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Virtuous Hand

by kaceymackwriter

This place,
This prison,
That of impudent crimson.

Such greedy a grip,
Taking each moment of mirth.
Above theft of the artist,
Is their theft of all worth.

Rawness of flesh
Under tightening ropes.
Torment too much,
I had to let go.

Set free of such dreams,
Still fresh in my mind.
Since they’d broken my strength,
Every shred they could find.

Why expect me to shimmer, in a sky full of stars?
Dismissable dust without much a cause.
Why, when all I am is exactly this?
Where they all but stare through my body of mist?

The night sky so bright
Constellations abound
Swimming in darkness
Yet here, I have drowned.

Not once did they dim?
Swallowed by what might await?
stars mustn't worry about the darkness of space

When the Upper Hand
had chosen our fate.
Not a barren spot remained,
yet I was replaced.

So here falls the pain,
the rejections I swallow.
Here’s my abandon,
and my soul now scraped hollow.

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19 Reviews

Points: 4
Reviews: 19

Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:26 pm
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averyismediocre says...

"Stars mustn't worry about the darkness of space" is my new favorite sentence.

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1049 Reviews

Points: 138553
Reviews: 1049

Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:32 pm
alliyah wrote a review...

Hi there,

and welcome to Young Writers Society! So happy to see another poet on the site.

So this piece certainly has some very powerful lines; my favorite are where you forego some of the overly formal language and just talk about this person in relation to the stars:

stars mustn't worry about the darkness of space

Why expect me to shimmer, in a sky full of stars?

and then the closing two lines were utterly fantastic:
Here’s my abandon,
and my soul now scraped hollow.

It's imagery heavy and raw, without being grotesque or feel like it's trying too hard to be cool/dramatic - and the sound is great too. Love that little ending metaphor there.

Now parts I didn't love as much, were when you went really formal/medieval with your language - the problem isn't the word choice so much, as these felt like less image-heavy words that as a reader I had to dig through to get to the point. Some aspects I'm thinking about- you talk about "the Upper Hand / had chosen our fate" - which sounds sophisticated, but then it's never explored further, so ends up feeling like an empty/peripheral line.

"That of impudent crimson." -> Impudent is a fun word, but it means like "not showing respect" which seems a really odd way to describe blood.

"Torment too much," -> using formal language/phrasing in this case just felt awkward, like if these are truly tormenting the speaker why would say it that way? It feels unnatural, sort of like being punched in the stomach and then shouting, "Why hath thou punchest me my gut? I resent that!" -> while it might have been a more natural way to say things a long time ago, no one really talks that way anymore in moments of strong emotion, so it really takes us out of the action and makes it feel fictionalized rather than in-the-moment.

Another suggestion is that I think you have a really good instinct for sound - there's a lot of good assonance and consonance in these lines, but the lines are not in the least bit even, and I think it would highlight your well crafted sounds in the poem, if the lines were more even, it'd also help with the flow. Having a line that just has one syllable, followed directly by the longest line of the piece, just doesn't look quite as clean either.

Overall, the poem seemed to narrate how the speaker is struggling with their identity and self-worth, and it's causing them a lot of fate, so that they almost abandon their soul to fate - and find out that there's an emptiness in them, which seems even worse than not having a clear/beautiful identity. The poem seemed very contemplative, and not very action-oriented it was hard to catch what the conflict was until stanza 4, I think if you made the conflict a bit more concrete earlier on, and then stuck with just a few clear metaphors that directly tie to the conflict (like the star imagery) it'll bring this poem to the next level.

Hopefully my advice helped a bit! Have a great day, and happy writing!

- alliyah


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108 Reviews

Points: 13147
Reviews: 108

Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:06 am
Asith wrote a review...

I adore this! Every so often I'll come across a poem that I love so much that it makes me re-evaluate how often I should try reading poetry. This is the one for me this time.

I love your use of language, especially in the latter half of the poem. Not only are your descriptions impeccable, the senses and feelings you've brought out using relatively simple words are brilliant.

I wonder if it's my lack of experience with poetry that makes me suggest maybe not getting lost in metaphors so much? I suppose this is a metaphorical poem, so perhaps this advice is redundant. I just find that obvious literal impact is a great balance to the abstract metaphors I've read.

Not once did they dim?
Swallowed by what might await?
stars mustn't worry about the darkness of space

I want to commend this part specifically, it's my favourite :)                                                                                    

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596 Reviews

Points: 14079
Reviews: 596

Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:42 am
FlamingPhoenix wrote a review...

Hello my friend, FlamingPhoenix here with a review for you on this lovely day, and to help get your work out the green room.

Okay let's start.

I don't no to much about poetry but from what I can tell this is a really, really well written poem, it's just amazing, I think you are a p born poet, this is amazing. I couldn't see anything wrong with it. Everything was done to perfection.
Now I wont to tell you why I love it so much.

So I want to start with the title to this poem, it is just the perfect choice, it shapes the poem, and it is the very thing that made me come and read your work, it just drew me in, and I'm really glad I did.
I think the emotions you put into this peace was so deep it made me feel everything you had put into here, I felt sad and angry all at the same time, it was such a good feeling along with the things you were saying.
Your punctuation was also spot on to. Having good punctuation always makes the poem better and give it a really good flow, and I think you have nailed that. It had a really good flow that just made everything move really well.
To be honest I don't have the words to tell you how amazed I am at this poem. It's just amazing, astonishing if I am honest. You could publish this some day.I;m sure lot of other people out there will love to read this just as much as I did.

Well that's all from me, I'm glad I got to read and review your work, it really did make me day. I hope you will keep writing and post again on YWS soon. I hope I get a chance to read more of your works soon, have a great day or night either one.

Your friend
Reviewing with a fiery passion.


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48 Reviews

Points: 5809
Reviews: 48

Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:21 am
AndName wrote a review...


This is amazing! I like how you put so much emotion in it, and I can tell you took a long time writing it. All the strands of sentences are woven together seamlessly and rhyme without being too obvious. I was halfway through and I thought...woah. This is great, almost hypnotic, but I have no idea what it's about. I was picking up a sense of loss, like it was fraying, but the lines-
"Rawness of flesh
Under tightening ropes.
Torment too much,
I had to let go."
-made me think it was more than that. Anyway, I couldn't find anything that I thought needed fixing. Over all amazing job!


Aw thank you!!! I'm so so glad that you liked it so much! I was trying to weave together the connections between rejection, creativity, defeat and the ultimate basis of self worth on others accomplishments or lack thereof. Thank you so so much for reading and feeling that it was worth reviewing!! :D

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
— Captain James T. Kirk