Reviews for E325 Portfolio: Currently Untitled, Still Untitled
simpleplan13 chapter 35 . 10/1/2009
Thanks for participating in the Review Marathon!

I like the subject matter here. You tell a story that's been dome before from a different perspective. The personification was really great. I did think that it was a bit prosey. I dunno after the first two stanzas your imagery kinda faded a bit. That last line was awesome as well. Nicely done.
Kate Marshall chapter 5 . 7/29/2009
I think it's really cool this is haiku. (Is it a particular type? You have 5/7/5 for the first two, then 7/5/7 for the rest. I'm not familiar with all the names.) Even though you don't have to hold to the syllable format any more, all of your lines did. Which is pretty impressive. :)

"sweltering domain" I just really like that line. The description for Hell seems accurate. It seems like it should be called a 'domain'. :P

I love the ending. It has good closure, and the thought is interesting. Can he cry? Or is repentance only given to the redeemed? The concept and idea reminds me of Dante's Inferno, because of how much the poem contradicts it. (Since in that book, the damned can't feel guilt for what they've done, because Hell is what they chose to have.) All the same, the ending had nice imagery, and I enjoyed reading your take on it. :)

-Peach. Review Squader for the RM!
SoneAnna chapter 9 . 7/20/2009
I really hope this was the chapter you wanted.

I made a lame-ass move and accidentally deleted your PM, -_-

Anywho:

The idea of doing a poem about a poem was original, to say the least. Whereas normally, if someone tried to do something like this I'd be afraid it'd turn out to be some terrible piece of angsty coffee-house crap, I think you presented it VERY nicely.

The rhythm was also nice, even though it was just the standard ABAB format. I think that was the best choice for a rather short poem like this. (Of course this all could be because of the fact that you called it a "sonnet", and I'm not that good at identifying different types of poems, so...?)

The line, "I am trying to sing the song unheard" is utterly brilliant in the fact that it perfectly captures the feeling of writing poetry, or even just writing in general. I think that stanza in particular was the best written. On the other note, the last stanza was a bit...confusing? I wasn't really sure of what aspect you were trying to capture with that one.

And lastly, the descriptors were also very good. I.e.-the way the book turns yellow, the dusty shelves. It definately enhanced it.
Kate Marshall chapter 35 . 7/8/2009
The topic and how you developed it was wonderful. (I assume I'm right when I say it's about nature, Mother Earth, ect.?) It's very ambiguous, and I didn't understand that you were talking about until the end. So I was curious and attentive the whole read. I thoroughly enjoyed the way you wrote the topic; very clever, very mysterious and unearthly feeling.

"for the Fat Man that did a cannonball..." I think another word could replace "Fat Man". I'm really not a fan of such a humorous line in the middle of the poem. I thought it threw the poem 'off-balance'.

"I feel so hollow and barren now." Can I describe how much I love that line? I suppose I'll try. I'm just fascinated with it, because you wouldn't think of 'mother earth' or whatever as being hollow. I think the contradiction is very creative and poetic. :D Thumbs up.

Wonderful! :D

-Peach. This is a Review Squader review for the Review Marathon! Congrats!
Carus chapter 9 . 2/25/2009
Hiya Limey-Limecat! This review is brought to you from the TBT thread of the Break Writer's Block forum. I lost, silly me :p

I really like the idea in this poem :) I'm sure it's something many people can relate to, especially here on FP. Great concept :D

I also love the last stanza/two lines. The "me" "me" "sympathy" really tied it up nicely.

The double meaning in the third stanza is great, too! (At least I hope it is :P) I get the impression that the narrator is trying to write about a bluebird singing, but then poetry can also be seen as a melody in writing.

One thing I wasn't too keen on was the second line - I think the description of unread/neglected writing is often described as 'collecting dust on shelves', and it's become a bit cliched. But that was the only thing I wasn't sure about, so well done!

-Amy
Chasing Skylines chapter 11 . 2/17/2009
I was wondering at your repetition of words till I remembered what a sestina was. You are allowed to alter the words, correct? As in, I see magic used as magical, and fantasy as fantastical.

I can't say I liked the imagery. The wondrous sense of fantasy was a miss here. You merely state that everything is so, but don't give thorough examples. It does tie in with imagination and leaving the reader to their own devices, but besides the dragon having feathery wings, a globe (a 'distant world), and possibly "the mind's eye", I can't envision much else. I am going to guess the sestina's don't allow much room to navigate regarding imagery, as those same six words must be used each stanza, so I guess the lack of aesthetically pleasing lines is okay.

[was nothing but a reality in a fantastical land.]

I liked that line.

[The only thing that can peel me from here is reality.]

Because I show favoritism to verbs over adjectives/etc., I liked your use of 'peel' here, as long as a few other choice lines with a good choice of verb diction.

I also liked how you built up throughout the whole poem, since it gave the last line more impact.

Good job.

-Sesshy
champagne in the dark chapter 23 . 2/10/2009
Hello Blind date. chocolate? Yes I"ll have some thanks.

1. I feel like you mixed a casual, open tone with more serious like saying darn those clouds. Its unique.

2. Im not sure why you said so I run like hell with the wind on my wingtips. I suppose it's different from the usual so could be bad or good.

3. I do like how you used different wording like surfed atop those cumulus clouds because it's good imagery and wreaked havoc is a good description.

4. You make me want to search up on what Kokura is.

5. You pulled off using that exclamation mark in a poem, too.

I hope the review's not stupid. ;p

-Red undies? No thanks... your blind date. :P
simpleplan13 chapter 27 . 1/5/2009
"all the while screaming at"... all the while just seemed like a filler phrase to make a line. I might describe the screaming more instead. Or do "screaming at the top of my lungs,/'Watch out!'"

I didn't really like splitting up smiley and face into two different stanzas, it sounded a bit awkward to me. I'm also not too sure why the smiley face would make ants realize you were insane? That just confused me a bit.

I really like how that last line fits with your other piece. I also like the personification again, really interesting and well done. Your descriptions in certain parts are nice as well. Some if it is kinda plain, but it has to be to set the right personality for the bomb. I also like the message and irony here. Nice job.
simpleplan13 chapter 32 . 1/5/2009
The line break between the first two stanzas was a bit awkward to me.

"the people and the animals’" It's not possessive. You gave the animals sustenance. If you said always providing the animals' sustenance that would be possessive, but this isn't.

"the living things that perished that day"... I didn't like the two thats. Maybe just get rid of the that day?

"At least it ended in a quick and sudden death."... I didn't like this because I couldn't tell what the it was referring back to. If you mean the day then it ended in deaths not just one death. No?

I also didn't really like the line "that morning – a great majority of them/are no longer here." It's kinda like a duh statement. You know? Maybe if it was a more powerful description, but just like that I didn't really like that.

So I'm just nitpicking since I know you like constructive criticism since the piece is really great. It's definitely and interesting point of view and your use of personification is really amazing. I also think your descriptions are nice and powerful. I especially liked the second stanza.

PS Better late than never on those review I offered, right?
Farah chapter 1 . 12/14/2008
Interesting format. :P
Isca chapter 7 . 11/25/2008
Ah yes, the heroic tale of Beowulf. I loved how you used writing constraints, particularly the haiku/reverse haiku formats, and still managed to make a beautiful poem!

"Seeing the floating souls wander..." The imagery here is almost dream-like. Beautiful!

"If only they knew his sorrow..." Wow. That line is phenomenal! It really impacts the reader!

Bravo, my friend. EXCELLENT WORK! :D

-Isca
E.M. Anderson chapter 6 . 11/19/2008
I tried to reply to this about a week ago (give or take; it was around the time the second draft came into existence, I believe). Of course, that response ended up exceeding the character limit, and I simply couldn't justify all the rambling I was doing. So, I've taken a week and decided to come back and give it another shot. I'll try to be brief.

First off, I'd like to say that your "Questions" poem (now titled Exhilaration I see) is a fine attempt, but it doesn't work out. You tried something, and for that, I think you deserve some credit. But, I also have to tell you that, from where I'm sitting, it didn't work out.

The poem is too long for my tastes, and uses an excruciating amount of detail, when it is unneeded. You keep the metaphor going for eight couplets, which is far too long, in my opinion.

Remember: Don't use a hundred words when ten will do.

I must also say that, on an emotional level, this poem seems dead to me. Maybe I'm dead on the inside or I just lack good taste, but when I read it, I didn't feel anything. I think your phrasing and word choice are partially responsible for my paralysis.

"Skillfully negotiating each consecutive sinuous corner delectably ... " First of all, this is awkward to read and you have a sentence structure problem which gnaws at the mind. As for the word choice, outside of a Math Classroom when are you ever going to hear the word "sinuous" used, in context? It just doesn't fit with the character of the poem.

You're also trying to describe the race in such vivid detail that, frankly, I find it anything but exhilarating. If you want the poem to be exhilarating, or at least about exhilaration, you have to capture that, and I've come to find (through my own experiences) that drawn-out vivid description is none too exhilarating.

A lot of young writers seem to do this; I know I did, and I know a lot of my friends wrote the same way when they started out. Being grandiose and excessively thorough in your detail is not necessarily a good thing. This is especially true in poetry. You have to let your reader imagine some things.

As a writer, you have to see when something isn't working; and this, my friend, is not working. Learn what you can from the experience, and from what the other reviewers have said, but move on from it.

You do have talent. You're not a bad writer. Don't let this discourage you. Keep writing.

But realize this poem is as good as it's ever going to get.

Keep writing.
Misstress Nicole chapter 5 . 11/13/2008
I actually went back and compared the drafts against each other. I like some of the changes. They add feeling to the piece. Althought the imagery still seems a bit shallow. Almost empty. The line: "...whipers as they erase/the tears of the gloomy sky..." does add a hint of emotion and imagery to the piece.

The wording in the poem is good for the most part. But maybe different words could add a bit of emotion to the piece. Lend the reader the poet's excitment. "Sucessfully negotiating...," this doesn't really show that it's supposed to be an exciting feat. Maybe 'mastering' would help protray this.

I liked the 'do you' rythm and how it changed to past tense at the end. It took you along for for ride and then let you know it was over. 'Did you,' wrapped up the poem quite nicely.

Again, I like that this is composed of only questions. It establishes the flow. Makes it feels as if they're rapid fire, like a race. You could try shortening the introduction to the question a little to speed it up.

Over all, I think it could still use a bit of spursing up. Rome wasn't built in a day. I do like that you are willing to write to make somethig good better.
B. J. Winters chapter 5 . 11/11/2008
All the questions are do, or did. With that in mind I wonder if you need them phased as is. While the repetition has its own value, I wonder if leaving out the "do you" (you is always implied anyway) and finding repetition in hear, hear, feel, feel, might be better from a pacing standpoint - or make it more unique - more action oriented to go with the race imagery.

Example: "Nearing the finishline, the familiar pitter patter on the windshield enters my ears - feel my disappointment."

Of course that makes this not questions, but statements and dramatically changes the flavor of the piece...so...maybe that's not the best suggestion.

If you are going for more of an action feel, I would remove the transition words at the start of each line. "Despite", "While" and start each line with a verb or the relevant noun (e.g. the rubber, squealing wipers). In particularly, I don't like "successfully negotiating" - those words didn't seem to go with "excitment" on that line.

I liked that you moved through each part of the car, letting each stand alone and leave an impression. Consider starting from the inside and then working your way out. You are outside (curves) and then inside (radio) and then outside (flag). While the start and end of the race was there I could see an alternative of using the environment differently - reordering this and unwrapping the driver like an onion vs. bopping around.

The 'my ears' 'my disappointment' was unexpected and worked in my opinion. I particularly liked the 'song of tension' line for it too was unusual.

The pictures were good. The flow of the race painted an image. My main suggestion would be to keep the race imagery and leverage that with more action oriented framing.

It got me thinking. Poetry should do that. Kudos.
simpleplan13 chapter 4 . 11/11/2008
A review from the Review Game on its first birthday to thank you for being such an active participant of the community and spreading so much review love.

1. What works or doesn't work in this poem? Why do you think so?

I think the overall metaphor definitely works. The whole care thing is interested and described well. It’s not something used everyday and I like how you use a lot of different aspects of driving and a car. I also think the format works with the do you repeated at the end.

Formatwise, the second stanza and sixth stanza differed from the rest of the format, which I didn’t really like. It just seemed a bit awkward to stray from the pattern. A few more specific things: starting with orange cones was confusing since you hadn’t really developed the metaphor I didn’t get it at first. I think starting with less subtle references might be a good idea. Also, I did not like the phrase “wipers as they wipe” it was too repetitive. Lastly I think you should vary your verb in the do you sentences. Especially where you use hear twice in a row since it was a bit repetitive.

2. Language: does it sound restricted, forced or just difficult to read?

The phrasing in the fourth stanza didn’t make sense to me. I think it was a bit confusing and the phrase on the track just sounded wrong to me. The only other problem thing for my was “music blasted” it was a bit clichéd. Other than that I think your phrasing and word choice was great.

3. Grammar: are there any parts that are grammatically wrong? This poem is supposed to be completely comprised of questions and nothing else; in other words, no sentences.

In the sixth stanza (music) the first part is technically its own sentence. I would use a semi-colon not a comma to connect it to the question, but I’m not sure if that’s a real grammar rule or just how I was taught.

The last line did confuse me though. You didn’t punctuate it at all, which didn’t make sense to me. I think you can replace the question mark with a comma, uncapitalize the e and then end that single line with a question mark.
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