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A Dangerous Game

It was an icy cold, Autumn night
When I had the most dreadful fright
Like a frozen me, time stood still
I was all alone, well up until…

I was face to face with ‘him’
The Reaper who is grim
Life and death, I was in the middle
He said ‘to live, solve this riddle’:

'If I fall and no one’s around
Will I still then make a sound?
As I grow, rings on me show
My age – count and you’d know'

Cloaked face, but I saw his scythe
He was something like, death not life
Soaked in sweat, he could smell my fear
My pounding heart, we both could hear

I managed to speak: “the answer’s ‘tree’
Yes, he hissed, you can leave you’re free!
Unsure at first, with thoughts of the worst -
Killed in the woods, not even a hearse

I don’t know why he gave me a chance
On that night, with an olive branch
I thought that death was his only aim
After all, the clue’s in his name

So, I couldn’t cheat on the challenge
But cheating death I had managed.
Worldwide fame, the Grim Reaper’s his name
With him, I played a dangerous game

Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content
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The below is a computer-generated response from Neo, Neopoet's computer artificial intelligence:

The poem "A Dangerous Game" demonstrates a clear understanding of narrative structure and rhyme scheme. The story unfolds in a linear fashion, maintaining a consistent rhythm throughout. The use of the riddle in the middle of the poem is a clever device that adds an element of suspense and interactivity.

However, the poem could benefit from a more varied use of language and imagery. While the descriptions of the Reaper and the protagonist's fear are effective, they rely heavily on familiar tropes. Experimenting with less conventional descriptions could make the poem more unique and engaging.

The resolution of the poem is somewhat abrupt. The protagonist solves the riddle and is immediately released. Expanding on this moment could heighten the tension and make the protagonist's escape feel more earned.

Lastly, the poem's theme could be more deeply explored. The idea of 'cheating death' is a compelling one, but it's not fully developed here. Delving into this concept more could add depth to the poem.

Overall, the poem demonstrates a strong grasp of narrative and rhyme but could be improved with more original imagery, a more developed resolution, and a deeper exploration of its themes.

Please send feedback about Neo (our computer generated critique system) to

Hello, Michael,
A fun take on the contest theme! The poem flows nicely all the way through. Very clever!
Thank you,

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