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Review of Just Hold Me Now  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hello, Dr Taher writes again! !

A simple review for your love poem.*Bigsmile*

The sentiment shines through, especially with the imagery of the beating heart.

What I found unusual is that the ring came before falling in love. This could be explained more, or the verses re-ordered.

The only complete rhymes are preparing/pairing and daring/unsparing. My prejudice may be showing, but I'm a big believer in either keeping the rhyming consistent or writing free verse. This straddles both forms with the -ing suffix, and I'm not sure it works.

I like the hints of intimacy to come, with "giving back what I got"--the passion of the first kiss. It feels old fashioned and romantic to wait for "the gift". Thanks for reminding me of love's first, pink blush.

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
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77
Review of Never forget...  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello, Ms.Magi !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

I like the form of this poem. It took me a minute to figure out why it is in the shape of a church. Birmingham, Birmingham--now I get it. You may wish to add a note at the bottom for non-American readers who may not get the connection.

Excellent imagery with the white gloves--a symbol of innocence and proper behavior to contrast with the "monstrous hate". Nicely done.

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
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Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, NanoWriMo2018 Into the Earth !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

A subject that so many can relate to. I like the simplicity of the poem. The frustration comes through, and yet the humor keeps it from being a true "vent". Nice rhythm and nearly perfect rhyme. Although--I think the title could be more general, like "whose house is it anyway" since they've commandeered more than just the phone.

Thanks for giving me a glimpse of future fights to look forward to.*Rolleyes*

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
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79
79
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (5.0)
Such an impassioned plea!

I just don't know anymore. It seems the only way to cut through red tape is to grease palms--something few of us can afford. Cultural cycles ebb and wane, and at the moment the government needs to look like it is cracking down on illegal immigration. If a few innocents get tangled up, that's the price we pay, supposedly.

I don't work in immigration, but I'm thinking people are presumed guilty until proving themselves innocent. And I'm positive the officials have heard every excuse in the book. Exceptions should be made, of course, but bureaucracy isn't capable of handling the extraordinary--there's no form to be signed in triplicate!

No laughing matter when lives are on the line. I'm of the less-than-popular opinion that someone who has been here for at least 10 years and has no record should be allowed to stay--period.

Now to the review--well-written, no errors noted. *Smile*

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review of Ponderings...  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, Nila - Out of town !

A simple, Simply Positive review for you.*Bigsmile*

This may be free-flowing, but the repetition of "as I so often do" gives the poem a nice structure, allowing the reader a moment to stop and reflect with the speaker. What we consider simple realizations are often quite profound, and your last stanza illustrates that notion nicely.

My favorite lines:
I remember,
as I often do,
how I've changed...
what I've left behind...
what I've accomplished...
and a joy rises in me.


Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
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81
Review of Letting Go  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, ElizabethHayes-WinterMistress !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

Two outstanding images fill this poem with gentle peace and acceptance. "Crystal sheen" caught my eye.

Love this metaphor:
I take a moment to reflect
upon the lake of emotions
I call my heart


The only suggestion I have is to make the last line more personal. Maybe "my prayer heard" instead of "the prayer has been heard".

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
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82
82
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello, Just an Ordinary Boo! !

Thanks for entering this month's contest:
Rising Stars Shining Brighter  [E]
Contest for existing Rising Stars...Monthly award of "Shining Star" status.
by Tornado Day


First Impressions:
Informative, heartwarming, and packed with imagery.

Suggestions:
whether...in making them; the taste was
whether...in making them, the taste was
"Whether" makes the phrase conditional, so it cannot stand alone.

from my grand-father; the one that
grand-father, the one that
A semicolon joins two complete sentences, as above. Perhaps a dash would serve for emphasis if you want to be daring. *Smile*

My favorite line/s:
I raced into the rickety structure and more or less up-ended the bucket over myself, as one finger made a few cursory passes at the teeth. I held my breath and winced at the onslaught of cold water.

Final Thoughts:
Many of the phrases in this story are highly creative, including "splash and dash" and the title. You have a firm grasp on the English language which you use to paint vibrant pictures full of emotional detail. Your unique and endearing style shines in this story. The awardicon is well deserved.

Good luck in the contest.

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello, SWPoet !

Thanks for entering this month's contest:
Rising Stars Shining Brighter  [E]
Contest for existing Rising Stars...Monthly award of "Shining Star" status.
by Tornado Day


First Impressions:
Love the plane metaphor.

Suggestions:
Loneliness and lonely in the same stanza. Can you find another word for one of them?

My favorite line/s:
We don’t care about their stories, their desires.
Our cares, our worries, never crossed their minds.
We sit inches away. Skin meets skin, we move and say,
"sorry" for the careless touch. But still, we yearn


Final Thoughts:
I like the revised version better. The formatting of the last stanza carries the theme home. Compelling imagery with a message that hit me right in the heart.

Outstanding!

Good luck in the contest.

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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84
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello, ShiShad !

Thanks for entering August's contest:
Rising Stars Shining Brighter  [E]
Contest for existing Rising Stars...Monthly award of "Shining Star" status.
by Tornado Day


First Impressions:
I'm haunted by the fate of that dog, too. Did you ever find out what happened to it?

Suggestions:
I had a nice turkey roast
Yum! What did it smell like? This paragraph is telling, and all the sentences are about the same length. Perhaps move where you live to the first paragraph to set the scene.

Even with a true story, each word must count toward building tension and enhancing the emotion. Picking and choosing which details to add and which to leave out is hard. They're all important to you--you're the grandparent of well-behaved, inquisitive and caring kids! *Bigsmile*

However, a few things struck me as unnecessary detail. For one, the kids ages don't matter except that the youngest (11), loved the hot tub.

I like that the kids kept thinking every house was haunted, but it doesn't fit into your theme, which I interpreted as man (and dog) vs. nature. An easy way to fix that is to use the term "haunted" in relation to their fears about the dog drowning.

A quick example of how to free up words for other purposes when you have a word count:
there were two men with dogs that were throwing sticks out into the River for the dogs to go after and bring back to them.
there were two men with dogs who were throwing sticks into the River for the dogs to retrieve.

My favorite line/s:
Nice foreshadowing:
I explained to them that parts of The Columbia River are like a lake and that is why they had done their swimming, and that it is not so with the Skagit River.

Final Thoughts:
I liked the story; your pride and delight in those kids shine through. They'll remember such a fun trip, and the unintended lesson, for a long time.

Good luck in the contest.

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review by KimChi
Rated: ASR | N/A (Review only item.)
Hello, warriormom!

Thanks for entering May's contest:
Rising Stars Shining Brighter  [E]
Contest for existing Rising Stars...Monthly award of "Shining Star" status.
by Tornado Day


First Impressions:
Love the theme. How often we think others have a wonderful life, when everyone hides their pain.

Suggestions:
Though my painted smile
tears of loneliness
I found these phrases somewhat cliché. In other words, they turn up in poetry all the time.

My favorite line/s:
Thunderous clouds
live in my soul,
shadows of darkness.


Final Thoughts:
Great theme and structure, although I was hoping for more concrete imagery. The moral jumps off the page in the fourth stanza--those simple words truly "wrench the gut", with the rhyme emphasizing the emotion.

Good luck in the contest.

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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86
86
Review of Memories  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello, Jaye P. Marshall !

Thanks for entering May's contest:
Rising Stars Shining Brighter  [E]
Contest for existing Rising Stars...Monthly award of "Shining Star" status.
by Tornado Day


First Impressions:
Eloquent descriptions of an era lost to corporate farms and video games.

Suggestions:
Grass mowed in crooked swaths; ragged weeds drooped against headstones
Strictly speaking, as my father used to remind me, "grass don't mow itself." To get around a "be" verb and keep the phrases symmetrical, consider, "mown grass lay in crooked swaths" to mirror the adjective-noun-verb construction of the second clause. I know--picky, picky.

I see poetic license in other areas of this work that, well, work well. So I'm cool with the dropped subjects and sentence frags; they support the theme and tone.

The ending felt abrupt to me, mainly because the rest of the prose is packed from here to the horse barn with visuals. I like the rhetorical question, but I'm thinking a slightly longer setup revealing our current lifestyle might give the last line more contrast, and therefore, more emotional impact.

As always, only a suggestion.

My favorite line/s:
Undaunted by the frenzied squawking and flapping wings, she zeroed in on her target. Amid flying feathers she would grab the bony feet, raising him high. Thus upended, the bird would give up its protests and hang motionless, as if resigned to its fate.

Final Thoughts:
Gosh, so many of my own memories you've brought back. I'd forgotten about True Story magazine and playing in the hayloft. But I can never forget the headless chicken dance. *shudder*

The evocative details provide the nostalgia. Nicely done.

Good luck in the contest.

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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87
87
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, Jace !

Thanks for entering August's contest:
Rising Stars Shining Brighter  [E]
Contest for existing Rising Stars...Monthly award of "Shining Star" status.
by Tornado Day


First Impressions:
Background. Set up. Score!

Suggestions:
on the athletes of almost two hundred countries in Beijing, China.
Didn't know China had so many countries. *Laugh* Maybe "arriving/converging in Beijing, China"?

My favorite line/s:
With a physique like mine ... wait, that's not the right word. Physique implies form, a shape that starts wider at the top, tapers at the waist and flares a bit down below. While straight is a shape, my rail-like build was much better suited for running than field events.

Final Thoughts:
Has track ever been a glamourous sport? It wasn't in the 80's, either. Seems like the football players got all the girls--same as it ever was.

I enjoyed your humorous take on dashed Olympic hopes. Good luck in the contest.

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello, lidi !

Thanks for entering August's contest:
Rising Stars Shining Brighter  [E]
Contest for existing Rising Stars...Monthly award of "Shining Star" status.
by Tornado Day


First Impressions:
I like the smattering of Biblical ideas twisted into new phrases.

Suggestions:
The tense shifts between present and past. Usually, I'd say stick with past tense, but since this could be an on-going experience, present might help the reader fall into the ambiance of your poetic words.

While the words are beautiful, they are also abstract. I love the air filled with flowers and the dancing, which are concrete images, where "refreshing my innermost being" is open to interpretation. Still, the overall effect is soothing.

I would caution you to delete most of the instances of "begin to"--it is repetitive and probably not needed. "I dance" is stronger than "I begin to dance."

Also, each speaker gets his/her own paragraph.

My favorite line/s:
He leads me down a path that has been laid for my feet alone.

Final Thoughts:
Lovely description of an encounter with God, showing a depth of emotion and faith too often glossed over in contemporary prose. Some call it purple; I call it inspirational.

Good luck in the contest.

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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89
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello, Roari ∞ Hello 2022! !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

Excellent tale! I like the heroine and her friend a lot--both strong women. The past slips into the background where it belongs except for maybe the portion about freeing slaves, which you might consider condensing for flow.

You ended the story right where a chapter would fall. Hope you continue this one; I really want to see how the captain is used as bait.

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
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90
90
Review of Ballade of Sorrow  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello, Ben Langhinrichs !

Thanks for entering May's contest:
Rising Stars Shining Brighter  [E]
Contest for existing Rising Stars...Monthly award of "Shining Star" status.
by Tornado Day


First Impressions:
A soothing read despite the sad subject matter.

My favorite line/s:
Her eyes alight, she told me of a pearl
Which grew within her womb like precious seed.
We dreamed of chubby toes and ringlet curls
Our fam’ly portrait drawn as once decreed.


Final Thoughts:
As far as I can tell, the rhyme and meter roll perfectly toward the conclusion without a hitch. The envoi reinforces the theme nicely. Thanks for explaining the ballade form for us. Well done!

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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91
91
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, Jaye P. Marshall !

Thanks for entering May's contest:
Rising Stars Shining Brighter  [E]
Contest for existing Rising Stars...Monthly award of "Shining Star" status.
by Tornado Day


Please accept any suggestions which mesh with the blueprint of your work, and ignore the rest. *Bigsmile*

First Impressions:
That poor child, staying with Aunt Mean.

Suggestions:
Great job showing the personality of Aunt Jane--I cringed when she yelled at Theresa the first time.

With the internal thoughts at the beginning, I was thinking the child was very young--four or five, but you don't state it. If Theresa is older, perhaps add to her thoughts about the situation, like how she feels about Grandma being sick. Maybe add the show she's watching. Teletubbies is for a toddler, while Bratz might give the impression she's almost school age. Or a mention of the weather--if it's winter, we'd know she isn't old enough to go to school yet. Just a little clue might add some insight into her thought processes.

“Well, I’ve got to go . . .”
Not sure if this info is needed, since it looks like Dad goes with them two days later to Aunt Jane's house.

She sighed, it was
She sighed; it was
or
She sighed. It was

My favorite line/s:
“Yeah, I know. All you brats are just alike! You always look with your fingers. Come on, lunch is ready.”

Final Thoughts:
Rye bread? Jeesh, next thing you know she'll be feeding the child liver and onions! *Wink* Aunt Jane is a spinster from the nether regions, and you paint her character perfectly.

Write on; shine on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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92
92
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, I Love WDC! Cissy❤ !

I'm a guest judge for the contest. Thank you for entering
 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#1426755 by Not Available.
Accept or discard any suggestions as you feel inclined; this is only one person's opinion.

First Impression:
*Cry*

Suggestions:
Your rhymes are good, but having each line rhyme with another takes away the freedom to say what you want. In this instance I feel it lessens the emotional impact.

Favorite line/s:
*Star*A little girl you think, you can trust Mom and Dad,
But in my case I cannot, this makes me so sad.
Daddy took away my life, all of my childhood,
Momma didn't see the way I thought she should.
*Star*

Overall:
A nice overview of escaping an abusive father. I'm sorry it's a true story, but it seems you've grown stronger for the heartache. *Heart*

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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93
93
Review of Forever Yours  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, Jeff Hallow !

Love your user handle! *Laugh* Thank you for entering "Invalid Item I am a guest judge for the contest.

First Impression:
I would guess all that rhyming would make the poem sing-songy, but I would be wrong. Amazing job on the rhyme, which makes the poem flow along smoothly.

Suggestions:
Love holds on like a bind that overpowers.

You've got the perfect place for a simile, but "bind" doesn't give a concrete image. I suggest a physical object with the attribute of "binding", although I can't think of anything at the moment besides a rubber band. *Rolleyes* Sorry.

The touch of your hand, they spoke sweet words
Who are they? Touch is a singular, neuter noun so if that is the subject I suggest "it spoke sweet words."

Favorite line/s:
*Star*Thinking of nothing but the laugh on your face,
Even that disappears in a grey, falling haze.
I'm falling to pieces; I need you to catch them,
*Star*

Overall:
The point of view is a heartbroken soul, which comes through clearly. Nice job.

Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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94
94
Review of I Cry Silently  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, ShiShad !

Thank you for entering the "Invalid Item contest. I am a guest judge.

First Impression:
I feel the empathy in this poem; it shows in each line.

Suggestions:
depriving like theft
my childhood?


The simile is nice, but consider making the idea more a statement and less a comparison. Maybe: "depriving by theft"?


Favorite line/s:
*Star*Sending me scurrying
with hidden scars,
secretly burying
my quiet rage.
Suffering in silence
like an animal in a cage.
*Star*

Overall:
Although fictional, this poem puts the reader in the child's shoes, where we feel the pain of his/her betrayal. Well done, fortunate one. *Wink*

Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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95
95
Review of The Offender  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, imadreamweaver !

Thank you for entering the "Invalid Item contest. I am a guest judge this month.

First Impression:
I love the title and tag line; it sums up the poem nicely.

Suggestions:
The ending seemed abrupt to me. Maybe remove the exclamation point, which gives an idea of "happiness" when there is none. I think the last line might be more powerful with a simple period.

As always, just a suggestion.

Favorite line/s:
*Star*I was much too innocent, too happy, too free.
everyone seemed much offended by me
dancing through life on a wisp of a breeze
some were determined to bring me to my knees.
*Star*

Overall:
Excellent rhyming and rhythm! The poem flows exceptionally well; the pain underlying the matter of fact tone seeps through. Nice job!

Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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96
96
Review of RAGE I  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hello, Being Diane !

Thank you for entering the "Invalid Item contest. I am a guest judge this month.

First Impression:
Aptly titled; the anger is palpable.

Suggestions:
As with your first entry, I found the placement of line breaks awkward. Read aloud, it sounds like William Shatner's or Yoda. *Laugh* For better flow, consider allowing most of the lines to break in normal speech patterns. A free verse poem still needs structure, although for emphasis you can break some of the lines.

For example:

Hate prevails.
My desire for no emotion
so I can
walk
away.


Hate prevails--
a desire for no emotion
so I can walk away.

Just a suggestion, please accept or discard as befits your blueprint of this work. I review with my own poetry biases. *Wink*

Favorite line/s:
*Star*I will catch you like the spider catches
it's prey and quickly devour what's left of you.
Then sit in my web, alone and in peace.
Eating the pieces of what's left of you.
*Star*

Overall:
Loved the ending, turning the tables on the abuser, which is a normal reaction. We all want justice served, but most of us wouldn't actually go for vengeance. This leaves me with the impression that the speaker of this poem would. Thanks for the raw, honest emotions here.

Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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97
97
Review of Present Now  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello D.L. Robinson !

And here I thought you only wrote prose! *Wink*

This is a delight to read aloud; a lovely cadence provided by the form stops just short of being lilting. The internal rhyme accentuates each stanza's theme.

I can see a lot of work went into this. I especially like your twist on a common saying. Just the right mix of spirituality, metaphor, and folk wisdom combine to give this poem a comforting depth. Loved it!

Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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98
98
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello Jeanne Sparks-Carreker !

Bravo!

Man, I can totally relate to your experiences. The town I grew up in is Baptist, U.SA. Some families still have qualifiers after their names--i.e.: the Jews (or worse, those Catholics!) *Laugh*

Your pacing is great--it flows logically toward the conclusion. I would suggest an edit at the paragraph level to make sure the tenses match, etc. As a personal essay, reading it aloud brings out the lovely rhetoricical patterns, so that might be helpful. I also really wanted to know what your parents said when they learned about your friendship.

Fave lines:
*Star*I knew in my heart that people everywhere, being creations of God, were equal in their humanity, as well as in the level of respect that they deserve.*Star*

Glad to see an awardicon on this one--unfortunately, we (humans) still need to read it over and over until it sinks in. Thanks for using your gift to tell it like it is! *Bigsmile*

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review of By the Fireside  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello Split Infinitive !

Just snooping through a new Rising Star's port!

I hope you'll find something useful in one reader's suggestions. They're given in the spirit of encouragement, so let me know if I step on your style! *Smile*

First Impressions:
Simply. Amazing.

Suggestions:
"Okay. But if you did, what would be stopping you?

Think about breaking this dialogue and showing his face more as he's talking. This might be a good place to slip in a description of what he looks like, too.

It seems the tone is melodramatic, turns casual, and returns to drama at the end. I think it could be more even. This could be intention, in order to build to the last line, which, by the way, is a gut-clencher. *Thumbsup* So I wouldn't dare quote it. *Wink*

Fave lines:
*Star*Fishing off of the rotting dock early on our second-last morning, with the sun just beginning to dissipate the mist off the lake, I imagined snagging my line on something near the bottom,*Star*

Overall:
The pacing is nearly perfect, the description alive, and the emotions palpable. Outstanding piece.

Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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100
100
Review of The Dream  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello, Jaye P. Marshall !

This review isn't a deep, meaningful critique--just an overall impression of your piece. *Bigsmile*

First Impression:
Wow! From the beginning I was with this lady in her worry. I'd be just as paranoid about letting my kids swim if I had such a recurring dream. Love the ending! I wasn't sure where this was going until the last minute. *Thumbsup*

Suggestions:
The ending could be stretched out a bit more. I'm not sure if you are under word restrictions, but a line or two about her floundering in the water, unsure if she has made it in time, might increase the impact of the final prayer of thanksgiving.

Favorite line/s:
Great way to let the reader know the dream is coming true. (Although removing the second instance of "seem" might bring us more into the "now".)

*Star*Suddenly the bright sunlight seemed to waver and the scene she was viewing seemed to pulsate back and forth - toward her, then away again. She felt dizzy and was sure that she had been in this exact moment sometime before now. *Star*

Overall:
Thanks for underlining the impact of our dreams. I'm in the camp that believes they come for a good reason, and this write illustrates that power clearly.

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
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