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About Literature / Professional Core Member Matt VoscinarMale/United States Group :iconda-poetics: DA-Poetics
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As many have said before me, short poems are the hardest to critique. They are also the hardest to write. Limiting oneself to three lin...



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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:


I will try to answer one and three simultaneously: It is infinitely difficult to present lyrics without context because the reader cannot hear the melody or rhythm. If you choose to attempt it, then you must control the pace and movement in a way that dictates how the piece is to be read. I do not feel you did that strongly enough.

As far as content is concerned, there is a lot left to be desired. I say this often, but I am left with more questions than answers. I'll provide a number of those questions below:

What kind of mistakes did you make? Why did you make them? Why did your friends leave? How serious were these mistakes? How many friends did you lose? "It" is a singular pronoun, so was there only one mistake? What kind of attacks are you facing? How could there be knives in your back if you made the mistake(s)? How would you right the wrongs?

That last brings me to this: the song is riddled with cliches. Lines like "the damage is done,"As bridges burn" "weight in my chest" "knives in my back" all hinder the writing because they've been used so many times before.

Vagueness and triteness are killing this song. I understand that writing to music is restricting, but a lack of focus does no one good. Try to focus in on one aspect instead of brushing with such broad strokes.
We did not meld together
like vines and gutters;
we melded like broken
splinter and wood
open wound and air.

When we tried to
cover our roots,
it did not keep us
from swaying. We were
less planted,
more buried.


grew outward and awkward
arms gnarled and yearning
for distance                          and light.

We should've known
that the buds we bore
would wither, that blame
should not rot under dirt.


We did not separate
like leaves of grass
but like stones
tumbling off the walkway
sharp edges rounded
by mindless movement
and time.
We Were Not Gardens
Critique Questions:

1) Do the aesthetic choices benefit the poem at all?
2) Does the use of simile seem overbearing?
3) Does the pronoun use seem overbearing?
4) Anything you would add or remove?
5) General thoughts or comments?
An empty space in rotting wood
sends glittering dust
through splinters of sunlight that
beam on collapsed wood. In the rafters-
a nest collected
by small talon and scratched beak,
alfalfa and bramble,
lay beneath the warmth and safety
of sleeping mother.

A bushel of cut branches and rusted wire
slices a shadow
against the grass that
stops at tattered wall. Beneath the wire-
a crevice created
by small talon and scratched beak,
alfalfa and bramble
filled with red feathers, broken shells,
and bones.
We Built a Safe Haven. We Built a Morgue.
Critique Questions:

1) Is it clear that there are two separate nests?
2) What theme do you get from this?
3) Is the imagery strong enough?
4) Does the mirroring work?
5) What do you think of the word choices?
6) Anything you would add or remove?
7) Any general comments?
i rather enjoy your use of repetition in this piece. It gives the poem an interesting rhythm that, I believe, can be toyed with in future edits. The foundation of this poem is good, and it's one we can all relate too.

However, id like to address the most important issue with this poem, and that is that the poem creates more questions that answers. I will jot a few that I had while reading below:

1) What night was it? I know that the description says that it's a date, but without that, the poem gives us no context.
2) The running line "the way she knew herself...was dangerous to those" doesn't quite work. As I said, I enjoy the repetition, but the first line needs a solid stop and the second needs a cleaner beginning.
3) Why was she dangerous?
4) Why did she fall for him?
5) Why was that night unforgettable.

The issue here is vagueness. There isn't anything concrete about the writing. The only detail we are given is that it was misty. Otherwise, I can't see or imagine any of it. The greatest tool you have in your Box is imagery. Use it. Tell us why the night was innocent, tell us about this girl's crush, give us the details of why she is dangerous (this has me very intrigued). If you answer the questions above, clearly, your will have a much stronger poem in the end.
As many have said before me, short poems are the hardest to critique. They are also the hardest to write. Limiting oneself to three lines is a difficult task, especially when you're attempting to convey a strong message with the poem.

I rather enjoy your strong verb choices. Infiltrating and destroying are strong words that obviously have negative connotation, which is the point of the poem.

However, there is an issue I have with this piece.

First, the premise is based on a cliche. Words being likened to poison or a harmful substance has been done to death. To use this metaphor, a writer must branch out further and delve deep into it, creating something we have not already seen. Unfortunately, you did not give yourself the opportunity to do so.

The idea that they destroy someone from the inside out is obvious, but I would love to see a detailed account of it occurring. Adding concrete imagery that is unique to the poem would give it a stronger voice and a much more powerful impact. At the moment, it's a bit vague. Strengthen the poem by adding to it.

The final question is a bit tricky, because you've found yourself writing a poem that is relatable because it's generic. There are no details given as to what kind of words, what kind of poison, what kind of damage it does to the inside/outside etc. Truthfully, every human being should be able to relate to this, which isn't in your best interest.



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DeiSophia Featured By Owner Edited Jan 2, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I keep seeing your critiques, and I like them... so I'm adding you to my watch, 'coz you know what you're doing ^_^
MattVoscinar Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2016  Professional Writer
Why thank you!
91816119 Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2015   Writer
Thank you kindly! :huggle:
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. 
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