poetry critical

online poetry workshop

Poems For Broken Bottles

Snow in the shadows lingers
while the rest's melting away.
I make shadows with my fingers
and hope that the shape will stay.
My thoughts of you go on and on
though my memory is blurred,
so before the day's forever gone,
I try to scrawl down every word.
But they're just poems for broken bottles
that I'll cast into the sea,
and pray they wash up somewhere,
and that someone sets them free.

11 Dec 01

Rated 8 (7.9) by 27 users.
Active (27): 5, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10
Inactive (86): 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)

(37 users consider this poem a favorite)

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I'm so sure I commented before that this is my favorite poem in the world... I know I said it on the other site, that I love this poem to pieces.
 — abby

My god, fantasic writing Rafter. Truly excuisite. This is probably the best poem I've read on this site or the other. GREAT WORK
 — Bella

...you rhymed. and it didn't suck.
 — unknown

You have a way of writing that is simple and very poetic. There are things that do bug me a little though.. It feels clunky in bits eg changing "they will" to "they'll" in Line 11 and dropping the "that" in Line 12 reads better to me. Also why "Broken bottles"?
 — unknown

 — aforbing

I dont think i have ever been more in love with you.
 — unknown

me either.
 — ted

Wow. this is very good...Especailly the last stanza. i hope someone does set them free for you.
 — Lioness723

 — Hawksfire

Broken bottles would sink to the ocean floor wouldn't they? They wouldn't wash up on any shores unless if they broken. This is the major problem with the poem. Otherwise, it's pretty darn good.
 — unknown

Yeah, broken bottles would fall to the ocean floor. But that is what *I* think this is about. There's a kind of faithful hopelessness, hoping the shape of the shadows he makes with his fingers will stay, even tho it won't. Scrawling down words to preserve memories of a person that his blurred memory would forget- this is a hopeful attempt.

This to me is about clinging to faith- there's this tiny string of faith that somehow the broken bottle will wash up somewhere, so the idea is preserved, passed on--freed.

And chances are my fried thoughts have nothing to do with what Rafter's thinking, but it still makes me consider all of these things. That's why poetry is awesome.

nice, Nice, NICE work on this one.

there is a tiny bit of rhythm tweaking I'd do- but that's only because the rhythm is so pronounced and I have my own ideas about pattern.

It's almost perfect. I give it a 9.
 — hogrot

too trite
 — unknown

Your last stanza is beautiful. I think the other two have things which disrupt the flow of your poem, but that's just my opinion.
 — J_Calvino

im not sure i quite buy the last stanza, though it smacks of beauty.
 — unknown

Great pome. it make me feel great
 — DarkRide

maybe it should be empty bottles..for if the bottles are broken, the poems are free. But marvellous poem rafter, just like cardboard, if not more so .wow!
 — unknown

 — thegrinch

I like the last line, and I too see that the poet is hoping for something impossible. This struck a nerve with me, I kinda like it.
 — Moose

The last comment from me on this poem was someone else on my computer. I would have to agree with them that this is a great poem however. The way I see this is that he never lets hope die no matter how impossible the situation. Hoping that the shape of shadows will stay or that the broken bottles will wash up on shore but knowing it's impossible...it's an amazing show of how no matter how tough the situation is you should never give up hope...I don't know if I'm getting it right but I've been in that situation and it's an amazing poem regardless.
 — DarkRide

I *heart* this poem. Good job!
 — Beatrice

Damn this is beautiful.
 — SeraphSoul

 — allie

I think its wow to.
 — she

Very thoughtfully written.....good job
 — unknown

it helped my aching heart
 — unknown

do I detect some sarcasm there, last unknown?
 — unknown

Your rhyme works well, and rhyme rarely does these days.
 — unknown

i know this is an old one, but i absolutely love it as well
 — unknown

I love it!
 — unknown

its very nice. its one of those rare poems that make sadness look beautiful
 — ari

i'll probably make a picture for this. it almost draws it's own. thank you
 — emobi

you suck!!!
 — unknown

i've read this before and rated it a 10, but i never really thought about the meanings of the phrases, and now it carries even more weight, to me. and broken bottles DO wash up on the shore, if you were wondering. they wash up as beach glass. the sharp edges get worn smooth by the motion of the waves and the sand. it's actually quite lovely; i collect it.
 — done

Snow in the shadows lingers
while the rest's melting away.
I make shadows with my fingers
and hope that the shape will stay.

That opening is amazing. The imagery is perfect, and is even more effective because it a rhyme. I really like this poem. It has got to be one of my favourites of the those I have seen on this site.
 — Neo

Excellent...brush up the last stanza. get rid of "broken"."...But they just become poems for bottles that I cast into the sea, although I pray they wash up somewhere and that someone sets them free." Leave title the same and it becomes positively morose and perfect.
 — C

losing "broken" there would destroy the rhythm and meter, not to mention the purpose.
 — unknown

I LOVE this one!
 — unknown

That's really good.A great form of expression of love for someone.
 — AsheePooh

this poem does not deserve a 7.7 with that last stanza: broken? poems? Poems I think could just be left as thoughts.
 — C

I don't know. It's so paid. done. hmmm...its a six at best. Anyone ever seen Message in a Bottle? or the half a million other daytime soaps relations of similar idea? How do you place a note in a broken bottle and then throw it?! this would never appear in any publication. this being at the top takes away some of the reliability of the rating aspect of this site. are the ratings relative to the other poems or given so that they stand next to anyone's? Good luck. you've treated his poem like a whore
 — unknown

I disagree with what everyone is saying about the last stanza, I think it is great.
 — max

I don't get it, why dose everything have to be so literal? Does anyone say of Poe, "but ravens don't talk!" And yes, messages in bottles cast into the sea is a familiar (cliche, even?) image. That's the point. I have no idea what it has to do with daytime soaps, though.
 — unknown

I love this, rafter. I wouldn't change a word. The last stanza is haunting, and says a lot about the nature of creativity. It's lovely. I love this one more every time I read it.
 — allie

i like this very much, but (and) i think it's a better song than poem.
 — gnormal

Line 7's phrasing is pretty awkward. I understand the connection of the first stanza with the rest of it, but somehow... I don't know.... gah. This is good, but if the whole thing were perfect it would just blow me away. At any rate, lines 8-12 hold up the rest of the poem and make it a good one.
 — Ananke

Beautiful poem.
 — heatherS

it sounds better today
 — C

Ravens do talk (to each other and consciously to some people); crows and ravens supposedly have one of the largest vocabularies known for birds: you just have to know their language (or be telepathic). They are often featured as being the companions of magical people. That's why the phrase works- cause it's true undercover.
I think this poem is unclear whether it's utterly hopeless and the author knows those messages won't go anywhere or not.
 — unknown

A lovely poem written so simply and yet so
meaningfully. Only one very minor nit.
Last line, first stanza:

"and hope that the shape will stay..."
"that" seems unnecessary and perhaps:
"and hope the shape will stay"... is
worth consideration.
 — Hadron

Hey unknown...
Ever heard of Betty, a crow from New Caledonia. It seems she created
a tool from a piece of wire. May not seem like a big deal but purposely
modifying objects into tools without prior experience is, "almost unknown
in the animal world." It is evidence of inferential reasoning which some
believe even apes cannot do.

And there is Alex, a gray parrot who can perceive quantities, generalize
concepts, use words in syntax and order specific types of food. Maybe Poe
really did talk to a raven. Oh yeah...... Alex said to day hello to everyone.
 — Hadron

animals speak telepathically as much as anyone. of course you'll think it balogna until you do it. also crows/ ravens supposedly have the largest vocabulary of the avian "world". Also note the archetypal connection between wizards/ witches and ravens/ crows.
 — unknown

Bologna, actually.
 — unknown

This poem gives a sense of hope. I thought that you had a very nice rhythm without forcing it. Good Job.
 — Dreamer

I love this poem it speaks to my heart the words are placed right and the meaning that it has as a whole is beautiful.
 — lostkid

whoa. so far and few between that I actually like a poem, or think it's worth reading more than once, I could read this everyday.
 — restless

i usually dont feel so strongly about poems that rhyme, maybe that sounds wierd but its the truth....but i really like this one
 — _ryan_

great peom
 — unknown

I really wish i knew who wrote this poem because it is soo beautiful.The words and expressions are truly words of poetry from the heart. Every line is so pure of emotion and the flow is fantastic!!Keep it up whom ever wrote this.
 — AsheePooh

 — Feagins

this is REALLY good! i don't even know whut 2 say! i luv it! GREAT WORK!
 — 2cute4u2c

Wow. Nice use of a basic vernacular to portray such vivid feelings. Remarkable.
 — TaylorC

 — unknown

 — unknown

 — unknown

Simply said yet a perfect picture painted. The art of poetry was well crafted here. Beautiful.
 — tinkerman

So many comments already but here's mine. I like it just the way it is.
 — Isabelle5

I like this poem because it has a very powerful impact and it's very thought provoking.
 — unknown

i usually dont like poems that rhyme cause people fuck them up but this was perfectly done. Great work
 — Brandxxx

i like this a lot...i love the broken bottles part
 — unknown

This is a really good poem.
 — tha_mink

Amazing !!!!!
 — critique

Amazing ... the making of shadows, the hope, and the broken bottles. I think that the word "poems" can perhaps be replaced by something more meaningful.

What ? I don't know :-(

 — mave

I love this poem! Line 9 makes it happen for me for some reason. I just love it. The only thing is the "that" in line 4. Does it need to be there? The stutter breaks the meter a little for me on the first few reads, but that is so nit-picky because this is a great poem.
 — basement

 — unknown

I like this. Your successful use of rhyme scheme as added much to this site.
 — TaylorC

effing brialliant.
 — dani

This is a really good poem...
it really means alot to be when i read it... it puts me in a good state of mind!!
whoever wrote this poem, keep writing!!!
 — unknown

Eh I kinda like it... but I think mine and my friend's are better... but nice poem... don't understand it very well though... but good idea... I like the last lines...
 — unknown

At first I loved it,
now I think it's cheap.
I find it cheesy; and not particularly striking.
 — weed

Agree. It isn't a BAD poem though.
 — unknown

You have an excellent idea here and some interesting imagery, but the rythmn and rhyme structures are too weakly developed to support it .The da-dee da-dee da rythmn ill fits the imagery.This has the unfortunate effect of making it seem that your words have strayed into a trite message printed in a greetings card.If i were writing this poem iwould take it apart retaining the strong imagery and attempt to reconstruct it in free verse form, for example your first stanza could run along the lines of

Sun melts
cornered snows linger
hopes mirror
shadowy finger play
patterned thoughts
turning over

 — unknown

It stinks...........................

 — unknown

i agree with the recent comments...
i used to love this poem, probably for the same reason as everyone else.

i think it sends a message that everyone has wanted to commit to words at some point in their life, and does so in a truly moving way. the concepts in this poem contain contextual connotations that everyone seems to understand... that is where it is beautiful,
but it is still trite and sort of sappy.

the poems that i like the most are the ones i read again and again without ever losing interest... this one i like less and less the more i read it.

plus it has been at the top of this list for too long, so i am giving it a 5. (in no way do i mean this as an affront to the author... it is still way better than anything i could write!)
 — root

i looooooooooooooooooooooooove this poem!
wonderful word weaving!
(i especially like the last stanza... i like them all, though!)

 — watashi

It's good--and I especially like it because it is short...
 — rob

by no means does this poem deserve nearly the rating it has, but holy crap, that first stanza recently posted by a commenter sucks big time. talk about trying to write "poetry" in quotes.
 — unknown

I hate it.... it's not detalied... I mean it's a good concept... but it jsut ruins the idea... you took the idea and used it wrong... it sucks cuz someone else could really write one better... but you already took the idea... so what ever you say might make ppl think that the other is copying...but yeah... it needs more visualness
 — unknown

Every now and then, such a simple poem will be the subject of backlash. It will have a resurgence.
 — unknown

This is very trite.
 — collyrium

 — unknown

i think this is wicked it just the right thing for my homework
thankyou for wrighting this poem
 — unknown

What a cliched subject. Boring.
 — unknown

I love this poem
 — unknown

simply pure, you have quite a refined and subtle beauty
 — unknown

From all the poems i've read this is by far the best
 — unknown

wow, ure really good. this is trully a masterpiece. the rhythm makes it come to life.
 — unknown

I love this poem
 — unknown

it is so beautifil

 — unknown

Trite. Line 2 has a problem... "rest's"... not a word. With work, this thing could be something.
 — aforbing

I love this poem, and you guys that were dissing it so need your mind fixed, i mean i doubt any of you could write better, this is great. I wish i could write that good! Keep up the good work
 — unknown

 — unknown

too singsong -
 — unknown

It should be while the rest is, which doesn't ruin the meter. Also shadows twice in the first stanza? Little things like that are very basic mistakes my dear, but this is a very good poem. I'm incrediably amused at how the author hasn't bothered to reply to any of these comments made....
 — Minx

Maybe my scansion is off, but I can absolutely not get "rest is" to flow when reading aloud.
 — unknown



 — unknown

When I read this, the word beautiful came to mind....Great poem !
 — beluga

unknown you are right, I didn't mean meter. I mean flow. Rest's is a strong syllable as is the start to melting so there is a pause between the words. With an is put in I think it flows better. *shrugs* obviously a personal opinion.
 — Minx

last line hits good and hard.
something about the simplicity of the rhyme scheme, and how you didn't overdo it, and didn't give up meaning to make it rhyme a certain way.
 — shakeit

Snow!!!! ;D
 — kronah

I personally think its really good. I like its simplicity. I have slight problems with the second stanza, because it seems a little cliche to me. Though I do still like the stanza. But I love line 9. Broken bottles I love that idea.

Good job
 — openminds

I like 'broken bottles.' I understand this perfectly and it echoes out past memories. Gorgeous. One of my favourites!
 — fidah

I love this poem.....I'm an idoit when it comes to poetry, but, damn, i loved this. I felt connected to the words. I liked 5 and 6 cause i can remmber things from the past, but there never really clear. Nice, you did a great job. =)
 — Max512

" it helped my aching heart" hahahahaha.. thats the best

 — unknown

your very talented
 — rain

don't like the subject matter but the first stanza is quite good. the last one is way too cheesy though.
 — engelwood

hm.. all these people saying that it would be better in free verse, or that it gets worse with every read... bleh. this is still good. ive read it many times. i actually like thw rhyme structure here. the reason it works is because it isnt weak like msot rhyming poems these days. its isnt just a few shitty words thrown together that rhyme at the end of every line. thats where this poem has its strong points... as for the weak points, i think the only problem i have with it is that too many others hate it.

seems "dead" or something to me, mabby "lifeless" is the word. but its ok i guese its just not the type of poem i like. but u did do good on rhyming and still having the words "fit"
 — reet

good. worth a rating.
 — hank

not only did you pull of rhyming, but you pulled of rhyming really really well! you don't use any fancy language, which is good in this case since it'd be too much. i love the last stanza- it was a perfect closing. liked the title too.

it was a nice read. keep writing!
 — crimsontears

I hope you can recognize honest critique, line 8 is terrible..honest,
as are others.
I think you have the makings of a wonderful poem here, it deserves a re-write.
Sorry, I'm new here, and not into saying somethings good, when
really it isn't.
If I were to rate it you'd be angry, convert that anger to another honest reaction,
yours, and see what comes of it.
 — unknown

I want it. How come I can't write so well? I are a gud riter too!
 — FangzOfFire

i love this poem.  i can relate with my current situation.  i love the title.  i just love this poem.
 — unknown

As many people have said, this is a rather trite poem.  However, it does convey feeling.  Personally, I liked the first stanza best; in line 7 you lost your syllable pattern, and that really disrupts the poem.  

My suggestions: cut out one syllable each from lines 7, 8, and 9, and insert one into line 1 (Possible begin with "The"; I've found that articles are a great way to complete your syllable pattern, since you can usually cut or insert them without adverse consequences.)  Also, see if you can get lines 10 and 12 to rhyme somehow; it would definitely complete the cadence.

Great thoughts, good wording, good poem overall!
 — Rhibal

this is stupid
 — unknown

to be honest, i really didn't like this until the last stanza. but now that i reread the entire thing, it works for me. good job.
 — tearstndpage

I love this.  It's so simple and clean.
 — themolly

this is great
 — sorry

This is very pretty and beautiful yet at the same time deep and intuitive. I really love the last stanza, very strong.
 — SweetPain

This should ALWAYS be in the top rated.  Can't you please change Unknown to your name so we can bask in the glow of you?
 — Isabelle5

how did you know?  

it feels exactly
like that.
 — LauraLea2

I hate my last comment on this poem with a passion.

I agree with Isabelle5, this poem is understatement perfection.
 — root

this being old, and reading the comments, i can see that this must have been re-written. i find it original and very effective. and cute.
 — duffyj83

this is truly a work of art...
 — dmartin

nice poem
 — unknown

Although I adore the title, I only find this piece to be o.k.

The rhyme and tight structure here doesn't really seem to work in your favour at all.

l1-3 - rather than creating a harmonious effect, all the "s"s in the opening actually made me want to read this poem a lot less- it was hard to get my mouth around- and there didn't seem to be any apparent reason for it.

l1 - this line is rather atmosphering, but it's too fantastical-sounding... and it becomes overdramatic. subtlety is very important with this kind of a poem, and an opening line like this requires it

l2 - "rest's" is definitely the most awkward word here. you need to find a way to get over stumbling blocks like it, because this poem could be quite good if the right changes were made.

l3 - repetition of "shadows" is very blatant and tired

l4 - actually, if you're making "shadows" it would make more sense for you to say "shapes", logically.

l3-4 - again, these lines didn't capture my interest at all. i found them to be very standard, and rather boring. they're quite.. bland and unoriginal. not striking at all, really.

l5 - sounds like a stereotypical love song. don't tell us that they 'go on and on' SHOW us! describe how long the thoughts are- compare them to something infinite or almost infinite... explain the emotions through pictures, weave me a tapestry of words sewn together from visions! don't just tell me this muck about it going on and on, or i'll roll my eyes (I know I would if someone proposed to me with a cheesey line like that).

l6 - why is the memory blurred? how is it blurred? what is the blurring like? we need more detail here... and you need to show us rather than tell us, again.

l7 - the phrasing of this is awkward - sounds like you swapped "forever" and "gone" just to make it rhyme with the word "on" rather than actually doing it for a valid reason. oh. and this line is very bland and cheesey again.

l8 - this line is almost the same as line 3, and just as lacklustre. again, you seem to be just trying to make ti rhyme with l6... and it comes out a little forced.

l9-10 - not bad. these lines are decent at least ("broken bottles" is lovely), though line 10 is way too short, visually it looks really weird when viewing the poem because of the line length here... and the verbal effect of reading these lines out loud is awkward because of line 10's disproportional length. if you're using so strict a structure, i think your line length needs to be more properly proportioned.

l11 - not bad.

l12 - i really adore this line ("someone sets" has very beautiful alliteration), but the "and" either here or in line 11 needs to be cut out because it is repetitious and hard to fit my mouth around- i'd recommend cutting the one in l11

I think the first two stanzas of this poem are barely adequate, but the last stanza could be quite beautiful if you fixed the length of line 10 and removed the "and" from l11...

In fact, I think writing a whole new poem using / based on the first stanza alone might be a nice idea, because the first two stanzas just don't work for me.

i feel like your rhyme is a little forced here- in terms of how you structured your poem to fit the rhyme in, in terms of phrasing, line-length, etc.

sometimes rhyme works for a poem, sometimes it doesn't. in this case i think the strict structure strangled your poem. -_-

^^ good luck!
 — Inuki

Subtly sad…i like.
 — winter

  O my god i wrote a poem just like that  but not exact yours is beter hands down
 — unknown

Doesn't everyone? ^
 — Lia

Great pome. it make me feel great
 — Meadow

i love it.  i love the idea behind it, and i love how it flows.  very well done.
 — kaitecometru

nice poem.
 — hank

this poem is sooo old! december 2001...

someone told me once that the older ones were the best; and you know "someone" was right.
 — mr_e

you've captured a poet's emotion most perfectly.
so touching, I'm glad I discovered this, since it was written quite a while ago.
this site is like the broken bottle which sets our words free, in your case, most beautiful words.
 — sparrow

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