Reviews for E325 Portfolio: Currently Untitled, Still Untitled
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.
Kirrithian chapter 4 . 11/8/2008
Freebie review, Donated by Frac.

First off, when I'd finished I was a bit doubtful about the poem, even though I'd liked the imagery- I could really see what was happening. But it seemed to lag with the irregular lines, beat and lengthwise, and I didn't like it, it put me off. When I get something about Exhilaration I would expect it to be fast and furious. But on the other had I think it's good that someone has tried to take the moments of exhilaration, break it down and really show it to the reader, piece by piece, and reading it through several times, slowing the pace down and really enjoying the imagery...

Did I feel the thrill of the race?

Yes, yes I did.

Misstress Nicole chapter 1 . 11/8/2008
My first thoughts upon finishing this: What does the title have to do with the actual poem.

I think it would help the flow a bit if the 'At...' was dropped and a colon was added at the end of the line. To give it more feeling. In the second stanza's last line I find myself changing the word '...him...' to '...himself...' I do like the last two lines of the third stanza. In the forth stanza you might try: 'Spinning lazily in his chair,/he awaited, anxiously, her reply.' And take out the her in the question leaving it as, '"Should I go buy a ring?"' You may also try changing 'the words' in the first line of the last stanza to 'the message,' because the repeating 'words' in such a short time takes away the easy flow the piece has. I like how the first and last stanza uses the same concept. It wraps the piece up nicely.
Misstress Nicole chapter 3 . 11/8/2008
I didn't like this poem, not to say I hated. I just didn't feel anything while reading it or after. Your word choice was simple and easy. The words fit together and made sense as a whole. I would have liked to see more imagery, though. I feel that it was a straight forward piece, nothing to really conjure images in your mind. You either see it or you don't. There's really nothing to interrupt and maybe that's how you wanted it. I don't feel that the stanzas really lent anything to the poem at hand. It feels like a paragraph broken into 'lines' and 'chunks' without helping to set a mood or atmosphere to the piece.
Misstress Nicole chapter 4 . 11/7/2008
I like that the poem is composed entirely of questions but it does leave a little to be desired. While the question conjure images there really is no imagery behind the poem. The words used evoke no emotion/feeling for me. The images painted by questions are shallow. With the title I expected a certain depth of emotion that I didn't find. It's an easy read, without a rhytmic flow. I can't say that the words got the point across. I'm not saying that the poem isn't good, I just didn't connect to it.
E.M. Anderson chapter 1 . 11/6/2008
To start, I wanted to say that I disagree with Nicki BluIs that, in your first poem, the first two lines should be changed to omit the word "at". I, personally mind you, agree that that sentence needs to be changed; however I think you'd be better to change the word "her" to "whose" at the beginning of the second line and keep the word "at" at the beginning of the first; but then you must also drop the period at the end of the second line (into a comma or what have you). I think the character's desperate need for companionship (or at least a wife) is portrayed much better if you make these ever-so-slight changes. Then it reads that he throws himself at ANY fair maiden, not only this one (as we find out later out).

On the subject of changing things, I agree with the previous respondent that, in the second stanza's fourth line, "him" should become "himself".

Looking at the poem as a whole, I must say that I found it clunky. What throws me off are a few things. First and foremost I just didn't feel any emotion in it. Your poem reads more like prose than poetry. You need to put some fire into it. Your job as a writer, as far as I'm concerned, is to make me connect with your work (and therefore with your character) on some emotional level. Right now, I understand his problem; I don't empathize with it. We've all been rejected (or will be eventually), and, most likely, some of us have also gone through that feeling of self-loathing that comes after rejection, leading to desperation; a time often referred to as the "rebound phase".

What you need to do is put me into his place, and make me empathize for him; without being patronizing, it's like I tell my youngest daughter: "Use your words". For the most part, people think very similarly, they just aren't entirely aware of it; so if you use words that make you feel a certain way, chances are (nine times out of ten) anyone who reads your poetry will get that same feeling too.

Another thing that made this feel "clunky" is that the poem feels very forced. Normally that's something that only happens with rhyme, but I have seen it happen more than a few times with narrative poetry. I think you have two problems that lead to the poem coming off as "clunky". Firstly, your sentences are too short; they come off as fragments to me. Fragments can work, but they don't here; like I said, it just comes off as "clunky" and "forced". The fact that you rhymed twice also made it feel weird, insofar as I'm concerned. Continuance is all too important in Quatrains; breaking it up with sudden bouts of rhyming made me stop, and that's something that should never happen in your poetry. It should always flow smoothly; continuously; uninterruptedly.

So ... at this point, I hope you're not re poised on sending me a well-worded message about my elitist nature, or my audacity to say anything about anything; after all, what do I know, right?

I just want to make sure that you know that the poem was fine; it's a solid read, if, like I said, it is a bit clunky. But we have this nifty little ability to leave some feedback and to help out our fellow struggling writers, so why not take advantage of it and be honest? If I came off as pompous, or overly brutal, I'm sorry; I'll nay ever again speak out against your work, just tell me and poof: thy will be done.

But, even if it comes to that: I hope you at least read this; albeit it is only a list of personal grievances, I still can't see any reason why you shouldn't at least take them into consideration.

Hope I've helped. At the very least: thanks for the read.

Keep writing.
simpleplan13 chapter 2 . 10/18/2008
Review Marathon (link in my profile)!

As for your question, I'm not sure. I think your some of your word choices were great, nice descriptions of it. However, I think the feeling was missing. The way you explain things hint towards the narrators feelings, but I wish it was more evident. I guess it just made me a bit disconnected from him.

Also, the phrasing of the first stanza with the reference to the other crewmen seemed odd. Also, I don't really know why you mentioned them since they don't really get mentioned again and I don't think it was necessary for the setting up the scene.

That said, I like the piece, it's an interesting point of view on the situation and your descriptions were nice.
simpleplan13 chapter 1 . 9/13/2008
Why are you not participating in the review marathon, missy. (link in my profile)

1. I'm guessing the guy saw a girl and liked her, but asked someone else for her number because he was afraid. Then he proposed to her just to find out she was in a relationship. Is that right at all?

2. I really liked the images actually, the worked well with the piece, but were interesting. They were the gong, the ending with the heartstrings, also the heartstrings in the beginning and the leg defrosting.

3. I didn't like the line about the cogs because it confused me. Mainly since i have no idea what cogs are. I also think the story was a bit confusing like the "way of contact" for a bit I thought he went with a different girl, but now I think its that he got the other girl's information, but still I'm a bit unclear. Also, seems unrealistic that someone would propose in an e-mail and to someone he didnt really know (unless again I'm wrong on the story).

4. I like centered, but I'd have to see it left aligned to really know.

5. Nothing really deeper, sorry!
Nicki BluIs chapter 1 . 9/9/2008
At the sight of a beautiful maiden, / her face alone, made his heartstrings strum. [Delete at.]

“Another girl, I must ask,” he exclaimed, /and thus earned him a way of contact. [earned himself… though I may have misunderstood the meaning of the sentence.]

1)Some guy proposes via email to a girl that was already in a relationship. His heart is broken. Must admit I got that info from the last 2 quatrains. The first 3 were lost on me.

2)(cogss in his head slowly turned) I see the inner workings of a clock. (Spinning lazily) this evoked more of a feeling than an image but I still thought it was powerful phrase.

3)Other than the grammar tidbits above, I’ve got nothing. But that’s because I rarely write poetry. That and I’m not completely sure what you’re trying to express.

4)I think it should be left aligned. Centering does not seem to add to the structure or rhythm of the poem in any way. However, if it were left aligned it would be easier to notice the separation of clauses.

5)Um. I thought maybe he knew she was taken and was pursuing her as a means to avoid what he was really after… I don’t know, that may be a stretch but that’s what “Another girl, I must ask,” he exclaimed made me think.

Hope this helps Lime!
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