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Submitted on
April 12, 2013
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Hush the youngest children, for the demon in the skies
Treasuring the very thought of anyone's demise
Glitter fades to black and shining moonlight fades to dust
Every cruel man's wonderland is built of poor man's trust
Tragic, empty melodies and blood beneath the air
Fearlessly escape the wind and drown without a care
Treasure death as platinum, as silver and as gold
Every cruel man's wonderland is built of poor man's gold...
<3 Comments? Critiques?
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:iconwisecrack-idiots:
Well, since you asked so nicely! And how can I say no to <3?
Fair warning - I'm still kinda new at giving critiques, so here's to a cautious third attempt.

When I first clicked on this piece what I found the most intriguing was the style. In high school I found a lot of my own influences in Frost and Dickinson, and reading this felt like a throwback to some of my all-time favorite poems by them, like "Nothing Gold Can Stay" and "Tell All the Truth but Tell It Slant." The similarities there that I recognize in your work are their ability to get a message across with one to two stanzas and maybe six to ten lines. I like that the message is clear and succinct without dragging it out needlessly, stanza after stanza. "Short and sweet" can sometimes have a greater, more far-reaching impact than several pages' worth of words. Less is more, as they say. (Now if only we could convince politicians of that and tell them no, filibusters are a dumb idea. But I digress.)

Another aspect about this poem that I really liked was the twist on preconceived notions about rising to the top. I love how you employ words that we typically hold in high estimation and associate with riches and success - like "treasure," "platinum," "silver," "gold," "wonderland," "glitter" - and then wrap a dark shroud around them, revealing the sinister truth behind the success stories of that which society covets. The impression I got was that even King Tut's riches had skeletons in their closet; another angle to the rag's to riches story, how the road to success might not always be paved with good intentions. To succeed and aspire to wealth and success, do we simply have to be better than our competitors, or do we have to sabotage them in order to win? Or in climbing to the top, do we lose sight of what truly matters and allow ourselves to ruthlessly do whatever it takes to achieve our own ambitions?

The theme here is timeless, granting your poem the ability to adapt to any sort of issue, be it a civil rights, political, economic, et cetera. You could apply the success/oppression contrast to countless generations past and to come, like empires such as Rome that became so successful because they conquered and colonized at other nations' expense. Or, you could take the message here and use it on current day issues. In the United States one such controversial issue is whether or not businesses like the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) industry are becoming economically successful at the cost of polluting the environment and risking chemicals used in the process (like formaldehyde and mercury) getting into citizens' water sources. I think it ties in nicely with the moral question your poem proposes about "every cruel man's wonderland [being built] of poor man's gold."

As always, I'm a sucker for imagery and literary devices that draw me in and paint vivid pictures in my head. I find no shortage of that here with lines like "glitter fades to black and shining moonlight fades to dust," or "tragic, empty melodies...drown without a care." It's visceral, raw, and so gripping in it's portrayal that I can easily picture everything that you've written, in addition to feeling the dread, despair, and bitter loss your words conjure.

Now, going off of my last thread, it begs the question of what was the poem written for? Was there a purpose in mind when you wrote this, or was it ideas hijacking your brain and using you to get the point across? I kind of like the sillier notion that my ideas are just using me to get themselves written, but since I'm being semiprofessional here, I'll stick to the latter. For the first few minutes I sat back and reread each line, digesting the words and letting them sink in. Poetry in its basic essence becomes interpretive no matter what the author's original intents were. Since I can't speak on your behalf, I'll say what I thought the central message was and what my impressions were: to bring awareness to people and to where the roots of others' success lie. Perhaps everyone needs to be more conscientious about the history behind those famous tales of success. As Tolkien once said, "All that is gold does not glitter." Sometimes even pyrite can make fools of us, those so blinded by its false brilliance. This harkens back to the "poor man's trust" you played upon, how we don't take the time to question and exert caution/suspicion, thus unintentionally allowing cruel men to extort us.

Or perhaps this is as much advice to the admirers as it is a warning to the cruel man who hasn't yet abused the downtrodden. Oppressors aren't born; they're made. So maybe this piece could serve as a lesson in history to those looking to achieve greatness, a reminder to attain their wonderlands the honest, fair way before they consume themselves in their pursuit.

Or perhaps this piece is resignation to the inevitable relationship between the successful cruel man and the downtrodden poor man. That in all tales of triumph, someone must fall in order for another to prevail. Is it human nature for one person's will to bow to another? Is it the unavoidable outcome omnipresent in survival of the fittest? Or can we truly aspire to wealth and power without mistreating our brothers and sisters? A loaded question indeed.

I said it once and I'll say it again: I like this piece. I like everything about it, from its totipotent applications to its metaphorical meaning to its tribute to classical writing styles. Everything about it is attention-grabbing and engaging. Needless to say this poem is going right in my favorites, and I can't wait to see what else your muses create.

Keep writing!

Alex
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:icondude-im-alive:
dude-im-alive Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013   Writer
Awthum. Really liked the ending, had forgotten where this was going after having been drawn into the story of the demon in the sky. The line 'glitter fades to black...' is kind of like a shot transition description in a screenplay. I've had a bit of experience writing them and I thought that sounded familiar to the trade. Not sure if more elaborate description could have been put in there (around that line I spoke of)... started zoning out a bit until i got to 'tragic, empty melodies...' which certainly woke me up again. After reading a bit of the critique below, I'm reading it again now and a lot more is coming to me. This really is a sweet poem. Not as in cute, as in good lol. Def in faves, cheers for writing, awesome one, I'mma think about it a lil more :)
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:iconvedokun:
Vedokun Featured By Owner May 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I really like this! It's so deep and yet so clear! Wonderful job! :D
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:iconhadespluspersephone:
hadespluspersephone Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Student Writer
Wow, really great poem! I think this is good enough to be published. I hope to write poetry as well as you someday :)
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:iconmikkimarie:
MikkiMarie Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Awwww huge compliment! <3
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:iconhadespluspersephone:
hadespluspersephone Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Student Writer
Just the truth :)
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:iconcocolena:
Cocolena Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Student Writer
THAT'S A REALLY NICE POEM :D
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:iconangiemyst:
AngieMyst Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I love the lyrical, rhythmic quality of this piece! It reads like a beautiful song. :)
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:iconchrissiemusa:
Chrissiemusa Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love this! Anything that rhymes so fluently and still delivers a powerful message is always awesome in my book. Fantastic work, straight to my faves :)
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:iconthespitfirespirit:
TheSpitfireSpirit Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooo I love the 4th and 8th lines.
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:iconmikkimarie:
MikkiMarie Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you :3
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