poetry critical

online poetry workshop

better years

it was our brilliant
idea. all summer long
we were going to do nothing
at all. we were going to get
high and smoke clove
cigarettes and drink
absolut. we were going to
sit on the roof of
jonathan's apartment complex
and play with fire
all summer long we
would do nothing
at all.
because we were afraid of growing
into our mothers
and our fathers. growing
old and losing our glory years.
we play with fire because
we are afraid of waking
up one day and wishing our
best years had been.

12 Mar 05

Rated 8 (7.6) by 1 users.
Active (1): 7, 10, 10
Inactive (35): 1, 1, 1, 3, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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Wow- you capture our need in words. The unfightable need to dream wild dreams, the secret wish to go out in a blaze of shit glory, care-free and drowning- high as fuck and swimming in the brook.
 — Cloudless

Good job
 — orange

thank you. i'm glad i was capable of capturing how it feels to know you're wasting your life just for the pure satisfaction of wasting soemthing preacious.
 — unknown

this is good just really good i really like it ohh i love it
 — lostkid

i think many would enjoy this becaue they can relate, i know i can. in fact so much i feel i could have written something very similar. i had a friend in highschool that i would spend most of my summers with(actually it may have been younger than high school  years...isnt that awful) and every day we would climb onto her roof with her little boombox, listen to anything that was loud and obnoxious and smoke up all afternoon. i think just now this has inspired me to write my own version of this.:)

only one minor thing to critique: line 18 "these are our glory years" i dont really feel it is needed. a bit redundant i guess. nothing that effects the over-all feel.
 — duffyj83

This is poignant and clear, I can almost smell grass (all kinds).   If only we could sit and do nothing, afraid to grow into what we have grown into.  Take a break from it.

This is quite charming.
 — Isabelle5

that is quite good

 — tragicbubble

Ooh..such a universal theme. I love it, I can slip right into the feeling.
 — Rhein

 — KatinaChoo

it reminds me of summers spent in my home town. i love it
 — unknown

this reminds me of the song...closing time?
 — unknown

yeah, i know that song
 — KatinaChoo

hah. love this. loooove the
 — noodleman

that is the most awesome poem in the whole world that hoe i live
 — unknown

I love your open end . . . and the honesty, that I love most of all.
Indeed, it is a brilliant idea, especially when it is shared . . .
Excuse the analogy, but your words remind me of a "Magnetic Fields" song.
Are you still living your poem or, at least, loving. better,
 — slancho

Oh my God. This is beautiful.
 — OKcomputer

in my opinion, the words 'complex', 'cigarettes' (clove could be plural), 'long', 'at all', 'years' in line 17, 'because' in 19, 'long' in 2, 'at all' in 4 could all be lost. sorry if this seems harsh, i think the point might be stronger if this were pared down a bit. nice job in any case.
 — hank

i am afraid we will all still be living this poem until we finally do become our mothers and fathers, and then we can apreciate all they have and have not done for us.
 — unknown

to the above: you are probably a parent so shut up.
 — unknown

i am afraid we will all still be living this poem until we finally do become our mothers and fathers, and then we can apreciate all they have and have not done for us.
– unknown

I think so, too. At any rate, you've improved greatly from the first thing you ever posted on here. This is nicely stated and written, good work.
 — wendz

wonderful, wonderful...I am learning from what I read.  We learn from what we read.  these are true to life...tell a story.  I loved it.  sandra m. hagan
 — unknown

It is ok but i think that u need to extended on more details
 — unknown

this is beyond terrible...the intent is eloquent, that is youth's decaying nature. The poem, however, is childish
 — highpanorama

This is really good.
 — blankpages

thank you
i apreciate that
 — KatinaChoo

I suppose I could give some yah-yah grammatical advice but what's the point? This perfectly captures the essence of your subject. I hope everyone had (or gets to have!) a summer like this. I had several years worth myself.
 — Catbox

me too
 — unknown

i love it and i can relate to it. it inspired me not to take these precious years forgranted thank you!
 — aKissSoFatal

its funny that just yesterday i found myself having smoked way to much and being absolutey terrified and depressed, i now read this poem and you capture that fear flawlessly.
 — unknown

it's absolutly captivating
 — Lilac

  line 14 through the end could use a bit more.............
 — unknown

 — Gabriella2

wow thank you guys. i'm actually surprised everyone's responded to this so well. this is what my eighth grade creative writing teacher would have called "word vomit" I really just wrote what i was thinking. no revision, nothing.
 — unknown

 — unknown

i concur
 — unknown

 — KatinaChoo

i really love this. though it's been said before, i think many can really relate to this. lines 14-17 are my favorite.
 — electricity

don't tell

Magic Brownie
 — unknown

this is great. in my thirties now, but i remember those thoughts, remember planning to do the weirdest things just to make sure we stayed feeling REALLY ALIVE and FREE and such things.  it's great. well done
 — berrykid

this is tough and very touching.
nice work!
 — sparrow

nice poem.
why the comma in line 22?
 — unknown

this is one poem i can acutually understand
and its really good too
i really enjoyed reading it
 — mariamaria

seems like my plans for this summer...fantastic.
 — Thea

is the punctuation meant to be like that?
 — DeathShards

Hate to reiterate previous comments, but why the comma at the end?
 — unknown

you can see what everyone is responding to.
i would take any advice you get on structure and really play with it until you are even more pleased with it.  your audience will still be there for the encore.
for example, i agree with hank.

my first thought was,
then what happened?
 — gnormal

wow. that was awesome.
 — rpassons

  i like how a feeling of future regret is injected and actually comes out to be the main idea for me. . i mean, "best years could have been better." nice work!
 — majan

..."because we were afraid of growing into our mothers and our fathers..."  i'm doing better at 42 with knowing that i'll never grow into either one, thank God.  This poem is absolutely beautiful.  "10."
 — starr

I'd give this a ten if you would give a reason for the comma.

ps: because it's awesome
 — unknown

beautiful, wonderfully written!!!
 — livedeeply

I like this, but think you've got a bit of housekeeping to do.

Opening lines being the crucial points they are, you probably finish the thought instead of going for the enjambment right off.

Smoking and drinking is something, so the "at all" is not true and adds little.
Also recommend paring out some unnecessary, passive words, like we were going to, e.g.:

    it was (a) brilliant idea:
    all summer we'd get high, smoke
    clove cigarettes and drink
    absolut. we'd sit on the roof...

I am obviously in the minority here, but for me, the last strophe is one big tell.  All it accomplishes is to explain the first strophe, which, if you've done it right--and for the most part, you have--it is totally unnecessary.  Lines 14-22 must die.

If you want to keep the ending open, better to use a dash.
 — housepoppy

I like how the idea works, but the wording is odd. The punctuation is downright disgusting. If you're going to use some, use it in all parts where it belongs. You seem to NOT use it where you need it and then use it other places where it makes no sense. For instance: "best years had been. better,"

I'd cut "at all" from after "nothing" (both times.) While it might seem to add voice, it's worthless and redundant.

What's up with the line breaks?

Still, not bad, but you need to work on it a lot. Don't fall in love with your words; they're just words. It's the thought that is important.

Lastly, let me reiterate. I like the idea of doing nothing to avoid growing up. I also like the irony of the logic. The idea rocks, but the piece is severely wishing for some editing.

Good luck,

 — unknown

 — aaaargh

wow. this is a definite "senior year" type of poem. excited and afraid for the future all at the same time. and since i, puddles, am such a senior, i give you kudos. and god knows this is exactly what my summer will be like... (-;
 — puddles

good poem.
 — listen

you can make the rythm more clear. overall,a fine poem.
 — unknown

wow. the teenage experience! this is beautiful.
 — ruyi

Oh, I like.  I like!
 — BrokenWords

reminds me of living
i am still afraid of growing into my mother.
thankyou, for this lovely poem.
 — sophiesword