Vitriol means cruel and bitter criticism. It’s origin is French. I think my beat poem accurately sums the definition of vitriol. “In the 1940s and 50s, a new generation of poets rebelled against the conventions of mainstream American life and writing. They became known as the Beat Poets––a name that evokes weariness, down-and-outness, the beat under a piece of music, and beatific spirituality. Beat poets sought to write in an authentic, unfettered style. “First thought, best thought” was how central Beat poet  Allen Ginsberg described their method of spontaneous writing.”


Social Suicide
At a splintered glance,
the slaughtered branch
suggested a new understanding
for the dreaded masses, commanding
a new meaning for the dying
denying their aggressive lying.
The persecuted forget, they are not
above the light they once sought.
A fragile line between life and death
thoughts listened with bated breath
to the vitriol verses
or screaming curses.
Silence demanded a skeleton
bones to shudder like gelation
praying for tenderness beyond this page
that lost secrets won’t engage
the destruction of mankind.
Through the years we refined
our lies, and plead naiveté
although our reactions betray.
Bitter ineptitude,
our abandoned view
overrides a cowering end
because we feel entitled to a godsend.

Awesome synonyms for vitriol are acidity, acridity, acridness, acrimony, asperity, bile, bitterness, cattiness, corrosiveness, mordancy, tartness, and virulence.

I love that I can easily substitute any of the synonyms for vitriol into my poem and not change the meaning. Though it would lose its alliteration.


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