|Reviews for The Brigata|
| Kievsky chapter 1 . 3/3/2003
Having never read the Decameron, I've nothing to compare this too, and I got a little lost on the illness motif. Decameron is about the flight from the black plague, right? Here I can't really tell if the illness is actually a medical problem, like the plague, or more of a social problem; also, the setting has elements of past and present and so it's not quite clear exactly what time period this is. Thematically, though, nitpicking the setting doesn't matter. You have so many detailed, lush images here. It's beautiful. And the characters are described wonderfully with their mythic and personal characteristics. "Rose" is very pretty, and I love the astronomical elements that reappear throughout the collection. As for the "characters," I think Jason is my favorite, followed by Milton, then Lexi because I see many elements of myself reflected in her characterization. All of the people here are unique and have their own beliefs and motivations, and none are purely evil or perfect, which makes them realistic and their human counterparts probably very well portrayed. Your ending is wonderful because these people all deserve a happy ending. Overall the poem is very impressive, as you can probably tell from my happy rambling. Excellent job, once again.
| the Queen of Jupiter chapter 13 . 3/1/2003
That was mind-boggling and absolutely, positively gorgeous. I'm still reeling from it. I think I like "Rose" the best: it has beautiful imagery. I also love Death Fairy's poem in the review, hehe (just a note). It's wonderful how you brought all these people to full, breathing, living color in these poems. I'm putting this in my favorite stories, to take out and savor again for another time.
| E. Gao chapter 1 . 2/28/2003
And already I have been awestricken
with your winter montage and the
townspeople's plights, although at
the outset they are identical. there
are always defining qualities.
Matt, matt is an apostle naming but
not counting stars as the ten stroll
through Puritan America and if I were
there I would have certainly
stopped and gasped the sight of
ten beautiful ones (lead but not quite
lead) by matt the translator.
Rosa, watching the watchers of the
sky and reading the scriptures as
if the stars and sonnets and small
red flowers were manifestations of
the apostle's words.
The skeptic grey-eyed daughter -
for all she is tired of the Scripture -
is still in love with the spring,
a miracle so fateful that she
disregards illness and faith;
she becomes tired of the Scripture.
John and his infamous eyelids lie
glib tales of finery and fashions but
does he really see the flames come
nearer and nearer toward the pupils
of his eyes? if he belives in himself
certainly he cannot believe in God.
Billy who walks with the women
cares about more than the chemical
makeup of the sun and covers miles
with his thoughts regardless of his
height which matters not at all.
And perhaps age matters not at all
either for Milton sees and smiles
and is infinitely pleased and
explains all he knows and dreams
of infinity where the green matters
more than age or height.
Tierney flourishes in the freshest
dawn despite the sickness and the
seemingly directionless wandering of
the ten. Her whistle made with the
shortest of all men will most
likely stop and question long afterward.
David loves and is a lover. His
flavored water is unnamed and yet
he seems to appreciate everything -
the scripture and the flowers and
the people, the people most of all.
Michael loves also, but loves a less
universal phenomenon - only the splayed
hand of another, the effects of a good
coke and the pure joy of travel
with the other (loved) eight.
Here Jason is the one who counted
the stars and is the real leader.
He prefers unity of the ten
it seems and is a catalyst of
interpersonal gravity, and everything
is golden when they reach the
house and he can claim his myth-name.
And so the ten have been named
as angel-watchers and flower-observers
and saint-wishers and readers
and song-listeners and lovers
and the convinced few. Not every
Puritan was wearing black, in fact
none of the ten except the night,
the quietly lively night.