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MaisyS's avatar

What is your opinion on this poem? How can it be improved?

Asked by MaisyS (194points) 2 months ago

So I am a 15 year old girl who’s struggled with compulsive lying for quite a while now. I’ve destroyed so many of my relationships, including my relationship with my best friend/crush, and mother, to name a few.
I wrote this particular poem after an angry fight with my mother where she told me I need to stop lying (very true) and that my lies aren’t really convincing and that every time I lie I cause a piece of my truth to die, and that the truth can only be very thinly veiled by lies. I used these concepts in the poem. I’ve had an interest in poetry for a long while now and I just wanted an opinion on my poem. Please keep in mind that I’m a teenager and a rather dramatic one at that :).

Nails in your tongue
blood on your lips, the words fall.
I sacrifice you.
A siren by birth, impaled on
your contralto whisper.
The devil calls for their surrender
to the staccato halt of
the cutting truths underneath the sound of
your convincing lies.

So I used the concept of a siren because my compulsive lying feels like as much of an affliction as a siren’s voice. I’m afraid to talk to people, as I imagine a siren would be, because I don’t trust myself to tell the truth (also I’m obsessed with singing and sirens are so cool. I mean, they kill by singing! :)). Moreover, I’m causing the “death” of my truth with my lies. The word contralto I used because it is the deepest, darkest, richest female voice and I felt that was fitting with the concept of a lie (and I did not intend it this way but coincidentally I’m a contralto too so even better!). Oh, also I’m addressing myself in the poem.

Anyhow, I want to know if this poem does anything for you, like if you catch its vibe, and also, technically speaking, how can it be improved?

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8 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

The first thing that jumped at me was the confusing vagueness of “their”. Everything screeches to a halt, while my mind sorts through the list of 5 or 6 things, any of which might be the object of “their”. Which is it? Then we can move on.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Welcome to Fluther!

Never explain your poetry.
Poems get picked apart in school, so students will understand what makes a poem have power, but if a poem has to be explained, it has no power.

Poetry tells parts of the writers soul.
Even if not all of it is understood, the work as a whole has power. It tells of the writer’s deep desire to make a point.

I believe you, that you don’t want to lie, but that you can’t help yourself. You will have to find strength in yourself to ask for help. You won’t be able to do it yourself.
There is an insecurity in you that makes you believe that somehow the truth would not be good enough. Try to keep in mind that the truth is enough.

Your poem is you, so only you know if it truly represents what is in your heart.
I hope your mother sees that, but I can tell you being lied to is tiresome, and apologies sound hollow. What you might consider, is give your poem to her, and make a deal. She posts it on the fridge, or bulletin board, or wherever you have for such things, and the very next time she knows you are lying, she gives it back. That gives you a goal.

I think your poem is beautiful. That beauty fades quick, unless you take steps to change your habit.
Good luck. I hope you win your battle with this.

flutherother's avatar

You say you are a compulsive liar and yet you are interested in poetry which is just a way of communicating truth. I see that as a contradiction.

Your poem has some great lines. I like “Nails in your tongue/ blood on your lips, the words fall. “A siren by birth” is also good and I can sense the strong emotion behind your words but to be harsh the poem doesn’t seem sincere to me, or to put it another way it doesn’t get to the truth. The last line “your convincing lies” seems wrong. I may be misunderstanding but who is convinced by your lies; you? Your mother? anyone at all? And what are the “cutting truths” you refer to and why are they cutting?

Strong though the poem is I think it would be stronger in the first person. “Nails in my tongue/ blood on my lips, the words fail” seems better to me.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I like it all until through whisper, then it rambles a bit.

Sometime I’d be interested in discussing the pathological lying, rather than the poetry.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Pathological poetry.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@stanley Kinda has a ring to it, book title maybe.

MaisyS's avatar

@flutherother I don’t see how my interest in poetry is contradictory to my lying. Agreed, it is a form of baring the truth, and it is the only way i am capable of telling my truth; that is why it interests me. You need never tell the whole story because implications are often enough.
Anyhow so the last line is kind of supposed to be me being sarcastic with myself, being like “Oh, so you think your lies are convincing? Anyone can see through them.” Also “cutting truths” refers to basically my whole life; for some reason i feel a need to lie and hide even when what I’ve done is technically not even wrong. And yeah initially I’d written the poem in first person but I switched later because I felt it made more of a impact that way. But I see what you mean about the first person version.Anyway, thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me and give me your honest opinion. I always appreciate constructive criticism.

@stanleybymanly “Their” refers to anyone i lie to. Thank you for replying. I appreciate it.

@Patty Melt, thank you for replying and yeah you’re right, I shouldn’t explain my poetry. :)

stanleybmanly's avatar

Then you must introduce “anyone I lie to” into your poem prior to “their” or the modifier leaves the reader guessing among nails, lips, words, etc. as to what “their” is referring. If the poem is meant to address those to whom you have lied, the simple substitution of “your” for “their” will do the trick. Though this may seem a minor technical glitch, it’s exactly the sort of distraction from an otherwise compelling string of words that “ruins the ride”.

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