Peer Review by ALangford (United Kingdom)

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I'm Not A Shadow

By: AbigailSauble


I write with my pencil
Outside in the wind.
Where my mind takes off
To far-off places.

I write about people,
Adventure, and fun times.
With my trusty lined paper
And red pencil in hand.

Some like my writing,
Plot twists and all.
But others haven't time
To read my poor words.

The sun casts a shadow
Of my small frame,
And sometimes I think
That I don't even exist.

But I have to remember
That I'm not a shadow.
I have friends who love me
And a cat by my side.

Peer Review

'I write with my pencil/outside in the wind'. It's the charming sense of peaceful escapism, the beautiful blend of personal detail and imagery (the pencil, the wind) and the notion of escaping into one's own writing, one which we all share - thus, it is simultaneously very relatable and very unique, drawing us in. The way in which this is achieved in such a minimalist fashion is lovely.

It's a very feel-good piece, honestly. It's once again that idea that while you're telling me all of these details about your own struggles with yourself and insecurity, I (as a reader) find application for it in my life. It endows the reader with confidence, not only in their writing and its beauty whether or not everyone may like it, but with the knowledge that many other people are also going through the same emotions and self-doubt as them. It definitely made me more cheerful and optimistic!

I was just wondering specifically why the idea of not existing is so relevant to you in relation to your writing. Do you have the feeling that for as long as your writing is not read, it cannot exist? It needs to be validated by the enjoyment of others? Or does your writing make you feel less relevant because of everything that can be achieved in the fictional world (but not the real one)?

Reviewer Comments

Have you considered working more with rhyme and form? It works very well to use this specific form for this particular poem because it is so minimalist and also very song-like, but perhaps were you to write something like this again you could experiment more with rhyme and rhythm to add strength to your feelings at different points - for example, the penultimate stanza could have been unrhymed and more erratic in terms of rhythm to show the turmoil that such thoughts put you through, or maybe a rhyming couplet at the very end of the poem would have added force to your overriding idea, making it seem almost resolved.
Overall though, I really enjoyed reading this and look forward to reading more of your work!