Peer Review by ALangford (United Kingdom)

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“I sit and look out"

By: Janna Brown


I sit and look out upon all the world
I see a mother holding her child tight and furled
I see children running and playing
I notice their laughter and I hear the things they’re saying
I see lovers holding hands
I observe their golden wedding bands
I observe the world’s warm love
All of these I see as I sit watching from the hill up above
See, hear and observe with your heart and not your mind
And you’ll discover at a closer look, the world truly is kind.

Message to Readers

“I sit and look out “ is a Walt Whitman poem, for a class project we had to do a Whitman inspired poem and this is what I came up with.

Peer Review

'I observe the world's warm love' - it was really nice how you took inspiration from the Whitman poem, but subverted the meaning. I found this really effective. It was also a really nicely written, poetic line, which referred more to abstraction than actual physical things you'd noticed, differentiating it from the rest of the piece. Although the poem was written beautifully throughout, I'd love to see you using more of that abstract, beautiful language and interspersing it more within the purely physical or material things that you noticed.

Optimism! Unlike its counterpart, this poem was just really optimistic and quite inspiring, really. I think it's very important to notice the beauty of the small things in the world around us as well as its injustices - it would be a crime not to take note of the everyday miracles we have around us, and to recognise how uniquely privileged a lot of us are to be witnessing them. It was really incredible that you managed to capture this in such a special and unique manner.

What inspired it? Were you literally sitting on a hill, looking down at the world and thinking how devastatingly beautiful it all is? Did you have a moment of realisation of what makes it so lovely, or have you always thought like this?

Reviewer Comments

Firstly, this was really beautiful and I'm so impressed with it. You've captured something really lovely in this piece, so well done. However, I was wondering if you might enjoy varying the format and structure a little bit more. You end every line with enjambment, but would some be more effective with something grounding them or creating a sense of a pause before the next line? Equally, would you consider adding more of a sense of meter or rhythm to some lines, for example 'I observe the world's warm love/all of these I see as I sit watching from the hill up above'? This catches a bit when you read it.
But overall I really enjoyed reading this beautiful piece of writing and hope to see more of your work in the future!