I Used To Be A Fox

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Daily Deviation
Daily Deviation
February 11, 2011
If only "we could always look at our lives and realize they had as much poetic resonance as I Used To Be A Fox by *DelectableTea observes here."
Featured by nycterent
Suggested by DailyLitDeviations
Hello-Please's avatar

Literature Text

To be a fox again, slender was my frame for once in my adult years,
the fat of my gluttony shed for a moment, like the athletic child I'd been.
Still, so hungry I bit and bat at the terrified rabbits, snapping a neck,
and so I began to eat a dear old friend of mine, none the wiser, poor Julia.

On the eve of our downfall, the cities stopped their incessant buzzing,
Rockets froze in the air, vapour and fire became a beautiful thing.
Some tired, bored creator, caught in a moment of whimsy,
Shifted our souls from one thing to the next, a wonderful game it must have been.

As a grasshopper, I perched on a tear in a paper door, playing my new instrument,
Strong smells, bamboo, earth and smoke. I was a nuisance,
My song was loud and urgent, I wanted attention.

As a cow my heart wept for my stolen children, belly fat again, I was swollen.
My integrity lost, imprisoned yet free to wander under the weight of pending execution;
Due date unknown.
I was no less alive than the grass I consumed so feverishly.

I soared down the coastal line as a gull, afraid of heights, I was so hungry again.
The ocean waved to me, bursting at the seams with silvery fish,
Too lazy, I ate something fried and soft from a polystyrene box.
I couldn't taste a thing.

Sticky and disgusting, hopelessly lost, I dragged my fat body over difficult soil.
I was only a slug, how could I have known the very ground would do me wrong?
My body bubbled and burst, painful, aware I was done for; I shifted again.

Lucky, I thought as a man. Once again I was fat and my joints ached, I was so lucky!
A metallic taste in my useless mouth, I could barely remember how to talk,
So very hungry, the fridge was full of sweating meat,
I ate all of it, and choked on every mouthful.
I wrote this as a monologue for a poetry prompt! However I think it deviated too heavily from the rules...

EDIT: Have worked on it some more.
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noirre's avatar
:star::star::star::star: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Impact

At a first glance, this seems like a simple reincarnation poem. Reading it, I go through the mind of a fox, a grasshopper, a cow, a seagull, a slug and in the end, a man. But while most religions that believe in transmigration also believe that life should be lived well in order to progress to the "next stage", this poem doesn't parade animals that have been good enough to finally end up as a human. The fox killed a dear friend for gluttony. The seagull was too lazy to catch a fish. In the poem, the shifts are, as explained by the second stanza, just a whimsy of a bored creator, a game.

The structure of this poem is rather solid apart from one thing that confuses me - the second stanza. As said before, this stanza explains the background of the shifts. I'm not convinced this is necessary, because the shifts are interesting and guessing what causes them could open up new levels to the poem. Placed as the second stanza, I think it also disrupts the flow of the poem, which otherwise would progress from one animal to the next. I think that if the stanza is something the writers deems necessary for the poem, it should be the starting stanza; this way it wouldn't be in the middle of the pattern and stick out so much.

What I really like about this poem are the different scenarios it shows the reader. The line breaks are at natural places and the language flows very nicely. The repeating theme of hunger and trying to fulfill that hunger were also very interesting - I had the feeling that no matter the form, this person will never be satisfied.
Hello-Please's avatar
Thank you for this brilliant critique! You don't know how great it feels to have someone who I consider a brilliant writer to take the time to read my writings! I can totally see what you mean about the second stanza, at the time of writing I wanted to throw the audience into the unknown with the first stanza and then bring about the structure of what was to come with the second. I shall definitely reconsider this based on your comments should I go for an edit! I'm also really glad you picked up on the themes and the idea that the narrative voice can not find satisfaction (and somewhat wastes the experience)
noirre's avatar
:blush: Thank you for the compliment! I know a bit what it feels like, since I felt the same way when you commented on my poem. :aww: And you are very welcome, I glad that you got something out of my thoughts. :) I sincerely enjoy reading your work, and it's also very liberating to write critiques when I know that the author won't think I'm out to lynch him if it's not sheer praise.
Hello-Please's avatar
:meditation: I think if you request critique you have to prepare for the worst!

Aren't we so nice to each other! haha
QuirkyToothbrush's avatar
Your work has been featured here: [link] :D Congrats on the DD! You truly deserved it! :)
Hello-Please's avatar
Hey awesome, thanks!
QuirkyToothbrush's avatar
You're welcome.. :)
Oli-S's avatar
Vigilo's avatar
Congratulations on your DLD (and DD!). This was wonderful to read. :heart:
DailyLitDeviations's avatar
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by DLD (Daily Literature Deviations) in a news article that can be found here [link]
Be sure to check out the other artists featured and show your support by :+fav:ing the News Article.

Keep writing and keep creating.
Dylithe's avatar
I don't get it.
Hello-Please's avatar
Ah dear, nevermind!
Emma-Fay's avatar
Every time I read this, I love it more an more.
I've never had a poem give me actual goosebumps've created something really special here.
Hello-Please's avatar
Thankyou sincerely for reading, It honours me that you have found a connection with my writing!
Emma-Fay's avatar
You're very welcome :huggle:
Militant-Jester's avatar
Freakin' depressing.
LadyofGaerdon's avatar
Wow. What a fascinating concept, and so well-written! The imagery is startling and vivid, and dripping with emotional resonance. Congratulations on the DD, it is well-deserved. :clap:
Hello-Please's avatar
Thankyou muchly!
LadyofGaerdon's avatar
You're very welcome. :)
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