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Haerra

by olgakarinacohen


He told me to listen to a song, the song that would become our future hymn and even at some point the only thing keeping us together.

Haerra, sung in Icelandic, in a sleepy voice as if in a dream. A dream made of more consonants than vowels, a dream made of lakes of tears in lonely lovers’ hearts. A dream made of intense hands grasping your face and saying ‘I hate it when you cry’ while rivers of acid run down your cheeks and burn the hands holding you together. A dream made of Sunday morning breakfast with his family, a dream made of closed eyes resting on a soft rock in front of an unfinished movie. A dream made of him and me.

Haerra, enveloping my throat in a sort of game where I am the one constantly weeping at his impulsive decisions, his imprudent behavior, like crossing the street without the thought of being run over crossing his mind.He was so reckless, I wish he lived like he was made of glass.

I wish he lived like he was a dainty piece of jewelry I could keep around my neck and that I could instinctively nestle in my palm if any kind of danger rose.

Haerra, ‘I love you’ and ‘drive safe’ meant the same thing to him, but none of them seemed to have an impact on his ways.

Haerra, slipping from my fingers now like he did one too many times, saying he had to go, saying that he had somewhere to be, leaving my open palm on a cafe table, facing the sky in a pleading kind of way, as if to cry out ‘protect him’. Allowing the raindrops to dance between the lines on my palm, as if reading my future and grieving my pre-mature loss.

Haerra, you beautiful lullaby, you remind me of death and liberty, freedom and perdition. You remind me what it’s like to feel lost and like it. You teach me what it feels like to be found. You are the view from atop a mountain I was skeptical of climbing.

Haerra, say it, repeat after me ‘I am the breath you blow on a loved one’s neck, the one you just kissed, now too sweaty to kiss again, but I am the glossy lips, red enough to fill the Desire’

Haerra, personify me, make It, something someone could love and would cherish.

Make It something so sweet, honey would drip out the black holes the letters make on a page because I want to be written down. I want to become immortal.

Haerra, you are a delight, you are everything one should wish for, everything I want to remember and sing.

You are what I want my voice to pronounce.

Haerra, a song about nature and everything beautiful about earth, everything that makes people smile like rain on Sundays, sun in winter, or even watching a child let go of their balloon and see it slither upwards with a smile on their face, broader than the horizon.

Haerra, a chant, tying us together like the knots holding up masts on windy afternoons, on our makeshift boat.

Haerra, two lovers full of hope for the future, full of sadness of having to leave each other, full of pride of each other’s accomplishment, full of love.

Haerra, two people saying goodbye at the airport, one saying ‘good luck’; the other one saying ‘see you soon’. Both mean 'stay'.

Haerra, two people hugging and kissing for the last time in months.

Haerra, him and me crying,

Haerra, us,


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737 Reviews


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Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:27 am
CaptainJack wrote a review...



Hey there olgakarinacohen and welcome to YWS! I'm just dropping by real quick, so without a further ado, let the reviewing begin.

My main problem with this story is that there doesn't really seem to be a story here, or at least nothing that the reader can easily grab onto. In the first place, there was no reason for me to read this based on the first line or any of the limited descriptions from the posting. It doesn't seem too far thought out, the plot line is flimsy and the first line embodies every element of bad romantic works.

He told me to listen to a song, the song that would become our future hymn and even at some point the only thing keeping us together.

This can be taken many different ways, literally and figuratively, joking and on the other tilting end, very serious. I think it was meant to be that combined "this is our song" and also the metaphor of a song describing life and love and the relationship between these two people. I always try and judge things from the very first line since that is the part that determines whether I will read it or not, and against better judgement, I did read this. There is some slight allure because I do want to know in what sense you will be using this idea and metaphor as the work progresses, but it's function as actual substance isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Haerra, sung in Icelandic, in a sleepy voice as if in a dream. A dream made of more consonants than vowels, a dream made of lakes of tears in lonely lovers’ hearts. A dream made of intense hands grasping your face and saying ‘I hate it when you cry’ while rivers of acid run down your cheeks and burn the hands holding you together. A dream made of Sunday morning breakfast with his family, a dream made of closed eyes resting on a soft rock in front of an unfinished movie. A dream made of him and me.

So the description of the song actually pushed my opinion of this up a little bit higher, just because you gave that context that it was kind of missing before. Like song is used very generally but the description of the song made me dislike it a little less, even though it's still rather cheesy even with this background. The relationship of using dream here kind of hurts the whole thing because it brings us back to the circle of dreaming about love and I don't really like that theme in writing??? Love = dream world, is just rather plain and gets old pretty quickly, especially when we don't see all that much of the character's perspective. All I've seen so far is some mild hints at things even though there's a lot of detail, it seems fluffed up a bit.
"rivers of acid" will give you something for trying some complex imagery, but doesn't get this very far. The one thing abotu your imagery is that you do try very hard and this almost looks like prose poetry over a short story, which might note for some of the lacking in the set up. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say that's what you were going for, rather than overly dramatic prose with some poetic elements.

Haerra, enveloping my throat in a sort of game where I am the one constantly weeping at his impulsive decisions, his imprudent behavior, like crossing the street without the thought of being run over crossing his mind.He was so reckless, I wish he lived like he was made of glass.

Curiosity got the best of me and I looked this up and saw that it was a real song, sung in presumably Icelandic, so at least there's that. The song continues on as that super emotional and personal bond between these people, but it also seems to be distancing the two characters. Perhaps you're trying to lead into some split meanings, like she sees it as one thing and he sees it as another. (Assuming speaker is female simply for the simplicity of how love poems go.) The speaker's wish at the very end is a bit odd but then we see them continue it on in the next part.
I wish he lived like he was a dainty piece of jewelry I could keep around my neck and that I could instinctively nestle in my palm if any kind of danger rose.

I'm thinking separate the last line of the top paragraph and hook it onto this one just for context and that they flow much better together. Part of the issue going on with your work is how all the ideas are relating together, or more their lack of relationships.

And that's all I have for the specific comments since after that point it just repeats the same idea and mourning and regret and looking for the presumably passed on loved one. I kinda lost interest at that point because the story had lost the little substance it had and dipped even further into no man's land. The baseline idea might be able to go somewhere but romance isn't my forte in the first place, it's mostly just lacking in emotion.
Need to reach out to the audience more because the character doesn't feel anywhere near real.

That's all I've got.



Random avatar


thanks! and too bad romance isn't your forte, neither is tact I presume, but thanks for the information. However, that is your own opinion which is one I have only heard once in my life... many think the idea of romance is explicit. Oh well! kind of like you reading my poem; I lost interest in your comment. Even though there was some constructive criticism I just felt put down, so thanks for the warm welcome!



CaptainJack says...


Don't complain about my approach till you go through 2 years on site and 500 reviews.
Nice burn btw.
This comment made my day better even though that isn't at all what you were going for.
Have fun now.



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Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:38 pm
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Catalyn wrote a review...



I'm not exactly sure what to categorize it as. It's lyrical and repetitive like a poem but written in more of a short story style with sentences and paragraphs. Whatever it is, it works. There's no defined story plot, just the suggestion of one and the end is left up to the reader's imagination. Except, it's so well written that whatever ending the reader comes up with they think is in the story. I almost cried because there's so much emotion packed into such a short poem/story. I love the way the lines become shorter and more intense at the end and how as you get farther in, you begin every line with 'Haerra' making it seem like you are desperate to try and hold on to something that is no longer there. All the terms inside apostrophes add to the tone by making the reader try and read into something. Into this unspoken dialogue. I love the way there isn't any talking, but there is a sense of conversation. Something I would change is in the line 'like crossing the street without the thought of being run over crossing his mind,' by maybe trying not to use the word crossing twice. The way stay is bolded at the end nearly broke my heart because it shows that you're trying to hold on so tight only to have them slip through your grasp. There's also some great imagery in the second paragraph when you're talking about the tears like acid.

This is really good, you should be proud.





If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing.
— W. Edwards Deming