Author Topic: An Interesting Burden  (Read 359 times)

Offline IzzBuzz

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An Interesting Burden
« on: February 25, 2021, 12:02:14 AM »
Hi everyone, this is my first poem here :)

An Interesting Burden

Her problems are oddities: peculiar, unrelatable, and unusual,
suited more to a reality freak show than an actual human reality.
Most days she hides her pain in shame under a bandage and a smile.

Inevitably someone rudely pulls the bandage and the smile away.
Sometimes when this happens,
she forces herself to wear her wound
like a heavy ornate scarlet brooch.
An interesting burden,
A conversation piece.
When people say,
How bold
How big
How unique
How vibrant and rich the blood is
She rolls her eyes,
self-effacing and nonchalant.
“Oh, this old thing? I found it underneath my skin.”
“It barely even hurts anymore.”

She doesn’t like to admit it to herself but
sometimes she likes wearing her wound.
As they gawk at the grotesque pinned to her chest,
she enjoys knowing how well she wears it
and how strong she is to bear its weight with grace.

Offline Royal Thorn 78

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Re: An Interesting Burden
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2021, 12:44:40 PM »
An interesting poem -- I like the way the metaphor is carried the full length of the poem -- not an easy thing to do.  But while "wound" is a substitute for something tangible and serious, I think you will go deeper with the poem if you find a way to talk about what you are really talking about when you say "wound". 

Roy

Offline Mark T

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Re: An Interesting Burden
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2021, 04:31:50 PM »
Yes, interesting. One would guess the piece is a vehicle for expressing some psychic trauma or other melancholic tragedy that has the potential to define the narrator, more than an actual physical manifestation of something shameful that needs covering up but one would probably be wrong.

Offline Royal Thorn 78

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Re: An Interesting Burden
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2021, 06:21:05 PM »
Then again, one might be right. ;D ;D

Offline IzzBuzz

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Re: An Interesting Burden
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2021, 09:42:22 PM »
Hi Roy, Mark, thanks for taking the time to read and comment :)

I did indeed mean the wound to be a metaphor rather than a physical wound, although upon re-reading after your comments taking the wound to be a physical wound is also a valid reading of the poem.

The wound was meant to represent the emotional turmoil that the narrator is suffering from due to a problem that is "interesting" and weird, and cannot be easily hidden for long, and the shame she (most of the time) feels when people are morbidly interested in it.

I'm not sure if maybe I need to make that clearer, or if I extended the wound/brooch metaphor too far without adding in enough detail.

Edit: Roy--when you say "talk about what you are really talking about when you say 'wound'"--do you mean talk about the specific issue(s) in the narrator's life?




« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 09:49:40 PM by IzzBuzz »

Offline Royal Thorn 78

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Re: An Interesting Burden
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2021, 12:06:39 PM »
Quote
Edit: Roy--when you say "talk about what you are really talking about when you say 'wound'"--do you mean talk about the specific issue(s) in the narrator's life?

Yes, exactly. That's hard, but better for the reader, the poem, and ultimately for you.  Of course that's your call.  You also decide how explicit you get or how figurative you remain. 

R
« Last Edit: February 26, 2021, 12:08:49 PM by Royal Thorn 78 »

Offline Mark T

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Re: An Interesting Burden
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2021, 02:18:51 PM »

Yeah, spit it out, nobody's listening but us, a couple of random poetry freaks.  ;D
You know that whatever it is, it is less of a deal for everyone else than it is for you.
I'm guessing some physical malformation or malfunction that through excessive self-consciousness has become a self-sustaining psychological complex. In the process, you have given away your personal power for fear of the judgement of other, also flawed, people. Be careful, that can be a pathway to serious illness. You can't change the facts but you can change your perception and reaction to the facts. And it's all too easy to fall into the trap of attributing setbacks to "it" rather than your lack of self-discipline, for example. But just think, your friends are real friends, right?
Anyway... keep writing... poetry's a terrific form of catharsis and self-exploration. 

Offline IzzBuzz

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Re: An Interesting Burden
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2021, 10:47:37 PM »
Thanks guys, I'll keep working on this :)

Offline Royal Thorn 78

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Re: An Interesting Burden
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2021, 11:30:56 AM »
You are making progress.  I hope you are enjoying the task. 

To get better at writing, it is always a good practice to read as much poetry as you can.  Read stuff you like and admire, read poems which bring your mind to life.  If you like the effect of someone's writing, you will find yourself trying to figure out how they do that.   :)

If you are unsure where to find good poetry, look at Poem Hunter, Poetry Foundation, All Poetry, and Poets.org.

Two fine contemporary poets you might start with are Sharon Olds and Billy Collins.

Offline crch

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Re: An Interesting Burden
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2021, 04:44:24 PM »
Most days she hides her pain in shame under a bandage and a smile.
Inevitably someone rudely pulls the bandage and the smile away.

She doesn’t like to admit it to herself but
sometimes she likes wearing her wound.

As they gawk at the grotesque pinned to her chest,
she enjoys knowing how well she wears it
and how strong she is to bear its weight with grace


I enjoyed reading your poem.
You left it open to interpretation, which was meaningful to me as I was able to put myself in the poem and assess my hurts in life. 

The lines, that I referenced above, led me down a path of realization and growth.
You drew me in!



Offline IzzBuzz

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Re: An Interesting Burden
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2021, 09:38:25 PM »
I enjoyed reading your poem.
You left it open to interpretation, which was meaningful to me as I was able to put myself in the poem and assess my hurts in life. 

The lines, that I referenced above, led me down a path of realization and growth.
You drew me in!

Wow, that's so meaningful to hear! I'm glad you got something out of my poem :)

Offline indar

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Re: An Interesting Burden
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2021, 01:18:33 PM »
This can be read so many ways:

The martyr who takes some pleasure in the attention for her particular wounds
or
the woman ashamed for letting herself be wounded in some way which may be humiliation or psychological battering by another etc
or
the woman who is in some way injuring herself, addiction obssession and so forth.

I like that we don't know. Left open, there may be several readers who can really relate to one or even all of the scenarios.

Offline Lucky Stars

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Re: An Interesting Burden
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2021, 10:28:10 PM »
Hi Izzbuzz,

Thank you for sharing this piece. I am a newbie, but have been to quite a few poetry workshops. This is a very moving poem. There is so much to love in the writing, most notably for me is the rhythm in the following:

"How bold
How big
How unique
How vibrant and rich the blood is"

The sincerity in the voice is also very strong, yet sensitive to maybe what others think? The poem keeps the reader engaged with gritty imagery. The mystery of the subject makes a reader such as myself intrigued to keep going back.

On the same token, there are questions that the reader may have. What do people do to rip the bandage off? Does it tear off with the subtle stare from a stranger, or other discomfort? Perhaps some more imagery is needed to paint a little more of a clearer picture of what is so painful. Is the smile the bandage? For simplicity in one statement, it might make a good metaphor or simile:-

She wears here smile like a bandage
or
Her smile is a bandage

I love the phrase "scarlet brooch." One last idea might be to trim back words, such as reducing the three adjectives here in order to make the line sing more:
"like a heavy ornate scarlet brooch."
Picking one or two adjectives only would be stronger. Try:
"like a heavy scarlet brooch." or "like a scarlet brooch."
Just a thought: The reader already senses the heaviness throughout the poem without the need of using the word "heavy."

This is an amazing peice that stays true and consistent with tone throughout. With a little more work, it will shine more light on what is meant to be conveyed to the reader.

 Thank you so much for allowing me to give you some feedback. Let me know if you need any more help or feedback.

Happy writing!

Offline IzzBuzz

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Re: An Interesting Burden
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2021, 02:15:32 AM »
Thanks Lucky Stars for the in-depth feedback!

Perhaps some more imagery is needed to paint a little more of a clearer picture of what is so painful. Is the smile the bandage? For simplicity in one statement, it might make a good metaphor or simile:-

She wears here smile like a bandage
or
Her smile is a bandage

I actually had this same thought while writing, I was unsure whether to separate the concepts of the smile and bandage, so having this feedback helps.

One last idea might be to trim back words, such as reducing the three adjectives here in order to make the line sing more:
"like a heavy ornate scarlet brooch."
Picking one or two adjectives only would be stronger. Try:
"like a heavy scarlet brooch." or "like a scarlet brooch."

The mouthful of the "like a heavy ornate scarlet brooch" line was actually on purpose--I wanted to convey the awkwardness, the heaviness, the hindrance of the brooch. But if it's not having that effect on the reader I might consider re-tooling that line.

Overall everyone here has given me a lot to think about in how much I am revealing or not revealing about the situation in this poem. I like that having it vague makes it easier for more people to find meaning in it, but at the same time I see the point of the commenters who say it could benefit from more detail.