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My Body is Not Poetry

by vitamere


My body is not poetry.
My spine is curled up
into a question mark
from centuries of insecurity
and the weight of the
worlds trapped in my skull.

My thighs are canvases for
atlases, road maps, and
interstate highways that lead to
nowhere. Or everywhere.
They’re big enough for both.

Not when my hands
are the kind that are meant to tremble
not the kind meant to be held.
My hips are not made
for you to skim
your hands over.
They are guideposts:
between (here) and (here)
lies a dreadfully broken girl.

My body is not poetry.
Because it won’t last as long as
dried ink on yellowed, musty pages.
Because it breaks more easily
than the cracked spines
of a beloved, well-read book.
Because it is not something that
soothes the soul and
makes my heart ache all at once.

My body is not poetry.
Mostly because I’m
just a little afraid
of anybody who would be able
to read me so well
to put me into words.


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Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:34 am
EvaR14 wrote a review...



I love this. The repetition of "My body is not poetry" really stands out.
I know this is old, but this is one of my favourite things I've read here so far.

My favourite lines are:

"into a question mark
from centuries of insecurity"

"are the kind that are meant to tremble
not the kind meant to be held"

"Because it is not something that
soothes the soul and
makes the heart ache all at once."

The first, third and fourth stanzas are my favourites, because of the imagery and descriptions - it allows me to empathise with what's being said.
I love the last stanza as well, talking about how the speaker is afraid, and how they admit that that's why their body isn't poetry. It almost shows a desire to change, at least, I think it does, but also an acknowledgement of how fear holds us back.

I also like how the body is described in quite a poetic sense (particularly in the first stanza), even though the main focus of the poem is how the speaker's body isn't poetry - it's as though the narrator believes it is the wrong kind of poetry, or that "flawed" things can't be poetic.

This poem is beautiful, and I loved every word.
If this is about your own feelings, I hope you're doing well now. Thanks for writing this :)




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Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:13 pm
erinr05 wrote a review...



This is a beautiful (but sad) poem.
The imagery is incredible, I especially like the lines:
"Because it won't last as long as | dried ink on yellowed, musty pages."
"the kind that are meant to tremble | not the kind meant to be held."
"They are guideposts".

The first stanza and the fourth are my favourite, as the descriptions and imagery are fascinating and insightful.

If this is based on your own personal experience/feelings, then I wish you all the best and hope you're doing better now.
I love this poem, and I can't wait to check out the rest of your work :)




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Tue May 07, 2019 5:51 am
seekingthetruth wrote a review...



really good rhyme scheme constant through out. a basic but effective poem showing off your skills. could of done with a change in tone otherwise it just flows .. nicely mind you but does not create any emotive/ laughter for the reader. next time try to compel your words together use oxymorons to convey your message other wise this was a really great attempt. I applaud you well done and remember next time add that little spark to make the reader not only flow but to fly through the words like they are on a plane.


9/10 welldone




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Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:31 pm
alliyah says...



*notices that this just hit 100 likes*

This may be 5 years old, but congratulations on writing such a neat poem @vitamere! :)

This one's always good for another read!




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Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:44 pm
Bellarke says...



My body is not poetry.
My spine is curled up
into a question mark
from centuries of insecurity
and the weight of the
worlds trapped in my skull.
(This is my life and I will live this poem)
My thighs are canvases for
atlases, road maps, and
interstate highways that lead to
nowhere. Or everywhere.
They’re big enough for both.
Not when my hands
are the kind that are meant to tremble
not the kind meant to be held.
My hips are not made
for you to skim
your hands over.
They are guideposts:
between (here) and (here)
lies a dreadfully broken girl.
Fantisimo!!
Your poem struck a cord in me, and I am in love with this!!!




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Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:31 am
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StuckOnEarth wrote a review...



Hi! This was written a long time ago, but I still decided to write a review because it's so beautifully written and I enjoyed it a lot.

One thing I especially enjoyed about this piece was, of course, the description. For example, "Because it won’t last as long as dried ink on yellowed, musty pages." and "They are guideposts: between (here) and (here) lies a dreadfully broken girl." were some of the descriptions I just found so wonderfully written. It really sets the mood for the story, grim and personal.
You achieved in getting the reader to know how this person feels about their body, how they think it is not right or not beautiful, like it is broken. This is truly heartbreaking, especially when put into words.

Then we come to the last stanza, which I think of as a sort of twist. The poem was about how this person is not happy about their body, and the last stanza kind of tells the reader that this person is afraid of someone getting close to them and their body because they do not want to know how that person would react? Like, perhaps the narrator doesn't want someone to see or love their body because they don't want to know what the person would truly think of them.

I don't know, I might be reading this all wrong, but that's how I interpreted it.

It was hard finding something for you to change, there seemed to be no flaws in this poem. It painted a perfect, lovely picture of how this person sees themself in my mind, with vivid imagery and description that sets the tone so well.

Good job!

-Space




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Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:11 pm
RavenLord wrote a review...



Hi, Raven here with a review!
Okay, wow. This was really powerful. I'll try to find something to criticize, but it'll be hard.

Positives:
1: There were some really powerful lines in here, and I found my heart melting by the third stanza. I truly hope you don't actually feel this way, and if you do, I want you to know there will always be someone out there who will love you and help you feel better about yourself.

2: The imagery is incredible. I absolutely love the use of connotation and absolutely everything about the third and fourth stanzas' language.

3: "Because it won't last as long as dried ink on yellowed, musty pages." This was brilliant and it broke my heart.

Negatives:
1: The last stanza felt a tiny bit out of place, but honestly, that was all I could find wrong.

Very well done, overall!




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Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:11 am
DarshayataDeka wrote a review...



This poem is just perfect. Its relevant and written in a beatiful style without any grammatical flaws. The title "My body is not poetry" complements the actual contents of the poem and at the same time, asserts the fact that the poem is about equality and individuality. This poem tells us not to objectify the bodies of others (and ourselves for that matter) and embrace ourselves for who we actually are, which is a very important message in today's world where people are judging each other for exterior beauty only, thus lowering their respect and self-esteem. Loved it! Keep up the amazing work!!




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Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:38 pm
hopefull1writter wrote a review...



Wow. I cant come up with words that can described what I felt when reading this. It's powerful in the sense of wanting to be more than a something to look at, it has the venerability that everyone feels, It has self loathing, and hope. It's a beautiful poem that will touch many people in ways they haven't before. It has they twisted idea that society came up with, 'the perfect body' image. Your details, metaphors and adjectives are amazing. I really loved this piece. Well done!




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Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:43 pm
LadyShadows wrote a review...



This is surely something that is filled with metaphorical words and imagery. To me, this reveals what society thinks the woman body should be. Something perfect. Something flawless and beautiful. But none of this is true. However, this is not all that I have to say.

As much as I think it's interesting, it does not flow well at all. It's also too wordy. But keep practicing. I think you're going to the right destination. keep writing :)




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Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:47 am
Button says...



Can't tell if this is based off of many poems on this same subject (including some that I have written as well) or if this imagery is just that much of a go-to for the topic. This is not fresh.




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Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:47 am
Aleta says...



How did this get re-featured lol




Charm says...


if many people find a poem and like it, it'll get in the spotlight. i probably got a bunch of attention recently.



niteowl says...


It could have been a staff pick as well. That would have put it on the front page again leading to more clicks/likes. I swear this piece has been in the spotlight a few times lol.



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Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:49 pm



Amazing writing.... you are really good




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Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:17 am
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Iggy says...



Every time I read this poem, I just sigh. It's perfect.




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Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:29 pm
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LittleCaroleen wrote a review...



This is both amazing and tragic because I think everyone can relate to it. I love all of the adjectives that you used, because they described each individual thing so well. I love every part of the poem, but more than that I love the way it leaves you with a feeling of longing. As though you personally would want to get to know the narrator so personally so that they could get to know. They could turn each thing you do and say into poetry. Every part of it is so beautiful. I can't wait to see more from you, because this is very well-composed.




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Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:29 pm
Sleeplessend wrote a review...



This is a very beautifully written piece here. Everything about it just screams and pulls you in. The setting, emotion, atmosphere everything was caught and displayed beautifully. I feel that if this was read at a poetry slam the delivery would be hard and forceful kind of like you are screaming at someone. Thats exactly how i was reading it in my head a forced delivery making the reader feel the power of the words. "Not when my hands are the kind that are meant to tremble not the kind meant to be held." I couldnt help but feel sadness in these lines. I feel that the narrotor just doesnt want anything to do with anyone and maybe that was broken a long time ago and the mourning is still there. Finally the way you ended the piece was perfect. "My body is not poetry. Mostly because I’mjust a little afraidof anybody who would be ableto read me so wellto put me into words." This made me feel an abundance of emotion. Mainly because everyone no matter who you are is afraid of wearing their heart on their sleeve. Nobody wants anyone to know whats really going on inside. The only people that do are the ones that crave attention. But for those who dont alot of secrets are kept and oddly you dont want anyone to see you for what you really are and how bad of a condition you are in. Thats just what i feel when i read it. Nonetheless this was a beautiful poem and this is difinitely publishing material no doubt. :)




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Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:51 pm
cgirl1118 wrote a review...



This is so beautiful!

You wrote this poem wonderfully. I love the way you compare things to your body parts and the last stanza was my favorite! I don't really read poetry because I can't seem to get it but this one was actually understandable to me! I got the full meaning of this. When you write about how your thighs are big enough for both was brilliant. It's an excellent way to show how some girls are insecure about their size of their thighs. I also loved the part where you said "my body is not poetry because it won't last as long as dried ink on yellowed, musty pages". There were no mistakes in this poem that I caught which makes this poem even more perfect.

Thanks for giving me a good read!

Happy Writing,
Cgirl




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Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:39 am
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bandsxx wrote a review...



This is absolutely perfect.

Very well written. It captures a lot of things perfectly.
the part about 'my thighs' especially touching. Because, that is a big insecurity of mine. this is actually a beautiful piece of work.

Have you ever considered entering it in a competition of some kind? I believe it would do wonderfully.




- Megan xx




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Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:16 am
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ItsCharley wrote a review...



This is great, though its sad in a way I loved it!
The part about the thighs:

My thighs are canvases for
atlases, road maps, and
interstate highways that lead to
nowhere. Or everywhere.
They’re big enough for both.

That would have to be my favourite part, I'm quite insecure about my thighs, I feel as though they're bigger than everyone elses but anyway...Great job! :)

Keep it up!~~!

xx




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Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:48 am
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kelseyforgotss says...



This is both depressing, and wonderful. Most of all, however, it is incredibly relatable. I love the stanza about the thighs, as that is such a huge insecurity of mine. I don't have any criticisms about this poem, and I applaud you on your wondrous way with words.




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Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:01 pm
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ChangeTheWorld wrote a review...



This is featured for a reason! Because it's amazing. The whole concept is so out of this world. It's the kind of thing a person can be jealous about because they didn't think if it first.

"My body is not poetry.
My spine is curled up
into a question mark
from centuries of insecurity
and the weight of the
worlds trapped in my skull"

This is brilliant. In reality it would be gross but the visual I get from it is something understandable and very real instead.

"nowhere. Or everywhere.
They’re big enough for both"

An insecurity that many people have and yet it's stated so simply I almost just glossed over it. This poem has such deeper meaning and everything is so subtle and thoughtful. You manage to say so much in so few words, which is a real art.

The descriptive words you use really give good imagery and I like the repetition of the title. I always believe that in writing, but poetry especially, repetition creates emphasis and really drives the point home because it will always draw the readers attention back to those words.

"My body is not poetry.
Mostly because I’m
just a little afraid
of anybody who would be able
to read me so well

to put me into words."

Again a wide felt insecurity. I think this really closes the poem well and through out the work you hint at types of intimacy. Well knowing someone is the deepest kind of intimacy and closeness. I know personally I'm afraid of people being able to explain who I am in sentences because what if I don't, or they don't, or no one...likes what they hear.

Very well done. :)




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Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:57 pm
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Xreigon says...



This is an extremely beautiful piece. I am not the best at editing poetry, so I will just put in a comment to say that I really liked it. The wording creates quite a catharsis and draws the reader in to the emotional state of the poet. All in all, it was beautiful. Thank you for putting it on here.

--Xreigon




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Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:52 pm
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LadySpark wrote a review...



I'm going to be honest here when I say I'm a bit in awe of this poem. I'm going to attempt to review it, but it may turn into me just rambling about how beautiful it is, because that's exactly what it is.

First off, I find it rather odd you've chosen to place italics on some of the beginning stanza lines, but not on others. If it was all of them, I think it would look okay, but since it's only a few, it just looks out of place.

In fact, a lot of your formatting looks really weird.

Like this, for example.

My hips are not made
for you to skim
your hands over.
They are guideposts:
between (here) and (here)
lies a dreadfully broken girl.

The parentheses make me do a kind of double take. I honestly think it'd look better without them.

My body is not poetry.
Mostly because I’m
just a little afraid
of anybody who would be able
to read me so well

to put me into words.


This stanza is gorgeous. At the end, it's finally revealed that the narrator is actually scared of someone being able to 'read' them, and knowing how broken they actually are inside. This whole time, we've been reading what the narrator thinks when someone calls them beautiful, and they finally reveal at the end that it was actually a facade, and they've been putting up an act and denying to themselves what their body is. As someone who struggles with depression and self image issues, I can tell you that this speaks to me on so many different levels. This has to be in the top ten of my favorite YWS poems. kudos.
-Spark




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Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:31 pm
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AnnaKarenina wrote a review...



Such an beautiful way to describe ones body and all her insecurities. Everything is perfect. All of the descriptions, the rhythm, the emotion and the soul in the words. It perfectly describes an woman's body.

-Not when my hands
are the kind that are meant to tremble
not the kind meant to be held.-
A lot of emotion and insecurity(again).


-My body is not poetry.
Mostly because I’m
just a little afraid
of anybody who would be able
to read me so well
to put me into words.-
A powerful ending to wrap up the entire idea of the poem in a few words. It is very easy to relate to which creates interest, and leaves the reader wanting more.

A very emotional piece, a work of art.
Excellent.

-K.




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Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:45 am
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fortis says...



This was absolutely amazing!
I really loved it!




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Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:30 am
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sanju says...



Superb way to put forth the correct definition of the woman's body - at least the ephemeral quality of it. Even if you think it's about somebody who is not perfect in a figurative way, or a disabled person, then also it makes sense.

I liked the approach of the poem.
Keep it up.




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Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:13 am
AbbyW wrote a review...



Alright I really liked this depressing but good I liked the way you described the character very descriptive I loved it. I don't know if I am right but was it in the head of someone mentally disabled I am not sure and sorry if I am wrong but KEEP WRITING I want to see more from you good job :D




vitamere says...


Interesting comment. What makes you think it was narrated by someone "mentally disabled"? And what do you mean by "mentally disabled"?



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Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:46 am
Bullet wrote a review...



Wow, I really like this piece.

First of all this is really relate able and speaks to me on an emotional level. So, good job on that :3

As well, the first stanza caught my attention and made me keep reading. Good job on the hook.

Second, the metaphor is something I fell in love with. Especially the stanza about the thighs- that really caught me, made my throat close up. Very good wording.

The flow of the poem is consistent throughout.

This is just a good piece over all and I'm glad I could relate it to so well. Good job.

(sorry this is a crappy review)

Keep writing, definitely.

~~Ayden.




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Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:05 am
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niteowl wrote a review...



Hi there vitamere and welcome to YWS! I hope you really like it here.

Overall, I enjoyed this piece a lot. It had some interesting images and metaphors, and explored the theme of insecurity in an interesting way. My comments are basically on small stuff.

and the weight of the
worlds trapped in my skull.


Not sure, but I think you meant to say "words" here. "Weight of the world" is rather cliche, so scrap that if that's what you meant. The image of words trapped in the skull is kind of neat, but "words are heavy" doesn't really go with "words are trapped". I'd say something implying motion might be more interesting.

Not when my hands
are the kind that are meant to tremble
not the kind meant to be held.


I didn't really understand why the first line was italicized. I also felt like this could have more treatment, like more allusions to physical qualities of hands. Bitten nails vs. perfectly manicured? Calloused vs. smooth and moisturized? I really like the last two lines though.

And...that's all I saw. Overall, this is a lovely piece and I hope to hear more from you soon. Keep writing! :)




vitamere says...


Thanks so much for your thoughts! I will definitely take them into consideration while editing (again).




Remember: the plot is nothing more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.
— Ray Bradbury