Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
About Literature / Professional Core Member Matt VoscinarMale/United States Group :iconda-poetics: DA-Poetics
Recent Activity
Deviant for 4 Years
10 Month Core Membership
Statistics 74 Deviations 799 Comments 9,904 Pageviews

Newest Deviations





First, I must agree with dabby in stating that your first line is fantastic. We hear so often that the first line of a poem must grab a reader's attention. This line does that and then some.

Unfortunately, the rest of the stanza does not follow suit. The lines following are clunky, filled with extra wording, and fall flat at the end. If I were you, i'd stick to the metaphor of smile/coffin and use different imagery entirely. This will allow the first line to remain poignant and keep you from losing the reader by going off onto a tangent.

The second stanza suffers from the same wording issues. There are a number of words you could cut without losing any meaning, and this would allow the poem to read much more easily. I understand that your intention may be to throw the reader with the second line of each, but it doesn't work to your benefit here.

While the third line follows the problems with the first two, I actually don't mind it here. The wording is strong enough to carry it through its inconsistencies.

Overall, this is an excellent first draft. Work on cutting down the second line of each poem, removing the extra words that are littered throughout, and remove the fifth line from each stanza. If you do that, you will have a very powerful poem here.
Starting a poem off with a question can be a difficult technique to use. It forces readers to pause and take a look at themselves before reading on. However, the question needs to be poignant. I think this one misses the mark, not for the basis of the question, but the wording itself.

The wording of the first stanza is choppy and takes too long. I think it's fair to say that you could remove "that on some days" and "simply" without losing anything important. This speeds up the process and allows us to get further into the poem.

The second stanza is a good observation but, it's just that. It lacks a personal touch. This is probably the most important stanza, so I would work on bulking up the wording and making it less inclusive. First person is difficult, especially when you're including the reader in the analysis of behavior.

The third stanza is trite. Is borrows from Elanor Roosevelt's fairly famous quote and bends it to fit the needs of the poem. This can work in some cases, but here it falls flat.

The good news is that you have a wonderful foundation. Your vision for this piece is fantastic. I need this poem to be less observational and more powerful. Add concrete imagery that we can hold onto and work on making the wording stronger.
Dear Kat.

I'll be looking at the poem in pieces, since your question revolves around how it is put together.

The first line is far too vague. Joy is an abstract thing, and I need to know more than it is on the surface. You follow with another line about anger. I understand the idea: the juxtoposition of outward appearance and internal anger, but it's done in a way that's far too vague and far too impersonal. These are both topics all poets address, so in order to the poem to read well, they must be looked at from a new perspective. Unfortunately, both of these lines are overused.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "a face that does not cease." I like it, because it's the longest line thus far and doesn't feel choppy, but the sentiment doesn't make sense.

The comment about the smile not reaching eyes is even more confusing. Joy is on the surface, but no one sees it? Or are you saying its never turned far enough to literally look like it's touching your eyes?

A quick thing: the "to" in the life's line needs to have two o's.

Then you get into the meat of the poem: It's time to learn how to socialize. I like the premise, I truly do, but the execution is too vague. Who are you speaking to? Why are they having problems socializing? Why is there pent up anger?

As far as technique is concerned, your poem is written with an incredibly strange rhyme pattern that has no discernible purpose. The short, choppy lines make them jump out and hinder the reading of your poem.

I enjoy the hopefulness of the poem, but I feel that you can express it in ways that are not unclear and cliche. Some of these lines appear in hundreds and thousands of poems, which is an indication that this poem needs a more personal touch. Add distinct elements and imagery, as well as personal touches, and this poem can truly go places.
Be born. That’s the easy part.
Beg for new toys or take someone else’s.
It doesn’t matter. Being selfish as a child is normal.
Being selfish as an adult is normal.  
Get dirty. Stop taking everything
so seriously. You’re going to die.
Don’t worry, everybody does it.
Don’t fall in love, love is not a hole
to fall into. Run into love, headfirst.
Bite your tongue until
you can taste the word no.
Give away your secrets under a pseudonym
for someone else to sell.
Chop off your arms and legs to pay for college,
realize tuition rates doubled.
Get a degree. Find a job. Hate your job.
Find a vice. Keep it closer than your breath.
Find God in an alleyway.
Lose God like a set of keys.  
Die and be reborn as a memory.
Die and be reborn as an afterthought.
Die and be forgotten.
How to Live in 2015
I've never been too great at list poems, but I decided to have a go at it. Be as brutal as possible when commenting and critiquing, if you'd be so kind. 

Critique Questions:
1) Is the poem too bitter?
2) Does the humor translate? 
3) What do you think the theme is? Did you find one?
4) What would you add or remove?
5) General comments or critiques?  


MattVoscinar's Profile Picture
Matt Voscinar
Artist | Professional | Literature
United States
"Just because its personal, doesn't mean its not cliche" - Keith Buckley

My name is Matt and I'm a poet/hip-hop artist. You can find me in Masaryktown, Florida. I have just recently finished my undergraduate studies, receiving a BA in both Public Advocacy and Creative Writing. I plan on publishing a chapbook by the end of the year and then making my way to grad school for poetry.

I also run the group DA-Poetics here on DA at:



Add a Comment:
stargirl2791 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks for the fave!
PaintedSunshine Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Hi MattVoscinar! Just wanted to drop in and be the first to welcome you to the group :iconpoetryforall:!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to either note me or one of the other admin. We will always get back to you as soon as possible. Aww

Also be sure to check in with us weekly for writing prompts and for our first contest! Contest details are now posted in the group journal and can be found at ~ Scripturient Scribbles (First Contest!) ~. We'd love for you to participate! Heart 

I look forward to reading some of your work and seeing you around the group! Hi!
PS - So sorry for the extremely late welcome!! ^^; Life has been getting away from me lately...
Braxton-T-Rutledge Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2015
Thank you.
brokengod--veins Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
YOUR CAT :3 I love your cat in Instagram. What's his/her name?

Anyways, happy birthday :3
MattVoscinar Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2015  Professional Writer
The fuzzy one is Gloom.
brokengod--veins Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
she doesn't look very gloomy to me xD
MattVoscinar Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2015  Professional Writer
We named her after the Pokemon. 
(1 Reply)
nawkaman Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015
Thanks for the fave. :)
L-Inque Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much Matt!  :)
MattVoscinar Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2014  Professional Writer
No, thank you for participating! 
Add a Comment: