Reviews for In the rings of the golden sun
sophiesix chapter 1 . 5/21/2011
Congrats on wining the WCC!

this is a lovely example of your poetic brilliance. Most lines had a lovely rhythm, which really contributed to the overall flow, whilst a couple of lines were a bit hopalong Cassidy, a bit stumbly to me. For example, ‘colours coalesce with one another’, the 'one' felt a bit of a stumbling block. I like how the words sort of melded into each other, though, reflecting their meaning. Similarly, the ‘rather’ of ‘rather, one of sundered dreams and hopeful contemplation’ seemed unnecessary and overextended the line. Also the ‘the’ of ‘Under the shade of the embossed twilight,’ seemed a bit too many. I’m still wondering about embossed twilight. It sounds lovely, but I’m not sure what it means. Actual twilight or something else? The contrast between the smooth texture of shade and twilight contrasted so much with the idea and visual of embossed, which has such defined edges. I"m not sure how they go together, but its interesting to think about. So its an interesting image, and I haven’t decided if its helpful or detracting from the overall scene – maybe with more context I could form a better opinion.

“The world inside the golden sun/ is not a one/ of roaring stars and kindest destiny”

I didn’t like the line break after one, because it seemed to overemphasise the rhyme. I felt without it the flow would be better and the rhyme thus internalised sounded nicer and smoother, more consistent with the overall flow. Potentially, you could break at ‘dreams’ to give a lingering feel to the last line.

‘Softest drums’ was a lovely description, richly evocative and and very nice at drawing the poem to a contemplative, rather restful, but still cohesive close. It made me think of heartbeats but also how in a neighbourhood you do hear random noises from neighbours, like someone practicing bongo drums far away.

‘teetering distance’ was lovely too, a perfect ending because in brought out that bigger picture and balance it the poem nicely within it.

The word choice was consistent and evocative throughout, whilst almost never being intrusive. I liked the balance of imagery from the softer shade and twilight, green haze, softest drums and distance, with the stronger burning suns, roaring, gold, rings, and break. It gave the poem a nice rounded, balanced feel.

“two packs of cigarettes break bread with Death” hmm. This was my least favourite line. I like the sound of it, and I like that you use the phrase ‘packs of cigarettes’ to anchor the rest of the poem and the image of the burning sun. But the metaphor leaves me confused. On the one hand it makes me think the cigarettes actually breaking bread with death, like at a table (they are baguettes, by the way). This makes me think they are eating with death, with is kind of a living thing to do. It also gives me the imagery of two packs of cigarettes lying in an alley, broken cigarettes spilling out of them like broken baguettes. But, thus broken, they are no longer deadly, so aren’t making friends with Death. And then why are these packs abandoned and broken, when someone is smoking a whole one nearby: why did they let the two packs get stepped on/ driven over or whatever? And two whole packs? That’s a lot. Very wasteful. Or, is it that the lit one has been filched from the packs of broken ones? An interesting idea, but I don’t find any support for it in the rest of the piece, so I’m assuming that that is not the right context.

What's especially clever, and somewhat disturbing and evil of you, was that you made an activity I generally feel is disgusting and dangerous/harmful, that of smoking, rather beautiful and enjoyable/ entertaining. It wasn’t quite romanticising it, because that image of death is very present, but nonetheless sort of normalises it. Now true, smoking is normal in many contexts, but I always feel uncomfortable with it being portrayed as normal, rather like racism or gender bias is normal in many places, but I don’t like to see it portrayed as such and not problematised. But through the silver tongue of your lovely imagery and atmosphere, I never felt disgusted, and I never felt the urge to rant about the activity. You are a magician, whether good or evil I’m not convinced ;)

Overall I really enjoyed this piece, the lovely evocative imagery and overall atmosphere. On the one hand I like the slightly intangible nature of it, but at the same time feel a few lines detract from my interpretation of it. This could be that my interpretation is faulty and I need to think about it some more, but either way it is a minor stumbling block in an overall very lovely piece.

Congrats again! you're awesome!
purplehost chapter 1 . 9/6/2010
The parts I actually understood, I liked.

I could be vague and say, "I like your imagery", but that wouldn't really say anything except that I've retained literary terms and used one at random to feign that I know what the hell I'm talking about.

Unlike many modern poems, I have to actually think about what you meant. I can imagine leaning against a wall, smoking cigarettes, just thinking. Perhaps that's not what you intended, but that is how I viewed it.

I have literally read the poem at least half a dozen times, and I'm still not tired of it yet.
diwu6398 chapter 1 . 7/21/2010
Beautiful imagery. Thank you for writing a SHORT poem. I could actually read this. And I only had to look up one word!