|POETRY REVIEW by SWPoet
This review reflects my opinion and is given with the intention of being constructive and encouraging. I hope you find this review helpful.
Solar Day -It started out being about weather, I thought, then the stanzas began describing the way the poet sees God coming through
each day in different ways. With the word Solar, I don't automatically think of someone's relationship with God. Now, Son vs Sun, I would get that, I guess, but Jesus was not mentioned here. I would like to know what the poet's connection was between the title and poem before I made any suggestions.
The form, the lanturne, was kept in that each stanza had the syllable count 1,2,3,4,1.
I noticed the description of the form listed in this piece didn't add that the poem usually starts with a noun, then uses the next three lines to describe it or give alternate descriptions to change the meaning, then the last line is often a synonym or other word for the first word.
I got this from several different websites and likely combined them here so I apologize if its not exactly the way the course description was written. (I just looked it up on the web and I got several different descriptions from simply listing the syllable requirements to going to much more detail about the middle three lines and the purpose. With this already in mind (and noting that the poet may not have known about the traditional format other than syllable count) I will point out (but not criticize) that the stanzas were more like sentences, statements, or phrases than renaming or describing the first words of each stanza. As they are, its fine too. This is just an observation.
I found the stanzas in this poem to more like sentences or phrases (as said before-no complaint here) but each stanza is taking the reader from morning to what I thought would be sundown. This, I consider, a flow or pattern. Since its done all but once, that one stanza stands out a bit. All but the second to last (God’s/love is/the spirit’s/independence/joy.) kept this pattern by mentioning a part of the day (Dawn, morning, noon, early afternoon, passing day). This would be the only stanza i think would need a slight reworking just to keep the pattern (if that is something the poet wishes to do).
I'm not sure where this next comment fits but I had a little trouble, since the stanzas are often in sentence form, making sense of a few of the stanzas that some extra commas might completely fix. For instance, in the stanza "God’s/love is/the spirit’s/independence/joy" I really wanted some comma, semicolon, something between independence and joy. It may help to write the stanzas out as sentences just to look at them and see if there is an indication where the reader should pause or breathe.
In poems where there aren't sentences, this wouldn't be a problem but here, with several periods, it might help the flow. I think, without that one stanza, the rest of the poem is great. Also, you could add what sunset and God have in common, such as vivid colors, reflection off water, etc in that next to last stanza to continue the flow.
In this poem, I felt the pensive, thoughtful tone as the poet showed the connection between the passing of sun, the ever presence of nature and its connection with God or our connnection with God while in nature. The sun rises, shines, sets, returns, and is consistent as is God's grace and love. The sun makes nature dance, glimmer, shine and change through the day and with these changes come our change of mood or feeling or tone. This was a strength in this poem.
My favorite stanza was
blue grace I
feel the love of
I liked this because, living on a lake, there is something amazing, peaceful, graceful, and ...Blue, about early sunrise when the sun isn't really over the horizon quite yet but it is still light outside. The words of this stanza bring pictures to me of the fog, quiet, perhaps the water without ripples looks like glass, an egret standing gracefully on a dock, or standing on a treelimb chirping.
Something I think could be expanded upon in the few words allowed in this form is that there are many repeats of "(of) God's or God, "Shines" etc. In the first two stanza's, there is no mention of God. Then the last five say "God" in each one. You could save a word by using a pronoun somewhere or by "inferring" at the start or in the title that you are speaking of God's gift given through nature or the sun's passage. Just some thoughts here. I would love to see what examples God's Grace or Justice or Majesty comes through to you as these are often said along with mentioning God to the point that they become somewhat unexpressive without further comments.
Perhaps there are other synonyms for God such as Creater, Father, (Mother-Hey, is there a gender..really?). These are simply suggestions to make the poem say as much as possible without much repetition and with use of much more specific examples of how the poet is personally moved by these changes in the sun's passage.
Please don't think all the comments are criticisms as I really like the metaphor you've chosen, the images are calming, reasuring, and vivid, and the poem as a whole is a lovely testament to your faith. So, feeling that there are many good points, I think a few small changes might really light up this poem and make it truly shine from top to bottom.
To recap, these were some suggestions I mentioned above (in a little clearer language) to make a good poem better:
1. I had mentioned omitting or reworking the second to last stanza to include perhaps sundown/sunset maybe.
2. Using a few more descriptive words in place of the extra "shines" (perhaps glimmers, reflects, on fire, etc.) and maybe inferring "God" instead of writing the word for a few stanzas (saving you the attached "of" in a few spots where you write "??? of God".
3. Reading out loud each stanza like a sentence would sound and finding areas where a comma might help with the visual and verbal flow and clarify meaning in some spots.
4. Tell me "how" for each stanza For example, How does noon remind you of God's justice? Perhaps the seering heat, the intensity, histories of people feeling droughts were punishment for their collective misdeeds? (not sure how you can say that in 11 syllables but perhaps it can be done.
Areas that were strengths or that touched me more:
1. There were no mistakes in the syllable counts.
2. The metaphor of the passing of the sun and God's influence in our lives.
3. The vivid pictures I saw with my minds eye, especiall "blue grace"-Very elegant description.
4. The way each stanza (except that one) continued with the passing stages of the sun's arc.
5. Just thinking of ways to enhance the images brings to mind more poetry. This would be an excellent seed poem from which a full poem could be written for each and every stanza.
6. I'd love to see this in a poem with more words at your disposal so you could really bring out some images and really strengthen this metaphor.
Please take these comments as mere suggestions. I know about you only what is on the screen, not your experiences, struggles, and faith. There may be powerful connections you have with certain images that I would never dream to judge or criticise and if poetry is truly meant for the writer as a way of expression, then I'd say keep it just like it is.
If you intend to offer this as a contest entry, these might be comments you would receive and looking into these suggestions before hand might strengthen your entry. You will either come out of the revision just like it is with more conviction of your choices or you may change a thing or two without messing up your message and improve the flow or word choice.
Even if you change nothing, I was honored to get a glimpse of what another poet sees and senses about God and nature. Thank for the chance to read your work.
This review is being done for Poetic Exploration Group: Week_6_ Form__String Lanturne___
Affiliated with Poetic Explorations
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