Reviews for Death
thewhimsicalbard chapter 9 . 10/31/2012
[RG - Poems - Depth]

Punctuation: I'm not exactly sure what you were trying to accomplish here... This entire poem seems a little disjointed, and the punctuation is at the heart of it. You take a very odd stance somewhere in between very traditional poetic styles (capitalization at the beginning of each line, end rhyme) and contemporary free verse (disregard for complete sentences, lack of meter); to be honest, I'm not sure they mix very well. You'll see evidence of this when I address the last two stanzas in the next section as well, but here's an example at the beginning of the poem:

"In the guise of a smiling stranger
Holding the nozzle to your head
Or wearing the mask of a close friend
With a knife to stab you in the back."

That is not a sentence. That is a fragment, and unless you have a very deliberate reason to fragment this piece, that is to be avoided. If I have merely failed to find the reasons buried within your poem, that is my fault, and I apologize. However, this is what I saw, so I imagine it is similar to what other readers may see.

Additionally, you left me some criticism on my use of dashes a little while back, and I would like to extend a similar critique to you: of the eight major ways a poet can introduce a grammatical stop (, . ! - ? ; : ...), you do not once use a colon, semicolon, or dash. You could do wonders with a little bit of dashing.

Syntax: There are way too many conjunctions up in here. Look at the last two stanzas (which is all one sentence), from after the question mark:

"And we bow to death upon our bed
Or fall where we stand
Into gentle rivers flow
While the sea rages ahead,

Cheated from malice,
And malady too,
But with another tick to its book
For death smiles in content
And re-adorns its cloak
As the circle begins again
And another clause comes to an end."

First of all, it isn't even a complete sentence, and second, I can't even tell what it's trying to say. I got an impression, certainly, but I didn't get a complete picture of the whole last two stanzas! This points back to the awkward disjunction that I spoke of in the first block, as well as being a bit of an issue in its own right.

Imagery: If I were feeling very, very generous today (I am unfortunately not; my apologies), I might give you the benefit of the doubt on the disjointed feeling that I get from the punctuation and syntax based on the fact that your images that seem to clash even with themselves. Examples: "fire from a riverbed" and "wave that rises from the desert floor". Though they are interesting to think about, I find images that include such inherent clash are often abrasive during the first read through. However, when I stopped to think about the poem, the images made a lot more sense, so that was good.

Other: Though your images were fairly strong on the whole, you should keep a special eye out for abstraction and cliche. "Stab you in the back" and "the sea rages" are two phrases so cliche that you almost can't use them anymore. Abstractions like "the horrors of death" and "cheated from malice / and malady too" are generally not condoned because they fail to add anything concrete to the poem. If you say "the horrific sight of a knifed body", the reader knows exactly what's going on, but "the horrors of death" could mean any number of things.

Reading back over it, I notice that this review sounds a little bit negative; I'm sorry about that. This hasn't been my best day, and I don't want you to think that this poem is bad. It certainly needs a little bit of polish, but I think you have a strong foundation here. I think you could go a lot of great places with this poem, and it was a pretty solid read as is, especially from a tone perspective.

-twb
romaniac chapter 1 . 8/25/2012
Nice poem you have here.I especially liked the paragraph on the snake because it was amazingly descriptive.I still don't really like the old english because I personally had a bad encounter with shakespere in my youth (lol) but I really like this poem!
Whirlymerle chapter 10 . 7/30/2012
Hi!

This poem really reminded me of Shakespeare; I think it was because you started with "To sleep" and talked about dreams which made me think of Hamlet.

Anyway, I love the imagery of this, it's very beautiful and peaceful, which, I think is different from what I remember of the other poems of yours that I've read recently. I like this fresh new persective of Death- though maybe it's because I wish I could think more about death like that, ha.

I thought it was an interesting detail how you describe life (I think) as wicked with want, which further makes death more enticing, I think. I was a little confused as to what the "honey web" referred to. I thought it was about life, but then, what does that make the rosebush?

Merle
Whirlymerle chapter 9 . 7/1/2012
Is this the poem that you submitted for the contest? How did it go?

[Strangled, bleeding, left for dead/Frozen within an icy bed] By themselves, I like these two lines for the rhyme and rhythm. But I feel like the lines don't really flow well given the free form of the rest of your poem. It threw me off.

I think the most powerful part of this poem is the ending. I like how you almost lull readers with the possibility of a gentle death. The ending, that death is content and is in reality waiting for another circle of gruesomeness makes for a wonderfully ominous ending. For that, I really liked it.

Merle
Whirlymerle chapter 8 . 7/1/2012
I liked the opening. The order of the "rotting away" part (skin, flesh, cell) makes it seem as if you're peeling away a person, so I thought that was great diction.

I also liked the ending—if I understood it correctly, you're suggesting that death grants relief from the agony of dying, which I thought was a neat idea.

All in all, great imagery and tone here.

Merle
lookingwest chapter 10 . 6/29/2012
I really liked the imagery you invoked in this piece because I thought it was creative and also beautiful at times, which worked well I think with the theme of Death and the concept of "to sleep fulfilled" in the first line. Images like "mountain dew, forest grub, into a fog, forming ripples on the waterbed, honey web" etc. were well formulated. I also liked the first and second stanzas both because they were worked wonderfully with the transitions. I think the ellipses at the end of the first stanza was well placed here, because it did a good job fading into the second stanza images. Overall, I liked this a lot!
Whirlymerle chapter 7 . 6/20/2012
I really like the first stanza. I enjoyed the repetition of the "a [blank] too [blank]" and the occasional rhyming that goes with it. Whether intentional or not, what I thought was a nice touch was that your rhyming is unpredictable, which in a way, is like the nature of death.

[So long as fear/Holds not one back] I'm not sure why you decided you start the second line with "holds". I thought the line read a little awkwardly. In my opinion, "fear/Not hold one back" sounds better.

I like the ending imagery of people whom Death does not take foundering and floating on the shore. I also like the way you ended, with Death being the one truly in control. Because truly, fate can intervene and temporarily prevent us from ending your lives, but in the end, we are powerless in the face of Death.
Redz chapter 11 . 6/20/2012
I think it's a nice ending. You convey perfectly how everything is eventually forgotten (I liked the image of the tombstone being carved and then washed away). This poem made me sad. It's very melancholic. The feeling I got from this is that nature continues; the world remains unaffected by the death of a person.

I didn't quite understand the first stanza completely though. The "abandon the rock" left me a bit off-balance. I suspect it's some sort of symbol but I don't get it. Still, good overall. Nice job!
Natari Mirumura chapter 1 . 6/19/2012
Very nice wording and nice poem. Keep it up :D
Themory chapter 5 . 6/18/2012
I really enjoyed this rhyme scheme, truly nice. I think it really worked throughout the entire piece. But I don't understand why it only rhymes in the latter half of poem and not the beginning?

The rhythm seemed a bit off with the indentation after "You believe death." Not truly sure where the next line is indented since it seems apart of the same thought and breaks fluidity. I take a breath after each line whenever I read poety.

I love the descriptions. Images of a scythe and death's kiss like cotton wool really shook me. Congrats.

The tone was also very nice. Very grim and cynical like I was actually talking with someone on Hell's door and them warning me haha. Very nice.
Whirlymerle chapter 6 . 6/18/2012
I like the first stanza of this poem. The questions you ask are simple but completely unexplainable. They are questions that people have been trying and failing for ages to uncover.

I also like the second stanza. The idea that we have no free will and are controlled by some omnipresent god like figure really makes our lives completely meaningless. The rag doll metaphor didn't really do much for me because I think it's kind of trite.

[Or is there a reason we cannot see/Or even begin to understand?] I don't think this line really contrasts your previous stanza that well. "is there a reason we cannot see" suggests that we can "see" reason behind the actions of the puppeteer you previously described, but frankly, the lives of people in the second stanza don't seem very understandable or meaningful either. I do like how you end on a happy note though, portraying death as an "abode of happiness."

Merle
Whirlymerle chapter 5 . 6/18/2012
I think shall keep on returning your reviews via Death. Let me know if you have other works you'd prefer to have me review instead.

Wow, I think this is a really powerful poem! I think the speaker touches upon the mentality of someone trying to deny death really well. And honestly, don't we all try to do that on some level? The scornful tone makes the reader feel kind of pathetic. But then, in this respect, perhaps we are.

[Tearing your soul/Like cotton wool/From the thorny branches/Of a serpent's bush] I really loved the imagery and metaphor here.

Merle
Road to Rhodes chapter 11 . 6/17/2012
It is kind of depressing (not a bad thing). Still, the word henceward kind of jarred my focus as sounding unnatural (also i checked and it may not be a word). Put an apostrophe after till, please. I don't think you meant to put platter there. Finally, the style overall is rather bleak, which is what i think you meant to do. Writing is communication, and you communicated well. Bravo!
Nanumi chapter 10 . 6/16/2012
This is exquisitely written; a very thoughtful piece. I thought that the last line tied it all together beautifully, but a little more punctuation would have made it more readable, in my opinion.
PotterPower chapter 11 . 6/15/2012
I like it. It has very strong imagery, I especially love the line "As the lilies sink to the bottom of the sea". I think it's a good poem and there is a sense of defeat at the end, too; there isn't really much I would change. Great job :)
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