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The Valley

by tgham99

Between a father and daughter exists
An unending valley of doubts, fears, and uncertainty

The comfortable silence between them
Gradually grows uncomfortable

And in the casual absence of conversation,
The ugly seeds of
Apprehension, unhappiness, and distrust
Are given permission to bloom in full

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101 Reviews

Points: 10089
Reviews: 101

Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:33 pm
Clairia wrote a review...

Hi, there! I'm here to leave you a review.

As someone with an unstable relationship with my father, this hit very close to home. He's someone I do not trust, and someone I have had difficulty repairing my relationship with.
So, emotionally, I'm in love with this and the elements of truth that come with it. I can only hope that you aren't writing this based off of personal experience, and if you are, my condolences. I promise you are not alone in feeling this way, and my PM's are always open <3.

This line really spoke to me, and I'd like to talk about it a little.

The comfortable silence between them
Gradually grows uncomfortable

Though it's the most simple stanza, I felt the emotion of this instantly. As a child and even growing into the daughter's teen years, there's this sort of image that's created of her father that paints him as a protector--a caretaker. As her mind grows and develops, however, that image begins to fade and is replaced with questions; doubts. The "comfort" she finds within her father's gaze starts to disappear as his words of encouragement are replaced with hate. It's a very real thing that a lot of us have experienced with either our mother or father. and while sad, it makes us much more aware of the world around us and its dangers.

In terms of technical problems, once again your work has proven to be flawless. It's simple enough that I can understand your meaning easily, but it also holds an element of mystery--which is why I was curious as to whether or not you've gone through this experience personally. You're a very smart writer that appeals to all sorts of audiences.

Thank you for sharing (and keep writing!)


This review was brought to you by @Clairia from Team Ruby Reviewers!
Happy January 2020 Review day!

tgham99 says...

Thank you as always for your insightful feedback <3 You are too kind!! I do tend to write from experiences that I have gone through, but I'm happy to say that I usually pull from the darker moments of my life that are part of my past rather than my present. People like you are the reason that I write!!

Clairia says...

<3 <3

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90 Reviews

Points: 2768
Reviews: 90

Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:34 am
LZPianoGirl wrote a review...

**My Thoughts**

Hello! I really enjoyed this poem. I like how different the topic is, not many people would think of writing about this! I think some people can relate to this, though I can't. I have a wonderful relationship with my father, but I can see how some people do develop (as you said) "awkwardness, unhappiness, and distrust".


Nothing I noticed. The formatting was lovely! Good job!


This punctuation was fine! I would like to see full punctuation (periods, semi-colons, question marks, etc.), but just using commas worked out quite well in this poem!


For some reason, I don't know why (sorry), it felt weird to me when you divided the first line. When you ended at "exists" and started with "an", it just confused me a bit. Maybe you should move "an" to the first line, and start the second line at "unending". Just my opinion!
The name of the poem was also an interesting choice! I like it.


Grammar and formatting was great! The punctuation was OK. One thing sounded weird. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

tgham99 says...

Thank you for your review!!

User avatar
38 Reviews

Points: 5204
Reviews: 38

Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:03 pm
Liminality wrote a review...

Hello! I loved the sort of subtle ominousness you have in this piece, so I thought I'd leave a review.

I like that you managed to convey different layers in the relationship between father and daughter, despite the short length of the poem. At once, I sense this conflict between tension and the somewhat feigned casualness they have on the surface, which I think makes the poem worth reading as a picture of family life.

Technique-wise, the thing that stood out the most to me was the rhythm. Starting and ending the first line with a two syllable word ('Between' and 'exists') gives it a sense of weightiness that sets the tone of the poem really well. That really showed me, as a reader, how the rhythm of the piece works, so I could follow it smoothly from that point on.

I would have liked to see more use of punctuation. There doesn't seem to be any full stops/ periods anywhere, which I suppose is intentional, though I do feel as if it lacks a sense of closure or completeness this way. That, of course, is just my personal opinion. Maybe consider playing with colons or dashes a little? Another thing that felt a little out of place was the word 'awkwardness'. To me, at least, it doesn't seem to match 'unhappiness' and 'distrust' in intensity, although it is true that such a home life would be awkward.

As a whole, though, it's a fine piece of free verse. The idea of blending different nature images to create this sort of unexpected discomfort and precariousness is brilliant.


tgham99 says...

Thanks so much for your review! Punctuation is most definitely an aspect of poetry that I'm experimenting with; your suggestion about how it can provide a sense of closure in the context of this specific poem makes a lot of sense to me. Thank you again for your feedback %u2661

The worst bullies you will ever encounter in your life are your own thoughts.
— Bryant McGill