Tiffany A. Christian's E-Mail Address: haemony@hotmail.com
Tiffany's Personal Web Page or Favorite Web Page: http://members.tripod.com/~Orator_Hoof/thestudy.html


Tiffany A. Christian's Profile:
Ah, poetry. Where would we be without it? I've been writing for as long as I can remember: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, personal essay, journal writing, egopoetics, and anything in between. Writing is the expression of the Cosmos, for me -- a release, an epiphany, a hell and a heaven, a paradise in my heart and mind. As someone famous said, I'm sure, "Writing is life."

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Below you will see ALL of the Critiques that Tiffany A. Christian has given on The Poetic Link.
By Clicking a Poem Title, you can view the poem that is associated with each Critique.


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Displaying Critiques 1 to 6 out of 6 Total Critiques.

Poem TitlePoet NameCritique Given by Tiffany A. ChristianCritique Date
The Last VisitSherri L. WestSherri, hi. Sometimes I hate to work with poems like these, because I know how personal they are (my own mother is in the early stages of Alzheimer's). Still, it's hard for me not to say anything when I see so much unrealized potential to make this piece even stronger than it is. My biggest concern here (and I think this is a common grouse of mine, if you see any of my other critiques) is that there's too much "tell" and not enough "show." Poetry in particular must be dramatic in the showing of a scene, and image, because there's so much less space than in prose. Here you have a chance to have a powerful impact on the reader through this scene with the grandmother, but that impact is lessened because we see too much of the narrator's mind. For example, in the very first stanza: Tires crunched on the gravel drive, my heart thumped in anticipation. Lemon trees burdened with spring’s  first blossoms blessed the afternoon air "my heart thumped in anticipation" just gives too much away, when I'd rather see that anticipation through an image, a smell, anything but just outright saying it. (You also want to be careful of cliched sentences such as this one -- if the reader has read it before, it's going to become a turn-off). One idea is to heighten the contrast between the speaker of the poem and the grandmother by having the speaker remember something in the scent of the lemon tree blossoms, the tires on the gravel. Maybe make it a point to show the reader the difference between loving memory and anguished non-memory. You met us on the walkway; your frailty was unfamiliar Once sturdy limbs were now withered and wobbly My concern with this stanza is the passive voice ("was unfamiliar", "were now"). Using active voice will strengthen the actions, make them move the reader. I reached to hug your thin, bowed shoulders. Your wary  “Welcome-stranger-have-we-met-before” smile pierced my soul I love the third line, but the fourth line lessens the impact. I would rather just see that the grandmother can't remember the speaker; it's more heartbreaking that way. (Don’t you remember me?  My mind  stumbled in stunned disbelief; I am the firstborn of your firstborn, the special one; you told me so…) The second two lines of this stanza work for me, but the first two lines don't. Perhaps this is the only time we see into the speaker's thoughts with those second two lines, as if she is goading the grandmother into trying to remember. But the first two lines aren't necessary; we as readers probably understand the speaker's disbelief and frustration with the situation. During lazy days spent in the shade, you remembered your childhood but not mine We sipped cool lemonade and yearned to connect hearts and souls All is good for me except "and yearned to/connect hearts and souls". I like the image of the two women sipping lemonade, trying to figure each other out, but I want to see it more, and taste it, and hear it. I'm not sure how necessary the last four stanzas are. Again, this is the speaker pouring out her soul to the reader, and while that makes for fabulous memoir or nonfiction, I'm not sure it works as poetry. For me, image and sensory impressions are key, and I would stick with the images you have and make them stronger. Whew! I think that's the longest critique I've ever done. I hope I didn't offend or anything; again, I know how personal these things are. Good luck! 2004-04-21 19:23:18
Instructions for My BurialJoanne M Uppendahlditto! LOL2004-04-21 19:02:51
Haiku (She Digs It)Marcia McCaslinHaiku must change with the times! I love this piece, Marcia...I think it's very telling, very wise, and just a fantastic image! My only suggestion would be to replace the word "And." I'm beginning to hate that word, probably because it see it so abused in poetry as a kind of filler. You might consider leaving it out entirely; it wouldn't fit the syllable count, but then this isn't exactly a traditional haiku, either. Or maybe there's a better word out there to help Grandma "rock out," as it were. LOL Thanks for the great read!2004-04-20 13:02:42
RainValene L JohnsonI appreciate the modified form here, Valene, because the image is so intense. I can just hear the rain here, and I think I will forever think of it as "street-braille" when I hear it in real life. Although it did throw me a little when I read "sound" and thought "ground"! This is not a suggestion to change the word, though. I think it makes the poem even more interesting when we use one word and another is suggested. Brava!2004-04-20 12:54:57
NightfallMark Andrew HislopOh, I LOVE this! I've always been a big fan of haiku, and this one is not only beautiful and wise, but it's also slightly naughty (a first for me in haiku reading)! I have nothing to critique on this one: the syllables are there, and the imagery is just great. Well done!2004-04-20 12:39:42
How not to have youMark Andrew HislopHi, Mark! Lots of good images here, things to play around with. I like how you put a comma before "and me" as if you are inserting yourself into the trio as an afterthought. And "smiles as wide as a horse's horizon" is just great. Between you and me, I would axe the last two stanzas. They don't really add any new imagery to the poem; they tell rather than show. They just seem to sum up the narrator's feelings, which doesn't really work for me. Give us the story, and the feelings, through the images and actions of the people in the poem.2004-04-20 12:37:57
Poem TitlePoet NameCritique Given by Tiffany A. ChristianCritique Date

Displaying Critiques 1 to 6 out of 6 Total Critiques.

If you would like to view all of Tiffany A. Christian's Poetry just Click Here.

Poetry Contests Online at The Poetic Link

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