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When Doing Nothing is Doing Everything

by beccalicious94


doing nothing is doing everything languidly on sunday morning.
sounds of birds chirping mix with those of car alarms
as we finally arise from your bed at an early hour of 3 p.m.
we accomplish many things: making pancakes, suntanning half-naked, passing quizzes on Sporcle.
and i never want to do another thing again in my life.
i want to spend my life watching you hold on to those last moments of sleep,
in between ‘90s pop songs and goose covers and strewn clothes.
i want to trace our life on the back of your neck,
and give you chills about our big baby-ridden future together.
i want your arm across me forever, like a seatbelt, shielding me from danger.
i want us to get wrinkly, and grey, and still brag about our amazing sex life.
and I want us to always speak the same language: apart from the world. 


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Tue May 02, 2017 8:50 am
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Hannah wrote a review...



Hey there, Becca,

I was caught by your first line, because I wanted to know what you do on those Sunday mornings, and I wasn't disappointed. The specifics you chose to include in the first half of this poem gave me such good imagery -- I could see on a porch the languid bodies eating pancakes, enjoying sunlight, not worried about being "productive" or "proper", but doing what they wanted.

It got a little less gorgeous for me when you started getting toward the back half of the poem and seemed to lose sight of keeping a rhythm and poetic sensibility. Like, "big baby-ridden future" was almost too much for me to accept, while "like a seatbelt" could just be made into a metaphor and feel stronger.

This line:

i want us to get wrinkly, and grey, and still brag about our amazing sex life.


Definitely crossed the line from poetic into just the kind of language you might use in a love letter to that person, and not because it's about sex, but because it's not crafted in any way for the reader. I feel like you can keep the same concept because it's what you want to convey, but give it a bit more refinement. Like, you talked about strewn clothes and the goose covers earlier -- something that will match that tone!

I hope these thoughts and suggestions are helpful for you. Thank you for sharing a peek into a precious part of your life! If you have any questions/comments on this review, feel free to PM or reply here.

Thanks again for sharing, and good luck!

Hannah






Thanks so much for your helpful and constructive comments, Hannah! I'm so glad to hear how the specific things in the piece work/don't work. I'm going to ruminate on your comments, and will definitely PM you if I decide to make some changes/write a completely different piece with the same sentiments. :)



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Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:42 am
Kaylaa wrote a review...



This is Nikayla here dropping in with a review.

I have to say that this was pretty beccalicious itself. I agree with Lumi and most of what he said for this poem, but I thought I'd go ahead and review it.

doing nothing is doing everything languidly on sunday morning.


I find this to be a strong first line and it introduces the reader to the main theme or line that you have in store with this piece--it even appears in the title. I want to suggest adding 'a' after 'on' in this first line, though it's your choice, I find it to be beneficial since in the lines subsequent, you aren't describing any sunday morning in particular. I have to agree that the flow here is a little weak and the line is long-winded, even a little verbose.

I have to say that I love the imagery in this piece and the sensory details you imbue. The lines after the first are a beauty in their descriptions, though I do have to say that your structure in this piece makes the reading of it a little verbose. I suggest adding stanzas, simply to neaten the piece out and to give the reader more of a breath between lines. What you do mean to accomplish in this piece, you accomplish well in describing what there is to go on a Sunday. But, at the same time, I wish for there to be more of a focus on the structure on the poem to refine it.

and i never want to do another thing again in my life.


I wanted to talk about the repetition with 'i want' a little bit here. It's contradicting that the speaker says here they don't want to do another thing in their life, yet the lines after keep saying 'I want' over and over again as repetition. It's a small detail, though this line ruins the continuity of the rest of it in a way. I do suggest that you end up experimenting with it for an overall better flow there, though overall this is a solid piece that has some beautiful imagery included in it.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask! I hope I helped and have a great day!

Image




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Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:04 pm
StupidSoup says...



HI.

I agree with everything Lumi said because he is Lumi.

Also some formatting wouldn't hurt. The material is excellent but spacing it out or just capitalizing would make it aesthetically pleasing.




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Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:59 pm
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Lumi wrote a review...



This is the most pleasant thing I've read all day. Thank you. c:

I adore your mixture of audible, tactile, and visual imagery--it makes for a very strong tug on the senses, and for me that's incredibly important to the enjoyment of any piece. You pull this off with aplomb. You mention the sex life, the strewn clothes, etc. but none of it reads as a saucy piece, but instead add notes of spice to complement the sweetness of the entirety.

Regarding your hook line: "doing nothing is doing everything languidly on sunday morning." I will admit that, while it is a lovely soft-hook and gently tugs the reader in with the same warm softness as the remainder of the piece, it takes quite a bit of breath to maintain, and I believe the shot to the flow here costs you quite a bit off the hilt. Imagine it as a tough skin on an apple, if you will.

And your ending is incredibly balanced and sweet, and it really solidified my love for the piece. The only remaining issue I may point out is the hard repetition of "i want" which did turn me off to the piece a faint bit, but I'm not big into linear repetition unless it is sentimental and/or lyrical. But it's ultimately up to you to experiment with.

I hope these notes help. Keep up the good stuff!
Ty






Hi Ty! Thank you for your helpful and validating review. All the issues you brought up were things I was wondering myself and I'm glad you told me so that I know that they in fact could use work. Thanks for sharing your complimentary and constructive criticism, it was just what I needed! :)





I'm thinking of changing the first line to "on a languid sunday morning with you" and am hoping the doing nothing is doing everything will suffice as existing in the title exclusively.

Still mulling over what to do about the repetition of "i".



Lumi says...


I like the possible change to the opening quite a bit.

With the "i want"s, I think sentence variation is the way to go, and to be honest, don't be afraid to start with conjunctions like 'and' or 'or' in place of 'i want'--while still leaving a few 'i want's in there, just spread apart, certainly on the last line for that final impact.





Thank you so much!



Lumi says...


Of course! This piece is wonderful, and I love talking poetry! You've got some major talent. :)





I really appreciate it! :)





I'm really feeling so good right now. I'm putting my MFA dreams on hold for now, but I want to keep working on my craft, and making things that give me life.





I think I figured it out (basically just deleted the "i wants" and adjusted the grammar:

when doing nothing is doing everything

on a languid sunday morning with you
sounds of birds chirping mix with those of car alarms
as we finally arise from your bed at an early hour of 3 p.m.
we accomplish many things: making pancakes, suntanning half-naked, passing quizzes on Sporcle.
and i never want to do another thing again in my life.
just spend my life watching you hold on to those last moments of sleep,
in between %u201890s pop songs and goose covers and strewn clothes.
tracing our life on the back of your neck,
and giving you chills about our big baby-ridden future together.
your arm across me forever, like a seatbelt, shielding me from danger
as we get wrinkly, and grey, still bragging about our amazing sex life.
and i want us to always speak the same language: apart from the world.




Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.
— William James