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Belli Gloria

by serpyre

Jolly! Blighted war, a patron saint for the calling of purpose and glory. 

A harbinger for our best, a worthy sacrifice, all in the name of our people as we fight by God's side.

It is a grave that she lives; a testament to her heroic story. 

Fought for her people; died with a smile; her life a glorious ride.

Lest you delude yourselves in God's chimes.


There are no gas-bombs, thrown from men in a monster's guise.

There are no bullet hails, breaking lives and shattering spines.

There are no negligible deaths; they lived as they died, their souls residing in heaven; a prize.

Oh, why must war be so kind?


If fury felt fervor; then this must be it—

For how could you delude yourselves that it were a sainted war?

She died in vain; drownin' in the black war, not with glory, not with a smile, not with your damned lies.

Dyin' with a breath pleading for a better life.

 She suffocates in a grave, rotten, cold, dead—

While you cheer for soldiers in a chime I abhor.


If there were an afterlife, I wish myself in hell,

For how could I share a heaven with war-mongers, pray tell?

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737 Reviews

Points: 10858
Reviews: 737

Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:38 pm
CaptainJack wrote a review...

Hey there serpyre. Sorry I didn't get around to filling this review request sooner but I don't check my thread very much. I see that you already got a few reviews on request, hopefully I can still provide you with some good information.

The first thing that I'm noticing as a reader is the structure you chose, which is now centered in the middle of the page. I don't see any particular reason for its placement like this, unless it was just dependent on how long the lines were, and you wanted to give a different appearance. If I were able to have more of a conversation with you about structure, I would recommend against what feels like simply centering. There almost always need to be a reason for the way that you push things together and I'm not feeling a strong reasoning here.

Jolly! Blighted war, a patron saint for the calling of purpose and glory.

A structure idea that comes to me from starting this poem off, is that you could separate "Jolly!" from the rest of this line. It would match more with the format you choose to keep through the rest of the poem and it adds a flare of creativity. I don't see how the beginning phrase is matching to the war comparisons. Overall, it seems a bit random and chiding on the points taking place in the rest of the work. And having that space there might be better for drawing the readers in.

A harbinger for our best, a worthy sacrifice, all in the name of our people as we fight by God's side.

I'm mixed between different representations of holy wars but it honestly sounds to be a bit about the Great War? Or maybe it is just talking about present society. The limited imagery you choose in the second and third stanza, reflect certain accounts associated with the Great War. If it's more about talking on the application to the modern world, the imagery feels misplaced, sarcastic and almost a bit disrespectful. Which I don't think is what you were going for in this process.

If there were an afterlife, I wish myself in hell,
For how could I share a heaven with war-mongers, pray tell?

The dependency on rhyme in this poem is rather interesting but at some points, it feels like nothing is really getting done. I chose to pick out the last two lines because normally we want the ending to be a wrap up in some way, even if it leads off. Bringing up the soldier wishing to go to hell rather than heaven, brings up a point that I didn't see mentioned beforehand. And generally the final stanza is not where you want to start stirring all of this new information. I think I know what you were going for and the message you were trying to leave with the reader, it just needs a more thorough lead in.

It seems to be a very complex poem that meant well, but you definitely overdid it on the imagery and metaphors. I have three separate interpretations but I still can't move past the bad feeling I have for this poem. Maybe just a bit of clarification and serious thought on structure will help you out.

Good luck.
- lizz

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959 Reviews

Points: 116473
Reviews: 959

Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:01 pm
alliyah wrote a review...

Hi there! I'm here to review your lovely poem! :) Thanks for requesting a review!!

So first off, I like that you went for some rhyme and formal language - not many do anymore, and it's good to see someone do it right! Rhyme really helps out the flow of a piece besides. It felt like you lost your rhyme scheme a bit in stanza 3, and I couldn't tell if it was random or intentional, so you might want to see if you can incorporate some semblance of a rhyme scheme in there.

Another aspect I think could use a bit of work is consistency in the line-length. It felt like some lines really went too long, and were repeating information that wasn't necessarily essential to the overarching themes of the poem. If you even your lines out a bit more in terms of length the piece will read less as a long run-on sentence, and more as phrases and thoughts joined together with breaths. It'll also help out the flow tremendously.

As far as interpretation I had a little bit of trouble. I interpret the poem as saying that some people treat War as their sacred saint, and they live their lives according to this war that they love and worship. They find almost a sort of peace and purpose within the war that they fight. They believe their war is even divine and endorsed by God. Then in stanza three - their beloved saint dies - meeting the same end as all who worship war. The speaker ends the poem saying, if there's an after-life they'd rather choose hell than live forever with these war-mongers in heaven.

It is quite an interesting critique, and I think a whole lot of people could relate to this - not just passivists, but also others who aren't fans of "spiritual warfare" and other types of aggression that those who fancy themselves believers in God sometimes become drawn to.

A few questions I had - I couldn't tell if the speaker is referring to a literal physical warring (stanza two would indicate maybe not) - and if you're referring to a more metaphorical war could you expand on what that might be for the speaker? Also I assumed that the "saint" and the "she" referred to were just "war" itself rather than a "real" saint - I think it might be interesting in the poem to name the saint - maybe that was even what the title was evoking - and then refer back to that name in the piece, since I don't think all readers will get that the "saint" being referred to is the personification of war.

Anyways, this piece was a lot more complex than I anticipated, and you chose a really unique topic too! I hope to read more of your work in the future!


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1239 Reviews

Points: 34882
Reviews: 1239

Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:59 pm
niteowl wrote a review...

Hi serpyre! Niteowl here to review as promised!

Let's start out with something I like: the rhyming couplet at the end. It has a strong message and good rhythm. Just one tiny correction that's bugging me: I think "were" should be "is" to fit the tense of the rest of the sentence.

One thing that's bothering me is the structure. The rhyming itself isn't too bad, unlike the forced rhyme I see a lot on here, but the rhyme scheme goes from roughly alternating to kind of confusing in the third stanza. I parsed out the rhyme scheme below. I'm not sure if there was a specific structure you were trying to follow, but the third stanza is both longer and following a different pattern than the other stanzas.

ababc cdcd efggef hh

I feel like the first stanza is supposed to be more positive, talking about war being glorious, and then the pessimism sets in as the piece goes on. In light of that, I would make a couple changes. "Blighted" is negative, so I would replace with a more positive adjective. "It is a grave that she lives", doesn't make much sense as written. Perhaps it would be better as "In our graves she lives", since this is a reference to the worthy sacrifice in the previous line. I think that the last line of the stanza, being the introduction of the darker side of war, would fit better as the beginning of the next stanza.

The second stanza is great, using imagery to show what isn't depicted in the rosy picture of war painted in the first stanza. "Negligible" is rather long and I trip on it when reading the poem out loud.

The third stanza has a strong message, but it has a bizarre shift to a more informal tone with words like "drownin'" and "dyin'". I'm not sure if "it were" (which grammatically should be "it was") is supposed to be part of this dialect or not. Personally, I'm not a fan of this tone shift. I'm also not sure if you meant for "it" to rhyme with "dead", which seems like a stretch to me, or not. Like I said above, the rhyming doesn't work as well in this stanza as the first two.

Overall, I thought this had a strong message and some good imagery. Welcome to YWS and keep writing! :D

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394 Reviews

Points: 16710
Reviews: 394

Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:07 pm
KnightTeen wrote a review...

This was a very powerful piece. It resonates with you, like when you hear a powerful speech or sermon. While the content is excellent and very well written, I have to admit that the punctuation and the separation of the lines confused me a little. I feel like, to me, it did not flow as well as it could have. However, that is more my personal preference rather than an actual critique, so it's not really a negative thing. I'm sure when you wrote this you did so knowing that the way you wrote it was the best way you possibly could.

"If there were an afterlife, I wish myself in hell,

For how could I share a heaven with war-mongers, pray tell?"

These lines are, in all honesty, my favorite lines of the whole work. I love the use of the rhyme, I feel that it gives what you're saying here an extra kick. It truly was a wonderful pice.

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serpyre says...

Thank you for your review!

I think I will definitely revise some of the lines. I do believe that you're right - some of the punctuation can be improved and the separation of lines can be done a bit better to make a better piece. I think I can pinpoint some that don't exactly work now - thank you for pointing that out!

Overall, I really appreciate your review of my poem - thank you again!

"It's not nice to roast people when they're out of comebacks."
— Tuckster