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by lliyah

(A/N: capitalization is intentional)

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442 Reviews

Points: 21090
Reviews: 442

Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:57 am
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Liminality wrote a review...

Hi @alliyah! I loved reading this poem. It made me think of that classic contrast between the spiritual mind and the earthly body, if that makes sense. The mood I got reading this was one of wistful longing, but also melancholy and a bit of tragedy towards the middle, ultimately leading to a sort of resigned acceptance by the end.

1. What I thought was special here is how you developed the core imagery of the poem to explore the nature of the speaker and the "you" being addressed. There's a lot of complexity here from stanza to stanza, going from feelings of longing to feelings of envy and also a reflective mood towards the end. Contrasting "sky" with "earth" is deceptively simple, but you make it original by going into the nuances of the sky being cold, unemotional almost, which comes with being free, for instance in "a flash of lightning . . . bold yet reachless", as well as the earth feeling trapped and confined by concrete goals such as in "I am a river carved// into the earth a thousand// generations before i was born".

2. The rhymes come in as delightful surprises here and give unity to the piece, especially in the beginning. My favourites were in the very first stanza with sea//only//infinity. I also love how concepts and images repeat themselves rhythmically, like in the second-last stanza ("just as infinite . . . there was no sky), because this really makes the whole poem come together.

3. One minor thing I thought could help this line flow better: "i wanted to not care like you did" confused me a bit when I read it. Could it possibly work better as "i wanted not to care, like you did,"? The "to not" just tripped up my brain a bit.

4. I have a feeling this is a list poem because of the numbering, but somehow I also feel it doesn't *need* to be one? For me, the numbers sort of faded into the background of the piece and didn't add a lot to it.

5. However, the enjambments make the piece sound so terrific when read out loud. Some parts feel like a cascade, like a river is running through the page, while other parts where the enjambment interrupts a phrase conveys this sense of fragmentation, as if the speaker is feeling conflicted about this person.

6. Then, as one last comment, I loved these lines: ". . . so i abandon// mapmaking to trace the lines// on my hands, and forget". I thought the image of the self-doubting cartographer conveys rumination so very aptly.

And that's about it. I really enjoyed this piece of yours! It feels like you're experimenting with new motifs and techniques, and I think that's awesome :)


lliyah says...

Thanks for this really thoughtful review Liminality! You've always got such great comments & insights, I really appreciate them.

I really like your interpretation - and I'm glad all those mixed emotions came across! And also really glad you liked the variety of the structures! :] I was hoping it didn't come across as messy, because I did kind of intentionally vary them to pick up some different pacing / moods in the piece.

I agree that the line you pointed out is a bit awk worded - I'm going to make a note of that in my word-draft. The reason it has numbers, is initially the poem's chorus was "there are three places on the earth where the sky doesn't..." - and so each section corresponded to a sense of place or place lost, but then I kind of changed up 1 & 3 so that didn't fit quite as well, and was afraid if I took out the numbers people wouldn't notice the repetition between the three sections, or get discouraged by the length in general without it being broken up.

I kind of agree though that the numbers aren't very useful anymore, I'll need to think of another way to mark that it's three different sections -> maybe columns? or just bigger indents / breaks between each one. As you know, I don't like roman numerals, xD but even that might do a little bit better job communicating sections/parts rather than list items. Thank you again! <3

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134 Reviews

Points: 88
Reviews: 134

Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:38 pm
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FruityBickel wrote a review...

Wow, Alliyah. Bullet here to review, but I've got to say - this is a gorgeous poem, and probably one of my favorites you've ever written.

The imagery and comparison between rooted and unrooted, the idea of lightning as unwieldy, as uncontrollable; it perfectly illustrates the concept of boundless love that both invigorates and harms you. I've felt this type of love before, this overwhelming need, and then the need to let go; I've never connected with a poem apart from my own like I have this one.

The rhythm is consistent and the flow is beautiful; the placement of the italicized bits really sets the feeling, and the pacing is phenomenal.

Overall, my only criticism is as follows: as a previous reviewer said, the stanzas seem a bit unbalanced, and the flow skips at just a few places. However, I think it adds character to this already great poem, and there's not a whole lot I would change.

This was a pleasure to read and I look forward to seeing more from you :)

lliyah says...

Glad you connected with this Bullet! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and interpretations!

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64 Reviews

Points: 26
Reviews: 64

Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:10 am
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Rosewood wrote a review...

This poem was written beautifully. The concepts included in it was a tad bit deep for me to understand the first time I read it, but I started to grasp a better understanding the second time around. My interpretation was that of a person traveling the Earth and falling in love with its natural beauty. A photograph or video will never amount to their emotions preserved in their memories, thus creating a loop where they cannot fully express where exactly they fell in love, but instead, loving it's existence as a whole. (I'd love to hear what your intended meaning was, but again, this was my interpretation.)

My only criticism would be that a few of the stanzas were a bit "unbalanced", (pardon my word choice, I don not know the correct word for it), and that it did not flow as smoothly out loud as it did in my head. I only suggest this because only a few of them were written in this sort of "rhythm", and an example of it differing would be the first paragraph.

Overall, it's better than what I could've done, and I enjoyed reading it.

lliyah says...

Hey Rose, welcome to the site! Thanks for stopping by to review my poem! :) I really like your interpretation of it being about sort of falling in love with the earth -> I had in mind a human subject, but I think your interpretation is very valid too, and you definitely captured the elusiveness I was going for too.

I think you're right that the stanzas were unbalanced, though a bit purposely so in this case for variety in the texture & pacing. :] I'll take another look at the flow though for sure! Thank you again!

Follow your passion. Stay true to yourself. Never follow someone else's path unless you're in the woods and you're lost and you see a path. By all means, you should follow that.
— Ellen DeGeneres