Websites All Poets Should Visit

by Ellen Gwin

1. Publishing Tools:

Poets & Writers:

“Poets & Writers” posts about different writing contests, Literary Magazines, contains database to research different presses, advice articles on publishing, and guides.


Magazines and presses post listings and ask for poets to submit their work for review. The listing usually states a topic, how many pages to submit, and whether or not to include a bio.

Kindle Direct Publishing:

KDP allows writers to self-publish e-books and paperbacks for free. Easily upload a manuscript and an image for the book cover and KDP makes it into a book for sale on amazon. The website is very user friendly and provides templates, guides, and self-publishing tips.

Poetry Foundation:

A well-known literary journal, just be sure not to submit anything you’ve posted on instagram.

Kenyon Review:

Another well-known literary journal, again, just be sure not to submit anything you’ve posted on instagram.

2. Promotion Tools

Poets & Writers:

“Poets & Writers” has a list of different literary events (virtual & in-person) as well as resources for connecting with other poets.


Writers post their own listing on this website and wait for responses. This is usually done with commissioned work. However, writers can also respond to other people’s listings and offer to write for them.


Use wordpress to post your poetry, prompts, writing tips, and other content in an organized manner. Just be sure to use hashtags so your work will be seen!


Hellopoetry is website you can use to publish your poetry, submit poetry to publishers, and meet other writers.

3. Educational Tools

Poets & Writers:

“Poets & Writers” holds workshops all around the US. Currently all workshops are held online due to COVID-19. There is a fee and an application.

Poetry Foundation:

“Poetry Foundation” posts articles on improving writing for all age groups and contains a glossary for poetic terms.

Kenyon Review:

Holds workshops for different ages and interests.

BBC Poetry

On BBC Poetry you’ll find poetry guides, readings, interviews, and advice.

Prompt: Write About a Greek God or Goddess

Brainstorming ideas:

1. Pick a God or Goddess

For example:

Hades: Olympian God of the Underworld

Hera: Olympian Queen of the Gods, Goddess of Marriage & Birth

Athena: Olympian Goddess of Wisdom & War

2. What powers do they hold?

Hades: Has the ability to become invisible.

Hera: Can bless or curse a marriage.

Athena: Holds the ability to invent useful crafts such as: the ship, chariot, plow, and rake.

3. What are they associated with?

Hades: Hades is associated with the pomegranate. While the pomegranate symbolizes fertility, it also symbolizes death. Hades is also associated with the Cypress tree, serpents, and dogs. Specifically Hades is often depicted with a three-headed dog: Cerberus.

Hera: Hera is also associated with the pomegranate due to its connection with fertility. Other symbols Hera is associated with include: peacock, cattle, lotus, and scepter.

Athena: Athena, praised by the city of Athens, is often associated with owls and olive trees. She’s known for crafts such as spinning and weaving; ironically she is also known for peace-weaving.

4. What personality traits are associated with them?

Hades: Hades is depicted as morbid and unforgiving, but not unfair. Hades is often connected to depression, anxiety, and grief.

Hera: Hera holds strong family values but she is also known for her vengeful nature

Athena: Athena is known for her wise advice, however, if she is in a bad mood that day, she will not lend you any helpful words.

5. How are they commonly described physically?

For example:

Hades wears a black robe made of the souls of the Underworld, he sits on a throne made from human bones, and uses with a sinister smile. One would be surprised to catch a glimpse of him because he is surrounded by an helm of darkness that makes him invisible.

Hera wears classic Greek dresses and a silver crown. She often appears to humans as a beautiful older woman or a bird accompanied by a lion.

Athena has dark hair and gray eyes and often carries an owl. She never smiles and walks with both grace and authority. She’s often seen wearing a Corinthian helmet and holding a spear.

6. What are some myths associated with them?

Hades: Zeus gave Hades permission to kidnap his daughter, Persephone. When Demeter, her mother, found out she became enraged and set out a search for Persephone. Helios, powerful sun God who sees all, told Demeter where she was and Demeter demanded Persephone back from Hades. Hades allows Persephone to go, but not without tricking her first. He made Persephone eat pomegranate seeds from the underworld, forcing her to spend 1/3 of each year (winter) in the underworld.

Hera: A mountain nymph named Echo used to distract Hera so she would not catch Zeus cheating. When Hera realized this trick, she cursed Echo to only be able to repeat the last words the person before her said.

Athena: Zeus feared his next child would overthrow him and swallowed his pregnant wife, Metis. Soon after Zeus began to experience piercing headaches and asked Hephaestus to strike him with an axe. Athena sprung from his forehead in full armor with a war cry so powerful that even Uranus and Gaia were terrified. In juxtaposition, Zeus was proud.

How to: Show Instead of Tell

By Ellen Gwin

What is “Show Don’t Tell?”

When workshopping poetry everyone always screams, “show us, don’t tell us!” But what does this mean? I feel like I’m already showing. How do I put my abstract ideas into concrete sentences?

“Show don’t tell” does not necessarily mean one should add more adjectives to frame the scene, it means to capture the scene, emotions, experiences, in a way that the reader can draw their own conclusions.

*Click here for a quick write-up on how to write descriptive with verbs instead of adjectives*

Anton Checkhov explains the “show don’t tell” concept by saying, “In descriptions of Nature one must seize on small details, grouping them so that when the reader closes his eyes he gets a picture. For instance, you’ll have a moonlit night if you write that on the mill dam a piece of glass from a broken bottle glittered like a bright little star, and that the black shadow of a dog or a wolf rolled past like a ball.” What Checkhov says here is that when you want to discuss the moonlight, instead mention how the light of the stars reflects off broken glass; when you’re capturing a scene or an emotion, you should close your eyes and really put yourself in the moment: in the senses, and in the feelings.

Most people know this quote by Checkhov in the shortened version, “don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on the broken glass.”

Show is a tool used by writers to provide concrete and/or vivid details in writing. These details help readers develop their own relationship with the work by helping them create mental images and forcing the reader to empathize & interact with the writing.

Tell simply states to the reader what happens, what is present in the scene, how it happens, and how one should feel. This tactic creates a one-sided POV, which causes the writer’s view to seem two-dimensional and the reader to feel like the cannot forge a personal connection with the work. The lack of personal connection will make the reader feel uninvolved and therefore uninterested as they will not be using their imagination, experiences, or unique ideas.

5 Ways to Implement “Show Don’t Tell

1. Appeal to the reader’s five senses

Stimulate the reader’s five senses through your words: sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch.

This technique helps to show instead of tell but also forces your character (and therefore reader) to interact with the scene more!

For Example:

Sight— What exactly does your character see? Is it associated with a memory? Does the sight cause an emotion or action? Does whatever you see interact with anything else in the scene?

If the character sees the snow don’t just say “I looked out the window and saw white snow.” Talk about how your character jumped into the frigid, fluffy snow that reminded them of all the summer popsicles they’d consumed in their youth back in Louisiana. Talk about how the snow was so bright the sunlight reflected back into their eyes causing them to accidentally stepped into a giant fluffy pile of snow, soaking their socks.

Smell— What exactly does your character smell? Is it associated with a memory? Does the smell cause an emotion or action? Does whatever you smell interact with anything else in the scene?

If the character smells a pie talk about which direction in comes from, what other scents it might be mingling with in the air, show a memory the character associates with the pie.

Sound— What exactly does your character hear? Is it associated with a memory? Does the sound cause an emotion or action? Does whatever you hear interact with anything else in the scene?

Every sound, big and small, creates a vivid detail. Humans rely on sound whether we are fully conscious of the background noise or not. Is music playing, are birds chirping, leaves rustling, fires crackling, voices giggling, voices whispering, the sound of a refrigerator?Where is the sound? Is it close or far? Is it annoying or pleasant?Don’t just talk about sitting in a silent office. Say you were writing in an office supposedly silent but all you could think about was the clunking of the damned ice machine down the hall.

Taste— What exactly does your character taste? Is it associated with a memory? Does the taste cause an emotion or action? Does whatever you taste interact with anything else in the scene?

Taste is about what your character tastes obviously but also about the texture of the food. Food/drink is also interesting because dishes are geographically unique and sometimes even social-class unique. What your character eats and how they react to it reveals a lot about them. How the dish is prepared will also reveal a lot about other characters in the room. Is the food good or bad? Is it a meal or grown off a tree/vine? What does it feel like in your mouth?

Touch— What exactly does your character touch? Is it associated with a memory? Does the touch/feeling cause an emotion or action? Does whatever you touch interact with anything else in the scene?

Touch involves more than what your character touches with their hands. What is your character sitting/standing on? What are they wearing? Is it comfortable? Are they fidgeting with anything? Holding anything? How does the weather make the character’s skin feel?

2. Replace abstract nouns with verbs

Abstract nouns express concepts, ideas, and qualities that are intangible like: love, hate, freedom, beauty, peace, truth, chaos, courage, sadness, joy, anger, belief, etc.

Obviously not all abstract nouns are avoidable and unnecessary, but one should try to limit them.

By showing these intangible concepts instead of telling them, they become more tangible to the reader. If the writer simply says, “Bob is in love,” the reader must take their word for it. However, if the writer shows how Bob is in love then the reader gets to experience it along with Bob, forging that personal connection.

Instead of saying your character is in love, show the reader how your character acts around the one they love or when they are in love. Maybe the character buys extra pastries every morning for the coworker they have a crush on, maybe the character is so distracted by their enamored thoughts that they trip over a curb.

Instead of saying your character is brave, show how they are brave; make your character do something outrageous.

Instead of saying the citizens have no freedom, show what they do not have. In juxtaposition, show what those in power do have.

3. Replace adverbs

Adverbs steal a chance from the writer to show how the character carries out an action rather than plainly telling what the character does.

A few examples of adverbs are : absentmindedly, beautifully, lazily, quickly, carefully. Here is a list of more adverbs.

Obviously not all adverbs are avoidable and unnecessary, but one should try to limit them.

In one of my favorite books about writing, On Writing by Stephen King, King says, “with adverbs the writer..tells us he or she is afraid he/she isn’t expressing himself/herself clearly.

For Example:

“She walked home from school absentmindedly,” could instead be, “She walked home from school tripping over cracks in the sidewalk, thoughts more tangled than her hair.”

4. Use verbs in lieu of adjectives

This is one that I am working on myself and I find it very difficult!

Instead of describing a person or object, show what their actions are. This way the reader can connect with the person or object by implementing their own POV.

For Example:

Instead of saying someone acted cruelly, show what cruel things the person did. Use action, do they hit babies? Did they insult someone? Did they stomp on a flower garden? If the person sneers, what put the sneer on their face?

If you say someone’s jewelry is shining, talk about how the jewels catch the light instead.

If you’re describing the blue sky, talk about how the bird fly in a cloudless sky, talk about the way the sun beats down with nowhere to hide.

Show the reader the descriptions of everything by demonstrating the adjective through an object in action.

5. Take advantage of metaphors and similes

Using metaphors/similes will spruce up a boring description, make inanimate objects animate or purposeful, and liven simple verbs.

Don’t overuse this one as it could get annoying to your readers!

For Example:

When showing people one can evoke the personality of the characters as well. Instead of she was tall and brave, “she stood graceful as a lily and tall as a tree in the face of absolute horror.”

Instead of cautious, “he hid behind his glasses like an ostrich sensing a hunt.”

Instead of big, blue, eyes, “his eyes were like the vast ocean.”

When showing a setting one can use interesting images and verbs to capture the vibe of a scene. Saying “the bed was in the corner, a closet to the right, and one big window outlooking a parking lot,” sounds so boring.

Instead say “A bed wider than the grand canyon begged to sing me to sleep, a closet deeper than the ocean to hold all of my clothes, an angelic window like a glimpse into my future.”

OR one could say, “a bed smaller than a popsicle stick, Harry Potter would have laughed. I turned to the closet and found something akin to an upright coffin. The window was permanently fogged over like stained tupperware.”

When using simple verbs, one can use metaphors or similes instead as a way showing the action. Simple verbs can include verbs in the “past simple” tense: angrily, happily froze, bounced, boiled, argued, held, examined, etc.

For example instead of, “he spoke angrily,” one could say “he growled the words like a grizzly bear.”

Instead of “she held the trophy” one could say “she cradled the trophy like a new born baby.”

Instead of saying, “she examined the paper thoroughly” one could say “she was more thorough than a dog under the dinner table on Thanksgiving.”

I hope everyone found these tips helpful and happy writing! –Elle

Reclaiming Pink

by Ellen Gwin

   I am a flamingo, more resilient standing on one foot than you on two. I am a starburst, delectably sweet and decayer of teeth. I am a rose quartz, captivating but cutting edge. I am a blushing rose, pleasant on the eyes but not if you touch me. I am a grapefruit, sour until there’s reason to turn taste candied. 

Revising Poetry: Syntax, Diction, and Play

by Ellen Gwin

How To:


  1. Look at the syntax in your poem– the arrangement of your words and phrases.

Syntax includes much more than just grammar, it helps provide rhythm, structure, and tone in the poem.

Is the meaning of each sentence clear?

This may seem like an obvious mistake to look out for when revising poetry, but it’s actually quite difficult to remain objective sometimes. While the sentence may make sense to you, the writer, it may not make sense to the reader (and we want our poetry read)!

For example:

“I said hello to the man with a dog.”

Am I walking a dog while saying hello to the man or am I saying hello to a man who owns a dog?

When re-reading each sentence/phrase imagine how a complete stranger would interpret it. This does not mean that you have to over-explain (or even explain) your subject matter, your reader doesn’t even have to completely understand what you’re saying: just make sure the impression, tone, or nature of your subject is relayed in a way another reader can connect with.

Poetry is about communicating, so communicate in a way your reader can grasp.

Is the poem in active or passive voice?

Many people hold the notion that passive voice results in inadequate writing. However, this does not always ring true.

Passive voice becomes useful when the writer wants to emphasize the object(s) impacted by the verb. This is useful when writing about victims of violence, famous works of art, geographical locations, etc.

Use passive voice to put relevant information at the forefront.

For example:

Active: The policemen killed George Floyd.

Passive: George Floyd was killed by policemen.

This puts more emphasis on the victim and less attention on the policemen while conveying the same actions.

For example:

If you’re writing a poem about the ocean but need to mention how you traveled to it.

Active: I took an airplane to the ocean.

Passive: The ocean can be reached by airplane.

While passive voice holds a lot of great qualities, so does active voice; writing in active voice makes sentences less wordy and the meaning more direct. Active voice also helps to remove “to be” verbs. Active voice is useful when setting a strong and clear tone for readers.

Here’s an example of a poem written in passive voice & changed to active voice:


Merlot was spilled on my white, lace Easter dress.

My lips stained my grandmother’s antique set.

Green tomatoes ripened too quickly to fry.

My copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray has blood on it.

The bushes lost their rose petals too early this spring.


Spilled Merlot on my white, lace Easter dress.

Red lips stained on grandmothers antique tea set.

Green tomatoes ripened too quickly to fry.

Drops of blood landed on my copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Rose petals fell off their bushes too early in the spring.

*Writers should try and stick to active voice for the majority of their sentences

Do the order of the adjectives correlate with the order of the prescribing nouns/verbs?

Word order is important because while one does want to challenge their readers, sorting out nouns & adjectives should not act as one of the challenges.

For Example:

I saw roses, violets, and sunflowers, they were red, purple, and yellow.

Where fulfillment meets serendipity out in the peach orchard of satisfaction and chance

Are there a lot of long sentences or a lot of short sentences?

Like verb voice, the length of a sentence helps set a tone.

Does a pattern exist?

What effect does your sentence length cause?

Is your speaker speaking in quick, short sentences, long, breathy sentences, or drawn out, pensive sentences?

What type of sentences are used? (i.e. declarative interrogative, exclamatory, imperative)

The type of sentence used is another tool for setting the tone of the poem.

For example:

If the tone your speaker is curious or unsure, use interrogative sentences

If the tone is demanding or urgent, use imperative sentences

If you want anger or excitement, use interrogative sentences

If the tone is passionate or even matter-of-fact, use declarative sentences


2. Look at the diction in your poem– word choice and use of words.

Just like syntax, diction helps set the tone of a poem…just in a different way. Diction refers to whether the language in the poem is flowery/figurative language, concise/formal language, comedic/sarcastic language, etc.

Remove all “to be” verbs

To be” verbs, a type of linking verb, include: Is, Am, Are, Was, Were, Be, Being, and Been.

Removing “to be” verbs allows the sentence to become more active and the verbs pack more punch. All writers usually write with “to be” verbs in their initial draft so don’t stress yourself too hard! Also, don’t stress yourself if you find yourself unable to remove every “to be” verb.

1. Remove “to be” verbs that are near verbs with the suffix “-ing.” One can remove “to be” verbs by choosing an action verb instead of linking verb.

For example:

I was picking the flowers that were growing in the sun.

I picked the flowers that grew in the sun.

2. Another method is to show instead of tell

For example:

The journalist is a woman.

The journalist walked into the room with foggy glasses, oblivious to the fact that everyone around glared at her.

3. Change an adjective to a verb

For example:

She was in love with him.

She loved him.

Soon I will write a longer article on “to be” verbs so that is all I will write for now!

What are the effects of words in your poem?

What can you do to support your desired effect? In poetry it’s important to show, not tell, analyzing and changing diction can help illustrate over-explained ideas more clearly and concisely.

Ask yourself why am I choosing these words? How will they be interpreted?

Look at all of the nouns in the poem. What do they have in common? How are they different? Do the differences create an interesting juxtaposition or a confusing effect? What might you change?

Look at all of the verbs in the poem. What do they have in common? How are they different? Do the differences create an interesting juxtaposition or a confusing effect? What might you change?

Look at all of the adjectives in the poem. What do they have in common? How are they different? Do the differences create an interesting juxtaposition or a confusing effect? What might you change?

For example:

In a poem written about the color yellow without saying the color I chose the nouns: lemons, sunshine, serendipity, and sunflowers. To correlate the mood with the nouns I chose the adjectives: golden, productive, sour, and persisting. And finally I picked verbs such as filled, grow, sweeten, and bloom.

In a poem written about dangerous-sweets (honey) I chose the nouns: honey, throat, ambrosia, and hive. To correlate the mood with the nouns I chose the adjectives: sweet, contemptuous, ravishing, and bloated. And finally I picked verbs such as drink, swell, escaped, and clogged.



Playing with your poetry is really fun because you don’t actually have to keep the form it morphs into; if you dislike the outcome of your playing you can always change it back!

Playing with your poetry helps generate more ideas about your poem and a clear understanding of what you’re trying to say.

Playing with poetry also holds importance because as writers, once we find what field we excel in, we tend to stick to it because it’s comfortable. For example, I write in prose poetry the majority of the time because I know I am good at this and I have studied prose poetry a lot, however I like to challenge myself and grow by writing in verse as well.

And who knows, maybe you’ll like the new form you put it in!

Easier Ideas:

1. Try out different points of view: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.

2. Move the last line to the first line

3. Read from the last line to the first line

4. Make the poem longer, even if it feels finished

5. Change where you put line or stanza breaks

More interactive ideas:

1. Cut your poem with scissors and move the lines/sentences around

2. Write a response to the poem– “Call and Response”

3. Use a poem from another century as a guide fro re-structuring yours

4. Write a poem in the opposite tone, invoking opposite emotions

5. Change from prose poetry to verse poetry or vice versa

I hope this finds everyone well and happy writing! ~Elle

Prompt: Write About Water

by Elle Vue

Think about:

  • Symbolism
    • Rebirth, renewal
      • Purification
    • Life
    • Reflection
    • Motion
  • Where water is found
    • Ocean
    • Rain
    • Tears
    • Bath
    • Waterfalls
  • What functions does water serve?
    • Hydration
    • Swimming
    • Beauty
    • Cleansing
    • Cooking
    • Steaming
  • How does water entice the senses?
    • Is the water cold or warm? Is this shocking or soothing?
    • Salty or fresh? Does it smell like swamp or ocean?
    • Clean or dirty? Is it murky or clear? Drinkable or undrinkable?
    • How does your body react when touching or drinking water?
    • What do you see in the water or what do you think of when you see the water?
  • What different forms can water take?
    • Ice
    • Steam
    • Boiling
    • Clouds

Add Symbolism to Your Poetry

by Ellen Gwin

   Using symbolism in poetry remains vital because poetry contains a sort of nuance compared to other forms of writing; there is much to express in words left unsaid.

In this way poetry is like a painting, the viewer (or reader) can project their own experiences of life, thought, and emotion onto the work. The poet’s job is not to shamelessly project their own experiences onto another but to try and find a way to connect their experience to something larger than themselves.

In short, show instead of telling when writing poetry.

Dr. Murray of City University New York defines a symbol as, “ a person, object, place, event, or action that suggests more than its literal meaning.” For example, both spring and water symbolize rebirth, doves symbolize peace, and Martin Luther King symbolizes hope.

It’s easy to feel intimidated by symbolism because symbols seem all too tangible or concrete compared to the abstract ideas of your poem but I’m going to try and make them seem a little less scary.

Let’s add some symbolism!

Step 1: Write down your poem without symbolism in mind

Write down your thoughts all at once without censoring yourself; you may naturally write down some symbols in the first write-up or you may not. 

If you concentrate on symbols too much here then you’ll distract yourself from the main focus of your poem.

A lot of people get intimidated here because this feels like cheating or they feel their words are so flat originally nothing good could come out of it but I promise this technique is what most writers do and it’s worth the result.

Step 2: What symbolism pre-exists within the ideas of your poem?

These symbols will already be threaded into your words— whether by theme or image. Think to yourself: “What is my poem trying to say or convey?”

For example I wrote: 

Red lips and crimson hearts tempt the sleeves of the vulnerable to rip them bare.

When I realized I was trying to use red to symbolize that lust corrupts innocence, I wrote:

Nothing is Permanent by Elle Vue

Spilled Merlot on my white, lace Easter dress.

Red lips stained on grandmothers antique  tea set.

Green tomatoes turned ripened too quickly to fry.

Drops of blood landed on my copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Rose petals fell off their bushes too early in the spring.

More examples:

If your poem discusses death perhaps use the symbol of night or sleep.

If your poem discusses peace use the symbol of doves and olive branches.

If your poem discusses sadness perhaps use the symbol of rain.

If your poem discusses life perhaps use the sun or trees as a symbol.

Step 3: What symbolism can you create within your own ideas of the poem?

Sometimes when writing you start to use similar images and themes subconsciously. Your brain is probably working to saying something unique and it’s best to just let the images flow and worry about how they connect once you reach this step.

Once here, re-read the poem and look at the images and themes you chose to write on. These recurring images and themes give you the framework to throw in a symbol of your own.

Ponder: Symbolism for emotions

Above pomegranate I used to represent the idea of someone who can see from many perspectives but one can also use symbolism to show an emotion.

For example:

A deer hiding from the hunter to symbolize someone who feels scared and unreachable.

The praying-mantis to symbolize all-consuming love.

The moon to represent loneliness.

For Example: A poem I wrote directly about fear and anxiety transformed into a poem full of symbolism:

Original poem:

It’s these feelings of content I find most difficult to bear but most satisfying yet. I’m afraid that I cannot trust these feelings, that I cannot go into the world and remain unshaken, brave. I don’t want to live in fear of the horror to come, but in harmony of the good fortune that is now.

Finished poem:

It’s these feelings of content I find most difficult to bear but most satisfying yet. A stranger I have not yet gotten to know with mischief lurking behind their tilted smile. A crocodile sticking its snout out of the pond, aware of the temporary cover the dim sunlight and low hanging, morning fog bring from the huntsman. These feelings are fleeting and terror is inevitable, but these moments of solace are what’s present and real. 

Ponder: Symbolism for concepts

Symbolism is great for conveying emotions in addition to well-known concepts, universal truths, ideas in religion, etc.

For example:

Water: Standing in the rain, swimming in the ocean, showering symbolize rebirth

Roses and other flowers symbolize beauty

Clocks and baths symbolize mortality

You are No Bee Charmer

by Ellen Gwin

   When you drink my sugary honey, remember its origins. Betray me and I will sting your throat, watching it swell until you cannot swallow. My sweet nectar will fill your mouth and drown your barren words. The contemptuous air that once escaped your bloated lungs will be clogged with my ravishing ambrosia. Then you will see why no one comes near the hive.


by Ellen Gwin

My teeth are decaying, rotting from the inside out. Years of swallowing bile laced confabulations finally decomposed the nerves within and made me numb to my next glass of gin. Bitter and crude but honest I am, no one deigns to come near my foul speaking breath. In solitude but not alone, I let my words flow. 

Friends, Americans, Countrymen lend me your nose. I come to bury “fresh breath,” not to praise it. The evil that one hides will always leak out; the good is often found in brutal honesty. So let it rest with fresh breath. Let those around me be solely filled with stinky sighs. 

Oh but the judgement! Those painted with bruised lips have lost their reason; the pain is not worth the infliction. Bear with me; I do not prefer the stench of bad breath but I must give pause to “fresh breath” in the name of sincerity. 

–Obviously the last two stanzas are inspired by Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar