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Public Reviews
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This poem had me in stitches. I literally laughed aloud when I got to this line:

"As flatulent arbiter of twitterary finesse,"

And you followed it up with some much more gut-clenching, snort-inducing stuff. I love how you used extensive vocabulary (some of which was invented) to show your character's wild pedantic flair.

Expertly done! I had to share a link to this one with a few of my friends. Can't wait to keep diving into your portfolio. :)
Review of A Moment  
Review by WriterAngel
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
I love this poem. It's so minimalist, but it does a wonderful job of capturing an seemingly mundane but quite intimate-feeling moment.

Eyes, lips, and fingers are the most sensual body parts, in my opinion, and your romantic poem touches on them all. There's something inherently sultry about running fingers through hair, at least when in this sort of context. That action kicks off the poem before it transitions seamlessly from the speaker's hair to their eyes. The speaker's eyes connect to that of their romantic interest, which is the most intimate of all connections. The poem then transitions to lips, which smile as the two lovers share a special moment.

The poem is smolders using simple body language. You used 26 words with admirable efficiency to craft a sequence of images that scream romance. Nice work! :)

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review of Starlight Parlor  
Review by WriterAngel
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi there! After seeing that this shared the same name as your blog, I was curious about it. Would you mind sending me a link?

As for the poem whose name it shares, I really like it!

The opening stanza sets a thoughtful, contemplative scene that conjures to mind some of my favorite camping moments. I love the way that the conversation and fire are linked, both dying down simultaneously to feed that feeling of descending into a calm reverie.
Laying on bedrolls
under starry starry sky,
conversations begin to taper
while the campfire slowly dies.

Just a couple of suggestions. Rather than repeat "starry", maybe use a different adjective that adds something new. Doubling down on "starry" reinforces the image, but I can't help wondering if using "glimmering" or "shimmering" would do more. Also, maybe a more visual or auditory image for the campfire dying? Like "while the snaps of the campfire grow silent" or "while the glow of the campfire dims".

And this stanza turns the imagery that you created in the first stanza more intimate. It's like a quiet moment between lovers.
But we talking keep softly
of things that only come up here,
Here in Starlight Parlor
Just thou and I my dear.

The phrasing of the first line is interesting. I puzzled over that a bit and decided that I like it as is. Changing the word order works to give the line a different feel that helps to establish the intimacy by emphasizing the word "keep". I like the old-fashioned "thou" in the final line too. It calls forth the feel of a wedding vow. And "Starlight Parlor" is just brilliant. I couldn't think of anything that I could suggest to change about the final stanza.

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful work. I hope you choose to share more soon. :)

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review by WriterAngel
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
I love this poem. The rhyming gives it a beautiful sound. In that, it makes use of an almost hip-hop-style sort of repetition, though written more elegantly and eloquently. The entirety of each stanza rhymes, tying together each four-line expression of a single thought.

The way the poem is written gives the impression of the growing plant photo prompt that inspired it...
The imagination,
over generations
continues germination
leading to Creation.

And the Gulliver's Travels reference is apt even as it suits the rhyme scheme...
What begins as Lilliputian
soon will start the execution
of a single-minded revolution
which will come to be known as Evolution.

Very well done! It's some of the best poetry I've ever seen in Express It in Eight. :)

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review of Poetry is...  
Review by WriterAngel
In affiliation with The Poet's Place  
Rated: E | (5.0)
I absolutely love this celebration of poetry... in a poem. The images are sensory and vivid, and the joy you find in it really shines through.

"Dancing with the language of life" may be my favorite line in the entire thing. Though I'm relatively new to creative writing, the manifest truth of the statement struck me the moment I read it.

The mason jar image made nearly as visceral an impact. Pairing it with the alliterative flickering fireflies drove it home even more strongly. Who hasn't captured a firefly in a jar? *BigSmile*

"Symphony crescendo of crimson and gold" has such a delightful sound to it. "Lightning bolt of inspiration" while standing in the grocery store line connected with my experiences so well. And "groaning" is absolutely apt for describing the agonized wail of a mournful solo cello.

The second to last stanza is brilliant as well, with the image of a prism, and delightful use of the onomatopoeia you've just described in the Poet's Place to craft an aural image of the sounds that joints make when standing.

Unfortunately, I don't have much to add in the way of constructive criticism. It's difficult to do sometimes when reading something that's far richer and more fully realized than anything I could do. Straining to think of anything, I suppose I would point to the final stanza. While it ties everything together well, doesn't pack the same punch as the rest of the piece. It appears written to connect with the mind rather than the heart or soul as the rest was. That may well be intentional, but I found myself connecting more with everything leading up to it than with the final message for some reason.

Regardless, this may well be my favorite of all the poems I've read on the site. I love it, and I thank you so much for sharing it.

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review of Maggot  
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: E | (4.0)
Ha! I loved the twist in this little tale. Skillfully done. I love how you weaved the basketball scene together to mislead but still work upon re-inspection once the twist is known. Well done! I really enjoyed this one...
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: E | (4.5)
I really like this form. The rhyme scheme works like a hook to connect each stanza together in a unique way, and your poem makes brilliant use of it.

The first stanza's message has never been more appropriate than it is now, with what's happening in the world.

He is God's Promised One,
Summoned humanity
To love and unity,
Taught us all hate to shun,
Faith's foundations are one;
Peace a reality.

the language is simple and direct, relying on the rhyme to tie it all together. I had trouble feeling the iambic trimeter in the "Faith's foundations are one" line, but the meter works superbly in the rest.

He is the Prince of Peace,
The Holy Spirit's voice,
Let all of us rejoice.
It's time for war to cease,
Unity to increase,
And to expand our joys.

Again, the meter felt right in every line except the second to last in this stanza. Perhaps the opposing syllable emphasis was intentional? To show discord one line before a return to harmony? It would suit the message of the piece. :)

Baha'u'llah1 His name,
Glory of God His claim.

Thanks for the footnote here. I was unfamiliar with the term. :)

I sincerely hope that the prayer within your poem comes true. It is definitely time for war to cease.

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
I really enjoyed your story. Thanks for sharing!

You did a nice job of working the relevant information into a tight wordcount. Each sentence served to contribute something meaningful to the scene. The prose was well crafted and the dialogue realistic.

Some of the visuals were really fun:
* the door opened like an iris
* crab-like maintenance drones
* It wore chameleon-cloth over its alloy frame which made it appear to be perpetually sliding in and out of existence
* the AI dropped like a puppet unstrung

The ending was the most interesting part, however. The fact that the AI felt remorseful tugged at the heartstrings despite the horrible deaths that it had inflicted on its crew--especially when Sully killed it without hesitation. It's understandable that Sully would act as he did, given that the AI's emotions could drive it to murder as quickly as they drove it to remorse. Still, it left me with mixed feelings, which I'm certain was its purpose.

Excellent tale!

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is SO SAD!!!

But really, really great.

What I liked most:

I love how you incorporated the prompts into such an emotional piece. You used each as an opportunity to explore a poignant memory, with some nice showing of the mother and protagonist's relationship between. As a whole, it works to give the ending real, visceral impact within a very limited wordcount.

One Suggestion:

The opening line begins with "we were sitting in my mother's room". While it sets the scene, when I read it, it didn't really draw me in. It wasn't until several more lines in that I decided to keep going. It's such a wonderful piece of writing that it would have been a shame if I hadn't continued on to the rest. Maybe a visual and a little bit of an action would be more attention-getting? Maybe putting what you have in the second half of the sentence first? I'm thinking of something along the lines of:

"The fork in my mother's trembling hand sliced into the apple pie I'd brought her, flakes of crust falling into her lap as she painstakingly raised it to her eager lips. She smiled as she began to chew, her eyes glowing with affection as they watched me drinking coffee from a Styrofoam cup... etc."

Perhaps that doesn't suit your vision for the story, but I just wanted to offer at least one suggestion for the only thing that I felt might be able to be improved.

Regardless, thank you so much for sharing this story. I really enjoyed it. :)

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review of Buddha Cat  
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: E | (4.5)

I think you captured the entire worldview of a cat perfectly in eleven short lines of verse.

The final lines were my favorite, definitely packing a punch for the conclusion of the poem:

Considering his human masters
To be nothing but his slaves.

Well done! :)
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hahaha! I LOVE the tongue-in-cheek conspiracy story. So creative and fun! At first, you had me going. I thought you'd bailed on the contest. It wasn't until I read it that I realized that was all part of the show. Bravo and good luck with this week's contest. :)

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review of Jólakötturinn  
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Congrats on the DDS award with this one! A daring and difficult choice to go with the cat prompt. I chickened out and used the other prompt instead for my go-to witchy poetry. :)

I loved the Icelandic theme and spellings.
Grýla's cat is Jólakötturinn,

The word choice here has a distinct sound that just feels right for the prompt. Two alliterative one-syllable words followed by a two-syllable word has a fun sound that rolls off the tongue.
black, bleak and hungry

"Maleficent" is such a great word, conjuring visions of the dark Disney villain that works well with the black cat prompt as well...
mean as they come
a maleficent creature,

I love the wordplay on "Silent Night" here:
so silent at night

Nice imagery in these lines:
on the eve of each Yuletide
he prowls through the snows

Again, with the two one-syllable adjectives, followed by the two syllables. This time the alliteration is on the second two, making it sound very similar but not quite the same.
dark, sleek and starving

Now we get to see what Jólakötturinn is up to. Quite appropriate for a black cat at Christmas, I'd say...
seeking out the lazy
the worthless, work shy
sniffs at your presents
somehow he knows
if he meows at your door
he's announcing your doom.

And the fairy tale moral to give it a classic holiday feel:
So work hard for your mother
and do all your chores
for your master toil ceaseless

The carrot:
then the fruits of your labours
new clothes should supply

The stick (along with some nice imagery and alliteration (torn/teeth gobbled/gone):
and if you're found wanting
then shortly you'll die
torn by his teeth
fearsome Jólakötturinn
torn limb from limb
gobbled down

In all, a fun poem with language and imagery that evoke a classic holiday myth. Very nice work! :)

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review of Revealing  
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: E | (5.0)
I found this alouette form to be kind of tricky. So few syllables make certain ideas difficult to convey. But limiting forms force creative solutions, so for as much as they make me want to beat my head against the wall sometimes, the poetry is often better for it. :)

Amazing imagery of both winter and angels in the opening stanza:
snowflakes swirling
my wings unfurling
an angel clearly revealed
above the tree line
expression divine
message no longer concealed

I think that you may be missing a syllable from the opening line, though. Unless I made a mistake, it's supposed to be five syllables. Maybe add a "small" at the start? Or an "all" in the middle?

The second stanza includes great rhymes--appropriate as the angel begins to speak its message. Especially amassed and last. I would have never thought to use "amassed" to pair that up.
come listen and hear
all will become clear
this winter might be your last
so mend well your ways
no offer of praise
will clear the sin you've amassed

And the message develops ever further, reminiscent of Matthew 7:1 or John 8:7...
so always be kind
in each one then find
some spark of humanity
for however faint
and no one's a saint
that is true Christianity

And then translates the message to the Christmas traditions:
treat each as someone
God's will then be done
give freely the aid they need
No excuse will pass
this feast of Christmas
giving is better than greed

I loved that this is a REAL Christmas message, far more meaningful than that which many poems about the site this time of year convey (mine included). Santa and gifts are fun, but an appreciation of humanity and treating others with kindness is the real Christmas spirit, and one that you've captured well here.

I also liked the lack of punctuation. It's more pure somehow. I never include it as I write poetry, only adding it in when I'm done. I like seeing just the words. It's easier to read and appears more visually elegant, IMO.

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: E | (5.0)
When I saw that you had a villanelle in your portfolio, I was excited to read it. It's my favorite traditional poetry form because it's so demanding. It's a real challenge to craft these. You chose to go with a syllable count rather than a more rhythmic meter, which gives the poem an even, though not smooth flow, matching the speaker's even-but-lost temperment.

The first stanza lays out the two refrain lines nicely, clearly setting the poem's subject:
Because I know not what is wrong from right
my moral compass must lack direction
so indifferent to another's plight

The next stanza throws in the first wrinkle, almost like the conflict in a story:
Though confident in my power and might
I am not given to introspection
Because I know not what is wrong from right

The speaker is confident in their power and states that they dislike introspection, immediately after an introspective first stanza.

The third stanza acknowledges that the speaker understands the negative impacts of his actions but doesn't truly wish to acknowledge them:
Pain and suffering in my actions might
Oft be found in careful retrospection
so indifferent to another's plight

The fourth stanza solidifies the fact that the speaker knows they are being selfish, but is happy to do it anyway:
Selfishly shall I follow with delight
A path that traces its own inflection
Because I know not what is wrong from right

The fifth stanza lays out the moral code that is important to the speaker, an eye-for-an-eye approach:
Those who would dare to cross me I shall smite
Deliver upon them fierce correction
so indifferent to another's plight

The final stanza asks for the reader to withhold judgment despite the speakers possibly inadvertent judgments of their own actions from stanza #4. It's hypocritical in a way, and I think that may be one of the poem's messages. It's displaying the flaw in both the speaker's moral code and in their request.
If I perchance should injure or cause slight
Judge me not, and offer no objection
Because I know not what is wrong from right
so indifferent to another's plight

The rhyme and form were very strong, and I really enjoyed both the writing and message. Thank you for sharing. :)
Review of The Pumpkin Moved  
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
I loved this poem. The meter is perfect, with each pair of lines expressing a complete thought, rhymes punctuating the conclusion of each set.

It's the sort of poem that tells a story. The first stanza introduces the speaker, the middle stanzas roll through the plot, and the final one contains the twist ending.

It conveys both the childlike anticipation of the holiday as well as the convivial sort of fright that's so fun about Halloween.

Wonderful work. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I'm glad it was recommended reading in the poetry newsletter this week.

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review of Canto XIII  
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Wonderful work!

Suppose I took my life and died,
unable to face another dawn,
another twenty four hours,
a day of demands, of demons, of dark despair.

I love the alliteration in the opening staza, with all the "d" words. The final line really brings it home, but the final word of the first two lines foreshadows it. The opening "suppose" really makes for an interesting intro too. It reveals that the speaker is merely considering taking their own life, which adds to the intrigue.

So mired in my misery that I,
cut short the time allocated to me.
Stop the clock.
Take time of death.

Is that comma supposed to be there? Looks like that may be an error. Maybe consider ditching the "my" from this line too, though keeping it in adds to the "m" alliteration. The second half of the stanza is composed of entirely single syllable words, which make it sound sudden. Abrupt. It suits the message of those lines perfectly.

Torn I tumble into hell,
too late now to change my mind
tortured take the form of tree
misshapen, twisted, harpie feed.

Maybe a comma after the word "torn". Maybe after "mind" too? Lots of "t" alliteration in this stanza. "T" is a good scary consonant and evokes words like terror, torture, torment, many of which you used. Works great!

Surrounding me a thousand faces.
Each one tells of a moment lost.
Each the time of some soul's premature passing,
and one of those,
would be mine.

Interesting use of the comma to pause there. It's not grammatically correct, but it makes one pause during reading, which heightens the dramatic impact of the final line. So I'd say to keep it in. ;)

Nice work. Nice buildup. Nice job! You're a wonderful poet! Thanks for sharing your work. :)

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review of Fading Summer  
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: E | (5.0)
This poem feels so effortless. It makes me realize that most of mine feel overwrought lately. I like the uneven line counts in each stanza as well as the intermittent rhyme scheme as well. It gives the poem a halting unevenness that's appropriate for its subject. It feels as if the warmth of summer is on its last
wobbly legs.

"Frost breath white cold."

I love that line. Four words conjure an image, provide a twist ("white cold" vs. the more typical phrase "white hot"), and aurally provide a nice lurching counterpoint with four single beat words to the melodic sound of the preceding line. It sounds like the speaker is choking up.

The final line is wonderful as well.

"And last trill of bird song."

A wonderful aural image to conclude, encapsulating the message of the poem in a single line.

I always love reading your poetry. It helps to open my mind to things that I would otherwise never have thought to try on my own.

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review of Poems  
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: E | (4.5)
I saw your request for reviews and noticed that you've got quite a few collected here, so I jumped down to the bottom, figuring it was the most recent. :)

Review of: Something is Wrong

The repetition of "Is it normal" gives the poem a cadence that makes it feel circular, as if the thoughts keep circling in the speaker's head.

The second and third lines is hard-hitting, drawing me in, making me want to understand more about what's going on.

Lines 5-6 seem contradictory to the 2-3, with the speaker standing up to their father despite the fact that he intimidates them.

Line 8-9 speak to the bitterness of their interactions.

After that, the floodgates open, and all is revealed.

I hope that the speaker is able to eventually find a better place in dealings with their father, or if not, then find solace in the company of someone else.

It's a powerful piece of work. It feels raw, full of pain, and brutally honest. Wonderful job... but so sad. :(

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review of Torn  
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: E | (5.0)
A simply stated, raw look at a difficult relationship. It has the brutally honest feel of a self-aware moment of realization. Very well done! I hope to see more of your work around here in the future. Plenty of poetry contests to choose from that can inspire you to create. Just message me if you'd like me to point you to any fun ones...

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review of Beyond the Grave  
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
It's always a pleasure to read your work. I really like this one. The trochaic meter gives it an processional, chanting feel, like witches around a cauldron as they build the fire. The faces in the flames imagery is a really amazing take on the prompt. It made me re-imagine the squiggly lines in the image as flames.

This was my favorite verse:

"Two they are in creeping whispers
through old gravestones in the gloom,
there beside ancestral sepulchres
they plan to build their secret fire."

"Sepulchres" is such a great word.

Anyway, I'm really not much of a reviewer. I just really liked your poem, so I thought I'd drop a little note of appreciation.

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
I just noticed that I had an expired review request for this item. I'm so sorry that I missed it. I'm not accustomed to being asked for reviews. But I'm happy to do one for you, so here goes...

Overall Impression
* The piece is very heartfelt and emotional. I felt myself tearing up a little reading it.
* It progresses through memories and scenes well, paced like a story with touching scenes followed by dark moments, followed by lighter ones.
* The final lines were brilliant.
* I loved it.

Technical glitches
* "For-granted" should be "For granted" (no hyphen)
* "And yet….all that time" should be "And yet... all that time" (An ellipsis only has three periods - there were a couple more of these as well.)
* "casket shaped hole" should be "casket-shaped hole" (add hyphen)
* "out-loud" should be "out loud" (no hyphen)
* "often-sudden light-bulb" should be "often sudden light bulb"

Suggestions for improvement
* Maybe adding some visceral, sensory language or details would help bring some of scenes you're weaving together to life. For example:

"To you, I was your little helper when you baked cookies"

Could maybe be something more like:

"To you, I was you little helper when you baked cookies,
scurrying about, smiling as I sniffed the sugary scent of dough on tin"


"The little old lady who stood in the kitchen

A spatula in hand

And told me all the different ways to make a good dinner"

Could maybe be something like:

"The little old lady gazing warmly into my eyes from her perch behind the kitchen counter,

spatula in hand, smoothing her crinkled apron, eyes sparkling

as her wrinkled lips whispered years of cooking wisdom into my eager ears."

Only you know the right image to paint, but my advice would be to paint it in the most vibrant colors you can. :)

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review of Sadie's Song  
Review by WriterAngel
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Sexy, sinister sibilance serves sends said song soaring!

I loved this poem. I tried an entry too, but yours definitely deserves to win. Thank you for sharing it! :)
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