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A Cabinet of Curiosities

by koinoyokan


I sleep beneath a cage of glass

A curiosity on display

With snow white cheeks

Turned red with heat

-

In a greenhouse oven made for me

I sleep beneath trees

As my chamber fills with fumes

Suffocating in an ocean of green

-

I hold my breath

And count the days as they look at me

An oddity on display

-

Rendered solid by the

Flesh of the giving tree

-

As the glass turns white

As my heart beat slows

And my patrons watch – motionless


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24 Reviews


Points: 151
Reviews: 24

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Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:15 pm
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LucytheBrave wrote a review...



Hi! I might be crazy, but it feels like this poem is about Snow White? At least, thats the story I felt (Though it may be because you literally said the words 'Snow White'). It does have a much darker feel to it than the original story does, but I can see this poem representing how she feels when in the glass coffin, in the forest with the dwarves weeping over her. Now, review time!

I really like the imagery you use with "a cage of glass" and "a curiosity on display". I think the whole poem has this overarching theme of being trapped somewhere, and i think that is an interesting line to follow. However, I do have trouble establishing a sort of narrative? The poem implies a certain 'plot', but specific lines or phrases that break the sort of spell and confuse the reader. For instance, saying 'I sleep beneath trees' and 'an ocean of green'. This implies a wilderness/natural feel to the setting(hence my snow white theory). However, you also refer to the place she is in as a 'chamber', a 'cage', and a 'greenhouse oven'. There is a stark contrast between the open, sort of peaceful feel of a forest and nature and the idea of a cage, or being baked in an oven.

Additionally, every stanza in the poem is about her being trapped in this cage, describing her scenario or establishing her emotions about the scenario. However, the lines 'Rendered solid by the flesh of the giving tree' don't really fit that. I am unsure of what they mean? They don't add anything to the image in my mind of what's happening. Also, syntax wise, the flow is interrupted by how uneven those sentences are. You could remove that stanza entirely and the poem would have the same effect.

I really did enjoy reading your poem, and it gives me ideas for all kinds of interesting stories. Please take all of this with a grain of salt, as I am only a novice writer sharing my opinions. Your words should be the final say on how you edit/leave this poem. Thank you so much for sharing!

-Lucy




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Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:19 pm
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CharlieBravo says...



I'm not an expert, especially not with poetry. However, I personally find a connection with this poem and I think it's beautifully written. I certainly don't have enough experience to try to give criticism, so I'll simply give praise.

Keep writing~




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Points: 255
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Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:19 pm
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CharlieBravo says...



I'm not an expert, especially not with poetry. However, I personally find a connection with this poem and I think it's beautifully written. I certainly don't have enough experience to try to give criticism, so I'll simply give praise.

Keep writing~




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Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:13 am
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Alfonso22 wrote a review...



I find this poem, composed from the first person singular point of view, to be primarily an extended metaphor indirectly describing someone who is in a death chamber being gassed to death .during WWII in a Nazi Death camp while the patrons [the SS Guards?]stand motionlessly watching outside.

I say partially, because I cannot reconcile the trees and that particular tree with that scenario. In any, case, here are the parts that do seem to justify understanding.

The person sleeps? Sleep is often used as a symbol of death.

In a chamber where fumes suddenly intrude?

The heat of an oven seems to fit. It can be understood as a reference to the incineration that took place after the fumes. Sleep can be understood as death of the cadavers after the fumes kills everyone within the gas chamber. The paleness of death temporarily glows with the heat of the furnace as the incineration takes place.

How is that oven a greenhouse is problematic, since greenhouses are designed to promote life, not terminated it.

The fumes are green? Some poisonous gasses, such as chlorine, are green. They were used during the First World War. Soldiers in trenches could see the green clouds of poison approaching from a distance.

Observers? Some Nazi weirdos ’enjoyed looking at the death throes of the people being gassed to death.

Days go by? Counting the days as the the observers look on?

That can be understood as hyperbole. Such moments of imminent death or sheer terror do seem to drag on forever. As the poisonous gas takes effect, the victims feel their hearts beat slower until they stop.

Oddity?

The writhing mass of dying people and then inert corpses are indeed an oddity on display in that cage since such a scene is not a common occurrence.

The ocean of green suffocation can be understood as the poisonous chlorine gas pumped in through ventilation shafts. The speaker refrains from breathing trying to stay alive to alive as long as possible. Not an unusual reaction. Instinctive in a way. .

Suggestion

Within a cage is far more easy to visualize than beneath one. It also fits in better with what is described further on.

The following part does not fit in with my interpretation. So if it were my poem, I would be inclined to delete it.

“Rendered solid by the

Flesh of the giving tree”

Of course, you as as the author probably had something entirely different in mind. But poetry is often open to many interpretations. Some of Robert Frost's poems were understood in ways that Frost himself said were completely contrary to what he originally had in mind. So no harm is intended.

A very interesting poem. Looking forward to reading more of your compositions. Thanks for sharing.

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Addendum
I just realized that I failed to take the title into consideration. That title would perhaps have led me to hesitate and to consider another line of interpretation as more viable or appropriate. On the other hand, I might simply have recommended a change of title.





Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
— G.K. Chesterton