Peer Review by birthdaycandles (Ireland)

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By: Ibex


here is hypocrisy
the older sister listens to her playlist
about love and dying to save
singing along with
“king of love” and “crushing snakes”
but when the younger sister arrives
and a pointless disagreement sparks
the older ignores
the commandment to love her neighbor
she turns to the snake
and lets her anger boil over
allows her voice to escalate
again and again and again
it’s like denying her Lord
three times
on the night of the crucifixion
a moment later the rooster crows
the alarm sings
reminding her to read her Bible
her heart skips a beat
and she plummets into shame
hasn’t she left this grave behind?
she thought she was strong enough
that she could resist the allure
of the fruit hanging in the tree
she smiles haughtily at it
laughs at it says
“i’d never take the fruit”
but it isn’t long before
the snake whispers in her ear
and instead of crushing him
she bows
she takes a bite
juice dribbling down her chin
here is the devil beating her down again
and leaving her for dead
hasn't she been freed?
and yet here she is
still a slave
she wallows in her guilt
a pit of shame so deep
every song about love a slap in the face
she cannot crush the snake
she drops to her hands and knees
and lets her ocean of tears fall
but here is hope
she hears from above
a voice calling her name
telling her to lift up her weary head
through tear-stained eyes
she sees the blood flowing from calvary
here her Savior died for her
became her sin
bore her shame
it’s dealt with
once and for all
she need not remain hopeless
here is grace for the sinner
and love for the lost
look and see
the grave is empty
the Savior conquered death and rose
she rests now
she doesn’t worry about crushing snakes
the snake has already been crushed

Message to Readers

I edited this a little this morning.

Peer Review

The title of the poem was intriguing to me, and I haven't come across you or any of your work before but this piece particularly captivated me. I love the religious connotations you've very cleverly managed to fit in here and there. The more I read over little sections of the poem, the more little hints I pick up and I kind of get those 'aha!' moments. It's like putting together a puzzle when I figure out a new meaning for the words! The more I go back and read this, the more I actually come to love it. You've adapted the story of creation in a whole new way, and given it a new ending. Your interpretation is interesting and beautiful. Forgiveness is such a beautiful thing.

I think addition of punctuation could really add interest to the poem. Use full-stops to make the reader pause and think about particularly poignant lines, and leave commas and other punctuation marks out whenever you want the pace to quicken, a bit like at the moment when she bites the apple perhaps. Additionally you could split the poem up into stanzas to make it appeal to more readers as sometimes when people see a block of writing with no spaces/splits/stanzas they might be a bit put off. Although equally, I think the form you've used for this actually works quite okay because each line is relatively short, the longest maybe consisting of 6 or 7 words. If I'm honest that's why I decided to read it; because the lines looked short and it was a relatively quick read. But I am happy I took the time to read it, because I felt like I needed to read a poem like this, with a message of forgiveness at the end, not being afraid of evil and believing in the goodness of God. I also like the lack of capitalisation because I think it's quite pleasing to look at. I notice how the few words that are capitalised such as, "Bible...Lord...Savior" all are related to God, which makes them stand out more.

Reviewer Comments

I found this a while ago and thought I'd love to review it, it's been on my to-review list for a while, and I'm so glad I did! I think I gained a lot from it. Keep writing and stay cool :)