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.