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Young Writers Society

The True Role of the Poet

by emilia9ludenberg

Beginner she was, the more she tried, the standards were low.

And the passion for madness with which she wrote, still the higher the standards became,

And the more genius she wrote, the highest o' standards hath been reached,

And the more works under the guise of genius she wrote; the highest o' standards hath been surpassed! 

Greatest o' genii she e'er was, the more she wrote- 

the standards, were low. 

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140 Reviews

Points: 13980
Reviews: 140

Sat Sep 09, 2023 6:08 am
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OrabellaAvenue wrote a review...

Hiya, this is Orabella, here with a (unfortunately) short review.

I really like this, and it's very relatable. Although I haven't been writing poetry all me life, I have been writing stories for most of it. Not much was expected of six year old me, and the standards were low. But then of course I got older and I wrote more and better, and then older still and more experienced still, and yet my standards of writing are still really low. This is great for any writer, whether they are a poet, a world-class novelist, or a beginning story-teller.

I love this a lot. It's truly a nice and well thought out poem. Prose. Writing. Words.

Keep writing!


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emilia9ludenberg says...

Thanks for your review, glad you enjoyed it! Also, what do you mean by unfortunately? Hehe %uD83D%uDE2D

OrabellaAvenue says...

Of course!
Unfortunately because it's short. Don't you like longer reviews?

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emilia9ludenberg says...

Oh yeah fair enough, that is true, I do prefer longer reviews but I don't mind short ones either

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1218 Reviews

Points: 146290
Reviews: 1218

Fri Sep 08, 2023 4:43 pm
alliyah wrote a review...

Hey emilia! Thanks for sharing your poetry - always fun to have a poem about poetry - so let's take a look!

I interpret this poem to be about a poet who upon writing more and more poetry felt that the standards were getting higher and higher (whether these are self-imposed standards or other-imposed, I'm unsure) eventually the poet believes despite the pressure she's able to exceed and surpass the standards and eventually it seems like the standards are low. I think it's very accurate to the writing-process that people go through different stages of loving/hating their writing and feeling like they're "up to the task" or way behind.

My biggest point of confusion in interpretation was whether the author felt these "high standards" were what everyone else was putting on them, or self-imposed. That's a huge difference in meaning, on whether the conflict is external or internal - so I might try to explore that a bit more if you decide to write more or edit.

I felt like for a fairly straight-forward poem, there was quite a bit of repetition, which sometimes confused the message rather than added to it - it seemed almost like the whole poem was written in inclusio and I almost wonder if you intended to write this as a palindrome poem (ie. a poem that can be read backwards and forwards) if not, that might be something you might enjoy trying if you like this style of repetition which really lends itself to that writing.

I would suggest considering some of the repetition in here and asking for each line - does this create new meaning or simply repeat, and if it's just repeating, then eliminating those lines.

"And the better she wrote, e'er the higher the standards became,"

means almost the exact same thing as -.

"And the more skilled she wrote, still the higher the standards became,"

and both those lines use 90% of the same words - this creates redundancy which can confuse or water down your message rather than add or amplify it.

Some areas you might tackle for expansion would be diving into how the speaker felt about these standards being raised, their writing process, or even some of their internal debate / details about the standards.

Another area you might take a second look at is the formal and archaic language - was there a reason you decided to use such formal language, was it to give a certain mood? If so, I'd lean into that further - it might also be a fun writing exercise to see how this would come across written in more modern language instead. There were a few portions that I thought perhaps the wrong word was used that I'm going to point out so you can take a second look at -

"Greatest o' genii she e'er were, the more she wrote- "
(not sure what "genii" means in this sentence and I also think "was" would fit better than "were" in this sentence.)

"Beginner she were, the more she tried, the standards were low."
(typically "was" would be used in this context rather than "were")

"And the more works under the guise of genius she wrote; the highest o' standards hath been surpassed! "
("guise" usually means hidden / undercover / illusion -> so to me this sentence is implying she's pretending to be genius but really isn't, which kind of contradicts the former line, maybe try a different word than "guise" here unless that context is what you intended.)

As a final suggestion I'm not quite sure how the title fits into the meaning of the poem since it doesn't seem to have much to do with the "role" of being a poet, but rather than experience of writing / dealing with writing-standards.

One of my favorite aspects was how the poem seemed to change / flip-flop between standards are high -> to standards are low at the end, that felt like a sort of playful change in ideas that showed progression and was interesting to consider.

Another favorite aspect was the phrase "passion for madness" which is a really interesting way to describe the poetic process and I found to be unique!

This was a straight forward poem about the writing process and how the speaker struggled but ultimately overcame the standards that they were fighting against.

Thanks for sharing your poetry, and keep on writing!



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emilia9ludenberg says...

Hello, thanks for your review!

Yeah this wasn't really one of my best works, to be honest. It does need improvement- so thank you for the suggestions! :) Also, the standards are imposed by society and the expectations of "good" poets- and this essentially reveals the persona's perception of said standards, feeling as if this was her "role" being a poet, since if that is what society requires, and she feels the need to play a role in society. Apologies if this is a bit too ambiguous- I didn't want it to be entirely straightforward, since I wanted to see how readers would interpret it. Furthermore, I intentionally used the word "guise" to create a stark contrast between what society deems is genius, verses her own views.
Also, "genii" is the plural for genius.

Thank you for your review!
Emilia :)

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.
— Leonardo da Vinci