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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/jam5118
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29 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review of Ode To Melanie  
Review by Jacob Anderson
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
This story is well written, but it is a tad unrealistic. I can usually suspend belief to accommodate a story, but there is no way a professor would ever stop by a student's apartment like this -- especially if she was in love with him. The risks are too high that she could blackmail him, etc, plus in the age of email, it is unnecessary.

I don't know where you're going with this, perhaps she has some elaborate torture machine built up, but I don't see at this point why she couldn't simply be stopping by his office or house to inflict whatever judgement cometh. I look forward to the conclusion, however, and as I said, it is well written.

Cheers,
Jacob Anderson
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Review of Beastly Lessons  
Review by Jacob Anderson
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Cool idea and well written. Perhaps not all that scary at the moment, but there is room to make it so. I definitely look forward to seeing where it goes if you expand it for the second round of the contest.
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Review of Troubled  
Review by Jacob Anderson
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
This is definitely a sweet idea for a story. A sort of stream of consciousness within the body of a deranged/ potentially possessed person. I am anxious to read the next installment (hoping that you do complete it for the contest). It is a bit of a grammatical train wreck, however. Nothing a revision or two couldn't fix. You start in one tense and then sort of jump back and forth between past and present. I don't know if you are trying for something intentional there, switching consciousnesses or something of the sort, but if you are going to do that, make it more apparent. As it stands right now, it is simply distracting. The last paragraph is especially chaotic.

Like I said, revise it and polish it up a bit. This is a great idea and has quite a bit of potential if you can make the delivery more fluid.


Cheers,
Jacob Anderson

-- So it goes.
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Review of Minotaur  
Review by Jacob Anderson
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Nice. I like how this story just throws the reader right into the chaos. No build up to the insanity, just, "Hello, you have no idea what is going on. Welcome." The title just sits there taunting the reader at the top of the page with Hellenic images of Daedalus and Theseus, but providing only a post-industrial labyrinth. Some people just can't handle city life.

A few notes/ minor corrections:

- second paragraph 'of bits off glass' -- just a typo, I'm guessing

- the potato metaphor in the second paragraph was a bit weird for me. I don't really understand it, I guess. I have never seen potatoes fight for space in an oven, but maybe I am just lacking in an otherwise everyday experience. It's a good idea, as the heat is definitely a great theme running throughout the piece, but like i said, I don't really know the metaphor. Just something to consider.

- end of second paragraph you say the breath could not reach his esophagus. I like the imagery, but I must point out a minor anatomical detail - the esophagus is for food. The trachea, also known as the windpipe, is for air. I'd suggest switching to either of those two words, plus, I think trachea is a better word. It just sounds cool.

- 4th paragraph 'It was still there, hanging perilously close.' Lose the second clause. Just leave it "It was still there." It hits harder as the other part is implied. Plus you use the same sentence later "it was there," creating an effective repetition, hammering home the feeling of a 'presence'.


Otherwise, well done. I really like this story. If I were to offer anything else, I'd say maybe break it up a bit. The long paragraphs are good in that they stress the urgency of everything going on, but it was hard to read. Maybe just physically break it up with double space or something. Also, you cram a lot of development into the first paragraph, but it doesn't really complete anything. The story's strongest aspect is how sudden and confusing everything is. The reader is really lost with Justin as he finds his way through the labyrinth. That little bit at the beginning takes away from that, for me at least. To use a cliche, the rest of the story 'shows' while the first paragraph only 'tells'. But yeah, great job. Good luck with the publishing and such.

Cheers,
Jacob Anderson

-- So it goes.
5
5
Review of Somme Place  
Review by Jacob Anderson
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I reviewed your stars poems and so decided to check out your port.

First of all, I'm glad to see some reverence for the forgotten war in here. One of my favorite poets is Wilfred Owen, and his hopeless and terrible words about The Great War leave the reader speechless. I am still astounded by the Battle of the Somme and its incompetent execution. Young men fighting and dying for old men who treat them as numbers on a piece of paper.

This poem is a good distanced reflection on the battle. It doesn't try to go into painful details of slaughter and chaos, but rather looks on it from a historical lens with proper respect given.

My only comment is in one detail when you say 'millions who died that day'. Is this meant to be taken literally? If you refer to July 1, many thousands died, but nothing close to plural millions. If you mean more figuratively in the sense of broken homes and in the course of the whole war, I would say maybe be a bit more specific then and add a line that reflects that.

Otherwise, a solid piece.

Another side note, are you British and/or a citizen of the commonwealth? I am an American and we have almost no attention devoted to this war much less the terrible events of 1 July, 1916. My understanding is that it is remembered a little better by the U.K. I'm just curious what motivated you to write this. I am intensely interested in WWI history and don't find many people who share that with me. I was surprised to see someone writing a poem about it.

Cheers,
Jacob Anderson
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Review of Stars  
Review by Jacob Anderson
Rated: E | (5.0)
Great job!

I'll review each separately:

1st poem:

Nice.

Your word choice and flow reflect back on the poem really well. It flows with 'frivolity' and frolics through fields of fantastic alliteration. Well done. The words almost shine.

2nd poem:

A bit more serious, but still has an enchanting wondrous feel, though in a different way than the first. Your word choice is again excellent, providing colorful imagery and touching several other senses. It almost wraps the reader in a blanket of soft night sky. I hear crickets.

You touch on the religious while still maintaining some amount of secular and almost innate human wonder felt by anyone who looks up at the night sky.




Excellent job on both counts. No complaints. I would imagine any negative feedback was directed more towards the content, but I think you don't need to change anything. These poems don't demand anything serious, and I don't think you were trying for that. More just an ode to the wonder and beauty of night.

Cheers,
Jacob Anderson
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Review of Clouds  
Review by Jacob Anderson
Rated: E | (4.0)
As a big fan of clouds, I must say I like the subject of this poem and think it is well executed. My girlfriend actually calls me cloud-boy because I am constantly looking up at the clouds.

My comments / criticisms:

- the first stanza has rhyming couplets and none of the others do. I was wondering why you chose to do it that way. It doesn't seem necessary and is a bit distracting, as I was looking for the rhyme after it and found none. I'm not saying that you should necessarily rhyme the rest of it, but you could probably do away with it in the first stanza and choose different words if you wanted. You do a bit of rhyming later (universe / my verse), but not as strictly as in the first part. I would say go all or nothing, save the more incidental rhymes like in my next comment.

- The last stanza seems to have some rhyme, and I really really like it. The words sort of float, the rhyme of blue and dew, and the alliteration with moodily and migrate give this stanza a 'wispy' feel. I think this poem calls for more of this style, and indeed, the flow in the previous stanzas is closer to it.

- the line '(too worthy for my verse)' feels a bit off for me. Just a personal preference there. As a rhyme it doesn't really work with universe (as it is indeed the same sound rhyming) and the semantics of it are a bit confusing. I would prefer a different way of saying 'my verse does not do them justice' but it's your poem and maybe I'm just reading it weirdly.

-I really like "pillow to my upturned thoughts"

Otherwise, like I said, I really like this poem. My criticisms are small and the poem works without changing them. It is just my personal preference in reading it.

Cheers,
Jacob Anderson
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Review by Jacob Anderson
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Very nice. A very hot and steamy poem that gets the point across. I really like the type of language you use. Your word choice is impeccable and the interaction between them is very nice. I really like how it's so full of passion at the beginning and then takes a harsh turn with the dropping of the word 'concrete' to contextualize the whole thing. Then the last line is very beautiful.

I much prefer the first version.

Keep up the good work.

Cheers,
Jake

-so it goes.
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Review of Monotony in Rule  
Review by Jacob Anderson
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
This is a terrible story!

That is to say, it's a good story with a terribly chilling concept. I like the idea you have here. The little device that buzzes in your ear... it sends chills up my spine just thinking about it. You do a great job of creating the sensation of hopelessness and horror. The ending reminds me of the ending of 1984. The reader wants so badly for justice to prevail, but even Winston Smith loves Big Brother by the end of it.
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