Peer Review by stravelbach (Australia)

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mr. morrison told me we’re stars

By: BurningMidnightOil


my mouth burned/ from the tears of the sun./ burned, child. burned./ i drank because/ the sun is my father./ and his brethren are mine./ and i am human;/ therefore, we are stars./ it’s our skin, trapped and glowing./ it’s a raging rush of starlight that/ runs through my veins./ we are stars,/ stars, child.

Finished: (10/02/2020 1:31PM)

we spent ten minutes of biology with an astronomy teacher watching our class. he told us we’re literal stars and i think that’s beautiful. we are made from stars. we are celestial beings.

Message to Readers

i’d like a grande expresso with a shot of feedback and critiques, please. thank you:)

Peer Review

Simple in tone yet searing in imagery, there is a world of wonder and appreciation in this brief poem that prompts sincere reflection on the nature of humankind's connection with the stars. I particularly appreciate the occasional use of italics and the briefly implied tango with mathematics, as well as the unconventional structure - the juxtaposition of each individual line's own punctuation against the recurring line breaks is a refreshing way to present poetry and is also aesthetically pleasing in itself. All in all, a wonderful piece : )

As you can probably infer from the highlighted comments, there is very little I would change in this - what you've done, you've done extremely, extremely well. That being said, I think there are still (as always) avenues for further exploration. There is an old Serbian proverb which goes: 'Be humble, for you are made of earth. Be noble, for you are made of stars.' Perhaps it would be worth exploring the various, no doubt wide-ranging cultural elements tied to human perception of the cosmos. As an example, you integrate an example (or a series of examples, like small snippets) of traditional views of the universe (eg. something like the proverb above?- or something from your own heritage?), or slip in a reference to an equation or scientific concept? Though not 'necessary', I think doing something like this could be powerful in extending the scope of the poem as well as enhancing the reader's knowledge of 'tangible' ways in which our understanding of the stars (historical, familial, or artistic) shape who we are and our consequent place in or contribution to human society.

Reviewer Comments

On the whole, your poetic imagery is brilliant. Taking the vast, unapproachable idea of the universe, you've crafted an intriguingly, almost strangely childlike view that challenges and invites us at the same time. It is both intensely emotional and intellectually curious, and is without doubt one of the most memorable pieces I've read for a while : )

The suggestions I've made are simply suggestions - think about it and see what might work. But for now, regardless of where you choose to go with this, well done, and keep writing! I look forward to what comes next : )