Peer Review by Ibex (United States)

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When Branta Canadensis Go South

By: Huba Huba


When Branta Canadensis Goes South

The screen on my window blurs my view, but I see
the leaves go from a fresh green to gold and vermillion. 
The air chills to make us put colorful wool over our heads,
so there’s no green apple of the red, 
and we’re a mass of emotions and flesh. 
I wonder why all my friends like blue? 

When Branta Canadensis Goes South

Only when I lay still, and examine the clouds,
I realize that clouds move. 
Clouds are like herds of elephants, 
traveling with their families from place to place, 
and no one needs a home as long as they’re with each other. 
I’ve never seen the same cloud formation in one place. 

When Branta Canadensis Goes South

My crimson rose garden evanesces, 
and my tomatoes and squashes pass away.
Life flows out of my garden like an endless flux, 
but the seeds I traded for a cow, 
metamorphose into a beanstalk reaching the sky, 
and I grieve my sacrifice for the cow. 

When Branta Canadensis Goes South

Why don’t I feel warm with you? 
Our embraces bring fatigue, 
while our conversations are so monotonous
so I wonder who I am to you, 
and who you are to me. 
They say it’s time to let go. 


Yet my family still chatters,
egg tart aroma lingers in our kitchen, 
my sister still sings like the Gavia immer, 
the shower is always equipped with shampoo, 
gravity still pulls apples down on people’s heads, 
but everyone around me always raises me up. 

When Branta Canadensis Goes South, 
    I know they’ll come back. 


Too many of my pieces begin with "when"

Message to Readers

I completed the poem that I plan to submit to Scholastic this year. Though, I'd like some peers to review it. Thank you.

Peer Review

I LOVE poems about fall. Being my favorite season, fall poems just always so beautifully capture what I see right outside my window and twist it into something new, remarkable, and unique. Your poem does that for me.

As a quick note, it might be a good idea to include what Branta canadensis is in the footnotes of your submission, since there are always going to be those who aren't familiar with scientific names. I love how you bring up your family and your relationships with other people in this poem. Maybe you could deepen this part of the poem. I saw all your stanzas are six lines... Just in case you happen to suffer from this unfortunate conundrum, don't feel trapped by a specific length. Just write. But if you like your stanzas at six lines, great; keep them that way. I also read through Anlee's review, and I agree with all of her comments.

Reviewer Comments

So cool you're submitting to Scholastic! I myself have submitted writing for their competition in the past (I've been mildly successful in my endeavors), and I have just a few tips:
First, I'd recommend taking a look at winning poetry from last year (you can find it on Scholastic's online gallery) just from an intellectual point of view. Reading past work, especially poetry, can sometimes act as further inspiration for your own.
Second, try reading your work out loud, like you're going to perform it, and then edit where it sounds weird. I've found that this really helps with the flow of a piece. And, especially in poetry, flow is very important.
Finally, work this piece until the imagery pours itself into the readers' hands. Make them salivate. Make them want more.

Best of luck,