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musings from a person who didn't prepare for the eulogy they were supposed to give on a Saturday afternoon

by izzywidgeon



you can't tell me that you don't think about what happens
after the casket lid closes.
sure, there's the biological stuff, your muscles,
your skin, your everything just..melts away,
leaving you a set of ivory bones
no different than the ones that lie in
the grave beside you.

in some weird way,
you are nothing and everything.
you had a life, you lived it,
you were triumphant and you failed
maybe you reveled in pulpy leaflets
or reached for the bottles one time too
many.
sure, it all makes up you.
morals, people argue are what really
makes you up.

those are the people i don't think have their
heads screwed on right; and that's nice for them
because its easier to deflect what's right in front
your nose.

if you have morals, why don't you show them
if you should love thy neighbor why don't
you even know the first names of the
couple that have lived across the street
from you for the past ten years?

why is the world just a jumble
of questions with little slips
of answers that aren't fished out
from the rubble until you're staring
into that abyss?

no one told you about the
view from halfway down.

no one told you what was on the
other side and you are afraid,
because you've accepted death
but never thought about what
could be beyond it.

and maybe i was right the
first time, telling you that
all you'll end up is a body
in a nice-cushioned box
in the ground.

but who said you had to listen to me?
go off and do something, something
so that you don't end up like the person
we're mourning today.


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Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:04 am
whatchamacallit wrote a review...



Hi there izzywidgeon! I was looking for something to review and stumbled across your poem in the green room, so here I am ^^

Reading through this, one of my first impressions is that this seems a lot like spoken word poetry - poetry that's meant to be spoken aloud. You use more informal language like "sure" and "maybe", and the entire poem is addressed to an audience. But then, a lot of poems are written in the second person that are meant to be read solely on the page; in the case of this poem, the fact that you ask the audience so many questions and even end the poem on "but who said you had to listen to me", makes it seem like its meant for a live audience. (Which makes sense considering it's meant to be a poetic eulogy!) So overall, I enjoyed your use of tone and language and rhetorical questions -> these things work really well together to engage the reader (or listener) into the poem!

On a related note, I want to look at your use of linebreaks! EtherealGarbage mentioned it a bit in their review; you use a lot of enjambment. Which is absolutely not a bad thing - I am such of fan of tasteful enjambment !! And you create some really effective pauses throughout the piece with your use of linebreaks. A couple of my favourite instances:

sure, it all makes up you.
morals, people argue are what really
makes you up.
^These line breaks work nicely to emphasize the phrase "makes you up"! Which helps to show that the subject of this poem is about who you are, both physically and in your actions.
why is the world just a jumble
of questions with little slips
of answers that aren't fished out
^The heavy enjambment in this stanza echoes the concept of the world being a confusing jumble. Because the lines end at "awkward" places, you have to reread it a couple times to fully comprehend what's being said, an effect that matches the actual meaning of the words perfectly.
There were a couple instances, though, where I think line breaks could be changed to be even more impactful. For example:
if you have morals, why don't you show them
if you should love thy neighbor why don't
you even know the first names of the
couple that have lived across the street
from you for the past ten years?
^I want to go back to the fact that I think this poem is meant to be spoken word, just quickly. Try reading this stanza aloud; I think you'll find it has a very disjointed feel. That's alright, of course, but it doesn't mimic the cadence of speech, and it is, well, a bit awkward to say aloud. I'd suggest rearranging the line breaks so that it fits the cadence of speech a bit better, and so that the line breaks work to emphasize more important words. One possible way would be:
if you have morals, why don't you show them
if you should love thy neighbor
why don't you even know
the first names
of the couple that have lived
across the street from you
for the past ten years?
It still uses its fair share of enjambment, but now the enjambment feels more natural when said aloud, and in my opinion, emphasizes more "important" words. I think if you went through the whole poem and read it out loud, and then altered the line breaks accordingly, the whole thing would be even more impactful <3

One last final thing I wanted to bring up (also to do with how the poem sounds aloud hehe) - I'd really love it if you incorporated a few subtle sound effects throughout. Some slant rhymes, some assonance, some alliteration -> they'd add a lovely melodic effect to the poem and, if you do intend for this to be spoken word, would add auditory interesting! You do a lovely job of that here:
of questions with little slips
of answers that aren't fished out
from the rubble until you're staring
into that abyss?
"Slips" and "abyss" create a really simple but effective slant rhyme, which I adore!

because its easier to deflect what's right in front
your
nose.
^I just had one teensy eensy nitpick while going through the poem; in these two lines, "its" -> "it's" and "front / your" -> "front / of your" (or "front of / your", whatever you like, really!)

All in all, I quite enjoyed the tone of the poem and the way you drew the reader into the story. I think it'd be really interesting to hear this narrated, and I'd love to hear what kind of inflection you'd add to the piece! My main suggestions would be to take a look at some of the linebreaks and perhaps add some more rhetorical devices (ie alliteration, rhyme, etc.). I also really liked the title haha; it's very unique and intriguing! I hope this review is helpful in some way and if you have any questions feel free to ask!

Keep writing c:

whatcha




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Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:14 pm



Hi I am Alexandria!!!!
I adore this. I felt this personally.
My favourite part was;
"in some weird way,
you are nothing and everything.
you had a life, you lived it,
you were triumphant and you failed"
This poem felt so personal and I am honoured to have been able to read this poem. I could read this poem well into the night, I wish I could feel the way I did the first time I read this poem. It feels so raw and honest and I could feel your pain through the poem.
I think you have a real talent. I loved this.




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22 Reviews


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Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:51 pm
EtherealGarbage wrote a review...



Hey there!

I use a lot of enjambment when I'm writing poetry, so I get how it is to decide where the line breaks and if it would actually need punctuation anywhere. I like to avoid breaking the line at a word like "the" though, as it is harder to read. It's like there are words, but then, you have to stop to move onto the next line. Of course, it works sometimes, but I'd suggest going in to make it flow a little better than how it does now.

I do this too, but:

why is the world just a jumble
of questions with little slips
of answers that aren't fished out
from the rubble until you're staring
into that abyss?


This reminds me of Instagram poetry and how it is just sentences turned into poetry by using heavy enjambment. Not a bad thing most times, but I'd try to cut back on doing that, as it can be, like I said before, not exactly the best if we're looking at the flow.

Small nitpick here:
go off and do something, something
so that you don't end up like the person
we're mourning today.


I think there should be a semicolon there after the first "something" of that. I'd personally call that a comma splice, because I'd say those are similar, but not similar enough to be used with a comma there. There's also potential room for a period, but semicolon would fit better.

I really liked this. It was sad at times, it felt personal at times, and those are really easy to put into poetry, but really hard to make it work right together.

Best,
Max





it's ok, death by laughter was always how i've wanted to go out
— Carina