of packing.

Now I stay in the sky, there is so much to do

I never wish for the ground.

I collect carnival balloons, dandelions seeds, and lost kites

at night I watch prayers pass the rain. 

The aurora borealis is my night light,

and the moon keeps watch as Orion sings me to sleep.

Everyday I wonder why 

more people don't come live in where the view never ends

Where the air is fresh and nightmares can't reach,

and you almost forget imperfection.

Then again, if people hadn't lived on the earth, 

I may not have had to move to the sky

If they discover my secret, and try it out for themselves,

I may have to leave here for good.

And if I leave I might as well die,

for my life is the sky.


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Sat Sep 11, 2021 12:15 am
silented1 wrote a review...



Loved the beginning two lines so much. It was greatness. They flowed and were joined in idea and connected into the next. Beautifully done.

I think some of this is just thoughts that match.

When I'd ascend I'd be returning home,

and before descent I'd pack my bags

full of starlight and mist, sunsets and new snow,

until I got tired of packing.

Now I stay in the sky, there is so much to do

I never wish for the ground.
is kinda superfluous. You could connect and have greater power without it. It makes sense in the story but you could personify the ground or something and connect with that instead.




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Fri Sep 10, 2021 1:34 am
Liminality wrote a review...



Hiya abigaileigh! I enjoyed reading this fantastical poem of yours. My first impression is that it seems to be about a winged person or just someone with flying abilities and that it is maybe set in a world different from our own. The mood is an interesting mix of tenderness and nostalgia (even though the speaker isn’t reminiscing on the past or anything). It makes me think that this is a poem about ‘home’ and where that is for the speaker.

I collect carnival balloons, dandelions seeds, and lost kites

This line is one of my favourites! It seems like such a nice and whimsical list of things that someone flying in the sky might encounter.

Here are three questions I had when reading your poem:

1. Does the poem allude or refer to something? Maybe mythology? Or perhaps to ‘heaven’ in one religion or another?

I noticed you tagged the poem as both ‘fantasy’ and ‘spiritual’, so I began to wonder if ‘Terra’ referred to a figure in mythology or religion. I googled it and found ‘tellus mater’, the Roman earth goddess, who doesn’t rule the skies or have wings, so I then guessed that the ‘Terra’ in this poem is an invented figure, hence the line:
My name means earth but I live in the sky,

Correct me if I’m wrong, though!

2. Is the poem more literal or more allegorical?

When I read it, I interpreted this like a narrative poem about a person called Terra. The second half of the poem (starting from “Everyday I wonder why . . .”) felt very different from the first half, like a story divided into two phases. Whereas the first half is filled with imagery which could be metaphorical or allegorical, like “wings” which may not be literal wings or “bags” that may just be an expression for travelling from one place to another, the second half is filled with more direct statements.
Everyday I wonder why
more people don't come live in where the view never ends

This gave me more of a sense that Terra really lives in the sky.
Then again, if people hadn't lived on the earth,
I may not have had to move to the sky

This seems to suggest more of a backstory or a wider setting that the poem is connected to, as though some circumstances on earth ‘force’ Terra to take to the skies if they want to live happily.

3. What’s the main take-away or idea from the poem?

The poem to me seems to read a bit like a short story. That’s not at all to say it isn’t verse-like, for instance:
I used to fly with stars and stripes on my wings,
but I only cared about one of those anyway.
When I'd ascend I'd be returning home,
and before descent I'd pack my bags

Even though there isn’t rhyme or an explicit sound device here, the bolded and underlined pairs of phrases create a repeating pattern, so the poem has rhythm. Both ‘used to’ and ‘cared about’ are a verb + a preposition for instance.

What I mean is the poem feels like it’s meant to be a window into a world, or a day-in-the-life-of for Terra. So I find it similar to a short story written in the fantasy genre.
Another interpretation I think could be that the message of the poem is about home and freedom. Terra feels freest in the skies where she is at home. The place is perfect for her, and at first she wonders why no one else will join her. But then she realises she doesn’t really want others to join her, because then the place wouldn’t be ‘just for her’ anymore, and she can’t have that. I think this shows an interesting aspect of the role of home or places we like in our lives.

That’s all

Hopefully you found these comments helpful. Feel free to ask me anything about what I’ve said here.

Keep writing!
-Lim

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abigaileigh says...


Thank you so much for your review! To answer a few of your questions, first of all I was kind of inspired by a kind of whimsical cartoon drawing my friend did of an air force pilot. The joke was her name was Terra but she was hardly ever on the ground. So I started to imagine that maybe she was lost one day and they never saw it again, assuming some tragedy had happened, but actually she just discovered some secret, some new world in the sky and it was so wonderful that decided not to come back, and it is now like a description of her life in that alternate sky world. I want people to imagine what a world like that would be like if it existed, if that makes sense. And if it could be the heaven that people wonder about.



Liminality says...


Oh that's really interesting! I love that story.



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Thu Sep 09, 2021 7:19 pm
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vampricone6783 wrote a review...



Mesmerizing poem.I love how you describe the sky as a place "Where the view never ends." It makes it seem like there is a whole world in the sky that we are missing.I also loved how descriptive this poem was.My favorite parts are these lines:"Everyday I wonder why more people don't live where the view never ends" and "Then again,if people hadn't lived on earth,I may not have had to move to the sky" It shows that the character doesn't want to share the sky with anyone else,they just want to keep it to themselves.I loved the poem! Have a great day!




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Thu Sep 09, 2021 7:04 pm
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Great poem! Maybe just capitalise the initials at the start of every line?





Positive anything is better than negative nothing.
— Elbert Hubbard