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Playing With

by anneonomus

I used to be afraid of fire
warm with angry filling hunger
flames consuming one another
but still I fear my own desires

I used to fear that lonesome flame
dancing matches bite my fingers
acrid smoke forever lingers
and still I feel that burning shame

I used to be afraid of burning
my flesh and blood but gasoline
a spectacle that’s never seen
I don’t know how long I’ve been hurting

I used to be afraid of fire
but now I barely even blink
and torch the pyre in my sink
I used to be afraid of fire

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566 Reviews

Points: 32196
Reviews: 566

Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:55 pm
Atticus wrote a review...

Hey there anneonomus! Tuck dropping by with a review for you today.

I really enjoyed the strong metaphors and images you used throughout this poem. You engaged multiple senses, like touch and smell and taste and sight, in every stanza. You create a sense of progression and development in your last lines, and finish the poem with repetition that prompts the reader to reflect on how far the narrator has come since the beginning. Overall, an excellent poem with many strong attributes!

One suggestion I have for you is to bring in some imagery that isn't directly related to fires. You can always introduce something similar to continue that feeling of progression. Your poem begins to slide into a bit of repetition, since you're basically just varying the same structure:

I used to fear fire
image about fire
engaging a different sense
I am hurting

Introducing some different themes and images could help you carry your progression farther and create more of a story than the poem you've currently written.

Something else I noticed is that you chose not to use any punctuation in your poem. While that's a stylistic choice and I'm not saying you made the right or the wrong choice, I will note that it contributed to a bit of a rushed feel. I didn't notice any other techniques that you employed to grant pauses in the stanza, so it felt like reading a series of long sentences. For that reason, it may be difficult to read aloud with the best emphasis. It's your choice, but I wanted to point that out to you so you were aware of it.

I hope these notes were helpful to you, and if you have any questions please feel free to reach out! Major takeaways from this are 1) you did an excellent job incorporating imagery, 2) broadening the images you use and bringing in some images other than fire could create a greater sense of progression, and 3) re-evaluating your use of punctuation may be beneficial to your flow. My favorite parts of this poem was the power of your final line, and the way you utilized rhyme seamlessly to create structure. You have a lot to be proud of with this poem, and I hope to read more from you!


anneonomus says...

Thank you so much! I will definitely try playing around with the imagery and punctuation!

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590 Reviews

Points: 1234
Reviews: 590

Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:09 pm
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Mageheart wrote a review...

Hi there, anneonomus! I'm here to review your poem. :)

As someone who regularly goes camping and has a fire pit in her backyard, flames have always been something that I've been both grateful for and afraid of. Your poem does a great job capturing that last part, while also adding in the fun twist of being fascinated by the flames with your imagery and insistence that the speaker used to be afraid of fire.

I know this poem is currently listed as general, but I actually thought it might be a song before I checked what it was sorted under. There's something about the repetition and the rhyming that makes the poem really flow. I can't entirely describe it, but I really do love how the poem keeps pushing the reader along. There wasn't ever a moment where I stopped to question what I was reading; it wasn't until I finished the poem that I finally paused.

(The lack of punctuation might also be the reason for that!)

The one part of the poem that caught me off guard was the switch between tenses. I really love the juxtaposition between the past fear and the present fascination/obsession with fire, but it can be jarring when the poem suddenly shifts from the past to the present. The only solutions I can think of are separating the present tense lines into their own stanzas (which would ruin the perfect set-up you have right now with them) or adding a period at the end of the past tense lines. The period would give the readers as heads up to the switch in perspective, and wouldn't completely change the structure of your poem. You can also try playing with the formatting and bolding/italicizing the past tense lines so they're clearly something a little different.

All in all, though, I really love this poem! I don't think I've ever read any of your poetry besides it, but it looks like I'll have to change that. :)


anneonomus says...

Thank you for your review, I'm so glad you liked my poem! I love your notes about the punctuation and formatting, I'll definitely try playing around with those! (Also I love the picture of Midoriya- plus ultra indeed!)

Mageheart says...

You're welcome! I'm glad my review helped. :)

(And if you want to steal my banner, feel free to! I've been meaning to make a new one after using that one last year, but I haven't gotten a chance to yet. :P)

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84 Reviews

Points: 5221
Reviews: 84

Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:51 pm
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Icon wrote a review...

Bonjour, anneonomus!

I like that this poem comes from both a personal experience, and could also be seen as a metaphor for accepting something, or coming to terms with a grievance. At least that's how I interpreted it.
MoonIris motioned your lack of punctuation, and how it affects the melody of your poem, which I think is definitely worth noting, but since they already went over it in detail, I will not. However, I also felt that the way you described the fire could've changed through the poem, illustrating the speaker's growing fondness for it. At the beginning of the poem, the speaker sees fire as a raging, unforgiving force of nature, but if by the end, it was described more as a beautiful and bewitching substance, then I feel to could've really hammered in the idea that the speaker is no longer afraid of fire. Tell, don't show, y'know?

I hope this review was helpful, and I hope you have a wonderful #RevMo !


anneonomus says...

Hello, thank you for your review! I'll definitely keep your note about changing the description of fire in mind! Though I would ask (and I'm not quite sure how to word this) if I wanted to keep the theme of fire being a raging and destructive force, while also depicting the speaker's fondness for fire despite- or even in part because of- fire's negative qualities, what kinds of descriptions would you suggest I use? It's almost power/being powerful, but not quite- the closest I can get to (clunkily) describing it is a jaded sense of satisfaction and exhilaration from destruction, which used to solely cause the speaker fear.
Hopefully, that makes sense, and thank you again!

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78 Reviews

Points: 18
Reviews: 78

Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:39 pm
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Buranko wrote a review...

Hello there fellow writer. I am Buranko ready to review your work from the meaning perspective.

I really love it. You juggled with the meaning of fire and heat in such a nice way. The opening stanza opens the thinking process quite nicely. First you say that you used to fear the fire because of its destructive hunger and violent behaviour "flames consuming one another". That's good and all but the essence of this stanza comes from the last line: "but still I fear my own desires". The antithesis you created fits really well "used to fear/still fear". That made me think that the persona's desires are really destructive and more fearsome than fire itself.

Again in the second stanza the persona describes what he/she feared and detested in the fire element. The last line gives me another clue for why is the persona fearing the desires. Maybe in the heat of the moment he/she did something that really affected the future.

Overall I am still thinking about the meaning of this poem. It is surely a lot deeper than it seems to be. Great job!

anneonomus says...

Hi, thank you so much for your review! I'm so glad you liked it, and your analysis of the meaning is pretty spot-on (it even helped me understand my own poem a little better)! Even I'm not entirely sure what the "truest" meaning of this poem is- it is completely factual on the surface level, but the deeper metaphors of self-loathing/destruction, general anxiety, and becoming jaded with the world at large kind of got away from me as I was writing (maybe it's a little bit of everything and/or something that is impossible to put into words).

Buranko says...

Heh, I am honored to have aided in discovering new meanings of your poem

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91 Reviews

Points: 2400
Reviews: 91

Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:35 pm
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MoonIris wrote a review...

Hi annonymous,
I’m here with a review. This is a lovely poem that you wrote. I like that you use vocabulary that is around the fire. I think it's great that you wrote this poem from your experience which makes it emotional and personal.
Now, I have a phew suggestions for you. Let's start with punctuation. You don't have any which makes it difficult for the reader to find it's melody. I mentioned this in others reviews as well but I think a poem that has a melody it's more pleasant to read. I would also suggest you add a comma after still here:
"but still I fear my own desires"
and here:
"and still I feel that burning shame".
Moving on, in your description you mentioned that your brother taught you how to play with fire. I don't think that this information is in your poem. I believe it would be more interesting if you add this information as well as why it was a mistake.
I really liked this specific line:
" warm with angry filling hunger".
I think that this is an amazing description of fire. :)
Overall I believe you have a great poem. It describes well the fire and your fear of it. Fixing or adding what I mentioned will make it even more interesting and enjoyable.
I hope my review helped you and didn't offend you in any way,

anneonomus says...

Hi, thank you for your review! Punctuation was one of the things I wasn't sure about with this poem, and I still can't get the flow quite how I want it, so your suggestions are really helpful!

MoonIris says...


[while trapped in a bucket of popcorn] You know what the worst part is? It's not even butter. We're gonna be destroyed by... ARTIFICIAL FLAVORING!
— Blake Bradley, Power Rangers Ninja Storm