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Without Light

by alliyah

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139 Reviews

Points: 5205
Reviews: 139

Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:36 pm
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Biluata wrote a review...

Good morning (at least ... good morning from where I live)! This is Luata here to write a review. I'm a bit rusty so please bear with me, I'm still re-learning how to format reviews and the such. Onward and upward!

First Impressions

My first read-through of a work is generally just to read it (not to look for things to review) and sometimes I find this first impression to be helpful. So my first impression was "Wow this is really interesting". I loved the imagery that you were using and I found the concept to be completely enthralling. You get the sense of a deeper metaphorical meaning that you don't really find unless you dig (but perhaps that is just me, I am very metaphorically inclined). Needless to say, there was a level of complexity to such a short poem and that is very impressive to me.


For some reason I always end up harping on flow in my reviews. Perhaps because this is something very important to be as a fellow poetry writer (though you wouldn't be able to tell that looking at my earliest works published here ... thank God for growth in writing, aye?). The flow in your poem is pretty fantastic, though. Nothing to harp on there. I know some people will probably point out your punctuation or something, but I generally don't use punctuation unless I need it for emphasis in my poetry (as a lot of people have pointed out to me) so I'm not really the best one to be the judge of that. Reading it out loud (my first and foremost test of flow) was very pleasing to the ears.


Again, incredible imagery. No complaints here. A little bit of mystery and a bit of a chill for the reader, it's pretty fascinating. My first assumption was "monsters" and then as the poem continued, I began to think of humans. I like that you don't make that clear. It sort of creates that sense of monster vs. men (and the monster is in us or outside of us, etc.) and perhaps that wasn't meant to be (but I kind of hope it was).

I'm sorry (not really) that this was mostly a praise review, I just thought your work was very striking and had to give my two-sense. i hope that this was somewhat helpful. You may notice I neglected to do a grammar section in my review and that is because that's still something I'm working on myself and I don't feel qualified to critique yours.

I look forward to seeing future works!
Best of luck,

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30 Reviews

Points: 1417
Reviews: 30

Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:19 pm
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Sarah24 says...

Hey! This was a really cool poem and I definitely felt an eerie mood from it. It was a unique concept of light and darkness. It could have been a tad longer but it was a good poem and it showed real potential. Keep writing <3


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483 Reviews

Points: 4454
Reviews: 483

Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:57 pm
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Meshugenah wrote a review...

Hi alliyah!

So, I really like the images you have here, but I think you can do more with your presentation of them. You have this marked as horror, yes? I think you need to go one of two ways (and obviously, this is how I'm reading this) and either go with either a more faux innocent/super creepy vibe that you half use (the first line reads as a start to an almost sing-song bit), or go with what you're doing in the third stanza and go with a cross between melancholic and grim acceptance.

I also think, and this is definitely more of a personal preference than a specific "you need to do this" bit, but I think you could lose several of your descriptive words and be the stronger for it. In your second stanza, you could nix "cruel" because it's rather implicit in what else you have in the stanza - your narrator doesn't have to tell us it's cruel, we can see it happening.

The only other bit I would pick at (and it is picking), is that I'm not sure I like the use of "shining" over going with "shine," but that also ties back to the use of "cruel" and nixing that then making the parallels you set up not quite work as they're written.

Actually... and this is absolutely me picking, possibly too much, but! I tend to encourage concise and as few words as possible, so along those lines, what do you think of the following? I'm not adding or changing anything, only subtracting:

"Remember when we dined on fireflies
so our flesh could glow with their blood?

Cruel grins shining as we
stifled the light
when the sun wasn't looking

Crushing wings between our teeth,
I think we miscounted the starts and thought
we were invincible.

But we were temporary,
and light can never be consumed."

This is absolutely how I write, and I realise I'm entirely taking liberties and imposing what I do and how I write, but I kinda wanted to sink my teeth into this, because I love your imagery so much.

Anyway, take what's useful, toss the rest from my mess of words.

Thanks for a lovely read!

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161 Reviews

Points: 3485
Reviews: 161

Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:09 pm
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Sassafras says...

Beautiful imagery. I love the contrast here between the fragility of fireflies and the animosity of your diction.

"Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I've ever known."
— Chuck Palahniuk