Reviews for Kneeling beneath the Annex
Brenda Agaro chapter 1 . 3/13/2010
I like the structure. It makes the poem effective, even with the flow. The imagery was beautiful, as always, and I like the personification.
recycle rhymes chapter 1 . 2/6/2010
I thought that the imagery was creative and i enjoyed how the images were connected like a build up to the final lines. Although I don't think the image of her body being an altar was as strong as the other images. Overall I thought it had great diction.
the prophet apathetic chapter 1 . 2/3/2010
I noticed another reviewer mentioned that this felt a little aimless.. beautiful and yet without a clear sense of purpose. To me that seems exatly the point of this piece, and the language and format captures it well. It's like a snapshot of a ricocheting imagination.

I really love some of your metaphors here, very original images, and I definitely agree that many of your lines could be mulled over for quite some time.

Very minor sidenote - perhaps you meant to write "her body / becoming an altar;" ?

Strong ending, loved the third "stanza" for its impact. Good stuff...
Cottia chapter 1 . 2/1/2010
The imagery in this is breath-taking. I especially love the first few lines (She has realized that no one / speaks before sunrise; / sounds merely bubble to the surface / of circumference but are never / truly / uttered). It brings to mind an idea of... well, of sounds encased in small bubbles, that don't pop properly, or something, I'm not quite sure. But despite my inability to express myself properly, you did, which is the important thing.

This sort of goes with the imagery of your piece, but I love the concepts of shape in here; the circumference of sound, the "sphere of someone / else's throat." You're playing with circles, and that sense of concrete geometry is, again, very beautiful. It makes your images stronger and clearer, as well as being puzzling: aren't throats more cylindrical, how can a 3d sound have a circumference-is it the wavelength, the amplitude? Or is it meant to be more the concept of a bubble of sound, or of silence, outside of which everything is quieter/noisier? The fact that just two phrases can invoke such thought is the reason I love your poetry: each word and clause has such weight and meaning that I can think about them for hours.

Which brings me to my other favorite thing about your poetry: the words themselves. You not only create intriguing ideas, but you use beautiful words simply because they are beautiful. The way you create unconventional usages for uncommon words is amazing, and something I'd love to emulate. The best part is probably the fact that the unconventional usages _work_: they're not just someone saying "Oh look I have a big vocabulary."

The above paragraph was more general, but referring specifically to "Kneeling beneath the Annex," I especially liked your sentence "while students laden with languid forethought wander apoplectic in dreams." There's so much I could say about this, but I'll limit myself to two points: first, your usage of 'languid forethought.' It's of course interesting because when one typically imagines thinking and planning for the future, it's anything but languid; it's structured and concentrated, figuring out and planning for what will or what might happen. Secondly, I really liked the idea of wandering apoplectically through dreams; since, of course, apoplexy is all about rupturing blood vessels in the brain. That concept, of dreaming (psychological) about physical problems, both in the realms of the mind and brain, was really fascinating.

In terms of the actual concept of the work, I didn't find it especially moving. The piece was beautiful, and images and concepts leapt out at me, but they didn't seem especially coherent. There was the concept of the girl kneeling and praying, etc, but while it appeared sporadically throughout the piece, I kept forgetting about it. As a concept, it was quite moving, but the execution was a bit haphazard. Honestly, because I liked the wrapping so much, I didn't mind, but that opinion depends somewhat on whether one prefers that a poem be judged solely on beauty, or whether one believes that it needs also to have a strong delivery of its message.

Overall, however, I really enjoyed this piece, because I liked the word play and descriptions so much. Sorry for the somewhat imbalanced critique, but there you are.

Cottia

(also sorry for reviewing so late)
box.of.rain chapter 1 . 1/31/2010
Very well written! You have great word choice, which really makes the poem, I think.

"...in the same

ancient-heavy-sleep of

chaotic moments spent whirl-

winding around the dark dorm rooms,

while students laden with languid

forethought wander apoplectic in dreams."

I absolutely love the lines "students laden with languid forethought wander apoplectic in dreams." It flows beautifully and just brings about such a great image!
in theory chapter 1 . 1/28/2010
I love the format choice you made here, (there must be a technical term for it but I'm too lazy to Google it). The double lines give such a graceful rhythm. The opening line is gorgeous, it speaks so powerfully of the muted questions of night time. Like when you really want to giggle but you're in church so you can't. The sense of bewilderment in the first half is wrenchingly well-portrayed.

I love how you depict a throat having a sphere inside it, almost like a bundle of words.

Apologies for the erratic/late reviewing, I'm still without my own PC and I refuse to buy an iPhone so my ties with the internet world are unraveling even more. Hope all is well :)

Jack
Isca chapter 1 . 1/27/2010
"No one speaks before sunrise." I absolutely LOVE that. Silence is associated with darkness here. How beautiful!

"But are never truly uttered." Stunning line. I like the idea that nothing of importance should ever be uttered-it should be felt or experienced in some ineffable way.

"They miss her." The tone of this line is so abrupt and moving.

"The haunted brow of autumn." Lovely personification of the season.

The ending is my favourite-it's so raw and reflective! :)