Once I let you in, you sowed the seeds

From whence grew spiny shoots and tangled weeds,

Sprouting in my heart and in my mind,

Creeping tendrils writhed and intertwined,

Twisted vines gripped tight around my throat,

Smothering me like a thorny coat,

And though the roses bloomed they wilted fast,

Velvet petals perished, not to last,

Theย lifeless flowers drooped and fell to ground

Where only prickling thistles could be found.

So once you left me, all that one could see

Was your dead brier thicket strangling me.

Emma H, age 26, 24/02/2017

Happy World Poetry Day 2017 everyone! Here’s hoping it inspires as many people as possible to read and write some sensational stanzas ๐Ÿ™‚

10 thoughts on “Stranglehold

  1. What a poetic, yet perfectly succinct summary of emotions, that most of us have felt at one time or another during our lifetime. The difference in your age and mine is vast, and yet, when I read this poem, it instantly conjured up sentiments that lingered in a small corner of my heart, and was brought back to the forefront of my mind. Very well done!!! It isn’t easy to do that and yet you captured it perfectly! (Sorry, I am a retired writing teacher and I cannot help but shout out a “Bravo!” when I feel one is needed.) Yes, well done indeed!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your kind praise! It’s encouraging to hear that my poetry can have that kind empathetic or emotional effect on its readers. It’s what I always strive to achieve! ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

      • YES! You achieved that. And BTW, do not listen to the person below. The last line is perfect. Poems are three dimensional. They take on a life of their own. (Or they should.) A relationship ends because one person is sucking the life out of the other.. it is a death of sorts. And you captured that emotion effectively. Pain and sorrow makes you feel like you cannot breathe. Your last line was like a kick in the gut and was the perfect ending. I always say that words without feeling are useless. Really good poetry can be danced to, acted out, and this is a piece where you could have performers literally dancing through the lines. The reason Shakespeare is so brilliant is that each word or line conjures up a visual image tied into emotions. That’s why he often created his own new words or phrases to get just the right sentiments expressed. And because of the movement of action in his plays,(The way it builds through his use of language) and that also goes for his sonnets but they seem to do it in a quieter way…. THAT is why creative artists have turned his words into ballets, ballads, created screenplays, inspired books, movies etc. It is al about the emotions! I flip through wordpress and read many poems and think… ugh.. just words. Blah. But words that bring out a visual image and a gut feeling? Now THAT is a poem. Your last three lines? Brilliantly written. I was left with the exact impact of someone who was feeling drained of life…the death of a partnership, a divorce, whatever. There is no other way to explain the feeling if you haven’t experienced it and yet you captured it. Again, I give you an A+.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You really are far too kind, but thanks so much for your lovely comments and encouragement ๐Ÿ˜Š With the last line/two lines I was struggling mostly with rhythm and I was worried about forcing rhyme but ultimately perhaps the bluntness of it adds the final emotional kick it really needs!

          Liked by 1 person

          • THAT is exactly correct. If you have ever seen a shocking end to a film, or were stunned by the end of a book that left you taken aback, or a dance that ends abruptly…. ALL those are emotional kicks. Art is art. Poetry is nothing more than a mini play. And your ending needs to grab the reader or the viewer. I always told my students that it is like show biz. You know that song, “make em laugh, make em cry”. Just make them feel something. If they are left with a feeling that is impactful you’ve got it right. You did that. (Sorry, the teacher in me has to tell it like it is.) If I didn’t like it I would tell you as well and make a suggestion. But this worked perfectly.


          • I responded to your comment below but thought I would also share with you some links to the bluapple Poetry Network, a spoken word poetry program I work with now that I am retired from teaching. At the end of the month I start judging for this year’s two week Poetry festival in Florida called “Louder Than A Bomb Florida” 2017 (Poetry competition). But here is last year’s link along with two of my all time favorite poets from previous years who are now in college. I myself, am more of a classical poet, or a poet like Bob Dylan which I am sure is generational, and my love of Shakespeare and The Romantic poets influenced my early writing as well. Put spoken word, Shakespeare (The spoken word of his day) and Lord Byron together and you pretty much have the way my mind thinks. But these young poets are really terrific. I thought you might enjoy hearing them. Again, something in your words evoked a response from me and I felt you needed to know that you have real talent. Keep writing.



      • I disagree. The last line is wonderful. It is the exact impact a poem like this needs. If this were put to music, or turned into a modern dance while you read those words, imagine your words while a dancer is slowly being strangled by the weight of the entangled dead thicket. It would be the perfect ending. This may not be spoken word poetry, but ALL poetry should live up to those standards. Each line should be able to be performed and acted out. (That is how you know your sensory imagery is working.) This poem is alive and the death and imagery of the dead brier is absolutely brilliant. That is my opinion after teaching writing for 36 years.

        Liked by 1 person

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