This Poem was Submitted By: Lennard J. McIntosh On Date: 2005-02-08 23:56:04 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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The Winter of 04

It was a storm to seize the land, squeeze it in a bear-hug and grind it into submission. Born in the mid-west,  it drove its fury north-east to impregnate a south-east gale. Then, power driving power threaded a hair-trigger fuse to explode waist-high snow That lunged like a tyrant, frigid enough to give cold steel the shivers, Fearsome enough to snatch lives away and offer heartbreak in return – The winter of 04.

Copyright © February 2005 Lennard J. McIntosh

This Poem was Critiqued By: Sandee L McMullan On Date: 2005-03-07 09:52:53
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.53488
Title: 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

This Poem was Critiqued By: Tony P Spicuglia On Date: 2005-03-03 17:29:31
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Lennard, as always an image filled verse of perspective. There is, I believe, a greater metaphor of life and living, the good and the bad, the righteous and the evil, but you leave the door open wide enough for all of us to take a moment of thought, and decide. In stanza one, you leave ambiguity, the use of “seize” and “grind into submission” vie against “squeeze”, and “bear-hug”. The stanza seems to say, some may love winter, I may even love it at times, but this is different. Stanza two is a reference stanza, to place us at the point of the boon/crime. Yet you still leave in the fight of love/hate, with “drove”, meaning permission, and “impregnate” usually a well received, wondrous condition. Excellent. Stanza three is the first to add a definitive, “this is different” feel of winter. “Driving power”, Hair-trigger”, “explode”, all contain foreboding. Even ending the stanza with the work “snow” is not enough to dispel the gloom. Stanza four dispels whatever kindness might remain. “lunged”, “frigid” (I always like frigid, its dualism of meaning easily denotes both the temperature, and the dying pro0perty of winter), “cold”, “steel”, “shivers”, this is a bad thing, no matter any preconceived thoughts on the matter. Fearsome enough to snatch lives away and offer heartbreak in return – You share with us the soul stealer, the thief that takes the most valuable, and leaves the worst personal trauma. Lennard, this piece is a definitive of evil as it is of unsightly weather. How powerfully to transition us from whatever kindness we might feel towards winter, till the end, when the reevaluation, precludes any kindness. Powerful, excellent, thanks for the charge in my afternoon.
This Poem was Critiqued By: arnie s WACHMAN On Date: 2005-03-01 19:18:45
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.65385
Well Lennard, that's why I moved away from Northern Alberta to sunny west coast of BC. NO more snow. I had enough of 40 below and wind and snow and ice and...well you got the picture all right. I would suggest that you get rid of the capitalization That lunged like a tyrant.....................on this line 'cause it interrupts to flow from the previous stanza and as well from the next one. Thanks for the bitter reminder!! That's one scene I don't miss.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2005-02-18 17:36:43
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Dear Len: This is a very masculine poem. That it doesn’t attribute the destruction of a storm to the female gender is very refreshing. You use sounds to intensify the images. The ‘z’ sound in “seize/squeeze” and the plosive sounds in “bear-hug/born”, “power/impregnate”, “tyrant/trigger”and hard ‘c’ of “cold” all add strength to the work. Especially effective, in this reader’s estimation,are the guttural g’s in “bear-hug/grind/impregnate/gale/hair-trigger/frigid” becausethey suggest effortful resistance. Though of courseresistance to such a storm is a futile undertaking. Preparation would seem to be the only balm; that, surviving to write of it in the past tense. There is something awe-inspiring about a storm such as this one which has seized the land. There’s no doubt about humanity’s inability to control or forestall the storms of nature and of life. Without stating so directly, this piece makes me realize once again that to be among the living is grace. I’ve always loved storms – must be the majestic power in them that gives me a sense of awe. Your poem does this and also instills gratitude that I live in a more temperate clime. However, we do have volcanoes and earthquakes! “frigid enough to give cold steel the shivers, Fearsome enough to snatch lives away and offer heartbreak in return” Wonderful image – cold steel having shivers! Scary, too – and I hope that no one in your close acquaintance was lost to the storm’s tyranny. Superbly well-written, in this reader’s estimation, and I'm certain, that of others. Bravo! My best to you, Joanne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Paul R Lindenmeyer On Date: 2005-02-11 17:06:30
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Leonard, this piece resonates with cold, chilling realities and wonderful alliterations. It is vivid and portrays well the fiece nature of winters might. Almost makes me want to book a vacation in the southern hemisphere asap. I dropped you an e-mail on the piece, and hope I did not infringe, but it is hard to critique in this space, since the layout is so important to such short lines and length of the post. Always a pleasure to read your work. Thanks for the post, Peace, Paul
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne Duval Morgan On Date: 2005-02-09 19:43:48
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Whew!! Take about frigid sensations, sounds like s storm to remember (I do remember it believe me) Aside from a frigid storm, you caught the heartache, the fear, living without electricity/telephone, snow poled up, and continued to fall, giving no quarter. The poem caught all the nuances, and left the reader feeling the discomfort. No pearly, flashy termanology needed, ordinary language laid out systematically, each word building into a final burst that makes the reader feel all the sensations and drive a picture of what it looked like. Yes the Winter of 04 was a storm to cover immense areas and leaving noone from the Central to the Norteast feeling the discomfort of it all. Great descriptives, using the 04 Storm ungrains its effect of a time frame, and the words will long outlive the writer, it's one of those keepers. Best regards, Jo Morgan
This Poem was Critiqued By: Rachel F. Spinoza On Date: 2005-02-09 13:06:12
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hi, Len I think I would like to know the area [mid-Canada?] where the brunt of this amazing snow storm happened] Perhaps that could be an addendum? The Winter of 04 It was a storm to seize the land, squeeze it in a bear-hug [wonderful powerful stanza and great allusion] and grind it into submission. Born in the mid-west, [Born and raised a Winnipegger, I can relate to this - my nose is still cold] it drove its fury north-east to impregnate a south-east gale. [great verb -] Then, power driving power threaded a hair-trigger fuse to explode waist-high snow {WOW - this takes me home again!] That lunged like a tyrant, frigid enough to give cold steel the shivers, [I adore your use of metaphor and personification in this piece] Fearsome enough to snatch lives away and offer heartbreak in return – [this ine seems a little ordinary for this powerful piece.] The winter of 04. Good ending for a fine, evocative, piece.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Claire H. Currier On Date: 2005-02-09 07:52:49
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.85714
Like the title Winter of 04 rather then Blizzard of 04 as most people would think of a storm of this character, and since this has been such a harsh winter in many other areas of the world I am certain they associate with it for their own reasons.....good structure, the word flow brings forth the images as one travels along watching this form take form and hold, the people with their fears mounting and preparations being made for safety, those who even leave their home in hopes of not losing it......that often happens in storms with blackouts, looting, fires, we had such a bad firre here in our little town that many of the firemen fighting it that cold snowy night were hospitalized while one tenant died from the smoke inhalation alone......horrors a winter storm can bring.....indeed much heartbread associated with the winter of 04..... You covered the entire USA with this one poet and a fine job indeed. Thanks for posting, sharing with us and putting in the hopes of Spring to safe, God Bless, Claire
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