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When Venus Smiled

by niteowl

She smiled sideways once,
from pole to pole.

For four days,
gravity pulled her mouth sideways,
before she retreated into her clouds again.

I could watch her
for days, years, centuries,
and still not know her secrets.

My morning star is lovely, but deadly,
and still I watch her,
hoping to see her smile again.

A/N: This is very loosely based on the New York Times article titled "Venus Smiled, With a Mysterious Wave Across Its Atmosphere" by Kenneth Chang. Link

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20 Reviews

Points: 38
Reviews: 20

Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:43 pm
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Bhaavya Singh wrote a review...

This is absolutely amazing amazing and amazing!!
I love science and so was just checking the science section and found it. Venus's gravity attracted me to read this and I loved it. I want to become a space scientists and for me this was really adorable.
Very very thank you for writing this!!

niteowl says...

Thanks! This def isn't my best poem but I'm glad you liked it. :)

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16 Reviews

Points: 10
Reviews: 16

Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:49 am
AngelBunnyroll wrote a review...

Angel here for a very short review! First off, I love how it mentions Venus and secondly that's very fascinating that that occurred on the planet! I love how it's brief and also, again, mentioning, Venus since she is the goddess of love. I love the imagery and how it's based, even though it's loosely, on a factual even as well. sorry that this wasn't the best review you could've had, great poem!

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1080 Reviews

Points: 125
Reviews: 1080

Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:30 am
Kaylaa wrote a review...

This is Nikayla here for a review!

I thought that the concept for the poem is something quite interesting, and let's jump into that. You use an event that relates to science, which gives you a base for the poem and the details about the topic, but at the same time, this seems to be a rather small event that not many people know about. If the readers didn't have the link, would they be able to interpret it as you wrote it, is my question. Would there be any context to what this poem is about without linking it or spelling it out? I'm not saying that there is one true interpretation when it comes to poetry, but it seems that your intention is something that shines through a bit in this poem.

I don't think this poem would have the same effect if this was written in the year 2023 or something of that sort, and that's where as a poem in itself I think it has a flaw, but you can say it works for now and I don't think that you were intending this to be your strongest piece. I liked the start of the poem with the first two lines already addressing a bit of what was going on in the poem. The second stanza is a bit awkward in its phrasing, particularly with the last line because you use both "she" and "her" so close together and I don't think "her clouds" is a strong phrasing to pair with the rest of the line.

The third stanza suggests that there are still a lot of secrets about Venus, and about the universe in general and while it isn't that spectacular, I do think it works well to set up or introduce that thought into the poem. The last stanza is probably my favorite one for the fact that it uses the morning star in seemingly two different contexts (or at least that's how I interpreted it, with it being an alternate name for Venus and a weapon). It works for what it is, but I think it could be a bit stronger, I'd suggest basing your images off the facts that you already know about this event and go more from there like you've already started to do.

Thanks for making me learn about science and have a great day! :p

niteowl says...

Thanks for the review! :) I'm a little poet-ed out this weekend from all the workshopping so I probably won't revise this right away, but you bring up a lot of good points. That "her clouds" line is pretty awkward haha.

I've done science poetry before that was pretty well-received even without the context but that was on stuff I was more familiar with. I just jumped into this one because I saw the deadline and thought "OMG that has to be a poem!" :P

Thanks again and I'll let you know if/when I spruce this one up. :D

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56 Reviews

Points: 1343
Reviews: 56

Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:57 am
dystopianmonkey01 wrote a review...

Wow, I love how this is factual yet is so imaginative, it was really captivating and interesting to read. This reminds me of something they'd encourage high school students to do to remember things about Venus; write a poem or a song.

Great meatphors, great imagery, great personification, there is very little to critique, however in my opinion I would change the line "before she retreated into her clouds again." it sounds good, but not great compared to the rest of the poem.

As I can see from your profile, you're an awesome writer! Thanks for sharing this with us. - Tiana :)

niteowl says...

Thank you for reviewing! :) I'm a little poet-ed out this weekend but I'll proabably revisit it and see what I can do about that line.

niteowl says...

Thank you for reviewing! :) I'm a little poet-ed out this weekend but I'll proabably revisit it and see what I can do about that line.

"In my contact with people I find that, as a rule, it is only the little, narrow people who live for themselves, who never read good books, who do not travel, who never open up their souls in a way to permit them to come into contact with other souls -- with the great outside world."
— Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery