Reviews for Space Songs
WoodpeckerWho chapter 3 . 6/19/2011
[Subject] I love how it starts in the past, then switches through to the cynical current thoughts of the planet. The first four lines are easily my favourite, as the description within it I feel is extremely powerful, especially in the line 'sang trembling songs to my glory. Side note for word use here, I'm not too sure of the word 'longed'; I just don't feel that it fits with the context.

[Style] I like the narration from the planet; it gives in interesting twist and is far from cliché. Also, the lines from 'Your strange sciences' to 'until nothing is left', I also particularly enjoyed because of the use of the second person. It is really 'talking' to the reader.

[Technical/Description] The use of personification of 'angry pink sky' works well with the rest of the poem. It produces the image of a storm's face to me, and helped to sum up the mood.

[Punctuation] With long, unbroken sentences throughout the rest of the poem, the short, snappy line of 'I was a God.' really has emphasis. It gives me the haughty impression of the planet, along with the following line of 'I am forsaken.' I do, however, think that organising the poem into four main stanzas would help the initial flow greatly.
dragonflydreamer chapter 3 . 2/14/2011
Wow, I really love this one! I don't feel as if each line is as tight as the last one, and each word doesn't carry quite as heavy as a meaning, but the general idea of the piece is an interesting one. I love the effect as a whole.

Good balance with the [word choice] throughout. You used mostly common speech with a few more sophisticated words here and there, but they blended together well. Some specific things that stood out to me:

[I have longed in the sky] The word "longed" feels oddly placed here. Longing for what? You don't really specify any time soon.

[I was a God.] I love the simplicity of this. Short, simple line coming before and after long, flowing stanzas. Great impact there.

[and reverberated my name into emptiness.] I love the word "reverberated" here!

[I hurdle through space orbit, spiritless] I thought "hurdle" was interesting. I think orbits are commonly thought of as slow and majestic, but obviously they're travelling at incredible speeds.

I love the enjambment/[technical aspects] of this. Actually, it's one of the things that stood out to me the most. While the line breaks are very effective in making your reader pause and think about certain places, combined with the punctuation and enjambment, it really feels like the character speaking.

[Subject] was very interesting as I said at the start. I love the combination of the god and the planet itself, and personifying him to this point is quite original. I have to say, though, I don't like how you dropped in the part about Venus at the end. There's a lot to the story of Mars and Venus the gods, and clearly a lot of emotion in these lines. With so much meaning to it, it feels odd just dropped in at the end.

The [tone] was definitely the most distinctive thing. While I didn't find the phrasing as exceptional as the last poem, this is what gave it that something extra. It really gives Mars a character and reveals a lot of the emotions that the words themselves don't. I find it interesting that, while he's making himself out to be such a powerful being, words like "robbed" and the ellipses in "but...but" reveal such a weakness. It's almost as if there's a hint of a defeated child.
dragonflydreamer chapter 2 . 2/13/2011
The first thing that caught my attention was the [flow]. The first time I read through this, it felt pretty chunky. I think it was a matter of the line breaks and punctuation. But the more times I read through it, the smoother it became. I think that's because I began to pick up on the enjambment, so that's more my fault as the reader.

Your [word choice] was just brilliant! It's hard to get a unified image from what you're describing; it's much more a feeling of vastness and something overwhelming. I myself only understood maybe half of the words you used, which worked extremely effectively with the mood. Because so much went over my head, I felt lost in it, like there are so many things I just can't grasp.

Some specific phrases that I particularly loved:

[celestial chorus] This stood out to me as the most poetic image.

[primordial and unimportant] Interesting how you devalue the primordial, which is usually honored.

[and our atoms are excited:/ground-state transforms to elevation.] Nice play on the scientific blended with the emotional. (Plus I found this neat because I actually understood it.)

On that note, a small comment on the [descriptions]: I noticed toward the beginning, you were using more poetic/artsy phrases like the one above, "violet song," and "tragic serenades," but around the middle, you leaned more to the scientific side. Was there a reason for changing the style?

As for my [enjoyment], I definitely loved it! I have to say, though, I loved it more with each time I read it, which is both a good and a bad thing. I loved that it had so many levels and so much attention to the word choice and construction that there was something new to experience each time. However, the fact that so much went over my head the first time worries me a bit. I suppose it depends on what you expect of your audience. Do you want them to be able to read this once and enjoy it, or do you want them to really think about it?

As a whole, a truly mind-blowing piece!
Suteko chapter 1 . 1/12/2010
interesting. A tad obtuse but an interesting idea.
Solemn Coyote chapter 2 . 1/10/2010
Whoah.

No critique here.

Consider me spellbound.

-SC
Solemn Coyote chapter 1 . 1/10/2010
There's a kind of persistent, gripping personification to this piece that I absolutely love. Phrases like "in the last throes of his power" and the comparison of a star to a inflammation make the first two stanzas very compelling to read.

Because I like this so much, though, I'm going to be nitpicky. I feel like this has the potential to be utterly jaw-dropping if it's expanded on, and there are a couple of areas where it feels unfinished.

First of all, the battery bit never gets really worked into the core of the poem. It's used as a comparison with the star, but it doesn't make itself relevant in any other way than as a springboard to talk about something else. The last few lines hint that there's some sort of deeper topic that you're skirting (cancer comes up, and that's powerful imagery, but it isn't really addressed either,) and I feel like the poem is about death and transmutation, but it doesn't quite drive that home.

There's a lot you can do with the topics you've chosen. You can tie massive, astronomical phenomenon to tiny clusters of cells in the human body. You can compare the brief duration of a chemical battery to the comparatively brief duration of a star. You can talk about the parts of a star that linger after it dies ('ghost light' from the star carries on across space. If you look at it from the right perspective, you won't even be able to tell that the thing it originated from is gone.) What you have already is great, but expanding on it a little and strengthening the connections between ideas wouldn't hurt your work.

Moving on to more fiddly critiques, I didn't quite get the purpose of the quotes around "wrap my mind". My first thought was that they might be some sort of pun, but I wasn't able to parse out what that was if there was one. Also, that last line felt sort of intrusive. It was already mostly implied by the sense of confusion and wonder in the rest of the poem. Saying that you were going to try and understand the things you'd just spent three stanzas trying to understand felt redundant, even though it resolved the poem neatly. I always have trouble with endings, and I've learned to come back to them two or three times to make sure I didn't just write down something so that I could be done with whatever I was working on.

Lastly, and this is wholly a matter of preference, I wasn't so sure the disclaimer before the title was needed. I felt like the poem did a good job of explaining all of that and that it would be more engaging without the factoid at the beginning...but at the same time I tend to write references into my work that no one gets, so I'm probably not the best person to listen to here.

-SC

I do want to add, in case it got glossed over by the body of my review, that I think this piece is lovely. I was being cantankerous for the sake of critique, and I think you have a lot of talent. Please don't be disheartened, or anything like that.