Breathe child, breathe through your temporary pharyngeal slits, inhale every drop of your mother's surrounding poison and sculpt that liquid into oxygen with the fingers of your partially-made respiration system
Swallow infant, absorb the nutrients through your abdomen, support your resilient body as it morphs from fish to human, be as strong as the skeleton you have yet to develop
Hold in each fatal sip of contaminated nourishment just a bit longer, stretch it to become as long and real as your umbilical cord; the wine might be dry but it's only for a little while
Keep breathing in that toxic sea, cross your fingers, arms, legs and toes, practice cat's cradle with your body, turn yourself into string and crisscross all these thoughts with hope that 3 weeks is the end of your addiction
I think the most effective part of this poem is the last line. While for the most part, with the rest of the poem I'm more drawn in by the subject matter than by your words themselves, the last line packed quite a punch for me.
I would say that this poem feels too cold and too technical (for the most part, there are place where the warmth and humanity seep through). I think the poem's weakest point, though, is that the message is almost too obvious.
Thanks for the comment, I appreciate you taking the time to help me see it's flaws and what not
I agree that it's very technical and I'm probably going to go back and change a few words here and there to be "warmer" as you say, but overall I just wanted to get the point across and that does tend to make it come off as cold when reading it. In all honesty it won't be much warmer because I'll really only be using my internal thesarus to substitue the big words with simpler synonyms, but I wrote it to be performed and I'll be performing it more like a narrative and less factual which will make it warmer in the end (:
So, I agree with that point and I'll start revising, but what you called the weakest point is actually exactly how it's supposed to be. I was worried it would be too subtle actually. It's slam poetry which means you want to pack a punch and be as blatantly clear as possible, so hearing you tell me it's too obvious is perfect, I don't want it to be complicated at all, so thank you (:
Very nice poem! Usually I don't comment on literature, so please bear with me!
This is a very deep concept, and you did it perfectly! The narrative is rather touching, and your writing style is very interesting! It draws you in!
However, I think using 'big' words like 'pharyngeal slits' should be avoided if possible. I don't know what 'pharyngeal slits' are, so just try and not use big scientific words. My final suggestion would be to use just a bit less figurative language, mostly personification (I don't consider body systems an actual person) and metaphors.
Otherwise, this is a really amazing piece! You tackled this difficult subject very well, and the piece was riveting! Really fantastic job, and keep up the good work!
Thanks for the comment! I'm flattered you took the time to critique it even though you usually don't (:
I understand that you might not know what pharyngeal slits are and I've been debating changing it to gills, but no one has made the suggestion yet. I was trying to create the link between fish and humans which I mention later on and I might have gone a smidge too far. I'm glad to finally have an opinion on the matter
It's funny that you would say there's too much figurative language because I was actually aiming to use more of it in this poem since that's one of my flaws. Of course once I read it, part of me thought it was getting confusing with all the comparisons, but I didn't think it was too complicated. There's always room to improve though so thanks for pointing that out! (:
Thank you so much for the feedback, it inspires me to keep writing!
Thank you so much for the feedback! It was tough to make it short and I'm still possibly revising certain aspects, but knowing that even this unfinished version is deserving of such a praise makes me have a lot more confidence in it. Thank you
Ugh, it hurts to read this and to know how many mothers out there drink during pregnancy. My mother works with mentally disabled people, and only about a third of them are disabled because of a coincidental abnormality in their genes or an unfortunate accident; the rest are from drinking mothers. And sometimes there are several children of the same woman, who couldn't stop drinking and yet gave birth to another child. :/
It's a good poem though! The only thing I find to criticise is the line 'cross your fingers, toes, and body' -- I stumble a little over the image of "crossing your body", it just doesn't make much sense in my head, but maybe I'm just not getting what you meant with it. Also, I think you meant to write "infant", not "enfant".
I agree, it's horrible to think of pregnant women mistreating their children like that. People need to use contraceptives or be more educated about having kids.
Whoops sorry, yes you're right, I get french and english mixed up sometimes! In french it's "enfant" and it seems my spellcheck never caught it. As for the crossing your body part, I meant like cross your fingers, toes, legs, arms, and basically entire body, but I just meant for them to maximize their chances by crossing everything. I could through in the word "entire" before body, but that would wreck the flow, so I made a different changement, what do you think?
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