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Forum Home » High Critique » Depressive Nostalgia

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!!!
3/7/2020 2:01:06 PM

AcerSaccharum
Posts: 4
Teenage years well wasted and better spent
Childhood memories now forever gone,
To exist only in reminiscence.
Conversations I will never hear again.
The bittersweet feeling of longing for past days
Younger years.
Only to crave today just the same as I age.
This sentimental sadness
Has become almost comforting,
Like an old friend you can’t let go of
For the sake of time spent knowing each other.
Am I sad,
Or just miss being happy.
To be alone with these thoughts,
The existential meaningless
Races through my mind
Like a headache that will never subside.
It is rare to wake up with a smile,
And even more rare to go to bed with one.
edited by AcerSaccharum on 3/7/2020
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3/8/2020 3:23:44 PM

Jack Webster
Posts: 227
It all remains very abstract.

It’s not usually explained this way in academic settings, but the reason using concrete details is so powerful is because it gives the reader something to imagine: scientific studies have shown that the body is unable to distinguish between what is imagined and actually happening. This is why we react to daydream/fantasies, movies, night dreams (the body actually has a mechanism to paralize itself so it doesn't act out what it is dreaming, why people that have ptsd flashbacks physically react to the images and memories playing in their mind’s eye.

Concrete details, especially visual, are a powerful way to guide/ invite the reader’s imagination, to create the opportunity for them to physically enter the space of the poem.

The longer you are able to entrance the imagination of the reader, the more likely the emotional content of your poem will resonate in the reader’s body as an authentic reaction/ response to the details being presented. Not merely a moment of intellectual sympathy, but a full-bodied moment of empathy.

You use alliteration well. “Well wasted” “younger years” “sentimental sadness” (though this last one, you might reconsider, as a line, because it is an overt statement of emotion). However, the more exciting alliteration happens farther apart in runs across several lines “days, crave, today, same, age”, and “spent, sentimental, spent, existential” - their subtlety makes them exciting, and the fact the alliteration is used to highlight key thematic words makes them exciting.

The climax of the poem is the headache. Though the poem isnt designed to evoke the sense of pain in the reader, it could be a great spot to unify both alliterative runs together in a unifying expression, where both the craving for days and the reality they are spent intersect:

Mind rent, eyes glaze.

Thank you so much for sharing. Will be exciting to see future drafts if you decide to share. Hope something was helpful.
edited by superlativedeleted on 3/8/2020
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3/31/2020 6:30:07 PM

Francis Brown
Posts: 1
"Childhood memories now forever gone,
To exist only in reminiscence."

Look at the word "memories" and the word "
reminiscence." This seems to me to be a duplication that is a distraction to the readers intellect.
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