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By the Numbers

I’m more of like a 9.
Maybe it’s because I’d never have
the nerve to call myself a 10.
But I’m not an 8 either, because
that reminds me of those horrible B movies,
and you know when someone says,
“It was a B movie”
You just roll your eyes like,
“Yeah, I know what ya mean”
I never want to be related to those
cheesy B movies.
Nope, I’d rather be a 9.
Ya know, a cat has 9 lives
and maybe I like that number
because if I were a cat I would need all of them.
One because I was nearly hit by a pick-up truck
while crossing the street on my bike at the age of 7,
Two, because my parents once told me
that if I ever ate watermelon seeds they would
eventually sprout through my ears and kill me,
And 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 because Luke Adonis broke my heart in the 10th grade and it hurt so bad,
I figure he gets the rest of my numbers,
even though my best friend, Cathy, says that doesn’t count.
But she doesn’t know because she
has never been in love,
And unless you have,
you don’t know what it feels like.
It’s like trying to explain a hot shower
on a cold winter morning
to a person who lived in the desert
all their life and can’t
appreciate the warmth amongst the cold.
The drops individually prickling down the
back of my neck,
The steam rolling up past my chin,
cheek, and forehead-
All the places you wish the love of your
life would kiss you.
But no, I’m just a 9, not a 10.
I’m not one of those girls who
has guys at her whim,
They come sparingly, in little boxes and neat
little bows that often I never get past,
but I don’t mind, ‘cause it would bug me
to have guys crawling to get a chance to date me…
-k- that’s a lie…
But if I were a package, I would
make me easier to open,
Until you got inside,
Because I think what’s inside would scare most,
It’s not good or lucky like the number 8
in Chinese culture,
It’s my ground zero,
The bare bones of my being,
Where only 1 will find my 9 pretty
and kiss the places the steam rolls past.

11 Sep 04

Rated 7.5 (7.7) by 2 users.
Active (2): 7, 8
Inactive (3): 7, 8, 9

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I know it's lazy, but usually I cant be arsed to read long poems like this. But, this is one of the only ones which I managed to read through and enjoy. I like the flow of it.
 — marmite

Thank you very much marmite.  It is VERY much appreciated!
 — candykid

Unlike Marmite, I am willing to read long poems. This poem wasn't even very lengthy compared to some, yet it is too long for the points you are trying to make.

There are a lot of unnecessary lines and words in this poem- length isn't really your problem, just the fact that you have too much that ISN'T needed.

l1, "like" implies comparison, yet we have no idea what this comparison is- this line feels disjointed, as though it is a fragment of a conversation. While I like the style, it doesn't work with this piece. Possibly make l1 "I'm more of a nine"?

I'd suggest changing the numbers "9", "1", "3" etc. to text, ie: "nine", "one", "three". To me, it looks more professional, unless you have a reason you MUST use numbers... or at least pick either numbers (ie: 9) or writing the numbers (ie: nine) because there are points where you say "one" and "two" and points where you use "1" and "2". I'd recommend the first of the two options...

l2 "Maybe it's because" sounds too unsure. I'd take it out completely, then make l2 "I'd never have the nerve to call myself a ten."

l 4-11 I didn't like. What has a "B movie" got to do with the number "8" other than the fact that "B" and "8" look similar? These lines don't seem relevant to the rest of the poem, please remove them or rework them so they are explained properly.

L18-20 display a concept everyone hears- can't you think of something more original? I know that using things everyone has had happen to them / has heard of allows us to relate to the piece, but in this case it's just repetitive of things I've heard before, and tedious.

Lines 21-27 are great. I'm guessing that this piece is supposed to be written from the perspective of a young child, perhaps 12 or 11 years of age? Maybe younger? If that is the case, this is great. It is written exactly how a child of that age would speak- it has that rambling quality of "___ and ____ and ___ and ___!!!"

lines 28-32 are beautiful. I wouldn't recommend changing them at all.

yet lines 33-38 seem unneeded, and don't go at all with the flow of lines 21-27, which are very childlike. Even though lines 28-32 aren't very childlike, there is such a thing as child wisdom, where a youth will say something quite remarkable; however, lines 33-38 are something a mature teen or adult might contemplate- and therefore seem out-of-place in this piece.

Line 39 - the voice has already emphasized at the beginning that they are a nine, and not a ten. Why must they continue to do so? Please take "not a 10" out. It is repetitive and extraneous.

Lines 42-43 are well written.

Lines 44-46 are way too casually written, and go against the rest of the poem- I'd suggest you remove them. Especially the "'cause" and the "-k-". The way the speaker changes their mind so drastically even saying "that's a lie" causes them to loose their credibility.

Lines 47-53 are also unneeded.

I love line 54, "bare bones" "being"... great alliteration.

I don't like your ending, lines 55-56 also need work.

Please try and cut out all the unnecessary details you've incorporated here that ruin the flow, that make the voice of this inconsistant, and the lines that are repetitive... I think this poem has a lot of great lines in it- you just need to pick and choose the ones that are not good, and either remove them, or rework them.
 — Inuki

Inuki...thank you for taking the time to read my work.  I appreicate that you took time out to go over the poem...I am going to make a note of your comments...I think if someone takes the time out to critique my work, I should take the time to genuinely consider each comment, whether I agree or not...thanks again!  I appreciate it.
 — candykid

I think the voice in this is refreshing, not many people write in this style well, but i think its safe to say it worked in this one.  I like the feeling I got after readingn this, it didnt seem depressing, rather upbuilding, because of the air of confidence expressed throughout the poem. very nice.
 — madderhatter

By the Number 2
my heart it blew.
 — unknown