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you swallowed me whole

by marms



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Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:00 pm
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DarkPandemonium wrote a review...



Hi, marms. I don't usually review poetry but I thought I'd drop in for a quick critique. This is a great piece - clear message, nice imagery, well paced, overall a really good read. I'm going to break it down into three parts and give you my thoughts about what I liked and what you could work on.

you were a poison fruit that seemed so sweet
until i dug in my teeth and broke the skin.

i believed you were soft somewhere inside
if i just kept digging, chewing through sour--
but you swallowed me whole.


This is a strong opening; my favourites are the third and fourth lines. Fruit metaphors aren't exactly uncommon in poetry, and I do feel like the whole sweet/sour distinction is used quite a lot too, but I love the image of chewing through the fruit with the conviction that you'll find a soft centre. It's symbolic and visceral and fits the theme excellently.

I feel like you could get a bit more mileage out of the fruit metaphor. I'm not as crazy about the 'you swallowed me whole' line - it's the weakest bit of the stanza for me. It does tie into the idea of eating, but it doesn't link up that well with the more overarching theme of fruit, even though it easily could. I thought you might make some kind of reference to the acidity of fruit, and how the more you eat of it the more it stings your lips and mouth and throat. I feel like that could play well into the poem's message. It is completely up to you, of course.

and now
my mind is finally leaving its haze.
after spending so many lonely nights
with a bitter taste on my tongue.

i can't wait until the day i can look at you
and feel nothing in my gut.


(Small note - I don't think you need the full stop after 'haze'. 'My mind is finally leaving it's haze after spending so many lonely nights with a bitter taste on my tongue' is grammatical, and you do seem to be following standard grammar in this poem aside from the lack of capitals).

This section is generally okay, but not quite as good as the opening. I feel like what you see is what you get here, whereas in the first section the language was more creatively metaphorical. While I don't like poems to be too ambiguous, I do like there to be a little more room for interpretation, and I like to see things expressed via more imagery. Here, it's quite on the nose. It feels more telling than showing, I suppose.

maybe then i'll be able to breathe:
feel my throat open up,
feel my shoulders ease.

how long do i have to wait
until you become nothing
but, poetry?


I like this ending, especially the last stanza. I don't mind that it suddenly mentions poetry; to me, it's just like a successful fourth wall breakage, like the narrator is waiting for the day where this poem will only be a poem, not a reminder of something painful. It gets the message across really nicely and draws the whole thing together.

My only suggestion would be to get rid of the comma after 'but'. It upsets the rhythm and there's not really any reason for it to be there.

Overall, I think this is a great piece; it just needs a bit of fine tuning to bring out the best of it. I'd like to see you extend the metaphors explored in the first two stanzas a bit further into the poem, as you let them fall away in stanza three and substitute them for much more literal language that doesn't have as much impact for me. I really like the ending, though. The whole message is simple and poignant and real.

Keep writing! :D
~Pan




marms says...


Thank you! This review really helped <3



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Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:41 am
Rascalover wrote a review...



Hey!
I love writing poetry because I feel as though it's great when you have those burst of creative genius! I'll assume the lowercase letters are a creative option and go from there.

In the first line, I think you meant to put a poisoned fruit because the word were would indicate you were writing in the past tense. I love the first two lines and their metaphorical meaning! The forth line kind of gets me though. "chewing through bitter sour" are you chewing through bitter than a sour taste? Is bitter sour suppose to be one taste wrapped in one? It just sounds a bit off. In line eight, it should read "until the day I can look AT you."

I love the fact that you added poetry in there. Poetry is a release of emotion and breakups are full of emotion! I personally think you did a fantastic job! Keep up the wonderful work!

XOXO
Rascalover





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