Cast Off

A Poem By Madeline // 1/14/2016

A splintered breath catches somewhere
in the place between your collarbones and
you wish you could find it and
reclaim it
but you
instead are left to stumble
over the words that were
when it hit
like a deftly flicked
the anomaly
was a
of a sentence
and your eyes wheel
whorl in way
of a figure-eight search
then drop down
with remorse
as your wrought insides lurch


I think your style here is

I think your style here is especially special. The separation of words draws attention to them, which adds a whole new dimension to the meaning of your poem.

in the place between your collarbones and

emphasizes "trachea," a sort of out-of-place, scientific word placed into a freestyle, creatively structured poem. It suggests analysis (perhaps self-analysis as we criticize ourselves for speaking rashly) and brings a subtle element of surprise.

like a deftly flicked

accentuates "pin," bringing the image of something sharp and painful, and perhaps unintentionally harmful to the person who heard the speaker's slip of the tongue.

was a

This is more of a personal thing, but "fifth" makes me think of music and dance. Fifth chord, fifth position, even the Fifth Symphony. It adds drama, but again, it's just for me. That's my personal reaction to the emphasis on "fifth."

The "figure-eight search" adds another artistic image while the final line's "wrought insides lurch" brings a bit more of a shocking image, evoking the terminology and surprisingly anatomical language of the first three lines. This doubles to wrap the poem up like a present; it concludes it nicely.

Sorry if this seems a little weird! I analyze things that I like. : ) I enjoyed reading your poem!

Hannah D. | Fri, 01/15/2016

"Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." - G. K. Chesterton

AHHHhh gack gahh *hack,

AHHHhh gack gahh *hack, cough* What are you DOING to me?!! -- now I feel like I've got something stuck in my throat (and painfully, too!!). Homey, your poetry has always been great, but this is something else entirely. This is on a whole new level.

Sarah Bethany | Fri, 01/15/2016


This is all wonderful, but the opening lines are especially exquisite.

Kyleigh | Fri, 01/15/2016

Read it again --

-- and one of my favorite bits is "wheel / whorl", and by that point in the poem, I've forgotten I have something lodged in my throat, and my mind is spinning downwards, almost elegantly, in a lyrical whirlpool, and the final word "lurch" stops me with an absolute screech. I LOVE IT. You do something beyond words in this poem. Your writing is tasty, is physical -- you created scenes and feelings in me (like the floating downwards) before I even knew what you were fully talking about -- which I LOVE in poems.

Also liked Hannah's idea of the musical fifth.

Sarah Bethany | Fri, 01/15/2016

You guys! THANK YOU!

You guys! THANK YOU! Seriously! You have absolutely made my morning. Your feedback surprised me so much. I wrote this basically trying to influence rhythm and words, just for fun. So it means a lot that you had such a great reaction to it. I was sick and reading old poetry the other day and got inspired, so thank you thank you THANK YOU!

Hannah--wow, that is so kind that you took the time to spell out your thoughts in such a way. I really, really appreciate it. I definitely need to work on my analyzation, and I can see that you are wonderful at it! I love your interpretation of fifth as well. I just took a music appreciation class and I had piano lessons for four years, voice for eight, so I know a little of where you're coming from. I actually thought of fifth as a "fifth" in relation to the measurement which is usually used for alcohol, a little unusual, but that name has always struck me odd, and the association I have with it is that it means sharp, or sour, or burning--kind of how that sentence would feel. If that makes sense. Thank you for your feedback--it was so concise, and kind, and very helpful!

Sarah Bethany--ohhh myyyyy, thank you! I don't even know how to respond! All I can say is that any progression in poetry is largely owed to the writers here, because you all have more or less taught me how to write. I've learned so much! And your poetry is so beautiful and elegant, so gripping--it means so much that you would say so much about mind. I'm really glad that you felt the poem in such a way. That's more than I could've hoped for!

Kyleigh--thank you so much! As always, your comments are so appreciated. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Madeline | Fri, 01/15/2016

I can only echo what everyone

I can only echo what everyone else has said. This is quite the gem. :)

E | Mon, 01/18/2016

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond


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