Peer Review by fatpanda (India)

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By: Christy Wisdom


you always told me that you felt like misspelled words
like the sour taste of a cake made with
switched-up baking soda and baking powder,
and that you despised every time you tripped
because it felt like a failure to move forward

you whisper about your admiration
for people who look as perfect as smooth china 
who seem to do no wrong and trail stardust in their wake
they accomplish all that they set their minds to 
and they never stumble over their own feet,
or so you told me 

perhaps you do not realize that they are still like you
they are not flawless and they never have been and never will be
they might seem like statues on pedestals, marble and pristine
but they are just as cracked and chipped as you are

so do not fret that you are not perfect because
nobody is. 
inevitably we will crash into the ocean sometimes, like
icarus and his wax wings 
inevitably we will reach for the stars
we will try to hold them in the palms of our hands
only to draw back, scalded by their heat
and disheartened by our failure

yet this is natural when you are as achingly human as the rest of us
we make mistakes and we learn and we grow 
perhaps you can't find the strength to do so right now,
but trust that you will one day
and that at that time you will finally see the fruits of your labors
and flowers will creep through the cracks in the stone

but in the meantime remember 
that even the best of us have fallen just as you have
and that sometimes all that you can do
is to take your scars and shattered glass
and make yourself kintsugi,
better for your imperfections.

i wanted to fit this in but I couldn't figure out how; know that you are loved even in spite of all that you despise about yourself.
God bless you!! <3 

Peer Review

the first thing i liked is the message-- now, i know this is as unoriginal as it can get, but here's a sincere thank you from my side for what you're saying in this poem. you make it seem so natural-- that thinking of yourself as less isn't a flaw, but rather something that can be worked upon. a lot of pieces that try to address this issue go wrong here-- they reprimand you and it seems very forceful, but here you've laid it out as gently as possible, which goes rather well with what you're trying to convey. what i also like are your comparisons. i've already pointed them out but i feel like 'misspelled words' is such a unique, thoughtful line; it places emphasis on that particular experience of feeling out of place very well, i can't think of any other word combination that could have conveyed it better.

in terms of the subject-matter, i think you've covering it all, but i feel that you could go a little more in-depth on the kitsungi. i, for one, had to google what it meant, so it's quite possible that others would have to do it too-- it forms an integral part of this poem, and it is mentioned very briefly, so maybe add a couple of lines over there? also, you haven't used a period while ending any of the stanzas except the last one. was this an intentional stylistic choice to show continuity?

Reviewer Comments

overall, i quite like this poem. the whole concept of 'kintsugi' fits well with it, and it provides almost a fresh perspective, as a kintsugi isn't viewed as broken or hampered. well done!