Neverland
#1
Just looking for some genuine ways to make this a decent poem. Its my first one since school and is very emotionally meaningful to me. I want to make it 'actually good' as it has been very therapeutic for me to work on:

We met hidden under covers, 
sheltered in the dark
 and crawled towards each other
to escape our treasured mothers.
Hopeless haunting spoilers
of our futures, already misjudged.
Our mother’s cries vibrating
from every surface that they touch.
In pain, the shadows of her past
surround the virtuous.
Too much to bear for infant minds,
the madness of her love.
 
We built a beautiful bubble
that only we could see.
We built a world—a universe
where only we could be.
Every night, sneaking down the halls,
we come for one another.
Only us two left awake,
the perfect time for our escape.
‘Come on, let’s go!’, no longer alone
 and finally off, the covers thrown.
Down the rabbit hole we go,
hand-in-hand into the night.
Skipping past the thorny hedgerows,
quickly out of sight.
 
We run through fields of candy canes:
red and white and green.
We rush through twinkling fireflies,
and swim through lakes of cream.
Tumbling, rolling strawberry hills
that seem to never end.
We climb up trees that have no tops,
and float down rainbows when we drop.
 
We promise things by starlight
and as we slide down snowy flights,
we yell out ‘you and me against the world!’ with all our little might.
Grey mist clouds dance with glee
across horizons we can’t see.
I clasp your hand and pull you on,
whistling a childish song.
 
How time outside the bubble goes,
in Neverland, we cannot know.
But one day, tranquil by a lake of rainbow fish, we sit and wait.
I look over, and in your gleaming eyes, the stormy shadows slowly rise.
‘Don’t look!’ I gasp, but you don’t move— and that’s the moment when I knew.
 
I run back through our firefly forest,
over our strawberry hills and on,
and all the way through Neverland,
back to the place where it all began.
The entrance to our bubble world,
a doorway made of twirls and swirls.
Your bedroom, on the other side,
I leave the doorway open wide.
 
I pull the covers off your bed
and see three pillows lying, dead.
I stand in awe, a trick, a stooge,
and every ounce of trust disproved.
How long have you been gone, my friend?
In who else’s world do you pretend?
 
Collapsed and heaving,
shaking and seething.
Convulsed upon your bedroom floor,
I never even heard you leaving.
My stomach churns and eyes burn,
frozen, dreading what I’m hearing.
Heavy footsteps growing nearer,
you climb out of the rabbit hole, and then sincerely
 
you say, ‘What’s wrong?’ with no expression.
The voice that always sounds like heaven.
I place my hand upon your chest,
the lack of warmth I do detest.
I lift your shirt up as I must,
to see that to my own disgust:
screws and bolts and webs and dust
replace your heart, and break my trust.
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#2
First, a big thanks for the feedback you've given elsewhere. Here's my go, just some occasional line critiques and extra commentary. Pardon my long delay, schedule has been a bit whacked lately.

(09-09-2019, 10:04 PM)21xysafx21 Wrote:  
We met hidden under covers, 
sheltered in the dark
 and crawled towards each other
to escape our treasured mothers.
Hopeless haunting spoilers // mild alliteration, H is a voiceless and aspirated so it doesn't stand out
of our futures, already misjudged.
Our mother’s cries vibrating // interesting choice, "vibrating"
from every surface that they touch.
In pain, the shadows of her past
surround the virtuous.
Too much to bear for infant minds,
the madness of her love.
 
We built a beautiful bubble // more noticeable alliteration
that only we could see.
We built a world—a universe
where only we could be. // first four lines of S2 are a bit cliche
Every night, sneaking down the halls,
we come for one another.
Only us two left awake,
the perfect time for our escape.
‘Come on, let’s go!’, no longer alone
 and finally off, the covers thrown.
Down the rabbit hole we go,
hand-in-hand into the night.
Skipping past the thorny hedgerows,
quickly out of sight.
 
We run through fields of candy canes:
red and white and green. // is this necessary as a standalone line, or is it implied by the above candy canes
We rush through twinkling fireflies,
and swim through lakes of cream.
Tumbling, rolling strawberry hills
that seem to never end.
We climb up trees that have no tops, // now there's a sudden shift to children's book rhyme with an occasional break
and float down rainbows when we drop.
 
We promise things by starlight
and as we slide down snowy flights,
we yell out ‘you and me against the world!’ with all our little might.
Grey mist clouds dance with glee
across horizons we can’t see.
I clasp your hand and pull you on,
whistling a childish song.
 
How time outside the bubble goes,
in Neverland, we cannot know. // The change from "can't" above to "cannot" here was too noticeable.
But one day, tranquil by a lake of rainbow fish, we sit and wait.
I look over, and in your gleaming eyes, the stormy shadows slowly rise.
‘Don’t look!’ I gasp, but you don’t move— and that’s the moment when I knew.
 
I run back through our firefly forest,
over our strawberry hills and on,
and all the way through Neverland,
back to the place where it all began.
The entrance to our bubble world,
a doorway made of twirls and swirls.
Your bedroom, on the other side,
I leave the doorway open wide.
 
I pull the covers off your bed
and see three pillows lying, dead. // I hope this comma was intentionally placed. It's creates a great duality to the line.
I stand in awe, a trick, a stooge,
and every ounce of trust disproved.
How long have you been gone, my friend?
In who else’s world do you pretend?
 
Collapsed and heaving,
shaking and seething.
Convulsed upon your bedroom floor,
I never even heard you leaving.
My stomach churns and eyes burn,
frozen, dreading what I’m hearing.
Heavy footsteps growing nearer,
you climb out of the rabbit hole, and then sincerely
 
you say, ‘What’s wrong?’ with no expression.
The voice that always sounds like heaven.
I place my hand upon your chest,
the lack of warmth I do detest.
I lift your shirt up as I must,
to see that to my own disgust:
screws and bolts and webs and dust
replace your heart, and break my trust.

The more personal a poem is, the harder it can be for others to enjoy it. You paint some clear images, but the beginning of the poem is quite wordy.
The end of the poem suddenly rhymes, some of which is actually quite good, but some rhymes are very forced.
Some will say that centered alignment is out of style and has little place in modern poetry, but I don't care much Style need not be dictated to you. It may reflect on public image, eventually. I think left alignment is easier to read, but not by so much that it makes other alignments a burden.

There's two main barriers to anyone who wants to read this poem, however.
1. Length -- the poem is long enough to intimidate a reader. You may want to consider shortening it.
2. Consistency -- Given the amount of work that I'm sure went into this, cutting out parts of the poem may seem hard. It was much easier to read in the second half, when a more consistent rhyme and rhythm appeared. If they entire poem had that, perhaps mixing in a refrain, the poem would be much more readable, in my opinion.
If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.

"Or, if a poet writes a poem, then immediately commits suicide (as any decent poet should)..." -- Erthona
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#3
Hi, 

Thanks so much- I have shown this to a couple of friends but of course they only have 'nice' things to say. The story it tells is personal so it is hard to leave out everything that feels 'necessary'. However i will definitely re- do the beginning as its a slightly disjointed bit of the story. 

I agree about the center alignment- I haven't written anything since school so it hadn't occurred to me at all about that. 

I'm going to try and detach from the emotion and personal meaning to make it more readable to an outsider- to the people involved it would make perfect sense.

The theme of the inner child is important. Its about two people who meet and their love grows because they are able to heal each others 'mother wounds'. They would do drugs together to escape and stay in the rabbit hole for days just avoiding their pain. Then he cheated on me. 

I really appreciate your feedback as its given me a starting point to develop something!
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#4
.
Hi 21,
I admire the ambition, but agree with UB, length and consistency are issues.
However, I don't find the 'personal' nature of the piece too much of an impediment.

I do think the title is unhelpful, especially when (Barrie's) Neverland bumps up
against, or falls down, (Carroll's) rabbit hole. If you're set on 'Neverland' then
perhaps a more imaginative treatment of 'mothers' might be appropriate.

We met hidden under covers,

- do you need both 'hidden' and 'under covers' ?
(The latter implies the former).
sheltered in the dark
and crawled towards each other
to escape our treasured mothers.
- not following 'treasured'
( which, together with Neverland made me think of Stevenson, Treasure Island)

You might consider 'despoilers' for 'spoilers'.

Mindful of your reply to UB on the importance of the 'inner child', it might
be worth having two registers/tones for the poem. One, perhaps more naturalistic
and darker, and the other the one you currently employ but used only when
'down the rabbit hole'.

'sneaking down the halls' made me think that 'we' met at college, but the
imagery suggest younger. Might help to be a bit clearer on when 'we met'.
If you're looking for things to cut, I'd suggest the lines from
Skipping past the thorny hedgerows,
to
and float down rainbows when we drop.

and everything that follows
you climb out of the rabbit hole
It would make for a much stronger ending.


Hope this is of some use.




Best, Knot.




.
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#5
(09-10-2019, 10:37 PM)21xysafx21 Wrote:  Thanks so much- I have shown this to a couple of friends but of course they only have 'nice' things to say. The story it tells is personal so it is hard to leave out everything that feels 'necessary'.


Suffice to say, "nice" things to say are never meaningful to an artist. 

If it is the inner child we're writing for, the outcome of your work should be profound. But it ends as a broken love affair which doesn't necessarily support the theme you're shooting for. My main issue is that you're narrating a metaphorical story that is too simplistic in its metaphors and lacks complexity where it should be profound and cunning.

Perhaps it's the water downed children's-book tone, or the monotonous length , but it all seems quite redundant honestly. This piece speaks, but falls on deaf ears; mine specifically, ears so familiar with personal grief that yours doesn't render itself to me as anything out of the ordinary.

In terms of communicating what type of theme you want to express, yeah, we all got the picture. But anything other than that, you've only implied to us: "things were great, now they are not."

In my opinion, the pain and emotion did not translate itself coherently, I think this is because the abstract nature of your piece, of which your theme manifests itself, indirectly sucks the essence from the theme at the same time, as it's difficult to relate to something you can't understand.

I feel as though communicating the emotion of your theme would benefit from a more cut-throat style of writing as opposed to tucking us in with a warm glass of milk. A lot of your wording isn't intricately or cunningly placed, and would be more fluid if most of the lines weren't written at all as they don't help translate much to the reader.

(09-09-2019, 10:04 PM)21xysafx21 Wrote:  For example, in your last three stanzas, you have lines that do not stand on their own, or rather they only stand to satisfy a rhyme, which ends up creating a strange list of literary devices (personifications, metaphors, etc) and events that do not logically follow one another, it makes for a strange read.

 
I pull the covers off your bed
and see three pillows lying, dead.  strange.
I stand in awe, a trick, a stooge, you stand in awe? of three dead pillows? 
and every ounce of trust disproved.
How long have you been gone, my friend?
In who else’s world do you pretend? this is good
 
Collapsed and heaving,
shaking and seething.
Convulsed upon your bedroom floor,
I never even heard you leaving. this is proving the protagonist to be very blind and ignorant
My stomach churns and eyes burn,
frozen, dreading what I’m hearing. there are no sounds though??
Heavy footsteps growing nearer, these come out of nowhere
you climb out of the rabbit hole, and then sincerely
 
you say, ‘What’s wrong?’ with no expression.
The voice that always sounds like heaven. I like this
I place my hand upon your chest,
the lack of warmth I do detest.
I lift your shirt up as I must,
to see that to my own disgust:
screws and bolts and webs and dust
replace your heart, and break my trust.
I haven't much to say about this ending, it shot your stark message out of a haystack of confusion, it falls on deaf ears.
Looking for a problem in writing? Won't find one.
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