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To lead I have to learn to follow,
To open my mind I have to shut my heart,
To save my family I have to leave my home,
To fix the law I have to break it,
To live in peace I have to fight a war,
To learn to love I have to bear hatred,
To survive I have to learn to kill.

Life is not a market,
It is a jungle,
The fight never ends
Freedom is slavery to war.

Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Editing stage: 


you have improved a whole lot since you have published your first poem here. You title drew me in as a title is supposed to do. I thought that your theme is one well thought out and it flowed well throughout the whole of the work. The impact of all of the first lines starting with [To] was minimal due to the fact that the word is very short and it works out okay. I figured out the meaning of the title in short order, though it did puzzle me for a moment. Nice job! ~ Geezer.

Honest critique and comments shouldn't hurt.
It's why we are here, to get better at our craft.

I am grateful for the feedback


author comment

Hmm...a philosophical bunch of poetic lines. Not quite sure how that works individually, but your ending is certainly true. Humankind is bent on war, no matter what. And so we have famine, plagues, war and death. The Four Horsemen of the Appocalipsis.
Sadly, you're right.

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Plac’d on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great….

An Essay On Man, III, Alexander Pope.

as outstanding first stanza. The actions are about YOU, how you have confronted the opposites of life. But they exist in the poetic universe, as in "shut your heart". You have invited us to feel what you feel, as we have felt it. It is strong, like Whitman. It is direct, gut felt. It is a stunning list poem stanza.

In the second stanza, you change the stance. You start telling what life is, and make declarative statements which have no metaphor, are just cliche- "the fight never ends" And the last line should follow the first stanza's :To be free I have to be a slave to war (?.) and I question that last line. Freedom is not only political of course, but in this poem it would seem so, but to achieve political freedom sometimes just resistance will do, if it's organized. What if all the people of Nigeria pulled a Gandhi, and just all went on strike until the government agreed to less repression? War leads nowhere. In the case of civil war in the USA, it did lead to freedom of a sort, after a million deaths of white soldiers fighting for the end of slavery as a moral issue. But prejudices still live on. we don't need a war

Freedom IS slavery to war. To be free we must always be at war? It needs some clarification.

So i think you have an amazing start, and need an amazing finish to get this in the anthology of great modern works from
your country. Keep in the poem, the YOU, the poetic reach. Don't tell us it's a jungle, we know. Tell us the result of all that you have learned, by having to do the opposite of of what you wanted.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

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