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Old Mr. Bell

by highflyer

Old Mr. Bell is there again.

On his bench beneath the tree.

Playing his harmonica,

He always smiles at me.

He’s sat there longer than I can tell.

Even as the leaves would die,

As new growth sprouts around him.

There’s a twinkle in his eye.

I told my mother I saw him.

She looked at me with woe.

She shook her head and took my hand.

Mr. Bell died three years ago.

I still see him every day.

Underneath his lonely tree.

I grin as he watches over me,

I can just make out his wings.

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30 Reviews

Points: 62
Reviews: 30

Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:32 am
vagrant wrote a review...

Woah, interesting...

When I started off the poem, I was briefly reminded of a character from the play 'On The Face Of It' but the turn that the poem took was very unexpected.

I like it when something surprises me the way this did.

It has a bittersweet zing to it...but I like it.

Kudos for writing such an intriguing piece!

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111 Reviews

Points: 9075
Reviews: 111

Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:34 am
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tgham99 wrote a review...

Ooh, this was a very interesting poem -- I like the supernatural aspect of it; the idea of seeing a ghost/the remnant of someone that's not really there is a plot point that I'm obsessed with. I will say that I think your punctuation needs a little editing; you have a few different lines that are actually incomplete sentences/thoughts that would have been better left without punctuation for the sake of clarity/smoothness of read.

Aside from that, the poem itself follows an interesting speaker and, of course, very interesting secondary character. I like that you chose to put this line:

"Mr. Bell died three years ago."

In italics rather than quotation marks, because it adds to the eerieness of the poem as a whole. This also emphasizes the fact that our narrator is experiencing something fully supernatural in nature -- with this one line, you tie the whole plot of this piece together.

All in all, this is a wonderful poem that plays on the idea of ghosts that everyone has a thing for, whether they like it or not. Great job!! :)

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27 Reviews

Points: 148
Reviews: 27

Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:08 pm
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MadagascarMaiden wrote a review...

Hi, MadagascarMaiden here for a review!
First of, that's kind of bittersweet. I mean, him seeing an old friend that died three years ago Without realizing he was dead that whole time. Sad, yea. And you still made a great point.
Second, great formatting, simple but nice to look at.
Third, and last, the wings are a great touch.
That's all. Have a great day, and keep up the good work. :-)

highflyer says...

Thanks so much :)

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28 Reviews

Points: 254
Reviews: 28

Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:26 am
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GirlWithATypewriter wrote a review...

Hi, GirlwithATypeWriter here for a review!

First off, I enjoyed this piece thoroughly. Such a heartwarming yet sad poem. You've managed to convey a very beautiful emotion in the most serene backdrop. You've used really simple words and that adds an extra aesthetic feeling to the poem. Your rhyme scheme does't seem to be forced at all so kudos for that.
The best thing about your poem is the description you give about Mr. Bell. It makes us empathise along with you over his demise because we've grown fond of him too.
Overall, love this poem and hope to see more from you.


highflyer says...

Aaa, thank you so much! Glad you liked it!

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119 Reviews

Points: 10789
Reviews: 119

Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:58 am
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Clairia wrote a review...

Hi! I'm Clairia, here to review!

This is quite the bittersweet poem; I enjoyed it very much. Writing about death and grieving can be extremely difficult for some writers, but you truly made Mr. Bell's memory heartwarming, which I must applaud you for. The simplicity is so fitting to the subject, and while it touches the reader with sadness for a moment, you've given them emotion with simply words on a screen. That's a feat not many can accomplish well.
What's important to me is that I could feel you speaking through this poem. Whether you've lost this actual character (Mr. Bell) or someone in your life that speaks to you as he does to the main character of this poem, I can tell how much honesty you've put into your work. Well done.
In terms of technical issues, I had to get really nitpicky, because my heart didn't want me to critique a word of this :). I must say that your flow was really smooth (save a few parts) and that you didn't seem to have a problem maintaining a rhyme scheme, which is great!
I did notice that this line sort of stood alone;

He’s sat there longer than I can tell.

There's nothing that you've really "paired" with it to help it line up with the rest of the poem. The same thing with this one;
She shook her head and took my hand.

Perhaps you meant to have two lines standing alone? If not, I'd suggest either editing those out or creating another stanza to include them both.
I love the impression that our protagonist still sees Mr. Bell; I really didn't find it to be creepy at all. It's quite endearing, and I'm really glad that you were able to create that feeling for me, because I think I would have been a bit offput if I had envisioned her viewing his "ghost" in a more sinister/possessed kind of way.

Overall, wonderful job! I really loved this.
Thank you for sharing (and welcome to YWS, by the way!)

highflyer says...

Ah, thank you so much! I'll work on tying my lines together better in future!

Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.
— Louis L'Amour