Self-doubt by Christian Donovan

A child's start in life is full of self-confidence. Where and how does that disappear?

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Member
29 days ago

Very powerful Christian…you really leave me aching at the end. Shakespeare would be proud.
I love the imagery of these lines: ‘I faced down dragons, cheek-smeared ice cream – knew the world was stuffed with knights and sticky buns’. Nice one

Member
30 days ago

Hi Christian, sorry for commenting this late – the others have practically said it all and I have nothing to add. Perhaps maybe this: I really like your ending with the unanswered question. Sometimes silence is the most powerful answer…

Member
1 month ago

Love it Christian. I did not know what enjambment was and when I looked it up I said oh, there is a word for what I enjoyed about your format. Something I’d like to try.

I absolutely love the message of your poem, highlighting this constant internal struggle that many people suffer. The piece doesn’t finish because it leaves the reader thinking way beyond the last line.

I enjoyed the rhythm and rhyme of your words and enjoyed the progression of growing up and having more soul searching questions to answer.

Well done and thanks for sharing.

1 month ago

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could see ourselves with the same eyes we did as a child, and realize our own value? Thank you for sharing a wonderful poem.

Member
1 month ago

Oo, wow. I feel the catechism, creating self-doubt. This is very moving and cuts through me. Very nice.

Member
1 month ago

Such lovely descriptive words of the innocent happiness of a child, self confident and self assured, only to transition to adulthood where that innocence is lost along with the self assurance. I love the structure and the cadence of your poem, it adds power to the message and begs me to read it yet again. Brava!

Member
1 month ago

I love the contrast between your fearless child self and your doubting adult self. You use of rhymes and enjambed lines carries the flow through you poem. Nicely done.

Member
1 month ago

Your skill shines through in this piece…. well done, Christian

Member
1 month ago

Interesting use of line breaks to make the end-rhymes. Good, strong, concrete images. I enjoy the ending with a question. I like ambiguity in poetry, & that’s a good way to get it. It makes the reader want to engage with the author/narrator.

Member
1 month ago

Hello Christian,
What an awesome look into the child and adult phases of life. I sort of read it as compare/contrast. Clever use of the prompt with not only rhyme, but a story in poem form. I have many favorite lines like “I chorused rhymes” and “cheek-smeared ice cream”. This poem is so picturesque and nostalgic. Thanks for sharing. Well done.

Member
1 month ago

I enjoyed reading your poem. You are a good writer.
Best,
Wanda

Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Wlovan

P.S. – I actually I think I became more confident as I grew older – a later bloomer. Thanks for writing a poem that makes me think about that subject.
Wanda

Member
1 month ago

Why not, I’d reply. A wonderful poem – you did well with the rhyming. I watch my grandchildren now knowing that day will come and wishing it were not so. If only we could face down those dragons with confidence and joy forever. Who knows, perhaps some do.
thanks for this one.

Member
Kat
1 month ago

How are we always our own worst enemy? Your words, flick-knife slurs, are well-crafted for the negative self-talk that can be so hard to quieten in our minds. Being blessed with a low care factor for how others perceive us is something that we can definitely boost in ourselves, but it takes effort as the negative self-talk can be such a powerful beast. This poem really captured the difference we see in children before they become aware of the judgement of others (be that actual or just perceived). Thanks for sharing.

Member
1 month ago

Christian you have nailed it again. I love the curve of the language you create–your line breaks are so well done.
I love this:
Their drip-drip catechism curls
the gauze of my self-worth with flick-knife slurs.
Beautiful imagery.
The italics at the end add a perfect emphasis to that heartfelt question.
I value your creativity, your burgeoning mastery of language that never disappoints. I always look forward to reading your work. You have a gift.

Member
1 month ago

Excellent poem, Christian! I love how the lines run on and distract from the rhyme – as if it is not important at all. And I love how you’ve worked in the subtle nod to the dragons and knights from the octet into the sextet. What happens to us, between childhood and adulthood, to wound us so?

Member
1 month ago

How we make things hard for ourselves! The imagery changed from cheerful and happy kid to a self-doubting adult. It gets hard, doesn’t it? The poem makes it impact, right on. Poignant.

Member
1 month ago

The powerful image of the gauntlet asking the same question all must ask ourselves–well done.

Member
1 month ago

Hi Christian, if you find rhyming difficult (as you have stated below), I am super impressed that you chose to tackle this prompt with a sonnet. One of the most difficult rhyming forms to conquer – if you ask my humble opinion. This is a lovely sonnet. Thank you SaraS for teaching me a new term. I had no idea that this is when – the meaning runs over from one poetic line to the next:)
Really well done. Thanks for sharing.

Member
1 month ago

Ha ha, mine as well. I find a lot of rhyming poems forced and nonsensical….

Member
1 month ago

I am
Learning the art of sentence construction from you. You write well. This is beautiful

Member
1 month ago

Well- written, Christian! I love the way you described the new- found freedom a child fearlessly explores. On the other hand, as adults we are skeptical on every step of the way, forgetting how to enjoy life altogether.

1 month ago

Such a sad piece. Hopefully this person can find happiness in themselves.

Well drafted in ways that the reader feels this persons pain.

Member
1 month ago

Oh to be free from the trap of adulthood that cares so much what people think! I like this style and layout while keeping the rhyming pattern – very artistic. Lovely piece, thank you for sharing. So relatable

Member
1 month ago

“conjurors of doubt” leapt out at me. We all have them, don’t we? I love the way your rhyme is almost hidden in the declamation, but gives it weight. That’s confident rhyming.

Member
1 month ago

I love this sonnet, Christian. You are a wizard at creating images that resound – with words and patterns of words like this ‘the world was stuffed with knights and sticky buns.’ I love your work altogether! Well done and thank you for sharing.

Member
1 month ago

Thanks SaraS for the word ‘enjambment’. I didn’t know it although I’ve seen it in use in poetry.

Christian, I love the introduction line, “When first I toddled… amazed by life.”
Somewhere along the line those “accomplished conjurors of doubt” appeared with their “drip-drip” of negative comments.
Well, you can tell them that these others value you. Fabulous sonnet! Thank you for sharing it.

Member
1 month ago

Very moving, your transition from how a child sees themselves so simply and how much more critical we are of ourselves as adults. Your use of enjambment here is really well done, adds to how the piece keeps flowing, pulling the reader along.