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Comments that make you go – Huh? What? It wasn’t about me …I swear!!! - Vicky Tsiluma's Blog

About Vicky Tsiluma
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Bloggers PhotoStory Tellers Secret by Richard Lamoureux

I sat with a reluctant story teller
Cross legged
Holding my breath
The fabric of her mind tightly folded
Tucked in

I reached for a thread
A gentle tug
Hoped it would come loose
Reveal her secrets
The tales I desperately craved

She smiled a knowing smile
Looked into my eyes
I gazed back
Searching for my prize

She whispered
"Listen close
Within my hands
I hold the ghosts
They scream to be released
I'm trying hard to hold them back
If they escape
They will attack"

My childish wonder turned to fear
Could Ghosts really, follow her here
As I wondered she began to laugh
Within my soul I felt a draft
I got my wish now I am cold
I could not handle the story she told

I ran through the forest
Spirits close behind
With her string attached to my mind
The reluctant story teller she knew best
My little mind had failed the test

I am a reluctant story teller
You sit cross legged
Holding your breath
"Come a little closer
so I may whisper in your ear".

Dedicated to my Friend Vicky a story teller Extraordinaire.

Vicky by Richard Lamoureux

I do not have the words to describe the  uniqueness of you
You are the voice in the wilderness
Crying out to  me
Not to just me alone
Still you speak directly to my soul
I am moved  too places I have not seen
Experiences foreign to my imagination
I taste  the dirt beneath your fingertips
I am satisfied
And yet I wish to consume  more
You drag me down
Yet I am lifted by the brilliance of your  thought
I sit in the centre of the darkness illuminated by your light
Each  word written with purpose
I cry and laugh
I am shocked and disgusted
I  rip at my chest in anguish
I feel the pain of those I do not know
How is  it that I live in a world without justice
I was unaware I was part of the  problem
Until I read your words
A voice calling out from the  wilderness
A strange now familiar voice
I clap and clap and clap
Your words your words your words
I am  moved
Thank you

Dedicated to Vicky Tsiluma the Poem says it all.

Comments that make you go – Huh? What? It wasn’t about me …I swear!!!

Blog Posted:1/14/2014 11:31:00 PM

I like it when people comment on poems. It’s a good way of not only encouraging the poet but also expressing your thoughts on the poem and improving your analytical and critical skills.

Then enter the comments on poems that are written by you but are not about you. That’s where the comments get interesting. Years ago when my former English teacher pointed out that the writer and the persona are not necessarily the same person, I kinda took that to heart. I internalize the situations I observe, think about, imagine or just stumble upon and put out the emotions they cause as if they were my own. Then come the comments …people sympathizing with ‘my’ situation’, people giving me advice on what to do about it and heartrending still are the people who send mail telling me how the poem is exactly what happened to them. I mean, seriously, how is one supposed to deal with such comments?  Should you be like ….thank you for your sentiments but that poem really wasn’t about me?


What about you? Have you ever received such comments? Or have you ever unknowingly written such comments? How do you deal with it? I’d like to know.


Ps, this is totally what I have experienced and while some poems I write (about 10 percent) refer to my own experiences most of them do not.

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  1. Date: 2/11/2014 7:23:00 AM
    Hi Vicky see comment below.

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    Tsiluma Avatar Vicky Tsiluma Date: 2/11/2014 7:38:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Right as always Richard! It's a compliment - one that we should all appreciate.
  1. Date: 1/19/2014 6:30:00 AM
    First person pronouns will tend to do that to a reader...You assume. I often will write..."If this is non-fiction...I hope you are seeing it through." Something to that effect. EVERY SINGLE POEM has a bit of the author's heart and life infused in it. Even what you chose to write for a contest, if not something that you are personally going through at the moment, is something that resonates with you, has touched your life, has affected you in some way. In that respect, I believe every poem is personal. I take what is happening in my life, embellish, change, reconstruct it to suit my fancy. If I get worried it will be misinterpreted, I write a disclaimer. Interesting blog. Thanks for sharing.

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    Tsiluma Avatar Vicky Tsiluma Date: 2/11/2014 7:37:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Huh, I concur with you both! So true about poems having a piece of our hearts you explain it well Eileen!
    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian Date: 2/11/2014 7:33:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    And I concur with Richard...... ;-)
    Lamoureux Avatar Richard Lamoureux Date: 2/11/2014 7:22:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I concur with you Eileen. A piece of us is hidden within what we write. I view it as a positive when what I write resonates with someone and they feel compelled to connect with me. There is no greater compliment we can receive.
  1. Date: 1/16/2014 11:09:00 AM
    A lot of people write about their own experiences... some don't... But when you touch some one enough... They will respond in any number of ways... Let them... accept their thoughts... They wrote you because you were there in their hearts... If you didn't have the experience... At least you understood it like few do... or they wouldn't have written back. It's nice to touch people. Many have been very alone in so much.

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  1. Date: 1/16/2014 9:54:00 AM
    Poems can be an on going of one's life and from that maybe one can learn? this is an interesting blog Vicky,, because what you say is people get in touch and tell of their own experiences regarding your poem,,,fiction or not,, all i can say is this,,,if the poem is beneficial to whom ever, one as created a masterpiece..

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  1. Date: 1/16/2014 8:00:00 AM
    Most of what I write is about me and is usually overtly lugubrious and melancholy, with just enough hope to offset the cynicism (I think/hope lol). This was a great blog to read and got my mind going this morning so I thank you for this highly interesting post :) ~Chan

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  1. Date: 1/16/2014 5:18:00 AM
    I write "This is a fictional write" Or "It's a personal or autobiographical" etc. Vicky

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  1. Date: 1/16/2014 12:11:00 AM
    Hey guys, thank you so much for your contributions to the topic. Okay, here’s what I’ve garnered so far: 1. Allow people to react to the poem in whatever way they feel fit. 2. Put a disclaimer on poems you don’t want people to think is about you. 3. Take the comments in your stride. Thank you all for participating.

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 5:56:00 PM
    Vicky, more than half my poems are NOT about me either. Maybe my fantasies, maybe things I have read about. When I KNOW that it is a topic I do not want people to think is MY experience, I simply write a note at the bottom : This is not about me!!!

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    Tsiluma Avatar Vicky Tsiluma Date: 1/15/2014 10:13:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I like your idea of the note - short and explanatory. I wonder if it changes how people perceive the poem. I've seen some poems where the poet writes it's for a contest and instead of people commenting on the poem, they start commenting on how well the poem should do in the contest!
  1. Date: 1/15/2014 11:50:00 AM
    I live, I learn. I will bump into poems about suicide or heartbreak. I try not to accuse the poet, if this is them or not. I will leave a deep remark, and say wow, you took me into a world I relate to one way or another. I don't like stepping on other poets toes. A few years back a young poet used this site for attention, she kept writing poems about suicide. I sent her soup-mails. Offered her a shoulder and friendship. "This poet now stops by once in a full moon giving me thanks." Vicky, HOW WOULD YOU APPROCH THE SITUATION?

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    Thomas Avatar FJ Thomas Date: 1/16/2014 6:42:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Skat posed a good question; each poet is different and may be in the middle of what is bothering them. If a person reaches out in a comment I've left I lend a shoulder but if not I just leave it at a comment :)
    Tsiluma Avatar Vicky Tsiluma Date: 1/15/2014 2:13:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Whoa, that's a tough one, personally I stay away from young poets. I taught a class of teenagers some years back and one thing I quickly learnt is to stick to academics and refer them to qualified counselors - teenagers are suffering and it requires a lot of responsibility to deal with them and I didn't want to take a false step. In this case, I would encourage the poet to forget about the past and to keep writing positive poems and then I would cut off the connection, but that's just me.
  1. Date: 1/15/2014 7:02:00 AM
    i try to send comments that give additional dimension to form and theme, as well as the overall emotional appeal.. well, sometimes i may not be too detailes owing to the many writers i want to reply to, but i do my best.. and i like reviews, insights on mine that simply awe me in terms of a diffrent perspective fomr the reader.. hope i'm making sense...

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    Tsiluma Avatar Vicky Tsiluma Date: 1/15/2014 7:21:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Of course you're making sense - it's always nice to see how a poem changes when you take on another person's perspective. I personally just comment on the theme - if it's not free verse I usually don't know what to say about the form.
  1. Date: 1/15/2014 6:47:00 AM
    Here is a nice quotation from Steve Maraboli “It's funny how, in this journey of life, even though we may begin at different times and places, our paths cross with others so that we may share our love, compassion, observations, and hope. This is a design of God that I appreciate and cherish.” (Steve Maraboli)

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 6:19:00 AM
    Vicky, 75 percent of my poems have nothing to do with me. However my goal is to make the reader feel as if it is. lol, sometimes I like and don't like the impact. ** for example. my Teddy Bear- poem was about an 11 year old who got murdered after the mom's boyfriend molested her. the news was sad, it hit the news-- the nanny cam in the teddy bear saw everything. Many think it was about me. (I did not mention the murder) I got lots of disturbing soup mail. One person angered me so badly, I chewed his head off. It's hard to explain to poets, just cause I write it, don't mean I lived it. Well I do have creepy poems, that became true future events.

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    Tsiluma Avatar Vicky Tsiluma Date: 1/15/2014 7:27:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Yikes! I wouldn't say my experience has led me to wanting to chew someone's head off and hopefully it never comes to that. I totally get the point of making the reader want to feel - if only more comments would be geared towards the poem and not the poet...oh well...
  1. Date: 1/15/2014 6:01:00 AM
    LOL Vicky. It does happen but you have to keep in mind that the majority of us just write to write, and many times it is about a present or past feelings so some of us may hope you're okay :) I do get that a lot but I just comment back that I am good now. But sometimes I may not be. Or when commenting on another's I say I hope its nothing they are going through now.

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    Tsiluma Avatar Vicky Tsiluma Date: 1/15/2014 7:31:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I think this explains it well - I guess if a poet is more likely to write about their feelings then they would be more likely to think that others do the same. I like what you said in your last line - that way the poet won't feel obligated to explain themselves. Thank you for your comment.
  1. Date: 1/15/2014 1:18:00 AM
    Poetry serves many purposes; it can make you cry, it can make you laugh, it can cause you to think, it can be provoking, it can stir anger, sympathy, compassion and I could go on and on. What I would do in such circumstance, I would thank those individuals for expressing their sentiments or concerns. They might not be reaching out to you the person, but more so the character in you that experienced the situation and was expressed in poetic language.

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    Tsiluma Avatar Vicky Tsiluma Date: 1/15/2014 7:37:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Hi Christine, thank you so much for valuable comments. Poetry does stir up a lot of emotions. It doesn't offend me when people think the poem is about me but it does make me feel guilty. It's like someone is connecting with you through a shared experience only the experience is a lie as it were. I like your point of taking it as a compliment - and indeed it is, many poets would like their poems to evoke emotions.
    Phillips Avatar Christine Phillips Date: 1/15/2014 1:18:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Most people write from experience or imagination, events, something that might happen in their environment, they write about people, prophetic revelation and many other circumstances that the poet encounters in life whether are real or unreal. What the poet expresses during those stages is a reflection of feelings and emotions that he or she endures while conceptualizing those verses. The poet has somewhat taken on the life of the character, which is why when you watch a movie or a stage drama it is so real and true to life. Poetry is a category of the performing arts and it was meant to do the same. Please do not be offended when people express their sentiments, but rather be grateful that someone cares about the character expressed in your poem, I would take it as a compliment.

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