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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
I came across your poem through Read & Review. You wrote this a while back, so I'll mostly focus on impressions.

I really liked the rhythm and sound of this spoken aloud. The imagery was strong, especially the smoke from the train - unique and powerful. You wrap it up well with an excellent dark verse.

There is one thing you might consider, though it is not critical, just a possible area for improvement. The 4th stanza seems out of place with the others. Each of the other stanzas has specific deadly implications, and as you have it, the wind doesn't seem threatening enough. Maybe if it chilled you to the bone or if there were some imagery like the train smoke, it would seem more in keeping.

Overall, an excellent job. Write on!


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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.0)
I found your poem through the Read & Review. I have to say, I like the message and the emotion behind your words, but it feels like you could clean up a few small things and increase its impact. While I am not a stickler for punctuation in poetry, sometimes it even hurts, I think you would be well served by breaking up a few of the lines with commas or hyphens. In a line such as:

Letters speak but voices fade seeds of descent have been laid.

It can be a little hard to parse, which slows down and interrupts the flow and message. Just adding a comma after fade would help the reader a lot.

There are also a couple of glitches, such as it spreads and grow which should be it spreads and grows. I can't tell if you did that on purpose to match the internal rhyme with below, but even if you did, it would be a near rhyme written as grows, and would not cause readers to stop and blink at the usage.

Write on!


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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.5)
I found your poem through the Read & Review feature. You have a good sense of flow and rhythm here as your poem builds in intensity. Well done.

There are a few distracting glitches you could fix easily such as the period after the question marks which aren't necessary. I think I'd also skip the quotation marks entirely. I always encourage poets to clean and tighten so the strength of their words shine through.

Write on!


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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Wow, well that's certainly a new and different take on stardom. It's fun to see a poem that doesn't take itself too seriously, and yet still expresses something.

A minor point, but in that first line, it should be

Venus gray velvet body suites suits


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for entry "🥇 Crux
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Excellent use of the form, and wonderfully emotive. Nice!
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Review of Looking Eastward  
for entry "🥇 Dancing Free
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (5.0)
Oh, I really like this one, Ken. Nice work with the imagery, especially in the first stanza. You used the form very well.
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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
I think this is an excellent effort to organize and document the systems of magic you use in your writing. While there are many systems out there, with differing levels of organization or coherency, it seems important to clarify to yourself what works, what costs, and the source of everything.

So, absolutely, a very good exercise for an author writing fantasy. Well done.

One possible way you might want to expand on this a little is in the area of attribution to or consistency with "canon". (I know there isn't one canon, but bear with me.) If you you extended each section a little to mention how this form of magic reflects or contrasts with other popular systems, it would help you focus on what people might expect and thus need more hints about. For example, the concept of Time Lords is obviously used in Doctor Who (and possibly others SFF novels - I don't know). If your section on Temporal Magic mentioned that, it could then lightly describe where you were consistent and where you were not. That might then help you in writing to highlight (subtly) the differences, so your readers wouldn't assume something else. It would also help if you needed to mention something in your Acknowledgements about the similarities.

Good work, and best of luck in your quest to become a Best Selling Author.


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Review of The Visitation  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.5)
Lovely sentiment and evocative phrasing. You adapt to the form fairly well (no surprise there, given your skill), though I sense some hesitation in the final couplets as if you are... stretching it out a bit.

As an example, if you had no syllable requirement, you likely could have used:

It's no more than light playing on the snow

or even something like the following if you wanted a more rhythmic sound:

No more than moonlight on the snow

But aside from the slight feel that you are working against the form, you use you words well, and I really like the emotion you bring to it.


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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (5.0)
A fun activity. I sent my version via email before I read any of the others, but it is fun to see what people have come up with. There is such a wide range of stories. (A personal favorite is the demon spawn joining the local soccer team.)

Anyway, here is my version for people who might not make it to the bottom:

Once upon a time there was a dragon in a deep dark cave.
Everyday he'd eat someone, whether honest man or knave.
One day a Princess rode by and told him not to misbehave.
Because of that, the dragon roared, swore the Princess he'd enslave.
Until finally, she slew the beast leaving just an unmarked grave.


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85
85
Review of Annie  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (5.0)
What a lovely poem. The idea of Annie (both of them) in the helter skelter graveyard (a place I'd love to rest in myself), is delightful. I enjoyed every bit of it, as I am sure my grandmother would as well (may she rest in peace).

Thank you, and write on!


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Review of Stellar Imbalance  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Well, that's certainly dark. Interesting how you've used imagery from the past (hot coal-powered engines) to reflect on the future. I'm not sure how realistic it is as science, but it makes fairly compelling science fiction.

There was only place where you slipped and wrote "managed by Gates" when it should have been Grates. But overall, you really capture the horror, mingled with the hope that carries people through such horror. I just hope Eustacia is half what he hopes it will be.

Write on!


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Review of Ruapehu  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I love the imagery here, and the connection between legend and the natural world. You do a great job pulling in different senses. My favorite part is the last stanza, which captures the exhaustion after the frenzy. I didn't see any grammatical or spelling errors, though I mostly read for emotion.

Nice work. Write on!


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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.5)
An interesting story about Nazim and his study of the Sphinx. You do a fairly good job bringing the reader along through the highs and lows Nazim experiences. I assume English is not your first language, and it is somewhat challenging when the words used are incorrect or awkward, but by and large I think the story was constructed well.

I notice you list it as an Essay, but I think it is more of a Short Story. It might encourage more readers if it were listed as a story, since some readers avoid essays.

Thanks for sharing your work. Write on!


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Review of Oceans  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.5)
This is a fun little poem that captures the feel and smell and sounds of the ocean and the beach. I like how you incorporate the senses. The form is done well, and is unobtrusive, but adds a rhythm to the poem that is pleasing.

It doesn't hurt, of course, that I also love the ocean. Thanks for sharing, and write on!


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Review of Lullaby Women  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Oh, fun and creepy and surprising. All things I love in a ghost story. I like the moody feel, and the way you show him growing older and "wiser", which is often the downfall of young men. I also love hearing about ghost stories from different countries, as there are such interesting differences.

I didn't see any typos or grammatical errors. Nice job!


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Review of Mirror, Mirror  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
Interesting read. I enjoyed the scenario, and how it twisted and turned. You made pretty good use of the senses, which really help with a moody piece like this, though I'd suggest you go even further. How does the room smell? What does he feel like as he wakes up. That sort of thing.

But on the whole, I like it a lot. Write on!


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Review of So Not Over Yet  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
You do a good job of song writing here. I like the imagery, and I like the refrain. You have a few typos, such as jut got in the way and later The pressures just got to oo much, both in the first stanza. I'm also not sure that the line same old religio\political song is easy to sing, or would be easy to understand by somebody hearing, so I'd suggest you work on that a bit.

Overall, nice work. Write on!


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Review of Opened Eyes  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.5)
A nicely written poem with a strong sense of resolve showing through. You do well at communicating the struggles and shortcomings, but the focus is firmly on how you can and will do better. As much as a poem, it feels like an affirmation, and I wish you all the best in carrying on with it. (While I know this is from when you were younger, experience suggests that if you are posting it now, you have matured into a realization that such affirmations need to be reconfirmed over and over through life.)

Write on!


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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
You do a good job with world building here, and a fairly good job introducing the character. (I would suggest changing her name, as unless you intend people to think about Miley Cyrus, the name is way too close, I found it distracting.) I got a good sense of the effort of the people reclaiming the barren lands, and the horror of those who would not only steal to feed themselves, but intentionally contaminate the lands that had been reclaimed. I think you have a good start here.

I would suggest being careful with your imagery. The "like a pile of discarded pipe ash" is unique, but detracts from the horror. When coming up with imagery, it helps if the mood is carried through, so that the image does the double duty of evoking both a visual and emotional scene.

Write on!


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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (5.0)
An excellent poem about a dark and disturbing subject, but one we are all going to have to face sooner or later. I think it was a good idea to write this in a "close third" perspective, so that we could feel the demons which haunt him. We all have to be careful we don't have such demons inside ourselves, even if they may not be so fierce and corrosive.

I wanted a chance to review a recent poem after reviewing your earlier one. You are a fine poet and writer, and it is fun to see the growth and maturity.

Write on!


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Review of Pieces of Me  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
First time I've seen this poem of yours, and I'm glad I did. The first two stanzas are great. They flow well, and sound good either aloud or silently.

For me, the third stanza falls apart a little. Part of it is the rhythm, which both doesn't match the first two stanzas, and is just awkward to read. Part of it is that I think you went further than you needed with the theme. The first two themes certainly suggest suicidal thoughts, but they leave it ambiguous and open to interpretation. It feels like this was earlier in your writing career when you didn't quite trust the reader as much. I did that a lot when I started writing poetry, and I hope I have learned to trust.

Still, I was very glad I got a chance to read it. It is fun to see how you have developed over time, and this certainly showed some of that promise.


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Review of NOT ENOUGH  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
We are close to the same age (okay, I'm a couple years older), so we have lived through much of the same tumultuous times. You do a good job of evoking the emotions of living through those times and the difficulty of living now. I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments for each doing our part to make the world a little more kind and compassionate.
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Review of Loss  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.5)
I am a judge for the Oriental Poetry Contest . It is my pleasure to read and review your senryu.

This is intriguing. I like the feel and flow, though I am unsure quite what it means. The first line is excellent, and the second feels like you are going somewhere, but the last doesn't tie it up as much as I would like. It is tough in such a short form to communicate all you want to, but I think you could play with the words a bit more and perhaps communicate the idea better.
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Review of Confessions  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi. I'm a judge for the Oriental Poetry Contest , here to give you a review for your Empat Empat poem, Confessions .

What an interesting take on the format. Rather than a progression of time, you use a progression of awareness. Clever. I liked the poem a lot. (And knowing you have a problem can be a big step toward resolving it, whether it be prejudice or anything else.)

Well done, and write on!



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Review of Fact or Fiction  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi. I'm a new judge for Oriental Poetry Contest , here to give you a review for your Pathya Vat poem, Fact or Fiction .

You did a perfect job with the form. Rhymes, syllables, all good.

I love the theme, and the humor in you poem. A fun take on the form, and you executed it brilliantly. Thanks for entering. I look forward to reading your poems again soon.


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