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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/aundria_k
Review Requests: ON
344 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I enjoy reviewing and try to be as honest as possible. I look for specific things such as technical merit, flow and lyrical quality in poems, creativity, tone, and mood. Though I can be a tough critic, I strive to encourage writers to grow and challenge themselves. I feel that it is through constructive criticism that we grow as writers. I strive to give the writer feedback on the overall impact of the piece. I am the host and judge of the "Shadows and Light Poetry Contest and co-host of the "Roots & Wings Contest CONTEST/CLOSED
I'm good at...
I enjoy reviewing poetry, but free form is my favorite. I feel I have a good grasp of the flow and cadence of a piece and can offer helpful suggestions to make a poem flow well.
Favorite Genres
Historical Fiction, Suspense, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Romance
Least Favorite Genres
Erotica
Favorite Item Types
Poetry, Essays, Short Stories
Least Favorite Item Types
Books, Novels
I will not review...
Books, Novels, Chapters
Public Reviews
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1
1
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with The Newbies Academy Group  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
My review sig



Hello Jenny

Thank you for choosing me to review your piece. I want to welcome you to WDC and am happy to give you some feedback on your work. I strive to give honest reviews and I hope you find this review helpful.


*ButterflyB* Initial Impression: This piece is about the devastation love lost can cause for both parties.

*Idea* Theme and Creativity: This piece has a bit of an identity crisis. It reads like a short story, but there's no paragraph breaks for the dialogue and the even size and spacing is visually confusing. The reader isn't sure what to make of it. Is it poetry or a short story? Perhaps it may even be poetic prose. But each of those types have pronounced differences and it's important that the reader know what to expect from the beginning. It will help them better comprehend the theme and meaning of the piece.

*Pencil* Technique: When I began reading it was apparent that the writer was observing someone. Then the person being observed began speaking to the writer. However, because of the strange formatting, the fact that someone other than the writer is speaking gets lost. When they make references to "I" we read them as if the writer is making the observations themselves rather than listening to another speak. So, when the dialogue ends and the writer refers to themselves again with "I" it gets confusing. There are 2 people in the piece referring to themselves as "I". Therefore, a short story may be your best way. It could work as a flash fiction piece.

There is also an argument to create this as poetic prose. Towards the middle, we get some very poetic language that is more lyrical than everyday conversation. It starts to slow down and is more reflective and poignant.

Because even though you see a lot of their mistakes that most
people don't, you see them in these moments, these purely good moments that
have nothing to do with you. It's when they're laughing with their friends, their family. It's when they pick up their guitar and get lost for an hour. When they're reading and they smile to themselves. When they make a kid smile. . . And no matter how many excuses you cling to, eventually you let the truth seep in


These observations are very thought provoking and gives off a more poetic vibe which I find very interesting. But because of the dialogue and the fact that we are getting 1st person from 2 different people, we tend to lose that again when the story goes back to the writer.


*Cut* Suggestions: As I have mentioned, I am a poet and would like to make an argument for a free verse piece. However, in doing so you would lose the interaction between both characters, as well as the fact that your intent is more about how the writer responds once they hear how they made the other person feel.

However, I think many of us have felt the way your character has. I'm not sure the writers response is as important as the readers. This piece spends much more time on the feelings of the 2nd character so the remorse of the writer doesn't come across strongly. So you'd need to change the viewpoint to 1st person throughout. Using your words I'll give you an example of how that may look and sound:


Because even though you see a lot of their mistakes
that most people don't,
you see them in these moments,
these purely good moments
that have nothing to do with you.

It's when they're laughing with their friends,
their family.
It's when they pick up their guitar
and get lost for an hour.
When they're reading
and they smile to themselves.
When they make a kid smile. . .

And no matter how many excuses you cling to,
eventually you let the truth seep in


*FlowerV* Final Comments: Okay, Whew. I know that's a lot to take in and I hope I wasn't overly critical. I just feel that this piece has potential in all of these types and is a good beginning to each of them. It just needs a direction to follow to make it more cohesive. I guess what you have to decide is which message you want to convey. I hope this review has helped, but I realize I may have just confused you more. *Facepalm*. I assure you that isn't my intent and I'd be happy to help you more if you decide to continue with it.

I find it is through honest and thorough feedback that we grow as writers and my only goal is to help you do so. I hope that you find a home here at WDC. There are so many things to do that it can be a little overwhelming at first, but keep exploring. If you're interested in finding friends that can help you find your way around come visit us at "Invalid Item We love to help you get motivated, challenge you to new heights, and help you make new friends. I'd love to hear from you
.

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2
2
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (2.5)
My review sig


Hello Imran Butt

Thank you for choosing me to review your piece. Poetry is my medium so I will be reviewing your piece from that angle. I strive to give honest reviews and I hope you find this review helpful. The following is merely my impressions of your writing. Please make use only of what you feel is relevant to your vision and ignore the rest.

*ButterflyB* Initial Impression: This piece gives us a lot of food for thought. It's about the dumbing down of society because of the advances of technology. Oh, I soooo hear you. I absolutely HATE facebook and agree with you 100%. It has made us a society of frivolity and has given more import to the social aspect of life rather than the more important questions and solutions we need to pay attention to. I have also touched on this subject myself. I call it "disconnection through connectivity".

*Idea* Theme and Creativity: This piece suffers from an identity crisis. I found I had to read this piece a few times to truly get the meaning. Because I wasn't sure if it was an essay or a poem, I'm wasn't sure how to read it. That can be a distraction giving your message less impact.

*Pencil* Technique: Because I'm a poet with a specialty in free verse, I'm going to show you how and why you can transition it into a free verse piece. However, it would also make a great essay. To make it an essay you would need to use full sentences rather than broken thoughts. That alone makes poetry a better forum. Through your non-traditional punctuation you have already given your piece a free verse format. The line breaks already exist making it an easy transition.


*Cut* Suggestions: In free verse, line breaks are critical. They give the reader a visual reference as to which words are the most powerful and insight into what you want to say. This can determine how the reader will hear and interpret your piece. So, as an example, I will break it up differently to show what I mean. I have used most of your line breaks, but have also added a few of my own to show you how impactful they can be.

The ecstasy of weekend
the thought of complete freedom
has shattered the basis of our civilized community
we're like animals
hunter the flesh
but our souls remain empty
weak and sorrowful


When it is broken up in this way, we hear the words individually rather than part of a whole thought. We focus on the words "civilized community" and then "animals" showing the strong contrast. That alone gives a visual representation of your meaning. They now have a stronger impact on the reader because each phrase can stand on its own. This is not meant as a re-write of your piece and you should try it your own way. Break it in several different places before deciding on how you want it to read.


*FlowerV* Final Comments: You asked "Can I be a writer?" I believe the content and subject of this piece answers that question. Writers are those who ask questions and examine the deeper side of life We are the ones trying to show the world how and why certain things matter. While you still have a lot to learn, you have the soul of a writer and that's the most important.

This is a great start to a beautiful poem. It has a lot of potential. I hope you keep at it to give it the impact it deserves.


Writing is very personal and subjective and as the writer, your vision and intent is most important. I would encourage you to keep working this piece instead of moving on to the next. Great poems require time and A LOT of editing and many people are not willing to do it. I hope you will and that you will please contact me if you need some feedback.



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FORUM
Shadows and Light Poetry Contest  (E)
Do you love the challenge and creativity of free verse poetry? This contest is for you.
#1935693 by Chocghostnut ~ Hufflepuffing!


"Poetic Traditions Poetry Contest

"Roots & Wings Contest CONTEST/CLOSED
3
3
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Contest Judge Image


"The thing that most attracts me to historical fiction is taking the factual record
as far as it is known, using that as scaffolding, and then letting imagination build the structure
that fills in those things we can never find out for sure."
~ Geraldine Brooks



Hey Lisa Noe Kittyluv um Puppyluv

Thanks for entering the "Roots & Wings Contest CONTEST/CLOSED. This contest is about writing and revealing the true character of your ancestors. To that end, my reviews will focus more on description and character development than overall writing skill. I strive to give honest reviews and I hope you find this review helpful. The following is merely my impressions of your writing. Please make use only of what you feel is relevant to your vision and ignore the rest.

Initial Impression: Wow! You have some great family stories and a lot of material to work with. I think your family will be so grateful that you have used your talent to make these stories more interesting and given them something they are proud to pass on.

What I liked: You really do a great job of catching us and drawing us in right in the first sentence. You even gave us the feel and scent in the air which really put us in the story. By hearing Harold's thoughts, we can get a read on his personality a bit. You also gave us some biographical information without us being aware of it. You made them all real people rather than just characters in a story. I'd love to see you make an author's note at the bottom that tells us how you are related to him.

I love that we had so many stories. But I was confused a little about the relationship of the people. It seemed a little disjointed in places and it was difficult to pick up which paragraph was introducing a new person and which was a continuation of the storyline. In fact, you have enough information on Charlie that he should have is own story I think.


What to work on: I notice you seem to change POV a bit as well as the tense. For example, in the first paragraph, we start out in present tense and the story is being told in the 3rd person limited POV. In other words we are there in the present with Harold as the baby is being born, and hear the story through his perspective. However, a little further down, it flips to past tense and 3rd person omniscent POV where we get an outsiders view and a brief summary of what will happen through his life. It happens here:

"His father, John, who was a Christian man, forced him to do the right thing and marry Nanny. Nanny was a good woman and a strong woman and would come to have six more children through the years. A year later Harold, joined the Army, and was sent over seas to Germany and France, He was twice shot and earned two purple hearts and a silver star. He was Hospitalized in England. "

This switch happens throughout the piece. This is a challenge when writing pieces like this. There are a couple of things you could do to change it. You could tell the story as a flashback in 3rd person limited (which I personally like to read the most), and then make a footnote at the bottom of the additional information you want us to know. Or you could tell the whole story in 3rd person omniscient and remain in past tense. This uniformity will be less distracting to the reader I think.


Final Comments: When writing family history, people tend to summarize life events and give info dumps on biographical information. When that happens it isn't interesting and we won't retain or even care about it. You've found a great way to make us see things through the eyes of your ancestors. You've given them a voice, and made us care about them. Their accomplishments seem so much more amazing when we see them as people rather than names in a book. Well Done.

Please remember, these are just observations and suggestions. Feel free to edit and make changes as you find them needed. There is no prohibition on editing for this contest. My aim to is to help you find the most relevant and entertaining way to record your family history. I hope this contest will encourage you to keep digging. There is a gold mine of people waiting for you to find them.


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GROUP
Roots & Wings Group  (E)
A group for those with an interest in writing their memoirs or family history.
#1962411 by Elle

"Roots & Wings Contest CONTEST/CLOSED
"Shadows and Light Poetry Contest
4
4
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Contest Judge Image



Hey ashley

Thanks for entering the "Roots & Wings Contest CONTEST/CLOSED. This contest is about writing and revealing the true character of your ancestors. To that end, my reviews will focus more on description and character development than overall writing skill. I strive to give honest reviews and I hope you find this review helpful. The following is merely my impressions of your writing. Please make use only of what you feel is relevant to your vision and ignore the rest.

Initial Impression: This is an interesting story about how 1 couple handled the need for a divorce in an unapproving society. What a unique solution! Did this really happen to someone in your family? When was it? How long ago? Very creative.

What I liked: I really like your writing style. It sucks us right in. We can really see the way the couple feels. Anyone who has gone through a family divorce will relate. It feels as if they were past the anger phase and had moved on to apathy. How they settled on this solution though is unclear. It isn't really necessary for us to know that. At least they could agree on something.

What to work on: There seems to be so much more to this story. I'd like to see a little more development. It works as flash fiction, but, for the purposes of this contest, I'd love more information. It leaves me feeling unsatisfied. Is this a family story? What are the names of the people and how are you related? Even mentioning that as a footnote makes it more interesting. When we know this actually happened and the characters are real it is even more fun.

As I mentioned above, questions remain. As it is, it's more of an anecdote.. The difficulty in writing family history is finding a conflict and solution that actually existed. Most of the time all we can find is a life summary. You are ahead of the game there because you already have a built in conflict and solution. You have the "historical". Now you can use the "fiction" part and fill in the blanks.

This quote really sums it up. "The thing that most attracts me to historical fiction is taking the factual record as far as it is known, using that as scaffolding, and then letting imagination build the structure that fills in those things we can never find out for sure." ~ Geraldine Brooks


Final Comments: I really love this story, and I'm impressed with your ability to tell it. The fact that it leaves me wanting more is a testament to your talent. Otherwise, I'd laugh at a cute story, and move on without another thought. What will make this story so much more interesting is binging the characters alive with names, dates, etc. If they are in your family, it explains where your creativity comes from. *Laugh* Well done.

Please remember, these are just observations and suggestions. Feel free to edit and make changes as you find them needed. There is no prohibition on editing for this contest. I really would LOVE to re-read it if you expand on it. I want to know more. My aim to is to help you find the most relevant and entertaining way to record your family history. I hope this contest will encourage you to keep digging. There is a gold mine of people waiting for you to find them.


Image #1968475 over display limit. -?-

GROUP
Roots & Wings Group  (E)
A group for those with an interest in writing their memoirs or family history.
#1962411 by Elle

"Roots & Wings Contest CONTEST/CLOSED
"Shadows and Light Poetry Contest
5
5
Review of The Dialogue 500  
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Keep up the good work. You've been listed in the Halloween category on "Contest Central Station. Let us know if you need funds.
6
6
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I love your poetic prose idea by the way. When I started writing again, my very first piece was poetic prose but there were no contests I could enter with it. I turned it into a poem because I usually write in full sentences too and many free verse pieces are full sentences broken into lines to emphasize different words.

I've added your contest to "Contest Central Station under the Prose category again so I hope that helps with advertising. Let me know if you need any funds or judges. I'd love to help judge if you need me. Since I'm currently doing the "30 Day Image Prompt Contest - CLOSED I may not have time to get to it this month but I'd love to enter too so either way works for me.
7
7
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Thanks for entering the "Whispers Of The Soul contest. I'm so glad you decided to give this form a whirl. It's a difficult form, but it so fun to write. However, you didn't quite stick to the format. You are required to use the last word of every 2nd line in the first line in the next. You got it right until you got this part:

Phantoms, those , haunt us.
Phantoms appall us.
This
(should be us)
spooky house bewails.
This ghoulish abode cries
Of
(should be cries)
skeletal remains
Of wretched existence.


If you decide to try it again in the future, let me know. I'd love to read another one from you.

My review sig
8
8
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hey there,

I'm loving this contest idea. It's really unique and fun and I think lots of people will have items in their port to submit. I'm glad you allow both old and new. In my contests, I have found that greatly improves participation. In fact, I already have a few things to enter. Can I enter early?

Your contest page looks great and clean. It is very professional which lends it credibility and gives visitors confidence that it will be around for awhile and encourages them to enter. My only issue, selfishly I guess, is that your title is too close to my contest group "Contest Central Station It may cause some confusion as it may be associated under the group umbrella. Because of that, it may not stand on it's own. I'd consider changing the name, but that's just my opinion so take it for what it's worth.

Good luck and have fun. Let us know if you need any ideas, funds, judges, or just advice.
9
9
Review of So I Wait  
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
Newbies Academy Reviewing Sig1


Hi Word Warrior beating cancer!!

My name is Devils in my Ear and I'm reviewing for "The Newbies Academy Group. I want to welcome you to WDC and thought I would give you some feedback on your work. I strive to give honest reviews and I hope you find this review helpful

*ButterflyB* Initial Impression: This is a dark piece. Those can be so fun to write. We know the situation of the poet right from the start, but the specifics elude us leaving our imagination to fill in the blanks. Very interesting.

*Idea* Theme and Creativity: I see this is written to a prompt. I like to do those as well, but once the contest is over, I go back in to edit and will get rid of the underlined required words. Let the reader think you thought of it all yourself right. Because you did. Having the required words underlined distracts us from the unique subject matter of the piece. While the prompt wasn't yours, the poem is so why not take all the creative credit?

In that vein, I would change your summary. You don't need to tell us why you wrote it. I like to use those as a way to intrigue people and get them interested enough to read it. Kind of like a book jacket. Telling us what it's about or when or why you wrote it isn't really something that will grab the attention of the casual reader looking for something to read. Suck us in. "A prisoner considers his fate, and how he will correct the mistake of the past". It gives us a peek but doesn't give us specific details. We have to read the poem to figure that out.


*Pencil* Technique: This piece is written in free verse which is my favorite type of poetry. (Hence my contest "Shadows and Light Poetry Contest which I recommend you try. *Smile*) There are many different ways to go about writing free verse, but it appears that you and I are in the same school of thought. When I write free verse, I tend to write it in paragraph form and then break it up from there. I will break it in many different ways until I find the best way to present my thought. In free verse, line breaks and punctuation are critical. They give the reader clues as to where to pause, stop and reflect, or read through. This can determine how the reader will hear and interpret your piece.

*Cut* Suggestions: So, using your words, I will break it up differently to show what I mean. When reading this, read it slowly and aloud, pausing or stopping only when the punctuation dictates.

As I stare out the window
through these iron bars,
Stripped of all sense of humanity,
I watch people pass by
Day after day,
in their trendy suits and businesswear
Going about their busy day
in this smog-filled metropolis.


When it is broken up in this way, we hear the words individually rather than part of a whole thought or sentence. They now have a stronger impact on the reader because each phrase can stand on its own. Plus the shorter lines are more visually appealing and create a better flow that will entice the reader and make them think all the more about the mindset of the poet.

This is not meant as a re-write of your piece and you should try it your own way. Break it in several different places before deciding on how you want it to read.



*FlowerV* Final Comments: It is said that "Reading free verse poetry can be compared to wine and honey. The taste should linger on the lips after the reading a good poem aloud."

This is a great start to a beautiful poem. It has a lot of potential. I hope you keep at it to give it the impact it deserves.


I find it is through honest and thorough feedback that we grow as writers and my only goal is to help you do so. I hope that you find a home here at WDC. There are so many things to do that it can be a little overwhelming at first, but keep exploring. I'm so glad you joined us at "The Newbies Academy Group and look forward to getting to know you further. Welcome to WDC.

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10
10
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
This is such a great project. I remember watching the movie "Mask" with Cher and Eric Stoltz. It was about a kid that had a cerebral deformity and was often feared because of his appearance. But he met a blind girl who fell in love with him. He described color to her the same way only he gave her something to touch. He used cotton balls to describe white and a hot potato to describe red. You're definitely off to a good start. But you know me. I'm a poet. I'd love to see this reformatted into free verse.

Are you going to do more colors? The more senses you use the better the description is. I think I'd like to see some more tangible examples. Things they can touch and feel.

I'm not sure if I like the continual repetition of the color in each paragraph. But, I'm not sure. Maybe if you reformat it, I will like it better because then again it is important to make sure they associate the right color with the description.

Let me know if you add to or change it. I'd love to read it again. I'll be thinking about how to describe other colors so if you need ideas let me know. But, I do love describing colors right? *Smile* "The Life of Silver was the first piece I ever posted and the way we found each other, so it holds a special place in my heart.
11
11
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
One of my favorite writing quotes and the inspiration behind my pen name.



Hello again. Sorry for the delay. Thanks for asking me to review this piece for you. I'm glad to know my reviews are helpful, and am always looking to help every poet improve. I strive to give honest reviews and I hope you find this review helpful.

*ButterflyB* Initial Impression: This piece is rather dark actually. I think everyone goes through periods of their lives when they feel this way. Sometimes life stagnates and you find yourself stuck. The question is for how long will it go on and how can you change it. Although your poem could address those if you want to go further with it, its works with just the poets realization that he has been living for this way for some time and has been sleepwalking so long, he didn't even know it.

*Idea* Theme and Creativity: I've related to this piece on some level at different points in my life. The most memorable was right after my youngest child started school. I found myself home alone, in a quiet house, with no means of escape. ( I have epilepsy and cannot drive). So my days all became uniform and I soon had this realization myself. So one day, I found all my old High School writing, typed in writing on the internet, and somehow landed in a whole new world. I'm so glad I did.

*Pencil* Technique: While I find this piece has the lyrical quality of poetry, it does not have an even cadence and rhythm. This makes the read a bit choppy. It means the reader is spending more time trying to get the rhythm than listening to content of the piece. So, although the content does come through, it doesn't have the power it is capable of. Also, the rhyme pattern of a,b,c,b is with us in the first 8 lines and establishes the way the reader expects the piece to continue. But your last 4 lines divert from that making it confusing and disjointed. I'd be sure to stick to the established rhyme scheme,

*Cut* Suggestions: To correct this, you need to create an even meter. One way to do this is to try to match the rhyming lines by syllable count. (i.e. 123456 go, 123456 show.) So in this case, you have an a,b,c, b rhyme pattern. Read your piece outloud, and then read the changes I've made outloud and see if you find there is a more steady beat.

My days are illusions (a) (6 syllables)
My evenings lack sleep (b) (5)
It's nothing but confusion (c) (7)
The panorama is truly bleak (b)(9)

My days are illusions (6)
My evenings lack sleep (5)
There's only confusion (6)
The landscape is bleak (5)

The word 'panorama' doesn't work here. You only have 5 syllables to work with and that one is 4 on its own. When I write poetry, I rarely use words longer than 3 syllables. It can throw off the meter too easily.)


As you can see, the syllable count has changed to a 6,5,6,5 syllable pattern. This makes a steady beat, and rhythm for the reader to fall into, and they do not have to work as hard to keep pace.


*FlowerV* Final Comments: I hope this gives you some insight into how you can make this piece better. And, as I said, I wouldn't mind if it were a little longer. Even in poetry, we need to show and not tell. This piece is more of a tell. How is the landscape bleak? Does he mean physically or mentally? What does he see or not see that makes him feel this way. You don't necessarily need to address these questions or even make it longer. I think it is fine as it is with just the few changes I mentioned. But it could be a fun challenge to see what you can do with it. Poetry should always make a statement. It isn't just pretty words that paint an image as many people seem to think. At least not for me. While I enjoy those, they will most likely be forgotten long before the ones that actually have something to say.

So, I still haven't seen you say hello in the "Newbies Academy Registration - OPEN. I'd love for you to come join us. There are alot of other new members trying to find their way around and it's a good way to start getting involved in the community. We have a ton of information written in English and not WDC speak that make the concepts a little easier. Plus, although you can always email me for anything, we also have a forum where you can ask questions. This is helpful because other newbies with the same question will also see the answer and becuase you will get several different answers and viewpoints. So get the lead out! I'm waiting *Angry*


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12
12
Review of Unbreakable Heart  
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Newbies Academy Reviewing Sig1


Hi Jules

My name is Devils in my Ear and I'm reviewing for "The Newbies Academy Group. I want to welcome you to WDC and since you kindly reviewed my work, I thought I'd return the favor.

*ButterflyB* Initial Impression: This piece is a statement about how a heart goes from open and warm to cold and hard.

*Idea* Theme and Creativity: It's funny that although I am a poet, I generally don't like romantic poems. The reason for this is that they tend to be more of a cathartic process for the writer than a treat for the reader. Which is fine. However, because of this, poets tend to use very generalized terms that have come to have no meaning anymore since EVERY love poem uses them. Words such as hate, pain, sorrow, sad, cold etc. They no longer have an impact on readers who have read so many. The trick is to find ways to make your piece stick in the mind where others will be quickly forgotten.

You have begun to do this with your dramatic statement right at the beginning. It tells us this won't be just a generalized piece about love, but has a specific statement to make. There is more to poetry to just pretty words. All poetry should tell a truth. Your statement is that an unbreakable heart is earned. Your first two lines accomplish this nicely. They have a poetic flow and lyrical quality. I also really like the 3rd line. It shows you have a specific person who has learned this. However, that statement starts to get watered down a bit as the poem goes on and this is where it becomes a bit too generalized. Stick with original statement and show us "how" his heart is hard. How do you know it is? What has he done to show you? You also use the phrase " cold hard heart." 3 times. That's too much. Repetition is good to bring the point home, but how else can you word it? I like to use a thesaurus. Type in cold and hard and see how many different words you could use. You'd then have 3 different phrases that say the same thing in different ways. This gives you some lesser used words and more creative statements. As I said, in poetry words are EVERYTHING. The more uncommon and specific words you choose will make your piece more memorable.


*Pencil* Technique: Okay, so I hope that wasn't too harsh. The next thing I noticed was that I couldn't figure out if this is a traditional or free verse piece. That's because you have a set meter in the first few lines. The reader automatically goes into traditional poetry mode and then comes to find no end rhyme. So halfway in we realize it is a free verse piece. I love free verse. In fact, I run a free verse competition on this site called "Shadows and Light Poetry Contest (which I hope to see you enter sometime.) What I like about free verse is that you can format your piece in such a way, that the important words get more impact. But, you need the reader to know from the start how they should read the piece.

In free verse, format, line breaks and punctuation are critical. They give the reader clues as to where to pause, stop and reflect, or read through. This can determine how the reader will hear and interpret your piece.


*Cut* Suggestions: So, using your words, I will break it up differently to show what I mean. When reading this, read it slowly and aloud, pausing or stopping only when the punctuation dictates.


A heart does not start
unbreakable,
One creates
an unbreakable heart

Who my darling
created yours?


When it is broken up in this way, we hear the words individually rather than part of a whole thought. We focus on the words unbreakable, and creates. Those words are the statement you are making and they now have a stronger impact on the reader and will resonate more loudly. This is not meant as a re-write of your piece and you should try it your own way. Break it in several different places before deciding on how you want it to read.



*FlowerV* Final Comments: I hope I have not discouraged you with this huge review. I don't generally drop so much info in one review, but when I see potential, I want to give you the tools to explore it.

It is said that "Reading free verse poetry can be compared to wine and honey. The taste should linger on the lips after the reading a good poem aloud." This is a great start to a beautiful poem. It has a lot of potential. I hope you keep at it to give it the impact it deserves. Please let me know if you change it. I'd be happy to read it again.


I find it is through honest and thorough feedback that we grow as writers and my only goal is to help you do so. I hope that you find a home here at WDC. There are so many things to do that it can be a little overwhelming at first, but keep exploring. If you're interested in finding a friends that can help you find your way around come visit us at "Invalid Item We love to help you get motivated, challenge you to new heights, and help you make new friends. I'd love to hear from you

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13
13
Review of Paper Skin  
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
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Hi T. Moore

My name is Devils in my Ear and I'm reviewing for "The Newbies Academy Group. I want to welcome you to WDC and thought I would give you some feedback on your work. I strive to give honest reviews and I hope you find this review helpful

*ButterflyB* Initial Impression: This is a very provocative piece about the how fragile our skin, and comparably our souls, can be. Each mark makes a lasting impact, good or bad, that can never truly be wiped away. It really makes the reader think, and is a very original thought, which sadly, is unusual in poetry, so well done.

*Pencil* Technique:In free verse, line breaks and punctuation are critical. They give the reader clues as to where to pause, stop and reflect, or read through. This can determine how the reader will hear and interpret your piece. This means that you can use your formatting to show your comparison to paper rather than the repetition. I love repetition as a poetic device, but this piece has a bit too much for me.

*Cut* Suggestions: Luckily, this is easily fixed. I think if you just link some of your lines together followed by your similie your repetition will mean more. That, plus the line breaks can have a huge impact on your reader. So, using your words, I will break it up differently to show what I mean. When reading this, read it slowly and aloud, pausing or stopping only when the punctuation dictates.

The tissue is white.
The surface is fragile.

Like paper.

When tears lurch
down my colorless cheeks
they crinkle and rip,

Like paper.

A mark made on my body
is permanent.

Like paper.
It doesn't have a mind of its own.


As you can see in this example, less is more. You don't need to use the brackets. It breaks up your piece and distracts the reader by switching out of your mindset. When it is broken up in this way, we hear the words individually rather than part of a whole thought. We focus on the words like paper because they they now stand on its own. This is not meant as a re-write of your piece and you should try it your own way. Break it in several different places before deciding on how you want it to read.



*FlowerV* Final Comments: I think this piece has the lyrical quality of free verse. It seems to flow fairly well and gives the reader not only the message, but put them in a poetic frame of mind. This is a great start to a beautiful poem. It has a lot of potential. I hope you keep at it to give it the impact it deserves.

It is said that "Reading free verse poetry can be compared to wine and honey. The taste should linger on the lips after the reading a good poem aloud." I feel you are on your way to accomplishing this.




I find it is through honest and thorough feedback that we grow as writers and my only goal is to help you do so. I hope that you find a home here at WDC. There are so many things to do that it can be a little overwhelming at first, but keep exploring. If you're interested in finding a friends that can help you find your way around come visit us at "Invalid Item We love to help you get motivated, challenge you to new heights, and help you make new friends. I'd love to hear from you

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14
14
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
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Hi Jules C

My name is Devils in my Ear and I'm reviewing for "The Newbies Academy Group. I want to welcome you to WDC and thought I would give you some feedback on your work. I strive to give honest reviews and I hope you find this review helpful

*ButterflyB* Initial Impression: This is a dark piece. It shows us the soul of someone confused and tired, who may be ready to give up. The interesting thing here, is that although the poet seems ready to just let go, it doesn't have the sense of despair or anger that is usually associated with someone looking at the end of life. Although it could be interpreted as a suicide poem, I think that is an oversimplification. It's more than that. There seems to be more of just a resignation to it and an acceptance that its going to happen. I'm not sure if the poet has decided to kill themselves, or that its someone with a fatal illness. Either way, its very dark. And there is a particular niche of poets here who love to write dark poetry so you'll fit right in. *Smile* There's even a dark poetry contest, so take a look.

*Pencil* Technique: I think you have a great talent for free verse. It is a very subjective form, so just keep that in mind when I give you my 2 cents. I think that your writing is sound, but that you should try to change up your formatting to give a bigger impact. I love repetition in poetry and you use that device here. I'd like you to give it a little more emphasis so it stands out a bit. I also think you should add some stanzas. Stanzas aren't always necessary, but I think they not only help put like thought together, like a paragraph, they also invite the reader more visually than a large block of text would.

Also in free verse, line breaks and punctuation are critical. They give the reader clues as to where to pause, stop and reflect, or read through. This can determine how the reader will hear and interpret your piece.


*Cut* Suggestions: So, using your words, I will break it up differently to show what I mean. When reading this, read it slowly and aloud, pausing or stopping only when the punctuation dictates.


The in between
That black hole in the middle
of point A and point B
All this thinking is unhealthy
Nothing to do but listen
to the defining silence
that makes my eardrums burst
I don't want to think about tomorrow
anymore
I don't want to worry about tomorrow
anymore
Thinking about the future
terrifies me
But reminiscing about the past
makes me envious


When it is broken up in this way, we hear the words individually rather than part of a whole thought. We focus on the words They now have a stronger impact on the reader because each phrase can stand on its own. This is not meant as a re-write of your piece and you should try it your own way. Break it in several different places before deciding on how you want it to read.


My other suggestions is more just for overall WDC advice and not specific to this particular piece. I like to use that summary section as a way to get people interested in reading my piece. Kind of like a dust jacket. So I don't personalize it. So many people will say 'a poem about...' or ' I wrote this when...' I'd advise against that. It can color what our interpretation is. If we know you wrote this when you went to see someone, we are already given a direction on what your mindset was which may change the way we read it. Let us go in blank and use our own life experiences choose the meaning for us. To me it is also more professional. I try to make my titles as unique as possible as well. I mean, how many piece do you think there are on this site titled 'Jealousy' or 'Rain'.


*FlowerV* Final Comments: It is said that "Reading free verse poetry can be compared to wine and honey. The taste should linger on the lips after the reading a good poem aloud."

As I said, I think you have a talent for free verse. Although this pieces needs some work it is definitely a great start to a beautiful poem. It has a lot of potential. I hope you keep at it to give it the impact it deserves.


I find it is through honest and thorough feedback that we grow as writers and my only goal is to help you do so. I hope that you find a home here at WDC. There are so many things to do that it can be a little overwhelming at first, but keep exploring. If you're interested in finding a friends that can help you find your way around come visit us at "Invalid Item We love to help you get motivated, challenge you to new heights, and help you make new friends. I'd love to hear from you

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15
15
Review of Plymouth Bay  
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (3.0)
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Hi Mac1

My name is Devils in my Ear and I'm reviewing for "The Newbies Academy Group. I want to welcome you to WDC and thought I would give you some feedback on your work. I strive to give honest reviews and I hope you find this review helpful.

*ButterflyB* Initial Impression: This is a very patriotic piece about not only the founding of our country, but the way it is passed from father to son.

*Idea* Theme and Creativity: I think this piece takes a very interesting angle and is told almost like a story rather than just a straight patriotic poem. It adds a personal touch and makes it more memorable.

*Pencil* Technique: There were a few issues with the technique of this piece. The rhyme pattern of this piece was not consistent. This throws off the cadence and rhythm and makes the read a bit choppy. It means the reader is spending more time trying to get the rhythm than listening to content of the piece. So, although the content does come through, it doesn't have the power it is capable of. There are a few things you can do to correct this.

*Cut* Suggestions: First, you need to choose which rhyme pattern you want to follow. In your first stanza you have an a,b,a,b rhyme scheme. In the second stanza, it switches to a,b,a,c, and then in the third it switches again to a,a,b,b. The reader can't predict when the rhymes are coming and so they have to concentrate that much harder to catch the beat and rhythm of the piece.

It also helps to try and match the rhyming lines by syllable count. (i.e. 123456 go, 123456 show.) I will use your 2nd stanza to give you an example of what I mean.

We took a walk upon this beach, (a) (8 syllables)
I played and ran with my dog , Charlie. (b) (9)
It is here they learned to teach, (a) (7)
As falterers quelled in the fog. (c) (8)

We took a walk upon this beach, (8)
I played and ran with my dog , Charlie. (9)
It's here our fathers learned to teach, (8)
And the falterers quelled in the fog. (9)


I do find the a,b,a,c scheme to be the weakest of the three. I recommend going with the a,b,a,b, or a,b,c,b. Having the 2nd and 4th line rhyme is more common and easier for the reader to pick up on. The consistent syllable pattern makes a steady beat, and rhythm for the reader to fall into, and they do not have to work as hard to keep pace.


*FlowerV* Final Comments: I like the message this poem portrays and that it is not just a straight piece about the country but also gives a little personal touch by having it as a memory passes from father to son. Although this piece does need some work, it is a great start. It has a lot of potential. I hope you keep at it to give it the impact it deserves. I'd be happy to review it again if you make changes in the future.

I find it is through honest and thorough feedback that we grow as writers and my only goal is to help you do so. I hope that you find a home here at WDC. There are so many things to do that it can be a little overwhelming at first, but keep exploring. If you're interested in finding a friends that can help you find your way around come visit us at "Invalid Item We love to help you get motivated, challenge you to new heights, and help you make new friends. I'd love to hear from you.

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16
16
Review of A Leaf's Story  
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (3.0)
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Hi Preet

My name is Devils in my Ear and I'm reviewing for "The Newbies Academy Group. I want to welcome you to WDC and thought I would give you some feedback on your work. I strive to give honest reviews and I hope you find this review helpful

*ButterflyB* Initial Impression: This is the story of the life of a rain starved leaf and the culmination of a long awaited experience.

*Idea* Theme and Creativity: I truly love the concept here about the desires of the leaf. I often use personification in my own writing and find I'm at my most creative when I write from the perspective of an inanimate object. I don't know why, but I find it a fun experience. In fact, I think you should go further and write this in first person. You may find yourself thinking of even more detail if you actually become the leaf. Since leaves don't have 'faces' and young leaves aren't called 'kids' you should see if you could find a way to use parts of the leaf to symbolize them. Such as bud instead of 'kid' and surface instead of face. You also say do to a person and by referencing 'person' you take us out of the leaf's mindset. I think by transferring to 1st person, these flaws would be much easier to find and fix and add more creativity to the piece.

*Pencil* Technique: In free verse, line breaks and punctuation are critical. They give the reader clues as to where to pause, stop and reflect, or read through. This can determine how the reader will hear and interpret your piece.

*Cut* Suggestions: So, using your words, I will break it up differently to show what I mean. When reading this, read it slowly and aloud, pausing or stopping only when the punctuation dictates.

The leaf stood on the tree
holding a narrow stem.
Years have passed since it last experienced
any rain.

Last time when it rained,
it was a tiny little kid at heart,
unable to understand
its significance


When it is broken up in this way, we hear the words individually rather than part of a whole thought. We focus on the words tree, stem, experience, rain, understand, significance. They now have a stronger impact on the reader because each word pops out individually. This is not meant as a re-write of your piece and you should try it your own way. Break it in several different places before deciding on how you want it to read.


*FlowerV* Final Comments: It is said that "Reading free verse poetry can be compared to wine and honey. The taste should linger on the lips after the reading a good poem aloud."

This is a great start to a beautiful poem. It has a lot of potential. I hope you keep at it to give it the impact it deserves.


I find it is through honest and thorough feedback that we grow as writers and my only goal is to help you do so. I hope that you find a home here at WDC. There are so many things to do that it can be a little overwhelming at first, but keep exploring. If you're interested in finding a friends that can help you find your way around come visit us at "Invalid Item We love to help you get motivated, challenge you to new heights, and help you make new friends. I'd love to hear from you

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17
17
Review of Gramma's House  
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
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Hi August Leaf

My name is Devils in my Ear and I'm reviewing for "The Newbies Academy Group. I want to welcome you to WDC and thought I would give you some feedback on your work. I strive to give honest reviews and I hope you find this review helpful.

*ButterflyB* Initial Impression: This piece is about the childhood memories of going to Gramma's.

*Idea* Theme and Creativity: How cute is this?! I identified with it so much. My Grandparents were farmers and lived in a small farming community. It's as if I could have written this myself. My cousins and I would often go exploring the fields and the old barn. My mother's room in the attic still had her clothes as well, and we would also dress up in them. *Laugh* This piece brought all those memories back to me as well. That's what a poem should do. Paint a picture in the reader's mind and help them find a way to relate. Nicely done.

*Pencil*Technique: I find this piece has the lyrical quality of poetry and for the most part is formatted well.However, it had an uneven cadence and rhythm in some places. This makes the read a bit choppy. Some of the stanza's were even and only had one or two issues while others were more difficult. But, this is easily fixed.

*Cut* Suggestions: To correct this, try to match the rhyming lines by syllable count. (i.e. 123456 go, 123456 show.) So in this case, you have an a,b,c,b rhyme pattern.

To me it was a mansion, (a) (7 syllables)
I still see it in my dreams. (b) (7)
It was a big and white with a closed-in porch, (c)(11)
and love was bursting from it's seams. (b) (8)


So, it just needs a few tweaks to make it read a little more evenly. This is not meant as a rewrite, but merely as an example, so please make it your own.

To me it was a mansion, (7 syllables)
I still see it in my dreams. (7)
Big and white with closed-in porch, (7)
and love bursting from it's seams. (7)


The syllable count would change to a 7,7,7,7 syllable pattern. If you read this a loud you'll find this makes a steady beat, and rhythm for the reader to fall into. They do not have to work as hard to keep pace and will better be able to focus on your content.


*FlowerV* Final Comments: What a cute and fun piece this is. I think I like it also because I am big lover of genealogy and family history and am always encouraging people to record these stories. In fact, I run a contest called "Roots & Wings Contest CONTEST/CLOSED that I'd love for you to check out. This piece would be perfect for it.

This is a great start to a beautiful poem. It has a lot of potential. I hope you keep at it to give it the impact it deserves.


I find it is through honest and thorough feedback that we grow as writers and my only goal is to help you do so. I hope that you find a home here at WDC. There are so many things to do that it can be a little overwhelming at first, but keep exploring. If you're interested in finding a friends that can help you find your way around come visit us at "Invalid Item We love to help you get motivated, challenge you to new heights, and help you make new friends. I'd love to hear from you

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18
18
Review of Whispering Tears  
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
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Hi Alexi Spider is Hufflepuffing

Holy crap! I am soooo late on delivering these reviews to you. Here you bid on my review package and then I completely screw you over. *Blush*. I'm so sorry. It's been a crazy season and then starting up the auction and helping with the Quills... There's no excuse really. I just hope my reviews are helpful.


*ButterflyB* Initial Impression: This piece is about a love that lasts a lifetime and beyond.

*Idea* Theme and Creativity: I'm always a sap for these kinds of pieces. Probably because I got married so young that it seems like I've been with my husband my whole life. And I also believe that there is no such thing as "til death do us part'"

*Pencil* Technique:I like the repeating lines in this piece. They seem to give the piece a coheasive element. They piece walks us through the changing stages of love. It represents the stability of the relationship through a changing world.

*Cut* Suggestions: I notice you use ... a lot to add emphasis to the reader to pause. In free verse, the line breaks do that for you so you don't need to put those in. Where you break the line signals to the reader to pause and will give that emphasis for you. I'd like to see each stage of the relationship have its own stanza as well. I think expanding those stages too would fill this piece out a little too. It feels a bit unfinished.

Well, not unfinished per se, as it's great on its own, but I feel that you have the talent to add more color. I hate it when people rewrite for me so I hope this is okay, but I just want to experiment with what I mean to see if it helps you. Remember, this is just me trying to find something helpful, so forgive me.



When we met that night
your eyes
whispered it all

I laughed and thought
he knows me not
Time went like the wind
you and I
just we two

We loved we laughed
years and wind
whispered it all

A gold band of bonds
storing memory
just we two

Night stars shine and
your eyes still
whisper it all

You know me now you're gone
forever and
My tears and the wind
whisper it all


*FlowerV* Final Comments: Okay, that was just an experiment to see how it would turn out. I don't know if that captures what you want, but thought it could cut out all the punctuation yet add pauses where you want them. Does it work for you? I'm still not sure. That's what I love about free verse though. You never really get done experimenting. Either way this is a beautiful poem that leaves me feeling uplifted, peaceful, contented, and happy. Nicely done.

Again, sorry for the delay. I can't tell you how embarrassed I am. I promise I'll get to the last one ASAP. Thanks for being my friend on this site. I truly value your friendship... and your writing. *Laugh*

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19
19
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (3.0)
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Hi kyrbglrn

My name is Devils in my Ear and I'm reviewing for "The Newbies Academy Group. I want to welcome you to WDC and thought I would give you some feedback on your work. I strive to give honest reviews and I hope you find this review helpful.

*ButterflyB* Initial Impression: This piece is about the indecision of how to proceed when we discover our deep feelings for another. Do we act or let it recede?

*Idea* Theme and Creativity: This is a common feeling for many people and I think we have all faced this dilemma at one time or another. I think there are a lot of people that can relate to this piece and that have felt the exact same way.

*Pencil* Technique: There are a few flow issues here that make the technical read a bit choppy. The meter is off in places meaning the rhymes (or near rhymes) do not match up evenly. It does not have an even cadence and rhythm. It means the reader is spending more time trying to get the rhythm than listening to content of the piece. So, although the content does come through, it doesn't have the power it is capable of.


*Cut* Suggestions: This can easily be corrected by shortening your 2 line a,a stanza into a 4 line a,b,c,b stanza. Not only can more easily match the rhymes and meter together, you can also add or delete words as needed.

Ever since I met you, things suddenly start to change. (a)
I notice myself doing stuff that are very strange. (a)


Ever since I met you, (a)
things suddenly start to change. (b)
I notice myself doing (c)
stuff that [is] are very strange.(b)


(I'd love to see another stanza here telling me what the strange stuff is. It gives us a little more insight into your infatuation)

The pattern change gives the reader clues as to where to pause. This makes a steady beat, and rhythm for the reader to fall into, and they do not have to work as hard to keep pace.


*FlowerV* Final Comments: This is a great start to a creative poem. I would like to see a few more specifics as it seems a bit too general at the moment. It has a lot of potential. I hope you keep at it to give it the impact it deserves.

I find it is through honest and thorough feedback that we grow as writers and my only goal is to help you do so. I hope that you find a home here at WDC. There are so many things to do that it can be a little overwhelming at first, but keep exploring. If you're interested in finding friends that can help you find your way around come visit us at "Invalid Item We love to help you get motivated, challenge you to new heights, and help you make new friends. I'd love to hear from you

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20
20
Review of Denny  
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Muse Masters Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
My review sig


Hello Alexi Spider is Hufflepuffing

This is review #1 of the 3 reviews you won in the "Invalid Item. I'm glad to have the opportunity to review you again. Since we have an established friendship, I'll dispense with all the disclaimers. You know it's my opinion and blah, blah, blah. I always skip that when people review me anyway. So, I'll only say take no offense. *Laugh*

*ButterflyB* Initial Impression: Wow! What a heart rending piece this is. It is sorrowful yet at the same time life affirming. It speaks of a lifetime of joy and a long journey hand in hand. Although it is sorrowful, we are still left with a feeling of peace.

*Idea* Theme and Creativity: Death is, unfortunately, a common theme as it touches everyone. Yet it never seems overdone since everyone handles it so differently according to their own life experiences and beliefs. I enjoy reading them for that reason alone. But in this case, it helps me get to know my friend and fellow poet a little better.

I love that this is not only a poem, but a cathartic love letter to your late husband. It shows that your communication transcends the bonds of earth and is far more than 'till death do us part'. It tells us that you know you will see him again without even saying a word. Beautiful.


*Pencil* Technique: I did find this piece a little confusing during my first read through. When we begin to read a poem, we don't know if it is free verse or traditional, so we take our cues from the first stanza or two. So, because I saw the rhyming words, I began reading it with meter as I would a traditional piece. The meter gave a rhythmic flow and worked well. However, when I got to line 8, it did not match with the rhyme scheme established in the first stanza. Then it seemed to transform into a free verse piece from there. While rhyme and occasionally meter are certainly accepted in free verse, I think it was a little more difficult to determine the direction of the piece because of the uniformity of the initial format.

*Cut* Suggestions: So, that being said, I'm sure it is an implied suggestion. *Laugh*. My only other recommendation is that you streamline it a bit by giving us a bit more information. The first 7 lines are about a beautiful life, and then it suddenly cuts to you being alone. It feels a bit abrupt. I also found the funeral verse, while giving us an appreciation of the lives touched, was really not necessary. It didn't seem to fit in with the tone of the rest of the piece. It seems like it would be more intimate without it.

*FlowerV* Final Comments: Okay, so I know I'm being overly critical, but I wanted to try and offer you something. This piece really made me think. I can't imagine, nor do I want to, the difficulty of losing a life partner. My husband and I were also married young and have been together for 22 years. The difficulty of adjusting to life without him is hard to conceive.

Being a fan of non-fictional literature, I love that you gave us the facts behind the poem at the bottom of the piece. It always makes the work so much more dynamic when you know they are based on true events rather than imagined ones. Sixty-three is so young. I'm sorry for your loss. Thank you for writing and sharing such a personal experience. Now I know you that much better. Luv Ya!


Stay tuned for review number 2, coming soon to an email near you!

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FORUM
Shadows and Light Poetry Contest  (E)
Do you love the challenge and creativity of free verse poetry? This contest is for you.
#1935693 by Chocghostnut ~ Hufflepuffing!


"Roots & Wings Contest CONTEST/CLOSED
21
21
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Contest Judge Image



Hey Magicmama

Thanks for entering the "Roots & Wings Contest CONTEST/CLOSED. This contest is about writing and revealing the true character of your ancestors. To that end, my reviews will focus more on description and character development than overall writing skill. I strive to give honest reviews and I hope you find this review helpful. The following is merely my impressions of your writing. Please make use only of what you feel is relevant to your vision and ignore the rest.

Initial Impression: This is an interesting story about the experience of an American soldier stationed in London.

What I liked: I really like this story being told from first person. I find that by putting us in his shoes we are able to relate more to the character and the story. I also like how you used the spelling of the cockney accent to give us the feel of that character. It helps us get the feel of the setting a little better and puts us in the story.

I also felt like you really hooked us from the start. It was very easy to get into the story and we were waiting to see what was next.


What to work on: I have a couple of suggestions. The first thing I noticed was that it seemed like there was more emphasis on the loss of the roll than the danger of the bombing. The focus and point of the story is that by simple luck he avoided the fate of that bombing. So, I would like to see you mention that danger a little more so that we are aware from the beginning of that danger. Perhaps, as he is thinking about being stationed in London while on the ship, his thoughts can wander to the fact that bombings are common in England and he was fearful of that happening. Then, in the back of our minds, we wonder about that. The bombing only got 1 sentence and the irony of the story didn't have as strong as an impact as it could have.

Also, as I suggest in all of my contest entries, I'd like you to put a footnote at the bottom that this story is based on the experiences of your Grandfather. Many people who read this story will think it is simply fiction. If it weren't for the fact that you mention it in your summary, we wouldn't even know. I always find that when I realize this is a true story, it makes it even more fascinating.


Final Comments: I loved the fact that this piece read like fiction. As I said, it makes this story more relateable to the reader, and when your family reads it, they will start to think about what his experiences really were and may want to find out even more about him and his life. If you have a picture of him it uniform it might be fun to add it as your cover. If you print this offline for your family, be sure to add it as well. I think it's a great idea for the people in my contest to create a collection of these stories offline for their family.

Please remember, these are just observations and suggestions. Feel free to edit and make changes as you find them needed. There is no prohibition on editing for this contest. My aim to is to help you find the most relevant and entertaining way to record your family history. I hope this contest will encourage you to keep digging. There is a gold mine of people waiting for you to find them.


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GROUP
Roots & Wings Group  (E)
A group for those with an interest in writing their memoirs or family history.
#1962411 by Elle

"Roots & Wings Contest CONTEST/CLOSED
"Shadows and Light Poetry Contest
22
22
Review of But  
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Newbies Academy Reviewing Sig1


Hi Megs Brink

My name is Devils in my Ear and I'm reviewing for "The Newbies Academy Group. I want to welcome you to WDC and thought I would give you some feedback on your work. I strive to give honest reviews and I hope you find this review helpful

I love free verse pieces and therefore created my own free verse contest "Shadows and Light Poetry Contest. I often read through those pieces here. Free verse is a difficult medium although many think it is easy. I think if it's easy, you're doing it wrong. *Laugh*

I really like the duality you have in this piece. The contrasts are so interesting and you have them written well. This gives your piece the flow and lyrical quality all free verse pieces strive for. I also find your line breaks to be well done. I like that each contrast gets its own line. It makes each one stronger.

However, I was waiting for your meaning. You point out all the contrasts that we live with daily, but leave it at that. So, we all have contrasts in our lives, and.... Poetry is meant to tell a truth as the poet sees it. In this case, it feels as if the poem is only half finished. When did all these contrasts come to you and why? How do they affect your life and make you feel? Is this about a relationship or just in general? If it is in general it is much less meaningful. You need to find a way to answer at least one of those and include it in your piece. Don't just give us a profound thought, but tell us why we should care and why it matters to you.

I think you need a different title. The word 'but' is not very lyrical. Even though it apt, it isn't as interesting as the poem itself. It doesn't fit. But, I'm not sure what to change it to, so that's really just my own opinion.

It is said that "Reading free verse poetry can be compared to wine and honey. The taste should linger on the lips after the reading a good poem aloud." I think that you have accomplished the difficult side of free verse. That is the lyrical sound of flow that I look for. I think this piece has a lot of potential. It has more to say, and I want to hear it. I hope you keep at it to give it the impact it deserves.

I find it is through honest and thorough feedback that we grow as writers and my only goal is to help you do so. I hope that you find a home here at WDC. There are so many things to do that it can be a little overwhelming at first, but keep exploring. If you're interested in finding a friends that can help you find your way around come visit us at "Invalid Item We love to help you get motivated, challenge you to new heights, and help you make new friends. I'd love to hear from you

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23
23
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with The Newbies Academy Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
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Hi MARginal

My name is Devils in my Ear and I'm reviewing for "The Newbies Academy Group. I want to welcome you to WDC and thought I would give you some feedback on your work. I strive to give honest reviews and I hope you find this review helpful

*ButterflyB* Initial Impression: Well, funny story. As I lay awake, staring at the ceiling after a tough day, I found sleep was impossible so I decided I'd do a few reviews. As it happens, I come across your piece. It was like you had been listening to my inner dialogue before I got out of bed. I feel this way often and especially after a few recent events, this has come rushing back to me.

*Idea* Theme and Creativity: While it feels so personal and frustrating to be misunderstood and undervalued, it amazes me at how common this feeling truly is. Although you are writing about the feelings of adolecense, I'm sorry to tell you, it afflicts us throughout our lives. At 40, I still find myself asking the mirror this question. So many readers will relate to this piece. It is an oft written about theme. The key to good writing, is to make yours stand apart from the others. You are well on your way here. A few of my favorite lines are:

Suffocating clutches of despair...
Classified information, not important enough to be said aloud
But, the mirror has no answer


I do think you need to stay away from cliches like "bottled up inside her head" and also try to show us the feeling of hurt, lonely and confused. Those are statement words with no depth if there is no description to go with it. But I think you have done well with most of your lines.


*Pencil* Technique: There are some technical issues as far as free verse goes. Your lines are a bit long and many of your best words and images get lost in the length. In free verse, line breaks and punctuation are critical. They give the reader clues as to where to pause, stop and reflect, or read through. This can determine how the reader will hear and interpret your piece. In this case, each line is a phrase or sentence and there isn't a lot of flow to the read. It is choppy and lacks the musicality of poetry.


*Cut* Suggestions: Luckily, this is an easy fix and can be a really fun process. Using your words, I will break it up differently to show what I mean. When reading this, read it slowly and aloud, pausing or stopping only when the punctuation dictates.

She walks around with a (false) smile
plastered to her face;
Surrounded by people
who have not the slightest interest
in her presence.

She silently watches
the world go by,
noticing everyone
and everything.


When it is broken up in this way, we hear the words individually rather than part of a whole thought. We focus on the words a little closer and the content makes a stronger impact on the reader because each phrase can stand on its own. This is not meant as a re-write of your piece and you should try it your own way. Break it in several different places before deciding on how you want it to read.

Also, as a WDC tip, I like to use my item summary as a hook to get people interested in reading my piece. Kind of like a dust jacket of a book. In this case, you don't need to say you wrote it in middle school and why. You don't need to tell us what its about. Let us discover that on our own. Give us a hint but don't show us the cards. Many people don't do this, but I find those that do tend to get more readers. If you need an example, check some of the pieces in my port.


*FlowerV* Final Comments: I hope I haven't discouraged you with this long, and admittedly picky review. I only tend to review piece that I think are good and just need a few tweaks to make them better. It is said that "Reading free verse poetry can be compared to wine and honey. The taste should linger on the lips after the reading a good poem aloud."

This is a great start to a beautiful poem. It has a lot of potential. Remember that free verse is a very personal form and the comments I have made are based on my own preferences and experience. Please feel free to take it or leave it as you discover your own voice. I hope you keep at it to give it the impact it deserves. I'd love to read it again, or answer any questions you have if you do choose to rework it. Please email me and let me know.


I find it is through honest and thorough feedback that we grow as writers and my only goal is to help you do so. I hope that you find a home here at WDC. There are so many things to do that it can be a little overwhelming at first, but keep exploring. If you're interested in finding a friends that can help you find your way around come visit us at "Invalid Item We love to help you get motivated, challenge you to new heights, and help you make new friends. Come say hello at the "Newbies Academy Registration - OPEN and we'll get you started. We'd love to hear from you.

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24
24
Review of The K-Rations  
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
My review sig



Hey kiyasama

Here, at last, is the 3rd review you won from my package in "Genre Auction and Fundraiser. I'm sorry it is so late. *Blush* This piece is difficult to review because there is so much to it, so I hope I can do it justice. I hope you find my comments helpful and am glad I have been able to read these pieces for you.

Initial Impression: This is an interesting amalgam of the different experiences of different people throughout WWII. It reminded me of the book 'World War Z' which has a similar aim. We can enjoy each story individually, but it's only when we put them all together that we get the full impact this war had. Not just in the historical sense, but in the way it impacted those individuals and by extension those they loved and touched through their lives.

What I liked: I really liked how this piece chronicles many of the more famous events, such as D-day, but also gives a broader look at all the other things that were going on. I like that we get the viewpoint of the individual soldier and their own take on these events. Not only does it help create a realistic setting, it also gives us a greater appreciation of the true sacrifices and service these soldiers gave.

I really appreciate that you not only wrote about things that are general knowledge, but took the time to research them as well. You have dates, places, and even language that would not be generally known. That's what makes this fun to read. Not only is it interesting it is educational and informative.

I found this piece to very unique. Each section so different and so poignant. At times, I found myself crying, laughing, and sometimes afraid to go on because I knew what would happen. You did a great job at giving each section and character their own unique voice. I think what makes it memorable. It is a piece that I continue to think about long after reading. For me, that's my touchdown. I'd rather write a piece read by only a few people yet always remembered, than write a piece published and read by the masses that is forgotten the next day. This is a piece that touches people and that is why it hits its mark.


What to work on: My first suggestion would be to give each section a title. Perhaps put the name of the speaker or character centered at the top of each one. This piece jumps from people and places in each section and at first, you're not sure if you should try to link them together or if they are each independent of each other. I think by doing that it will become a little more clear that we are reading the different stories and experiences of different people in each section.

There was also a little more telling than showing. But, it seemed that each of the sections could be a complete short story on their own so showing would make each section longer. It may also give us more info than we need for the story. But, it's also those things that create character and setting that set the tone though so I'd love to see them expanded. You know, now that think of it, it may be fun to see this as a book item where each section gets its own chapter. It would definitely divide the sections nicely, and you could continue to add stories as you think of them. This way you could really go into greater detail and show the character living the events rather than just remembering them or stating that they happened. I'm referring really to the events they flashback to. Poker games, name calling, leaving home, etc.


Final Comments: Wow, this one was quite an adventure and a lot of food for thought. It seems like the more I learn about WWII, the more amazed I am that we just seem to take it for granted. Most of these vets are gone now, and its more like a story than an actual experience. I mean, if I stop to think how I would feel if I knew that Hitler were truly killing this many people right now, it boggles the imagination. I realize things like this are going on now in many places, but not to the grand scale this had. I don't think we can grasp the true terror of this time in history.

I'm afraid this review cannot truly do your piece justice as I could have done a review for each section. Because of the vast differences in style and voice, they each have their own story and I found that trying to review this piece as a whole was a bit past my talents I'm afraid. I really would love to see this as a book item with chapters. I think that way, each story will get the full attention rather than just be a piece to the whole.


Thank you so much for bidding on (and winning) my package. I have truly enjoyed reading your work, and these are pieces I may not have found on my own. You have a way of capturing and re-creating the world as it was that makes all of your historical pieces so enthralling. I find so much of the non-fiction and historical information is so 2 dimensional. It's no wonder so many people find history boring. I didn't realize, until I got older, the true value and fascination history holds. It is our privilege as writers to shine a light on these events, and help the reader get a true understanding of the emotions that existed, not just the actions that were taken. You are great at doing that. Well done.


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25
25
Review of The man next door  
Review by Devils in my Ear
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (2.5)
Newbies Academy Reviewing Sig1


Hi Meghans

My name is Devils in my Ear and I'm reviewing for "The Newbies Academy Group. I want to welcome you to WDC and thought I would give you some feedback on your work. I strive to give honest reviews and I hope you find this review helpful

*ButterflyB* Initial Impression: This is a sad piece about how the loss of someone we care about can leave such a hole in our lives.

*Idea* Theme and Creativity: Many people write about loss, but you take a unique approach in that it was a neighbor that the poet thought had just a passing role in their life. To me, it showed that we never know the impact we make, or that others have by how we relate and react to the world around us. This piece isn't just about loss, but about how what we do affects others for the better or worse. There is a deeper meaning than simply sorrow. I like that.

*Pencil* Technique: This piece has several technical issues. For instance in line 2 you use the word there rather than their. This is something spell check won't catch so be sure to read your piece a loud to catch it.

This piece doesn't read as free verse or poetry because the first few lines are almost just a paragraph. I think this would make a great short story though. There is more information than needed in poetry.

In free verse, line breaks and punctuation are critical. They give the reader clues as to where to pause, stop and reflect, or read through. This can determine how the reader will hear and interpret your piece.

*Cut* Suggestions: So, using your words, I will break it up differently to show what I mean. However, I have crossed out a few words because they are conversational filler words that are unnecessary in poetry. When reading this, read it slowly and aloud, pausing or stopping only when the punctuation dictates.

The lights flashing
with the colors of
red and blue shining
through my window.

People wearing these black uniforms with
a little shiny star
on there left shoulder.


When it is broken up in this way, we hear the words individually rather than part of a whole thought. We focus on the words flashing, colors, shining. They now have a stronger impact on the reader because each phrase can stand on its own. This is not meant as a re-write of your piece and you should try it your own way. Break it in several different places before deciding on how you want it to read.



*FlowerV* Final Comments: I often begin my free verse pieces just this way so you do have a lot to work with. I begin with a free write and then decide how to break the lines.

It is said that "Reading free verse poetry can be compared to wine and honey. The taste should linger on the lips after the reading a good poem aloud."

This is a great start to a beautiful poem. It has a lot of potential. I hope you keep at it to give it the impact it deserves.


I find it is through honest and thorough feedback that we grow as writers and my only goal is to help you do so. I hope that you find a home here at WDC. There are so many things to do that it can be a little overwhelming at first, but keep exploring. If you're interested in finding a friends that can help you find your way around come visit us at "Invalid Item We love to help you get motivated, challenge you to new heights, and help you make new friends. I'd love to hear from you

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