|Reviews for One day a gangly man told me|
| Spontaneous Juju chapter 1 . 10/18/2012
I'm not sure how much good my review will do you- poetry isn't really my strongest area- but I really enjoyed reading this poem. For me, this is one of those poems you don't really know how to understand, but you still sort of feel what it means, or think you do. I love the first stanza, just because I've found that to be so true. It actually sort of reminds me of a poster my home-ec teacher used to have that drove me crazy, because it was this odd, washed-out picture of a basketball with the words "Your thoughts become your words,/Your words become your actions,/Your actions become your habits,/And your habits become your character" written over it in wavy letters. A good message, but a very off-topic background. Maybe (almost definitely) that's just my perfectionist tendencies kicking in, but the ill-chosen picture behind such a true statement really bothered me. Anyway, I guess I'm trying to say that I see what (I think) you mean with the first stanza, and I agree.
Although I was a little confused about the connection between the second and third stanzas, I liked them both separately, and LOVED the last line. I don't know why, but for some reason that separate little ending- "because Holden grew up and got a real job."- really resonates with me. Maybe because I've read that book so recently and, unlike many books, you don't really see Holden come of age, exactly. You see his progress towards getting help to really grow up and deal with everything he's had thrown at him in his short life, but there's not the full resolution of "he grew up and got a real job." That you stated it so abruptly and separated it from the preceding stanza stood out as a neat little something to me.
Speaking of which- the formatting- I've been trying to figure out how to do breaks between stanzas in some of my own (mediocre) poems on FictionPress, but I haven't been able to. I know you published this two years ago, so maybe it's just not something FictionPress allows for anymore? Anyway, I would really appreciate it if you could let me know.
Well, like I said, probably not the best review you've ever gotten. However, I hope it's at least helped boost your confidence. It's always nice to get a little "good job!" note, I think. So, good job!
| Negasi chapter 1 . 7/18/2011
Not sure how I missed this one, but the imagery in this poem is striking. I love the depth of the first stanza, especially "what you write becomes your truth." Your choice of words is brilliant, so much to the point I'm not going to say every bit I like because there is a lot of it.
Good flow in this as well! Keep it up I hope to see more from you soon!
| SilverBluu chapter 1 . 5/24/2011
(From WCC April)
Flow: This poem feels chunky. I feel that I can cut it into three separate sections, and make each a shorter poem. I can see that maybe a thin connection between truth and brain exists, but consider a stronger logical transition for more flow.
Tone: I had some trouble picking this out because of flow. Consider thinking about the message you want to focus on. It feels like something about truth and "untruths" with a philosophical tone.
Rhythm: I feel that you did well with this category. Although the subjects seem to be dispersed among the three sections, the rhythm seems constant. If you decide to add connections, try keeping the same rhythm.
Other thoughts from the reviewer: I could be wrong, but I feel that you could be trying to do too much in one poem. I'm getting messages about truths, brains, attraction, and I'm guessing Holden refers to a loss of innocence. It almost clashes with what you began with in saying that writing becomes truth v.s the real world happening and is truth. Consider organizing, restructuring, splitting, or perhaps even composing prose. It would give you more room to work with these ideas.
| Twyla Cole chapter 1 . 1/26/2011
First of all, this seems a little disjointed to me. Not much rhythm. The second stanza doesn't flow for me. You are talking about control, self control or out of control emotions, however I see neither quality in that stanza. It is neither controlled nor fluttering and affectionate. It just sort of is. And because it just sort of is, it takes a few times over for to actually make sense.
I do like your subject matter. I like the third stanza the most. The speaker is trying to prevent more Holden's in the world. At least that is what I got from this. That the speaker wants his child to actually interact and be a part of this kid's life. If you write it it will be your truth.
I like some of the word choice in here, the first stanza especially, "what you write becomes your truth" but "in so many words" throws off the importance of that for me.
"because Holden grew up and got a real job" is a beautiful and blatant and harsh statement. If you had gone about this whole piece with that sort of voice and certainty it would be fantastic.
so my overall enjoyment...a little low, but I think that the subject could do a lot.
| Delphina Valitrix chapter 1 . 11/16/2010
I loved the Catcher in the Rye reference. I'm sure you're sick of hearing it by now, but I still loved it.
It was an especially powerful statement, too, considering his character. "because Holden grew up and got a real job." Oh, the cynicism.
Although I'm not really sure what the poem was about (sorry, I'm awful with poetry; that's why I don't write it) I can at least tell that you have good language. "I leave myself as an unpleasant inkspot" Great imagery.
"my boy can go play in the Rye / and throw himself over a cliff" Bit of a dark poem, isn't it?
Ah, is it about... the loss of idealism? How the world forces people into maturity? Like I said, I have no idea, I'm just throwing out random theories here.
Educate me, please.
| Hearts of Pyjamas chapter 1 . 10/27/2010
This was...I can't think of the word...inspiring? That will have to do. Not in a bad way I mean! It was really thought provoking and insightful, I liked it a lot. Well done, it was a brilliant piece :)
| ephemeral dance chapter 1 . 10/8/2010
Oh my goodness, I absolutely loved this. It flows beautifully and the language is both relatable and lovely, and there's just something about your style that I adore. I especially loved the reference to Catcher in the Rye, which is one of my favorites. That last line was brilliant; I read the poem at least four times over and can honestly find nothing to criticize. It's pretty much perfect in my eyes. Fantastic job and this is definitely going to be favorited.
| Skyward Ending chapter 1 . 10/7/2010
While I'm not entirely sure what the poem means, the language is undeniably beautiful. Perhaps the meaning is somewhat lost on me because I myself have not read Catcher in the Rye (I avoided essay-centered English classes with a vehemency that I'm only now beginning to pay for). It is also pleasant to read out loud, and even lends itself to asking the reader to speak these words-although, the line "self-control and experience temper and scold the echo/of the red-faced kid whose stomach jumped with affirmations." is a bit heavy on the tongue and can sometimes confuse the reader/listener. This is redeemed tenfold by the last stanza and line. Very nice :)
| BrightEyedHeroine chapter 1 . 9/30/2010
The way you use words and fit them together is beautiful. I really appreciate that about all your work, but especially this. The "my boy can go play in the Rye / and throw himself over a cliff" is kind of...haunting and sad. Definitely sad.
And referencing Holden Caulfield earns you brownie points in my book any day. :)
| backseat compromises chapter 1 . 9/30/2010
I love your reference to The Catcher in the Rye at the end ;D love your imagery, especially that of the unpleasant inkspot - that struck me most.
| deefective chapter 1 . 9/8/2010
Oh man, I'm going to cry. This was beautiful.
Flow: The flow was perfect. Like to a tee and all that. Seriously, I read this from beginning to end and it was seamless. Nothing out of place or awkward sounding or anything. Each stanza connected with the other perfectly and it played out just as well.
Descriptions/images: Lovely, lovely, lovely. "Gangly man", "red-faced kid", "unpleasant ink spot", etc, etc. Those were some great descriptions. Not only do they give just enough information for the reader to form an image but it leaves out enough so it becomes our own. Also, these images you chose point out some odd characteristics that usually aren't, which was a nice touch. I liked the line:
"says the projection somewhere in my brainstem"
because it's really a beautifully visual description. It's dramatic but in an unexpected and more laid-back kind of way.
My favorite image, though, was the one at the end and the reference to Catcher in the Rye. Gahd, I love that book so much. So this probably had more of an effect on me than it should but just the reality you represented of Holden/the-every-kid growing up and in a sense also 'giving up' made me so unbelievably sad. I felt for the boy the narrator was speaking about. I wanted to get that stupid hat, wear it and save him from the last lines of this piece.
Word choice: Great as well. I liked the fact that it's a very everyday kind of language but with this touch of sophistication and complexity that adds to this tone of loss. Also, I think the words you chose complimented the imagery quite well. It gave it some extra depth that was lovely to read.
Enjoyment: I fully enjoyed this. Oh man, I think I re-read it thrice just because I liked it so much. I liked the point you were making, the way you chose to phrase it, the lines you wrote, the allusions and then the ending. Oh man, that ending. It's so poignant yet simple and matter-of-factly. Very nice mix there. I really liked the fact that you ended it right there as well. It drove it all home perfectly.
Subject: I get the overall message of loss and maybe the repression of another self? I feel like that narrator experienced a loss of most probably his childhood and he missed it, but that's mostly because of the last ending lines. I also get the feeling that he's trained himself to throw away bits of an old self, especially in the second stanza. I get a little bit of that depressing hope, the kind that is basically hoping for the worst. It's sad. But really pretty. So pretty.
Overall, I really liked this. So much. I can't even explain.
| xenolith chapter 1 . 9/5/2010
Ooh, this is exciting. I think I almost know what it's about, but then I read it again and get something different. I like that.
My favourite line was the part about the brainstem projection, 'it's got roots going every which way' because it makes me think of an alien as imagination. And, of course, I love the literary references. Holden. Le sigh.
| YasuRan chapter 1 . 9/3/2010
'self-control and experience temper and scold the echo
of the red-faced kid whose stomach jumped with affirmations.' - I thought these two lines were brilliant. I think I know what you're implying feels like... 'jumped with affirmations', yes
'my boy can go play in the Rye' - yes, yes, yes, literary references!
'because Holden grew up and got a job' - Thus, the harsh reality of undreaming.
Great job again.
| Sike-a-delic Grasshopper chapter 1 . 9/2/2010
I really like the ending. Very unexpected. As a whole it's kinda confusing, probably I'll have to read it a few times to totally understand it. But I have no room to talk on that note. Overall it's well written.
PS I never want a real job either