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Forum Home » High Critique » Please critique. Excuse format plz

For poets who want unrestricted constructive criticism. This is NOT a vanity workshop. If you do not want your poem seriously critiqued, do not post here. Constructive criticism only. PLEASE Only Post One Poem a Day!!!
1/22/2019 2:00:05 AM

Jennifer Reynolds
Posts: 1
Fighting to live. Outwardly I may appear mildly angry. Inside an inferno rages. In my head the voices whisper, and I fight what they tell me, I blare music to drown it out. Alone, I fight, as always. I can't trust anyone enough to let them in. I play my part, and I try hard to hide. I staple my mask to my face and the blood trickles down, on the inside. Running into my eyes, filling my mouth, and I suffocate on my emotions. My heart slowly ices over. I wake each day, hoping my mask won't slip.Hoping I can control my panic, My despair, my numbness, My misery. I paint a smile on my face, on top of the mask, while the battle rages on in my mind. The voices, they whisper, they remind me, my guns on my desk,my pills are in my drawer, They nudge at me while driving, one sharp turn, and I'll be no more. I can stop the pain, that's destroying me, Inside. and still I fight.
edited by theonewhocries on 1/22/2019
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2/10/2019 7:45:41 AM

Jack Webster
Posts: 118
I really like this poem. There are many poems about internal anguish, BUT... yours doesn't attempt to manipulate the reader, and it expresses the anguish with original phrases and images and metaphors.

Stapling the mask to one's face is an amazingly fresh description, and extending the image of the suffering to choking on the blood. Together they express a believable and coherent riddle that shows the how layered the pain of wearing the mask is, not just the pain the mask is trying to hide, but the pain of putting on the mask, then the pain of having to live with the fact the mask has both been put on and made the pain unresolvable through concealing it.


You could play with experimental line breaks like:

Outward-
ly I may appear mild-
ly angry. Inside an in-
ferno rage-
s. In my head the voice-
s whis-
per, and I fight
what they tell me, I blare
music
to drown
it
out.
Alone, I fight
as always. I can't trust any-
one enough
to let them
in. I play
... (etc...)





normally i wouldn't suggest ending a line mid-word, but it makes an interesting tension, an energy that might reflect the struggle or madness the persona is expressing. Just something to play with, if you like. The goal isn't merely emphasis and word play, but also for the unnatural breaks and unexpected pauses to act like the quick shallow breaths one takes when panicked - if the rhythm of the line breaks works in tricking the reader into enacting the rhythm of panic, the physicality of the reading itself should draw them into the poem. There is a trick some psychologists use to physically induce empathy, to experience the emotional state of their client, and this trick is to mirror the depth and pacing of their clients breathing. If you can use your linebreaks like that, it could be very powerful.






best wishes
edited by superlativedeleted on 2/10/2019
edited by superlativedeleted on 2/10/2019
edited by superlativedeleted on 2/10/2019
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