This is a poem I wrote awhile ago and posted on here, but I always felt something was off about it. If anyone could possibly help me figure it out.
A Scream Echoes
A scream echoes through the halls. (lose the period and go with nothing or a semicolon to connect the next line)
With the sound of nails screech ing across the walls.
First, I agree with Johnny on the elipses doing nothing. I want to add that while I understand your goal may have been to lead the reader into the poem somewhat suspensefully, what it actually accomplished was the reader not being able to take a deep breath into the first stanza. If you hadn't repeated the title at the beginning of the line, the ellipses may have provided a different effect. But, as it stands, we already know a scream is echoing down the hall, so it's kind of a let down to read it again after the eclipses.
A shadowy figure
then appear[s,] that is quite very tall. It camecoming to take my life, and that is all.
I might even go so far as to rewrite this so it flows more smoothly, i.e. -
A tall, shadowy figure appears
To take my life, end my years
I'm not saying use that couplet, I'm saying you may be able to rewrite for a smoother transition that seems less forced to rhyme.
Also, your tenses are aligning, i.e. - present and past. In parts you're living in others it seems you're recalling.
It'sIts presence surroundsparalyzes me with fear and loathe
As it reaches into me and
my heart begins to slow...
I agree with Johnny on the suggested edits, but feel much of the syntax reflected in this is to force rhyme. When writing, ask yourself if you would literally say, "fear and loathe". The goal of this verse is to convey your horror regarding the arrival of death. That's your central focus, not rhyme (although rhyme could be a goal). So, the question is, how do you convey horror and retain a seamless rhyme that doesn't interrupt the flow nor detract attention from the emotion you're attempting to project? I would suggest substituting paralyzes for surrounds so the reader immediately freezes in fear vs imagining being surrounded by something. I mean the very word paralyze (for whatever reason) evokes fear and dread. When selecting words to convey emotion, think hard about what you want the reader to relate with...in this case, fear.
toon one knee I drop and, clench my chest. With a feeling Knowing/Realizing/Resolvedthis will be the last place I rest.
Do you feel like you're dying or do you know you are? This is very important emotion to convey to your reader.
I agree the ellipses here is brilliant. It takes the reader down with you and conveys the sinking feeling perfectly.
begin realize the scream through the halls was actually me
And the screeching
across the walls was me dropping to that knee.
This was a refreshingly surprising stanza that I didnt see coming. After removal of the extraneous words you may want to revise the syntax a bit.
continuously reliving the day death came to set me free. As I burning in hell for my sins for the rest of eternity.
I would refrain from using the word "sins" as burning in hell implies you haven't been an angel. Also, "the rest of" negates "etenity", as eternity is endless.
I would further agree with Johnny regarding details of your life. A flashback to a sin, perhaps, giving us some indication of what you committed that lands you in hell.
I think with a tad of reworking this could delve a bit deeper into some circumstantial details for the reader to relate with, while conveying the emotion through carefully selected and placed words.
Thank you for the honor of the read and opportunity to critique.