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Review Requests: OFF
701 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
The purpose of my reviews is always to be as helpful as possible. I can't promise that I'll like what you have written or that you'll like what I have to say, but I try to be respectful and encouraging as well as critical.
I'm good at...
Unless otherwise requested, I'm picky (grammar, cliches, and meter in poetry). Characters and writing style take a lot to impress me.
Favorite Genres
Sci-fi (apocalypse, post-apocalypse, dystopian, zombie), mystery, war, inspirational, historical fiction, Christian, non-fiction, contemporary, drama, comedy
Favorite Item Types
Poetry, short stories, non-fiction, novels
I will not review...
Erotica, gay/lesbian, fan-fiction
Public Reviews
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1
1
Review of By Grace To Faith  
Review by Fi
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi EpicScore

I noticed your poem entered in "The Lighthouse Poetry Contests so here I am dropping by with a review. *Smile*

This is a beautiful and heartfelt cry. So much of what you describe I can fully understand: that anguish over sin and constant failing; the boldness in us which resembles Peter's, promising our Saviour to stand fast in the hard times but then crumbling under the first occasion of pressure; the hunger and thirst for reading the Word and growing in wisdom; yet the frustration of "never being enough".

Then you answer clearly in the second half, that when our faith is weak or we're falling back into doubt and discouragement, He comes to help us. His Word and His Spirit do the work which we can't. His love is more than our ability to love and serve Him. "If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself." (2 Timothy 2:13)

I have one or two technical suggestions which you can feel free to take or leave. (Writing a contest entry usually means it's rough and rushed, so I get it that you probably want some more time to polish it up.)

It would make for smoother reading if there were only two quotation marks used in verses 4 - 5, one to open the quote and one to close.

The apostrophe in e’vry isn't necessary, since English speakers naturally pronounce it with two syllables anyway. Same goes with 'til, the apostrophe is unnecessary. The shortened version of until is recognised in the dictionary as till. *Cool*

I enjoy traditional structured poetry, but here it seems a little constrained (to me, anyway). Your current rhyme scheme (abab) is tight and the lines are short. I wonder if you could rework it into a looser form to allow space for your subject to breathe? For instance, a relaxed rhyme scheme (abcb) and longer lines would give you more time to explore the subject in your own words, without being restricted by the rhyming words (although some of the rhymes you've chosen are fabulous).

I hope what I'm saying makes sense. *Bigsmile*

But I like your message a whole lot, and the way you've spread the prompt verse through the body of the poem is creative! I could relate to these lines: How can I profess my faith real / When my trust in Him is small? That's one of the biggest struggles of following Christ: needing to constantly rely on His grace and not our own works, yet at the same time strive to serve Him and grow to know Him better.

My favourite lines are: And in the dark, the Word speaks (which portrays the Word being Light, and we know that Christ is both the Word and the Light of the world)

and

And that the walking in His ways
Will one day be a pleasure
(which tells how sometimes we have to endure before we understand, trusting God's goodness and not leaning on our own understanding).

It's great to read poetry from like-minded people. *Heart* Thanks for letting me have a wee peek, and good luck in the contest. *Cool* Keep it up!

Cheers,
Fi


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review of I Wonder How  
Review by Fi
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Joy,

Just stopping by with a quick review. *Smile*

I enjoyed reading this poem, the way it takes you into your memories of home life and the people you love and what they might be doing. The voice is natural enough to be strongly your own, but descriptive enough to be out of the ordinary. I like each image or memory, and how it seems like I’ve met each person— or at least found out a little about their personalities.

The crossover of nostalgia and anticipation comes through nicely. Made me think of how life goes on even when we’re not part of it, and how precious those times are growing up.

Thanks for sharing your work. Keep it up!

Cheers,
Fi


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review of Not Today  
Review by Fi
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hey, hey, hey 🌓 HuntersMoon ! It’s been a while. How’s things in your neck of the woods? *Bigsmile* Just stopping by with a little random review.

This is a goodie! An old form, an old topic but with a fresh idea and outlook. So many war/veteran poems highlight courage and sacrifice, but I like your take on it here: that it’s the day in, day out grit and determination which make a soldier what he is, a hero.

I also like the relevance to our generation, that even if it’s part of the past, or we’re not on the front lines, we can imitate their courage in our daily life by not giving up when time’s are tough. They’re not “an out-of-date cliche”.

The first time I read “not today”, I needed an explanation— what did you mean by that? This drew me in straight away. A good hook! And you answered it well.

The only 2 lines which stood out as having too many syllables were: “Lincoln’s vow was ‘Not today.’” And: “And overcome those who would harm” (Could be “those who’d harm”?)

Anyhow, thanks for sharing your work. As always, keep it up!

Write on.
- Fi


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review by Fi
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi Rychus,

Just dropping by with a review. *Smile*

I like the imagery in this poem. Some lines really stand out: “morning melts / into the here and now” - this is a beautiful use of an old phrase, turning it into something fresh.

And: “correcting / just enough / to keep from falling”. The line breaks here are spot on, and you’ve created a falling effect with one word descending into two and into four. Don’t know if it was deliberate but it appealed to me!

The beginning comes across a little weak to me. I think the opening statement could be more specific or show more personality. (What was the big mistake? The reader is held at arm’s length here, because they arent told any details and have to take your word for it that a big mistake was made.)

You go on to describe feelings which most of your readers will be familiar with to some extent, and I could fully sense the regret and loneliness at the end. I like the string of images - tight rope, oasis, road. And “every question/ unanswered” is definitely true of the disillusionment which haunts every one of us the further we go through life.

Anyhow, this is a little gem so thank you for sharing! *BigSmile* Keep it up.

Write on!
- Fi


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review of My Grouse Country  
Review by Fi
In affiliation with Sisco's Good Deed Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hey Laurie Razor ,

Just stopping by for a quick review.

G'day from Down Under! I'm from just across the ditch, in Kiwiland. But to the point: the poem itself. *Wink*

This isn't your typical highfalutin patriotism, but a genuine and slightly tongue-in-cheek celebration of a country you love. I enjoyed the snapshots of what makes Aussie unique, and it ends on just the right note: a warning that if you come, you'll want to stay. You took the reader on a little visit and left them feeling like they wouldn't mind living there (especially if it can "give life to cure what ails ya" - favourite line).

Not to get too technical, I think the poem flows well but if I'm honest the first line threw me (after that I warmed into it, sweet as bro). It's a bit of a mouthful and doesn't start with a strong, clear image, which I think is important to ground the reader. Up to you, but you may want to think about it (you could switch the first line with the second?).

Otherwise, nice rhyming and meter. It sounds a lot like a limerick. The only weak rhyme is "country" since the emphasis of the word naturally falls on "COUN-try" whereas the poem is asking us to pronounce it "coun-TRY" (if that makes sense *Laugh*).

Anyway, good effort on a snapshot tour of your homeland! *Smile* I had fun, and appreciated reading something a little bit local. Keep it up!

Cheers,
- Fi


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
6
Review of letting go  
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi alfred booth, wanbli ska Just stopping by with a random review of your poem, "letting go

I like it! Very true of the glossy business world with its wealth and economy and technology - there's a falseness in it which leaves you empty (and the coffin full!). I love the imagery in this poem (the revision is excellent!), with words and phrases such as "cloud of sincerity", "golden boys", "an oasis of dollars" which lift the roof off the poem, and display imagery at its best. And that final line is a killer. Man, I love it.

You paint such a picture, the smooth talking young guy with his career burning a trail and a whole lot of bridges behind him, his ambition keeping the carrot in front of the donkey's head so that he never looks up until he's going off the cliff and it's too late. With the smallest hints you create a larger meaning: "blackberry in hand" shows the modernity and finesse - everything is latest greatest and there's no survival without particular skills up your sleeve; "chatting away" - the confidence and ease with which he moves in vicious circles, also hints at being a little bit two-faced/lacking integrity, which leads into "cloud of sincerity", telling us he's not afraid to lie and in fact lying is seen as the way to get ahead; "money hungry golden boys" - born and bred to privilege, raised for nothing except the highest echelons; "eating a quick lunch" - no time to enjoy the food or the company, everything is brisk and business-like. I'd better stop chewing up your poem like this, I'm probably killing it. But I want to say that I really like the way you pack so much into so little. I think poetry is at its best when it is conservative with words and brim-full of meaning.

It is not as much a criticism of a certain class of people as it is a portrayal of the frailty of our lives. We are hanging by a thin thread. Gather your threads carefully and make the rope strong. A lot of money tends to burn all the other threads. I really love the last line. No one dies smiling. In the end, we all lie there looking the same and in the end we go back into the same earth which we burdened with our negligence and scarred with our "progress" (and how will she treat us?).

I know that your style is your own, but before I go I have one or two suggestions which you might consider. First up is punctuation: it would flow smoother if you made the start and end of your sentences clearer. Place a semicolon after "time steals money" so we know that "too" belongs to the next line (otherwise it reads "time steals money, too"). And a semicolon or period after "let go, falling". Capitalize "blackberry" and "money hungry" should be "money-hungry".

Of course, just my opinion, but I think that with the tiniest tweaking here and there you could make the reader's experience a lot easier and reassure us that we're in the hands of a master. *Smile*

Once again, let me say how much I enjoyed reading this poem. I'm glad I came across it. Keep up the great work and, as always...

Write on! *Quill*

~ Fi

Click here to visit the WDC Power Reviewers Group page...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review of Mortality  
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Hi 🌓 HuntersMoon Just stopping by with a random review of your poem, "Mortality

Contemplating death, are we? *sigh* *Laugh*

I like this poem, with a volume of sentiment in its gentle flow and easy rhymes. You talk of the hopelessness and certainty of death, and also the hope - that fragile little hope we all have - that something lives beyond death. We are each only a whisper in the wind and death will bring us all to dust. Job's comforter. *Laugh*

I also like it how you bring the poem in full circle, ending with the same line you used to end the first stanza. We start with nothing and though we may go around and around discovering more about life, exploring its pleasures and experiencing its pains, at the end we go out as we came - with nothing.

But...

I don't believe it. *Bigsmile* I'm more sure than I'm sure about anything else that life begins after death. Earth is only the prelude, and the choices we make here and now decide which kind of life we face: heaven with our beautiful Creator, or hell with the emptiness of our own souls. And Jesus is the bridge over the gulf. The only bridge. So choose carefully, that's my advice (for all it's worth *Bigsmile*).

Oh, and one last thing (before you choose which bridge you cross *Laugh*): I definitely don't like To vanish; to leave ne’er a trace, when it could be much clearer as To vanish; to leave no trace,

And I love the line It's part of the contract of life. Hey kid, read the small print: eventually expires. *Laugh*

I enjoyed this poem and I'm glad I came across it. Thanks for sharing and, as always....

Write on! *Quill*

~ Fi

Click here to visit the WDC Power Reviewers Group page...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi Elisa, Snowman Stik Just stopping by with a random review of your poem, "The Life of a Critic

Oh dear, the dilemma of a reviewer. *Laugh* I can totally relate to this! You read something, wanting it to be great, hoping to help them improve, and then you take time to lay out your criticisms and offer some positive feedback at the same time, and then you receive a rude or ungrateful reply from an embittered writer who thinks their work is worth more than your feelings.

I like the quaint description of what might be happening inside the computer, behind the words on the screen, which show how complex the process is to transfer thoughts from your head, through your fingers, through the buttons, through the heart of the computer, into cyberspace and out the other end onto someone else's screen, half a world away. Technology is strange and fascinating like that, and so are people. We seek connection and invent all sorts of clever devices to make it better, faster and easier, and yet when it comes down to it we can hardly have a good conversation with someone. Okay, tangent alert. *Rolleyes* Where was I?

And then there's a twist. After all this trouble, what you said was not appreciated and you wonder why you went to the trouble at all.

Maybe you need cheering up. Here, have some pizza. *Pizza* Everyone likes pizza. *Laugh*

I do like the last two lines, especially the "gripped by amateurs with cloudy eyes". I think the imagery is gorgeous in this poem and it relays the message so cleverly.

(Unfortunately?) I can totally see where you're coming from and I think anyone who has tried their hand at reviewing knows what it's like. We writers need to be more respectful of the people who put the time and effort into giving us feedback. (And that's not a hint. *Bigsmile*)

Reminds me that our people are always more important than our words. *Heart*

Thanks for sharing your work and, as always...
Write on! *Cool*

~ Fi

Click here to visit the WDC Power Reviewers Group page...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Elle Just stopping by with a random review of your poem, "Escape From Reality

Delightfully dark and at the same time inspiringly illuminative. I like it how you use imagery to show two sides of a coin: on one side it's talking about a farm scene at night. Putting together the pieces, you can make sense of it: the glowing disc is the moon, the noise rushing far below could be a river, the swaying fingers are trees, I'm guessing, and the "bellow" and "whimper" belong to livestock. Stepping outside for a breath of fresh air, you feel suddenly lonely and oppressed. And then something interrupts your solitude and you return inside.

Then there's the emotional side of it, the metaphor. This is how I first read it (although I have no idea if you meant it this way, so you can totally ignore me if I'm up the pole). You're alone in a kind of limbo. There's a lot of movement, with a lot of variety, but you can't tell where or what it's coming from. It's like events outside of your control, emotions which are drifting around and you have no power to change them or feel differently. It's almost inverse - you are the one inside the emotions, not vice versa. The "bellow" shows there's something alive out there which you maybe hadn't reckoned on meeting, and it's terrible because it's a complete unknown. It's like someone out to hurt you or maybe an internal demon which you can't fight. Then reality breaks into the dreamworld - represented by time and light, maybe voices or someone reaching out. As you turn, the wind tries one last strain to reach you because you've disappointed it by being distracted by the light, and then the internal struggle releases you. You've made a choice.

You walk away.

Maybe I'm just in la-la land and not thinking straight, but I've never had that in a poem before, where the emotional meaning hits me first before I even realise what the imagery is talking about in literal terms. And I think it's really well done. Especially the way it left me with a sense of empowerment. We always think of the night coming and going, but here is someone leaving the night.

A nice write, Elle. *Cool* Glad I tripped across it. Thanks for sharing and, as always...
Write on! *Quill*

~ Fi

Click here to visit the WDC Power Reviewers Group page...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review of City Affair  
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi blanip Just stopping by with a random review of your flash fiction, "City Affair

I like how much you say about this new world in such a short space. We learn that times have changed - age 43 is considered old, that for some reason people are dying young; there seems to be common occurrences of people being burned, for reasons undisclosed; there are curfews and regulations, the city is dirty and vehicles are controlled so that no one can drive after dark; the small towns, or the countryside, seem to be some kind of refuge, perhaps because of their isolation.

I'm trying to think of all the things that could go wrong. Zombie apocalypse, maybe? Monsters in the dark? Disease? Economic breakdown? Why would people need to be burned? Are they being burned alive or are they already dead?

But it seems that, whatever the case, we have become our own enemies. As usual.

There's some kind of symbolism in the mention of an "affair", as reflected by the title, but it's beyond me. Is this piece allegorical for an extra-marital affair? But no, that wouldn't make sense. I'm sure it's supposed to be literal.

The uncertainty makes this piece fascinating, as the reader is left feeling uncomfortable and vaguely threatened. As they say, the most frightening thing is the unknown. Gina seems to be falling apart. She has seen things which she shouldn't have. Psychological pressure is weighing her down.

Still, I wish there was a more satisfying way of wrapping it up. For instance, I'd like to understand the significance of the peonies. I love an ending with a twist or a revelation or an interesting observation about humanity. Something which makes me whisper "wow". And at the moment this piece is missing the clarity which would make the reader really get into it. One of the best pieces of writing advice I ever read was, "Let the reader in." Avoid hiding something from us unless it comes as a surprise later and makes the reading experience more delightful.

Anyway, that's just my opinion, for all it's worth. *Bigsmile* And I'd like to add that the writing style is delicious - I could definitely read more of your beautiful and compelling descriptions. I enjoyed taking this bite and I'd love to explore more of this world which you have imagined.

Keep up the great work and always...
Write on! *Quill*

~ Fi

Click here to visit the WDC Power Reviewers Group page...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Review of What If...  
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi SandraLynn ,

Thank you for entering Round 28 of "Whispers Of The Soul

A serial liar is confronted by two dozen sour descriptions of what their lies are like as the writer voices her wish that they could change and at the same time regrets that they can't. I enjoyed the variety in the imagery. It brings to mind vague pictures of an actor on a stage, a magician working illusions and an illusive lover at a masquerade.

There's also a thick phonetic twist of the words on the tongue, caused by unusual word choice and relentless alliteration. Words such as "gag", "glib", "guile"; "pretense", "prevaricated", "feeble", "fickle", "facade"; "sleight", "shape-shifts", etc. The alliteration colours the poem beautifully.

And the way it comes in full circle gives it a fatalistic summary: there is no chance of changing this person any more than they can change themselves.

My favourite line is probably: Shrug off your cloak of nonchalance. I can certainly relate to this. *Facepalm* It's so frustrating when someone hides behind a facade of casualness and coolness. There's no way of approaching them without feeling like you're the stupid one.

My only suggestion is to go into more depth. I feel like this poem is an outline; it doesn't have much flesh. I would like to read more specific details of what this person lied about and how it damaged the person they lied to, and the consequence of their deceit. I want to go into the situation, not step around the outside of it.

Anyways, a pleasant read and I hope you keep writing more poetry and sharing it with us. Have a great week! *Smile*

Cheers,
Fi

Click here to visit the WDC Power Reviewers Group page...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
Review of Without Regret  
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi catdok ,

Thank you for entering Round 28 of "Whispers Of The Soul

Well, I didn't see that one coming. *Laugh* Until the ending I wasn't sure if I was a fan. The poem is melodramatic and even a little cheesy, but this just made the surprise ending even more hilarious. Therein lies the strength of this poem, in its surprise.

It could do with a tidy-up in the punctuation department to make it clearer to read. For instance, a question mark at the end of the sixth stanza; a comma after Without regret and I tell myself; a full stop at the end of the first stanza, etc. In some cases, a poem is better without punctuation, but this is rare. Punctuation serves to clarify, emphasis and define. Without it, the reader will have to reread lines to understand them, and we don't want that, do we? *Bigsmile* So don't be lazy: punctuate. *Wink*

My favourite lines, apart from the last three, are:
Or will I find
My dream is hung
On branches of bad news


A charming turn of phrase; it's beautiful imagery and the rhythm is perfect as well.

I enjoyed this poem a lot, especially on the first read. Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work! *Thumbsup*

Cheers,
Fi

Click here to visit the WDC Power Reviewers Group page...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
13
13
Review of Another Sky  
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Angel ,

Thank you for entering Round 28 of "Whispers Of The Soul

The imagery in this poem is lovely and it evokes a soft, distant sadness in the reader. Portraying solitude and grief, it emphasizes the difference between one sky-scape and another, how emotions can be so different from person to person, depending on what they've been through.

The exact meaning behind the metaphor remains vague, although the brief description provides a hint. "She" seems to be a personification of a cloud, or maybe a shadow, a reflection or the sun. I'm guessing the "other sky" refers to looking up from opposite sides of earth, and it's metaphorical for a scope of opposite emotions. The poem ends with moving on to a new horizon, signifying either a new beginning or a final end. Either way, the grief fades.

A teeny weeny bit more clarity is the only thing to be desired. Oh, and there are a few errors in punctuation – for a clearer layout, remove the full stop at the end of the third stanza (or perhaps replace it with a hyphen) so the next stanza flows on from it. Otherwise, an excellent poem. I like it how the rhymes feel easy and not forced. The rhythm is smooth, too, so it's pleasant to read aloud.

I enjoyed the read and look forward to discovering more of your work. *Smile* Write on! *Pen*

Cheers,
Fi

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
14
14
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi johnnybubba ,

Thank you for entering "Whispers Of The Soul

The sentiment in this poem is beautiful. Instead of churning over the act of violence which caused this young lad's death, the writer celebrates his short life and sweet character. I would like to have known more about him, such as who he was, how he died, how his family reacted, and some of the details of the event. Sometimes it's the small things which make a poem powerful rather than the overall portrayal of a tragedy, i.e. the fishing rod he never got to use or the teddy bear which his sister put on his grave – you know, things with a story behind them which show he was a real person with interests and aspirations.

The rhyming causes some awkwardness in the arrangement of each sentence. I think the poem would flow better if the rhymes were placed more carefully in the context of the sentences, or even if you chose free verse to widen your scope. But I admire anyone who rises to the challenge of fitting poetry, especially with such big emotions, into a structure.

A small typo: blow's should be blows.

Of course, these comments are only my opinion and it's your poem to do with as you see fit. Keep up the great work! *Smile*

Cheers,
Fi

Click here to visit the WDC Power Reviewers Group page...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
15
15
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi Dave Thank you for entering "Whispers Of The Soul with your poem, "The Garden of Love. Please keep in mind these comments are only my opinion as a fellow reader and writer, offered with the intention of providing encouraging and useful feedback.

*Bullet* Impressions: A cute little poem about two lovers in a garden. The garden perhaps symbolises love itself, and it is described as a place of beauty and colour and song. It's a scene that makes the most of a moment -- who knows how long it will last. The tone of the poem is bright, sparkly and happy. It doesn't look to the future or lean on the past. Somewhere, tucked in deep behind a face of contentment and happiness, something is whispering that this is not a permanent state. There isn't a hint in the poem, except perhaps in the final line the word "fate", but simply by its tone one knows that this burst of delight cannot last. It's almost as if the writer is locking everything else out and stubbornly refusing to admit that there could be anything wrong, anything beyond this snapshot of perfection. But a glance through a window never reveals everything.

*Bullet* Technicalities: Of all the entries, you were the only one who didn't write in free verse. I appreciate your creativity in exploring a new form, especially something a little unknown. And I'm a sucker for internal rhyme/quick rhythm.

Plenty of words that dance off the tongue: "rhapsody", "sashay", "symphony", "elusive", "intent" and "vibrant", to name a few. Nice word choices.

Rhymes range from simple to elegant, and all of them are natural and flow well. Personification is used in reference to Mother Nature and some creatures are portrayed like people: birds sashaying, crickets playing a symphony, butterflies dancing ballet.

Also, I like the subtle connection between the first line and the last. I'm not sure if it was deliberate, but the "garden gate" swings on hinges: "swings the lovers' fate".

*Bullet* Suggestions: Something about this poem doesn't convince me. I mean, it's pleasant, but it's also light and fluffy. We all know that love isn't that easy, not all the time. Part of what makes the perfect moments perfect is how unique and unusual they are and how the difficulties experienced previously are worth it at these times when everything comes right.

At the base of it, your poem doesn't have something to say. It doesn't go anywhere. In my opinion, it needs to have a point or at least some kind of metaphor that addresses shadows and rain or changing seasons or some such thing. No garden is grown without rain, and the rain is cold and the winter long, but in the end the flowers bloom as they were always destined to bloom. Something along those lines. Know what I mean?

Only one grammar error: "to lovers' rhabsody." should be "to lovers' rhapsody."

And to be highly technical, the first line of the third stanza is one syllable too long.

*Bullet* Favourite Lines: Particularly enjoyed these lines:

elusive crickets play
a song that's sent
with love intent


*Bullet* Conclusion: Thank you for taking time to get inspired by the prompt and enter the contest. I've enjoyed reading and reviewing your work, and hope I have the pleasure to do so in future rounds. Write on! *Writing*

~ Fi

Click here to visit the WDC Power Reviewers Group page...



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
16
16
Review of No One  
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Tadpole1 Thank you for entering "Whispers Of The Soul with your poem, "No One. Please keep in mind these comments are only my opinion as a fellow reader and writer, offered with the intention of providing encouraging and useful feedback.

*Bullet* Impressions: An ordinary day for an ordinary woman…in itself a tragedy. We watch from a distance, at first indifferent and wondering why our attention has been drawn to this woman. But then the meaning dawns on us and as we are finally drawn into the most intimate part of her, symbolised by the scene in her bedroom, we realise how truly lonely and empty she feels. Beware of the first glance.

It's true that someone can appear normal on the outside and yet on the inside they are burning out. And it's also true that outside circumstances can reveal more hidden realities; even the smallest details, such as the "few groceries", tell us of loneliness, lost opportunities and often bitterness. Everyone hurts. We need to notice these things and treat people sensitively (easier said than done!).

The poem also touches on the theme of love (i.e. "single bed"). Love is the bedrock of a happy and fulfilled life. Without it, we are selfish, empty and purposeless. Even in the simplest relationship, when we give love we are given the most valuable thing of all: friendship. We must choose our friends cautiously and love them irrevocably. We must give everything of ourselves, or we will lose everything.

"Love is the deepest, the most profound and the most excellent of virtues." ~ Paul Washer

*Bullet* Technicalities: I appreciate the significance of the title, “No One”, which refers to both who this woman has become and the fact that there is no one special in her life.

I like it how each stanza starts with a statement, followed by a more detailed observation, and the last line brings home a point: unnoticed, just another face, uncared for, unheard, unseen. Lonely.

Punctuation, especially periods, are well-placed for emphasis. The sentences are blunt but not blank due to the enjambment.

Three-line stanzas give a sense of incompleteness, but the total number of stanzas is even, so it feels rounded off.

As I mentioned before, the symbolism in the last stanza is clever. How sad that a life could be so wasted, and not necessarily through any fault of her own.

*Bullet* Suggestions: Only one grammar suggestion:

"Prayers slip pass her silent lips" should be "Prayers slip past her silent lips".

I wasn't sure about "Her mailbox is packed as always, and". I think, to be grammatically correct, it should be: "Her mailbox is packed, as always, and". But I see how it could interrupt the flow, so this is entirely up to you.

*Bullet* Favourite Lines:

"the phone doesn’t ring." This one said so much. A whole lifetime in a sentence. And it's placed well, right near the middle of the poem. Makes it so much more dramatic.

"another day ends." Strikes home. An ending which is heart-breaking in its matter-of-fact-ness.

*Bullet* Conclusion: Thank you for taking time to get inspired and enter the contest. Your poem is just what I was looking for. An excellent and creative interpretation of the prompt which touched my heart. Keep up the great work! *Thumbsupl*

Write on! *Writing*
~ Fi

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17
17
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
Hi turtlemoon-dohi Thank you for entering "Whispers Of The Soul with your poem, "Dancing Before the Queen. Please keep in mind these comments are only my opinion as a fellow reader and writer, offered with the intention of providing encouraging and useful feedback.

*Bullet* Impressions: A sweet, colourful little poem which describes how imagination can create a context in which we can enjoy our passion (art, dancing, etc.) more fully, and how it can give life to our performance. We should all practice doing something for no other reason than because, simply, we love doing it. Dancing is the perfect example.

*Bullet* Technicalities: A carefree tone, some alliteration, plenty of cute verbs and nice adjectives, woven with lovely descriptions of nature.

*Bullet* Suggestions: This is merely my personal opinion, but I think this poem would reach its full potential if you created rhymes and even a meter. It seems to want rhythm. You just want to chant it out loud with satisfying sing-song rhymes.

Also, it’s quite…dense. Hard to take in all the information at once, especially at the beginning. Maybe you could dilute it down a little and make the most of each description.

*Bullet* Favourite Lines:

Her flowing skirt twirled like gossamer wings in the wind, *Right* Lovely imagery and a cute little description.

*Bullet* Conclusion: I’ve enjoyed reading this poem and I thank you for taking time to get inspired by the prompt and enter the contest. Keep it up! *Peace2*

~ Fi

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18
18
Review of Sovereign Prison  
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Thankful Angels in my Ear Thank you for entering "Whispers Of The Soul with your poem, "Sovereign Prison. Please keep in mind these comments are only my opinion as a fellow reader and writer, offered with the intention of providing encouraging and useful feedback.

*Bullet* Impressions: Delicious! An interesting interpretation of the prompt, placing yourself in the shoes of someone in a position of authority and exploring privilege vs. responsibility. The queen in this poem is not just one person but she represents monarchs, royalty, presidents, prime ministers, politicians, men and women of leadership, and even celebrities, all over the world. Not only are there huge responsibilities, but every action is in the public eye. Your decisions are scrutinised, your mistakes are loudly criticised, your movements are watched and on top of this you are envied. As a representative of the people, you have to listen to them, but it's a sad fact that you can't please everyone. Manual labour may not be your bane, but there's no rest from mental exertion or a life dedicated to public service. And sometimes your duty lasts a lifetime.

As much as we despise the lies and falsity and corruption of politicians, we should still appreciate our leaders and those in public service, and remember to consider things from their perspective.

*Bullet* Technicalities: Free verse works. Your phrases are clear and clean and I admire your word choice: plenty of engaging words such as "gilded", "compass", "lavish", "strenuous", "mantel", "pledged", "fidelity", "masterpiece", "birthright" and "immaculate". These words give it a dignified aura and cover it in a golden sheen, which makes the contrast of the reality a lot greyer and sadder.

I appreciated the use of irony -- a strong convention when applied well, as in this instance. I enjoyed rereading the poem and picking out subtleties which I didn't notice in the first read, such as each "side" (the queen and the people) longing for what the other side has and being dissatisfied with their own lot. It's the old "the grass is greener on the other side" factor. Although I think you were correct in concluding that the queen's fortune was a little less enviable in the end. Ordinary, everyday troubles can be overcome, but there are certain disadvantages to royalty that can't be escaped, merely put up with.

I love the mirror effect. Comparing one perspective with another, you've given the whole poem a two-way feel through your structure: in the first stanza, the queen looks down at her subjects; in the second, they look up at her. There's this back and forth dialogue in the poem, and then, each side having half the truth, they go on to blend together into the whole truth, and it reaches a powerful conclusion.

*Bullet* Suggestions: A few grammar suggestions for errors which are hardly noticeable but enough to merit a quick polishing:

"guilded" should be "gilded" (guild means an association of people; gild means to cover thinly with gold).

"sun baked earth" should be "sun-baked earth".

"The see my" should be "They see my".

"fidelity" should have a comma instead of a period, or the first word of the next line should be capitalized.

"they that are free" might be better as "they who are free".

"masterpiece" should probably have a comma after it.

And the comma after "prisoner" should probably be removed for continuity.

Now, I have a suggestion concerning the title which is more an opinion than anything else, but you might as well consider it. The "My" in the title implies something personal rather than a general truth. I reckon it might look/sound/be better as "A Sovereign Prison", "The Sovereign Prison" or simply "Sovereign Prison".

*Bullet* Favourite Lines: My overall favourite is, of course, the last line, which punches home the tragic and ironic truth which the poem has been revealing stanza by stanza.

I also love: of the lonely mantel of leadership. Just a gorgeous description, acutely portraying of the isolation of being in a position of authority and having people looking to you to protect them and solve dilemmas on a national and even international scale, while at the same time being only human!

My favourite part of the poem is:

I am their masterpiece
honored and revered,
yet untouched.


Scrumptious! Oh, it's the perfect metaphor, a masterpiece being hung on the wall and admired but without any feeling of its own. Damn, girl, you have a way with imagery. I don't want to inflate your ego but hey, respect where respect is due. *Bigsmile*

I am the prisoner,
in an immaculate cage.


These are also charming descriptions. Something about "immaculate" just seemed right to me. It comes off the tongue delicately and yet it has a heartbreaking intensity.

*Bullet* Conclusion: I really like this poem because it has a combination of beautiful imagery, it's crafted so well and it has a thought-provoking message. A fine piece, Aundria, and I'm glad you took the time to get inspired and enter the contest. Thanks for sharing. Keep up the great work!

~ Fi

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19
19
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi Mary Ann MCPhedran/fearless I am here with a review of your poem, "HALLOWEEN IN THE 1950S. Last review from me, I promise! *Bigsmile* I'll try not to repeat the same things. Please keep in mind these comments are only my opinion as a fellow reader and writer, offered with the intention of providing encouraging and useful feedback.

*Bullet* Impressions: Mm, a step back into the 1950s for a nostalgic look at Halloween as it used to be. Comes across as pretty family-centred and community oriented, good clean fun for the whole family. These days it seems to be more about greedy little kids stuffing their faces with sugar. But I'll try not to be cynical. This poem brings out the colour and excitement and suspense of that special November holiday, with hardly a hint of the weird and creepy costumes typical of it. I like it how neighbours would actually invite kids inside and have a good time ("Give us a tune or sing and dance"). Sounded like a real buzz.

*Bullet* Suggestions: There's a bit of internal rhyme which spices the poem up a bit (i.e. "prizes" and "disguises", "night" and "bright"), and I love this. It's just that to maximise the potential of internal rhyme, the words need to fall on a stressed foot (emphasised syllable).

There needs to be a comma after "apples" and "God".

The word "disguise" is repeated twice. Maybe one use could be substituted for "costume"?

*Bullet* Favourite Lines:

I liked By the fire we count our prizes and discuss our disguises. It shows the kids winding down in the evening, tired and happy and ready for bed, with soft firelight glowing on young skin.

*Bullet* Conclusion: It has been a pleasure to dip into your port and experience your poetic talent. Thanks for sharing your work and I hope you hang around on WdC so we can read more. *Smile* Keep at it!

~ Fi

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20
20
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi again Mary Ann MCPhedran/fearless I am here with a review of your poem, "New Year and A Glass Of Wine. Please keep in mind these comments are only my opinion as a fellow reader and writer, offered with the intention of providing encouraging and useful feedback.

*Bullet* Impressions: A fun little poem telling of your tradition in celebrating New Year's Eve. A toast to the near year, take the bottle next door and celebrate with your neighbour. Then you head off to a party and dance into the night (or morning, more likely!). I like the growing enthusiasm in the poem and how it closes on a high. And who cares if half of the rhymes are feminine? Adds to the overall light, carefree tone.

*Bullet* Suggestions: This poem would be a lot of fun if the meter was scrubbed up. It's up to you if you want to (I've already hassled you enough about rhythm, I think! *Bigsmile* So I'll shut up).

Only a few other suggestions:

Christmas has come gone *Right* This should probably be Christmas time has come and gone

In the fourth line, "have" shouldn't be capitalised. You could probably remove the first word, "And", from the line, since it's only taking up space.

The last use of punctuation in the poem is a random apostrophe (probably just a typo) and should be a period.

*Bullet* Favourite Lines: I liked the rivalry between yourself and your neighbour, as shown in line six.

*Bullet* Conclusion: It has been a pleasure to read and review your work and I hope you find my comments useful in some way. Keep at it!

Write on. *Writing*

~ Fi

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21
21
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi Mary Ann MCPhedran/fearless I am here with a review of your collection of poems in "Where The Petals Fall Chapters editition2. Please keep in mind these comments are only my opinion as a fellow reader and writer, offered with the intention of providing encouraging and useful feedback.

*Bullet* Impressions: These poems are titled like chapters and the entry contains about 66. I didn't read them all, just the first few, and I enjoyed reading glimpses of your life and experiences. Especially the poem about your husband and the one about your father. They were especially personal and precious. I like the perspective changes in the first poem and how you look at nature from different angles -- in the sky and on earth, looking down and looking up. That was a fun experience and made me feel like I was moving with the clouds.

*Bullet* Suggestions: It's refreshing reading rhyming poetry again, but sometimes the meter isn't well established. You've got the groundwork laid, but a little more work on the rhythm would really spruce up the structure of your pieces. For instances, let's look at the first poem, "Distant Clouds". This starts with a very strong rhythm, perfect iambic tetrameter (four stresses in the line):

Distant clouds go rolling by

The next line is imperfect because it lacks a syllable at the start of the line. You could improve it by changing it to something like this:

Far away up in the sky.

I recommend you keep going through the poem like this, taking note of what lines need improving and working out the rhythm. You can also start adding punctuation and thinking of more interesting and spicy words to use, since your word choice is currently quite simple (although there's nothing wrong with simple words, they can make the poem a bit boring. I hate to say it, but that was my reaction).

If you're still not sure what I'm rambling on about, you can click the dropnote below and view a version of how I would change things (of course, these are just ideas for you to pick and choose from; in no way am I saying you should edit your poem my way). Altered version here

In terms of overall layout, I recommend you put each poem in its own book entry, then title your entry with the title of your poem. This will make your work a whole heap more accessible to the reader and then when they want to review a specific poem they can just find it in the list of entries.

*Bullet* Favourite Lines: Love the last line, how it repeats the first line. It's a satisfying conclusion, perfect for the poem.

*Bullet* Conclusion: Thanks for sharing your work with us and I hope you find my comments useful. I love seeing all these talented poets around Writing.Com. Keep up the great work and always write on! *Writing*

~ Fi

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22
22
Review of Meeting  
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
*Flowerw* This is a review from "WdC Kind Hearts *Flowerw*

Hi RavanaRaven Welcome to Writing.Com! *Smile* I am here with a random review of your poem, "Meeting Please keep in mind these comments are only my opinion as a fellow reader and writer, offered with the intention of providing encouraging and useful feedback.

*Bullet* Impressions: Starting with an image of death personified and continuing into a more personally involved description of what death means to you, this poem is a bold and at the same time despairing invitation for death to come. I like the "bring it on" tone, as well as the more serious contemplation of the meaning of death. The short lines, most consisting of no more than two or three words, create a choppy mood like you're out of breath or have already given up. It really gives the poem a sense of foreboding. Words like "mystery", "engulfed", "bury" and "torn" prove to be good choices, enriching the body of the poem and setting up an ominous atmosphere. Then the ending arrives with a strangely positive note: the idea of death setting us free.

*Bullet* Suggestions: Your center formatting isn't working because there's a mistake at the beginning: {centerl needs a closing bracket and the "l" removed to make it work, i.e. {center}

I realise that the lack of punctuation may be deliberate, not just lazy. This is a trending style which I've often made use of myself. However, the absence of punctuation contrasts with the capitalisation of each line, which sets up the structure as formal/proper. My suggestion is either to remove capitalisation or to place the appropriate punctuation in each stanza (especially the question marks needed after "What do you want" and "What do you need"), so the poem is either formal or lax. (Punctuating poetry can be a daunting task. One way of doing it is to type out your whole poem without line breaks, and then punctuate it like you would punctuate a sentence or paragraph.)

*Bullet* Favourite Lines:

Wake me up
From this nightmare


I like the concept that life is a nightmare and death wakes us up from it. I know with a certainty more certain than anything that there is life after death. I know that our choices here and now drastically effect where we will end up afterwards. Because of this belief, I have a particular fondness for the subject of death. *Bigsmile* I'm sure I fear dying, but I have lost that dread of death which used to oppress me. Truly I can say that death will set me free.

*Bullet* Conclusion: I've enjoyed reading and reviewing this poem and I hope you find my comments useful. Thanks for sharing your work with us.

Keep it up and always write on! *Writing*

~ Fi

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23
23
Review of Sisters.  
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
*Flowerw* This is a review from "WdC Kind Hearts *Flowerw*

Hey -S.Valdez , I see you're new around here. Welcome to Writing.Com! *Smile* I've come with a random review of your poem, "Sisters. Please keep in mind these comments are only my opinion as a fellow reader and writer, offered with the intention of providing encouraging and useful feedback.

*Bullet* Impressions: That last stanza broke my heart! *Sad* I really like this poem, if it's possible to like something which breaks your heart. The progression is exquisite, reflecting the passage of time, and the suspense is strong, building up to a climax and leaving the reader in no doubt that something terrible is coming. I expected death -- a tragedy, a car accident, cancer -- but is it terrible of me to say that it was worse? I believe that to lose a once close relationship would be harder to experience than the loss of the life itself. At least if the person dies you get to keep the treasured memories of the good times and the love you shared. But when they hurt you or just drift away or change into someone you don't recognise right in front of you, sometimes it's harder to accept.

I could relate to it so well, having an excellent relationship with my own sister, but I'm fortunate enough to still have that. However, I have experienced another person I cared about becoming someone different. And in a sort of crossover way I can understand how you felt and what it would be like. (Sisters are amazing. *Heart*)

Clever structure, too. It's personal, with beautiful snippets of memories and their meaning to you as you show how the two of you grew up and moved apart. Each stanza is connected by the passing of time, reminding me of the high and low tides, the seasons of life and the times under the sun. The first three stanzas contain a short refrain, and as soon as things start falling apart the refrain is dropped and the stanzas decrease from four lines to three. This gave it a tense tone as well as a sensation of drifting away or expiring. A sad and kind of unexpected conclusion leaves the reader with the chills.

*Bullet* Suggestions: I suggest removing the signature at the bottom or placing it down a few spaces so it's out of the way of the actual body of the poem. Also, I'm not a great fan of all the full stops. Almost every line has one at the end. I think a variety of punctuation would help place emphasis where emphasis is due and not impede the flow of the poem.

*Bullet* Favourite Lines:

Little by little,
Life got the best of her.
Now, I don't know who she is.


These three lines were just plain gut-wrenching. I'm really curious to know how life got the best of her, how and why she changed, but at the same time the ambiguity leaves it open for the reader to think about it and wonder. And I always love a poem which rings on after I've finished reading it. *Smile*

*Bullet* Conclusion: Great work! A lovely poem overall, and I'm so glad I found it. Keep up the great work and always write on! *Writing*

~ Fi

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24
24
Review of A Haiku  
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi again, LJay I'm back, this time with a review of your poem, "A Haiku. Please keep in mind these comments are only my opinion as a fellow reader and writer, offered with the intention of providing encouraging and useful feedback.

*Bullet* Impressions: No capitals, no punctuation, plenty of repetition...and it packs a crippling punch. Love it how in so few words you can just capture something. This one chills me to the core. Extinction. It seems like such a distant thing, until you realise that humankind is also an animal species. How strange to imagine an earth with no tigers or whales, these beautiful creatures which we are privileged enough to share our world with. Yet more strange to imagine an earth with no people! And why not? The progression is slow, subtle even, but it's happening. We're all killing each other, killing our environment, killing everything... It's time to change that, or this poem will become a prophecy.

*Bullet* Suggestions: None.

*Bullet* Favourite Lines: Well, that's not fair, considering there are only three. *Laugh* So I'll go with all three of them.

*Bullet* Conclusion: Once again, I'm glad I ventured into your port. You are a poet with potential. You've got a fan, so keep it up!

Write on! *Writing*
~ Fi

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25
25
Review of After The Fall  
Review by Fi
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Pita I noticed that your poem, "After The Fall, won 2nd Place in the last round of "Shadows and Light Poetry Contest so I stopped by for an R&R. Please keep in mind these comments are only my opinion as a fellow reader and writer, offered with the intention of providing encouraging and useful feedback.

*Bullet* Impressions: Certainly deserving of its win! This is a brief and beautiful poem, with brilliant imagery contrasting with smoky conflict. Love the style but the subject is not to be loved. I respect those who fight for what they value, but war is so wrong and it leaves so many broken and dead in its wake. More often than not a right cause is warped by politics. It sucks that our burden for peace must be placed on the shoulders of soldiers who give everything, sometimes paying the ultimate price, for so little reward.

These fragmented images show a glimpse of this, that when you're out there sometimes the most you look forward to is sleep, away from the conflict and suffering and guilt. For something so short, it's powerful.

*Bullet* Suggestions: None.

*Bullet* Favourite Lines:

under a lidless
African sun
*Right* Gorgeous imagery here. Says a lot and also alludes to the wakefulness of the poem's subject, contrasting with the sleep in the second stanza.

after the fall,
when sleep is prayer
*Right* Sometimes our most sacred thing is the night. Does it refer to sleep or death ("after the fall"), or are they one and the same thing? A haunting close to a beautiful poem.

*Bullet* Conclusion: Thanks for sharing this poem with the community and congratulations on your win! Please excuse my humble thoughts and clumsy comments - I have no experience of war and I don't pretend to understand what people go through out there. But I do honour them and I do my best to remember our fallen fathers with respect and gratefulness for the hell they endured for our sakes and the legacy they left us.

Write on!
~ Fi

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