Reviews for Chiaroscuro
grey spirit chapter 1 . 1/12/2003
Yay! It's so pretty! *happy mood* I can see why you say it's one of your favorites. You did right well with it. (I sound so Virginian.) Lovely imagery, and it pulls you in. I like that. Well done with the title too, even better than steak. You did well with color (a difficult task) and managed to be strong and engaging. Kudos!

Grey Spirit
Mike Gao chapter 1 . 12/26/2002
Here's the in depth review I promised )

First stanza:

You say life is sadistic THAT way. Perhaps... if you want to submerge the reader more you should say life is sadistic THIS way. That way, it is more personal and more involved. However, if you mean for it to be somewhat detached, that's ok too. But when it is detached... perhaps the "life is compassionate that way" would be more weak... especially because compassion is personal.

Secondly, when you say JOY... joy is a more fundamental happiness. Sadism would take pleasure, not joy... joy and sadism are opposites. So perhaps you should replace the word joy with pleasure.

Second stanza:

As for iceberg of pain, icebergs are known to be large chunks of ice… with a little bit submerged. It does paint a nice picture of pain, but maybe you should use something more sharp… a jagged ice shard perhaps?

You say until everything is coated in a veneer of black… but since you’re using ice in the first part of the paragraph, maybe you should juxtapose it and use fire… à burnt in a veneer of black.

Third stanza:

You say shining so brightly… but brightly is a positive term. Maybe you should say brightly? I like the picture painted by the piano, and I think you should portray the man negatively, as if he were intruding upon the scene.

You say “his chipped diamond pedestal”. Again, the man is not supposed to belong to the picture, he is supposed to be suffering, lonely. Because of that, you probably want to refrain from using “his”, which is possessive. “a chipped diamond pedestal” would be good.

Fourth stanza:

Perhaps you should add something about a standing ovation/encore for the man’s performance instead, because you want to emphasize the joy part à life being sadistic, laughing at his pathetic loneliness. I think people should be able to get the fact that life is laughing at him, and the applause should signify that. Maybe he makes a mistake?

Fifth stanza:

As with the first stanza, maybe you shouldn’t say “that” way. Maybe instead you should say this way.

On the second part, you say it expresses its sorrow, however you should just put sorrow and cut out the its to maintain form. However, saying its also personifies life, if you’re going to say it, attach a sex to life… her sorrow perhaps.

Sixth Stanza:

The stanza is in past tense… perhaps you should make it in present tense to bring it up to NOW before you move on to the compassionate part. Otherwise, the reader still remains somewhat detached… make it so life is laughing AT the reader to emphasize the compassion.

You say “the lilacs” but it really doesn’t point to any specific lilacs. Perhaps… you should just use “until lilacs burst”, because that keeps it centered on boredom and monotony, as opposed to lilacs.

Seventh stanza:

Same with the past tense thing, now that you are bringing your poem to stage two, perhaps you should make it present tense. Especially when you’re talking about a flaxen haired girl, you want to involve the reader… make the reader feel sorry for her, make sure the reader knows she’s not all better now. That way the part about compassion is more powerful.

Eighth stanza:

The question here is… do you want to emphasize uninhibited? Because if you do… the poem should be… line 4: until then we whirl- line 5: uninhibited. Other than that, I like the stanza.

Ninth stanza:

I particularly like this stanza. Besides the this and that issue, there is only one other issue. Perhaps you should say… it manifests itself “as” as opposed to in. Because then you’re personifying Sin too, which makes the poem more powerful.

General comments:

In most of your poems, it is somewhat detached… Perhaps if you pay attention, you can involve your reader more. That is your choice however, poems are never better because they involve the reader. Just a style to try out, you might like it. Another style would be story poem style… like Frost. Your poems tend to wander… maybe a nice attempt at a storyline plot poem would be good… but again it’s a choice of expression.
OBAKE-CHANcelor chapter 1 . 12/26/2002
I'm going to play Debussy's "Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum"! But, this is the first time I've played his music, so I know nothing whatsoever. His daughter's name is Chouchou... dang. Is that it? No? What about... Thorny flower-athornyflower-a?

Myuuu, I love the words you used in this poem. I don't care if it's nebulous, because it is bootifuel(translation, beautiful). So many categories: music, color, religion, flower, etc. It is preeeeeeety!

Hey...it kinda sounded like a descent review.
Amaris chapter 1 . 12/24/2002
Your interesting use of color definitely adds to the experience of reading this poem. I like the third stanza about the piano being interrupted. The third to the end stanza about the flaxen girl...the last sentence could be improve upon I think...it's a little vague as to who is inviting itself. The moon or the girl? Anyway, good job overall.
peachykeen chapter 1 . 12/23/2002
Tres bien, kinda disappointed that the words not in my vocabulary are back, but excited all at the same time. I really like this one, but it may just be because I don't understand 1/2 of it. I like the lilac and the shrapnel of petals - nice imagry. Define: arpeggios, j/k, there aren't anymore. Who's the man on the pedestal?
the Queen of Jupiter chapter 1 . 12/22/2002
Wah! We learned about "chiaroscuro" during the Renaissance in AP Euro last semester, and I played "La Fille Aux Cheveaux de Lin" just last Friday in my piano concert! All these coincidences. It's creepin' me out.

Well, this poem is gorgeous, especially the stanza that begins with "And the piano"...*swoons*

Love the repetition of "Life is _ that way:"

I don't really understand the poem, but it's very pretty, on an extremely superficial level. o_O *brain dead, as you can see*

For my poem "Mistake", basically it's me screwing up my life again, and asking Santa for a new life and a new beginning, thus "Waiting for Christmas morning" - I'm hoping that by that time, everything will be good again. Of course, disappointment will hit once again come Dec. 25, but...*shrug* Life is bitter that way, no? ;)

Keep writing! Peace
frenchfries chapter 1 . 12/22/2002
You use to big of words! speak english ! not chinesse!
JAM Yiska chapter 1 . 12/21/2002
You have a really big vocab (it appears so, anyway) and it adds a lot to the writing! I really like the poem! :) I never really thought about life that way... interesting!