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If It Meant Something You Would Understand

by alliyah

And making meaning is sometimes so elusive

a wisp of a wish and thoughts that twirl around and about

flirting with these memories like old friends who’ve forgotten they’re unacquainted

moths chasing eagles and unused cups that have run dry

so here I am remembering, rewriting, reworking

and seeing what emerges from these thin stretched lines.

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37 Reviews

Points: 1475
Reviews: 37

Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:25 pm
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Traves wrote a review...

And I like how this starts with a conjunction as that'd really annoy my middle school English teacher xD

The length definitely makes this a quick read. Although it is a short read, I did have to read this twice to make some sense of what the narrator is trying to say. And I'm still not sure if I got it right.

The capitalization and punctuation as usual, are non-issues for me. And they seem fine otherwise too.
As this is labelled as fan fiction, I'd like to know which work it references if possible.

The topic is relatable. Here are all the meanings or topics I could interpret —
i. Old memories and past experiences that are not often revisited (even though it might seem otherwise) are weak (literally the connections between neurons grow weak if left unused, for example when a memory is not accessed and examined in detail or used for a long time). And thus it can be really frustrating to try to remember old stuff to make some sense of it, for whichever purpose, maybe for closure or otherwise.
ii.Another theme that I could glean and found relatable as a writer (and perhaps the better candidate for your originally intended meaning of the poem) is that of working on an old draft of a creative work.
iii. Anyone who has had either some baggage from the past or is currently fighting with a tough situation can relate to how difficult it is to create a clean thought ( i.e. meaning) when one's mind is otherwise occupied. To be productive even when it would be so easy not to and rather get overwhelmed.

Most of my thoughts and critiques are from a reader's viewpoint, and not a lot of corrections.

This is a very nice poem even if it's an old one and you've probably improved a lot over a years, So I don't know if you need any criticism, but I will provide my thoughts either way (using some tips from the poetry reviewing workshop hosted by you if possible.)

1.Character, conflict and resolution are more or less clear, and talking of empathising with the narrator, someone who is not a writer might relate more with my first understanding of the poem, as the struggle is the memory equivalent of having a word on the tip of your tongue yet not being able to find it. A writer might like the second meaning more, so it covers all kinds of readers in general. My third interpretation was actually my first impression on reading this, because I had some very heavy things on my mind when I first started to read this, and I had to step back and recollect to start the reviewing process.

2. The metaphors mostly find their mark as they maintain the balance between being too obtuse and completely boring. I thought that the "and about" at the end of the second line was a bit unnecessary,as its intended meaning is already conveyed by "twirl around". Although that might've caused dissimilar line lengths since the next one is already pretty long(which is great — " old friends who've forgotten they're unacquainted." is insightful and fits in with the tone of the work well).
"Moths chasing eagles" seemed a bit unclear to me. Is it indicating the futility of such an endeavour? The last line too I'm not sure if I understood perfectly. Are those the lines that a writer has written earlier and is trying to make some sense of, or is it the newer stuff they've added to make sense of it, or something else?

I don't have a lot to add to this review as a moment, though I might have some questions if I choose to imitate this style of poetry writing for something I write.
The poem addresses a common issue succinctly and quickly without feeling rushed.

Keep writing and sharing!

(And thanks for linking this so I could get 150 points for red team!)

alliyah says...

Thanks so much for reviewing this piece and finally kicking my last old poem from the Green Room @Traves!

I am embarrassed to say that this poem started off as a fan fiction to a book that I hadn't actually read , but had only known through reading an essay my sister wrote ("Everlost" by Neal Shusterman). So it was originally about a ghost type person who was chasing their old life from beyond the grave - and I thought I was being really clever by making it super vague. I went back in maybe 2013 and deleted the dumbest lines, which made it all the more confusing, but slightly better poetically. If I go back, I think as you mentioned, some of the more concrete plot elements, would need to be added back in a bit more - to give a clearer sense of direction.

I think you actually picked up the themes really well though - as the intended meaning is about trying to ditch memories and baggage, while still in the midst of chasing after them. Even if I might not get around to editing this again, I did enjoy reading your review and especially the interpretations! Thanks again, Traves! (Also I haven't forgotten your poem in my WRFF thread, but I have been working on it as a review draft and will finish it one of these days!) :)

Traves says...

Hmm that makes sense with the context.
And no worries I'm in no hurry to get a review on that particular work especially since it's probably the densest thing I've ever written. I'm happy that it'll get a review.

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777 Reviews

Points: 23593
Reviews: 777

Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:10 pm
alliyah wrote a review...

I fixed the formatting now.

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356 Reviews

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Reviews: 356

Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:42 am
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tgirly says...

This is an AMAZING poem! It really related to me. My favorite line/lines was/were:
Remembering, rewriting, reminding. I think that sums up the poem really well. This poem may be one of your awesomer ones. Bummer about the line problems; I'm having difficulties with that too so you aren't alone.
I read the book though, so maybe that's why I get it. I liked Unwind better than Everlost. Do you think you could write a poem on that? Just a suggestions.
Yeah. This poem changed me. It made me a better writer and a better person, to have read it. Wondrous!

alliyah says...

Well tgirly (my troublesome little sis) thanks for the review but I think I'm sniffing out some (not so) hidden sarcasm/insults in your review. :/ But, no matter, I have tough sun-burned skin. Now on to the review of the review:
First there were no quotes around MY work, so you were plagarizing me.. (don't worry I wont tell the police)
You should underline or put quotes around titles of books... (but I didn't in poem so I don't hold this against you)
Thirdly "Yeah" is not a sentence.

Overall my favorite line in this was "I'm having aren't alone." because "'Alone?" is the title of my new poem so it all relates.

Well tataa, thanks for reviewing, and I look forward to reviewing more of your reviews my sister.


alliyah says...

The last comment was all sarcasm (in case you couldn't tell) thank you for your comments and I will take them into account in my next piece.

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777 Reviews

Points: 23593
Reviews: 777

Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:25 am
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alliyah says...

Oh bother.... for some reason it wouldn't let me put in paragraph breaks. *grrrr* Well, please still read, comment, or review. I'll go back and try to edit this later in order to attempt to add some paragraph/line breaks.

Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve.
— J.K. Rowling