Insufficient – A Rant in Form of Epistle

I have my nose unto the grindstone now

You’re driving me to my wit’s end

I feel I’ve done all that I can, or have I?

I’d say “you be the judge,” but I’d rather not.

I know you’ll be the judge regardless.


It’s never enough for you. I can’t do everything

You think I can do. I’m not a genius,

Though you seem to think I am.

Do you think telling me I’m “just not trying hard enough”

Is helping my self-esteem? I’ll be blunt,


That’s bullshit. Each time we have these “talks,”

I lose the confidence I gained back over summer

A confidence pulled from the ashes of the old

A confidence as quickly dashed as the old, it seems

All thanks to you, all thanks, all love. No really.


I love you, you know that, I know that

But sometimes it’s hard to remember

When every word of wisdom just reminds me

That I’ve made a failure of myself

A failure that grows worse with ev’ry reminder.

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5 Responses to “Insufficient – A Rant in Form of Epistle”

  1. Rachel says:

    This was so creative and unexpected. The narrative voice was really relatable, and so was the subject matter. The speaker seems so distinct. I loved the sarcastic asides, all “No, really.”

  2. hayleyjoe says:

    I really liked your narrative voice. It is very relatable. I think a lot of people can empathize with your message and that’s very powerful. My favorite lines are
    “A confidence pulled from the ashes of the old/ A confidence as quickly dashed as the old, it seems/ All thanks to you, all thanks, all love…”. I loved the ashes metaphor.

  3. Kelsey says:

    I like how you began the poem with those two particular phrases, while they may be considered “cliched”, I think they accurately described how the speaker feels about the person they are addressing with this epistle. They really give a sense of frustration and being done with the person being addressed.

    One thing that I thought needed some work was the line breaks. Some of them fell in odd places, I felt. The first two lines of the second stanza had an odd line break, I feel–it sort of broke in the middle of the thought and I think it left the two lines incomplete.

  4. mlestsan says:

    The line break ” I can’t do everything/You think I can do” in the second stanza was awkward for me to read. I don’t think it flowed very well. I have the same issue with the end of second stanza continuing into the first line of the third stanza. While I like that technique, I felt that you could’ve ended the line at “I’ll be blunt.” I felt that the “ev’ry” in the last line did not fit the voice of the poem. I think that if you want to keep that, perhaps add more imagery of this. The punctuation was also a bit strange and not consistent, but maybe it helps capture the irrationality of a rant? I do like the subject of the poem, though.

  5. Tara says:

    I think the way you went about writing this epistle was very creative. I think most people associate writing an epistle in a loving or sad voice, but I have never read one in the form of a rant. Very nice! I thought the third stanza about confidence had a few too many abstract statements such as, “A confidence pulled from the ashes of the old.” These lines could probably be more concrete.

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