I love the feel of unedited outpourings, but here are a few suggestions anyway:
"I'm on the other side of the world now but that [hasn't stopped] the flashbacks"
^Changed this tiny portion for tense purposes
"The wind that rattles the house, the door slams that make the house shake
[because it] has terrible foundations now"
^Took out the 'your'
I counted 5 'justs,' which to me was a little bit distracting, though a couple of them perhaps add more than they take away because they act to hammer in your meaning. Here is one I found distracting:
"Every heartbeat is [just] another aftershock." Without the 'just,' I think your point is stronger.
"I'm with you, [Christchurch, I'm] with you,"
^Added a comma after Christchurch because I think it reads better (many other parts of the poem that would "normally" require commas are perhaps better without them for poetry's sake).
Really though, this poem is immensely powerful from beginning to end. Stunning and enrapturing. As a reader, it shook me to the bone. I can almost touch your pain. On that note, please ignore my suggestions if you prefer because your poem is JUST as strong either way :) I rarely comment, and when I do, it's less than 5 sentences. Your poem moved me to do something I usually don't, which is leave a long comment lol.
P.S. I'm quite positive your great grandmother would be very, very proud of you.
Thank you so much!! I really want to rework this piece at some point (maybe turn it into a slam piece or something) so your comments really help! You're definitely right about the 'just' thing hahaha. I really just wanted to get something done while I was feeling it which I am trying to get back into the habit of.
Oh I love unedited rant poems. It's the only way to poem, really.
I'm really curious about all the phrases you didn't gloss, but a part of me enjoys not knowing what everything means. It feels like it's more personal, like I'm an outsider looking in on something. (Which, I am, clearly). But there's something about that foreignizing agent that makes it more powerful. You talk about PTSD, which is such a personal, individualized experience, so keeping that same distance from a reader in a language barrier seems emotionally balancing for this poem.
Eighth stanza is my favorite. I can hear your voice the most there, the frustration. I think sometimes we're at our clearest mid-rant. I think that's the sweet spot to this poem, but the whole thing is great really. You absolutely clued me in to something I've never had to experience before. Thanks for opening my eyes.
Thank you!! Really I have never written with Maori before but it is such a beautiful language I thought I would try, and to me it is a much more personal language. 'Kia kaha' is a phrase that was used a lot around NZ at the time of the big quakes it seems almost cliche to say it now. People are always talking about the resilience and strength of Christchurch etc telling us to stay strong and w/e and for some people the quakes bring you closer to each other but to me it seems like they have been so isolating. There is a lot of pressure in NZ to keep a brave and strong face, it is very hard to admit you are not okay, especially in my family. My sister and I both have PTSD and that only distanced us more. I guess that's where the language comes in again, I have always felt much more connected to that language and culture (which is much more open and understanding) than to the one I was really brought up with. I don't know really what I am saying haha sorry. Some day I will truly be able to translate these feelings into some nice words :~)
Kia tonu - be still
Tatou tatou e - everybody/all of us
Kia kaha - be strong
Kia maia - be brave
Otautahi, Aotearoa - Christchurch, New Zealand
Aroha - love
Mana - strength, particularly in a spiritual way
Toku ngakau pauri - my (heavy) heart
2 years ago
I think what drove me to this poem is how brutally honest this piece is, it shows the speaker's struggle with PTSD, and pours it out onto the page, and although I think this poem needs a bit of editing regarding the repetition of words/phrases, I fully understand the reason as to why the author did not edit it, and post it unedited. Beautiful piece that exposed me to the nature of PTSD, something that goes unspoken about.