Poem With Feedback #1


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.

You see

I thought you were different - Different from what? What is the speaker longing for?

But no

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

Maybe someday

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. :-)

Laura Michelle Thomas

About Laura Michelle Thomas

Laura Michelle Thomas is a novelist, freelance writer, writing mentor, and the owner of Laura Thomas Communications. She is the creator and administrator of the Junior Authors Contests and Junior Authors Conferences. Laura is publisher and senior editor of jaBlog! and is dedicated to fostering the development of young writers worldwide.

4 comments on “Poem With Feedback #1

  1. Sanya

    How can we send our poems to you for feedback? And is it free or do we have to pay a fee?

    • Hi Sanya. To find out about submission calls for the blog you must be on the Insider Mailing List. But can tell you that I am not currently accepting any more poems for the blog. I have enough already. If you enter a poem in the Junior Authors Poetry Contest and pay for feedback, you will get your score, plus comments from me on how to improve your poem.

      • Sanya

        Thanks a lot for the help!
        P.S: Already on the insider list. :)
        P.P.S: Preparing for the contest :)
        P.P.P.S: I love your site!
        P.P.P.P.S: I’m getting an inkling that I used too many P.S’s here…. :P

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