Reviews for Marcel as a Montague
Brenda Agaro chapter 1 . 3/9/2010
Chilling. The imagery flows well; the images were vivid, even with the concept of a relationship.
in theory chapter 1 . 2/9/2010
"I wake him, just to be sure he is there." I love this line, as if in sleep a part of ourselves slips away for a time. For some people, a bigger part slips away, perhaps even all of them.

'ludic rhyme' I love this word, and the entire section actually. You play around with the senses in a way that perfectly compliments and highlights the sensuality of what you're saying.

Beautifully portrayed as always, hope all is well :)

Inkspilled chapter 1 . 2/1/2010
I have to say I really enjoyed this. I felt the descriptions worked very well with the mood. It was very coloured in my mind and I could see what was happening. The flow was so specific, but it fit in with the whole piece well. I do feel that they (the lines) were brought up short, although it fits in like that. I like the word choices, because they basically made the descriptions. It made it all very simple and easy to follow. The rhythm made it all seem so much more poetic. I especially liked that as well as the part "how he stands a little slopped while I pull a comb through his tangled hair". All of these put together made it very enjoyable. I liked it. :)
a silenced revolution chapter 1 . 1/22/2010
I like the visual concept of the first full stanza.

The image of the skeleton in the coat is original and thought provoking.

The short lines work well.

Overall, I like the soft contemplative tone to this.
sophiesix chapter 1 . 1/21/2010
I loved how this poem sucked the reader into it, immersng them in its world and provokng contiguous feelngs. Beautifully, smoothly, powerfully done. The theme of the lovng relationship was poignant and tenderly handled.

The exact nature of the relationship was ambiguous to me, which in a way I appreciate for its ability to appeal to different readers in different situations. It was not so opaque to deny a sense of meaningfulness to the work, and my two main interpretations did ounce off each other and slide into each nicely, contaminating each other with their slightly different kinds of love. Did I appreciate this? Sort of. Partly I instinctively wanted a more solid framework to hang onto, partly I wanted the power of the piece to focus itself, so that it would be all the more effective. So soon after reading, I can’t resolve this into a definite like or dislike. Maybe it’ll come to me later.

A beautiful piece.
sophiesix chapter 1 . 1/21/2010
Ok here we go. First proper poetry review ever. Wish me luck ;)

To me this spoke of a mother and child. I know there could be other interpretatns, especially a lover-lover relationship… maybe I should just say a very close loving relationship because it has aspect of love as well as mothering… goddang I need some kind of conceptual frame work here so I’m going to hang it on mother-child.

Anyway, it was a sensitive window onto that relationship. it had elements of both extreme closeness, but also distance, and the tension between the two forms the emotional texture of the piece. More on that later.

1st stanza: Frozen sleepy merge and blue all beautifully convey the quiet, calm, cool langourousness of the scene. This is also supported by the pendulum like repetition of the ‘oo’ sound, like swinging/pushing a swing or cradle. its also a crooning sound, like a lullaby, and repeated in stand out words like ludic and mantua ,reinforcing the sense of the narrative voice softly crooning to the sleeper. The use of second person effectively draws the reader into the piece and places them as the narrator. There’s no description baggage to burden that transformation, either, its smoothly and effectively done

2nd stanza: Because of the smoothness of the reader transformsation in the first stanza, the change to first person here feels quite natural. In other poems I’ve read there has been a moment of ambiguity, sometimes never resolved, over whether the you and I are the same person. Here, I didn’t feel that. nice. ‘Skeleton’ is an affront to the peacefulness of the first stanza. It brings with it connotations of death and fragility. Though teh sleep/death motif was a linking concept, for me, a skeleton is a dried dessicated thing, whereas the ‘laid out on a bed’ gives me more the image of a loved one recently dead, arranged for a viewing. Still, I dunno what would be an alternative word. Coprse is too vulgar, body not emotive enough… yeah, that’s why I’m not a poet, I guess ;)

“while wearing my coat.” This gives me the first direct indication of the relationship here. And whilst a boyfriend could certainly wear a girlfriends coat, the image I like better is that of a little boy swaddled in his mother’s coat. Let’s go with that.

Third stanza: ‘Whisper’ builds on that quiet theme. Calling his name builds on the relationship between the two. Ok, fine so far. Now “Ludic”. Here, I’m momentarily stumped. Had to look that one up. alright: playful, fun, absurd, ludicrous, mistaking a game for reality. Nice, I like that word. Anyways, I’ll go for playful here, I haven’t seen any hint of absurdity yet, and the tone is too soft for ‘fun’. So: the sound of his whispered name is a playful rhyme that fills the night. A whisper filling a quiet, dark, near empty room, I like. Playful I can squeeze into that image. Where rhyme fits, I’m not so sure. A word repeated rhymes with itself? why not.

4th stanza: This is lovely. Her connection to the sleeping one is represented as very loving and close for his name to have such an effect on her body. Not just close, but internal, almost like a part of her own, or one that fits so well with her own that it could be, or one that she loves so much she feels that it does. Her body wraps itself around his concept and attunes to it. Nice. Further, the use of first person breaks down any barrier between narrator and reader, so that the reader in immersing themselves in the narrator feels these emotions for themselves. It constructs a very similar close relationship between the reader and the sleeping one, so that the reader is emotionally invested in the piece. Very nice and very nicely done indeed.

On my mind as a separate stanza/line from body. This makes me think of mind/ body duality, and emphasizes the sleeping ones importance on/in the narrators mind.

6th stanza: the repetition here gives me a sense of circular motion, in line with pendulum like rhythm of the first stanza, and evocative of other calming things like a hand caressing a child’s back. “the way I bring the sound up from my throat” both in tonality and content is harsher, to me. it evokes regurgitation, choking, vomiting, but also welling emotion, exteriorizing something kept close to the heart. The ambiguity is a little unsettling, but adds tension and drama to the piece. For me, it has an underlying current of a mother dog (for eg) regurgitating a meal for her younguns, too, building on that mother-child theme.

7th stanza: This brings forth for me the image of a mother combing a child’s hair, partly because the boy is standing so the narrator appears to be tall enough to comb without the boy being seated, partly because combing/tidying someone’s hair seems a motherly thing to do. Whilst it doesn’t preclude the possibility of a girlfriend combing a boyfriends hair, the way that its depicted (with the standing), as well as the context, sits better as a other for me. however, the other adds an interesting sort of alternate universe to the piece, like a shadow or mirror image, the same in the larger brushstrokes but essentially different. That dual nature/ parallel shadow world kind of adds an interesting depth, or it could be considered a fuzzying, a detraction from a clear focus. Depends what you want to communicate, I guess.

8th stanza: The break after frozen is very effective because it freezes the phrase at that moment, loved that. the drain pipes is introducing something extra, something outside the room: my mind frets a little because it wants to be inside the room, close to the sleeping one. You have created this close relationship between reader and sleeper and now you pull us away. :frets: on another note, it gives me an idea this room is possibly in a city or building, rather than say a hut. evokes teh closeness of strangers.

9th stranza: ‘night’s tongue’ evokes for me the velvety feel of night’s darkness, which is a beautifully palpable way of putting it. It also makes me think of a mental darkness, of loss as opposed to being situated in a loved one’s room, home. This is built upon in the following lines of searching.

Ok: Mantua. My immediate association here was to 17th century brocade coats. Maybe because of the coat reference earlier. Most likely just me. Anyway, reading on, that didn’t fit. so then I remembered mantuas were called mantuas because the brocade was made in Mantua, Italy. This fit better. But the structure of the sentence begs the question what particular aspect of Mantua is being referred to here? I did a google search to enlighten myself. Possibilities included: romeo’s place of exile (title leads me rate this), a literary festival (ooh a literary connection, also good), the most liveable city in Italy (hm, that’s a stretch to fit), place where a saints body was lost and found (obscure, but interesting, especially considering the tomb reference later. The sleeper is a saint? As loved as a saint? Lost and found?), the setting of rigoletto, the resting site of two young lovers who died between 50 and 60 years ago.

I’m telling for you this for two reasons. First, that that thought journey was a ‘distance’ one, thinking of far flung places and events, which contrasted with the the signature of the rest of the piece being contained to one room and delving into a very close relationship. I didn’t like the break in … concept, there. But I suppose that’s my fault for associating Mantua with the wrong things, potentially. Either way, it brings me to the second point: unless the poem is written for an audience that is already in the know, I’d be thinking that the association was too obscure/ambiguous/potentially various to work effectively here. The audience could be made in the know by another allusion to give another clue, (ok, so you could argue the title is enough. Personally, I’d want more) because, despite everything, mantua is a very lovely word. It sounds longing and romantic. I want it to work, but… as it is, it led me on interesting journeys that diluted the effect of the work. It broke my submersion in the world of the poem, I guess.

“waiting for a time when he was/laid out beside me,” circling back to that idea of death and arranging the body, but this time not as a solitary corpse but together in eternal rest. Tension here between the concepts of death being something that takes you away, and that which unites them. Effective at conveying the longing of the narrator for the sleeper, that they would be together always.

“and despite the hour/I wake him” choppy formatting effective at conveying the break from sleep.

“just to be sure he is there.” Very satisfying resolution. It resolves both the searching of the previous few lines in the Matua stanza, but also brings to an end the sleepers sleep, uniting them in consciousness. Sleep and silence is a barrier, and at the same time evokes a feeling of tender closeness, because its only people we are close to that see us in the unguarded moments of sleep. By waking them, the barrier is breached, and the longing articulate in the rest of the poem satisfied. Also it builds rapport with the reader, who can reflect on instances where they themselves have done this (waking a pet comes to mind for me).

So overall: flow was smooth, concepts linkng mostly seamlessly, with a gentle rhythm appropriate for the tone. Momnts of rougher flow add tension to the atmosphere, helpng keep the reader’s attentn focused.

Most descriptns were palpably good, fresh and evocative. Occasionally the choice of words was a little obscure, which adds interest but detracts from flow. In general the word choice was very effective at buildng the atmosphere and emotions involved.

(hmm, i'll have to stick teh rest in an anonymous review :) )
Isca chapter 1 . 1/11/2010
"Franco-Anglo eyelids." Stunning description. I really like the title of the poem, by the way. ;)

"How he stands a little slopped while I pull a comb through his tangled hair." I just love this line, for some unknown reason - it made me smile!

"Looking for my own crypt." How philosophical.

"I wake him / Just to be sure he is there." This is a very interesting line; the dream vs. reality state-of-mind is quite intriguing. :)
lookingwest chapter 1 . 1/10/2010
Wow, really love the imagery of the skeleton because it's so vivid and the way that you add that he's wearing the speaker's coat was definitley my favorite part right off the bat, I love that aire of almost creepiness that sort of comes over the whole piece too because the way that you just put it in the background of the speaker's daily life, like while they're combing they're hair, ect, is just an excellent way to capture that "skeleton in the closet" analogy!

from the review marathon (link in my profile)
tonight we bloom chapter 1 . 1/9/2010
this is just amazing! i love the first stanza. you have insanely creative ideas and wonderful ways of putting them into words. i love it.
thursdays and rain chapter 1 . 1/8/2010
your writes are always so deep and though-provoking.. I always have to read them twice _ I simply adore the way you twist words and create beautiful imagery..