Critiquing the @Fordham_Flirts Poetry Submissions


Unless you’ve been living under a rock or some other naturally occurring solid aggregate of mineraloid matter, you’ve heard of or read the myriad coquettish posts showcased on the @fordham_flirts Instagram page. Among the various flirty texts there lie — believe it or not — carefully crafted poems. They span the range of all known poetic convention (maybe). Being the aspiring poet I am, in this article I’ll review and critique their style, structure and content. @fordham_flirts rhymesters: keep watch! (All poets anonymous, dates listed below. Reviews not meant to be taken seriously).

Nov. 16: 

“How often do our paths now meet! / Like sines and cosines on the same sheet. / Our chatter is pointless, yet I cherish them all. / Every phrase you’ve uttered I can recall. / But as you give me your time, I ask for love. / Bequeath thy heart to me, O precious dove! / Tell me your secrets when you chirp and coo / As you soar above the rest in the sky so blue. / The joy you give me from your wit and humor / Makes me believe that we have a future. / What must I do for this to be true? / Give me an answer or some sort of clue. / Till then, I’m satisfied with what we’ve started / These thoughts of you shall be deeply guarded.”

A beautiful, flirty poem to get us started. Fresh off the touchscreen keypad, too. Pros: Shakespearean opening line; mathematical relevance; bird theme consistent across three lines; clear expression of love and longing. Cons: plural agreement errors! Chatter may be a group noun but its object pronoun is singular; last line is contradictory, considering the poet just spilled the beans.

Oct. 27: “A burning flame churns within me, / As these fiery thoughts turn to thee. / How often I hear stories of you, / But rarely do you reach my view. / As beads of sweat cools the skin, / Thine eyes shall quench this beating heart. / The joy it brings me for you to greet me / Only strengthens my love for thee. / Yet I in shock can only wave, / Not knowing how to behave. / Detractors denounce this delusional diction, / For I am ill and you are my prescription.” 

Another poem dressed in Early Modern English ornamentation. Clearly labored over. Pros: lots of anastrophe; consonance; beautiful illness metaphor. Cons: bad anastrophe; more plural agreement errors? Beads of sweat “cool” the skin more than they “cools” the skin (Come on Rams! This is college!); how do you quench a heart?; has that classic AABBCDAAEEFF rhyme scheme (?); calls me out in the second-to-last line.

Oct. 24:

“Professor, seeing you in class makes my heart do the cha-cha slide. / I may sit in the front, but I’m definitely not taking notes. / No, I’m spending my time memorizing your smile (to the left now, y’all) / and hating your wedding ring and the spouse wearing its pair. / It should be me watching you eat breakfast, eyes still puffy from sleep / (one hop this time). / It should be me kissing you goodbye (two hops this time).”

This is a hilarious intertextual freeform poem-song-thing. Pros: interspersing Cha-Cha slide lyrics is genius; grammatically sound; cute as heck. Cons: creepy as heck… This is about a professor but I only registered that after my fourth read; who wrote this; this person needs to be in jail maybe?

Oct. 22:

“For once a week I get to see you. / As you cross that threshold my spirits are lifted. / We lock eyes, I catch feelings like the flu. / Pretty eyes and locks, you’ve been gifted. / Rarely do we speak yet your voice has me smitten. / As you vent your sorrows I’m strangely filled with joy. / How do I aid? To protect you like a mitten? / I would love to ask, yet I am too coy. / I yearn to know you better, To walk over and speak. / Perhaps talk about the weather Or compliment your physique. / Alas, we still find ourselves on different islands. / Were you mine, you’d have all the diamonds.”

Lengthy but I can’t say it’s not creative. Pros: fatalistic but in a nice way. Cons: I don’t understand the fascination with @fordham_flirts writers and illnesses; not trying to be nitpicky but are mittens that protective?; random capitalization; “you’d have all the diamonds” is clunky.

Sept. 22

“Your name is the opposite of a rose, / but I find you to be prettier. / Halls of blue eyes and yours will always be my favorite. / I sigh every time I’m reminded you are not mine.”

A nice and heartfelt poem to end this article! Pros: concision is to be lauded; clever way around naming said love interest; the last line is prosaic, but an example of pure, unadulterated romance in writing. Cons: thorn? Lowered? What is the opposite of a rose? Am I missing something?; poet alludes to the many white people at Fordham as if it’s uncommon knowledge.

That concludes this meticulous review. Seeing so many budding Pablo Nerudas and Elizabeth Brownings is comforting in the age of Rupi Kaurs and Courtney Peppernells. Keep up the flirty work, Rams!