Peer Review by ~madeline~ (United States)

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To the Young: Concerning the Old (link to performance in footnotes) (important update in the message board)

By: Anne Blackwood



    We demand an apology from those who came before, shaking our misery at them with war-torn eyes. The pieces they gave us are whirlwinds of responsibility, and condemnation is second nature as we reflect dread off of our trembling shoulders. But what if we stopped pointing our fingers? What if we opened our arms and said, "Thank you. Thank you for being here first. My heart may be broken, but you gave it a place to land."
    Ancestors are a mystery and family is a secret, but remember that they walked this earth first and decided to change it. Molding legacies out of newspapers only to give them away, they have allowed us to hold a living thing when it begs for a new version of hope.
    Sometimes they stand firm in their stories, hands stiff from clutching their dreams to their chests. We grab at the steering wheel that was entrusted to them and turn it into a carnival. Stars fly around our heads and we fasten them to our eyes, and it's no wonder the steadfast are afraid of change when it burns so brightly.
    Think of these things as you take on the world, for while it is ever-changing, it has been paved with the heartbeats of our mothers and fathers. They are the wise ones and the base coat of this life; they are the past that lives on into our present. The future belongs to us until we hold it no more, so view it with your sight, and carry it with their light.

Performance video: https://youtu.be/GFsD8q4RdiQ

Message to Readers

Hey guys! I missed the expert review, so I'd *really* appreciate some critical reviews (or comments if that's all you can manage) on this piece. Feedback can be about anything, from wording to format to my performance.

Originally posted 4/9/2021


Peer Review

This is one of those poems that makes me want to change and help the world change. I love the way you use descriptive language to point out our point of view and their point of view and how we can come to a compromise between the two. At the end of the poem I'm left inspired to change the way I interact with others.


There were a lot of really good, descriptive lines in there, but I would have to say my favorite would have to be the last line. That line so beautifully encapsulates the piece while at the same time it brings a whole new meaning to what you are trying to say, and that's exactly what the last line should say. Great job!


You had a great use of metaphor throughout this piece, likening actions and people to things they don't normally appear connected to. You also used unfamiliar phrasing several times. I would love to see more sensory details though.


This is really good, Anne! It's a beautiful call to action to remind us that we shouldn't condemn those older than us. They did what they thought was right, and one day when we are passing on our legacy, our mistakes will start to show to. And you did a beautiful job portraying that!


Reviewer Comments

My biggest critique is that I noticed is that you use similar length, complex sentences throughout the piece. You used different sentence structures well, but I think if you could add shorter sentences that are slightly less complex in choice places it could really bring a new energy and drive to what you have already written. Great job, and I hope this helps you as much as yours helped me :)