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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/njames51/sort_by/r.review_creation_time+DESC/sort_by_last/r.review_creation_time+DESC/page/4
Review Requests: ON
337 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I am pretty easy going. I don't want to bash your poem. I look for rhythm, color, formatting, form, meter, style, imagery. I look, I listen. I appreciate. For more go to my Poetry Review Forum #1399834 or find it in the Review Forum List.
I'm good at...
Encouragement, helping you when you need it. Suggesting better words or lines, and challenging you to do better and not settle for boring words, lines or writing crap.
Favorite Genres
Poetry - all types but especially free verse.
Public Reviews
Previous ... 1 2 3 -4- 5 6 7 ... Next
76
76
Review by njames51
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)

Maeshall - I loved reading this aloud, it was so 'on', so there, in your face, emotional, angry. And using 'f***er' was perfect in this piece. Great lines:

"I used to pretend to be poor.

Isn’t my minivan a kind of coffin?
Can’t a guy who earns a salary
Wax poetic?

f***er, I used to be alive too, you know."

Excellent piece!

KEEP WRITING!


Nancy


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77
77
Review of I Have Walked  
Review by njames51
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
A wonderful piece. This so much reminds me of my own thinking at your age. I love the phrase "I have walked". It leads beautifully into each line, and each descriptive thought. The connection between the phrase "I have walked", and the following declaratives such as:

I have walked, and realized
I have walked, and wondered.
I have walked and realized.
I have walked and discovered.......etc.

These transitions are terrific, and lead the reader to a discovery (with you) of all you have learned about yourself and your imaginings.

Some favorite lines:

"And realized how much is still hidden from me, even though so much of my time is spent here."

"I have walked quickly though this world, ducking my head to avoid the curious looks from passers by..."

"I have walked among the people who populate the vast lands I’ve created, marveling at the lives they lead."

So many of these lines are quite good. I admit I had to get used to the way the piece was formatted. I think this could be improved. I would break the lines more, so the phrases have more impact. Example:

"I have walked among the people
who populate the vast lands I’ve created,
marveling at the lives they lead
And wondered who they really are,
although they are the people I know best."

This makes for a longer piece, line wise, but serves to improve the reading, and the impact. You might want to have someone help you edit the line format.

But, altogether, I loved this! Good job!

Keep Writing"






78
78
Review of Maiko  
Review by njames51
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Ah, very nice! The lyricism of words chosen here is much like the melody of the lark wakening. This piece is meant to be read slowly, as each line holds wonderful clues to the speaker's emotions. The descriptives of nature and the city lead the reader to his own painting, and his own sense of belonging in the scene.

"where foreign ivy
and a drove of prismatic blossoms
bring artistry to the dull blacks and grays of the city".

I enjoyed the use of "prismatic" in this line.

Other lines I enjoyed:

"with a slight exposure of her rarefied wrist
or the coy enticement of her flicker down eyes.." I love the use of the word "rarefied" and the phrase "flicker down eyes".

"I would rise to the vocation of discipline
and tedious tics of compulsive demands
of the culture of my foresisters before me...."

I especially enjoy the ending, the use of "willow world, my own world, my own home, my own dream
and one day I will sit among the fallen petals...."

Altogether, an encompassing piece with life, emotion, a chance for the reader to experience the world of Geisha, and know the romanticism involved not only for the Geisha, but for the men entranced and blinded by her charm.

Great job!

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79
79
Review of Hard Candy  
Review by njames51
Rated: E | (4.0)
Very nice! I liked this alot. The whimsy of it carries the piece, even though the rhyme is pretty simple. The meter and rhythm is good, thought the last line falls flat and messes up the meter. But overall, it serves the point well. In the future, just be aware of pedestrian or simple rhyme: sweet - teeth; tough - huff; head - bed. These are too simple and too easy. There's a big book of language out there, and many more expressive clever rhyming opportunities.

Keep writing!

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80
80
Review of Seasons  
Review by njames51
Rated: E | (4.5)
Very nice. I thought at first this was going to be quite lame, because the beginning rhyme seemed so easy. But, you certainly captured me in the third stanza, and the ending stanza is beautiful and ties the piece up nicely. I also was left with a sense of melancholy, so I think the piece made it's mark. There are some lines which could use some tightening, but for me, since it left an emotional impression, it did it's job.

Very nice. keep writing!

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81
81
Review of A spark of life  
Review by njames51
Rated: E | (4.5)
Very nice. The meter and rhythm are great here, and the piece flows nicely. I might have wished for some more stanzas before the final one, but I still like this. It is wistful and sad, and leaves the reader moved.
Nice job!
Keep Writing!

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82
82
Review of Chameleon  
Review by njames51
Rated: E | (4.0)
I like the beginning of this alot. I like the first two stanzas. Also I love the last stanza. After the third stanza, though, it tends to get caught in simple rhyme, which is too convenient. Rhyme such as: sleep = peep.....slumber = asunder.....just drags this down.

But, since you say this is simple verse, then I have to agree. I think for it's purpose it is fine, but I'm sure you can work on some of the middle stanzas to deepen their impact.

Keep Writing!

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83
83
Review of Rescue Me  
Review by njames51
Rated: E | (4.5)
Another good piece of writing. The stanzas flow nicely, the imagery is good. The rhythm and meter are consistent throughout the piece. The content of emotion is evident, and your desperation is clear. The sense of reaching out to God when we are lost is an age old habit. But, you've made it such a personal plea.

Tear down the walls around me.
Draw me from my shell.
Lift me from the darkness,
And save me from myself.

A very insightful, personal plea to the One who loves you!

Nicely done!

KEEP WRITING!

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84
84
Review of Barabas  
Review by njames51
Rated: E | (5.0)
Very nice. I had thought this might be rather depressing, but instead found it hopeful and forgiving. The nature of that figure in history is not often discussed, and rather forgotten. Yet, you have made him a real figure of a man. The stanzas are well done and I don't find any awkward forced rhymes.

We have a lot in common,
Barabas, you and I,
Though oceans separate us
And centuries divide.
A bond was forged between us
As He hung upon that tree,
For on the day He took your place,
He also died for me.

That is a good example of empathy of the human form, rather than accusatory condemnation.

You've done a fine job with this, and can understand why you received a first place merit badge!

A wonderful job!

KEEP WRITING!


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85
85
Review by njames51
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
An interesting poem....rather dark. My suggestion is punctuation, it is sorely needed.

Will you please stop?
It hurts so much,
I don't see the point anymore.
Abnormality is just conformity,
nothing more, never less.
Call me something I'm not.
No one knows how to help,
they just don't.

Here I've chopped a few words, added punctuation, and deleted useless words.

It's fine to have a free verse so passionate, yet the reader must be able to navigate and FEEL the emotion you feel. You achieve that by making snse to the reader, and using punctuation, so they know where one fluid image begins and ends.

KEEP WRITING!

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86
86
Review of Old Paramour  
Review by njames51
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
This is wonderful!

Except the ending......I know, I'm sorry, I know it makes sense, but the last three lines ended with a thunk! For me, entranced by the marvelous curves of lines, spirited language, melodic texture and mood offered here, it was a failing. You captured me, drew me in, and then twisted the painting with humor. It does not fit, and leaves the reader unfulfilled.

You have so many good lines:

Moved in lines traced by magnetic declinations.

taught you to laugh, to breathe
to tread water in the narrows of exclusion.

We scored our wonderful, skipping exits

You gave me carnations and the secrets
to cool art, light sculpture, hard jazz.

These are all wonderful lines.....there are no wasted words in the piece. The impressionism is fine, the colors rich and scattered on canvas. The characters are beautifully drawn. I KNOW these people - I was one of them, almost.

The memories invoked for the reader of their lovely dusty love letters, serve even more to take issue with the awkward easy ending.

As romantics, we want the story to end as beautifully as it began.

Keep Writing!
87
87
Review by njames51
Rated: E | (4.0)
I'm not an expert on Haiku, but I do like these. I think, rather the entire selection could be read as one piece. I don't think you need to put the "*based on....." following the excerpts. It's not needed. Altogether an interesting choice of language to illustrate a theme. Work on this some more as a long free verse piece, and clarify somewhat the meanings to help the reader. But, I do like it!

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88
88
Review of Clytemnestra  
Review by njames51
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
I'm sorry, but I got lost halfway through this. I don't think what you've written is bad, but it is more prose than poetry. It is really the beginning of a short story. I would suggest making it prose, rather than poetry.

In poetry, the reader must be drawn in by rhythm and cadence, by a sense of knowing where you want him to go. That map is drawn by style, meter, rhythm, form.

Unfortunately, your lines vary so much in length and movement, that one gets lost in trying to follow your map. A five word line followed by a fourteen word line just cofuses the reader.

I would suggest deciding if this is to be a poem or a story, and then following the form compatible with such.

Do not stop working on this, for the language is fine. I am just lost in the execution of the piece.

WRITE ON!

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89
89
Review by njames51
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is a good idea for a poem, and you have tried to execute it well. However, if you read the piece out loud, you will hear where the lines are awkward at times, or the rhyme is forced. It's important to have a syllable count which is fluid. There are many spots where you need to chop some words.

Remember that less is more. Don't be afraid to cut words or change words. Get rid of any unnecessary words.

An example for stanza #1: Line #4 is awkward.....the word "corralling" is strange there. I would re-write that line. The last line in that stanza: "That should matter to us not".....OUCH! That is very awkward. That is just a bad phrase. I'm sure you can re-write that and find a better line.

Stanza #2:

Line #2: Awkward...it does not make sense.
Line #4: This is too long, words need to be chopped.

Stanza #3: The last line is too long, and needs to be re-written.

You can see by these suggestions, that there are some lines that could use re-vision. However the bulk of the piece is fine. I think the idea is great, it's only in the execution, that you should consider changes.

Do not be discouraged - all writers continually chop words, throw out lines, tweek stanzas until they have a "sense" that the piece reads well.

Continue to work on this, and remember to KEEP WRITING!

Good job!

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90
90
Review of Loss  
Review by njames51
Rated: E | (5.0)
Ah, such a sweet memory, this is just wonderful! So much here just moves the reader along. We are reminded of the sensations of nature, the melancholy of love remembered, the heart missing what once was. So many of your lines are wrapped beautifully. I just want to read on. I love the first line: "calling at will your wild name".....I just want to settle on that line and contemplate it.

Mute regents of that rural road,
And turning once beside the stream,
I follow your loss through verdant grass

Others go another way, quickened silhouettes;
Their footsteps grate the stony walk.

How you found your way or when
I did not know and still do not:


Those are just a few wonderful examples of poetry at it's best, lines which speak and haunt, melody that plays and threads texture and depth into the reader's mind.

Great job!

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91
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Review of Speak Easy  
Review by njames51
Rated: E | (5.0)
Sometimes I don't want to review something, because it seems I will leave the piece and never read it again. This piece I want to read and enjoy over and over. That's a good poet. A writer that draws me into a world and leaves words which haunt me and leave me breathless.

There is such melancholy here. I remember so much of my own past loves and yearning when I read this.

It was easy for us to speak
of forever while sitting in
the misty fog of a St. John's morning.{b/}

What a beautiful beginning.

At The Lookout,
I straddled a cannon,
and you took my picture

I have the beat up Polaroid,
tacked on a cork board
on my wall.


The ending is also beautiful.

This piece leaves the reader wanting to enjoy the emotion that it produces in their heart. Long ago love, lost chances, a longing of youth, what could have been and never was.

Just an excellent job!


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92
92
Review by njames51
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This is wonderful! Every line is rich, every word descriptive and melodious. Not a word is wasted, and the reader is carried into a world of images troubling but real.

No streetlights create the false twinkle of stars.
Unseen black clouds are racing past a broken moon.
Nothing here except the music of an out-of-tune six string,
accompanied by the mournful blues of a stray dog barking.

I just love this piece!

Great job!

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93
93
Review of Broken Music  
Review by njames51
Rated: E | (5.0)
What a perfect blend of color, life, and images to move the heart, this is a wonderful piece! The reader is beautifully carried into the scenes of a changing day in the city.

It's so nice to read a good piece, and be carried along melodically with the poet.

I love the ending of this! Great job!

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94
94
Review by njames51
Rated: E | (4.5)
Very nice. I love the theme and the images in here. Having lived in Oklahoma where the National Rodeo was held, I really appreciate this view of a cowboy. Your rhyme is nice, and original. There is some choppiness in some of the longer lines. (You may want to make the longest lines two lines for rhythm). But I love the way you put the experience from the cowboy's perspective in some of the lines.

Countless times he's almost died
Simply for the rush of that 8 second ride.
Lord, give me the courage as this broncs called outside
God bless the cowboy, God knows he's tried


Nice job! Keep Writing!


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95
95
Review of I Wish You Knew  
Review by njames51
Rated: E | (4.0)
Welcome Newbie!

Ah, this is nice. Yes, it is a poem. It has emotion, and texture, and mood, and describes a personal experience. I like the ending and also the title. You just need to learn about different FORMS of verse. You can do that by subscribing to the Poetry newsletter that comes out each week. Go up to SITE NAVIGATION, and click on MEMBER TOOLS. Go down and you'll see NEWSLETTERS. You can subscribe free to different newsletters. The Poetry newsletter helps highlight how to write in different poetic styles - formats. We all read that newsletter.

But, I do like this piece of writing, and I hope you continue to write poetry.

GOOD JOB!


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Review of A Whisper of Wind  
Review by njames51
Rated: E | (4.5)

I like this piece very much. It has a nice sweetness to it, and seems to float wistfully in many places. The overall idea, theme, and emotion is fresh and reminds the reader of times past and dreams pursued. It was written with much love, as that seems to radiate from the overall whimsy of some lines.

My only nit-picky impressions concern the length and some of the stumbling blocks in some of the stanzas. It is pretty long, and the rhythm and meter changed considerably. I guess when I got to the word "longly" in the eleventh verse.......(which is not a word, unless I'm looking in the wrong dictionary).....I had to stop. That word caught in my throat "A sensation I so longly missed…"

It's important to keep us reading, and I did have a problem with the length. And I just went back and read it again, but quickly. Some of the bumps smoothed out better. "life's true roles" in Stanza #3 needs to be shortened. Stanza #8, the first line rhythm is off, and doesn't flow with the stanza before it.

But once again, when I get to the Stanza #11 I can't seem to finish the piece, even reading quickly. I think you can chop a couple (3) of stanzas and still make this create the theme you want. But, again that's just my opinion, and only one of many.

But, I do love the sweetness of the piece, overall.

GOOD JOB! Keep writing!
97
97
Review of Farewell Grieving  
Review by njames51
Rated: E | (5.0)
I had waited to review this as I was not in the right space to read a piece about grieving. I'm glad I waited. It's 3 in the morning, and in the quiet of the day's creation, this poem is so perfectly reflective of day, journey, and passage.

The beauty of reading this piece is in reading it slowly. It deserves such care. The rich depth in each line only serves to awaken more reaction from the reader. It's as if we are on this journey and every word invites us to contemplate and compare our experiences in alignment.

The first stanza is perfect. Every stanza is perfect. Each stanza creates it's own world and mood unto itself. The reader wonders at which turn they will be led.

So many beautiful lines - Examples:

"Memories whisper to me like angels,"

"Clinging as they wait in the long-cast shadows.
The dreams closest to my soul they haunt."

This is just such a beautiful piece. The fourth and final stanzas are just a wonderful ending to this. The last two lines left me in awe, so nicely done.

It seems trite to talk about imagery, flow, mood, and all the other poetry descriptives reviewers use. This piece is true poetry, the kind we all aspire to, yet fail miserably at.

A wonderful job!

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98
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Review by njames51
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Well, this is quite interesting.

I want to die on a cold winter night
Let the rain wash the pain away
Let the lightning guide my path

That is a good beginning. But, then you verge from your voice to what you want to happen to loved ones.

I want the tears of my loved ones
To get lost in the heavy rain
Their troubles and sins
Would never matter on that day


Let them receive the cruelty of life
With a chill on their spine
Let their cheeks turn blue

The last stanza is pretty much your wish for them to experience cruelty. I suppose you want them to see your death and then you'll have the pleaseure of knowing they will suffer moreso.

I can't find fault with the line formatting, and the crispness of the lines.

I guess for me the merging from your death to how much it will affect people around you (and that you WISH) them to be lousy and be in pain).......just doesn't give me much from the piece.

My opinion is one of many...so see what other reviewwers think.

Keep Writing!

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99
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Review of My talk with God  
Review by njames51
Rated: E | (4.5)
Again, another nice piece. You have a good flair for rhythm in your verse. You do a fine job hearing the beat of the lines, and are able to compose instinctively. That is a gift a poet needs when attempting rhymed verse.

Very nice.

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100
Review of Unspoken  
Review by njames51
Rated: E | (4.5)
Ah, very nice! An interesting piece filled with nice emotion, good rhythm, a curving wrap of lines which is altogether not too short and not too long. Some nice lines:

I'm merely the unspoken Voice
of the "Should haves", "Could haves" and "Mights"
the things that you wish you would have said
when-in the heat of the moment-your heart fights.

The words that held surrender
when the swords were drawn and the chips were down
the Thing you might have finally said,
if the right words had been found.


I like this alot! Good job!

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