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Displaying Critiques 1 to 33 out of 33 Total Critiques.

Poem TitlePoet NameCritique Given by Sandee L McMullanCritique Date
The Winter of 04Lennard J. McIntoshTitle: Winter of 04 Brrrr! is my first impression of the title, knowing about winter too well; having a specific year hints to me of particulars to follow in the body of poem. I want to know what is special; I am pulled in for a personal note. Many good things here that affect the reader and place them into the event; sense devices and immediate action-words are doing this here. Opening line, I find word “it” so I look around to figure out the reference and it is the storm not the winter as title might lead me. Why not start with the object directly rather than “it”. example, just a suggestion: “It was a storm to seize the land, squeeze it in a bear-hug and grind it into submission.” a storm seizes the land (a storm seized the land) with a bear-hug squeeze; grinds (Ohio ?) into submission. Also, in ‘present tense’ shows a difference and brings alive right now. Second stanza presents “it” again; same as first I look for reference and think how can this direct attention to the noun it refers to here and in doing so avoid using “it”. Example: “Born in the mid-west, it drove its fury north-east” > Fury born in the mid-west, drove north-east . . . I like the repetition in using “power” it doubles the effect. I ask how can this be made to add a drama, sometimes the emdash will separate with a super pause to build up emote or effect. “then” is understood in sequence, imo. go direct to power. perhaps. > power driving power – I like this image of “waist-high snow”, an impact on sight. I see this on the mind-screen. oops, “That” in lower case, here. “Fearsome” also be used in lowercase. I see why caps were used, for looks, not sure if looks outweigh grammar in this case. “cold steel” sense device for the reader’s touch and feel. good one. I feel the shivers. I relate. Yes-s-s, the idea of directness in the last stanza, works quickly to present the drama and the urgent human response of the conclusion. The title is emphasized here by the weight of heartbreak. I enjoyed the read. . . . . regards 2005-03-07 09:52:53
Becoming SpringJoanne M UppendahlTitle: Becoming Spring I sense from the title a metaphor, but not sure, so I seek the refreshing sense of spring that the title alludes, I read on with anticipation. The concept here is a good one as the reader can be part of it very easily. However the execution needs a tad of help for clarity in this format. Perhaps it is the format that is giving the struggle here, not sure. If I may suggest pruning some areas; keep the original to refer back to. Hopefully, this will help show the bare bones of theme here and redirect importance of details. 3rd line, awkward, may I suggest a rephrase. “untried tracks” this is onomatopoeia for quack, interesting linguistic here. Um, suggest: mallard pairs, duck pairs (?) mallard is known as duck. “twosomes” the “s” stumbles me -- and it may be just me. I get the image, I like it very much and the representation it gives (mating for life, as they do is what comes to mind for me in their symbolism) oO “heart-to-heart” mating? good one. drake’s heads = drake-heads (?) glisten… in quick quacks planning their ventures…I veer off the path There are some repetitions in this piece which might be presenting some confusion, again not sure. Examples: L1 “This morning” & L9 “left from morning’s rain” > perhaps join these: After the morning rain, I step into the woods This could set the scene from the outset. 3rd stanza brings the reader back to mud again, this from the first stanza’s opening. The words sliding and slippery are very similar to each other; perhaps the use of one of them: sliding on muck >> slipped on muck > my foot slips (might work here ‘?’) I like what is happening to “River stones and wet fingers” One of the strongest parts of this poem, imo; it is a simile and the image can be used dramatically along the path. The reader takes notice. “River stones rise from softened earth’s wet fingers,” i.e. > river stones rise as wet fingers from the softened earth. i.e. > river stones wear softened earth, fingers rising from… (or something like that). L14: slip away = slips away The conclusion is a comfortable, refreshing scene and emotes uplifting. I get a sense of the title here, birth of birds – becoming, and sprouts also from sultry seeds. “I’ll chant my joyful vision [of it].” This was not an easy one to critique imo. I hope this helps; there is a gem hiding within; some polish will bring a shine. . . . regards 2005-03-06 14:11:04
Alone on A Beachstephen g skipperTitle: Alone on a Beach The title is an image striking a mood of solitude and a vision as comfortable as the beach can be. The couplet format works well here, setting images separate so the reader can absorb and add them to collected scene that is unfolding in the mind. Also, emotes are building as they interact as signified by poetic device – ‘personification’ of nature’s things ei: breeze, sand, etc. This is affective bringing the reader into the poem through appealing to senses. The tone is one personal and direct to another; the memory is strong linking lovingly imo. There is a method of making love using the sea essence and scene to do it with; very effective. A couple of nits as a suggestion or opinion: Some areas could be pruned/cropped/tightened for reading meter and meaning impact. some redundancy in the 2nd line. “all alone” all is really not needed as alone gives us the immediate picture. “but think of me and I’ll be there” could be easily and efficiently – think and I’ll be there. You sit with your head in your hands, alone on your beach, think and I’ll be there [Because] not needed, I suggest go right into > “I am ...” for one line. Any further [I am] could be pruned away, as they are understood after once being said, and goes without re-stating, imo. Example: > > > I am the sand, golden and warm, beneath your feet in your secluded bay. the gentle breeze that ruffles your hair, and [gradually] takes away your worldly cares. tide of azure blue, deep and restless, [trying to] washing your toes with my white foam[.] suggest emdash ( – ) [I am] the very air [that] you breathe, caressing and filling you with life. < < < This line I suggest a minor adjusting to match the couplet format previous for overall consistency with this particular poem. “And as the cold mist comes in(,) the sail boat, you see with god given eyes, waiting for the day to carry you away. You think of me and I will of you. There are many sense devices used with things and actions here to like as moods ignite and then soften the quell. - breeze in hair – always sensual - azure blue and washing toes – sight of blue, again sensual - caressing – affirms - drinking in essence – universal oneness - cold mist – sense to the body - carry away – lulling relaxing - me/you – connection, relation. I enjoyed this visit and traversing the beach with each image. Thx for the moments with a different kind of playful solitude. . . . regards Suggestions are my opinions, do take or leave as you wish. 2005-03-06 12:27:24
Perfecting PraiseLatorial D. FaisonTitle: Perfecting Praise This title directs attention to praise and I want to read on; there is a sense of joy in this word. I step into the read. Opening line brings the subject of praise to the reader with the image of children and chants. I like the positive euphoric tone of the setting; its rising my spirit up >> “to the sky”. I as the reader go with the poem in its short lines, they help me easily step along with the narrator and the mood of the poem. I see the internal rhyme of sky with thy, however, when I see “thy” in a poem it confuses me as to who/what “thy” relates to. Archaic language thy = you or your? thy = thee ? I always question in my mind if regular word would work better. Just my way of dealing with this nuance. Surely, the use is a preference by the writer. Further my opinion here and it could be way off. Capitals at the beginning of lines shift the focus to the capital for me; this adds a distraction from the message within the line. I as the reader, have no direction by periods or commas, etc. I flounder in this type of format; it’s hard work to glean the message. Alliteration helps the reader pause and adds to the sound and affect here in particular to the lull of meditation/chant mentioned earlier. The personal names of Joseph & David add a biblical reference to this piece, perhaps ties in the use of “thy, thee” a copying of language used in bible. Not sure if its use is totally effective here. I get the “praise” is love within this piece. Ending is suitable and works, even with the many times used in society – I am all that I am, because you loved me. Still it impacts the heart; finalized the feeling of praise. I like, and I enjoyed this. . . . regards 2005-03-04 12:08:03
LessonsRachel F. SpinozaTitle: Lessons A good title that reflects and clues the reader of content or the narrator’s approach to the body of the poem. A very touching opening first line acts as forewarning perhaps. I want to read on with a little be of apprehension in the tone as resembling death around the corner or in the next line. Ah, now in second line I come to { }a punctuation that I have no idea what to do with in this context. I am confused; I was looking at the parenthesis doing this job. Second stanza addresses further lessons, therein a hit to the title. I esp like “stumbling toward a bliss in consciousness”. Gladness didn’t do it for me, or the drunk with dreams is too expected here to me. Third stanza brings in the Father, giving a balance to the readers perspective of lessons of life. I like this introduction of other personal side note re: parents. Fourth stanza again meets with some unusual punctuation, same as before. The content here in the 4th is bright and refreshing “picket fence behave” and the “dandelions” brings this poem alive with image at this point. good one. Perhaps in second stanza, needs at least one image representing mother to ground the reader’s vision from abstract to concrete. The slap I feel this, again the poem enlivens with sense device this time. “attend the light” is hard to know what image that is. I suggest try to ground this in the mind eyes. Ending is superb leaving the reader with sight and feel of clay in their hands; the snapping of bubbles works. I enjoyed this poem; it needs a little work on the images in the beginning; but by the ending the reader is in the poem. . . . . regards 2005-03-02 18:27:45
Understanding DaliGene DixonTitle: Understanding Dali A wondrous title alluding to art, I am want to take a read with interest. Opening line gives an abstract image, hitting the title with clues of abstract art. Also, an opinion expressed helps the reader to distinguish how the narrator “understands Dali”. This invites the reader to make opinion also. The lines describe the art, this helps the reader to “understand dali” hitting the title again. Unique images are presented to the mind screen of reader, getting a sense of Dali. This brings alive the poem. How interesting this is for the reader. I like. Descriptions “a man with housefly eyes …” does fulfill the picture and bears understanding of Dali from the personal side. One little grammar nit, if I may suggest: lower case “a” because of it following the ellipses (. . .) makes it a continuation of the sentence more easily understood. “I realized... [A] a man with housefly eyes” I like how the ending makes justice of the man and his art; it is a good summation. This is quite an astute reckoning of art within a poem. Well done imo. I enjoyed this. . . . regards 2005-03-01 23:08:59
-- -- --what they are doing." Lk.23:34Paul R LindenmeyerTitle: – – – what they are doing.” Lk.23:34 Title is unique however, it makes its own mark; part of quote loses its emphases. imo This piece is not one easy to critique in its common relation to scripture. In all fairness, I begin to feel this is a translation alternative. I am not sure, though. The opening speaks volumes using the word “legacy”. Forgiveness is powerful to lead the reader with also. I take with the misplaced capitals on Crescendos and Compassion is to mean something particular about the Lk. but I have no idea about that, so it proves a tad distracting for mean as I am left in the vague spot about it. The alliteration works. The movement of cascading adds a flow and image of water or waves, cresting which applies to the senses. This building to emergence of mercy and the deep desire of yet another alliteration “soul searing” pulling the reader towards the peak of meaning. These { marks I suggest a regular parenthesis would work also. The ending does give the reader a consequence that hints at parable-like meaning. “crucified lips” matches again the alliteration of “freely from” to wonder at moral values. I think “crucified” works here. However, the capital does distract its placement however, the narrator choice. I esp like: “divine logic given freely” and “the legacy”. . . . regards PS: Sorry I save reading the footnotes until after I critique the poem; this done in all fairness to give a first impression to the poem for it to have its own merit. Aha, I see a tribute to a friend. It’s proves itself a devoted intention to please, in the way requested -- forgiveness. 2005-02-28 21:42:17
The Dance Of The Snowflakessheryl ann minterTitle: The Dance of Snowflakes A joyful title draws me in, as this image imprints the mind screen. A good one it works to give clues to the body of the poem. I look forward to the read. However, the title is the same as first line. This method was done in past times as a quick way to avoid the dreaded “untitled” placed there. Titles are so important fostering an opportunity for the poem to alter the reader’s perspective and elevate it or dumb it down. So vital! This title could bridge the poem with no problem having the first line of the poem as: “As they dust the vast horizon”. This would reduce the repeat. “winter white” I suggest: winter-white, making this a compound word, to help combine the modifiers. A comma after “white,” I love the concept of what’s happening in this poem. The details of ice sculpture rise in the mind, detailing throughout with the crafting of snowflakes. A couple of line breaks on propositions / articles; may I suggest to break them before or after or rearrange. The use of an em dash may help here also: > “each one a Picasso in shape [,] ( – ) an original, minute, free form ice sculpture,” free form = free-formed (might help this array of modifiers) > “The imprinted wonders glistening in” The imprinted wonders glistening in beauty, > “enticing us to observe, to touch, to” enticing us to observe, to touch, to step into a second childhood. This word beauty is an abstraction, perhaps if I may suggest to show what is of beauty, why is it a beauty or what one of the senses strikes it as a beauty. example: > “The imprinted wonders (of crystal? of rain? of frost?) glistening, adhering to our lashes, brows” A little oops spelling, adhearing = adhering (or Cdn. sp?) I esp like “Composed menagerie” the sound is flowing. Indeed, enticing, observing. I am in the scene and with the action in the last lines. The ending “second childhood” is joyful and lifts the spirit of the reader. imo. a good closure. A fine read with delightful images with a touch of artistic creativity in the use of “Picasso” good one. . . . regards 2005-02-26 01:38:52
verse 69 (Thunder)Erzahl Leo M. EspinoTitle: Verse 69 (Thunder) AH, the structure 5-7-5, it is haiku; even though haiku is written without title. I love haiku. First word “Evenfall” I am scrambling to figure out what is the meaning, even with its reference to word “thunder” and “parade”. I ponder a guess and wonder if this modifier is an abstraction, I can’t visualize this. Sometimes, when I see a title word for a haiku, I find that this word can be added into the haiku to give it the balance or extra meaning it needs to fulfill itself. This one does, also. imo. thunder parades OR thunder’s parade Or (evening’s parade) > thunder’s parade > dances lights in serenade – > distant drummer Haiku can be less than 17 syllables as above. I love the concepts in this piece; a sense of sound and music in the word parade – a good choice, also the word drummer adds a sound device. The “lights” bring in a visual. good one. . . . regards 2005-02-23 01:25:22
RightsMark D. KilburnTitle: Rights Beginning is a very patriotic approach; the narrator’s voice is directly engaged, stern, bold and spoken confidently. The tone is set for the piece as for “rights” which is depicted by the title. I get a strong sense that the narrator has a need to express the perspective with some urgency and I as the reader, can’t help but get drawn into this as well. The shift to realism adds drama and intensifies the message. Meter is consistent helping the reader stay with the poem as it underlines the importance of what is being said. The language is concise, straightforward to give good comprehension with well chosen modifiers. Each one does its job without clutter; the purpose for emphasis is focused for clarity. Evocative shift to feelings and the relating to the many rights which are seen to reverberate in unique way to the mention of the second amendment in line 2, shows a continuum. Last line is a tie-in to the beginning, bringing full circle to closure. Reader left with the lingering punch of reality to the action of killing and the parable-like feature becomes sarcastic or ironic in deliverance which gives strength to the view of “rights”. I like the fact this poem documents society’s method to exercise and maintain rights, in its violent descriptions; very potent. Also, many points are brought to a personal context which offers connection with the reader. A reality poem with issues to ponder, this piece does it job impelling the reader to at least think about personal opinion on rights. imo. . . . regards 2005-02-23 01:03:01
The Rosemarilyn terwillegerTitle: The Rose Beginning: First impressions of the character are introduced to raise interest, I read on with aroused curiosity and some feelings regarding his wrinkled brow. This image alone implies concern and compassion for his worry. Oops! A stumble here in the first line with grammar: “languid, bent,” perhaps “and” or an emdash will help the comma out; also give clarity to gait. However, I notice bent and drooped are similar in meaning also; perhaps another word to replace one or other. (Maybe drowsy?) There is a grand vocabulary from which to choose. OH! “the shape and drape” perfect rhyme and the alliteration of “tattered attire” to follow brings this character’s appearance and demeanor alive in front of me. Line 6 seems misplaced and I stumbled as the vision of the man appeared on my mind screen. Perhaps if I may suggest to move this line to follow >> “his wrinkled brow” as it would directly tie and link with his face, promoting the question as one noticeable from the etching found there. I am not sure how that would work with the structure of the poem. I see the lines of 3 (triolets) but still, this line “What robed rapture from this man’s face?” is one that stands with importance of its own, lends power to the overall of the character and hinges on the further queries that follow. I suggest perhaps: “robed rapture” = robed the rapture But I know you may wish to keep the alliteration. The end rhymes are quite unique: rue/brow, waist/face. “Gone is peaceful serenity to slake his soul” seems a tad long in syllables. Perhaps: “Gone is peaceful” = no peaceful. I enjoyed the read much, and the ending hits the title powerfully to metaphor the rose. Esp like “dispetaled rose”. Poetic license > dispetaled could also be depetaled. The queries give further clues to the character and they build in meaning to the summation of “rose”. good one. . . . . regards PS: Sorry, I missed the footnote, before I read this. In my effort to give my first impression of the piece a fair approach in critique. The poem can stand on its own without any further footnoting, imo. Trust your reader to gather the essence of “sad plight of the homeless” or perhaps choose a rendition of this statement in the title. This would flavour it for the reader before they enter the poem. eg: “the homeless rose” 2005-02-21 15:03:10
Silver StormNancy Ann HemsworthTitle: Silver Storm Title flashes an image and a ponder; invites me in with the alliteration as well. Title suitable and works here. Opening line: gives a scene, the alder a good choice as it is a tree related to the birch. This tells me the narrator knows the subject matter. Sight devices used delight the reader’s eye. And I feel the cold as I relate to the icy images. > layered tree…winter’s sky > pretzeled stems > glaze The reader is able to make the jump to ice conditions of silver crackle which is of course an ice storm; leaving the reader to take part for their own illusions. Also the similes work to highlight the references with instant recognition, eg: trees as glass. Sound devices: alliteration and words with “l”: lie, layered, blush, low. And words with “s” still, stunning, stems, silver. All give rise to being content with the sounds. Also words “crackled glaze” delivers sound. “agleam” = a gleam ? (it may work best this way) Unusual rhymes give a refreshed reading, good choices: glass/circumstance, pays/glaze I esp like “Bent low by crystal circumstance” this is voluminous in meaning and describes the helplessness according to the situation. This accentuates the sense of the storm. poesy = posy ? (or is the my Cdn sp ? ) The sentence structure is good for meter / rhyme, however, punctuation with capitals at the beginning of each line confuse the reader, resulting in guessing where sentences end even as an enjambment (line break) or end stop suggests, the capital still forces a guess. This capitalizing is not a modern day technique, it was in years agone. If I may suggest: use caps only at the beginning of sentences. Punctuation is your friend and can highlight areas of the poem to give drama for the reader as well. I sense the narrator’s voice deliberate and strong in deliverance of details, wanting the emphasis on variety of hard and soft sounding words. I like the variety as it bounces the reader along. The ending/closure on this piece is comfortable and wholly consumes the engagement of the storm, giving the vast picture of silver overtaking. glorious wonderful) There’s nothing more to say of importance. good one. And it springs back full circle to the title. The magic of 8 lines presents a joy for the reader, and an immediate focus on the “silver storm”. I would come back to this poem and read it many times because of the content and the brevity of lines and impact it has on the mind set. . . . regards PS: Sorry, I do not read footnotes before I read and critique the poem, in all fairness to the poem itself. Any footnotes are extras and separate from the poem standing on its own. I choose to not allow footnotes to influence the initial engagement I make with the poem. Oh – pretzeled, I wonder it if it has a double “l” like in the word > chiselled. I suppose it could be either way, British or American spelling. This is a good word with instant imagery. What the heck take a chance, use your license. *grins* 2005-02-21 14:20:21
Poetic DevicesJanet A BurgTitle: Poetic Devices The title is of interest, and seems apt for this piece. There is a strong enough opening and a creative image the reader can relate to: “brain sneeze”. The first few lines establish the tone, as searching and trying to be productive. Lots of images detail the title and the similes help the reader establish the scene. Many images envisioned and they put the reader in front of the pc, drinking coffee, looking at weeds and yards, moving through the house, and possible walking dogs. This satisfies the reader’s sight. Alliteration “prime the pump, cups of coffee, constipation clumping” help the poem with sounds. As do the internal rhymes: “weed/breed, feckless/feeble, expectant/pregnant” to name a few. I get a sense of the narrator’s voice on the verge of needing to write and desperate for the spark of creativity. When looking at sentence structure, if I may suggest the rephrase the query of the opening > “You don’t write” = Do you write This will engage the reader immediately with relating to the “how” about themselves. The first stanza is one long sentence which weakens the action within when no punctuation helps the reader pause and retake up the flow. The reader is having to make a guess, which holds up the meaning. Perhaps a semi-colon would help break this up and re-direct the reader for impact of imagery – time to absorb the many images here. I suggest after word page is the natural place to do something to provide segue to the next images. 2nd stanza a colon after boasts would give the exclamation more emphasis. This stanza gives motivation to ponder it acts similar to an aside like in a play. I like this shift. 3rd stanza I don’t like the statement of “poetic constipation” might this be shown to the reader in a way of ideas being blocked, or the poet’s struggle? Otherwise it is a stark statement, jarring flow, for me and maybe it is just me. “pregnant gust” is good showing the gestation of a poem before its birth. The closure “So do I.” helps the reader not feel alone. I think “Amazing” does not add here, trust your reader to form this conclusion. The reader will take their feelings into the relating of “so do I”. imo The concepts of the title are developed – it works. I enjoyed the read. . . . regards 2005-02-20 11:08:13
Sir RealJames Edward SchanneTitle: Sir Real The title did not draw me into read this poem; I have come back to this a number of times in an effort to critique. I was not compelled, not sure why either. Perhaps the first line held me at bay. And so important is the beginning to interest the reader, one chance to hook and invite. The ending on this first line seems forced inversion or "box unseen" = unseen box Perhaps I need the image. Ponders if a re-arranging of the second with the first would help invite. I know it would mess with the other 2 lines also, but easy fixed in order. (a suggestion, you may have other ideas to help this) End stops give natural period pause or comma pauses, other types of punctuation could add some other drama; however, it is a choice to punctuatate or not. A method that works here in this modern sonnet form. "breathe" = breath Perhaps "the" is not needed: "to pierce the flames that swallow [the]details" Last line: "speeding faster (in) oblivions charger Some suggestions, I enjoyed the meter and content of this, it brings the science and nature of the ethereal in for the reader to ponder in the vastness of wonder that is being portrayed here. "static, infinity, trinity, breeze, existence rides (good one), oblivions charger" . . . . regards2005-02-18 11:44:34
Somewhere in the back of my mind I hear a melodyLeo WilderTitle: Somewhere in the back of my mind I hear a melody The title is bridging the first stanza; this adds some impact and sets up the tune of Silent Night. This affects the reader from the onset. I like the feel here and the sense of sound highlight. The parable-like ending to this piece stays with me, powerful in using the “lame walked” as compared to money and rates. The title adds to the poem, and it was clever to start the first stanza with known musical references. Silent and Holy night reverberate, however, I think the “three dog night, joy to the world” do not add much. I suggest if I may, that it could be propped up with stating this or imaging this some how; three dogs joyous to the world. I know the group and the song. Let the reader jump to the connection. 2nd stanza is good at laying out the foundation and time reference for the parable conclusion. Also, society issues in contrast to the Bethlehem of old as linked with Silent Night. This hits the title and pulls it into play. “dogwood tree” a great image and the sonic sounds ends with strength and gives to the reader. . . . . . regards 2005-02-18 01:47:22
Paper PlanesJesus Manuel LopezOh my, the first words hold my attention and wake me up after reading the title. I like “paper planes” and this initially sparked play and craft. However, first word “ heroin ” brings a whole other meaning, alluding to high flight, breaking barriers of control, power as a drug. Voluminous meaning here to start with and impacts the reader; therein having to make a choice of reading on and soliciting reader’s opinion on the subject. I have an interest to see how this poem deals with this subject; it doesn’t let me down in its unique approach. Language is concise words placed and chosen for affect. “recipe for flight” and “precision folds clean geometry” delivers intention and a tone asserting the perfection of the character and supposed safety, imo. I get confused with “the secret tear” and its link to eighteen year-old. I think a line break would help to pause for punctuation, or the punctuation itself would help. Does eighteen start a new sentence is my confusion. And is “tear” a verb or a noun? Its not clear. Imagery of “nude light bulbs” I expect these are the see-through to the filament glass type. I like this affect and it takes on the personal traits. Ed Sullivan gives a date and expectancy of time referencing. Good; gives some clues of performing and linked to the lifestyle of “paper planes”, in my opinion. Hits the title. This piece takes on the metaphor at this point as I am able to climb inside of the lines “plucked up by a beaming son”. Hits hard at emotes at this point. Tone changes to somber sadness at the allusion of death / frozen. (lead to believe over-dozing) sighs. Ending punches the reality. I get the clear sense of drugs inside the folded paper that gives flight like a paper airplane. I enjoyed this very much, even with subject matter. This is written in such a way to show perspective of poetic mind frame. Unusual look at this; leaves me haunted by flight and the images of airplanes that I never thought of before. Superb in that way. . . . . Regards PS: Sorry, I never read footnotes until after I read and critique the poem. I want the poem to stand on its own in its own light, the footnotes separate. Upon reading these, over-dozing is rightly said. The poem does stand on its own without the footnotes. I am sorry to hear of this sadness of step-brother. The poem captures the essence of the footnotes. Take care of you Jesus. 2005-02-16 21:01:17
I Can hear Humming Bird Wingsmarilyn terwillegerI like the title very fitting for this poem. A surrealism of sorts within this read. The descriptions are planned and the comprehension adores the reader. Truly an enjoyable read. Words chosen here are concise and suitable to bring the unique perspective of the narrator through to the reader in twists of the unexpected images. Internal slant rhymes and alliteration propell this poem as an adventure, always enthralled by the lingering title. A couple of tiny crits: Move "hill" back to previous line -- "that too. I adore morning creeping over the (hill) [hill] and twilight with its vermilion moon hanging Period at end, I am sure this has been overlooked. "I can hear humming bird wings(.)" The poem delivers its verses with competency; I enjoyed this much. There is so much to like here. I might venture to say this is much in the style of Robert Frost (blank verse), in my opinion. Its very well written with refreshing images. . . . . regards2005-02-16 01:00:36
Following the Tributary HomeMolly JohnsonTitle: Following the Tributary Home A title beckoning a reader to dare the journey; as it fills with nature. The image here sets somewhat of a tone. I approach the poem with desire to read. Opening line fills with interest, and directly hits the title. A lush image, I relate to B.C of Canada. This scene puts me there. The shift in stanza 2 is in tune with the title as moving homeward. imo. Also, bringing in the more personal descriptions the reader is clued for a metaphor. And it is well done via "your face...the sheets...". Last stanza is the strongest and blends the 2 previous for the powerful drama. Narrator presents this with good focus; some reading that I havent come across before -- unique. I esp. like "smooth constellation of your face" "my migration against your shore". Superb ending. Language is simple and has polished intention. I really have no crits to improve this. A fine poem. A joy to read. . . . . regards2005-02-16 00:41:04
Prelude To A Kissstephen g skipperTitle: Prelude To A Kiss Title has a sense of drama, as I expect love lines to unfold, I am curious how they will rhyme or fall, I want to know what the prelude is. Sentiments in the simple form of this poem, brings out the personal intimacy intended by the narrator. Well done. However, many lines and phrases are said this way many times. Try for the freshes and most unique way to describe the wish /kiss, longing/ loving. Break the barriers of images here, blow my mind with newness. Be my drama of love here. Some cliche phrases ex "thrill of the chase" tingles down my spine" "skin on fire" weakens this otherwise yearning poem. I like the sense of taste at the end -- bringing the arousal and passion to a summit. yum. This poem does capture the urgency of a kiss. I enjoyed and the meter was lively similar to a chase. . . . regards2005-02-16 00:18:00
Water SpiritsLatorial D. Faisontitle: Water Sprites Title is beckoning the reader offering a fantasy play on the word – sprites. And any water poem is a delight, most times, so I take jump in for the read. Simplicity is the strong point here, delivering the message 30 syllables. Perhaps this is a revised form of Tanka. 5-7-5-7-7 but not quite. Content is in past tense, present tense of swallowed may bring this into an immediate moment as of happening right now. Pull the reader into the action. Some vagueness about who their mother is … I ponder and want to add the word ‘sea’ to the end of this or some other reference to maternal – mother sea. I like the sense of freedom as the purpose. Inhumanity is an abstraction here, I am left guessing as to what is the cruelty. Perhaps it is the capture or the imprisonment as opposite to freedom. Water Sprites could be used here as an abridging title; starting with “swallow”, something to think about as I see the pronouns (they, their) maybe are not needed. An emdash can give a natural linkage and pause to import the image of free with leap but of course your way is so fine also. No punctuation suits this form. title: Water Sprites swallow the Atlantic to be free – leap over inhumanity to sink into the loving arms of mother I enjoyed this little thing, there is a comfort in the ending, nurturing and maternal protectiveness delivered in few syllables, very haiku like even -- good one a pleasure to read. It could even be tightened up more if one chooses to, by dropping "to"; depends what the narrator is seeking to accomplish, either way it works. . . . . regards 2005-02-15 00:44:10
Stranded at a Signless CrossroadJames Edward SchanneI have read this more than 4 times, trying to dicipher what the topic and meaning is of this piece; how the title fits or clues me. The title does not give me a clue as I take this image into the read, and refer back to it in my effort to reference the meaning from the body of the poem. The beginning "crumbs in the labyrinth" adds mystery and pulls me in, I want to read on. The first stanza, I feel tries to take on a metaphor for me, so I read on and try to figure. The meter moves the reader along, with intensity of hard and soft sounding words. Punctuation offers no clues to extra meaning, and perhaps its use here could give some importance to areas of focus. wonder = wander ? cave in = cave-in ? There are many word ending with "ing", leaving action at a minimum taking the reader only a little ways in feeling images. Perhaps present tense would hold the reader's attention and pull them into the read. I feel this is the weakness of this piece. I can't slip into the lines and become part of this as easy as I would like. The tone is one with a sort of violence, either an attack of one animal devouring another and the poem sets out to describe this. Not sure. I don't know; it's not laid out clearly. *ponders* a metaphor for a battle with disease. ? The ending is very strong imagery, the best part imo. again the title is left on its own. Geesh, I wish I could get this one cause I like the language used, but the meaning misses me. "plunge my hand in deep" I do not know even know where the hand goes into. sighs. Sorry I'm not understanding this one. Some good stuff within, it could be brought out to make this a gem, with some work. . . . . regards2005-02-14 22:33:59
Why We Sing......Paul R LindenmeyerTitle inviting me. First stanza brings alive the title sets the vast scene of the choir and music glorious abounding in 500 pipes, whew. I get a feeling of being apart of this scene. Common language works here to bring a sharper understanding and initiates the purpose to employ poetic device of alliteration throughout. Brings it into the play. I tripped a little because of verb resonance; perhaps a comma after resonance would give impact to resounding. The use of emdash would give extra pause for image of pipes and lead into the activity of last line here. Or perhaps the use of “resonant”, a suggestion. One hundred voices, behind and above. Five hundred pipes – resolute resonance, resounding. The punctuation needs addressing a tad for comma placements. “venial veil of silence”, works well here, imbuing forgiveness. The “nod” is good; it introduces the character – choirmaster. 3rd & 4th stanzas move away from the format of the other 2 stanzas, and imo I think weaken this piece. 3rd “hearing & listening mean same thing, suggest to drop one of them; perhaps “imparting” also, in order to structure the alliteration the same as first, brings consistency. It might work, just a suggestion. “The Choirmaster, 40 years listening, leading, lectored legacies.” 4th stanza, this is sense imagery to sound again consistent. I like what’s the narrator is trying to bring about here. This could be the strongest stanza. coelesce = coalesce (Canadian sp?) I think one too many “and”s in this verse; it needs a rephrasing a little. The possessive of “Cassavant’s” stumbles me in the meaning here. Is this a person or plural? Some confusion for me, sorry. Last stanza, the first line is tune with the rest heading for a summation. However, the last statement / quote is a telling one. I feel no adventure and I wish to climb into the meaning of an image here of what aria of music climaxes too, and yes it could be all of spiritual experience. Show me, invite me in to the Credo. The quote does not add much for me – rephrase or/and end at “Credo”. Trust the reader to touch their god sense. An unique poem, enjoyed. . . . . regards PS. Sorry, I never read the footnotes until after I critique the poem. This could have made a slight difference in my critique. I figure the poem must stand in its own right without footnotes. Interesting to read them now. Cassavant is explained. thanks. 2005-02-14 16:13:31
Shakespeare Lining the BirdcageJames Edward SchanneTitle: Shakespeare Lining the Birdcage The title is very creative, adds some humor from what I know of Shakespeare. The title gives some action and enthusiasm; curious I want to read on. I see this is a format of a sonnet, having no punctuation the reader will have to guess at the drama within. End stops help to pause the reader. The use of archaic language “thou – thy – me thinks” sets the title with Shakespeare however, in my opinion it is not needed, and looks a tad too intentional having it mostly in the first stanza; excepting “hence”. Lots to like in this piece, refreshing images “lyric bounced upon”. Feathers hit the title. This is a fun read when said out loud. The narrators voice deliberate and bold; taking a determined stance to deal with the simplicity of a bird cage in the drama unfolding. I delight. I like the “pitch absurd” as the narrator banters with Shakespeare – it rings of Old English. Squawking touches the sense; I hear it. It’s a great summation with the stances of a bird in pose. I can almost feel the metaphor at the end of this piece. Enjyed; a fine read; well done. . . . . regards2005-02-14 01:46:21
For The Dreamerstephen g skipperTitle: For the Dreamer This piece is very devotional in a personal way; written with descriptions that bring the character into view with blue eyes, blonde hair and reflecting the pair as King and Queen. All the interaction between the lovers, holding in arms, trembling, the placing of head, the freedom yearns and the flying have all been said many times before by many others. summer haze, halcyon days, lazy ways are all typical descriptions… Much of this simplicity of this piece shows a narrator’s voice is tender in love, youthful innocence, passionate towards the attraction of this girl. The repetitive lines “I had a dream last night that” shows the obsession and affectionate desire towards this union also, adding some impact of meaning. Last line > “you and I” = you and me Overall, this piece could be much improved by taking an unusual and refreshing look at the activities and descriptions of affections, find that unique way, that unique colour of eyes and make the reader feel/see the difference from all others that have gone before. Dare to push the difference – give a wow. . . . . regards 2005-02-14 00:37:42
Abstract AmbiguitiesJames Edward SchanneAfter reading this a couple of times it becomes very meaningful and shows intellectual approach to subject knowledge. The concept is followed through out the poem, never losing sight of the title and the purpose of its writing. A good flow of ideas and wording – truly the muse is active in this piece. Rhymes are consistent and any predictability is excused by the content of the line to be unique. imo One stumble of forced rhyme imo; this is with the word stole. This appears as verb, but could very well be changed to a noun which I think would relief the force and still keep the word stole on the end rhyme position. It means a slight rephrasing within that one line, to make the tea pot wear a stole, you know like the tea pot wears a tea cozy. Just a suggestion here, take or leave as you wish. Lots of things to like here, esp, - the spinning black hole - Descartes … existence - Rodinian stoned – superb link to the statue “the Kiss” - quotes and notes - implication of a fist – denoting strong emotion for an ending. I enjoyed this poem, even without its punctuation to guide me, the layout made its punctuation in line endings. It is very well written, one of your best I think. I like the science and psyche stuff and this has it. . . . regards 2005-02-11 22:47:34
Dreamer's LegacyJennifer Wilmot-LavigneSorry to hear of your Dad's passing. To write in his honor gives life to his memory. Bless you. Title: Dreamer’s Legacy The title is inviting; it gives a hint of personal drama. First line sets the scene; the reader is at the table. “and” could be dropped, use a comma instead. When moving to the second line and thereafter, I run into capitals at the beginning of each line, this does distract the reader, somewhat and one is guessing at where the sentences begin. There is confusion. If I may suggest, to use capitals only at the beginning of the sentence would give a clear direction of meaning as to what role the commas and semi-colons have within the piece. The details in the first stanza bring alive the scene, “mourning ritual” hits the title to tie it in. The use of an emdash after daughter could accentuate Pisces to Pisces. I like this added info or zodiac signs, shows inheritance also. good one. imo “from father to daughter – Pisces to Pisces.” Some of the first stanza could be tighten up. For me the poem starts at stanza 2; the strongest part of this poem, imo. Some unique phrasing here, very refreshing: “Pouring out from a carafe of ink to cup of paper, To drink in through smoking contemplation.” “A silent man, as I am woman,” this line not sure the meaning, perhaps referring to father? The “we soak it all in” perhaps could be rephrased. The word “it” is a tad rough to read and could be hidden within the phrasing. “Sponges of life, we soak it all in,” as sponges, we soak in life (something like that) poinient = poignant ? The last stanza, I see reflects the first stanza, this could be tighten and summed up more simply rather than drawing it out with fullness of what has been said already. I like the mirroring idea, it works, represents a hit to the title > dreamer’s. The reader wants to be left with the ethers of duplicity but not necessarily having to read it again, in my opinion. One line summation here could impact just as easily as 5 lines, and making an instant impact. I enjoyed this little peek into the legacy depicted here. . . . regards 2005-02-10 12:21:55
Beneath the LilacsLynda G SmithTitle: Beneath the Lilacs The title is very alluring and strikes a dynamic image for the reader. I could almost smell the scent of Lilacs. Beginning line sets the tone and scene, very relaxing and a surprise with jewel. This piece is inspirational. One nit I have is the capitals placed on the beginning of SOME of the lines, this is not done much in modern day, however was popular method of days agone; this distracts the reader and forces a guess as to where the pauses and stops are especially because of no other punctuation except one period. “to measure the distance of the toil[.]” If capitals are present they should be consistent throughout, at the beginning of sentences. (lines 13 & 14 do not have caps) One alternative is to, perhaps drop the capitals, this would work -- all or nothing with punctuation. However, punctuation is your friend and can lend drama to the piece. Some poems do not need punctuation but in present layout I think this one could use some which would also create sentence structure and assist the reader. However, another alternative would be couplets, which would lend themselves to the rhyme scheme here and this would give the right to the poem to stand without punctuation. Or use strategic stanza breaks, but I would go with the couplets. “beneath the bend of lilac bows in shaded solitude of hours a jewel lies in onyx skin dulled by ebb of life within above the monarch’s fragile wing fans the air of underling . . .” etc The last line would need a fix for couplets: “those kittled thoughts tranquility in death to find serenity” The meter is superbly done; dances the reader through. I enjoyed this read with its unique word choice. Somber ending leaves the reader with an emote of death tying in with life-cycle of monarch as is the natural way. Good one! . . . regards 2005-02-10 03:08:12
Red Feathermarilyn terwillegerTitle: Red Feather I like the title, attractive and sets an image for the reader. The beginning line invites the reader in. On first glance of the format, this appears to be prose form. I think to pare down this piece to a poetic form could give some immediacy to the message. Use the bare bones of this piece to unfold the poem, rather than expanding in a narrative with extra words and phrases. There are many “his” and “he” "that" some of which could be dropped and lines re-phrased to tighten this piece up for drama. example: “He was strong, young, and brave, skin glistened like burnished copper in the sun; long raven hair pulled back, secured with deer sinew, one red feather tucked inside; a bare waist, with only a leather loin cloth -- muscles sinewy and rigid.” The lines are lengthy and the breaks could be done to give shorter lines. This also, would help the reader to move through the piece easily; grasping the descriptive images and action with in a quicker delivery and words more to the point. The choice as to where to break the lines could be improved upon; best not to break after word “and, to” or a “the” as the reader is left hanging with an incomplete thought. I love the adventure in this piece. It is unique, not knowing what is coming next, with a pleasant feel to the experience. The narrator has a grace for story telling/writing. Some of the images are a tad over-modified with more than one adjective per noun/verb. This can weaken them; choose these carefully make every one count. I enjoyed this read esp. part with moon/stars and esoteric sky. This adds a spiritual quality to the mood and adds another feature to the man as the piece moves towards a summation. . . . . regards 2005-02-10 02:24:19
Tree and LeafJane A DayTitle: Tree and Leaf ~ The title is appealing and invitational to the reader. Its simplicity forms an image and is clear. First line I suggest drop "the", as it is specifies a certain liquid which is not described here, so it confuses. "Does liquid amber pity its leaves". (Does tree's/sun's liquid amber pity the leaves) There is always a risk when using "it/its", as the reference to what it is must be close so clarity is given. I would think "its" is the tree leaves? but not sure. I think a connection word after leaves would help the flow into the second line. Perhaps "with/as". The em-dash here may not act in the best interest of the connection. "Does [the] liquid amber pity its leaves (with) birdshit and wind, the caterpillar and nesting" The rest of the first stanza is filled with delightful images, unique in wording. Perhaps present tense for will stay will help give some instant drama to the child's hand. The word "still" to me is fluff imo. > "a crumpled fragment of earth" brings this to an emote instantly. "Do [its] branches hum out a lullaby? "Do branches hum out a lullaby?" its, is understood here, not needed. Again with "Do [its] roots ... "amber sway" is a little stumble in reading. The place for a question is a good one. However, a tad abstract is amber, and this goes back to what is meant in the beginning line of this piece. The image of boats in the gutter comes alive. good one. However, not sure if the rhyme with clutter works as no other end rhymes are in this piece. If I may suggest moving the clutter within the line rather than at the end; I think the poem for me ends with this line as a summation. A shift in the last stanza moves away in another direction addressing the poem and the Me or I. This seems more like a bit of a ponder within, imo, does not add to the rest of the imagery or content, rather a distraction; this last stanza is the weakest part. I like being left with the image of the old man and his clutter, as this character is a live on the mind screen and I can settle with a feeling of being satisfied with a dramatic finish to the poem, and the summation hitting the title "trees and leaf" at this point. Overall, a good read, I enjoyed. . . . regards 2005-02-05 02:29:09
Dialectic DiademsJames Edward SchanneTitle: Dialectic Diadems First is the title, interesting and voluminous in meaning (contradictions merge and crown/sovereignty or self-governing). Unique is the title and it may confuse the average reader with its meaning. I was curious as to the intellectual approach here of the narrator. The opening line addresses the title, good one, however it needs a verb to present a sequay into line two. (are/were lead astray). The phrase "pummelled logic" has nice feel when read out loud. The first stanza is hits the title and sets the poem on a good beginning. Punctuation would aid the reader in knowing where the ends of sentences are without having to guess. The read would be smoothed and help place the rhymes. The rhyming seems forced in Line 8; an inversion "to quick a fix" is awkward. Again, Line9 inversion to force the rhyme is awkward to read, messes with logical meaning. This line in particular is where punctuation might fix the problem using a period or an em-dash after bidding. This would force a pause and then breathed would begin the next thoughts easily. "loaded questions" hits the title and the reader is tugged along in the mystique of solution. "circumnavigating" is a tongue twister esp. on the first read through, not sure if it gives the most drama to the alliteration of "differences and dice". "powers of passing" good alliteration works well here. Line 11 again is not clear to me, again some rephrasing of punctuation may help. Esp. – “which turns dependence spin”. This inversion does not work for my understanding even as it connects with wheels. "crowns made of divergent panaceas" this hits the title, good one and the summation works giving closure to thoughts. I am satisfied with the read and feel the end. I think there may be a better word out there, than "swelling", I get the picture of what you mean, it just seems "ideas" could be made more accentuated with another word. I enjoyed the dawdle through the verse. . . . . regards 2005-02-05 01:34:51
Seasons and FlightMark D. KilburnTitle: Seasons and Flight I was draw by the title. The first line asking this question doesn't perk me up to draw my interest. Perhaps a rephrasing could acentuate the song of spring. Second line is awkward, "hummingbirds a song to sing"? a verb would help project the action of singing. "I wonder what that song would be, matching their sateen beauty." I suggest to drop the wonder part, let the reader take up the wondering. Suggest what song, of classic note, or western tune etc. The reader then hears the song. The strength of this piece is in touching on the senses with the following, as they come alive for the reader: "wings cool as ... snow" - touch "a blabber mouth" - sound "blue as water" maybe a cliche, but appeals to sight "cold sky black" - sight, touch "form a flying heart" - sight and symbol -- heart "airbrushed on" - sight "choke the land" - touch I find there are many repetitious ideas within, saying the same thing only using different words. I feel it is an attempt to bring the rhymes to a flow, and add length. It becomes tedious and over-embellished, losing me to find the true focus of each unique season or flight, or of what the title is suggesting. for example: Autumn hawks are still around... ... ... from that hawk above it all. for example: "Winter finds it’s cold way back flocks of crows turn a cold sky black," Much of this could be reduced to state more simply and give a more direct delivery to the action and the images. Allow the images to work rather than depend on the rhyme. I like to be held in the image, to feel the sense of it, not to be wisked away to quickly by rhyme. I think the rhyme tends to dance around much of what the poem is trying to bring to the reader. Maybe, its just my sensibilities here also. There is a dreamy illusive quality to this piece, it oozes with enchantment of seasons add the rhyme quality and the reader is lulled to a serene mood, somewhat. Therein the rhyme does its job, leaving content amiss in some places. "Hearts last only a short time; I thought of all lost friends of mine," The line thought of all lost friends of mine -- seems misplaced for the content here; unless the crows are the friends, which I seem to think ppl are... it is not clear. This line could be dropped and not be missed, imo. I see the layout of birds to seasons within each stanza. However, I did look to see how the title hits the body, I found that it did successfully. The last stanza with similie: "Fall sneaks in like a midnight thief fresh and cool but all too brief," I am not sure if the thief is fresh and cool, or the Fall is. Perhaps misplaced here, I suggest to move the fresh and cool closer to the Fall sneaks; if that is the intent. "Fall sneaks in fresh and cool like a midnight thief -- all too brief." The ending sums up the season of winter, but not so much the flight. The poem ends for me at "to the warmer skies." Perhaps a shift in first two lines of this stanza to the bottom, may bring the ending to hit the title. Just a suggestion. . . . . regards2005-02-04 12:30:23
A Right To RutJames Edward SchanneTitle: A Right To Rut One captial letter sets the beginning, however I deem it is misplaced. It promises punctuation but there is none to fill this promise. First crit if I may suggest is to add punctuation. This will help the reader to define the meaning clearly. Help the reader to know when to stop on a period, pause on a comma. The reader doesn't want to have to guess. Also, punctuation in this would help with the words ending "ing", I expect some periods would change some of these less action word to present or past tense, therein adding some power and impact to action within this poem. Some very good stuff as far as images, they need to brought out, set apart as an image with a place of their own. This can be done with the verbs. This piece starts off with intriguing first line. I like. I am interested to read on. I like "erasers" being armed, a good image. This piece could be pared down some to give some impact to lines, and add some quick action delivered to the reader. example: "returning nature spirited away" nature returns -- spirited away to an equilibrium of the bland; May I suggest, to focus on what needs to be said, a strong beginning needs a tie in with the ending. The title is interesting and does hit the meaning of the first stanza, imo. but I struggle to grasp how its the rest of the body. I see the format is an attempt to be sonnet, not sure if it fills this intent. . . . . mpony2005-02-03 21:42:46
A Web WithinLennard J. McIntoshTitle: A Web Within I like the title, it draws me into read. I was curious to see what is happening within. The first two words "In insight" are not inviting me further to read along. This first line is narrative and could be reworked to pull me in. Short and direct is best and in present tense. I like the ideas of beyond spider web patterns. This image is on the mind screen. However, to use web so close in the same idea weakens. These two lines could be rephrased to give a more direct read. example: [the insight of the writer, webs the design beyond the spider's pattern.] or something like that. I suggest the use of stronger verbs also, for example "takes". I suggest cut down to the bare bones of the message and let it come out in shorter lines with images and similies adding to the journey. This would mean some re-pharasing and rearrangment of line breaks which give a different import to the meaning, which I think needs a little help coming out. I am not relating a personal experience through the read. The narration fails to deliver feelings to me; like an outsider needing and image window to crawl through to become a character's view point, to cry, to laugh, to greive, to haunt with as I leave the poem. I think this written in first pronoun may bring out the gem that this. . . . regards2005-02-01 23:24:57
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