On what is meant to be a relaxing day, one of lie-ins and laziness, I’ve decided to write a self-review of one of my older works of poetry. In it I shall point out every hideous flaw of my past self’s writing and attempt to point out areas for improvement. I may still be proud of my past work, but it’s akin to the pride Frankenstein had for his Monster, that is, it’s alive but it really shouldn’t be.

First allow me to give you some background for the poem.
Though I’m unsure of my exact age at the time, I would say, based upon chronological events in my life both prior and shortly after, that I was around nine. I would have gone into detail about the events prior but I had to stop myself as this was turning into my memoirs, maybe I’ll write in greater depth another time but this is not the time nor place, suffice to say it was myself and my Mother living alone in a Victorian house. My life was good and I had yet to really want for anything.
Yet somehow for reasons unknown, possibly due to my Mother who can best be described as a Libertarian, or maybe it was all those documentaries I watched when the documentary channel still played them, or maybe both, but whatever the reason I wrote this piece.

A Coming Sadness.

It’s a sad time, the world is boiling, the Alps are dry,
Our fuels are empty, our population is low.
Sadness floods our world, sorrow and death,
War and riots, sources of food and water are finished.
This world was greedy and took it all,
It didn’t learn from its mistakes, so the planets heart began to break.
Humankind is becoming extinct, people weep but no-one is heard,
Not even a bird, we took a chance but we failed.
There’s nothing left, no utopia,
No salvation.

You may now see why I decided to give that little context. I’m not sure how common it is for nine-year olds to write depressing poems on the end of world through humanities’ abuse of fossil fuels, but I have a hunch it isn’t that common. I may be a nihilistic depressive child of unmarried parents now, but I didn’t realise I was before I even reached a decade of existence.

Anyway, time moves onwards and I must move on to the ‘self-review’ aspect of Sunday’s Self-Review. Though don’t judge me harshly if I don’t do the same for myself, I mean… I was only nine after all.

  • So I didn’t really understand rhythm at the time and to be honest I still don’t now, it just comes about through my more recent poems. I could argue that the lack of rhythm makes the reader stop at each line in order to better grasp the poems meaning… but I was nine, and it does not.
  • There’s a complete lack of repetition, which makes this poem unusual for me and the vast majority of my poems as repetition is a technique I often use like a hammer, crashing down again and again on the rusted nail of my point into the readers’ poor minds until they get the equivalent of literary tetanus.
  • It’s undeniably got tone, sure it may be the tone of an old man on his deathbed, but it’s got tone.
  • It’s definitely got pathos, I pretty sure that’s a prerequisite for literary works on the end of the world, for most at least.
  • Bless my stars it actually has an example of personification, ‘the planets heart began to break.’ Sure I didn’t know what personification was when I wrote the poem but I did still use it, props to kid me for that.
  • Though it’s lacking throughout the poem’s first half I’m happy that I see some rhymes towards the end with ‘mistake’ and ‘brake,’ and with ‘heard’ and ‘bird.’ Though rhymes don’t have to be in poems, and there are many great poems without them, I always enjoy them, I think they can really help a poem to flow off the page and into the reader.

Well, I found that quite fun and I hope you all did too, that or at least partially entertaining, I mean I practise my jokes at the morgue every other night and they never complain. If you’ve noticed any poetic devices I missed feel free to point them out in the comments.
That’s it for this weeks Sunday’s Self-Review but if you’re interested I plan to do this every week until I run out of poems so make sure to check back next Sunday. Take care.



J.P.R. Campbell


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