Reviews for Eden in Flames
The Autumn Queen chapter 1 . 10/6/2012
Wow, this has got to be one of the longest poems I've ever read.

Rhythm: I like the variation between long and soft lines; it gives an almost melodious feeling to it. I do think perhaps you could make better use of dashes to give some of those lines more punch, particularly at the beginning. For example, in the first stanza:
[If only I could chain the wind, shape the water, move the earth.
Can I be a saint of lessons learned, of exuberance, of joy and anger]
I think a dash would work better than a fullstop there. It would make a nice contrasts to the bits of smoother flow.

Punctuation/grammar: [me–a little] - there should be a space on both sides of that dash. Same here: [love–]
I've already pointed out the dashes. The one above was a good example though.
[has become greater than a god] -it would have more emphasis making "god" a capital "God". Particularly as you're not using the style of diminishing the "I" by using it in lowercase. It makes a good heirachy, and this seems like a good opportunity.
I love how the colon snuck in.

Word choices: clever choices. at first I wondered why you were using complicated words within rather simple ones, but it made them stand out and that gave an additional element to the imagery. Things like arsenic – poisonous to humans.

Enjoyment: overall, I really enjoyed this poem. The images were really pretty, and you had a good sense of wording and flow. Your overall theme was rather endearing too; this is a poem that'll stick for awhile.
Faithless Juliet chapter 1 . 10/6/2012
I’m kind of on the fence about your opening verse. “How can I become more than what I am?” Although I like it, I’m not sure if it’s a powerful enough opening. I actually think starting with “Id only I could chain the wind, shape the water, more the earth…” would be a more powerful starting point. I also like the idea of “a saint of lessons learned” I love the form and finality of that, although you may want to think of changing it to ‘Patron Saint’ which may be more poignant and appropriate.

“I dissect chrysalises; cut them snip-snip with scissors” I adore this verse! I like how you present the idea of change and wanting to change while mirroring it with this undercurrent of destruction. A Chrysalis houses change, i.e. from the ugly/simple to the beautiful/complex and I like the idea of destroying that before the transformation is complete. It makes me think that the narrator is taking that untapped energy and trying to ingest it to quicken their own metamorphoses.

The third stanza is very dark, and moody. I liked the “scorpion-child” reference, maybe because I am a Scorpio LOL. I also like how you move back to the water, wind, earth previously spoken of. I get a since that the narrator is trying to tether themselves to the elements, but elements are elemental and subject to change so the narrator is formed to change with them.

“Often holocaust takes my face when it stalks the world” WOW, can I get a screaming halleluiah chorus to shout WOW in the back ground, please?

“Say your prayers to a dying god….” Thank you for not capitalizing god – some people get so huffy about that, but seriously, context people, context. I like how this moves back to the saint of lessons learned mentioned in the beginning. This is where the poem starts to tilt to become full circle. The reader can feel the end drawing near. What I’m taking away from this stanza isn’t that the narrator is the devil (I may be wrong, because I do notice that hints otherwise) but I actually think the narrator is truth itself. Unapologetic truth that needs to be spoken.

Loved the ending, bringing the elements in again, and I think with this ending it makes my earlier point of starting with the second verses more strongly because then they can mirror each other.

Overall wonderful poem, I loved the meaty grittiness of it. Some people don’t like/understand long verses but I love it. A poem shouldn’t be under a hundred words unless its haiku. Again, I liked how you build your themes up and weave new plots within. I loved the subtle repetition, and the darkness of it. You really embodied the character of this ‘truth’ and that’s not an easy feat to do in poetry so congratulations on that.

The only real critique I have at this point is maybe add a stanza or two about Eve/Adam or maybe the serpent being that they all intermingle with the title of the piece. But that would be entirely up to you, I don’t think the poem is so much about what happens in Eden but more about why Eden is Eden, and the forces that create and destruct it. Keep up the good work.

Much love,
Juliet.
tolerate chapter 1 . 10/13/2011
It's been a long time since I've read something so inspiring, motivating and it sends a feeling down my chest. I'm really amazed by how you wrote it. I haven't seen anything so unique. It's beautiful to the extent I'm just in the lost for words.
cab fed hig chapter 1 . 10/4/2011
"They step, but do not imprint; they turn, but do not change direction." - very interesting line to me.

this was all fascinating and new. triumph and violence reigning over all weakness, there's no faults to find out.

it makes me feel, i guess, in awe of any power, in want of it, though i can clearly see the damning corruption of it. this is seduction and joyful shamelessness. i quite like it
Out-Of-The-Way chapter 1 . 9/15/2011
'I blow smoke rings made of compressed death,

inhale the vapors for my own experience..'

Loved it!

Keep writing!

out-of-the-way
berley chapter 1 . 9/13/2011
Patrick…I’ve just read this once and I can tell you right now that this is a really sad poem. Okay, this is going to be a rambling review, but I want to review while I read it again so I don’t miss any points that I wanted to make; I’m pretty sure there are a lot of them. I wish I could highlight and mark the shit out of them poem with a pen and hand it back to you. Haha.

I absolutely loved the imagery that you painted throughout this piece and I think it was the strongest aspect of the poem. You told so much just by creating these images for me, the reader and they pretty much showed me probably pages and pages of what you wanted to say in the poem in just a few words. That alone was just really, really awesome.

“I dissect chrysalises; cut them snip-snip with scissors/or a scalpel/and let the dreams/inside ooze out/onto a clean glass plate for observation”

- I absolutely loved that line.

I also really liked the fourth stanza in with the metaphor of feet. This is where I find this poem is sad because the narrator clearly has people in their lives that love them, but they chose not to listen to them. Something in their lives is telling them to run, but they don’t. They chose to continue in their path of destruction in fear that their own fears and weaknesses will be exposed if they don’t have control over things, or have things their way.

One small thing: “that seems so strong, so intricate, on paper but collapses”

-I don’t think you need the second comma there.

I liked that you kept on going back to the ‘chaining the wind’ metaphor, which to me is about controlling the things around you. This entire poem to me is about manipulation, and gaining control of power. It’s about someone willing to ‘sell their soul’ and hurt the people around them to get what they think they want. This person maybe was hurt in the past, which fuelled their want and need for this control. In the end there is nothing left of them. They’re alone.

“I love that I make you want to weep,/but when the tears should come you discover it–/your tears have been absorbed by a thirsty heart/and vaporized by an apathetic soul. They are gone.”

I’m not going to try and critique the technical stuff behind the poem. I’m sure it needs work, but to me I really like it the way it is so I’ll leave that part of the review to the poem experts. I really enjoyed this piece, and can relate to it in so many ways from my own life or witnessing what’s going on in other people’s lives. I thought you executed the ideas really well, and like I said, it had really beautiful imagery.

Great job, Patrick.