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Review of All the Time  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

Writing poetry about our faith is, I think, the most difficult thing to do of all writing tasks. I should know - I've failed at it so often that I gave up even the attempt for many years. Having a tentative go at it again now that I'm in WdC but I still find it incredibly hard. How to achieve the balance between honesty and not sounding self righteous, that is the problem.

With this, you achieve the deed. With these simple statements of your faith, there is no need to dramatise or perform. You point always to Him and in that you cannot go wrong. Well done.


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Review of Aloneness  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

Realised it was about time I repaid you for all the reviews you've done for me. So I went to your portfolio...

Aloneness is an interesting poem. I have taken the liberty of assuming that it's really about you and that you have taken the journey from isolation to involvement. Hence your membership of WdC, no doubt. It's a product of our social nature that we find it hard to bear being alone for long periods. Many of us, artists (including writers) in particular needing to be alone at times, yet always we return to the "herd" for refreshment and interaction. That is where we get our inspiration, after all, even though we need time alone to reflect and allow creations to grow in us.

Your poem is a very complete statement of the problem and its solution. It is engaging and direct but could do with a little editing in the form of reducing length and avoiding repetition of ideas if not words. It is better to say something briefly with the right words than to hammer things home with repetition.

Not that you have done much of that. I just feel it needs some slimming here and there. Great poem, even so.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of A Short Story  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Great article, very amusing and full of truth. I'm only surprised that you didn't mention the most obvious fact about tall people. They're all more stupid than the little fellers. Personally, I ascribe that to the thinner air at high latitudes - they're all suffering from oxygen starvation.

But anyway, never mind what I think. It was a pleasure to read your article and I can find no fault in it. Well done!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
To be honest, I'm sick of hearing what publishers think is the right or wrong way to go about writing. Let's face it - they are what they are because they failed in their real ambition to be writers. The fact that the vast majority of books accepted for publication are total failures, is an indication that they are not the wise and wonderful arbiters they think they are. Were you to pick books for publication by the "close your eyes and stick a pin in the pile" method, the statistics would probably be the same.

Personally, I don't write to genre. I write the dang story and decide afterwards what genre it is. Genre is the least important aspect of any piece of writing. All that matters is whether people read it or not.

Okay, you can all tear me to shreds now. I've given this five stars to prove I do not always disrespect authority.


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Review of Gravity  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

Interesting. Thoughtful, insightful poem expressed with an admirable economy of words. Especially clever in that the full meaning is not revealed until the last word of the poem. That is really excellent.

Dang, the more times I read this, the more I get from it. Obviously, it's very good. Such sure and confident handling of words. Great stuff.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (5.0)
A moment in time captured forever. Believe me, the leather pants will lose sooner or later and the relief and comfort in yourself that follows will make you wonder why you waited so long. Of course, I admit that I still wear the uniform of my generation (jeans and T-shirt) but I was persuaded to try on a pair of old fart pants a while back and I confess that they are wonderfully comfortable. Looked awful, of course, but felt so good that I sometimes wear them when I'm not going out. The thin end of the wedge, no doubt.

A brave, personal essay, written with style and humour. i can't even find a comma out of place to quibble about!


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Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

A poem grown in experience. The trick of beginning each line with a verb before allowing the second line to carry it forward is quite clever. Apart from suggesting that we read down the list of verbs to start with, it also adds importance to the verbs. That enforced break between verb and the full lines makes us more aware of the verb. It makes for a very effective first verse.

I'm not quite so sure of the second verse. About halfway through, it descends into prose and the rhythm breaks down. This may be intentional in that the creativity of the first verse is crumbling into the drugged release of the second. In many ways it may be that prose is a more appropriate vehicle for the descent down the alleyway. I'm just unsure how successful it is that's all.

Good stuff, as usual, Canis!


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Review of Depression  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

A very good description of what depression feels like. The imagery is intense and matches the closed in feeling brought by depression. But the real gem is the sudden change at the end from the indeterminate "you" to the very personal "me". It's a dead giveaway and lets us know that you are truly competent to speak on the subject.

A thoughtful and interesting poem. Well done.


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Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (5.0)
I have heard it said that one cannot love until one has learned to love oneself. Considering the bad press that phrase, "to love oneself", has had, I would amend that to "accept onself". To do that, one has to acknowledge that one is as imperfect as the next person and that you cannot be anyone other than who you are. If that is what you are, then that is what God has made you. And, since God accepts you as you are (He does, believe me), who are you to argue? Only when one has become comfortable with oneself can one progress to caring effectively for others.

Sorry for all that but your essay brought it to mind. If it's of help, then I'm glad. If not, it may be of some use at a future date.


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Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is a clever little story. I was halfway through before I began to realise who the sad, lone girl was. This slow realisation is important to the pace of what you're saying. The whole story is a picture of your own growing understanding of yourself. There is no need for the sudden punchline so common in most short stories - the subject demands a more rational and gradual approach and you achieve it perfectly.

WdC abounds with teenage angst tales and poems but this story never falls into that trap. It's a voyage of exploration that allows the reader to hitch a ride and experience it with you. Exceptionally well done.


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Review of Alphabet Song  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

Oh, I like this! I've often noticed the closeness of "fiend" and "friend" but never thought of writing about it. Very clever and true, too. The letter R does indeed change the world (otherwise it would be the wold).

I can't think of any way to improve this. Well done!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of The Hardship  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Well said! And well written, too. Nice little twist in the tail - I didn't see that coming. Especially, I loved the paragraph about cancer not being contagious. We do treat it with far too much deference.

I wonder if all families have someone who refuses to be a part of the facade.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Well written, no problems (except it should be "a cop's cop"), so I don't really have much to say. But you did make me think of this:

8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees. “Go away from me, Lord,” he said, “for I am a sinful man.” 9 For he and his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were his partners James and John, the sons of Zebedee. “Do not be afraid,” Jesus said to Simon, “from now on you will catch men.”

Luke 5:8-10

I think we speak the language of the people we grow up with and God sees through such matters as "unclean lips". He's more interested in the heart.


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Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
You're right, it is completely absurd. Yet it has a charm that is very uncommon these days. The conversational style is part of that and the humour helps as well. But the vision is quite unique. I cannot imagine even one writer in a thousand coming up with such a delightful tale of happy nonsense. It is so pleasant to read a story that is told with a smile on the writer's face; we are far too serious a breed lately.

Well done indeed!


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Review of Re Awakenings  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

Ouch! This is scarily deep feeling stripped bare of pretence and camouflage. I have tried myself to write love poetry but never came anywhere near the accuracy and expression of this poem. How can I suggest improvement to something so perfect?

The best I can do is give it the five stars it deserves. Wonderful writing.


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Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (4.0)
I read Runoffscribe's review of this piece (which was excellent) but I wanted to add something that I think is very important to your story. The tone is absolutely wonderful, reminding me of A.A Milne, the creator of Winnie the Pooh. The beautiful innocence with which the Little Pirate sets forth her plans is delightful and your style is perfectly suited to the creation of the atmosphere of the story. Your last sentence is a masterpiece typical of Milne - that certainty that, if things turn out differently from the plan, another will be adopted without fuss.

Yes, it needs a little tweaking but don't lose that fresh, childlike thread that runs through the whole piece.


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Review by Beholden
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
For the reviewing section of the Newbies + Poetry Group

Good point! The problem is stated clearly in the first verse and your reason for disagreeing in the second. It could hardly be more direct - a virtue in my eyes. I could quibble over last line of the first verse (grammatically it should be "As if that were a compliment") but it's no big deal.

A thoughtful poem presented without unnecessary frills.


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Review of Clueless  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Very clever. That's what they call "sewing the seed of doubt" I believe. I saw a program on body farms a while back so I know you're telling the truth. Horrible but necessary work indeed.

The piece is very well paced, the reader being lulled into forgetting all about the missing wife in the discussion of the farm. The sudden return to the wife is perfectly timed and has its full shock value as a result.

Enjoable tale.


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Review of The Wrath  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
You're doing what I have tried to do so many times before and failed. The difference is, you're succeeding. To speak of such deep matters of Faith is so difficult, with pitfalls of cliché and sentiment waiting on either side, that I've had to fall back on little homilies and parables to say what I mean. To write poetry on such things is way beyond me and I salute you for poetry so expressive and honest. Well done indeed!


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Review of Old Oak Man  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (5.0)
I haven't decided yet whether to enter this contest or not, so I thought I'd better write a review (it's really applause) for your wonderful poem on old age. It is so expressive of each stage of our growth, the words so carefully chosen, so much said in so few words. Dammit, man, you've captured exactly how I feel at 71 years of age! Brilliant job.


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Review of Medusa  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Nice blend of the classical and the modern. And far too true to be comfortable.

Some slight confusion mid second stanza in that it's unclear just who is drinking her drink. The young prince is close enough for it to be him but that makes the grammar horrible so we come round to the idea that she's drinking her own drink (and sinking at the table). A minor point but you might consider it.

Great poem constructed on a solid classical base. Nicely done.


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Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Interesting exploration of a relationship between enemies. The alien is painted very well, so that we understand his motives rather better than we do the human protagonist. But that's fine - we ought to know ourselves by now.

The delicate balance between the two is also well described. By the final paragraph, the reader understands well how easily the balance can be upset by either side.

It's a well written piece, full of tension and depth. I do have a minor suggestion - separate "into" in the final sentence into "in to". The action is "gives in" and then we consider to what. Excellent piece, even so.


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Review of My Favorite Pair  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (5.0)
That's how I love clothes! Many of them only become comfortable when they've been aged properly. I remember a jacket I had that I wore constantly until it began to disintegrate with wear and tear. People nagged me about it but I couldn't see what was wrong with it - I'd lived through all its ups and downs and they told my story too. Then it disappeared and I found out years later that my mother had put it on a bonfire. It had become pretty awful by then, I admit!

But your poem is a wonderful elegy to your favorite pair of socks and I'm sure it strikes a chord with anyone who likes their clothers comfortable. Wonderful writing!


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Review of EMO911  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Clever. The only problem is that I can see it happening in the not so distant future. Which makes the piece satire and more than comedy. Oh, brave new world.

Couldn't see anything wrong with the writing, spelling, etc. so no suggestions from me.
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Review of RED  
Review by Beholden
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Wonderful poem. Especially poignant to me since I spent several summers trying to escape supermarket tomatoes by growing them in pots. Something always went wrong, the weather, caterpillars, summers too cool, and I gave up in the end. But it's true - supermarket tomatoes are nothing like as good as the ones I remember from my youth.

But the poem, I'm supposed to review the poem. Well it was certainly evocative, as my first paragraph proves. The description of slicing into a good, red, juicy tomato is exactly right. You've made me hunger for decent tomatoes again.

I do have a slight doubt about that use of colour for the word "red". Seems a bit superfluous somehow. Otherwise the poem is perfect in my book. Well done and good luck in the contest.


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