|Reviews for Strings|
| thewhimsicalbard 7/31/11 . chapter 1
You reviewed me some ages ago (July 1st)... and I'm just now getting back to you. I'm terrible, and I do hope you'll forgive me.
So, anyway. I like this piece. It's an interesting read.
I am a fan of pieces with short stanzas, though at times I'm not exactly sure if you intended the lengths of each one to mean something, or if it is just something you're doing because of some sense of aesthetic benefit therein. For example, in your first stanza, the first three lines had six syllables and the last line had four. There was some evidence that you were pursuing a form poem, but it doesn't appear to me that you were, because there is really no quantifiable meter in this piece. Allow me to explain.
In your first line, it seemed that your meter was anapestic, but that didn't pan out. What appeared instead was a very odd (rhythmically) free verse. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the syllables of emphasis appear in odd places: at the end of a line, and then on the first syllable of the next line, for example. The fact that you capitalize the first word of every line doesn't help, either. In fact, because this is free verse - where line breaks have an infinitely greater role in creating rhythm - moving from line to line is very jarring, especially where the emphasis created by the capital letter and the beat don't match up. I felt my eyes glancing too many places all at once while I read this. It's not as bad as I make it sound, though. This isn't half bad, even in terms of the strange rhythm. In fact, the odd rhythm was one of the most significant parts of the poem - when combined with your barebones language, it created a very sharp setting. I was just mentioning the part that detracted from the experience.
While we're on the topic of language, though, I would like to point out one thing: cliched language. While "seared hearts" is a fresh idea, "they only felt alive with each other" is something I might have heard in a B-grade rom-com. Similarly, while "gorgeous rage" is a powerful descriptor, "the ground trembled beneath their feet" is so overused that I barely notice it. You run the gamut of highs and lows here with your language - I think a little bit of sharpening would go a long way in this case.
Content-wise, I thought you did a good job with the metaphor. You definitely wrote something in a way that I can relate to; it's very much something in the style that I write. You use your language and rhythm to create the setting over the course of the poem; you let your images do the work in developing your characters; at the end of the poem, you solidify the ideas with finality in the very last lines. I love it. I really can identify with that. I say all of this with the understanding that I really love my own style of presentation, and therefore this is high praise from me.
Great job overall, and thanks again for your review of On Scientific Progress!