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dream-talk

by alliyah



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103 Reviews


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Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:15 am
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neptune wrote a review...



Hey alliyah! This is a lot to unpack, but I really want to try and take a stab at it; the writing really just stood out to me and I couldn't not review this.

While I’m not sure if it was intentional, the poem exuded a dreamy feeling, in that the poem almost felt all over the place and imaginative with its writing. By reading it a second time, I could definitely get a cohesive grasp on the overall concept of the poem. I love how you paid attention to details and wrote about little things that made the poem seem more complete! These lines in particular stood out to me:

but i found out a long time ago that bone marrow
runs deeper than fingerprints

i’ll be waves wrapped around and around you

leave these lungs to their own devices,
broken bodies we pretend are only vessels

All of these were specific but were woven into the context of the poem really nicely!

The first time reading this, I interpreted the poem as moving forward/apart (as you did mention in the description) from childhood, memories, and/or a person you were close to, and letting all of those memories go for something better. I feel like a lot of it is about coming to terms with moving on, and towards the end we get a sense of freedom and change. I think it was concluded very well; you set the scene as dreamy at first, then it started to feel like the speaker was hesitant/cautious/knowledgeable of dangers in this "dream state", and towards the end, I felt the speaker began to come to the realization of prioritizing them over this other person. I feel like this poem carries within it a very solid journey, because it feels like throughout the piece the speaker has grown, as the entire tone/mood of the writing becomes more certain and powerful towards the end (perhaps a representation of confidence in oneself/change/decision of moving on).

I liked how you started the poem off with a question, as I think it leads very nicely into the rest of the writing and it prepares the reader for what is to come.
but we can pretend we were lightning,

For me, beginning this line with "but" right after a question was a little strange... I almost feel like it would flow smoother without it (though perhaps I was just stressing the wrong words/reading it wrong).

Another thing that I did struggle with a little was the oversized sweater metaphor — while I thought that it explained the previous line better ["let the facts hang a little loose"], it almost was a little straying from the general mood/descriptions of the poem? I just thought that the switch from that to the imagery of oceans/etc was slightly abrupt. There was consistent imagery of oceans and waves and birds, but I felt it was a little odd starting with a description of a sweater — I feel like it didn’t tie in with the rest of the poem.

Also, I was curious about the perspective change in the third to last stanza. Was there actually another person being described, or was it the speaker from a different POV? I’m left a little intrigued about the intention behind it, as it’s the only part with “she”. I feel like that was the only part where I struggled to understand the entire intention.

Overall, I REALLY enjoyed this, alliyah! I think your use of brackets was very smart (and not too excessive, either)! The ending almost gives me a whimsical feeling — while the reader doesn’t know much about this “different place,” I’m left with my imagination as to what it might be, and I thought that was a very clever way to end it off.

I ended up rambling a lot so I hope this was somewhat helpful/my interpretation was slightly correct haha? I really liked how you explored different themes and told an engrossing story within this poem, and I can't wait to see more of your writing this year!




alliyah says...


Thank you so much for this review, you covered so much, and I love reading your interpretations. I wanted to speak to a few questions/comments you raised.

First - the dreamy quality! the whole poem was definitely supposed to feel kind of intangible, because of the premise established in the first line "memories are only dream-talk" - basically all the speaker can rely on about the subject is their memories together (their past) but this isn't tangible enough for a relationship anymore. The problem with this set-up is it makes the poem a little loopy to decipher and some folks interpreted the poem itself as retelling a dream, which is not quite what I was going for.

I'm so glad you picked up on the themes of growth and rediscovery of self throughout the poem, and how the focus shifts from the memories of the subject to the speaker herself - which culminates in a future hope that the speaker has for herself which is the chunk in third-person with the "she". This is to contrast memories (past intentions) with future intentions. The speaker intends to break out of the dreamy/memory-driven/pretending mindset, and become free - on their own. The reason it's in third person, is because it isn't happening yet, and also just to get more contrast, though I see how that is actually pretty confusing. The last line is intended to convey a brighter clearer hope to contrast with the dream-haze of the rest of the poem.

I think you brought up a good concern with the sweater imagery; admittedly I agree that it feels like it's in a different imagery category than the nature stuff I've got going on, so I might see if it can be replaced or re-worked.

Thank you again! I'm so glad you enjoyed and that the main message came across.



neptune says...


Thank you for the thorough response, alliyah! Your explanation of the "she" part of the poem definitely cleared up my confusion, and that method of contrasting present/future tense makes a lot of sense.

Whether or not you end up replacing/re-working the sweater imagery, I still think it is a solid piece of imagery and it might be cool to put it in a different poem (seeing as this poem itself is made up of snippets of writing) or write a new poem with that imagery? Just a thought - I liked the sweater concept a lot!

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my review, I really appreciate it! (also, so sorry for the late reply!)



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Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:29 pm
imaginer2018 wrote a review...



Hi alliyah!

This poem really captured the confusion and randomness of dreams. It doesn't make sense, but there's a certain charm to it. I like how the topics jump from one thing to another, but still retain the overall theme.

The stanzas contrast, yet shared similarities with each other. They are structured to collaborate with the theme of the poem, which works out very nicely when reading it.

My favorite verse is this:

{so for now please be content
with land-trapped birds and words that don't quite fit}


It reminds me of Alice in Wonderland.

This is a beautifully written poem; wonderful job.
Athena




alliyah says...


Thank you! I'd love to hear a bit about what you interpreted the theme of the poem to be.



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Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:21 am
dahlia58 wrote a review...



This poem was a bit confusing to read, in a good way. It really felt like I was seeing someone's dream. Perhaps this is only because I'm not a good poetry reader...But most of the verses seemed to make no sense on purpose. From lighting to ocean to haze, the topics seem to jump randomly from one to another. I especially liked the eighth stanza (from "but I" to "lungs"). It sounded really powerful to me.

Please keep writing, and happy New Year^^




alliyah says...


Thank you for the comments! I didn't intend for the poem to not make any sense, but I'm glad that you still enjoyed it! :)




You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you.
— Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time