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fear of loss (what if the stars die when the sun comes up)

by paperforest

1. i am afraid
i want to believe, fall in love, trust easily again
i want to forget that somewhere in the bottom of the world there is a trapdoor through which everything will fall, someday,
and nothing ever comes back except as pain
tremors of memory earthquaking crushing squeezing through my heart as i remember the hope that fell

2. a candle dropped in the dark
doused by the snow

3. every time i find another candle it gets harder to strike the match
to tell myself 'this time things will be different' and believe my own lies
everything that begins must end, even the stars know this to be true
but every ending is a surprise that pulls the grief out from underneath me like a magician's tablecloth
only this one doesn't care how many blown-glass hearts and bone-shard plates he breaks

4. and i stand up in the wreckage and walk away, lest i step on a papercut memory and discover that i have no blood left to bleed
it's easier just to sit in the dark, and listen to other people's galaxies
that way when everything is engulfed in silence, i won't have so much to miss

5. but the stars draw me like moths to a window, looking in on a fireplace that warns away the dark,
a family sets out crystals on a tablecloth of sky

6. and the cold quiet night is easy because i don't need to say anything
when anything i say could be wrong
but lonely laughter echoes in a sinister way and the trees crowd round, blocking out the moon

7. so i fall in the snow, and fumble for a match
light another candle
hope for words that shine like a nebula of newborn stars
i am still afraid, but maybe this time
things will be okay

- - -

Note: So I wrote this while trying to decide if I should join this website, although it applies to other things as well. I lost my writing community at NaNoWriMo when the YWP site changed and never found it again on the adult site, and more recently I thought Cicada could become that community, until the magazine lost its funding and shut down before I had a chance to get to know anyone. Anyways, I just found YWS and it looks beautiful, but I'm still unsure and a bit scared of starting all over again. Sorry for rambling, I would love some critique on this, there are a few lines that got cut into two (verse 1 lines 3/4, verse 4 lines 1/2) by the narrowness of the page and I'm not sure if they would be better split or long, thoughts?

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1011 Reviews

Points: 120415
Reviews: 1011

Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:35 pm
alliyah wrote a review...

Hey I'm really loving this formatting - list poetry just has a neat build-up to it, and the content was really intriguing - every image just popped!

A couple critiques -
I think you could break up the last line a bit more, it didn't end quite as dramatically as I was hoping after we get all these really intense images.

I also think the poem could benefit from use of italics maybe to off set the first line of each number - or just playing a bit with italics or boldedness in general.

And then the very first stanza, I don't think lived up to the rest of the poem. I like the thought, I like the vulnerability, but it feels like it's missing the unique imagery spin that the rest of the stanzas have.

I didn't think any of the stanzas were overly long, a bit more in terms of repetition and sound devices may make the poem "feel" more poetic - which is always a challenge for unconventionally formatted poems.

My favorites are probably stanzas 3 and 7, the fumbling with a match in the snow is such an evocative image on its own, and then contrasted with the space-imagery is just pure poetry.

Really, really well done, I look forward to seeing more of your work around here!


paperforest says...

Hey, thanks so much for the critiques! I'll definitely keep them in mind when editing - looking back, I realize that I didn't know what the poem's main images/metaphors were until the end, so I'll tighten things up a bit in that respect, to make it feel more cohesive. And I didn't even think about poetic devices and playing with formatting (I tend to write in Notepad, so I completely forgot that italics and bold were even a thing :) ), so I'll make sure to consider them in the future!

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114 Reviews

Points: 314
Reviews: 114

Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:23 pm
manilla wrote a review...

Welcome to YWS! This is such a unique, beautiful poem to announce to us who you are as a writer. The imagery was vivd, compelling, and made great metaphors.

On starting over again, I had a similar experience like you. People are so welcoming here, and you'll have a writing community again. Just keep writing and reviewing and you'll make yourself be known.


Hi, manilla here for a review. Let's get right into it, shall we?

tremors of memory earthquaking crushing squeezing through my heart as i remember the hope that fell

Although the style for this piece was to not use commas, they may be helpful as to help the reader understand better.

tremors of memory, earthquaking, crushing, squeezing through my heart

only this one doesn't care how many blown-glass hearts and bone-shard plates he breaks

I'm not sure what this means. Who is 'this one'?

Otherwise, I have no major nitpicks. But I still have several comments - This poem, as beautiful it may be, is cryptic to the point where questions are raised. It may be a personal thing, but I'm not sure of the main meaning in it. Is the symbolism of the candlelight a metaphor for what innocence and joy the narrator does not have? Is the family scene and the narrator's reaction related to the narrator's 'fear of loss', where they believes they cannot have that experience (anymore)?

One thing I am sure of is that the narrator wants to refresh from what they have seen, done, or both. So now, they sit, waiting tentatively for something that may or may not come soon. The imagery relating to the stars is also a pulling point.

Overall, really nice piece! Just make the meaning a little more cohesive, and the already-high enjoyability will increase.

-Manilla out
(Feel free to disregard any comment you deem rude or unhelpful. That was not my intention.)

paperforest says...

Hi! Thanks for the review and reassurance, the more I see of YWS the more I realise what a great place it is!

"this one" refers to the magician mentioned in the previous line. And the candlelight and stars are more about hope and confidence to start something in life because the journey, the doing of it, the sitting by the fire with others, is worth the inevitable sadness at the end. I think I'll wait a bit to edit it so I can see it for what it is on the page instead of what it is in my head, and then I can get it to make more sense on the page. Thanks again!

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562 Reviews

Points: 14535
Reviews: 562

Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:16 pm
FlamingPhoenix wrote a review...

Hello, Shikora here with a review.

Let's get to it by saying this is a really good poem you have here, and I had a lot of fun reading it.
But there are a few places you can put some more punctuation. I'll show you one or two.

i want to believe, fall in love, trust easily again

This one needs a fall stop after again. Then it means the sentence is finished and your moving onto the next one.

and nothing ever comes back except as pain
of memory earthquaking crushing squeezing through my heart as i remember the hope that fell

First this feels like it should be one sentence. The next thing is that it feels like when i was reading this a comma should be between pain and tremors. The lest thing is that there should be a fall stop after fell.

And I'll show you one more thing.
a candle dropped in the dark
doused by the snow

Okay the first thing is the same as the last, these two lines should be one makes it easier to read. And a fall stop should be after snow.
If your having a hard time putting your commas and stuff in the right places then I'm here to give you a small tip. When you are done writing your poem or story what ever it is you were working on, then read what you have wrote and see where ever you stop to take a breath, or it feels right to stop there then you put some punctuation there.

Well after pointing those few out, I'm sure you will see the others in your poem. This did make it a bit harder to read, but I really liked your poem, and the words you chose for it.
It was like all the words flowed together, like a water fall, taking me into another world for a short time. It was really nice to get that feeling.

The second thing I likes was the name you chose for your poem. It has this finny way of catching my attention and making me come and read your work. And that's something you want to have, the power to get your readers hooked by just the name.

Let just put it this way, I loved everything about your poem, and I loved reading and reviewing it. I hope to see more of your works on YWS soon so I can come and have a looked at them. Never stop writing and have a great day/night.

Your friend
Shikora. :D

paperforest says...

Hey, thanks for the review! The lack of punctuation was a stylistic thing that's become a habit for me, so I didn't even think about that - thanks for bringing it up, I'll keep it in mind when editing!

I'm glad I could help.
Your writing is really good, and I can't wait to see more form you.

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26 Reviews

Points: 574
Reviews: 26

Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:50 pm
Fantascifi66 says...

I'm sorry, I'm really not good at reviewing poetry, but this is really well written! And it's really fun here, so ask me anything you want, as I said on your wall :)

paperforest says...

Hey, thanks! :)

When a good man is hurt, all who would be called good must suffer with him.
— Euripides