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Cremation

by lukekazey


My sister sits on your mantelpiece

in an urn I paid for.

~

Her ashes are sawdust in my mouth

and her bone meal fertilises

the roses. Fitting.

~

She always proved that

the bitch could bite

and the cat had claws.

~

I long for her now.

~

I want to play at being Eskimos

like we did when we were little.

She rubbed her nose against mine,

unaware of a world of malice.

~

You stole that away.

Stole everything away.

Stole her away.

~

Now,

your sister sits on my mantelpiece

in an urn you paid for.


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45 Reviews


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Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:56 pm
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potatoefry2001 wrote a review...



Wow! 12 reviews in only 7 days!!! Happy (belated) welcome to the YWS... I hope you love it as much as I do!!! I'm going to jump right into this review! So I really liked the way you started off with a way to hook your readers into your writing. I liked how you said "her ashes are sawdust in my mouth." This is a fantastic metaphor!! I like how you clearly painted the anger and confusion in this piece about her death. i don't know how you intended your readers to interpret this piece, but the way I saw it was a lot of anger, confusion and tensity. I could almost feel your emotions through the way your words seemed to kind of flow all together. Again, welcome to the YWS!!! Happy Writings!! And readings! I think that's all I have to say at this point in time, but if I think of anything else to say, I will add it in later. 'Tato out. :D :D :D :D :D :D




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Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:31 pm
tinybookfarie wrote a review...



So this my review.....


after reading this, it made me want to read the whole thing when I first started it. The way u did it was like the way JOhn Donne made his poem How to Catch a Falling Star. Wonderful

Just make sure to be more clear on the character of the sister. Other than that, it was really good!!!! Keep up the good work




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Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:42 am
AmadeusW wrote a review...



Good poem! I like the imagery. The way you portrayed anger over the sister's death is very vivid. The way you progress the poem by first sounding angry, then sounding nostalgic, then accusatory, is all very well thought through. One thing I wasn't sure about was the last stanza. Was that supposed to hint at vengeance, perhaps? The subtle, unexplained transference of the urn's location from the killer's house to 'your' house suggests that the "you" in this story avenged his sister.
Even though I said that I liked how you progressed through the poem, I do think there is something that is a little odd to me. The 2nd stanza implies that you didn't like your sister or that she was in the way. The 3rd implies that she was mean. The 5th (I want to play at Eskimos) showed a complete opposite view of the sister, wherein you love her dearly and miss her a lot. Now these three stanzas when viewed in sequence may at first seem a bit disconnected and contrapuntal, but they could still work together if one consider's the plethora of emotions one would feel when losing a loved one: Anger, dislike, love, nostalgia, hate, vengeance, grief, etc... All wrapped in one, all following each other one after the other without any real-life transition because sometimes those transitions don't exist in real life situations such as the one you are portraying. These are my thoughts, and they may seem a little contradictory because each time I reread this poem it sounds different so I am not really sure what I think about this anymore...
Other than it's actually quite good. You did a good job. Keep up the good work.




lukekazey says...


Thank you! My aim was to create a confused idea of the sister, but maybe there are better ways to do so. I%u2019m gonna have a look and see what I can alter. Thanks!



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Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:57 am
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alliyah wrote a review...



Hey there welcome to the site!

So I have to say I'm intrigued by the story you paint, but I think there's a little too much mystery - and not enough for the reader to hold on to. That said, you do paint some provocative images and lines.

I interpreted the poem to be about a sibling who is incredibly bitter about their sister's death (which might be symbolic or metaphorical rather than literal) and they can't resolve these angry feelings they have towards their sister, or to the one that took her life. Because the sister's urn is now with this person who took her life, maybe they are a close relative or spouse of the sister.

The most disconcerting part of the poem is probably how we don't get to know who the "you" is. The strongest angry line was probably in calling the sister a "b****" which is gosh pretty aggressive to say towards one's dead sister. This also intrigued me, but the poem didn't see it through, and instead gives the reader a contrasting image of the sister as a child playing in the snow with their sibling. I think it'd make more sense to reserve the stronger anger towards the one who killed the sister, but I also think there's juts part of the story missing.

That said, your poem did keep me reading, and I'd love to see if you expanded this. You're good at drawing out a story and painting images. Good luck in your continued writing!

~alliyah




lukekazey says...


Thanks for the welcome and review! I%u2019ve been here before under a different username, but it%u2019s good to be back. My intention within the piece was to create mystery and confusion, which perhaps I could%u2019ve done better, so i%u2019m definitely gonna have a look at your collective reviews and see what will work best. Thank you!



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Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:34 am
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LanaOverland says...



Hey, I'm Lana. You requested a review from me.

You don't have any reviews on this, so I'm not going to tag this as a review so that it can stay in the Green Room longer and you can get more reviews. But this is my review.

So I usually start off my reviews with a synopsis, cause I usually review prose. I'm still gonna do that cause I think interpretation of poetry matters when you're editing: So the narrator's sister died and was cremated, her body stays on the mantelpiece in someone else's (the addressee's) house (I think they were a spouse of the sister???). The narrator seems to have had a complicated relationship with their sister. They loved her when they were young and things weren't complicated and they didn't see what a jerk their sister could be. They miss their sister now, and they blame the addressee for taking her away. So much so that they seem to have murdered the addressee's sister (this may be wrong, but I'll get into why that's my interpretation later).

First Stanza: Cool image, good rhythm. Good opening

The Second Stanza: So, this stanza is confusing for a number of reasons. One, it implies that the ashes are both on the mantelpiece and in the garden. Two, I’m not sure how her fertilizing the roses is fitting? For me at least, fertilizing the flowers is a positive image for death/decay, and I’m not entirely what your narrator’s relationship with their sister was, but it seems more complicated than that? Lastly, the stanza is confusing in that the rest of the middle stanzas focus on her life. This is the only one that seems to focus on her dead body, and it kind seems tangential to the rest of the poem. I like that first line, even though I don't entirely understand it, but it just might not fit in this poem. Oh! And I have a note here that says the "Fitting." deserves its own line. It's just the way I was reading the line, it felt like it needed a little more emphasis.

Third Stanza: "She always proved that" I thought this was a little awkward phrasing, and it definitely threw off the other lines in the stanza for me.

Fifth Stanza: "unaware of a word of malice." Confusing phrasing. I also think the playing eskimos is a weird image. It has confusing connotations that I don't think you want. Not saying that siblings can't rub noses together or don't or that I judge anyone who does but it's very close to kissing and that's what the audience might start to think.

Seventh Stanza: It’s unclear as to what the reversal means. It’s very subtle, and I didn’t notice it the first time I read through. Is this to say that it’s a cycle of revenge? And it makes me question the narrator’s sister’s death. I originally thought that the “you” was a spouse of the sister, who took her away from the narrator, but now I’m thinking maybe it was murder, but then how would the narrator pay for the urn…? I don’t think you need to spell it out, but you should try to make it clearer why the reversal here. Maybe more tension/anger in the other stanzas. Maybe focusing more on the narrator's relationship with the addressee than the sister? Or the addressee's relationship with the sister?

Language usage and tone: I think the tone is kind of confused. Like I know there should be more anger in here than I see. Maybe it's because you spend so much time on the grief and what that narrator's sister used to be and you don't properly set up a betrayal before you accuse the accusation stanza? I think it's also partly your word choice. It's very reserved and calm tones (the accusation has stole and away which float a little with the --ole and -way) which if you're trying to sound like your narrator is mysterious and quiet then yes you have that good. You also use a lot of "I" phrases which detracts from the absoluteness of your narrator's argument if that makes sense. It makes it makes the narrator sound like they're talking about personal emotions than accusing. Which, again, I'm not entirely clear what your argument is, maybe you want it to sound very personal rather than abstract emotions (this is getting confusing...). So like, maybe this is an accusation poem. Then you might want to focus more on the addressee's involvement and so you'd focus less on the narrator and more on the addressee. It's kind of like passive vs. active voice except very abstractly. This poem is kind of passive in that it's "My emotions were caused by You" rather than an active voice which would say "You caused my emotions." The emphasis is on your emotions here where, an accusatory poem (which the ending seems to indicate this is) would focus more on the actions of the addressee.

Overall, I like the poem. That opening image is badass, and I think some of the images are cool. I wish it was more clear about it's purpose. What are you trying to get across (and it's okay if the answer is a story, but then the story should be clearer)




lukekazey says...


Thank you! My intention was to have a kind of vaguely disjointed poem so as to reflect the confusion of emotions of losing a loved one, and i wanted to portray a very dysfunctional dynamic between the characters, but maybe I just didn%u2019t pull it off here. I%u2019ll definitely try to address your concerns. Thank you!




A beautiful funeral doesn't guarantee Heaven.
— Haitian Proverb