Reviews for Nepenthe
Adrenalin chapter 1 . 6/4/2011
I can't say whether I liked or disliked this poem. It's not that it's badly written or anything like that, more that I found it a little repelling, like some of Baudelaire's poems (which isn't a bad thing, obviously, since Baudelaire is one of my favorites). I felt kinda disgusted all the way through. I think you were actually trying to do that, with words like 'tepid', 'slither', 'crawled'.

The imagery is very strong and very effective. I assumed it was a kind of drug and its effects that you described here, though I'm not one hundred percent certain I got it right, but with that state of mind it allowed me to really enjoy some stanzas, the sixth one being my favorite I think.

[You must know the renitent tug

of a recoiling pair of lips-]

I also liked the alliterations, 'dulls and dims', 'hollow laughter hums harmonies'... The first one helped me get into the poem because it made for such interesting sounds right from the start... And the second I liked just for the sake of it: it sounds just like a song, just like someone huming in fact :)

I was a little thrown off by some words though. I like learning new words and using beautiful sounding ones too, but using complicated words just for the sake of it tends to annoy me - it looks too much like purple prose (or verse, here). I think I got that impression because there were too many of those words here. Using only some of them wouldn't have that effect perhaps?
singer22498 chapter 1 . 3/25/2011
That was very good! I liked it.

One thing I really liked was some of the words you used. I reall liked this:

My hollow laughter

hums harmonies to the wind's sighs.

Night sinks its brumal fangs into the forest's tepid earth

as rain pesters distant mountains.

That was a very good couple of lines. However, I think that some people may find it hard to read, because they may have to look MANY words up in a dictionary. Overall it was great, and I think you sound like a professional poem writer.
IronSpockMaster chapter 1 . 1/17/2011
'My hollow laughter

hums harmonies to the wind's sighs.

Night sinks its brumal fangs into the forest's tepid earth

as rain pesters distant mountains.'

I particularly liked this first verse because of the alliteration of 'hollow laughter hums harmonies' and the imagery of night sinking fangs into the earth. It was really wonderful to read.

I also like how the very last line is just the word 'sleep' in a verse of its own, because it gives closure to the poem.
thefaultinourpatronus chapter 1 . 1/17/2011
Great start! Personification is always a nice opening.

I loved the line, 'we could give the world the kiss of death'. Really nice!

'Nepenthe' is a kind of drug/anti-depressant; so awesome title :D It fits with the last line.

Overall, wonderful work!
Nesasio chapter 1 . 11/14/2010
Come closer to me, my dear:

we could light the trees on fire

until the night turns orange and red–

we could give the world the kiss of death.

-This was probably my favorite part. I liked that it was simple (to read) but effective in evoking the feeling that these people could actually take the world down with them.

come find me again, my little snake.

-Also liked this line, for showing the relationship has soured a bit.

This was a cool read to me because I could really understand the emotions behind the words. Usually when I read poetry it's hard for me to understand what's being implied but I didn't have that problem here. Some of the descriptions seemed overcomplicated as far as vocabulary goes but there were some really beautiful lines in here. I especially liked "Now listen to the arms/ of a throbbing bassline wrapping you in her embrace". The throbbing bassline part is cool, something I've never seen before.

Nice work and good luck in the WCC!
Sercus Kaynine chapter 1 . 11/10/2010
This might seem like a weird thing to notice, but I liked that you chose to focus on the senses of taste, touch, and sound. Normally, you see a lot of color words in poems to make you see things, but "footsteps" "feasted" "bassline" "tug" were all words I noticed and they made me, almost, not see what you were describing, but feeling it and hearing it, you know? Very cool effect.

Good job and good luck in WCC!
Postscript624 chapter 1 . 11/10/2010
Aich! I had to read this one with the dictionary open in my lap, haha.

All jocularity aside, I quite liked your opening. Alliteration is always a bonus. Also the "irradiating the fractalized skies" was absolute, well, poetry. The whole things opens with this dark, deep, wordy-yet-hyper-intelligent, awesome vibe.

Then it sort of loses it in the fourth stanza. I can't quite pinpoint why, but I kind of lose the gist of your lines for the next few stanzas. Particularly the sixth stanza, I feel is a weak point on the whole piece. Again, I don't really know why, but for me I've just sort of lost you.

And then you find me again with an amazing finish. I love the way you bring the whole piece to a slow, dripping conclusion.

Overall one of the better pieces in the WCC so far. I enjoyed it quite a lot!
lianoid chapter 1 . 11/9/2010
Dude, I love the opening alliteration. That is like, the best way to get my attention, really. Ha-ha. On top of that, you subtly personify the wind by describing it as sighing. Double bonus points right there. Alliteration personification win. Oh, man, and the image of night sinking it’s fangs into the earth was brilliant, as well! This opening stanza is solid! Brilliant way to begin the piece.

The favourite part of my second stanza was the “sour visions” and the endearment “my little snake”. Actually, the “And you,” had an awesome tone to it, as well, that, hmm. I’m afraid I don’t quite know how to describe it, but I really, really enjoyed it. The “my little snake” part contrasts beautifully with the image of someone slithering “on the broken surface”. Nice attention to detail there.

The fifth stanza is contending with the first for my favourite. The image of someone “feasting on... petty sorrows” and licking “dreams with delight” really hit me. Those are some wicked descriptions; definitely some powerful imagery there.

My favourite line in the seventh stanza is the image of narrator “weaving strings of poison into [the other person’s] veins”. Don’t know how you do it, man, but you have a lot of awesome lines in this piece.

Speaking of which, “Now listen to the arms/of a throbbing bassline wrapping you in her embrace” was another powerful image that I adored. Really, there are too many to chose a favourite.

Overall, I think this is an awesome piece, Patrick. I think you used the prompt really well to crank out an awesome piece that is definitely in my top choices for this month. Excellent, excellent piece you have here, and best of luck in this month’s WCC.
lookingwest chapter 1 . 11/8/2010
The first thing this poem did was make me realize I really need to stop slacking on learning new words. But through a second closer reading after looking some up, I can say it really has such a rich flavor with the word choice and language that I really ultimately liked. It had a wonderfully strong speaker throughout, and I think my favorite stanza was the fourth, I loved the "we could light the trees on fire" line, kind of sounds like a devastated romantic verse.

I liked that from the second stanza you started with the subject of the speaker's accusations, a lover, I'm presuming, being like a "little snake" and evoking the images of "slithering" etc., also in the first stanza with "fangs" and "rain pesters". That provided quick characterization that sank through into the rest of the poem quite well. The third stanza did a wonderful job keeping the theme of "primordial", with images of "crawled" and "slaves" and "prophets", and went nicely with the deceiving nature of the second and first stanza.

Liked the tension you conjured up in the fifth and sixth stanzas with the image of the tense kiss and the embrace, then the physicality of the relationship with "caress you or sustain you" even if figurative. The seventh's mention of "footsteps are right behind" sort of evoked a stalking image that coupled well with "weaving strings of poison", it got quite tense and scary there, for sure. And then finally, I just loved the "throbbing bassline", I could really *hear* that, which was super cool. And finally the end, that was excellent and encompassed the title there too with "sleep".

Nepenthe is an anti-depressant of sorts in Greek mythology right? I just kind of thought that went with the last line "sleep" really well, and then since I'm also thinking of the prompt that sort of leads me into conjuring up the subjects of "vampiric sleep" and death, etc, that pairs well with the fanged snake image in the first two stanzas. It's a deep characterization of a very tense relationship and I don't feel the tension ever really breaks, but instead sort of settles into that "sleep". Well done, best of luck in the WCC!
berley chapter 1 . 11/7/2010
I had to read this a couple of times before I decided that I really liked it. I’m sure if I read it a few more times I’m going to love it. But then again, I have to do that with a lot of poetry I read because I just don’t read a lot of poems, and I have not written a poem since like…high school English class. I do plan on trying it…someday. Haha.

Okay, so I have to admit, I think I like your poetry better when you use less intricate wording and more imagery. For example with this poem, I enjoyed the third stanza down a lot more than the first two. You have a way of creating beautiful imagery with your writing, and I’m always very impressed with your work when I read it. I think my favourite are the third and fourth stanzas. They stood out the most for me, and I especially liked the line “we could light the trees on fire/until the night turns orange and red–/

we could give the world the kiss of death.”

Very beautiful and almost hypnotic, like always. Good luck in the WCC!
xenolith chapter 1 . 11/7/2010
wow, this is an epic piece. I'm not too sure what to say lol.

I almost feel like it could be two poems, one with all the big, flamboyant language and the other with the awesome imagery. Separate, I would love them. Together, I'm a bit confused.

The third stanza was my favourite, low key but memorable. I think I just like the word primordial. The flow of it was really quite luring, or alluring, one of them lol, just kinda tugged you in to that smooth, sweet ending. Actually, reading over it now it's like the speaker is kinda lulled into an estatic, loquatious stupor, sorta hypnotized. Ah, excuse my spelling, I really can't be bothered checking it right now lol.

So on second, third, fourth thought, I really do like this. Maybe on fifth thought I'll love it.

Anyway, best of luck with the wcc! And great job this month :)
sophiesix chapter 1 . 11/6/2010
I really love "weaving strings of poison into your veins."

and "nacre's iridescent whisper,amber's auric glow": they evoke pearl shell and amber really well for me. "renitent tug" too sounds really tuggy, though i'm not sure of its meaning. The image of his neck under her stone feet is wonderful too. Also the last worked perfectly for me, like a final chord or something. I'm still grasping at the overeall meaning... someone is talking to a snake/vampire, right? and the theme is poisoning, maybe? or is it broader: a woman and her sometime-lover? yes i'm thinking that fits better. Hey yeah that works really nicely, because she's going to kill him, and telling him so all the while, but its not obvious so it makes sense that he lets her embrace him etc. Maybe?

Anyway, it really sucked me in and held me there, and teh images were beautiful. Good luck in the WCC!