poetry critical

online poetry workshop

Obscenities Free-falling from the Top of your Lungs

Freedom isn't ringing from
the sides of mountains.
It's yelling,
in front of
court houses.  It
flaps in the
wind atop flag poles.
Taken down with shaking hands,
and lit ablaze, it's smoke;
inhaled by enthralled
witnesses. Freedom free-falls from
building tops
and secretly
runs through the veins
of sweatshops.  
It bleeds
from your children's split lips.
Freedom kisses you good
night.  It pokes its head
through curtains, in a stream
of morning sunlight.  
Freedom chokes
on your car's exhaust,
and forms puddles in your
driveway. It's
a gloved hand
melting winter's
first frost.
Freedom falls from
the sky and blankets
your home, but
you shovel it into
piles, as some menace.
Freedom is black,
because it is completely
to color.  It hangs
from trees without rope.  
Freedom never rang
from mountainsides.  
Freedom shouted obscenities
from the peak
and let them free-fall
from the top of its lungs.

2 Mar 05

Rated 10 (8) by 3 users.
Active (3): 10
Inactive (42): 1, 1, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)
(27 more poems by this author)

(19 users consider this poem a favorite)

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oh i like this alot, i give it a ten

 — unknown

 — Resonanz

L5 needs an apostrophe in 'it's' because you use it to mean 'it is'.
 — themolly

Actually, I didn't mean "it is," though you have inadvertently revealed a bit of confusion the line obviously creates.  Clearly it can be read both ways.  I definitely need to fix that, thank you.
 — Resonanz

I really like this, but you could work on the body of the poem itself.
 — Lilac

wow---what a great poem!  i love it...it's going in my favorites!!
 — woman_power

Thanks you two.  

I did a bit of modification on the body per request.
 — Resonanz

 — gingerdave

The subject matter of this is great. You don't read it a lot.  I love something new and interesting.  I like your opinion on things, your take on it.  It's a great poem.  
 — fallinforyou

I really really like this poem. I love the imagery used throughout. The only stanza I have some trouble with was the second to last. "Freedom is black". This is different from all the other references to freedom that tells what it is by stating what it does. Here you call it by colour (and I love the last line of that stanza, by the way), but it seems you are almost apologizing for calling it black, by giving your reason for calling it so. This seems to weaken this stanza. Since in all the other analogies you describe the "acts" of freedom, I think this stanza needs to be rewritten to fall in line with the others. The strength of that stanza is definitely line 29, but the rest of it needs work. I have added this to my favourites. This poem is brilliantly sculpted.
 — Nkem

fallinforyou:  Thanks I'm really glad you liked it.

Nkem:  Thank you for your suggestions.  I always appreciate the time people take in suggesting changes.  I continue to think about your suggestion.  Either way something is lost.  I see your point on how the sense of pattern and even maybe the urgency are lost caused by the use of a linking instead of an action verb.  However there is also a bit of content lost if I don't explain that freedom is black in that the transition between the stanza in which freedom is described seemingly as snow and then the reference to lynchings ("hangs from trees") disappears.  So I continue to think it over.  Thank you once again.
 — Resonanz

Really creative and interesting, from top to bottom.  Nice job.
 — Isabelle5

This is an absolute favourite.

I love it!  Thanks :D
 — CervusWright

I fuckin like you.
 — TheYoungCrow

instant favorite, it holds a wonderfully crunchy flavor of rebellion with subtle undertones of anarchy... i love it... 10... first one i've ever given.
 — ravenfalls

You posit some really unique and evocative thoughts here.

Very, very nice.
 — root

This poem holds some very lovely lines and provocative thoughts. It is one step away from being something even more special and I'm not entirely sure how you get there.

There are so many ideas. Perhaps too many. I'm not sure. But the poem lacks a consistent emotional grip on the reader. There are moments when I felt really enthralled and drawn in by this (lines 1-5)(lines 9-12; 14-21; 31-34 - most of the poem!)  but other lines were less successful (lines 26-29).

I agree that lines 26-29 conflict a little with the overall tone. The idea reallyintrigues me but the word 'apathetic' fails to excite!!

I like this very much. The fact that most of it is so outstanding makes the other bits stand out, so it's a tall order to improve on the slightly weaker bits but I think it would be worth doing. Thank you for this.
 — smugzy

L26...maybe "freedom is colorless, odorless???"  The "black" might invite in some negative assumptions from those who are really BENT on "colors."  Myself, I knew what you meant, but I'm not bent on anything but good poetry and I rate this one a "10," because it's perfect.  I love it.  Keep up the good work!
 — starr

I think this is a really good poem, but the repetativeness of "freedom is" gets a little tedious around L22 under the current rythm scheme, perhaps omit L22-29 and leave a sharper edge or build a little rythmic roll to persuade the readers attention into the poems content
 — SolCarloman

 — aaaargh

yeah yeah yeah - i only became iterested because of the last bit - "rang" - "shouted" and "top of its lungs" the rest is... (for me) not needing to be in the top ten. sorry. - its rythem and line breaks stumbles me (i do stumble alot) but it doesnt touch me - maybe its me but if i am the people then its us - or them??? - freedom cannot - like most things  - be put into words!
 — philoanon

i like it.
 — crazykiller

Pelicin- the lame references to Donald Tetto is getting old.  If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have this great site in the first place.
 — fallinforyou

 — fallinforyou

i like the last 2 stanzas, but the rest feels forced
 — john_daker

I'm really pleased to see this top rated.  Good job.
 — Isabelle5

the writing is excellent, the line breaks are, in places, just awful.

except for 14.

thats a good un.

polish it up, love.
 — noodleman

I appreciate the suggestions from everyone.  I haven't changed anything at this point.  This piece is actually over a year old so it makes me even more hesitant to change it.  (Other than line breaks of course)

In response to the concern about the freedom being black line, the racial hint is actually intended but I then say that freedom "is completely apathetic to color."  So it's supposed to introduce the topic and then refute the idea that any race is being held above the others.  Thanks regardless for the comment though.

Again thanks to everyone for the help on this, I'm very pleased to see that this all of the sudden got so much attention.  Some type of edit will be coming soon, at least in the form of line breaks because I agree with noodle that the line breaks are a bit... well awful.  Thanks everyone.
 — Resonanz

Lines 26,27 and 28 and truly bad. The rest is magnificent.
 — unknown

The once horrendous line breaks, are hopefully a bit better now.  Thanks again everyone for the comments.
 — Resonanz

Awesome poem. Just awesome. So glad I stumbled on it. The whole damn thing rocks.
 — Maela

this would be a killer slam poem
 — tragicbubble

 — unknown

great stuff
 — jittery

Anonymous, hamburgers? Why should emo people quit eating hamburgers? I am not emo myself, just wondering what makes it so aweful that they eat hamburgers.

And you might want to not be so random. >.<
 — Nerezza

i always like to see the conservative values rendered into wallmart art. this is painting on velvet, and the deer and the hunter look so lifelike, except a little fuzzy. this poem is so un-free in feeling that it could goosestep off the page and make a nice little rat-tat-tat. that's probably why everyone is marching along with it so happy to true hell.
 — mikebauer

Good job!
 — DeathShards

Execution falls short of concept
 — poetbill

this is a gorgeous piece.

the language is so... perfect. i felt as if i was looking directly at every image presented to me. i could hear freedom screaming at the top of it's lungs.

every image is so wonderful in this... oh god, i wish i were better at hiding my awe of your talent, and giving you something smart and wonderful as criticism.

but, i'll just leave it at; this is a wonderful, wonderful piece. i enjoyed it. immensely.
 — shakeit

If I were sober, I'd give better comments. But I love reading poetry while drinking.

This is an awesome poem. It really gets you in the gut, rather, that spot just below the heart and just above the gut, that part that really feels things. I dig this.
 — KibBen

Love it.
 — deathbyirony

wow. honestly, shivers went down my spine when i read lines 34-38.. espeacially 37-38.
great job man.
 — Rozzo

you might want to think about the racial implications of asserting that things are black only because they are apathetic to colour.
 — unknown

judging not only from obvious textual evidence (i.e. line 36-37 "it hangs from trees without rope" a clear reference to lynchings of blacks in the american south) but also from the author's own comments (above) it seems he/she has not only thought about the racial implications of freedom being black/apathetic to color but also completely intends the racial reference.  black being the absence of color and, thus, in a sense, "apathetic" to color is a rather fitting comparison.
 — unknown

L16-17 is what got me.

but reading further on, it would've been futile to fight.

 — of_shoes

Really expressive, I like it a lot
 — ryuuri

Back at you:
It bleeds from your children's split lips.
Freedom kisses you good night.
Freedom chokes on your car's exhaust,
and forms puddles in your driveway.  
 — cowork

Seems like spoken word. Nonetheless, I don't like it.
 — unknown

[sarcasm]...wow brilliantly said above unknown, what a thoughtful, informed comment [/sarcasm]
 — unknown

I really like the poem, I'm just not sure I totally agree with what your saying, because If you look carefully enough, you'll find that freedom is a matter of perspective,  And Our view of freedom is warped by the society we have, complete freedom in this world will never be attained, But freedom in our planet can be greatly improved and is very unequal. Which is why I like the poem, I just don't agree with the point's you made
 — unknown

the free-fall of freedom from the top to the bottom of this poem took my breath away -- here you've coated freedom in black, where a void is, where something isn't and here be its inherent vision:wisdom that freedom is beyond our human need to corral it in our 'reasons' -- freedom from freedom is the path of the truly free and here you've trail blazed in a wonderfully insightful 'n playful write --
 — AlchemiA

Nice flow, good imagery, thanks for it
 — Lochsawl

11-17 was definitely the highlight for me.
i wouldn't be surprised if everyone that added this to their "favorites" list is an american.
 — a2b489

i give it a 6.2
 — mixtapeboy

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 — unknown