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Bubblegum

by summerdepressionexe


In the pebbled parking lot of elementary school

I swallowed a piece of bubblegum

As the wind swished fallen petals across the pavement

It stuck around my throat and

Vigorous vocal cords fell quiet

Nevermore were the childish dreams of acting

Or making new friends

I felt myself falling

From my throne, my crown, my life

And my brittle bones crashed to the bottom of a tower which was no longer mine

I no longer spoke to my former fellow royalty

Or maybe, they just didn’t speak to me

As the sun rose from the edge of the horizon each morning

So did those anxious feelings

I was salty toward those who deserted me

Yet, the salt came from the tears I’d cry

Through the earliest hours of dawn

Seven years later

The bubblegum finally flushed through my system

It dissolved from the sides of my throat

Unstuck from the roof of my mouth

And untangled from newly invigorated vocal cords

The sun no longer a trigger to fear

And dreams of new friends and acting no longer childish

I do not have my crown and throne

But I have no need for them anymore

I sit at the top of my tower

Looking down at what I used to be

And breathe

Because I’m finally free.


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Wed Apr 05, 2023 11:43 pm
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TheCornDogEnthusiast wrote a review...



Hello!
This piece of writing you wrote is a poignant reflection on the experience of growing up, losing oneself, and ultimately finding freedom. The imagery of the pebbled parking lot of elementary school, the fallen petals, and the tower create a vivid setting that adds depth to the narrator's story.

The use of metaphor, such as the bubblegum stuck in the throat and the crown and throne representing childhood dreams and aspirations, adds layers of meaning to the writing. The transformation of the narrator's voice from being silenced to being invigorated, and the release of the bubblegum after seven years, serve as a powerful metaphor for the emotional journey the narrator has undergone.

The resolution of the piece, where the narrator is finally free from the past and sitting at the top of their own tower, is both satisfying and uplifting. It highlights the importance of finding one's own voice, letting go of the past, and embracing the present.

Overall, the writing is well-crafted and evocative, and it effectively conveys the emotions and experiences of the narrator.




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Fri Mar 31, 2023 9:50 am
Mikatsune wrote a review...



Hello there, Mika here for a quick review/comment!

I really enjoyed reading this, relating bubblegum to social anxiety! Sometimes, when I feel uncomfortable to talk or interact, I chew bubblegum! So this poem is quite relatable~!


"I was salty toward those who deserted me

Yet, the salt came from the tears I’d cry" When I read this, I was like wow,
a wave of emotion just crashed into me. I know friendships can be difficult, I'm familiar with that feeling of loneliness and longing for friends. To sum it up, great poem, well-described and emotional! Have a good day/night/afternoon! Bye!




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Wed Mar 29, 2023 1:35 pm
LizzyTyler wrote a review...



Good morning/afternoon/evening/night!

To start us off, I must say, I quite enjoyed your poem. The imagery was certainly superb, and it was fascinating to see your use of diction in order to convey the meaning of your poem. Particularly, this line: “I was salty toward those who deserted me/Yet, the salt came from the tears I’d cry”. This was an incredibly descriptive line, full of so much emotion, and was quite honestly my favorite part of your poem. Almost everyone has felt a similar way in their lives before, me included, and that single line perfectly sums up the feeling. All in all, a great poem! I hope to see more of your work around soon. Stay safe and keep writing!

-Lizzy




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Sun Mar 26, 2023 12:27 am
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alliyah wrote a review...



Wow! The metaphor of "swallowing bubble gum" to social anxiety is a very unique and compelling one - it seems like the speaker sort of "lost their voice" because of a falling out with their friend group that made them lose their sense of being part of the "royalty" of school. At the end they seem to have gained some sense of space from the earlier events and the gum dissolves, but they reflect that they've changed.

A few comments -
The metaphor with the Bubble Gum is the strongest aspect of this piece as it's unique and engages the senses - I would try to draw this out a bit more, and maybe even make the link between gum and anxiety a little more obvious. I felt like there were almost too many parts of the "story" missing that it was a little hard to discern the 'why' of the piece. Why did the worry / disconnect with their former friends, why did things change? what happened to cause the gum to dissolve?

In the beginning you use a lot of sound devices very quickly - in particular alliteration - in a poem like this I wondered if that was to make the poem "sound" sticky to be read? like a tongue twister? if that's what you were going for, I think it might be worth looking to see if you can incorporate a little more rhyme as well to create that full effect. But it seemed like nearly every line in that first chunk featured some sort of alliteration or consonance. There were a few places that it seemed a little stretched / unnatural like you were using words just because they fit the sound-device rather than because they fit the sentence, for instance "vigorous vocal chords" and later "invigorated vocal chords" this felt a little bit of an odd way to discribe things at least to me.

Another word play I wasn't quite sure about was the "salty" and "salt-tears" - it is really really hard to make talking about crying / tears not come across as cliched, and I think usually is best done with a really light touch - ie. briefly commenting on it, but not making it a metaphor. For instance "my tears became an ocean of sadness" sounds cliched in part because the image is rediculous while "tears fell silently across my face" is less cliche but still visual because it focuses on the realism rather than making it into a big metaphor. I'd probably try to take out the salt comparison in this to avoid it feeling a bit melodramatic.

I liked in the end that the speaker sort of escaped from what was previously holding them down - a nice positive and optimistic ending, I would have loved to know a little more what the catalyst for that reflection / freedom was! :)

Overall a very interesting poem to read! Keep on writing!

alliyah




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Sun Mar 26, 2023 12:21 am
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Snoink wrote a review...



Hi Summer! :)

This is definitely some new imagery that I've encountered! Bubblegum is so sticky and makes it harder to speak. Plus, if you swallow it wrong, it can be so uncomfortable. Using it to describe social anxiety is definitely an interesting way of describing it! Pretty apt too since sometimes it can feel like your jaw is too tight or you have to swallow weirdly -- also something that happens a lot while you have bubblegum, I find.

One thing that I think is a bit odd is that the narrator swallows a piece of bubblegum and it destroys their vocal chords for an entire seven years. But that seems a bit odd to me? I think it might be better to have the bubble gum kind of glue the teeth shut so that the narrator can't talk until finally the seven years is over. And there are a couple of reasons for this idea... but the main reason why I say this is because sometimes bubble gum literally glues your teeth together when you chew it enough, whereas I don't think I've heard of people who've destroyed their vocal chords through swallowing bubble gum. (Frankly, I'm afraid to google it to see if it's actually a thing, lol.) So it might be better imagery simply because it's more realistic!

Anyway, neat poem! I especially like the hopeful ending... freedom!!! Yay! :D

Hope that helps! :)




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Sun Mar 26, 2023 12:15 am
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Elinor wrote a review...



Hi summerdepressionexe!

My name is Elinor, and I thought I would drop by to give you a quick review. I enjoyed this convey what the speaker is feeling. I found it relatable in the sense that it brought me back to my school days.

Your start is great - the image of a parking lot after school, in what I am presuming is springtime because your mention of flower petals. You're describing the narrator falling out of popularity once she reaches high school. That's really interesting, because I feel like a lot of stories like like Mean Girls or Before I Fall tell us the opposite. I'd be interested to know more why this is the case for the speaker, and perhaps some description of what happened in the intervening years.

I also think you can go into more detail at several points throughout this poem -- it took me a few reads to understand what "I do not have my crown and my throne" meant. What causes the narrator's realization?

There's lots of directions you can go with this. As I mentioned, I like your use of imagery throughout. Let me know if you have any questions.

Keep writing!

Elinor





Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.
— James R. Cook