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Review of After the Funeral  
Rated: E | (5.0)
I normally don't review many short stories. But wow! Dmack was right. This is extraordinary. I'd highly recommend everyone to read it.

The idea is great and the flow of characters superb. Very believable dialogue. What you'd expect around the office water cooler, family or high-school reunion. Interesting commentary about Old Murphy!

I won't give away your plot twists, but they work. Great short piece that works on the emotions.

Didn't see many errors, maybe a 'to' instead of 'too', 'turn' instead of 'turned'. Just posted, so it's not fair to pick on that. It's easily corrected.

Coming from a background of poetry, I can say that this shows as well as tells, that it evokes emotion more than talks about it.

Incredible read, thank you ever-so-much, Kåre.
Review of With White Thread  
Rated: E | (3.5)
The concept is good. A tapestry is made of many colors though, even white! Your opening states it best:

'You all have colour in your tapestry
But I will stitch using only white thread
With a needle of pure anonymity'

The problem with this poem arises in its descent into a rant. It does not work as set up: Part 1, concrete images; Part 2, rant. It would work better by alternating verses between the concrete and the rant. ALWAYS carrying the concept of a 'thread without color' throughout. Then the last line, which is good, will work even better.

Thanks for the good read of this very new post.

Review of Dreaming Again  
Rated: E | (4.0)
I'm not sure whther this is best looked at as a poem or a short piece of prose. However, it tells an interesting story of a 'body without a mind' similar to McCaffery's 'Ship that sings'.

I'm impressed with these lines. Usually 'it' is a weak word. Here it takes on a special meaning:

'They buried me…it…
The lifeless legs and arms,
The head that bobbed and drooled, the incontinent bowel,
All of it, in some cemetery on Earth
And even said some words over it.'


This is fairly new here, so continue to edit!

I suggest cutting out any redundancies and unnecessary language. As in:

Do they dream as well? I don’t know.
Somewhere, I don’t remember the physical location

In the first line above, it isn't necessary to ask a question and answer it. Especially when the reader knows the answer.

In the second, 'somewhere' indicates a 'physical location'. If you were to write 'I don't remember when' I'd buy it.

Although there is no rhyme, no alliteration, at times there seems to be a rhythm. Metrically, you vary between two line patterns, best summed up as:




The first is remeniscent of a rictameter (2-4-6-8-10-8-6-4-2 syllables) that has an ebb and flow similar to a tide.

The second is like an American cinquain (2-4-6-8-2) where there is a buildup and a release (almost like a sigh)

Repetition is an important tool in poetry and chosing one or the other is an idea you should consider. However, either or a mix is superior to sonnet-like same length lines for this particular poem.

I'm not convinced that this is a poem. It reads more like prose to me. But, whatever it is, I enjoyed it. Thanks for the very good read. Kåre.
Review of Dear Daniel  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Did you purposely choose 14 lines? It reads almost like a sonnet with its similar line lengths. The use of 'D' is quite good and the title is approriate. To set it up as a letter also works well.


Your rhyme scheme is a consitent ababab ... with a mix of perfect and slant rhyme.


Most of your lines are 12 syllables, which is a tad long but a-okay. The 15 sylll. line and short 9 syll. lines jar when the rest of the poem is so regular. It doesn't NEED to be regular, but for this poem evening it out would be better.

Word usage:

Weak adverbs: beautifully, completely, deliberately.
Gerunds: drifting, drowning, breaking, defying.
Be: only one seen, line 4.
Abstractions: love used once
Cliché: light ... shines in line 9.
Idea: the sentiments are well expressed but weakened by passivity.

All -ly adverbs should be changed to more active voiced or concrete (except maybe 'deliberately') adjectives, nouns or verbs.
Gerunds make this seem merely descriptive. In line 10 you write 'drag me' which is wonderful, direct and powerful. Why not: devour, descend, drown, drift, defy, etc.?

Go to the Ideanary to replace common overused words like 'light' and 'love'.

Rhythm: meter and word usage need to be addresed first. Rhythm is merely chosing a cadence (any will do) and maintaining it throughout to provide the poem with an interanl unity.


Your passivity is dreamlike but lacking passion. Dreamlike is good, but a long list of gerunds and -ly adverbs is not.

The sentiments are great, the poetics not as strong. However, it is a very pleasant read, thanks, Kåre.
Review of Poetry  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Your folder description is cool! Nicely done and the short poem is quite fitting.

The individual items could be better described to entice the reader to open the folders or poems. I find myself rethinking how I promote an item the longer I am here.

I have reviewed all 17 poems within this folder. Although you have a wonderful guide around your port, this may be a place to indicate which poems you really want feedback on.

Although the following line is true (prose is your strength), I'd take it out or modify it as it feels like you are putting yourself down (and you shouldn't):

'I'm more of a short story gal, but I'd appreciate any feedback you could give!'

This line needs to go for even stronger reasons:

'I know the above is a fairly lousy rendition of poetry, but, er, it's supposed to be funny?'

Just put in a *Smile* or *Bigsmile*. The poem is delightful as a folder description; you need not apologize.

Thanks for the opportunity to raid your port, it has been a pleasure, Kåre.

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Review of Mommy and Me  
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is very beautifully done. The red works well with the sentiments of your words.

As you say so eloquently:

'Those are my kids. That is my life. These are my poems.'

Your folders in general are well organized and easy to get around. Obviously a more logical mind at work than mine! I can think of no suggestions for improvement.

The poems look at motherhood from different angles. That's great too. Thanks for all the good reads I found here, Kåre.

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Review of Zion  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Nicely laid out, keeps to form throughout. Meter and rhythm are fairly good, Rhyme is mostly 'perfect' and carried throughout (abab bcbc cdcd dede ...).

Comments and quibbles:

Verse 1 and 2 are strong and set the rhythm and meter.
Verse 3 is weak:

Thus so dark ages do (*did) begin
(*when) Women(*,) and children jouney(*ed) far
To cross (*the) open prarie yet again
Viewed by (*the) light of (a) single star
(*as viewed by Heaven's single star)

Here I've suggested putting the entire poem in past tense. You use both tenses in various verses. Chosing one would be consistent but would necessitate changing some words to maintain your meter and rhythm.

Also, although it is okay to leave out words like 'as', 'when', 'the' there are times to use them when they reinforce the rhythm.

'While feet bled and muscles jarred' could use one more well placed syllable.

Knowing how torture came about (didn't make sense to me until I realized that it was because of a lack of punctuation)
Refusing surrender to evil greed (2 sylls. long but okay)

Brought death to smithy via chinks (I realize that 'chinks' is needed for the rhyme, but the phrase is awkward at best)

And proved themselves the missing links (I think this is a wonderful line! Nice double entendre!)

The drunken men step forth to stalk ('stalk'? It sounds forced)

As mortal bodies crumble to chalk (the rhythm bothers me)

The people rise up, strong in heart (most of the lines could be internally divided 4-4; this is 5-3)

Your strong narrative style shows, but it has not been modified since posted and could use some attention. Punctuation isn't required, but would help.

Thanks for illuminating this historical event, Kåre.

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Review of Desperado  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Sestinas are not an easy form. Kudos for your effort. I liked the fourth stanza the best. It flowed and seemed natural.

Unfortunately, the rest seemed to read more like an essay than a poem and just didn't evoke any emotion from me.


Yes, sestinas have six words to play with, and you did modify cowboy where needed, but great sestinas play with the six words more. Homonyms, noun/verb (you use 'rain' only as a noun), multiple definitions, compounds and word endings (home, homeland, nursing-home, homing or if you had used 'free': freedom, carefree).

Enjambment is important with a sestins too. Most of the words that end the 'line' should not be followed by punctuation or a pause. They should flow naturally into the next line.

Repetition other than the selected words can be deadly. 'in the rain' appears 3 times (two times too many) the other phrases: 'to the rain', 'from the rain', 'out in rain' are too similar. Only 'all bring rain' breaks up the monotony.

Most sestinas I've read seem to be narrative. And narration is one of your strengths when writing a short story. With attention to enjambment and playfulness with words, this form could become a natural for you.

A well-written piece, but without the emotion it doesn't work well as a poem.


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Review of My 911  
Rated: E | (4.0)
I highly recommend reviewers to read this account of the 9/11 disaster. The trauma works well in the personal "I". Great ending. Anyone who has been through something similar would understand.

Poetic comments:

I think the structure is interesting. The verses mirror each other well. What rhyme there is is subtle.


Line 6: I think 'as' isn't needed.

Line 12: 'thrive' rhymes with 'wife' in line 9 but it doesn't make as much sense as a word like 'stumble'.

Line 15: I'd put a colon after 'ages' at the end of line 14 and take out the word 'via'.

Line 16: Visually it looks good, but I'm audio-visual and I can assure you that said out loud the line is too long. Suggestions? Put the date on its own line, even in italics if you wish, to punctuate the poem. Or ... shorten to September 11th and leave out 2001.

Line 21: "including' is weak. 'heard/saw names of' would be more 'active'.

Line 25: ack! a -ly adverb! Unless it is there to rhyme with 'city' in NYC (which by the way I vocalize as New York City, but others may use 'en-why-see'. If you mean it to be pronounced 'New York City', you may want to spell it out) I suggest 'as desparate, I'

Now the long list of quibbles may be tiresome, but I think it is a very good poem that needs MORE REVIEWS, so you can take all the suggestions and edit to make it great. Thanks for the wonderful ending and the very good read. Kåre.
Review of Sue's Love Locked  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Beautiful conceit.

Minor quibbles: I would take out 'like' in the first line. "My love is a clenched fist" would be stronger, more direct. Also, I'd take out the 'the' at the beginning of line 5. But these are minor quibbles that in no way detract from the beauty of the poem.

I especially like the shortness. No sense in going on and on about a "moment". The end evokes emotion well.

You are right to plug this. It deserves more readings and reviews.

Beautiful read. Thanks. Kåre.
Review of The Guy  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.

The idea works because you present it in a very forward way. Your expressions towards the girlfriend helps make it more than a sappy pining love-never-to-be poem.

The structure is good. Long-lined narrative ranting quatrains grouped between shorter rhyming ones is excellent. Reads more like a haibun that way.

Comments on selected lines:

"Though (something between us hindered) by just you because I’m ready."

I suggest: (that SOMETHING is hindered)

"Like, I’ll finally get the punch line across and you’ll laugh.
You’ll get it and then I’ll get it and then we’ll have it."

I llke the way this rolls off my tongue. I can just hear you saying it!

"I just wish it could happen in (real life) rather than in my fantasy-head."

I suggest (bed). 'Real life' is an abstraction. A bed is very 'concrete', not that the poetic 'you' would be noticing! It also rhymes and internal rhymes would be okay.

"As you walk out the door, (you’re waving goodbye.)
False-smiling, I feel like---"

I can't think of what that last word might be ... because, you've set up this quatrain to rhyme at the end. If you mean 's***' or 'crap' or whatever, you need to state it. One way is to rhyme it in: (waving goodbye, you flit/zap) Anything that rhymes with a common expected word, consistent with the persona you have portrayed, would work. Might bump it up to 18+ rating, but that would be fitting, too.

Word usage: Look with suspicion at all articles, adjectives, the verb 'be' and -ly adverbs. 'contradictorily incomplete' is a deadly phrase, and so unnecessary. Just 'incomplete' or 'conflicted' would work.

Some of the long lines are overly long. Counting syllables will show you. The alternative is to eliminate the quatrain form and just make paragraphs with the rhyming poetry in between.

I see this has not been edited since Valentine's Day (how fitting), but it really needs some reworking to make it better. Thanks for the interesting read. Kåre.
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.

Yikes, I actually read it all! Quite an accomplishment you have here.

Your humor really shines in lines like:

'Did I, abhor, just call Lenore, the dear dead mistress, a common ho?
I sure did for I’m no Poe.'

'Pray, do tell just what the hell did Death, in fact, intend to show?
“"That life’s a bitch" says Mister Poe.'

Poetically, it could use some work in the middle. It's as if you ran out of steam and ideas. The rhythm suffers a bit too. (I would've given up long before. *Smile*).

Also, you may want to rework it a bit, adding some stronger language. It may be best rewritten as 18+. That would allow you to express your humor better.

You definately get an A for effort. Perhaps a little less for the results. But I enjoyed it! Thanks for the great read. Kåre.
Review of Codeine  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.

A must read here at WDC! One of the very best I've read. Very moving. Describes the experience well.

The lines:

"After the crash,
my mind said, “I’m outta here.”
It hasn’t returned."

perfectly describes my experience in '88. I still do not have any recollection of the crash, nor much from months before or after (except for the evening before, strange).

"I’m reading a thousand
novels a day, all about me, written
madly by authors I’ll never know.
I only like the endings."

Exquisitely speaks to me of the joy of being alive. The gory details are for others.

I will assume that this piece is finished. Not much poetic advice, because it doesn't need any. I do like the way you chose to break the lines; although, I'd choose differently on the longest lines of 10 syllables. I think that the short lines punctuate perfectly.

Although this gem does not need more reviews, it does need to be read more. Has it been submitted for publication yet?

Thanks for the great read. Kåre.
Review of A White Light  
Rated: E | (4.5)
My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.

I like the way your title flows into the first lines. The repetitions work. I like its simplicity and the emotion it evokes. The long and short lines work well together.


Extra words can hurt rhythm and flow or simply dilute. Articles, adverbs, 'it', the verb 'be', 'adjectives' are all suspect.

Words that can be eliminated:

'horrid cleansing white light' may be one word too long. I'd take out 'white'

'Sometimes the burning light is so hard to see through' I'd take out 'light'

'I’m swimming…no…drowning in it.' Eliminate 'in it'.

'Just as it fills my lungs and clutches my throat…' Replace 'it' with 'the throb', a concrete object, or rewrite.

I really like the ending:

'I meet you.
I can breathe.
When I’m with you
I can breathe.'

Is it brand new? (posted today) With some editing and rethinking it will become an even better poem. Very good as is. Thanks for the great read. Kåre.
Review of Faith  
Rated: E | (3.0)
My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.

The idea is an old 'goodie'. That said it is very important to evoke emotion with strong words and images (Thesaurus, Ideanary), to work with other poetic devices: alliteration, rhyme, meter, rhythm.

Rhyme is fine: xaxa, xbxb ... works well.

You are spot on about working on the rhythm. This poem wants it. First, Choose a pattern of meter 8-7-8-7, 8-6-8-6 (if you want a ballad), 9-7-9-7. Establish this in the first stanza and carry throughout. 7-7-7-7, although a wonderful pattern in itself doesn't seem to fit this poem. your first verse is 7-7-7-9 in my dialect.

'My faith is not the strongest X
My hope may hold no power
But they remain consistant X
Ever persistant, hour by hour'

(Which sounds so Emily Dickenson, good)

Adding a syllable, marked by 'X' and deleting 'ever' would establish a 8-7-8-7 meter. It need not be 'perfect', as long as the second part of the couplet is one syllable shorter and the meter remains consistent within the couplet.

For rhythm, mark all stressed and unstressed syllables. I use Xs.

The verse above is:

XxxXxXxX (or XxxXxXxxXx if the dialect has 2 syllables for 'hour'. I actually use both. 1 for first, 2 for second: XxxXxXxXx)

I'd suggest:


The middle x of 'xxx' will naturally carry a secondary stress. A middle X in 'XXX' will similarly be weaker unless it is emphasized.

I hope you have an opportunity to work on this. Good luck on the meter and rhythm. Feel free to send me an email when you have updated it. Kåre.
Rated: E | (4.0)
The idea is fine, but the strength of this poem is the meter and rhyme. It is basically xXxXxXxX.

That said:

Stanza 2, line 1:
'Holiday shoppers in the street'
A stressed syllable like 'line' or 'mob' instead of 'in', although cliché, makes for a better rhythm.

Stanza 2, line 3:
'They are busy bustling about'
is nice alliteration but a mouthful and the rhythm is neither iambic nor echoing line 1.
'busily they run about' would flow better and although 'busily' isn't a very strong word, consider the tradeoff. The following line also only has 7 syllables.

Stanza 3, line 2:
'In this prison house I stay.'
If it were to start with 'within' the rhythm would be clearer.

Stanza 4, line 2:
'As the church bells pealing grows'
Interrupts the rhythm. Replacing 'as' with a stressed word would be better, like: 'Hark! The church ...'

Last line:
'and represent your loving hand.' is a weak ending.
'and offer me your loving hand' may be a bit better.
'offer' is a more 'active'.

As for message and narration:
'cancer' and 'prison house' could as easily be 'anger' and 'coffeehouse'. There is a sense of illness and healing throughout, but those two images don't work for me personally.

I see this hasn't been modified since January. It may be time to consider a revision before the upcoming holiday season.

Thanks for the read. Kåre.
Review of Moving Day  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Nice thoughts on the empty nest as the (first?) bird flies off.

I can feel the lines:

'I'll just tell him how I feel about him
and guilt him into staying right here.'


You've set up these quatrains with a meter of 8-10 syllables per line. Whe your lines are 11 or 12 they seem 'heavy'.

Sometimes a mere deletion will work as in stanza 3, line 1 where 'before' is redundant and therefore unnecessary. In the same stanza, line 3 'immediately' is two syllables too long. A thesaurus may be able to help. Choosing any 2 syllable word would work. the alternative is to axe 'Oh my God'. Deletion of 'any' before 'medication' towards the end falls in the same category.

Word usage: for some reason I don't like your use of 'living gear'. Just seems out of place.

The poem has sat long enough (from May) to re-edit
with fresh eyes. Establishing a definate meter would be a beginning. Rhythm would give it music.

Not quite there yet, but a pleasant read. Kåre.

Review of Destiny? Doom!!!  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Enough 'd's to destroy Dublin AND Detroit!

I really like the rhythm. The meter is good for the most part. Within couplets it is important to keep the meter 'perfect' if possible as in:

'dining on pain and dreams of tomorrow
delving in shame and droplets of sorrow'

where the lines are 10 syllables each and the rhythm:
XxxXxXxxXx repeats. Wonderful.

This repetition adds to the musicality of this piece and is one of its strong points.

In lines like the last, where 'purgatory' is 2 syllables too many, the music is compromised a bit.

Word usage:

'Crystal shards' and 'thunder/asunder' are a bit cliché.

'screamings of dense vanity' doesn't make much sense. Replacing 'dense' with a 'v' word or 'scr/skr' word would be better.

'datedly dropping' is just awful to my ear. It seems awkward. There's got to be a 'd' word out there that would be better! (Although you've used up 99% of them *Smile*)

And consider how this would sound: 'two undying wraiths' as the singular in your poem seems out of place whether you are referring to the preceding 'disaster, dilemma' or following 'doom and destruction'.

In summation, the alliterative verse writers of the time of 'Beowulf' have got nothing on you!

Thanks for the great read. Kåre.
Rated: E | (4.5)
I love the pastoral feel to this. Wish I would've written it. Wish I could be sharing a cup of coffee with you, experiencing it!

Poetics: 'but with feel' doesn't make sense. Is it a typo? Making the line 'with the feeling that' would make sense but -ing words are weak. Another way would be to delete and reduce it to:

'but around the edges
the heat is just, barely,
held at bay...'

Love the line:

'the heat of the day layers in'

The ending is great.

This poem is a gentle ramble and suitable as an aubade or morning poem when the eyes are barely open and the body less-than-willing. For me, you have captured the moment exquisitely.

Thanks for the great read. Kåre.
Review of Survivor  
Rated: E | (4.0)
I'm glad you write about this topic. Letchworth is a beautiful spot. I know it well. May I suggest a companion poem about the vultures soaring BELOW the observer at the canyon's edge at the Castile entrance, the salamanders by Upper Falls, the woodchucks and deer grazing, the bridge below Lower Falls?

The poem's idea is great and your rhyme scheme of xaa, xbb, ... works. The meter wobbles around lines of 8-10, and that's okay, but the rhythm isn't consistent. There is no musicality and 'music' would enhance the poem. Looking at your choice or lack of unstressed articles, possessives and prepositions could help in establishing a better rhythm.

The line:
'His name is Timber Rattler, so beware;'
needs to be rethought. Consider a stronger imperative: 'Beware! His Highness Timber Rattler roams'

The line 'A distasteful creature God has made,' seems to confuse your message.

This poem is only hours/days old, so great start for what will be a very good poem with time and some editing.

Thanks for the great read. I hope you return to Letchworth soon (October leaves?). Kåre.
Review of Pin Doll  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
I think the idea is superb.

Title? Why not just "Ridinghood"? And then take out that line. (#4)

There are too many 'I', 'I am'. Most can be eliminated without detracting from the poem or confusing the reader. For me, the constant repetition weakens your point. Same for the phrase 'choose between the two'; I'd take it out.

Phrases like 'between the swaddling and the shroud'
and 'the Madonna and the whore/I stitch a prayer into each lace' are wonderful.

I'm torn between the great idea and great lines and the not-so-great poetics. It is definately a keeper that needs some editing to become great. Thanks for the read, Kåre.
Rated: E | (5.0)
I think this is clearly stated. It helps to understand the reviewer, which in turn helps understand the review received. When I'm here longer, I need to do a similar essay to help people understand how I rate them. Because I write poetry my approach would be different, but I certainly appreciate yours.

Thanks for this great idea. Kåre.
Rated: E | (4.0)
Excellent prose! Wonderful ending.

Poetry? I don't think so, unless you are saying it is a prose-poem. Poetry uses certain aspects of language: alliteration, meter, rhyme, rhythm, repetition. It reads as prose.

That said, I still think it is great. Each time you mention 'he is coming this way' there is an ebb and flow of emotion. The expectation builds. When you finally get there and the reader is enveloped by this great warmth and love that is the 'expected' ending you let it fade away with that last line that makes this work stand above many I have read.

As for language: a bit wordy, could use some stronger words. 'beautiful angels' is deathly cliché. Think about replacing any weak word that repeats, use other ways of expressing the same idea. For instance you say 'light', 'speck of white', 'glow'; this is good.

No poem or prose should have words like 'angel' and 'love' mentioned more than once! Use concrete images like you do with 'comet'. Avoid adverbs, they weaken. Look at all adjectives with suspicion. "Verbs and nouns are worth 5 dollars; adverbs and adjectives a quarter".

Look at all your uses of the verb "be". It is the weakest of verbs equivalent to an equal sign. Poetically worthless. Can't be avoided but consider the line "there was a warm feeling in my heart" very bland and cliché. By contrast, "a warm feeling split my spleen" would show action and be interesting, if somewhat odd *Smile*.

Best of luck with this one. It is still very new at this site, so give it time, listen to the reviews and after a few more, edit.

Thanks for the great read. Kåre.
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
The refrain is wonderful! I've written elegies, so I understand the need to evoke emotion by 'show' not 'tell'. Your narrative voice is clear and although it 'tells' a story, the refrain is always there to evoke the emotion.

Poetically, I don't think the syntax of 'want not' and 'heard not' work; they feel awkward. In the second laast stanza I may have found a typo. Did you mean 'you'd' instead of 'you'll'? The stanzas are 3/R/4/R/3/R/3/R and I'd suggest looking at the 4 stanzas to consider whether they can be consolidated to 3 to keep a rhythm going.

Very nice work. Kåre.

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