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Christmas Day

by hermione2001


Christmas Day

There are no presents under the tree

As I realized it wasn’t meant for me

Excitement disappears

As dread sets in

I hear the din

Ever so loud I cover my ears

And then come the tears

As I remember

The car

The lights

The bruises

The pain

So intense

On our way home

Mom is gone

And Dad is gone

I am done

I am done

I sink to the ground

And I understand

I am alone.


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Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:44 pm
Louisiana15 says...



*As I want to cry* This is so good! The power behind truth: so many wake up to no presents, no parents, no food, nothing. Realization is hard to express, and you did a great job with it.




hermione2001 says...


Thanks! :)



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Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:45 pm
LadyAstella wrote a review...



Holy S***, I feel the exact same way, every single Christmas. This poem is very simple but heartfelt. I love it so much. My favorite part of this poem is "The bruises, The pain, So intense."
Wow just, wow. Amazing, you are doing such a good job please keep up the good work, I'll be reading more of your work as the days go on! This has been another review from Lady Astella.




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Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:13 pm
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alliyah wrote a review...



Hi hermione! I thought I'd take a look at your poetry! :)

(Welcome again to YWS by the way, and thanks again for your comment on my poem!)

So, you were right in your description this poem is rather dark and sad! I don't mind though - I enjoy a good poem that's not all ooey-gooey happy-go-lucky. I also am always a fan of narrative poetry. So let's look at a few aspects of this poem.

Narrative
As I said this poem paints a unique narrative, and weaving a narrative or story through a poem is a good way to keep a reader's attention and also one of the clearest ways to communicate meaning. For a narrative poem to excell, it needs many of the same elements as a narrative story. Characterization, Plot, Stakes, Conflict, and a Conclusion. Granted these won't necessarily be as developed as a prose piece might be, they still each should be present.

Characterization Our main character is the speaker - and I like that you make them specific and give insight to their emotional processing and thoughts. One thing you could develop a bit is giving a few descriptors to the "mom" and "dad" characters - this would make the reader feel even more connected to the story and also make the story deeper.

Plot/Conflict/Stakes The conflict is that the speaker is ready for Christmas with all the hope and joy of that, but there are no presents, and further, the speaker's parents are gone! I like that you don't spell out how the speaker's parents died or left. I also like how the piece takes an emotional arc. Rather than starting and ending with sadness - which can get a bit burdensome for a reader to muddle through, you connect first with hope - then we see the character process through all these emotions as they live back through this crash or event that caused their parents to disappear. One thing that I wonder is if you could raise the stakes a bit in the plot - right now the "conflict" is "no presents" - now obviously the underlying problem is that there are "no parents" - but could you make that more explicit? Could you dig a bit deeper into what that'll mean for the speaker?

Form
The way you begin with long lines that slowly get more choppy and shorten - makes the piece start smoothe and then turn dramatic. This is a good way to use flow and form to communicate emotional energy in the piece and gives a good "stream of conciousness flow. One problem with the short lines though is it didn't leave you much room to add descriptions. As in where were the bruises? What types of lights? What type of Mother? What type of ground? etc etc. There were almost no adjectives or descriptions in the entire poem - which didn't do much for imagery and made it a bit more simplistic than I think it needed to be. I think expanding in a few places or adding a bit more imagery through descriptions here and there would help the poem connect more in the reader's mind.

I do like the way you divided the lines though and also the minimalist punctuation suited the tone of the piece.

Poetic Devices
There weren't a lot of poetic devices used - the ending of the poem had a lot of near-rhyme used "home/gone/done/ground/stand/alone" although in the middle you sort of lost the rhyming. I wonder if this was intentional to show the disjointedness of the crash memory with the loss of rhyming? or if you just ran out of rhyming words there?

If you can fit in anymore alliteration, imagery, or metaphor it'll help make the poem have even more staying and impact power.

As is, the strongest image is probablly the Christmas tree at the beginning - which I think you could even develop more - what did the tree smell like? how was it decorated? where was it? Was there a fire burning in the fire-place? Snow outside the window? don't be afraid to really milk those first images.

Overall Meaning and Impressions
I thought the overall meaning was just to maybe make the reader grateful for what they have, and remind them not to take things for granted, even if it's just a present under a Christmas tree. It's also a story of trauma that a child has went through with the loss of their parents. It's a unique message and I can certainly say I've never read another poem with this story-line. It was a simple enough story, but with a lot of emotional impact.

Closing
Overall there are a few different ways you could work on developing this poem even more. You can highlight a bit more imagery and add in more emotional stakes and connections. Please let me know if you had any questions about my review! And thanks for sharing your poetry!


~alliyah

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Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:06 pm
niteowl wrote a review...



Hi there Hermione2001 and welcome to YWS! Niteowl here to review.

Overall, I like the idea of this, but I think some polishing up would help the execution. What I like is that it's a powerful idea of someone wanting to join in the usual excitement of a holiday like Christmas, but they can't due to the painful memories of a car accident. Definitely dramatic and interesting.

The first thing I'd like to address is the rhyme scheme. It starts out sort of rhyming, then it devolves into short and choppy non-rhyming lines, then there's some repetition (which rhymes by default), but the rhyme scheme never fully comes back. Honestly, I think the rhyming portions are a little strained, so I would make the whole thing free verse so you can use the best words for the story you're telling without worrying about rhymes.

There are no presents under the tree

As I realized it wasn’t meant for me


These two lines feel contradictory. The second line implies that there is something under the tree, but whatever it is is not for the speaker. This is a somewhat different image from nothing under the tree at all. Plus if the speaker has no family and no one to celebrate with...why is there a tree in the first place? What might be more interesting is to compare and contrast the "before" and "after", like perhaps the holiday was more happy with lots of presents before and now there's no presents and no point in setting up a tree for an empty house. Some more imagery and detail would really spice this up.

Excitement disappears

As dread sets in

I hear the din

Ever so loud I cover my ears

And then come the tears


This is a good example of the power of show vs tell. The first two lines here are telling us how the speaker feels, which isn't all that interesting. The next few lines are showing us sensory details, helping us feel the power of the speaker's flashback, which is much more dramatic. A strong poem makes use of imagery to show us the speaker's emotion rather than just telling us "I feel happy, sad, angry, etc."

The car

The lights

The bruises

The pain

So intense

On our way home


I feel like the short lines are there to feel choppy and dramatic. This technique can be effective, but I think these lines may be a little too short to really work. "The" is a filler word, so essentially they are just one word each. That's not a lot of room to give the reader anything interesting. The line "So intense" shouldn't need to be there--I should be able to feel the intensity of the accident. You could still use short lines, but even a few extra words would help set the scene. You could also cut filler words like "the" to add drama.

"On our way home" is a little vague by itself. I assume it's referring to coming home from the previous Christmas, but I could be wrong.

One possible way to structure this piece might be Before-During-After. "Before" could be what previous Christmases were like--trees, presents, family, carols, etc. "On our way home" could mark the transition to the accident itself, using shorter lines to signal the change. Then you could mirror the before in the "After section"--no presents, no tree, carols sound all wrong, etc.

Overall, I like the concept here, but it would be interesting to see what else could be done with it. Welcome again and keep writing! :D




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Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:21 pm
xJoeyx wrote a review...



a H H, sO eMOTIONaL!
So, hi fellow poet, i'm jade and i am here to give your work a review.
OOF, so I am currently doing this in math class and I just about started crying. Sorry, I'm weird. Anyways, this kind of reaches me on a personal level. Earlier this year, close to February , my boyfriend's little brother, Jackson, got into a car wreck and he was like a little brother to me. I was on the phone when it happened I just, a H H. THE TEARS ARE COMING. Sorry, I know I'm supposed to be reviewing but I had to put that out there.

This poem is so realistic and gah, I don't know how to explain it. My emotional self just wants to hug you over and over, I have no idea if this really happened but if it did you are a strong a** soul and I love youuu.

This has good imagery and as I was reading I could just see little memories just crashing into this person's head and sinking to the ground and it arose a powerful emotion in me. You could use a little more detailed imagery but the poem is your's and don't let me sway you to do something you don't wanna do. Perhaps take away the second 'I am done', since it kind of corrupts the poem's flow.

Like ABC123 said, this poem is a reminder to us that some people may not be lucky enough to have the same christmas, or any holiday for that matter, like we do. Some are too poor, some are possibly homeless and some have lost loved ones. It kind of reminds us to be grateful for what we do have, it reminds us to tell our parents and other's that we love them because a life can be taken away so quickly that we don't even have time to blink.




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Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:11 pm
slurringsugars says...



Hello, it's Jess.

I relate to the fact of Christmas not being a great holiday. As @ABC123 stated, "it serves as a reminder". I think that this is so simple yet very effective. I feel like this was a good release of feelings. :)
Best wishes.

Sincerely, Slurringsugars




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Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:36 pm
ABC123 wrote a review...



hermione2001.
I really really like this poem - a lot! It serves as a reminder that as special days like Christmas loom on the horizon, not everybody is lucky enough to be able to celebrate it in the way that they would like to, or at all in fact, and that is a really humbling thought.
Thank you for sharing this poem, I look forward to reading some more of your work!
ABC123





What about the chicken, Jack?
— David Letterman