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yin and yang

by manilla


Warning: This work has been rated 16+.

"Send my regards to the two-faced bitch

Smiles like a cat but talks like a witch.

Acts like an angel but'll cut you good,

Says stupid things that no one else would."

--

"Nine is the number of times she's flipped me off,

To the teachers she'll turn her head and scoff.

She'll give free treats to the kids at camp,

With a leering face she'll tell you who's champ.

It's not fair her reputation's not a fragile piece,

Because at my conscious my own will cease.

==

"Oh, my, my, don't you cry.

Get off your high horse and look around, why?

The thing you're best at is to sit down and lie. 

Power is best abused by ignorant fools,

Do us a favor and go choke on your jewels.

You refuse to learn about the other side,

When my mother went herself and died."

==

"Sitting pretty like a five-year-old brat,

Manner of a pretentious aristocrat.

Watching as others do the work,

Lifting a cup of tea, lips curling in a smirk."


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1198 Reviews


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Reviews: 1198

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Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:27 pm
Elinor wrote a review...



Hey manilla!

I'm Elinor, and I'm just dropping by quickly to give your poem a review. If I'm interpreting it correctly, this is about an abusive stepmother, which is definitely something I can unfortunately relate to, but I will say this poem definitely rang true for me. Apologies if I'm completely off base with that! I'll warn you before I get too deep into it that I'm generally not a fan of rhyming, but that doesn't mean it can't work, obviously. At least, I could tell it was about a toxic person in the narrator's life.

Overall, if I had to describe the trajectory of your poem, it starts out very strong, somewhat peters out, and then gets back up by the end. In other words, your first and last stanzas are the strongest, and I think you for sure have room to strengthen everything in between. I want to know a little bit more about the details of the relationship between the subject and the narrator. We know she's abusive and can turn the charm on and off as she so desires, but we don't really get any examples of how this plays out, or over how long a period of time this occurs.

I'm not quite sure why the last two stanzas are italicized and in quotes either. Nothing about what they say necessarily evokes it, so I was curious. Overall, like I mentioned, although I'm not a fan of rhyme schemes, it works for this. Some lines felt a little clunky though:

Says stupid things that no one else would


Stupid doesn't quite feel strong enough of a word to use here.

With a leering face she'll tell you who's champ.


Who is champ?

It's not fair her reputation's not a fragile piece,

Because at my conscious my own will cease.


I get what you're trying to say here, but this feels a little overly wordy.

Best of luck! Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.

You refuse to learn about the other side,

When my mother went herself and died."


I assumed that this was the narrator talking to the subject, but was it the subject talking to the narrator? Is that the purpose of the italics? I think clarification would be good here.

Overall, you did a good job with this. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions, and keep writing!

Elinor




manilla says...


Thanks! This was a verbal fight between a man and a woman (stepmother, huh!), but I like your interpretation of it.



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Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:31 pm
inktopus wrote a review...



Hey, manilla! Would you believe that this is the first time I've ever reviewed your work. That's a mistake on my part!

First things first, I really like your title, but I think you could do more to tie it into the poem itself. I can see the thought and effort put into tying it in, but I don't think it's obvious enough for it to be your title. You have two options here, and I think there are benefits to both. The easiest one is to change the title to something you focus on more in the poem. Your other option is to rewrite some lines to emphasize the yin and yang thing you want going on.

Smiles like a cat but talks like a witch.

I think that since cats and witches are often seen together thematically, you should replace "but" with "and". I don't think that it makes sense to make those two things at odds with each other. If this is a part of the yin and yang theme, you could change cat to something else that's considered to be more opposite of a witch.

Acts like an angel but'll cut you good,

Later in the poem, you assign a gender to the subject. With female pronouns in mind, I think that replacing "but'll" with "but she'll" would work better. The number of syllables won't change, so the flow isn't going to change. I think it'd actually improve it.

Says stupid things that no one else would.

I don't like this line. I think it's mainly because you use the word "stupid." After your stuff about how catty she is, I think that calling her words stupid doesn't fit the tone. A sharper adjective would probably work better.

Nine is the number of times she's flipped me off,

The flow is off in this line. I think you have too many syllables in it. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a rewording that will keep the same information. You might need to just scrap it and come up with a new detail that works better in the constraints.

To the teachers she'll turn her head and scoff.

I think deleting the bolded words will improve the flow of this line.

Because at my conscious my own will cease.

I have no idea what this means.

Then, we get to the stanzas in italics. I'm assuming that this is the reply of the subject of the first two stanzas.

The thing you're best at is to sit down and lie.

This line is clunky because you made it simply for the rhyme. It doesn't work very well, and it's difficult to understand.

When my mother went herself and died."

And now you're manipulating sentences to make them flow. While it works syllabically, the sentence is not good. "Went herself?" It just doesn't work

Overall, I think that you have some good bones. I liked the imagery especially in the first and last stanzas, but you need to work on smoothing everything out and locking in on the theme. Now that I've read the whole thing, I understand what the yin and yang thing is about, but I think that you could change your word choice in the second stanza to further highlight the differences between the two narrators.

If you have any questions, I'm more than happy to help!

~Ink




manilla says...


waaa. thank you for the review - i'll try to work on those in the future!




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