|Reviews for WCC Entries|
| Engineer of Words chapter 1 . 9/17/2010
Right, so this is my August WCC review. Yes, I know it's September. Apologies.
The obvious strikes me upon first glance, and that is that you have used the formatting of the poem itself to superimpose a more direct request to the subject of the work. The effect, while not particularly novel, works well.
Over the course of this piece, you play with descriptive language in some very interesting ways. Some of this is good interesting, some not so much so. I will be picky with you here and go into detail on both.
The description I really liked was, well, most of it, actually. Loved the "rust colored ivy" metaphor for blood, and to boot you made me laugh with the "sleeping beauty" remark. That whole stanza is my favorite part of the poem (but that's beside the point). "You and you and you and me" has a very unique sense of elocution about it. I had to read that one aloud to ensure I thought it right.
But unfortunately there were a couple of rather jarring adjectives you used, thought not to any substantial detriment to my enjoyment of the poem. A "rhythm" of screams threw me a bit of a curve ball, because I don't tend to associate screaming in the conventional sense of the word with any sort of musical activity. Also, "slowly" turning into ruins is redundant, but that's me being very picky.
And on a final, also terribly picky note, the first stanza didn't seem to flow too well into the others. There wasn't in this stanza a great deal of showing, just a lot of telling - for example, it's difficult to have a mental picture of an unwitting prison or the idea of a constant sickness. However, after this stanza you did follow up consistently with vivid language, which makes the stanza in question almost seem like it doesn't fit.
In any case, a very good read, and very belated congratulations to you.
| Nesasio chapter 2 . 9/11/2010
I'm a little confused about the first two parts of this. I understood everything from "There's you standing..." down but the lines above that didn't really translate into something for me. They're all interesting images and well-written, but I just didn't get the connection.
Otherwise, I really like the rest of the poem. The images were clear and the voice sets an enjoyably sad mood. The last line is probably my favorite of the whole piece because it conveys so much without explicitly saying everything.
Good luck on WCC! :)
| Sercus Kaynine chapter 2 . 9/8/2010
Oh snap, what a fantastical little piece! Each line was creative and a work of art in itself. Very charming. Especially the first one. This was definitely a modern and unique piece of work here.
"You said, "I've set you free."
But shouldn't I get to choose?"
I loved that line. :)
Good job and good luck in WCC!
| lookingwest chapter 2 . 9/6/2010
Loved the surrealism in this, the first stanza really brings it together with the idea of the rubber duck barking-that's pretty cool. I like the way you pulled together those images throughout the poem and kept it consistent, for instance again, "the little green lizard" and so on. I thought maybe the imagery of the "knife in your back" was a little bit melodramatic-that was probably my least favorite stanzas because, well I dunno, it just felt like it has been said and done before, millions of times in poetry, starting with the first of the confessional poets back in the 60s. I did enjoy the dialogue use in the fourth stanza though, I love it when poets can incorporate that sense of story and dialogue into their poetry.
I loved the line "Because there's a ship in your palm and you're bringing the sea to me,"-now that's a great poetic line. Beautiful, fantastic imagery, and I love that. Wasn't a huge fan of the use of "dude" at the second to last stanza, just because you didn't use that sort of discourse anywhere else in the poem-there's no other slang or contemporary wording to suggest the speaker would suddenly use "dude". Other than that, liked the last line too, and best of luck in this month's WCC!
| lianoid chapter 2 . 9/5/2010
I quite enjoyed the second line in this first stanza. The third and fourth threw me for a second, but I still enjoyed the imagery.
The second stanza was a somewhat gruesome one, what with the fork digging around under someone's skin. Ha-ha. I love this second line, though! And the third and fourth lines provided more great imagery. I'm afraid it's a little over my head, though; but I rarely "get" poetry, so that's my own fault.
The third stanza was another great one. I adore the fourth line in this one; I thought that was an interesting little twist.
This fourth stanza is probably my favourite. It didn't occur to me until the last line that the narrator wouldn't want to "set free" so I like that this is making me pause and wonder and what the narrator really wants.
Oh, this second line in the fifth stanza is wonderful! Again with the imagery, but this one was particularly fantastic! Excellent work with this one, Vic. Apologies for the sub-par review (as always, I suck with poetry), but I did quite like this one. Best of luck in this month's WCC!
| notveryalice chapter 2 . 9/5/2010
I love this poem, a whole lot.
I'd never expect a surrealist poem written in free verse to convey a concrete, precise meaning, and you do. Fantastic.
I like the cadence of the words.
Uh, something to critique... OK, it's a small thing, but here "There's confetti in my hair and dirt on my feet/ From where my toes have dug themselves into the ground".
This is the only place during the poem (except for the dramatic ending) where the lines aren't entirely in the realm of the surreal. These lines could happen in any realist poem, and because they occur at the beginning here, I didn't expect the rubber duck barking and was thrown off a bit.
Nice work! I love it.
| diwu6398 chapter 2 . 9/4/2010
I found this poem to be very odd but cool at the same time. Now that I've said that I need to find a synonym for cool...
Anyway, I really liked the last lines of stanzas two and three. I didn't really like the repetition of the word 'There's'. Another thing is the sometimes punctuation. I guess it would have been weird to not use it in the fourth stanza, but still. It doesn't fit in with the rest.
Besides that, good job. I shall vote for you. Unless I see something better.
| Cottia chapter 1 . 8/28/2010
This piece has very strong imagery. I quite liked some of it, especially the fairy tale allusions. However, I felt that overall, the images weren't especially coherent. I think what really threw me was the 'speakers'- it seemed oddly anachronistic. Your other imagery and word choices felt much more fantastical-that may be simply my own bias, so it's not an actual flaw as such, but it jarred me. Your description of the 'beings within' the speaker's 'heart' and the 'sleeping beauty' 'squirming its way inside' the speaker seemed similarly contradictory. They aren't exactly mutually exclusive, but that seems an awful lot of things to be invading/inhabiting one person. Then again, maybe that was your point.
The thing that really stuck out was, of course, the bolded words at the end of each stanza. While an interesting concept, I personally disliked it. First of all, when I noticed the bolded words, I skipped ahead so I could read the sentence, which I felt made the experience of the poem as a whole less powerful. Secondly, the stanzas containing the words felt rather contrived. The line breaks that lead to the final words seemed, well, arbitrary, and the tone seemed...different and less connected.
Anyway, overall I found this a really intriguing piece. It made me think a lot, which is always good. Congrats on winning the wCC
| Britwitch chapter 1 . 8/27/2010
Before anything else, congratulations on winning! \(o)/
Ok, so onto my review...
I thought the idea of using the words in bold was a good one but as the page turned up on my screen for the first time I found my eye instinctively drawn to them and I read them before the poem. Not sure if this was your intention but maybe having them in italic or captials might work better, although this is probably just a personal thing!
I really liked your take on the prompt. I thought it was uniquely put across and really captured the idea of being 'trapped' within something/somewhere.
I also liked that while the poem had an obvious and continuous thread running through it, each of the verses/stanzas could almost be read as a stand alone piece.
Of them all, the fourth was my favourite just because of the imagery you've created. The idea of being 'in the wrong fairy tale' was excellent!
The poem flowed well and had that unnerving edge that I felt the prompt had about it. The idea of panic but not hysterical, uncontrolled panic; the slow steadily building kind you just can't fight!
Awesome and a worthy winner!
| Faithless Juliet chapter 1 . 8/21/2010
I’m going to review this in sections:
ONE: What I really liked about this section was your use of “unwittingly” it’s a strong word by itself but in this context I think it really helped to empower the overall theme of regret that I noticed throughout the piece. Also enjoyed how you italicized ‘sickness’ which gave that word a lot of strength for me. What I disliked here, and with the other stanza’s with the ‘bolding’ of the last word. I just think it distracts more than anything, and so many people use it in FP. It really is a personal pet peeve but it just didn’t do anything for me.
TWO: Loved this grouping, probably my favorite in the piece. “Slowly turning to ruin…” a very captivating picture, it made me think of the body as an overgrown fortress. “Worn away by the seas inside my head…” another interesting image, and I liked how you correlated ‘erosion (also a good word choice)’ into it as well.
THREE: I think you would have the same effect in this section if you only wrote tap once, rather than multiple times. Also liked the hints of paranoia in this section, you worked them in without flat out telling the reader: The narrator is paranoid. Nicely done.
FOUR: LOVED the ‘rust colored ivy’ that is the kind of detail that made the piece pop for me. And the continuation of the body/building imagery was also very prevalent, and the idea that this fortress (of them self) was hiding and nurturing this idealism of the thoughts polluting and clouding the flesh.
FIVE: I didn’t really like the stage imagery here. I thought it was a bit too predictable, and somewhat overused, I would have liked to see more of the body/building imagery that you introduced earlier, or some other metaphor here instead.
SIX: I liked the ‘you and you and you’ section, it reminded me of Macbeth’s ‘tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow’ in a way, and I giggled a bit when I read it – a little bit of humor to the piece overall. Also liked you concluding ideal – what I got from it was that the narrator really never had any other choice then the life they are leading. Nicely done, and congratulations of winning WCC.
| Undead Fishtank chapter 1 . 8/17/2010
First of all, nice job on the August WCC. I wish I could have won like that on my first entry! :) Second, I like how you've decided to categorize your WCC Entries: as their own story with separate chapters. Very useful and aesthetically pleasing to have the prompt and other information readily available. Now, onto the poem: I like your use of bold to emphasize the created sentence via the final words of each stanza. However, it is a technique that I've used in the past and therefore just seems cliché to me. It's hard to do something like that without it sounding forced and/or gimmicky. I don't like the taptaptap, just because I've used something similar and once again it seems cliché to me. I think that one of your biggest issues is also one of mine: you have big ideas, but they hide behind poor words. Your lines seem to contain at the most one or two "unique" words cushioned with filler. In some cases they are words which started as "unique" words, but have since become cliché. I like the parallelism in the first stanza. It helps as an introductory stanza, because you introduce the ego and its goals. Followed by this you make extensive use of imagery and metaphor. The second stanza is my favorite, possibly because I've always loved the destructive/constructive power of water, although the Stop at the end, as I've already said, feels forced. That's probably true here more than anywhere else. I'd like to hear you read this out loud, because it's probably better than I'm giving it credit for (and I'm biased/jealous). I really like the rhythm of screams part though. Well done in the August WCC and make sure you pick a good prompt for next month! Seacrest, out.
| dragonflydreamer chapter 1 . 8/11/2010
Descriptions/Images - I'll try not to reiterate what Johanna said, but I pretty much have the same opinion. I felt like you really had some great ideas, but there was something holding you back from giving them the wording they deserved. Some parts were very unique, such as:
[Erosion of the highest order]
[taptaptap away at my organs]
And most of the third and fourth paragraphs.
But others felt very generic, like:
[lie about what keeps me strong]
[Because people wouldn't understand]
[I want to get out of this prison I created] - That particularly stood out to me considering it was the first line.
Technical Aspects (line breaks) - This I did like, and I thought it was the strong point of the piece. Each line came to a complete stop and separated itself from the next line. I don't always like when this is done, but in this case, you pulled it off well. It gives it a nice rhythm and sort of slows down the piece for a greater emotional impact.
Subject - I like your take on the quote. You're really taking it from the trapped-inside-and-looking-out perspective. You don't use that part about the ancestors so much, but the part about sleeping beauty was an interesting way to draw from it. Like I said, great ideas, but buried behind cliches.
Other - Great move with the emboldening. It really gets to the core of the poem and gives it a second dimension. Reminds me of some of Ellen Hopkins's books how she plays with two columns.
I've never participated in WCC myself because I'm really bad at working with prompts, so kudos for pulling it off. Good luck with this and any future endeavors :)
| YasuRan chapter 1 . 8/10/2010
Fantastic use of bolding some of the words. Projects the simple message behind the drifting mind ;).
So speaking of drifting, it was a great tone to adopt while penning the wanderings of a mind in decay. In addition to conveying a hidden message, the bold text also seemed to add some finality to each stanza. I particularly like the first two lines of the last stanza:
'We've come a long way, you and you and you and... me
I discount you more often than not'
It gives off a torrid sense of hopelessness as befits the context.
| Sercus Kaynine chapter 1 . 8/9/2010
Nice touch with the emboldened words. Cool touch.
I liked how each stanza had it's own theme and action sequences. It was a very organized way to do it and I think it worked well for you. Had a nice ring to it.
Good job and good luck in WCC!
| Johannas Mirror chapter 1 . 8/8/2010
There's nothing horribly wrong with the flow of this, except the bolded words at the end of each statement. As I've said before, I feel like the entire poem is sacrificed to this idea you've had for a theme message. However, it's easy to follow, and none of the lines seem to come out of nowhere or stick out awkwardly.
I very much liked your description of rust colo(u)red ivy, though none of the others were particularly powerful to me. A rhythm of screams is above average, I suppose. But anything using the word scream begins to worry me, putting the poem back in the jar with a million other angry, angsty poems that really don’t have that much to say. The images of prison, towers and ruins are all quite well put together for creating a theme, but none of them spark any interest, because they’ve all been used before.
The last stanza has no interesting words or images at all. The other stanzas aren’t much better. I have to say I approve of the word squirming in the fourth stanza. It creates a nice contrast with the fairytale idea, sort of like a worm in the apple of your fairytale. Sweet on the outside, spoiled inside. Fail or fly was a particularly boring bit for me. I’m sure you could spice that up with a different word choice.
I’ve made it quite clear that I don’t much like this poem. I am bored by it, and find no emotional or intellectual connection with it. To me, it is exactly the same as tens of other poems I’ve reviewed on ficpress, all of them mildly angry, and lacking a quirky fresh look at things.
As I see it, the subject is either a lover or an inner demon that the author hasn’t quite worked through. Maybe some other sort of mental construct that doesn’t allow the author to live quite freely. The message is made even more blunt by the placement of bolded words throughout, reading ‘please stop killing me this way’ which, for me, could have been a dramatic start to an intimate poem, but instead becomes dramatic punctuation for a poem that attempts much, but tells me very little about what is actually happening. I find this clichéd. I keep wanting the author to tell me something new, something not tangled in descriptions and metaphors, because the metaphors and descriptions aren’t strong enough to hold a poem about emotional pain together.