This poem, “Picking Up the Pieces,” was submitted by a 13-year-old American poet. I will be focusing on the clarity of the subject matter, the execution of the poetic form, and how well those two things compliment each other. My comments are in coloured text. – Laura
Picking Up the Pieces - I think this title is almost there. But the speaker does not seem to be actually picking up the pieces in the way we use that expression. So a better title might be something like “Reaching for the First Piece.”
Back then that day - “Then” and “that” are weak words to start with. When was that day? Be more specific.
I knew you would say
Just give me a chance
But now you’ve left me
Torn apart - The speaker was the one who was dumped, but the previous two lines imply that the speaker was going to do the dumping. If that is the case, it’s hard to believe the speaker is upset and torn apart.
Picking up the pieces - I like the repetition of the words in the title.
Of my broken heart - This expression is overused. Can you come up with something fresh?
There’s nothing left for me to say
All the sunshine is gone
From my cloudy day - I like these two lines. Nice use of imagery.
If only I could turn back time
I never would have called you mine
What’s done is done - This transition needs some attention. Maybe create a new stanza here?
You’re not the one
You’re not the one for me - Nice repetition.
I thought you were different - Different from what? What is the speaker longing for?
You’re all the same - Who is all the same and how does this fit the title and theme?
All you do day after day
Is play your stupid games
So I’m putting you in the past
I know I’ll move on fast
Goodbye to you - Why does the speaker need to say goodbye again? I might end here.
I won’t see you soon
You’ll get a clue - Why does this matter to the speaker, and how does it fit with the speaker’s current situation?
More Feedback: I like this poem. It has a nice sound quality and flows nicely on the page, but the subject (deciding to move on after a break up) feels like it needs more work. What’s missing is a clearer progression from being dumped to moving on. Breaking the poem into stanzas may help, as would deciding the exact moment in the speaker’s life when he or she is speaking it. Is this the day after the break up? Is it five years later and the speaker has finally decided to move on? Situating the speaker of the poem in a more solid setting (in the poet’s imagination) would help make it more real for the writer and help give the poem a more consistent emotional thread from beginning to end. This will strengthen the tone and allow the poet to choose more powerful, unique words and phrases that amplify the theme and subject. Nice effort! Keep working on it.