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Ode to the London Underground

by fortis

great metal worm of the tunnels
hear my cry!

you race through the dark
with only a face full of fire
to clear the way

guttural siren-song
it fills me it sets
my body brimming
engulfed in sound

o great tube
your screaming is understood

it is the soundtrack of
a vinyl player's sapphire
stylus plunged
between my ribs

broadcasting my inner-sounds
they are drawn
out trailing behind
at 50 mph a flag of screeches

oscilloscope ticker tape

you rumble you
shake you
send us tipping grabbing
for our ears you

shudder but be still

come into the
light inch to a
stop hiss open and spill
us your lifeblood
onto the ground

leave us
to crawl through tunnels

in the dark

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987 Reviews

Points: 117440
Reviews: 987

Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:55 am
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alliyah wrote a review...

Hey fortis! Here I am as requested! :D

When I initially read this I thought you just painted a really good full picture and mood with this piece, so I gave it a like right away - even with a quick surface-level reading it's just enjoyable to read. Looking a bit deeper into this, I really am not sure if there's a way to read the poem as a larger metaphor for something more important than just the speaker's experience with public transportation, but I think you nail the humor element with a topic that I've never before really considered to be funny.

I don't think I've ever read a poem that captured sound in such interesting metaphors before. You cover this whole range of sounds that the subway? makes and with absolutely great imagery and word choice too.

This piece is a bit tough to understand because of its kind of sarcastic irony, but I believe it is a reflection on how frustrating the speaker finds the London Underground to be, with its sounds that they are just completely overwhelmed by how horrible it is.

The image you paint of it being a worm at the beginning, and then later as the speaker would almost rather be left as a worm themselves is a really great visual perspective too.

Another thing I really like too is just the word choice and some of the phrasing is written almost like a love poem to the subway - with the "o great tube" and the "stylus plunged between my ribs" - the double meaning where you can't tell if the speaker is being killed or seduced by the subway makes for a really hilarious reading that definitely subverts expectations. When reading a poem styled in this sort of way, with some of these allusions, one almost expects a sickly sweet love poem out of it, and then to get this lament about something as ordinary as a subway, is a great twist.

One weird aspect that I almost wanted as an addition to the poem though, is more about maybe the subway's point of view or the speaker imagining their thoughts a bit more. I was intrigued by the image of the people as the life-blood of the train/subway.

Another aspect, is I think that the ending didn't really punch the theme home enough. The last three lines don't feel like they come from the rest of the poem or sum up what's happened, since the whole poem is a difficult connection to this inanimate transportation method - being alone in the dark didn't feel conclusive enough.

Also really enjoyed all the little sound devices you used along the way in here, it's got just great rhythm and the bits of enjambment all really worked. Even though there was a lot of variety, it felt like it flowed really well, and kept it interesting to read.

Thanks for sharing your poetry, looking forward to read the next one!


happy revmo!

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42 Reviews

Points: 8
Reviews: 42

Sun May 12, 2019 5:05 pm
seekingthetruth wrote a review...

I did not fully read it I skimmed through it and it captivated me to read the whole thing because the way you described the underground made me feel like I was their. I especialy liked the use of animalistic imagery at the start because that already gripped me to the poem. one thing though their is no punctuation if that was done purposely (enjambement) the please let me know , I wrotw this review because it made me picture the essence of the London underground. thanks for the experience.



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155 Reviews

Points: 11208
Reviews: 155

Fri May 10, 2019 4:44 am
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Toboldlygo wrote a review...

This is awesome! I'm on my phone so this might be a wonky review but just bear with me :)

So, I think that there's an overall lack of rhythm to the poem. With each verse being a different length, it's hard to follow how to read it. Maybe it's just how I read poetry, but I like there to be a tempo to it, almost like it's music without the music. With all the verses being different, that's hard to accomplish.

I definitely loved how descriptive and visual it is! I really felt like I was on a real subway! That was excellently done.

Happy Writing!


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42 Reviews

Points: 106
Reviews: 42

Fri May 10, 2019 12:23 am
Corvus wrote a review...

this is a great poem, very creative and well written.

there are a few things I noticed.

you used punctuation in the first sentence but not anywhere else. I think using punctuation would help make the meaning more clear, especially in the sentences
"guttural siren-song metal-on-metal it fills me it sets my body brimming" and "broadcasting my inner-sounds they are drawn out trailing behind at 50 mph a flag of screeches"

I love the rhythm you made, it really reminds of the rhythm of a train. you created a very dark feel, reminiscent of a subway station.

I think your poetry is great, and I hope you never stop writing.

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