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by snorfus


subtract three from infinity

this crack in bedrock ever widens

it is bottomless, unfillable

this is not to say it is empty;

its darkness is scattered with a legion of swollen eyes and bitter wind

its emptiness is stuffed with an assortment of contradictions

literals and non/ earthly and divine

uncounted vain attempts to feed the void

habits and rituals/ time and money

some plummet more slowly than others

people and places/ hopes and memories

yet gravity is law

all things must fall

subtract a thousand from infinity

yet this chasm ever grows

i thought that i had found

the right set of three letters


subtract three from infinity


subtract three from infinity


yet gravity is law

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27 Reviews

Points: 114
Reviews: 27

Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:25 pm
lukekazey wrote a review...

Hey, Luke here for a quick review, as requested.

First of all, wow. You're twice the poet I'll ever be, that's for sure. Your eloquence is extraordinary. This poem feels deeply emotional, and yet at the say time is able to be interpreted so widely. I personally took it to be about trying to fill emptiness with relationships and how that often just makes the emptiness even worse, but theres a whole host of other things that this poem could stand for.

Once again, I'm loving the forward slash technique- I've realised now that it's just one of your own personal writerly quirks, but it's incredibly unique and impactful. I'd love to know where it started and how they should be read; I think I read them a different way depending on context, sometimes I read them as a break, other times as 'or.' So I'd definitely love to know your poetic intention behind their usage.

I think one of your real strengths is finding these concepts/lines that really work, and repeating them. The idea of subtracting from infinity is so bizarre and incomprehensible, and yet at the same time I feel like I know exactly what you mean, so it works so well. Plus, I'm just a sucker for lines that ~sound nice~ and "subtract three from infinity" is one of those. As is "gravity is law." The impact was felt even more when we realise the significance of the number "three," that it's not just arbitrary.

In terms of some suggestions for improvement, I agree with what has already been stated by Plume in that the poem could perhaps benefit from more clearly designated stanzas, put this is definitely a poetic choice and thus feel free to completely disregard that comment. Other than that, I'd perhaps suggest having a look over some of your line breaks. The lines:

its darkness is scattered with a legion of swollen eyes and bitter wind

its emptiness is stuffed with an assortment of contradictions

seem to interrupt the flow and rhythm of the poem for me, as they're significantly longer lines than the rest of the poem, and it just jars a little because the rest of the poem has a wonderful fluidity to it. However, once again, poetic choice, so feel free to disregard.

Overall, a beautifully constructed poem with some real food for thought and some amazingly poetic lines that will definitely stay with me for a while. I'm excited to see what else you can accomplish. As ever, keep writing!


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Points: 55
Reviews: 1

Tue Aug 10, 2021 7:15 am
athenaspoet wrote a review...

This poem leaves me with so many emotions, which I suppose all the great ones do. Your writing type of repetition coexists very beautifully with your poem! The way you took your time in explaining your idea is amazing.
“that is not to say it is empty”
I love this line. It keeps you hooked, waiting for the next explainable outcome. ‘What does this mean? How could this be viable?’
This is why i hold a special place with this poem. The mystery tells you all you really need to know. I love poems like this because it leaves room for you to guess. It leaves room for you to imagine what this bottomless, black chasm looks like. How it feels.
“yet gravity is law. all things must fall.”

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47 Reviews

Points: 251
Reviews: 47

Sun Aug 08, 2021 10:01 pm
LilPWilly wrote a review...

Wow! Hate to say it but my first thought was MINECRAFT.
I like this a lot. So many profound statements, most especially the last two lines and 'her/god'. Very excellent.
The cleverest bit is the set of three letters bit followed by all the bits after that one...
Then BAM!
You hit us with a jamming technique like, 'you'.
I'll admit though, I was confused. I had to come back a couple times before I began to picture the void, a scatter shot of misery fading into the blackness, consumed by infinite space. The picture is great for the poem once I got it in my head, but maybe it would help new readers to appreciate this better if you added a very visual line at the opening in place of the first two lines. Something like,
Okay, I got nothing.
Ooh, maybe,
Nope, that's not it. Well, you're the mastermind behind the rest of it, so I'll leave that piece of advice in your highly capable ears.
The tone is beautifully vivid by the way. And I can't stop geeking over the last two lines.
Well done, you deserve a gold star.

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434 Reviews

Points: 46850
Reviews: 434

Sun Aug 08, 2021 2:41 pm
Plume wrote a review...

Hey there! Plume here, with a review!

I enjoyed this poem! I think your way of writing is very unique and interesting. The overall vibe of it is really interesting too. It seems like a metaphor for the monotony of life (though I could be wrong) and how it creates a chasm inside of us, and we try and find things to fill it, but we only succeed in making it wider. I liked your phrasing of terms like "infinity" and "gravity is law," as it gave it a really nice scholarly tone that was juxtaposed with this being a poem. It was really interesting to read, so nice work!

I think your use of repetition was really key in building this poem into what it is. I think some of the most impactful phrases were the ones you repeated. Subtract three from infinity is such a compelling phrase, mostly because it's impossible but it also begs the question what if?? It's such a delightful and deep line, and the way you applied it to "you" or the object of the poem was stunning. I loved having that moment of connection when I realized. The ending was also kind of open, but the repeated "gravity is law" almost sobered it up at the end. It was a very interesting pattern of lines and I thoroughly enjoyed the repetition to elevate those beautiful phrases.

One thing I wondered was whether this could benefit from some stanzas. This is all one big stanza, but I think it would be interesting to see if you could break it up. Your repeated lines give nice perforations where you could feasibly separate the poem in two or even into three. It would also be interesting to see you play around with the formatting. I feel like the repeated line of "subtract three from infinity" could even have more attention drawn to them. I didn't catch on that three referred to the number of letters until the end, and if you italicized or bolded or altered the indents, it would be interesting to see.

Overall, nice work! I think this was a very deep and thought-provoking yet touching poem. It was at times dark, but also interesting. Hope to read more of your poetry soon!

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Points: 200
Reviews: 0

Sun Aug 08, 2021 1:14 am
catune says...

this poem is beautifully written! i can tell how much thought you put into each and every word. im looking forward to reading the next poem you write :)

Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.
— Maya Angelou