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Below you will see ALL of the Critiques that Sherri L. West has given on The Poetic Link.
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Click HERE to return to ThePoeticLink.com Database Page!Displaying Critiques 1 to 32 out of 32 Total Critiques.
|Poem Title||Poet Name||Critique Given by Sherri L. West||Critique Date|
|I Wish I Could Write A Sonnet||marilyn terwilleger||Hi Mom, Well you know that I have no expertise when it comes to the technical side of critiquing. What I can say is that, once again, you have caressed our senses with the lovely images you described. I love 'winsome grasses', 'misty cloven glen', 'wandering glints of sunshine', and 'drowse in whiffs of cowslips' (my favorite. Where do you come up with this stuff? It is wonderful, soothing and calming. Whether or not it is a sonnet, I cannot say, but I can tell you that it certainly conveys the writer's desire to share deep emotions and intimacy. And, I am sure that the recipient of such a love poem would comment less on the style than the substance. You inspire me. Love, Sherri||2004-05-17 13:42:42|
|I Am Fred (chapter two)||marilyn terwilleger||Hi Mom, I've been thinking a lot about Fred and I think he should try nymphs instead! If Fred and his love were truly fated, physical attributes wouldn't be over-rated. As you can tell, I've been in the acorn beer. Thanks for posting this light-hearted piece. I have to quit now before I lose control and write Fred into worse situation that he already finds himself! Love, Sherri||2004-05-17 13:34:39|
|My Mom's Motherhood||Thomas Edward Wright||Hi Tom, Wow, I think we had the same childhood. Could you be my brother? I really enjoyed this read. Every single image evoked a warm memory for me and brought a smile to my face. I like the form you used - image piled upon image - it reads like a mom's "To Do" list. From bandaging wounds and enduring 5 C-sections to intervening with your Dad and providing "sisters and other pets", your tribute describes a fully involved and devoted mother. She obviously has left you with wonderful memories of your childhood. The details you have included are delightful. I especially enjoyed "the no wigs". Wigs were so popular in the sixties. I remember driving around to store after store on Thanksgiving Day after a blizzard to find my Mom a wig. (I think there is a poem brewing here - sorry Mom). She wanted a wig because my father was hospitalized with his first heart attack and she was living at his bedside. We never did find that wig but we had a great time looking and laughing about it! What a wonderful Mother's Day gift - I'm sure she will enjoy it. Thanks for posting this piece and bringing a smile to my face. Blessings, Sherri||2004-05-07 11:58:41|
|Changing With The Changes||Marcia McCaslin||Hi Marcia, I had intended to comment on this piece long before now but my schedule has left me with little free time. I really enjoyed reading this piece although it was difficult through my tears. What a blessing for two people to truly find their soulmates! I think we all search for that one perfect person to complete us when in fact I think the perfection happens when two people can love each other more than themselves. You have used very crisp phrasing to beautifully illustrate the commitment and depth of feeling between these two lovers. There is also a sense that they are both very comfortable and comforted in the relationship. When I read "The last morning" - I almost did not want to finish the last lines knowing that something in this peaceful scene was going to happen to change their reality. You have very cleverly left us wondering which one of the lovers is missing from the mix. Your final questions could be answered by the remorseful man - left to agonize whether or not he had assured his lady once more of his love. Or, the same question could be asked by the woman in the midst of her deep grief at losing the other half of herself. Although, as I think about it, given the level of love and commitment shown in the lines above, she would probably not have questioned his love for her. This is a very touching piece that shakes the readers out of their complacency and helps them to realize how important it is to share feelings. Thanks for posting. Blessings, Sherri||2004-05-07 11:17:17|
|Talking About It with My Dad||Thomas Edward Wright||Hi Tom, I had intended to comment on this piece a lot sooner but my schedule has not left me with any free time lately. I really loved this piece and can so identify with the time period and attitudes of the sixties. When my brothers and I became curious, my parent borrowed my grandmother's "Momma Kitty" and two litters of kittens later, we supposedly had our answers. I enjoyed the style that used which allows the reader a snap shot of the past. I have to smile when I think about your Dad planning this phase of your education - waiting for the right moment, playing one of your records to put you at ease and then, just handing you THE book. As much as he wanted to provide you with the information, he certainly was not open for discussion - an attitude that was then projected to your brother. The next snapshot provides us with a glimpse into the situation surrounding your mother's funeral. No one could say the word death. My mother had cancer when I was ten and no one could say that either. My brothers and I knew something was seriously wrong but we were told everything was fine. That's hard to believe when all of the adults in your life are disolving into pools of tears at a momen't notice. Your title also provides the just the right touch of irony. Well done! Sherri||2004-05-07 10:56:31|
|Blue Dragonfly||Joanne M Uppendahl||Hi Joanne, I'm so glad to find one of your poems on my list! I love the images and memories this piece brings to mind. I can remember being mesmerized by dragon flies as a child - especially as you note in the first line. It is hard to get a good look at a dragon fly while in flight - one seems only to be able to get a sense of color and motion. Someday, I hope to be able to describe a moment with as much texture and clarity as you do! I love the idea of an "aesthetic angel". Did you mean the word to be "flickering"? I have often wondered what life forms other than human "think" or "feel" - I guess we can't help but project our thoughts and feelings. Who knows? We can all be grateful for a Creator who doesn't forget to satisfy our "splendor hunger". Thank you for posting this lovely piece. Blessings, Sherri||2004-04-28 22:03:35|
|Between Seventeen and Eighteen||marilyn terwilleger||Hi Mom, I can see that you want to "shake things up" again - this is quite a departure from some of the things you have written lately! You have painted an image that is difficult to behold - it kind of reminds me of the story of the little match girl. Words like frozen, meager, frail, gelid (yes, I looked it up), heartless, gaunt, and razor sharp put the reader on edge - knowing that the outcome cannot be good. The message serves as a lesson to all. What could have been so important that it was worth dying for? The hopelessness of the scene is overwhelming. Once again, you have used sharp and concise words to clearly outline the drama. You are the master of the adjective! Bravo, Love, Sherri||2004-04-28 21:49:31|
|As Circles Close||C Arrownut||Hi, Thank you for a very interesting read. Your poem begs the question - are we destined to repeat the errors of the past on into eternity? I like the image of circles because they have no beginning and no end. As you have so deftly pointed out, history seems to be relived generation after generation. As humans, we seem always to be striving for power and influence. And, when that effort can go no farther, the "walls come tumbling down" and mankind is left once again to rebuild. All that rises eventually falls into turmoil. Each circle completes because a new one must begin, even though each renewal becomes lost in nature’s law of repetition This is my favorite stanza - a very sobering reality. You have done a wonderful job of illustrating this rise and fall. Thank you for posting this thought-provoking piece. Blessings, Sherri||2004-04-27 13:53:19|
|The Brew||Jessica Inman||Hi Jessica, You have really done a great job with this poem. You have used vivid images to paint a gruesome picture that allows the reader to feel your disgust with the witches' brew. You maintained a good rhyme scheme and with a little tightening, the rhythm would flow even more smoothly. The boiling brew with breath of bat - you used great alliteration with the b's in this line! Stomach of snake and ear of cat The brew is made with terrible things - you might try to substitute a different word for "brew" since you Like eye of newt and two dove wings already used "brew" in the first line Maybe something like: Boiling brew with breath of bat Stomach of snake and ear of cat; Stew made of most terrible things Like eye of newt and two dove wings - just a suggestion By removing the words that aren't absolutely necessary, you can control the meter of the poem. Jessica, you obviously have a flair for writing. The suggestions I offered are not meant to criticize but to encourage. Like you, I have just begun to post poems on this site and have found everyone to be kind and eager to help me grow as a poet. I'm sure they will welcome you in the same way. I enjoyed reading your poem very much! Keep writing. Blessings, Sherri||2004-04-27 01:09:58|
|Learning to Fly||Mick Fraser||Hi Mick, I really enjoyed the images you put forth in this poem. I read a note somewhere that gave me the indication that you favor prose and I know exactly where you are coming from. I just have a couple of suggestions that might help to tighten this piece up a bit. My hands are whirligigs spinning wildly on a windy day - I love this picture in time with the movements of the cyclone of thoughts whirling through my mind I'm searching for the perfect order My hands are whirligigs spinning wildly on a windy day in time with the cyclone of thoughts (swirling or maybe twirling) through my mind - I thought you might get the same whirling motion using I'm searching for the perfect order. a different word here Had the medicine man not moved me to this - maybe you could use a different word besides moved since I doubt I'd have ever valued physical movement -you are using movement in the next line. yet his prognosis is the most doubtful liklihood The threat that hangs on me like a wet shirt on a humid day is quickly deteriorating as I struggle free - I really like this idea. with pieces of the disease falling at my feet I stamp on them deep sixing them before they get me Maybe - with pieces of disease falling at my feet; I stamp of them; deep sixing them before they get me my spirits are lifted and I am learning to fly. I think the ending would be a little more dramatic if you end the sentence at lifted and let "I am learning to fly" stand alone. This is a great visual image and your notes helped to put a face on the person learning to fly. Thanks for posting and write on! Blessings, Sherri||2004-04-26 13:40:41|
|Eye Hath Not Seen||Marcia McCaslin||Hi Marcia, What a clever piece. I really enjoyed reading it. At the end of the 2nd stanza, I really expected "Sam, I am" to show up! The rhyme scheme really makes that stanza pop. It is fun to think what heaven might be like and since we are on the subject....maybe there will be non-stop shopping without aching feet and credit card limits! Thanks for making me smile. Blessings, Sherri||2004-04-19 13:58:47|
|Rising to the Occasion||Mell W. Morris||Hi Mell, I am a little overwhelmed and at a loss to know where to begin sharing my thoughts of this gorgeous piece. I have been a fan of your writing for some time and feel inadequate to do this work justice. Each line is rich with a symphony of sights and sounds. The rhyme and rhythm is delightful and gently guides the reader through this lovely scene. Your word choices are exquisite and leave this reader awed. Thank you so much for posting. Blessings, Sherri||2004-04-15 20:12:19|
|Afterthought||Michael J. Cluff||Hi Michael, Very clever! It made me smile. Blessings, Sherri||2004-04-15 13:26:03|
|Canticle||Joanne M Uppendahl||Hi Joanne, This is an amazing, inspiring poem! Each word is perfectly chosen and a delight. I especially love blissfully/glistening/blossom's/listening. The "s" and "l" sounds remind me of soft, spring breezes moving through tall grass. I think my favorite line is "from petals closing over tulip eyes" - it is truly inspired. You have such a gift for taking a moment in time and painting it into a permanent portrait for us to enjoy. Thank you so much for posting. Blessings, Sherri||2004-04-14 22:44:06|
|Elena,her Ninja,and Chernobyl||Michael Bird||Hi Michael, I just finished visiting Elena's site - someone sent us an email with the link. Then, I find your poem here on my list! I have to say, you captured the mood very effectively. It is very sobering to realize that a place that looks "normal" (although deserted) on the surface, could be so deadly. How frightening it must have been for the residents to realize, too late, that they would not survive. The images were haunting and your matter-of-fact method of telling the facts elicits the same feeling of emptiness and hopelessness. I really don't know if Elena fully explained her facination with the Dead Zone - she seems attracted to it like a moth to a flame. Thanks for posting. Blessings, Sherri||2004-04-14 22:20:58|
|Who Slew My Daffies?||marilyn terwilleger||Hi Mom, Sorry about your daffies. At least the slaying resulted in fodder for a new poem! I think one of the reasons your poems are so popular is that you personify nature and allow us to identify with it. Having experienced spring storms in Wyoming (walking back and forth to school in deep snow with red rubber snow boots that rubbed my shins raw), I can certainly empathize with the poor little daffies hunched over under the burden of ice and snow! Thanks for the smile. Love, Sherri||2004-04-14 13:24:23|
|Midnight Stallion||marilyn terwilleger||Hi Mom, You have a real gift for taking a moment in time and making it live for a reader. Once again, this piece, like so many of your others, is brimming with rich images and powerful emotion. You have taught me so much about this form of writing that I am actually beginning to pick out some of the literary devices that you use so well. For instance, the internal rhyme, such as face - embrace, midnight - flight, etc. really adds to the flow and rhythm of the piece. But most of all, your word choices are filled with drama and as the reader, I found myself holding my breath. Now that is powerful writing! The only suggestion that I would make is to change the spelling of "hoofs" to "hooves" because I think you want the "v" sound to compliment "overhead" and "vulpine". Plus, I think hoofs is hard to pronounce. Just a suggestion :) This is a winner! Thanks for posting. Love, Sherri||2004-04-13 13:35:47|
|Passion's Pardon||Andrea M. Taylor||Hi Andrea, In this piece, you have very succinctly stated the whole truth. You do not identify whose souls are "sorrowed" and by that omission, hopefully, all readers can understand that salvation is intended for all who "believe and receive." I especially like the phrase "gave beyond humanity" because, certainly, Jesus' sacrifice is totally beyond our capability and comprehension. Thank you for this very thought provoking offering. Blessings, Sherri||2004-04-12 13:38:31|
|Come Walk With Me||marilyn terwilleger||Hi Mom, I just wrote a long critique to this piece and neglected to click that I had read the damn rules and lost the whole critique when I had to go back! I will try to duplicate what I said before... First, I think this needs to be set to music and there is no doubt that it would be a lullaby. I have read this piece many times during this past week from hell and each time, I am calmed. I think it would be wonderful if we could hear the poets read their pieces on this site. Each time I read this piece, I don't hear my voice, I hear yours and it is so comforting. The whole poem is rich with wonderful sights and sounds..I love scrubbing angel wings and hearing the vibrating silence. Wind weaving its way through steep timber tops whispering a syncopated serenade is magical and musical. Once again, you have treated us to a rich tapestry of nature and once again, we are blessed. Love, Sherri||2004-04-09 00:29:29|
|"The Passion"||marilyn terwilleger||Hi Mom, Reading this poem is nearly as painful for me as it must have been for you watching the film. I have an advantage over others when critiquing your work, you know, because I know the your facial expressions when you are happy, sad, upset, etc. So, I can imagine your tears and for me, that is what makes reading this so hard. The style you have used for this piece is completely appropriate for the subject - you do not even pretend to be an observer of the scene but rather you take the reader along for this emotional journey using "I saw", "I felt" and "the voice of my soul screamed". I am not surprised that you wrote it right after you saw the movie. The emotions and images are raw and strong and overwhelming - showing that there was not any time between the viewing and the writing for any of that emotion to ebb. S2 is especially strong but I have to ask what you mean by "but he continued to rise up and take the cross time after time". I think you are talking about when He fell while carrying the cross but the first image I got was that He was put on the cross more than once. Is that right? The only suggestion I would offer, however, is that you could incorporate the thought you put in the Additional Notes in the poem itself - because that is the whole point - we already know that Jesus won the fight for us against sin by His sacrifice on the cross. (You know I could write a sermon here but I will refrain!) Well, maybe not....if everyone could understand that Jesus' death on the cross was in God's plan from the beginning then maybe there would be a little less finger pointing and assigning of blame. Every human who has ever sinned (that would be all of us with the exception of Jesus Himself) nailed Him on the cross. Without His sacrifice, none of us would ever be reconciled with God. I, for one, am grateful for that plan. Thanks for posting this piece. I think you are very brave to expose yourself emotionally in such a powerful way - (and you did it masterfully). Love, Sherri||2004-03-31 13:43:46|
|Two Roads||jeramy j gordy||Hi Jeramy, You have written about a very deep subject that each of us must face in our lifetime. One path leads to life and the other does not. I must tell you - I am a new member on TPL and have only written one poem. So please excuse me if I cannot offer much in the way of a technical critique. I do have one suggestion - this was a suggestion that Marilyn made to me at one point - she suggested that I get a book of synonyms. This piece is fairly lengthy so you might want to see if you can substitute some other words for "road" and "fork". One thought that came to me was to use the word "way". That word would also work well with your overall spiritual theme. My biggest struggle is to try to contain my thoughts in fewer words. A very kind person who critiqued my poem suggested that it is okay to leave some things to the reader's imagination - that we don't have to say everything we mean. Jeramy, I really like the message of your poem and the truth it conveys. Thank you so much for posting. Keep writing! Blessings, Sherri||2004-03-19 20:45:14|
|Spring Quartet||Joanne M Uppendahl||Hi Joanne, Well, I just finished critiquing my mom's spring poem and I have to say, you two are surely on the same page! I absolutely love this piece. I don't know if I will be able to do it justice in a critique, but here goes - Mallards swing-walking, - I have never seen a more perfect description of a duck's walk! look for feasts of cracked corn or otherwise, slowly turn their shining heads in lily-washed air. - I can smell the freshness now Seagulls perch on pilings, ruffle white cloaks above orange knees-- this may be my favorite section! knobs of surprise leading to expectant feet . Frogs roaring the pond, determined to do what they were born to do: singing wetly, - I would never have thought of such a description but it is perfect. the whole sweet night before them. Thank you so much for posting. Spring is in full bloom here in Texas but sometimes we go straight from 40 degrees to 80 so I don't know how much of the freshness of spring we will enjoy this year. Blessings, Sherri||2004-03-19 20:29:10|
|Spring is Born||marilyn terwilleger||Hi Mom, Well, you have done it again! You have painted a beautiful picture of the earth embracing the spring while turning its back on winter. I think my favorite verse is: Gone are the belching spasms of wind and the yammering of winter birds, born are dainty bonnie butterflies and red robins rejoicing in splendor I really love "bonnie butterfiles" and "red robins rejoicing". Also, "wind jarred" is very appropriate. I remember the Wyoming wind blowing so hard that it blew not only sand but gravel! I also really like "boisterous leaves". Shivering earth inhales the virgin air and breaths life into buds of guile - what an image! Once again, you have taken a moment in time and expanded it into an experience. I love it! Sherri||2004-03-19 20:17:59|
|Funeral||Emma Quinn||Hi Emma, You have painted a very clear picture of what happens when families get together on such solemn occasions. It is true that all are present to mourn, but as with any reunion, there are new stories to tell and memories to share. You have captured that mood very effectively. The only suggestion I would make is to try to find another word for one of the "secrets" that you used. I really like the alliteration of "secret skins of stories". Maybe it could just read: reveals secret skins of stories pressed into tiny layers, celebrates a life, mourns a death with orange surpri(s)es and flowers. Just a thought. At any rate, I really enjoyed this piece. Blessings, Sherri||2004-03-15 20:51:45|
|Untitled||stephen g skipper||Hi Stephen, I'm so sorry for your loss. I have never lost a spouse so I won't begin to say that I know how you feel - other than through the words you have chosen to share with us. I did see a bright spot when you spoke of love. You would not be experiencing the grief and pain of loss without having experienced the joy and fulfillment of love... How lucky we are when we have that love in our lives. To live without love may be safer emotionally, but for me, I would rather take my chances and live and love to the fullest. You question whether your heart will ever be set free to fly again - perhaps you will have to be the one to allow your heart to fly free again. Thank you for posting this touching poem. Blessings, Sherri||2004-03-15 13:29:08|
|BackStroke||Rebecca Lee||Hi Rebecca, Oh, if we could only hold on to those precious moments! They seem to slip through our fingers like so much sand. I like the way you have arranged this piece on the page - it reminds me of sand through an hour glass -passing a little at a time but always, always passing. I spent the weekend with my 7 month-old grandson (our first overnighter)and I absolutely marveled at the many ways he has changed in just 7 months. I really enjoyed the images you presented. Thanks for posting. Blessings, Sherri||2004-03-15 13:14:17|
|At The Mammae of Modernity||Thomas Edward Wright||Hi Thomas, What a wonderful piece. The humor is very clever - who would have thought to refer to Nixon in a poem about child bearing? You also captured the absolute bliss of a first time mom. For me, the bliss was really confined to the 2nd trimester (couldn't stop heaving through the first and couldn't breathe or sleep through the 3rd). The Suess-like stanzas reinforce the the enthusiasm that new mothers have with all things baby-related. And, of course, the ending is a hoot!(smile) I can't help believing though that any power great enough to grant such a wish in the first place would certainly not overlook any of the essentials! Thanks for posting! Blessings, Sherri||2004-03-14 22:14:08|
|Sable Shadow||marilyn terwilleger||Hi Mom, I'm really glad you wrote this piece and for very selfish reasons. First of all, I'm glad you have come to a point where you are comfortable saying that you are "past the grief". That was a long time coming. Secondly, the very last statement "I fear that you will beckon me", comforts me because there were many times that I felt if he had beckoned, you would have gladly answered the call. But now, for the second time in your life, you have chosen to live and for that, we are blessed and grateful. Now, I could play armchair psychologist - but I will save that for another venue. However, I think that the idea of "sable shadow" is very interesting. Knowing you, my gut tells me the word "sable" was chosen for the "s" sound and the color it represents but it brought to mind for me the idea of a sable-colored wrap or fur stole. Hmmm - the idea of being wrapped in something so luxuriant, soft and comforting isn't all bad. Just a thought... (I'm having a blast!) Love, Sherri||2004-03-11 13:31:45|
|Swimming With Mary||Thomas Edward Wright||Hi Thomas, What a powerful piece of work! What a terrible tragedy. I worked in medical offices for several years and found that one learns to cope with the suffering of others by removing oneself emotionally. But there is always that one patient that can never be forgotten. So many times in my life I have know seriously ill people and it seems to be in every instance that more seriously ill they were, the more likely it would be that the patient would end up comforting the comforter. To be able to manage a smile while suffering such agony is nothing short of a miracle, isn't it? You have used very powerful imagery to paint this terrible scene. I feel drawn to Mary's bedside to sit and wait. As you can see, I am not yet a technical critiquer (I only recently joined the site) but I can tell you the impact of your work. One thing that I really admire is that you have humanized the physician and allowed us to understand that he does, indeed, see the patient, not just the diagnosis. I can only hope that, should I ever be seriously ill, that I would be blessed enough to have the attention of someone as compassionate and emotionally engaged as the physician you describe here. Thank you for posting. Blessings, Sherri||2004-03-10 22:56:35|
|I Am Fred||marilyn terwilleger||Hi Mom, Just when I think I have you figured out..... Where in the world did this one come from :)? I sat upon my porch and peered above the shed I spied an elf with a jaunty hat(,) clad all in red - the comma helped me with the flow What is your name, I asked dumbfounded? I am known far and wide as Fred, he said But where have you been? I am confounded I live here night and day I am Fred, he said I know not of you are you perhaps pixilated? Of you I know not, perhaps you are pixilated? I am not a tosspot, milady, I am Fred, he said Just a couple of ideas. Hope you don't mind my tinkering. What a laugh I had when I saw this poem and yes, I looked up pixilated. Couldn't find tosspot though but I have a pretty good idea. Thanks for keeping me on my toes. Blessings, Sherri||2004-03-08 23:09:31|
|The Fiasco In Me||Erzahl Leo M. Espino||Hi Erzahl, In three short stanzas, you have exposed one of the great paradoxes of humanity. We are all very adept at showing the world the picture we want it to see because we fear that the truth will be unacceptable. You have posed some powerful questions - questions that each of us must answer before we can truly be at peace with ourselves. I am new at this critiquing "stuff" but I do have one small suggestion. In the 2nd stanza, I believe the word should be "smells" since you used the plural "those". This seems to be a very dark poem compared to some of your other works I have read. I guess I keep looking for the silver lining - the hope or the offer of redemption. Thank you for posting. This one really made me think. Blessings, Sherri||2004-03-08 22:32:28|
|I am a lighthouse||marilyn terwilleger||Hi Mom, Surprise! I joined TPL just so I could "critique" this poem. I cannot begin to tell you how this piece affected me...I have read it again and again and each time I am left with an overwhelming urge to jump up and yell YES! (Not really appropriate since I have read it so many times at work!) I will not pretend that I have the knowledge of the gifted poets on this site to be able to critique the mechanics of this work but I can tell you that it made me see, made me feel and made me know that I was there! Beyond the obvious illustrations of a physical lighthouse and a spiritual beacon, I wonder how many readers will see the parent's promise to her child? I did. It reminded me of the most difficult times in my life when you were there for me with guidance, comfort and safety. I especially like "If the sea spews her wrath or your north is lost and bewildered sea birds sob, I will Illume your path". There are so many images packed in those lines. I remember the lessons we learned as children about how not to "lose our north", literally or figuratively, while tromping the hills on hunting trips. Can any being be more hopeless than a sea bird who has lost north? And the idea of a sea bird's sob puts a lump in my throat. Once again, as in previous poems, your combination of words and emotion make the images you portray jump off the pages. Never stop writing, Mom. You give us a piece of your soul with every offering. Love always, Sherri (Yes, Tanner's Mom)||2004-02-21 13:14:21|
|Poem Title||Poet Name||Critique Given by Sherri L. West||Critique Date|
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