Peer Review by yapyapxy (Singapore)

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(why angels cry)|a prayer for strength for my girls #apoemaday31

By: babybluelamentations


they cry for insanity. 
they cry for sticky poppy fields and 
apollo’s cattle 
basking under the sun. 
they cry for the girls who never wanted to grow up, 
with ripped clothes 
and no phone, 
curled in an alley behind the liquor store. 

they cry for sanity.
they cry for a ship tossed in a 
sea full of ghosts.
they cry;
for platinum and ████ adorn their halos, 
yet their hearts are full of stone.

they cry for anger. 
what is a lady but a pedigree █████?
clutching at stolen lace and 
emerald earrings, 
dripping pure diamond from her eyes?
what is a █████ but a ███████?
they ███ for ██████ and ████.

████ ███ for what ██ ██████ ███.

they cry for us.

Finished: Jan 31, 2020 8:28 pm (11:28 pm est)
lowercase int

Message to Readers

speak your minds, my fellow goddesses.

(also i’m suffering from severe burnout; mentally and physically, so i’ll be back in a not-so-hot second)
love y’all <3

Peer Review

The first line conjured a desperate, graphic imagery that gripped my attention – what an opening! The title was lovely, too. The blackouts were definitely intriguing – my mind kept going back and wondering what it was trying to say in between the lines.

I would like to know that if indeed this poem is in reference to a particular place, what else do the angels see? What other terrible truths face these girls that leave the angels crying? I wondered (because the title had "a prayer of strength for my girls") if the poem would explore the moments of strength we see these girls are capable of. Blackouts are quite an interesting idea to toy with and I wonder about the placement – why one in stanza two, and increasingly more? I really love the way the blackouts added to the meaning of your piece though! Some additional details I would love to know more about are the ideas the poem has touched on but not developed as highlighted (gods, technology), as well as the second last stanza and what it meant.

Reviewer Comments

Honestly, I really loved this poem because it speaks so much with so little words. I have a soft spot for angels because I think that it is such a lovely word. I think this poem beautifully captured the selfless souls we expect of angels, and yet add a twist – that sometimes angels may be more helpless than we think. My interpretation was that ultimately, this poem means to stand as a testament to the horrors these girls face in their home country and bears witness that we are with them.

I loved the repetition, and the development of the way the angels cried: for insanity, sanity, anger, then our plight. I feel that this is how many of us feel about this world: from disbelief at the chaos to wishing the world will be alright, to being angry at the way things are, to a sort of helplessness that is rooted in hope (because even if angels are crying, and the world seems like nothing is quite right, angels are ultimately a symbol of hope).

The only critique I would have is how the second stanza doesn't really have a clear evocation of the idea of "sanity" unlike the first or third stanza. To cultivate poppy fields for opium that might potentially ruin families is quite insane of mankind to have created, for instance, and that a woman's worth is compared to material goods yet they should not be (therefore, diamond tears) generates a lot of unfairness, sympathy and anger from the reader – I felt that it was harder to see the connecting lines between sanity, a shipwreck, and the brief description about angels. Unlike the first or third stanza describing the reasons behind the angels' tears, the second stanza's purpose seemed a little more obscure (and it got a little confusing about the heart of stone). This might just be me though!

Nonetheless, brilliant work! Hugest of kudos to you for committing to the "a poem a day challenge"! I'm impressed with your varied interests across your poems; I really liked how you explore challenging topics, and yet add an unexpected point of view with topics that were familiar e.g. (voyage), (traitor)... I do think you've got something really, really special going on and I hope you'll take your time in and enjoy your writing journey! We all face burnouts but the important thing is to understand what you and your body needs. Wishing you all the very best in your writing endeavours!