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|Poem Title||Poet Name||Critique Given by Mark Andrew Hislop||Critique Date|
|The Four Guardians||James C. Horak||JCH What gives? Who lost their jobs, where's the press about this? Are you seriously suggesting Obama wants to be El President para la Eternidad? You've got my (albeit limited) attention. MAH||2013-11-06 06:52:09|
|The Local Pharisees||Mark Steven Scheffer||MSS I'm the worst of friends, the worst of readers. This is the first of yours I've read since...well, since last time :-) But I'm reading it thinking "I don't know who this is specifically about, but if MSS is cussin' their overfed asses, I am too." I just killed a mosquito. Bully for me :-) MAH||2013-11-06 06:45:06|
|Same Old||Mark Steven Scheffer||MSS This reminds me of Frida Kahlo..."I hope the exit is joyful — and I hope never to return". The anti-poem meets the anti-crit. There's something of the anti-poem sentiment that hangs over coming back to TPL...the poem could be an emblem of the place, and the (doubtless) morbid fascination found in watching it disappear. We have come and gone so many times. One day the departure will be final. But not today. Nice to seee you/read you again. MAH||2013-08-02 04:09:55|
|Anonymously||Mark Steven Scheffer||MSS Your voice is not profane. So keep singing. MAH||2012-07-16 02:22:12|
|Unraveled||cheyenne smyth||Dear Chey It seems you and I are writing from parallel universes in our most recent posts...except where I end mine with a sense of resignation, you end with slightly more of an active sense of hope... ...and guess that's why I like this :-) Best wishes Mark||2012-06-09 22:03:43|
|Crappy days are here again||Howard D. Palmer||Dear Howard It's funny, isn't it, that we sometimes look back on the so-called dark ages of mankind thinking it was all very nasty, brutish and undemocratic back then. But it's every bit as bad now :-( Mark||2012-03-07 19:12:25|
|As the World Churns..or...Caveman Crossing||Ellen K Lewis||Dear Ellen This is a nicely philosophical piece...zen-like, but with a Christian after-burn: "mankind...clinging to his soiled self". "I have met the enemy and he is Us." :-) Mark||2012-03-07 19:10:28|
|Catching the Moment||Dellena Rovito||Dear Dellena This a fun one...an ordinary moment, nicely magnified. I can feel my stomach churning :-) Mark||2012-03-07 19:03:23|
|Running on Empty||DeniMari Z.||Dear Deni It's a sorry state, to be sure... "just to hear sound that matters" in this society...we'll be waiting a very long time. Mark||2012-03-07 19:02:06|
|Painter’s Society||Lora Silvey||Dear Lora [Before the poem, a question: would you consider using a different font for your poems ... Times New Roman or Goudy Old Style, perhaps? It will add more "weight" :-) ] ...and this IS a weighty poem. It has echoes of the Lord of the Rings to it ... One Ring to rule them all. I was going to offer my read on what this could be referring to, but what's the point? It covers a multitude of sins, and strongly. Best wishes, Mark.||2012-03-04 19:43:04|
|Petals and Parchment||Lora Silvey||Dear Lora Some nice moments here. In the context of the overall poem, "The stonecutter etches deeply/the memberance of life’s full circle with/a dispassionate precision" really stands out to me. In fact, "dispassion" is probably the key word for the whole poem. It is detached without being aloof, moved without being shattered... ...a nice tone throughout. Best wishes Mark.||2012-03-04 19:29:31|
|Cedar Swing||cheyenne smyth||Dear Chey I like "I close my eyes hoping/for a clear memory/of the day/hung it there" ... it's like a suspended chord at the end of a song, fixing one's attention on waiting for an end that doesn't come ... except that it IS the end :-) Nice one. Mark.||2012-03-04 19:12:55|
|Carnival Glass||Dellena Rovito||Dear Dellena It's a nice dual movement you've got going on here. It's almost possible to read three separate poems here: the left one, the right one, and that one made by splicing them together ... almost like getting three views of the same scene. The poem is as playful as its subject :-) Best wishes Mark.||2012-03-04 19:04:27|
|May I Have This Romance?||Ellen K Lewis||Dear Ellen I like the sense here of an old couple who are as in love now as they were when they were young... ...a state for us all to aspire to, don't you think? Best wishes, Mark.||2012-03-04 18:59:51|
|Under Your Spell (with correction)||Lora Silvey||Dear Lora Your poems this month move from twinkle-eyed grandma to hormone-ravaged teenager...quite a range :-) I like the immediacy of this. Everyone knows the deal here... ...and the destination. Best wishes, Mark.||2012-03-01 18:25:21|
|Saturday’s Delight||Lora Silvey||Dear Lora Makes me want to go back to my grandma ... :-) Mark.||2012-03-01 18:20:53|
|Fighting Tears||cheyenne smyth||Dear Chey I'm in a maudlin mood this morning. That's why this poem reminds me of Khalil Gibran: "But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires ... To know the pain of too much tenderness." I guess you know the feeling :-) Mark.||2012-03-01 18:19:30|
|Who's The Dog?||DeniMari Z.||Dear Deni The idea is neat and tidy in its presentation. But I'd love to see you do a bit more with the form, here. Best wishes, Mark.||2012-03-01 18:15:11|
|Ash Wednesday Black Face||Mark Steven Scheffer||MSS It may jingle. But it's loud and clear. And no-one mistakes you for the village idiot. MAH||2012-02-24 13:32:36|
|Wondering||Dellena Rovito||Dear Dellena I thought I caught the reference! But irrespective of that...this is a profound, philosophical piece. I caught myself thinking as I read this "The real question is...why do we give a SHIT about these questions??" Yet we do. Can you imagine a world we where didn't ask? "cause we never really have been"...that really is the clincher. There is NO objective evidence that we actually exist, you know! But truly, I really enjoyed this. I was caught and carried along from the first stanza. Mark||2012-02-22 03:56:40|
|Candles Burn Out||DeniMari Z.||Dear Deni After pain, memory is the real curse :-( This is very tender... Best wishes, Mark||2012-02-22 03:51:44|
|Time Travel||Mark Steven Scheffer||MSS So "everything was pure/holy" but "the future lost/its edge: we had/been there/today"? Does it get any more dire? MAH||2012-02-12 18:47:42|
|Undiscovered||cheyenne smyth||Dear Chey Don't you feel it when you're at the source? This entire poem say: Yes, you do. This is sublime. Mark.||2012-02-10 19:32:35|
|Tombstones||cheyenne smyth||Dear Chey You know I only say these things because I love you... S1 is a brilliant set up...the mood, the tone, the imagery... it rocks :-). S2 dips a little, but S3 recovers the lost ground. Finally, S4 and S5 (particularly) are ... droopy. Almost like you were in such a hurry to get out of the graveyard that you dropped your shovel. What I'm saying here is that I think you've done at the 'stanza level' in this poem what I bitched about you doing at the 'word level' in "The Lagoon". I'll be blunt: I think you get lazy sometimes :-) (though it's probably unfair of me to judge others by my own low standards!!) Seriously, S1 and S3 are the standouts here. I love the premise of the poem. It reminded me of "The Myth of the Grave" by John Kinsella: http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/kinsella-john/the-myth-of-the-grave-0527012# Best best wishes, Mark xx||2012-02-08 19:03:01|
|i woke up and read keats||Mark Steven Scheffer||MSS I'm guessing she's younger than you are. Explains the adolescent fantasy overtones here :-) "Let them go"? Don't flatter yourself: they were always gonna leave. MAH||2012-02-08 18:42:32|
|Timing||Dellena Rovito||Dear Dellena I've read this one several times, trying to get a fix on my response to it. While I like it, I think overall it just doesn't quite come together for me :-( Sorry. E.g. in the first stanza: "Babies are born one upon another/Yet troubled earth is fixed to blow/With unease suffers the mothers". The first image makes me think of a "pile of babies", which is probably NOT what you're after. Further on, because I'm so anal, I go looking for punctuation to help me grasp this, but there's no such help...and the lack of noun/verb agreement (either "suffers the mother" or "suffer the mothers", NOT "suffers the mothers") is confusing. I guess all I'm really saying is that this one doesn't seem to have the flow you usually achieve. Best wishes, Mark.||2012-02-07 20:43:47|
|The Lagoon||cheyenne smyth||Dear Chey Lovely vignette ... lovely memory-snapshot of a beautiful moment. It feels to me like it has a background of sadness to it that it actually probably doesn't...but that's just me reading things into it :-) One thing frustrates me about you. It's that on the one hand, you'll often use (what's a kind word for it?) tired expressions like "gossamer lace", but then trot out something like "honeyed lips caressed my smile" that shines and captures attention like an unexpected firefly. I want more of your fireflies, honey. :-) Mark.||2012-02-07 20:29:06|
|Money Train||DeniMari Z.||Dear Deni I enjoyed this. It's a very restrained and polite complaint about the way things are, but makes the point firmly. Neat. Best wishes, Mark.||2012-02-07 20:22:17|
|Visiting the Old Blog||Mark Steven Scheffer||MSS Mmmmmmm......smoked butt. My favourite. MAH||2012-02-07 19:52:58|
|Missed Tear||cheyenne smyth||Chey Some lovely moments in here, My fave: "wept anew/as it came back to me/unopened". Mark xx||2012-02-07 19:51:44|
|On a Piano Bench in Sunlight||Mark Steven Scheffer||MSS What IS this hideously subjective business? It's a JCH quote, it's a mug's game. I'm so stuck on "I was there", it's not even funny. MAH||2012-02-06 19:38:44|
|...And You're Invited||Steve A Van Allen||Dear Steve She should be delighted. Especially because you're still courting her even AFTER you're married. :-) Best wishes Mark.||2012-02-06 19:35:29|
|Cold (age’s shimmer)||Lora Silvey||Dear Lora The chill blows through every word in this. You sustain the pitch throughout really well. The ending in particular "so hands can no longer button or tie knots/just as feet now move only to wavering gate" ... is so stark, it's heartwrenching. One of the best of yours that I've read. Best wishes, Mark.||2012-02-06 19:12:41|
|Jewels Gleam||cheyenne smyth||Dear Chey I think the clue for me here was "And fills my inkless pen with words again"... ...this one seems like the kind of poem you write to prime yourself for what's to follow :-) An exercise. This one doesn't have your usual kind of flow, baby. Mark.||2012-02-06 17:57:44|
|Not a poem DON'T VOTE ON THIS||James C. Horak||JCH "No honest poet can ever feel quite sure of the permanent value of what he has written." I always knew it: all I have to do is put a big enough chip on my shoulder, and I'll be admitted to The Guild :-) MAH||2012-02-06 00:28:21|
|Wishing||Kimberly D Rowe-Van Allen||Dear Kimberley The heartache is all too evident in this one. Who hasn't felt this? I particularly liked your variations in the last three stanzas. The contrast was nicely set up by the pattern you established through the first eight stanzas...which were a kind of left/right/left/right trudging through emotions that represent the last things on earth you would really want to be feeling. Best wishes, Mark.||2012-02-06 00:13:33|
|Friendships||Kay C Steward||Dear Kay There's no doubt you've caught the major elements of friendships here, and your tone is nicely consistent throughout. I think one of the dangers, though, in acrostic poems is the tendency towards "bitty-ness", i.e. a handful of "one-line thoughts", and I don't think you've competely avoided it here. For example: "In our life time; life line/Easy, taking our time" looks at first like an enjambed line...except that it's not. As a result, although the individual lines - when read separately - are fitting, as currently presented they don't seem to me to flow as gently as perhaps they could. Punctuation would probably do a lot to fix this throughout. Best wishes, Mark.||2012-02-06 00:05:48|
|Seek Escape||cheyenne smyth||Dear Cheyenne Now there's one that speaks to the wound in us all :-) Makes me want to reach for my opium pipe and check out for once and for all. It does hit precisely on a raw nerve...at least for me, at least today. The word "snicker" grated a little, however, even though it gives the sense of dreams mocking us as they vanish ... so I know what you mean. Best wishes, Mark.||2012-02-05 23:52:48|
|John 3:5||Mark Steven Scheffer||MSS You're a John Donne for the 21st century. I say that because it seems to me that this is fiery, ignited. Heathen that I am, you moved me with this. Sustained power here. But beyond that fleeting aberration, don't get your hopes up, sonny. Some of us are beyond redemption :) MAH||2011-09-04 22:16:58|
|Ocher Leaves||cheyenne smyth||Chey THE line of this piece is "I'll send the breath you need to journey on". I'd say in that one line is the springboard to your future writing, because: * it's visionary: it senses and communicates more than it "says" * it's universal: everyone can access it * it's original: fresh, fresh, fresh * it's apoetic: there is no sense of it being written "to be poetic". This is a badge of honour. * it's essential: i.e. essential to and of YOU. I single this line out because in my view it stands far above every other line in the poem. But it's not enough to raise the raise the rest of the poem up to its level. That's YOUR job :) Go to it. Mark||2010-10-30 21:10:12|
|The Cost of Life||Mandie J Overocker||Dear Mandie This is a lament, indeed, and a powerful one ... though I found "razor's edge" and "mirrored lies" a bit clunky. Very moving. Best wishes, Mark||2010-10-30 20:56:54|
|Serenity||cheyenne smyth||Chey I like how you've sustained the mood through this ... not as if you don't do that with your other poems ... I guess what I'm saying is not just that I like how you've sustained the mood, but also the choice of mood to sustain. I actually feel refreshed as I read it. Mark||2010-10-30 20:06:31|
|This Mask||cheyenne smyth||Hello Cheyenne Looks like we've been reading from the same book... I can feel this one. Best wishes, Mark||2010-10-30 05:56:17|
|Life's Sentence||Thomas Edward Wright||TEW It always SEEMS easy. Twerp. MAH P.S. And this is an example of why it seems.||2010-03-06 03:51:19|
|I Want to See Their Face Before...||James C. Horak||JCH This is the poem of the month, as far as I'm concerned. It's also the best of yours I've seen in some time. It is a poem of raw clarity. Yes. I like. MAH||2010-03-01 03:51:21|
|To A Muse, Who||Thomas Edward Wright||TEW What happened, Heracles? Lose a drinking contest with Dionysus? I think I'll console myself with a nymph. Nymphs are SO last week. MAH||2010-02-28 14:51:55|
|Point Road Snow||Thomas Edward Wright||TEW I dunno. Those peat fires are awfully smelly. The last story I told encouraged a whole bunch of people to go West. And look what happened to THEM. And you reckon YOU shivered. MAH||2010-02-24 11:10:28|
|My Quill||cheyenne smyth||Dear Cheyenne This is a much clearer show of your capability. The fact that it's cross-rhymed iambic pentameter is NOT what makes it better. It's that it is clear you had to work at this to get it sounding right. "the trees are stark as ships without their sail" is damn good, as good an image as I've seen lately. Mind you, there are a couple of spots that still need some elbow-grease: "when poets paint with words in grand detail" is, again, too easy. As Billy Connolly would say, it's beige. Also, the rhythm is a bit wrenched, too. Overall though I like it. I'd suggest though that you broaden your rhythmic palette a bit. Strict iambic pentameter carried on for too long starts to feel like a jackhammer outside your door on a Sunday morning. Try substituting some other feet every now and then for variation. Best wishes Mark||2010-02-24 03:55:20|
|Fire Gazer||Dellena Rovito||Dear Dellena A great improvement! Best wishes, Mark||2010-02-24 03:39:48|
|February Contest Results||James C. Horak||JCH I've weakened. I'm going to resubmit. What the hell! MAH||2010-02-24 03:27:57|
|Poem Title||Poet Name||Critique Given by Mark Andrew Hislop||Critique Date|
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