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Submitted on
February 9


629 (4 today)
66 (who?)
Doc says I’m an old
soul, with my postcards
and letters, and waste-no-words
policy. Doc says old souls still make eye
contact instead of playing with iPhones,
mirrors that stare back, and tell
us who we are by knowing
who they are.

Doc tells me I’m an old
soul in a young body, taming
wild Internets and bringing my words
to heel like a triple score
in a game of Scrabble.
That I was born in the wrong
decade, that I was meant to punch
typewriter keys like a boxer,
that the twenty-first century
wasn’t made for old souls like mine.

Doc thinks I’m too old
to be twenty-three, constantly forgetting
the barriers of my few years.
Like that I never wrote about myself
until he gave me moments
worth writing down, and cared
about the person behind the words.
That I learned who I was by learning
who he was, and drew a timeline
of intersection points where each
node became a poem, and each poem
became a stepping stone.

Doc unearthed an old
soul in my notebook.
Old like a favorite jacket frayed
in all the right places. An old
that has learned my form so perfectly
I didn’t notice until he shook
my poems out and found the pages
Doc has a love-hate relationship with technology. We once had a long discussion about his fascination with my own relationship to it. I was born in a transitory time, so I’m old enough to remember a time before the Internet and cell phones were common, but young enough to reap the benefits of having grown up with them. He’s told me multiple times that I’m an old soul, mainly because my writing style is, in his words, “mature.”

He really does forget I’m only 23 a lot. When we talk about books, he never seems to remember that he’s got a 28 year head start on me and tosses out all this obscure stuff :XD:

Anyway, I was ruminating on all of that tonight and this happened.

You can find my “timeline of intersection points” here.

*Forgot to mention, but I was actually imitating Doc when I wrote this. For him, poetry is personal, and attempt to get at a truth. The poems he's given me are very conversational and reliant on context; while I think this one can stand on it's own, knowing the context will add an extra dimension.
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Yes, you really are a special generation. You are the last that will ever remember the time before the internet. Mine, like Doc I imagine, are the last that didn't grow up with it. We have BC and AD, maybe we should have BI and AI ha, ha.

Seriously though, it really is that big. I think you are lucky to have Doc.
SilverInkblot 5 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
Technology is one of the talking points we keep coming back to. He's fascinated and baffled by it, and I do my best to answer his questions on how my generation relates to tech. We had a long conversation about it just last night in fact, and he gave me an adolescent lit. book about that particular time in when the Net was starting to gain footing.

For me, I remember stuff like dial-up, but by the time we were in high school, the Internet was definitely a thing. Meanwhile, my three year old nephew knows how to work smartphones and iPads :XD:
Yeah, dial-up ha ha ha. And you couldn't use the phone at the same time! :rofl:
Damn those three year olds! Sounds like he'll be running the space programme by the time he's six!
very nice I think all of us old souls are a little lost in this new world
SilverInkblot Apr 15, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you :heart:
you are welcome
old souls are coooool. and so is this poem.
SilverInkblot Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you :D
saltwaterlungs Feb 16, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Hi! I'm Hannah, and I'm here to critique for your second place prize in the contest you entered recently. Let's get started, shall we?

Something I noticed was that this feels like a narrative poem. Based on your word choice, conversational tone, and lack of descriptive imagery, I assumed this poem's purpose was to tell a story. However, you might feel differently and categorize it as something else entirely. If you would like this poem to feel more emotional or descriptive, I would recommend some change of word choice, imagery, tone, etc. The rest of this critique will be based on the fact that this feels narrative, rather than another variety of free verse.

Line Breaks
The very first thing I noticed was your choice of line breaks. I feel that your phrases are cut off at odd places, creating a kind of choppy read on screen. However, your words flow nicely when read aloud; but, when read in my mind, it seems to be cut off strangely. I would recommend moving the breaks to where there are commas and periods, as well as where a phrase ends. This would make the piece more visually appealing. Another strategy I use frequently is writing the entire poem out without any line breaks, and then adding them where they feel comfortable. This also helps me omit unnecessary words, which I personally couldn't find while reading today, but maybe you will find some if you choose to revise in this fashion.

As I stated previously, your poem reads very nicely when read out loud. Each phrase leads into the other easily, and nothing is strangely worded. The only nitpick I have here is, in the first stanza, you repeat "Doc says" once. I feel it should either be omitted the second time, as you change the verb each new stanza or when Doc is mentioned again, or you could use it more often throughout the poem.

Spelling and Grammar
Well done; no spelling or grammar errors! But, once again, I have one nitpick. In the first stanza, you have this phrase "mirrors that stare back". This seems to hurt the parallel structure you have used, interrupting with an appositive after a prepositional phrase. The prepositional phrase draws away from the "eye contact" part and focuses the readers on the iPhones. When you draw us back in to the eye contact idea, we get confused. I would recommend moving "mirrors that stare back" up in front of "instead of playing with iPhones" so the ideas flow one to the other, not bouncing back and forth. In case you need a visual:

Doc says old souls still make eye
contact like mirrors that stare back 
instead of playing with iPhones

I said earlier that this feels like a narrative to me. It tells a story rather than makes me bawl my eyes out or creates huge, beautiful pictures in my head. However, in the last stanza, you use some killer imagery! You make every one of my senses feel the jacket, as well as picture my favorite jackets from the past, someone shaking out papers from a noteboook, yellowing paper, and that's only to name a few. You give such a lovely image that I was kind of sad that I didn't recieve more of these pretty pictures through out the rest of the poem. I would love to see some more of this throughout!

You have created a lovely narrative poem that tells a story of you and Doc's relationship, as well as the relatable idea of being born in the wrong generation. You have a nice, conversational tone that makes the reader feel like they're talking to a friend, and a flow that easily lends each idea to the next. Please, keep writing!
SilverInkblot Feb 16, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
There is a narrative of sorts, but it's only apparent if you know the context. Most of my watchers know that context, so it's great to get some perspective from someone that doesn't (at least, I don't think you do). I myself wasn't thinking of it as a narrative poem when I wrote it, but I'll look into that avenue in the future :)

I'll have to disagree on the line breaks - I'm a fan of propelling line breaks instead of breaking according to syntax. Breaking there can make the poem too regular and predictable to my ears, while breaking in the middle of a line makes the reader go to the next one to finish the thought. I do approach breaks the same way you do though -- that is, none on the first run-through. They come later, where they feel right.

I had some trouble wording the iPhones line, so I'll have another go at that :)

Hm. I thought the second stanza had some pretty good images myself. I was kinda proud of that Scrabble line :XD: I'll see what I can do about freshening things up. Overall, I think I was more interested in getting to a particular idea than any of my usual avenues with poetry, so this piece was a departure from the norm. Normally, I would utterly drown you in imagery. Thank you for all the attention to detail!
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