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Childhoods

by foxmaster


Now that I am old,

I can look back at

where it all went wrong.

I wonder,

how did it happen?

So, I check my bookshelf

and find my book of memories.

I think,

when I was a child,

I liked to read

and I slept with

stuffed animals.

I tried to be kind

and play make-belive

with my friends.

And what do children do now?

Watch youtube

and play video games

with zombies.

Where did it all go wrong?

I wonder.

How did  everything change?

I do not know...

and suppose we never will. 


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Tue Aug 01, 2023 8:44 pm
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emilia9ludenberg wrote a review...



Hello! I am here to review this poem.

Well, personally, i do not believe this is a bad attempt at poetry (for I understand that you are new to it :) ). However, I personally believe this could do with a bit of re-drafting. Poetry is not an easy thing to get skilled at, (I still struggle with it immensely, even after having written quite a few), and therefore requires a lot of practice.

Ideally, do this in the form of rereading through the lens of a stranger, and rewriting it accordingly. The aim is to ensure you have communicated precisely what it is you desire, and to do this in as *few* words as possible, whilst simultaneously evoking emotion, imagery, and potentially interesting vocabulary and perspectives.

Unfortunately, this seems a little generic to me, particularly with the lines:

And what do children do now?
Watch youtube
and play video games
with zombies.

Whilst I do understand where you're coming from, this is a common criticism that I often find, especially when it merely implies the very act of doing these things is indicative of a bad childhood. I am not a fan of these things myself, however it is more about various other factors, e.g., time spent, content, age-restrictions, etc. rather than simply watching a funny video or two, for instance.

Furthermore, I highly suggest breaking this up into short, concise stanzas (or sections, if you like :) ) as otherwise this seems more like a long dialogue than a poem (which can work, but given the already short length of the poem, it simply lacks the visual structure and adequate length.)

Although my favourite part would be:

So, I check my bookshelf
and find my book of memories.

As it is a short, sweet metaphor that invites multiple perceptions: the "book" could be reminiscent of the author's love of reading, for instance, or it could represent a time before technology became a major aspect on one's childhood. Although, more elaboration is required.

My favourite line is:

I do not know...
and suppose we never will.

The ellipsis emulates the persona's doubt, which speaks to the reader, and the final line evokes a rather despairing tone; perhaps the persona and the audience (with the collective pronoun of "we") are faced with an inevitable possibility that things can never go back to the way they were, that everything must change, and human beings are too redundant to understand why that is.

Overall, despite some flaws, I did enjoy this poem, as its concise nature and certain lines make one ponder over the ever-growing uncertainty of childhood, and possibly the uncertainty one has growing up.

Apologies if I have been a bit harsh, I do understand you are only a beginner. But, I hope this review helps, even if only slightly, with your writing, especially in poetry, if you choose to write more poems in the future. But do keep writing!

Emilia




foxmaster says...


thank you!



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127 Reviews

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Sat Mar 18, 2023 8:11 pm
GengarIsBestBoy wrote a review...



Howdy hey! Gengar here to write a review!

I really like things that are retrospective (like the channels Izzzyzzz and Dream Jelly), so I thought this poem was neat! I’m not even that old but I still look back on my childhood like “man… it feels like it was yesterday!”

As other people have said, I think you could use more description.

And what do children do now?

Watch youtube

and play video games

with zombies.

Where did it all go wrong?

I don’t think “watching youtube / and playing video games / with zombies” necessarily seems bad. To prove your point a little more, you might want to add some description. What kind of youtube videos are kids watching? Are they watching mindless stuff on Youtube Kids or videos not meant for kids? And what about the video games? Are they extremely violent and toxic?

I hope you have a good day!
—GengarIsBestBoy




foxmaster says...


Thank you! I am fairly new to writing poetry so that is why this ended up like it did. :)



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Mon Mar 06, 2023 10:52 pm
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FireEyes wrote a review...



Hello foxmaster! Incoming review!

This was a short, sweet, and to the point poem. Overall it was very solid. With that said, lets get on with it!

I like the imagery you have going in with the lines:

So, I check my bookshelf

and find my book of memories.
I think the book of memories can be interpreted in a few different ways. Something like the books you used to read as a child that shaped who you are. I feel like it also could be interpreted in a photo album of you growing up. And the contrast you had with what children today are growing up with presents an almost bitter take. I enjoyed that.

Some things for improvement could be that at the moment, it feels quite plain. It reads more as a mindless ramble you tell your friend instead of well thought out. It's just a little boring. Adding some descriptive language to what your book of memories held would be great. Because right now, it feels uninspired. Dive deep into what these feelings actually mean to you. How does this topic make you feel and write the feelings, not the thoughts.

Some minor nitpicks I have are
How did everything change?
You have an extra space in here.
and play video games

with zombies.
This just feels too specific for how general the poem is right now.

But that's all I have for today. I hope you found some of it useful. Feel free to ignore whatever you don't think would improve your writing. Keep on writing, you can't improve if you don't apply what you've learned. Have a good day and I'll see your around. Anyway byeeeeeeeeeeeee




foxmaster says...


thank you! I am very new to poetry, however, so I suppose that all makes sense



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Mon Mar 06, 2023 6:06 pm
LadySpark wrote a review...



Hi foxmaster, here to do a quick little review for you.

It seems that YWS is having a very nostalgic few weeks because I've seen several different poems speculating on childhood lately. I love it!!!

Retrospective poetry can be so healing, but it can also reveal really interesting perspectives and provide the writer with a chance to reflect and grow at the same time. Yours dallies with this concept, as you discuss how you've changed throughout your life as well as how you're not quite sure how you got there.

This poem lacks significant imagery, which I think is part of the reason I'm having such a hard time immersing myself in the story. I don't know if you write prose, but if you do, I'm sure you've heard the phrase "show, don't tell". This sometimes applies to poetry as well. While telling a reader something can be very powerful in poetry (there's something about a clear statement that can often hit just the right spot), at the same time, you don't want to tell the reader everything.

Additionally, your topic is... well, honestly, it falls into a pretty stereotyped narrative that children today lack childhoods. Which is definitely not true. Kids today just have different childhoods than we did. I think this poem would have been more effective if you had concentrated on your own experiences through childhood and what you can reflect back on, because I do not think that the rise in technology is to blame for it "all going wrong". If you refocus the poem's subject onto yourself and your own reflection of childhood, it might be a little more relatable for the reader.

You've got a few weird stanza-structure issues, but I'm mostly concerned with the lack of imagery in this poem. When you go back to edit, try to evaluate it with the perspective of "showing" the poems story, rather than telling us the story. :)


xoxo
Spark




foxmaster says...


thank you! I am fairy new to the concept of poetry so I suppose that makes sense!




Change isn't inherently good, but you can't stop it, so let's just enjoy the ride. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
— TheSilverFox