Victim Criminal Poem Interpretation
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Poetry On Odyssey: Are You The Victim Or The Criminal?

A simple yet layered poem based on a simple yet layered image.

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PhotoBookStore / "Pittsburgh 1950"

Originally written for a project for my 9th-grade literature class, this poem is pretty special to me. Our class was assigned to write a poem based on our interpretation and deeper understanding of the image above. This is probably the first poem I've written that I actually am somewhat proud of. It's not perfect, and now that I look back at it as a Sophomore it's pretty unclear and jumbled, but I still really like it.


Are You the Victim or the Criminal?

Are you a victim or a criminal?

You laugh as we play pretend

Hide and seek with happiness,

Deaf to the screams of your ancestors.


You don't know what you hold.

Your innocence pirouettes in pointe shoes.

Swallow your fears, and watch them grow old.

Slow dance to the songs of reality.


You're yet to understand

Your hands numb as they hold something behind

That is only a façade

For the darkness that blinds.


Your fingers graze the grip,

Wince at the sight of action,

But you look back and wonder.

Someone else had a different reaction.


Flames turn to fires.

Bullet holes dot your desires.

Unaware of the puppet strings around your neck,

You smile at the ghosts of pain.


Your face, a watercolor mural.

You are an artist, and

Your hand holds the paintbrush,

Dying to find beauty in shades of red.

Are you the victim or the criminal?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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