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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/nc_penman
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148 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review of A butterfly  
Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: E | (4.5)
This is a very descriptive haiku evoking a vivid mental picture of the butterfly and the garden.

The use of the word "flits" is strong, describing a simple and random action perfectly with just one word.

Great use of the form, honoring the spirit of the haiku. No suggestions for improvement!
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Review of Aftermath  
Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Very good write! I remember those senseless killings clearly; my visits to Amish country in Pennsylvania nearly forty years ago, not so clearly.

Many of us could join you, "to float unbound, untethered, to pass the cold, pale moon" every time we learn of another Columbine, another Dawson College, another Virginia Tech. But the lesson truly is "to forgive, to pray, to mourn,the souls of the living, the souls of the dead."

Great job!,
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Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is an outstanding poem. Your well-chosen words explore the unexplorable, and describe the indescribable.

You've done an admirable job of expressing the vastness of creation and of painting a descriptive portrait of the divine force that permeates it all on every level. You've woven a piece that's scientific yet faith-filled at the same instant.

I especially liked the following:

I have to let go of myself,
Yield to the wondrous enormity
Of the feeling of the Truth
Which blots out my sense of self


Brilliant!

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Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: E | (5.0)
I enjoyed reading this warm and inspirational story. It is an excellent parable on the need to allow others to reach out and extend the help we require to surmount our obstacles.

The story is simple and straightforward yet significant. Your use of imagery and description in the tale is very good, and the story overall is very well-written.

It's always a pleasure to see a new writer on these pages who brings talent and vision to our community. I look forward to reading much more of your work.
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Review of The Storm  
Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is a very powerful poem. Your treatment of the theme is skillful; you use the cinq cinquaine form fluidly, pacing the phases of the storm perfectly.

The real strength of the piece, though, is the vivid use of description you employ. "Ominously," "clap," and "silence belies fury" are all excellently used.

Outstanding write!
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Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: E | (5.0)
You've penned an interesting story here, Iowegian Skye .

Older cars have their pluses and minuses, like newer ones. They're comfortable, powerful, and built like tanks, so they're safe. But they lack a lot of modern amenities, they suck down gas like crazy, and when they break down, they cost an arm and a leg to fix.

I guess it's all in what you're looking for.

This is a well-written piece, and conveys your thoughts very well. You are a welcome addition to WdC-- we can always use a new, talented writer in our midst!

Write on!
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Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is an interesting variety of poetry, and demonstrates a skill level beyond your age.

"Winter Wheat" is excellent... it demonstrates the spirit of haiku, if not the precise form. The mental picture evoked is clear and demonstrative.

"The Inner World" describes an imaginary land where the poet can escape the turmoil and confusion of the real world. I found this poem less satisfactory. The story and description were good, but the poem seemed too long for the subject. The main weakness for me was the frequent use of trite, weak, and predictable rhymes: "hero/zero," "night/light" (twice,) and "sad/glad" are examples. This poem might actually benefit from being rewritten without a rhyme scheme.

"A Werewolf's Pain" used good imagery, but is marred by repetition. "Suffering" and "alone" are each repeated in the same stanza, and while repetition can be used to effect as a poetic device, I don't think it works particularly well here.

"Love and Lust" is probably my favorite of the quintet of poems you've offered here. It not only uses natural imagery to explain your points, but the message of the poem is powerful and very mature. You understand the differences between love and mere physical infatuation very well, and you are in a good place to discuss the subject, it seems to me.

Similarly, "The Road of Life" shows a maturity of thought and a great understanding of life that is rare among teens. My only criticism would be, again, a tendency towards repetition: The word "map" is used six times in the piece. Synonyms that could be used are atlas, chart, and plan, for example.

Poetry is the expression of thoughts and ideas in as beautiful and unique a manner as possible. Your work shows very good potential as you improve your art. Well done!

.
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Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
WORK REVIEWED: "The Sixtieth Arrow," by wiggy

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This is an interesting piece on an unusual subject for a poem, archery. I was, as a young boy years ago in summer camp, a fair-to-middling archer, and the piece brought me back to that New Hampshire field and the straw-stuffed targets that were my nemesis.

STRENGTHS: There are a few memorable images in the poem: "But this lollipop vision is not what you want..." "As your arrow slices/ Through the thick silence." "...the throbbing paper heart,.."

The piece captures the process fully, and gives the reader a clear picture of what transpires in the archer's mind as she aims and releases.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT: In this reviewer's opinion, the poem leans too heavily on literal narration. It has the whiff of a "how to" prose piece about it. I would have liked to see a less literal, more "show, not tell" approach to the piece. The author has come tantalizingly close to achieving this, and with some review and revision, the piece could rise to even higher reaches.

Stanza three, line 2, the first word should be spelled "Its," not "It's" "It is only task"?

Stanza six, line one, the word "site" should be spelled "sight." "Site" refers to either a physical location for a building or structure, or a web page. "Sight" is the device used in aiming a bow or other weapon.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS: This is a better than average poem that captures some of the romance of the sport of archery, an activity with its roots deep in centuries of warfare and hunting.
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Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This is an excellent poem on a variety of levels. The gravity of the subject, the measured, rational dissertation, the thoughtful rhyming couplets, and the smooth flow of the poem bespeak the combination of skill and effort you have brought to this composition.

You may be a novice to the site, but it is plain that you are no novice to the art of poetry. I welcome your voice to the site, and look forward to reading more of your efforts. You have the potential to be a standout writer here.

A thousand welcomes, poet!
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Review of The River Mouth  
Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: E | (4.0)
You've employed some skillful phrasing to achieve very vivid description in this poem.

I particularly liked the lines:

Bleeding old poetry,
onto pages that will never come Alive.


That evokes a powerful image.

I must admit I was put off somewhat by the apparently random capitalization scheme you've used. There was no consistency or pattern I was able to discern, and I found it a distraction.

Aside from that criticism, this is a good poem. Welcome to WdC.
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Review of Hope...  
Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: E | (4.5)
An intriguing poem describing common symptoms of anxiety over an event the nature of which the reader is left to guess about.

I particularly appreciated the lines:

Beseech Him, I shall not, for
He who created knows what to bestow!


A refreshing change from the normal "Please God, just get me through this and I'll go to church every Sunday" plea of desperation.

Well written, with the possible exception of "resignedness"?

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Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: E | (4.0)
The lyrics form a technically well-constructed song, although I have reservations about the line "While unknown soldiers are buried in unknown graves" and how it would fit structurally in the song. It is significantly longer than any other line.

The imagery is good, and the message is strong if a bit cliché.

In the opening stanza, I'm puzzled at the reference to a specific day forty years ago when The Beatles started playing, especially since the Fab Four began considerably longer than forty years ago, but I'll chalk it up to poetic license!

Also, I wonder if the references to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "The Day the Music Died" were intended to be as pointed as they are... just musing.

Good effort!
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Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
This is a haunting, piercing piece describing four painful scenarios of life's losses.

The image of a mute, all-seeing moon calmly, sadly observing the night chaos not only unites the four pictures at an exhibition, but adds an extra dimension to the story.

The only suggestion for improvement I can offer is to eliminate the word "of" in the line "As his car careened off of the cliff tonight..."

I really enjoyed the moody atmosphere and dark lessons recounted in this poem.
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Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: E | (4.5)
Good, good! I liked this a lot.

"perpetrate words"-- a very subtle use of words here, and an apt one. It's a beautiful verb, perpetrate, sinister in its implications, flowing, compelling, and an excellent illustration of the inappropriateness of conversation at that moment. That's the highlight of the poem.

"Merely attest: merely a test." Clever, but more than that. Not just a facile device, but a strong statement reinforcing the theme of the first stanza.

The meter, strictly speaking, is not iambic tetrameter, but it flows nicely, and the juxtaposition of metric schemes conforms with the internal conflict hinted at in the theme.

The repetition of "Oh, happy day!" in stanza two called to mind the old eponymous Negro spiritual and lends a positively jubilant conclusion to the poem.

You've gotten the absolute utmost from every word you've employed. I'm envious!
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Review of Puzzled  
Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: E | (4.5)
I get an isolated, mid-winter chilly kind of feeling reading this poem.

The imagery is sharply etched, and the plethora of snapshots tells the story effectively. The lines that grabbed me the strongest:

"The crunch of gravel,
the smell of brine,
clenching muscles.
The modulation of cries."

"The filthy kitchen and the blue helicopters" reference, frankly, eluded me but intrigued me.

Great work!
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Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Very, very good, David!

I should have anticipated the ending, as you tipped the reader slightly with the line:

The bugle sounds and he charges ahead to meet his fate.

...but I didn't really catch it.

You've done an excellent job of describing the jungle, Heavy, green, malevolent...

And, of course, your description of the fear, the confusion, the visceral horror of the battle, is without flaw.

Tu salud!
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Review of Final words  
Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: 13+ | (2.0)
"Final Words" is a poem that treads a familiar and sadly well-worn path among young writers. The narrator cites a laundry list of frustrations and decides the only course of action is to draw the final curtain closed.

WHAT I LIKED: The narrator vividly describes the aspects of life that have led to feelings of frustration, inadequacy, and misery. It is clear that the soul is tortured by the narrator's perceptions of life.

WHAT I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO SEE: An effort at correcting the numerous spelling and punctuation errors that are littered on virtually every line of the piece and that are so glaring that they distract the reader's attention from the message of the poem.

Poetry is the artful use of words to convey a thought. The true craftsman takes pride in removing the flaws from a work before unveiling it.

CONCLUSION: Send the piece back to the drawing board and correct the numerous flaws. Type it out in MS Word or use the built-in spell-check on Writing.com to guide yourself in locating and correcting the errors.
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Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I enjoyed reading this poem. It's an interesting theme to explore in verse, and you did a good job bringing up various aspects of time.

The opening line is strong, and serves as a good hook to bring the reader along. The "time is callous" line was clever, as well.

Welcome to Writing.com! I hope you enjoy your time here!
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Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: E | (5.0)
Beautiful, and very Cohenesque.

When I conjure the face of the Divinity as I send my prayers into the spiritual ether, I find it far more reassuring, and far more probable, to visualize them being lovingly received by a feminine visage than a stern old man with flowing hair and beard.

I was particularly struck by the lines--

I cried out to the feminine face of God,
the wine-dark womb, the Eternal Healer...


Another poetic triumph-- you're the best!
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Review of From Lullaby Land  
Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: E | (4.5)
This is a very descriptive and evocative poem, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It struck a responsive chord deep inside my memory, for I'm far removed from my childhood.

The theme and the message of the poem are poignant and thought-provoking. I spotted no errors in spelling, grammar, or meter.

I've taken the liberty of highlighting this piece today in the "Poet's Corner" section of my journal, Invalid Item .
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Review of Rarer than.  
Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is an excellent poem celebrating the extraordinariness of an ordinary life.

I particularly enjoyed the lines:

Symptoms of a life less lived,
and the constant weight it bore.


This poem is good, from the opening line through the close.

I saw no errors in grammar or spelling, and can make no suggestions for its improvement.

Featured in my "Author Spotlight" in my journal, Invalid Item 
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Review of Portrait 87  
Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
This is a good poem about an interesting, albeit personal topic: the feelings the poet is experiencing upon reentering the writing field.

The most poignant line, the one that speaks closest to the theme of the poem, is:

Shall I hang here like a gallows bird,
In fear of uttering any word
That puts me in the judgment seat?


In line 2, stanza 1, the line should read "there are none to disagree."

In the last line, the second to last word should be "too" rather than "to."

Good work!

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Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is quite an achievement! Most abcedariuses (abcedarii?) inevitably stumble somewhere along the line into a forced contrivance. This one flows like wine decanted from a bottle.

The transition from writing in structured form to playing like a child is skillful and seamless.

Great effort!
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Review of Vampires  
Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: E | (5.0)
Not your average take on vampires, to be sure!

The juxtaposition of the need for power and control with the simple reality of love is both insightful and instructive.

The tone and the phrasing of the poem are excellent, and I did not detect any spelling or grammar errors.

All in all, an excellent job!
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Review of Terror  
Review by Carolina Blue
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is a very accurate observation and one that many people overlook.

The amazingly low median age in most Middle East countries along with an abnormally high unemployment rate makes for far too many young men with no hope and thus a receptivity to a doctrine that guarantees a place in Paradise for the martyr.

Well done!
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