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E - Everyone

we are all riverbank clay (and fire hardened wood)

by shatteredstones

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16 Reviews

Points: 10
Reviews: 16

Thu Sep 29, 2022 4:27 pm
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ImaginaryPoet wrote a review...

Hey there! This was a really interesting poem to read! I really liked all the imagery that came out of describing people like different parts of the earth. I was also curious about how you structured it with the verses moving across the screen. Was that on purpose or just how it ended up being formatted?
One critique I have was in the lines "people are moldable / terracotta even though I don't / know what that means". As far as I know, (and I may be wrong) terracotta, especially after it's baked, isn't moldable. Also, following it with the next line "they don't have a melting point" makes it especially confusing because terracotta definitely does have a melting point. According to, "Because terracotta contains iron and other fluxing ingredients, it will melt at a lower temperature than stoneware or porcelain." I don't mean to contradict your verses there, since I absolutely love the idea that humans are these unique, always fighting creatures that never break. However, I would recommend switching it out with something that fits your description a little better.
Other than that, I don't really have any critiques! I really loved your last line of "I'm no hero I just think / earthy people like us should / be mindful and clasp our muddy hands / and help each other breathe" because it has such a peaceful and poetic ending that I feel really encapsulates the message of the poem.
Overall, great job! I can't wait to see what you write next!

Thank you

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1133 Reviews

Points: 136309
Reviews: 1133

Sat Sep 24, 2022 10:40 pm
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lliyah wrote a review...

Hey Gem! Stopping by for a RevMo Review <3

Love reading your poetry - I think it's interesting to post this as a screenshot with the YWS setting around it; and wonder if that was part of the intended message?

I like the people are earth motif -> reminds me of the Abrahamic Religions' origins for humans of being molded out of the dust of the earth. (This is why the first human is called "Adam" as it means "son of earth" in Hebrew). Your poem seems to be landing mostly on the theme of people being fragile, connected, fixable and moldable in relation to their "earthiness". These are all unexpected things to pull from the earth motif, but they do seem to work together to build this depiction of humanity that you are painting.

A few critiques:

in the lines: "people are moldable / terracotta even though I don't / know what that means" - I got a little confused, because typically you think of fired-terracotta vessels (or even the ancient Terracotta Warriors from China) which are not really moldable, but are rigid, and firm, and permanent earthen-clay. I think you were meaning un-fired terracotta in its loose clay state; a little bit of an oxymoron since terracotta means "baked clay" - I would maybe just use the word clay rather than terracotta or clarify that it's unbaked terracotta to avoid contradiction / confusion.

Another part I got a bit tripped up with was in the fourth stanza you say "they are replaceable / and I would happily give mine" and here I think you mean that hearts are replaceable rather than people, but because in most of the poem "they" refers to people - and in the 3 previous stanzas the first line is "people are x, y, z", it did trip me up a bit, and that would be a place where it might benefit clarifying what you mean is replaceable.

I like how the conclusion moves the poem from being observational to being personal (both to the reader and speaker) but I'd love to see the theme of breath connected to the rest of the poem especially since that's where you land the poem on helping each other breathe, when the rest of the poem that's not presented as an intertwining conflict. Adding little notes about that throughout would make that final stanza hit even more.

Great diverse imagery in finding a lot of ways to describe earthiness in different ways! It made the poem feel very visual to read. Thanks for sharing! Keep on writing! :)

~ alliyah


Thank you alliyah c=

lliyah says...

You're welcome <3

Attention is the beginning of devotion.
— Mary Oliver, Upstream