poetry critical

online poetry workshop

Corrugated Cardboard

Holes in all my clothes again,
I cut myself while shaving.
Packing stuff away again,
I save things not worth saving.
Mending things with fishing string
by the fading light of day.
I sit in my room with everything
I'll never throw away.
People are so funny sometimes,
like when we're by ourselves
and we pull out our emotions
stored on rusty metal shelves.
Somewhere there's a warehouse
of the saddest things we do,
and in a dusty storage room
I hide my thoughts of you.

9 Nov 01

Rated 6.5 (7.8) by 2 users.
Active (2): 6, 10
Inactive (81): 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 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, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)

(24 users consider this poem a favorite)

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This is really good Rafter. I get the feeling. Completely feeling the emotion. Well done, once again
 — unknown

Them two 'agains' are like poetic perfect matey .... plunge dagger into pernickity twat types at RTW.
 — unknown

Nice... it reminds me of my poem, "Carpet Colony". I'll have to get around to putting some of my stuff up on here. For right now, I am happy just to read the work of others. Great Job here!
 — aforbing

Very nice. I enjoyed this.
 — Lioness723

The rhyme-scheme isn't consistant, but I think that's what makes this. It's very much like the opening scene to a movie or video game (I consider them art, so that's a compliment :). I can just hear a voice whispering every line, wonderful.
 — Hawksfire

Good poem Rafter, sad in a way too.
 — unknown

only the word sometimes didn't gel. This poem came together very nicely.
 — werkzeug

you have a great sense of rhythm.
 — jade

I love this one.
 — abby

god, this is awesome.
 — done

I liked it. Good job!
 — Beatrice

I read this, it's a good poem but sad.
 — SeraphSoul

most good things *are* sad. bittersweet, rather.
 — jade

This was gorgeous. I still read rhyming poetry and think about second grade when words were just strung together to make rhymes, to make "poetry", but this flows beautifully. Very nice.
 — unknown

The use of rhyme is just perfect- totally unobtrusive. Bravo.
 — allie

How sad. Now I need a hug I think.
 — boomcrunch

It's all so good without bein silly.
 — she

I didn't even notice until I read other's comments that this poem rhymed. It just flows so nicely...

the poem itself though, sort of bittersweet.

i like it...
 — luella

The rhyming does work perfectly. Well done.
 — Moose

the last stanza is amazing.
 — unknown

so true.
 — rubi

 — emobi

its really good, theres like a clear rhythm to it the last line really gets ya tis nice
 — indigo

I don't know, I didn't like it. It's not that there was anything wrong with it. It said what it had to. I just don't think it had to say much. Poetry is ruled by how much you can effectively say in a beautiful tight nit package, nothing overlapping. My advice would be to try and tackle something a little bit more difficult. You obviously have some talent with rhyme and meter, if that's the rout your going to go, great. Use it. Say something.
 — Yeshua

Great poem. It says so much in so few lines
 — Piedpiper

Wow, couldn't have said it better myself! This poem is amazing. Great writing!
 — Sabrina82

i can relate to alot of that and cuz yea but creat work who ever you are
(sum timez i feel like crying but my burnt soul won't let me go to the happiness and i cry sum more on the inside that is why i can't go on for the next day or two ........i cried)
 — unknown

Now I'm crying. Please spell correctly.
 — unknown

LoooooooVE it
 — Loni

Still number one, I see. For good reason.
 — unknown

Love this poem, the rhyming and the way it rolls off the tongue is perfect. It is sad though.
 — max

I don't really like lines 9-10. They say what they need to, but they don't sound poetic. I love the rest of it though, especially the ending. I've seen this up here at #1 so long and never stopped to go read it. Good job :)
 — Ananke

This is great!
 — heatherS

the ABAB bugs me. but then again i think it's hard to pull off something somber these days in abab, so im impressed. the structure lends itself to square pieces of corrugated cardboard. the first quarter is the strongest, but the freshness suffers immediately afterward in the fading light of day. i dont know what to change- line 9? but i bet you could make this real 7 into a real 8.
 — gnormal

this is awesome- except the last line. It feels like it goes from this distant existential estrangement too quickly to a romantic reference, from a kind of wretched high to be moored low. Wow what work, though too wretched.
 — C

To think that this is the top rated poim on this site is pathetic... I mean that with all sencerity... it reads like a hallmark card... if you don't agree with me... go visit a hallmark store... if you were intending for that sort of thing... I declare you have done a good job... personally I hate rhyme and methodized rhyme even more so... Mending things with fishing string??? that seems too much like a stretch to make a stanza work and it doesn't project anything to the reader... People are so funny sometimes??? do you mean peculiar... where is the humor? funny is another weak word in this poim and the line doesn't work with the rest of the stanza in respect to being "funny" ... somewhere there's a warehouse of the saddest things we do???... what saddest things? are these sad things our memories?... fuck... if the memories are the saddest things... what of the good memories... those are sad too? the poim itself has some points to it... there is a cleverness in some of the ideas that are suggested... but it was not composed in a difinitive manner which would bring out these points... the beginning started out nice... a bit of chance... circumstance... bravo for the shaving part... holes in clothes... the idea of a warehouse of memories... (if that is what you were saying... the sad part just doesn't make it seem so) but the poem then falls apart as it goes on... to everyone who has praised this poem I feel has not even looked at it... furthermore I believe they are in tune to the hallmark epidemic which has so clearly infected the realm of modern poetry... there comments are a diservice to you (the author) and to all poetry... there is a cheapness to this poem... it is not horrid... by all means I have seen much worse... but it does not at all deserve the praise that these nodding "yes" half-wits have been giving it... to the author... what these people have done by praising your poem has done nothing to aid you in your pursuit of writing... although their words may be nice... even somewhat encouraging... the majority of them do nothing to comment on your content... they all remark with things like... "Great Job"... "Lovely"... and all that worthless shit-strewn commenting which ammounts to nothing... nada y pues nada y pues nada... how about some constructive criticism people... I have seen very little on this poim... and if these people honestly believe that this poem is that wonderful... then I must say we have hit a tragic dilema in the world of literature... I feel that what has happened with this poim is the very same thing that has been happening within society... a bunch of sheepish-herd-mentality-droning-homogenized people without any true opinion of their own nor any balls to actually voice an opinion if they had one... only a few people have given this author constructive criticism... that is sad... trully sad... to the author I say... re-write it... or scratch the whole thing and start over with some of the ideas you had... I would not say the rhyme helps this poim in the least bit... it seems too concocted, as if you were searching for words to rhyme with and then constructing your poim around those rhyme schemes... this happens all too much in poetry... its called "forced writing" or otherwise known as constipated writing... searching for something instead of using what is there... forcing it out... the poim is then governed by the rhyme scheme, and the thoughts are then often consumed and disserviced by the rhyme scheme itself... giving it a cheapish feeling... it is very rare to fine a rhyming poim that does not do such, and to use rhyme as a device one must keep this in highest regard... rhyme is a powerful device, but also one that is used and over-used and has a tendency to misconstrue a readers perception on the actually subject matter and content of the poim... this poim I feel does just that, and many people have bought into it... do not let your rhyme control your expressive content... rework the poim... it has potential... that I feel is true... but as it is... it is nothing special... nothing worth what these people have mistakenly identified it as... (and yas... I know very well poim is spelled "POEM".........) I wish you well with all your poetic endeavors and it is in my utmost hopes that no one will ever provide you with the meaningless trite feedback on your craft as the majority of these people have. Always remember... praise is worthless... (when it comes to craft)... it will do nothing for you but aid you in continuing the same mistakes...one ought to value the opinon of another who is willing to indulge, examine, and find fault in one's work. But what the fuck do I know anyways... I am only one person. (F.P.)
 — FP

and furthermore... I would like to add... wait... nevermind... I really didn't want to add anything... just be a bastard is all...
 — FP

actually, i don't think this poem sounds forced at all. writing a poem with a specified meter and rhyme scheme is an incredibly difficult thing to do, and to make it sound good and give it actual meaning in the process is no small feat. that's not to say that your criticism is without merit. every opinion has value. however, before giving such harsh criticism to a poem that is genuinely good, i suggest you at least make an attempt to write one similar to it. while that may seem like a stupid thing to request, it will actually give you good insight to how hard it is to write a poem like rafter has written.
 — done

I must admit I get the shits,
whenever someone's rhyming.
It's not the words, not the meter,
nor anything they are describing.

It's just that when I listen in,
they fall short of Dr. Seus,
with all the rhymes, all the rhythms,
resembling those of Mother Goose.

You're right... that was difficult... trully.
 — FP

it was difficult, since your creation doesn't sound good at all.
 — unknown

I do agree that the poem is overrated on the site, but your imitation has some pretty serious rhythmic errors.
 — unknown

HAHAHA... and I tried so hard...
 — FP

I have to agree that this poem hasn't been given much critical attention. The first two lines are nice. Connecting the holes in things with the holes left when shaving. However, the next two lines bring in a totally different thought, that aren't very detailed at all. Why not tell us what isn't worth saving? Mending what with fishing string? This line might be more realistic if you mentioned what it was you were mending. As a rule avoid words like 'things' and 'everything' and 'anything'. Decent advice on what to do with stanza three has already been offered. The last stanza begins weak 'somewhere' is another word that should be avoided as it lacks in detail. I like the idea here in the last stanza, and with some rewording I think it could really work. A warehouse of is an odd break. I'm not sure a wearhouse can be 'of ' something. Maybe full of? If you're really wanting to keep it in form I would suggest try writing this in an alternative form. A sonnet? Sestina? Villianelle? As it is, the poem sounds a bit ...nursry like which makes it hard for the reader to take the message seriously, the message which is rather serious itself. Also, perhaps consider a different title. While this one conjures a definate image, it doesn't really speak for your poem.
 — Bleu_notez

Some may say that this poem is overrated, but I still enjoy reading it whenever I visit the site. It is a pleasant metaphor, and when I finish reading I can't help but feel a little somber.
 — unknown

I thought it got its point across. It brought out the feelings, and yes it does sound very basic, but not everything has to be so complex. Its simple tune and vagueness, in their own ways, help further the idea portrayed. I liked it. I do not believe it is the best on here, but hell, the majority must.
 — Mantis

I've never been really big on this one, but that is pretty much because of a matter of preference, in that I prefer much looser-structured pieces. there is one place in the piece that really does not do it for me at all, however, being lines 9-10. I just don't really like the sound of those lines. it fits in with the tone of the piece, but that spot in particular seems a bit more... simplified? basic? I can't think of the word I want. it just doesn't really feel like it works.

the rhythm is definitely done well, though.
 — semaj

Beautiful, absolutley beautiful. It was very heartwarming.
 — urbansong

Great poem, the rythmes help....very original, great job
 — unknown

Long oft shall I rue thee, too long to tell...
Not really original; love lost isn't so dramatic, interesting.
Explain why it was lost, and I'm there; if my opinion matters?
 — alphazeta

i agree with FP. It is a nice poem,,, but the top rated one? Puhlease!
 — unknown

I also agree with FP...this poem is good and all, but is a bit down-the-line from a top notch, top rated poem...better luck next time
 — unknown

 — unknown

Quite often the truth is sad. You captured the thoughts and truth of many upon these dusty shelves. Great work!
 — unknown

I don't care what anyone else thinks, this poems deserves to be at the top. Wonderfully written. Bravo!
 — Python13

very good... ln 16.. There sit my thoughts of you. you're not actually "hiding" thoughts as you indicated (ln 11) you pull them out. a lovely poem. conceptually brilliant. i like.
 — mtw

Very sentimental.
 — Dreamer

I really like this poem. I really felt it and related to it.
 — silence

 — cannedsoup

eating cardboard does more for you nutritionally
than eating eucalyptus leaves.
i done learned that on th discovery channel
 — unknown

It's hardly great. I agree with FP, for all the reasons he gave.
 — ersaph

This poem is my nemesis.
 — unknown

I am usually not a fan of such simplistic rhyming, but this was top notch. I honestly enjoyed this poem. And dont mind FP, i think he is a just being a douschebag.
 — dmartin

it was written in one of your birthday cards wasn't it?

 — unknown

I think it is a great poem masquerading as the "Hallmark Card" FP alleges...
 — unknown

Hmm... good in an elementary kind of way. Not a lot going on here, though.
 — aforbing

 — unknown

First time I've seen it. Love at first "site."
 — Isabelle5

I really like this one. I like the way you make everyone capable of relating to this. I think everyone has felt this way at one point or another.
 — Sleepless


Friendship, what can I say about friendship?

Friendship is the one thing that you can rely on,

Friendship is like a puzzle, sometimes the pieces break,
but those pieces always seem to find there way back,

Friendship is like a maze,
it gets lost and always seems to find its way out,

Friendship is something that you have to build,
And when that building falls it always seems to stack itself up again,

Friendship is a state of forgiving not jealousy ,

Friendship is trusting not betraying,

Friendship can be hard at times,
But everyone always seems to get through those times,

I hope our friendship is all of the above and more,
You are my friend and I don’t know what I would do if I lost you!

To: Melissa
By: Kassondra
 — unknown

 — unknown

I was bored reading this
 — unknown

it wuz a woinderful poem i luved it!!!!!!
 — unknown

I just read again. I really enjoyed it and didn't feel any of the misgivings I did before. Excellent rhymes and heartfelt emotions.
 — C

ditto.  one of my favorites!
 — worms

I think this is wonderful, and I really just don't have any ideas to make it better. I like it.
 — Cella

line 4 - The save/saving repittion makes me cringe.  Maybe "worth keeping" would be more successful.

line 5 - Mending what "things?"  Don't use meaningless words like things in your poems.  They tell us absolutely nothing.  

line 9 - "Funny" is a weak way to put it.  Odd, peculiar, wierd even.  However this line seems to be a poor way to lead into the next.  It makes a random unnecessary point that leads into the main focus of the main poem, but only indirectly.

line 13 - 14 - I'm not real fond of the "warehouse of the saddest things we do."  The saddest memories we have, or something along that lines would make more sense.  Of course that doesn't rhyme with "you" but still.  

line 16 - It's not a horrible ending, but it's predictable.  I guess that might not matter to you.  It does to me though.  

This needs a lot of work.  It has potential though, just needs fine tuning.  Good luck.
 — Resonanz

you have an awesome rythym going on here. that's hard. well done.
 — ElegantWaste

I enjoyed this poem.
 — unknown

I love l13 to l15. They are so bittersweet.
 — unknown

holy crap! amazing poem. i loved it. great imagery and linking of ideas.
 — Dom

this is a good ass poem; i think.
 — noneisreal

one of my favourite poems of all time!
 — Odin

Really interesting, maybe overusing the word 'things' early on. Great imagery though, and intertwining of some concepts we don't always see. I always love rust images, too.
Very nice piece, here.
 — Jakle1111

this is great
i know it has been said, but very good use of rhyming!
 — unknown

I like all of this exept the final stanza.You wrapped a good poem in a cliche in those final lines

Larry boxed off Lark
 — larrylark

I like the feel of the title (no pun intended). It really fits the piece. It reminds me a lot of the empty boxes in the store of Bradley's childhood in Iris Murdoch's "The Black Prince". The feel of the word, and the alliteration go well here.

l1 - a nice line, i like the immediacy of the line, and the word "again". ^^ It feels very nice, and gives this in medias res flow.

l2 - this furthers the theme of imperfection that was raised in the first line and is definitely consistent

l3 - I don't think this line works. it is too short in comparison to the previous two
lines, and the rhyme is basically doesn't exist since it is the exact same word as l1.

l4 - this line works very well. the rhyme seems to fit l2 quite well, the length when read is smooth (though visually it's a little bit uneven, it reads perfectly, so I think that more than makes up for it)

l5 - I like the feel of this line. I like the idea of mending the the imperfections in lines 1 and 2.

l6 - a good atmosphere-setter, this line serves to give us a time setting as well as a visual picture of the room (beyond it just being a non-descript room, like it is in l7).

l7 - I don't like this line. The word 'everything' at the end is vague and seems a little contrived. It feels like you were just looking for a word to rhyme with "string" in l5. I'd seriously rethink the wording of this line, there is probably something better that could be used here.

l8 - this line works, regardless of the last line. Yes, it works with l7, (l7 is more questionable though), but the rhyme works very well with l6 and the mood of the piece. I really like the image I get up to this point, of a person sitting, lonely in a room with all the junk they haven't the heart to chuck out.

l9 - I don't think the word "so" fits here. It doesn't really add anything to the line, and it makes it read a tad bit awkwardly.

l10-12 - these lines are good. individually they don't really seem like they're all that interesting, but when inhaled together they do definitely work- especially lines 11-12. the description of the shelves as rusty carries the mood which has been flowing throughout the piece, and l11 gives us a clear picture of the action.

lines 10-12 just feel very lonely and isolated- as it is telling us that we as humans can't share who we really are- our true emotions with anyone- that we have to wait for people to be gone before we can actually do so.

the depiction (almost a personification ? ) of emotions as solid objects that are stored (in boxes I assume) and taken out like personal heirlooms or keepsakes is a very beautiful and melancholy/wistful notion that I particularly love.

l13-16 - these lines are absolutely brilliant. I think they're perfect- they're neither too blatant or too subtle, but they are definitely very simple. The simplicity really works in this case, it creates a very honest, incredibly beautiful effect. The rhyme definitely works well enough that it causes no noticable interference in reading this stanza. I think these four lines summarize the mood of the rest of the poem quite well, and state it very simply.

This is quite a good poem, I'd say if those few lines I mentioned were tightened up that it would make it better. ^_^
 — Inuki

This poem randomly appeared to me again. Every time I see it, I get a little afraid as it feels sort of like a reminder that I may end up living on the homeless streets. I can relate to it and reading it gives some strength. Truly in life, when one becomes bummed, one could become a bum. The two words are the same in different situations for a reason. Think about how hard it could be to pick oneself back up when one no longer has the strength, or support of other good people. This near-homeless person/drifter is really skilled, able, and his will has not been broken, and I admire that perseverance and that it is recognized. Now how about the ones who unfortunately have been wrongfully broken? A second poem, poet, please. You seem able in this area. It needs poetry and they deserve our art, love, reform, and repair where possible.  
 — C

i keep coming back to this, it just nails a feeling in me ive never been able to.. well.. hammer i guess? loving it :)
 — charango

I don't know who this is to but OUCH!

The poem's sound was expertly contrived and the concept of stored emotions quite telling.
 — In_Relief

Omg, definetly one of me faveorites! It gives so much more than it takes. Thought provoking and memorable.
 — winter

Why are you under unknown? With this piece of work under my belt, I'd be shouting to the world that I wrote it!
 — winter

The first poem on this site and it's lovely :) A perfect little poetic nugget, vintage style.

 — musicwords

fabulous One of my all time favorite reads here. great job!
 — xtormentedx

Very cliche
 — stolen_kiss

This poem has had the benefit of 5 years worth of criticism and edit. The names of the critics and the quality of the criticisms retain a similar flavor to the critics and criticisms on the current top-rated poems, which is heartening/should be heartening. Change is never as great as we think.
 — unknown

this reminds me of
Peeling Potatoes...
only not nearly as good...
 — chuckles

good work. relaxed rhythm, not overdone at all.
 — listen