– I will upload a classmate’s 3 Poems, and I need you to review all 3 of them as the following … 1. Try to come up with at least ten meaningful, helpful comments (i.e., not “This is great! You deserve an ‘A’!”) Really try to help your peer as he or she moves on to the next draft.2. Praise what you like. If you can only think of ways to praise a work (and are having trouble criticizing the work), try to figure out why you like this work so much. Try to explain why to yourself and the writer. 3. Ask questions. If some part of the work, sentence, or idea does not make sense to you, ask the author about that part of the work. Also, feel free to ask questions that will help the author actualize his or her ideas a little more completely in the next draft. Ask the types of questions that will help this work develop in revision.4. Make suggestions. Suggest different ways this work could develop in revision. 5. Critique what doesn’t work for you. If some aspect of this work feels problematic for you, try to explain the problem (and possibly how the author or poet could better address the problem). 6. With all types of comments, please be specific. Try to explain why you feel the way you do.You may type ten separate comments or you may let your comments and ideas collect in longer paragraphs. Additionally, remember to give others the courtesy, respect, and depth of commentary that you would hope to receive from them.

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Jalen Stewart-Fuller
Poem 5
Love requires sacrifice, something I know all too well.
I’ve spent countless hours speaking to family, friends, and strangers;
Pushing myself to the point of exhaustion time and time again.
Yet, I am the “too nice guy”, the “yes man.”
The one who is reliable when one needs help with something
Or to commit a favor without looking forward to a reward.
Overexertion is all too familiar to me too.
Driven to madness by trying to other’s burdens.
I wonder, “am I good friend, a good person?”
However, my love shouldn’t be based upon myself.
Cause then it leads me to my own selfishness and loathing.
Cautious to not hate being kind or loving.
Though those that care wonder why…
Curious they are to know when I’ll stop and rest.
“Slow down or you’ll burnout!” they’ll say.
And I nod my head in compliance.
Truly, it is a form of great deception.
For if no one helps the broken soul, who will?
Suddenly, I am brought to a very grim reality.
Self-denial breaks free from its dormant ranks,
Until I am brought down to my knees exhausted.
Such great love requires sacrifice, that I do believe.
The cost of sacrifice may be one’s own body.
And that body sadly becomes my own.
Revised: As The Snow Falls
Five or six winters have gone by since those days.
The days when depression gripped my breaking soul
And the thoughts of suicide had pierced my mind.
I remember why I was driven to that point;
Feeling no love from family and the stress of high school.
Kicked out from my home, I slept in my relative’s basement.
The color of the red floor reminds me of blood at that time.
The air mattress I slept on was like my own grave.
Unmoving, staring into a deathly chasm of the ceiling.
Days when I thought I was going to go through with it.
The snow came down, but the blood never came.
Inside of me burned a fire that melted the ice.
A slight flickering ember that refused to die.
My eyes, clouded by gray, depressing clouds
Had started to see the light again.
So each day I rose, did that fire burn.
And burn that flame does, since I’m still here.
Revised: Looking Back
My mother took care of my brother and I, alone.
She cooked, she cleaned, she worked at the same time.
With empty fridges, low income apartments
I know she cried through pain and prayers.
She wanted the nightmare to come to an end.
The nightmare of raising children in a broken home.
She sacrificed so much for both my brother and I.
Thus, I regret the trouble I once gave her.
My teenage years are not the proudest.
From disrespect to running away.
Yet, she still embraced me in her arms.
Onward did she keep on going.
I know not what carried her this far.
Nor do I know where her strength lied.
But in the end, the circumstances did not stop her.
Looking back, that’s what I remember.

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