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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/nordicnoir
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117 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review of Breadbasket  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi, my name is Ned and this review is based on my personal impressions and opinions. Feel free to take what you think is useful, and ignore the rest. This is just my way of letting the author know how this reader reacted to the item being reviewed.


Title: The title is our introduction to the poem, and this title is quite wry and has another meaning revealed by the poem.

Form: This is free verse, but limited by the 24 syllable contest rules.

Imagery: The imagery is vivid and extraordinary in the way it makes a perfect visual in the mind of the reader using wonderful and surprising descriptions of love handles.

Favorite Line(s):
clouds sagging to earth
spilling bowls of bread dough


Wonderful use of two very different substances with similar features that make them both brilliant descriptions of fat spilling over the waistband of a pair of pants.


Overall Impression: A lot of expressive imagery packed tightly into 24 syllables. Very nicely done.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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2
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi, my name is Ned and these are just my thoughts after reading your story {item:}. These are my personal opinions and I am not a professional editor so feel free to use or discard any suggestions. This is just my impressions of what I am reviewing.

Overall Impressions: An interesting use of the prompt to create an enjoyable story.

Plot: This is a flash fiction (fewer than 300 words). It's not easy to establish setting and roll out the plot with such limitations on length but the author accomplished that nicely. Good job.

Favorite Part or Line: With flash fiction, my favorite part is always the twist at the end. This story contains such a twist that gives the reader something unexpected.

Readability-Grammar-Punctuation: I didn't notice any problems in that area.

Suggestions: I don't really have any. It's my preference to have the plot twist come as close to the end of the piece as possible and I think this story accomplishes that.



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review of Memories of Home  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi, my name is Ned } and this review is based on my personal impressions and opinions. Feel free to take what you think is useful, and ignore the rest. This is just my way of letting the author know how this reader reacted to the item being reviewed.


Title: The title here is fitting and lets us know this poem is about someone far from home in time or place.

Form: The structured quatrain form works well for this poem.

Rhythm/Rhyme: The rhythm is even and the rhymes flow without any effort on the part of the reader.

Imagery: The imagery is effective. The reader experiences the loneliness, the yearning to be with loved ones at the holidays competing with sense of duty and purpose.

Favorite Line(s):
He should be home; husband and Dad
are parts of life that are worthwhile.


Extremely important sentiment. Highlights the inner struggle between competing duties.


Overall Impression: An effective poem that tugs at the heartstrings for anyone missing family and highlighting the emotional toll that overseas deployments have on troops and families. It's also a Christmas poem, which makes the subject's loneliness even more relatable.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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4
Review of Ode to the Editor  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, my name is Ned } and this review is based on my personal impressions and opinions. Feel free to take what you think is useful, and ignore the rest. This is just my way of letting the author know how this reader reacted to the item being reviewed.


Title: The title is our introduction to the poem, and the title immediately points us to the subject of the poem, one familiar to writers.


Rhythm/Rhyme: The rhymes flow well with the poem and the rhythm goes off just a bit on the ending two lines where they become much shorter. The question: is this on purpose?

Imagery: The imagery of the editor as one of a destructive force, slashing and burning is effective and will resonate with the writer/reader.

Favorite Line(s):
He strode through the jungle of wordage

This is something that both the writer, trying to proofread his own work, and the editor will relate to. A jungle of wordage is also something a reviewer might come across, or any reader for that matter. This line justifies the editor's existence.

Suggestions: It's not important, but "acres" was a vague image for me, more vague than if it said "pages" or "volumes" for instance, to keep the imagery focused on writing.

Overall Impression: This is an amusing poem that will resonate with writers. I personally feel that the much abbreviated last two lines got that way because of a merciless editor reducing them to the essential, so for me, this is a brilliant stroke. If it was not meant to be so, never tell me, I will be crushed.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review of I Write This Down  
Review by Ned
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hi, my name is Ned } and this review is based on my personal impressions and opinions. Feel free to take what you think is useful, and ignore the rest. This is just my way of letting the author know how this reader reacted to the item being reviewed.


Title: The title is our introduction to the poem, and the title here is repeated throughout the poem, telling us the "why" in each stanza.

Form: This is a well-structured poem with the main concepts introduced one at a time in each stanza.

Rhythm/Rhyme: What I like most about the rhymes in this poem is that they are perfectly natural with the flow, not standing out nor demanding to be exaggerated, so natural that one almost doesn't notice them, yet they still add to the music of the poem.

Imagery: The imagery is vivid

Favorite Line(s):

Nor of the kisses pressed between
The pages of my sleep,
That flake in fragrant whispers
That their drying petals keep.


Suggestions: None

Overall Impression: This is a wistful emotional poem that impacts the reader with its evocative imagery and expressive word choice. An enjoyable read.
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Review of Already Dead  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, my name is Ned } and this review is based on my personal impressions and opinions. Feel free to take what you think is useful, and ignore the rest. This is just my way of letting the author know how this reader reacted to the item being reviewed.


Title: The title is our introduction to the poem, and the title here says more than it seems to at first glance. The poem appears to be chronicling the end of a tree, but perhaps symbolizes another end.

Form: The poem is in free verse, which works well for the subject.


Imagery: The imagery of the tree, its sickness spreading, is very effective.

Favorite Line(s):
In the moonlight,
It looked like,
A galloping horse,
Wanting to run free,


These lines give us our first insight into the author's state of mind and the state of the relationship.

Suggestions: My least favorite line is "It wasn't all bad though". I just felt that, for me, it dilutes the power of the imagery in the stanzas it stands between and the overall feeling that there's more to this story than just a tree. There's nothing wrong with the line, it just sort of stopped me mid-poem.

Overall Impression: A very good job of using the symbolism of a diseased tree to illustrate the way a relationship disintegrates, finding out after the fact that it was already dead before the symptoms were recognized.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review of Doctor?  
Review by Ned
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hi, my name is Ned and these are just my thoughts after reading your story "Doctor?. These are my personal opinions and I am not a professional editor so feel free to use or discard any suggestions. This is just my impressions of what I am reviewing.

Overall Impressions: The story provides a lot of comical misdirection and is fun to read as it introduces confusing concepts to the reader.

Plot: The reader believes that he/she is fully on board with the plot until it apparently changes. I like the "twist at the end" that the story employs, it gives that satisfaction at the end and leaves the reader with a smile.

Favorite Part or Line:"I love thinking of myself as a married man. Makes me feel like an adult.”

Readability-Grammar-Punctuation: The story is well-structured and I did not notice any problems with grammar or punctuation.

Suggestions: Keep writing such enjoyable items!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Honing the Craft  
for entry "Week 3. May Flowers
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, my name is Ned } and this review is based on my personal impressions and opinions. Feel free to take what you think is useful, and ignore the rest. This is just my way of letting the author know how this reader reacted to the item being reviewed.


Title: The title is our introduction to the poem, and the title is perfect in the way it completes the last line. This gives us a sense of completeness. Leaving those two words off the last line lets the reader fill in the blanks and appreciate the clever use of a well-known phrase.

Form: The form is free verse and it works well for this poem.

Rhythm/Rhyme: There is no rhyme but the alliteration gives a certain rhythm that one can feel in reading aloud.

Imagery: Some of the imagery strikes a chord - daisies do dance or at least seem to as they bob their heads.

Favorite Line(s):
"A riot of red rimmed roses rise" which is a fine bit of alliteration and use of expressive language. It's almost too much alliteration but the near rhyme in the next line smooths and soothes while directing our gaze upwards.

Suggestions:I would have preferred that the poem took just one color, the one with the boldest imagery and really made us look and see it. The other lines involving color and the flowers associated with those colors are well written and expressive, but I want to hear more about the riot of roses, and the other flowers are much more tame such as the passive peonies.

Overall Impression: This was a different use of the prompt but one that painted a vivid picture and ended on a very clever note.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of The Storm  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, my name is Ned } and this review is just based on my personal impressions and opinions. Feel free to take what you think is useful, and ignore the rest. This is just my way of letting the author know how this reader reacted to the item being reviewed.


Title: The title is the introduction to the poem, and the title "The Storm" well describes what the reader is about to experience.


Form: The poem is in a free verse style which suits the unpredictability of the storm and allows the writer to emphasize the elements of the storm with word placement and line breaks, so this is a good choice for the subject matter.


Rhythm/Rhyme: This poem contains no rhymes as it is free verse. The rhythm and flow is a bit variable for me, if I read aloud. It is strongest in the beginning few lines and perfectly ebbs in the last few lines echoing the subsiding of the storm.


Imagery: The imagery definitely evokes the stages of a heavy storm in a way the reader can experience it.


Favorite Line(s):
Raindrops
pound heavily
like wet rags
slapping against flesh


These lines are truly evocative and make the reader "hear" the rain and set the tone for the poem. These lines contain the strongest imagery in the poem. I really liked these lines and the "sound" of them rings true for me.


Suggestions: The opening lines and the end of the poem felt the most effective to me. I didn't feel the imagery as strongly in the middle, although I was kept in the storm for the most part.

Overall Impression: The poem does a good job of capturing the sounds and energy of the storm.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
for entry "Week 3 - W/E 6/21/20
Review by Ned
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
I chose this poem to review because of the obvious contrast between form and subject matter. To use a lilting, musical form like the rondeau to write about vampires makes it all a bit more fun. It's a little like the gory rhymes we recite as children. Notwithstanding the comedic factor, the phrase "the beauty of blood" gives the poem atmosphere and allows us to see complexity in the vampire, perhaps even evokes sympathy and understanding.

My favorite line:
It's hard to explain to a priest
the beauty of blood.


Don't we all have habits or predilections we wouldn't want to try to explain to a moral authority? But it's this line that indicates that the vampire is not without conscience as he claims. His morality has not ceased, it is just that he is overwhelmed by "the beauty of blood". And yet, we cannot ignore that the priest finds beauty and redemption in blood from a different source, a willing sacrifice that the priest celebrates. The vampire, on the other hand, will never have redemption. Another contrast.

Fun use of the prompt and enjoyable to read.

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Review of Change  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (5.0)
Everything rings true in this scene. Downcast eyes because no one knows where to look in a crowd. The urge to move along and the tug of curiosity and possibility of monetary gain competing for attention until a honking horn makes the decision. I love the visual of Ben Franklin's raised eyebrow and trying to catch another eye. How many times will someone pass by without retrieving it and will it turn out to be what it appears? The thought process from first glance to being pushed along to the other side feels real to the reader, but I totally want to go back and pick that money up.

My favorite line:
My feet do not miss a step
but my brain stumbles and spends a suspended second


Great line. Loved this moment in time.

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Review by Ned
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I really liked this story. We understand Tom, whose life is upended by the death of his wife and everything changes for him. We start to get comfortable in his new relationship with Helen and then we are hit with the surprise twist as Tom discovers that she is a serial murderer. But there is a sense that even though he won't be seeing Helen anymore and even though he narrowly escaped being her next victim, that she did him a world of good and hes not going to go back to being barely alive. That's my take anyway, and so this cautionary tale still has a happy ending - in a way.
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Review by Ned
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
All I can say is thank goodness I haven't got a muse. I like the twist, and the shift in the balance of power between them, the way they negotiate and the concept of all the muses going on strike. But I am pretty sure the work will go on without him, a muse is really just what the writer calls his imagination and you have no lack of imagination.
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for entry "Week 2.
Review by Ned
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
A simple sighting of a neighbor - something that might normally be routine, and of little note - becomes a moment that leads to deep reflection. There's the uncertainty with regards to the passage of time, which highlights the effect that a disruption in our usual lives can have on our perceptions. A neighbor who appears less vibrant might be ill, or is it just that in the prolonged house arrest imposed by lockdown the neighbor forgoes her usual application of makeup? We get used to the images people present to us, any change disturbs on some level. And the prolonged separation makes social ease impossible. In a little scene that might otherwise happen daily without a thought, we are taken deeper into a world where nothing is routine or normal anymore. This poem captures the uncertainty and unease everyone feels in a world where nothing is normal, making it highly relatable for the reader.
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Review of Promptly Poetry  
for entry "Waving to a Neighbour
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (5.0)
The dilemma of one who is unpracticed in social ease - what did that mean? was it meant for me? And the vast majority of society does not understand the absolute agony of the introvert, the one who is not anti-social so much as he is asocial, accustomed to his own invisibility yet suddenly put on the spot by an unexpected acknowledgment of his existence. Startled, unsure how to respond and when the decision to return the greeting is finally made, the moment has gone. All introverts will surely see themselves in this delightful poem.
The annoyance at the obligation to:
"o give a cheery wave,
or even say hello"

rings true even as the author weighs the options that could provide an alternate excuse for a wave or other type of greeting should the original gesture of friendliness turn out not to be directed at him.
Oh, how lucky are those people who never give a thought to what others think!
This poem does an able job of illustrating both the physical scene and the inner turmoil of the introvert with both honesty and humor. An enjoyable read!
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Review of Needles  
Review by Ned
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
It's always tough to get along with schoolmates, but this was Mean Girls on steroids! Nice twist to surprise and horrify the reader who thought he knew where this was going. Great job!
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Review by Ned
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Safe spaces aren't so safe after all, and truth is little valued. Rebel poetry indeed. I suppose all societies break down and rights disappear over time. This time, it seems to be the whole world.
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Review of The Visit  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (5.0)
So sad, and yet, not sad. A lovely telling of the relationship between grandparent and grandchild. Having worked with older adults for many years, I know that the contact and relationships are the most important things. This leaves us with a "What if" and yet we know that it all happened just as it was meant to be. A last act of giving that brought joy is not bad way to end a life or a poem.

Thank you for sharing this.
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Review by Ned
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Suitably solemn and a nice twist on the prompt. Slow, emotionless, dark, but even when acts of violence occur they seem to be handled as a matter of course, and presenting them in such cold blood makes them more shocking than if they were presented in traditional horror-story style. Liked it a lot.
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Review of Crafty Thief  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (5.0)
I really liked this, it made me smile. I think the rhyming enhances the comedy of the piece and I love the twist at the end. It's my favorite thing, really. That surprise twist at the end. It's good to see someone so talented join WDC and welcome! I have enjoyed all of your writing that I have had a chance to read thus far. I certainly hope there will be more forthcoming.
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Review of Coming Home  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.5)
I am of an age where I spend much time in a sort of persistent nostalgia, so the lines

Time bends gracefully backwards
like an old film rewinding
familiar images frozen in memory


speak to me on a personal and emotional level as well as depicting a stage of life where we all desire the "smell of earth of smaller days" (this line particularly reminds me of e e cummings). To cast our minds and hearts back is a common desire when those days are long gone and those ahead dwindle. The past gets better and more appealing every year it becomes more distant.

Even though the modifiers "gracefully" and "graceful" are perfectly descriptive in their respective lines, you might consider finding a replacement for one of them.

The subject matter is relatable and philosophical. The imagery is captivating and descriptive. Overall, I enjoyed this poem very much.
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Review of Painting Windows  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.5)
Such a cute little scene you've "painted" for us! A bird in the house is a problem to start with, but add the paint and it could be a catastrophe. Brilliant to make the problem into a new decor choice. I remember seeing a robin with a splash of white on his red breast a few years back. He must have been too close to someone's spring painting project. We got a good story with sufficient information and setting in a short, short story. Well done.
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Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.0)
I could relate to this piece, having been a caregiver for a grandparent in my teen years, and then later in life, watched my father's agile mind deteriorate until the confusion robbed him of any autonomy and dignity. You tell a story familiar to many with compassion and honesty.

Minor suggestions for improvement would be to fix the typo from "quite" to "quiet":
"If we're very quite they'll pass by and not notice us."


Inserting some space between the paragraphs that follow gives the reader's eyes a little ease.

A moving story that lets us experience the emotional impact of the situation. Well done.
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Review by Ned
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
This is an effective use of the second person POV, something that is difficult to pull off. Because the reader is addressed directly, the reader is forced to be the main character and to "experience" the action in the story. For this short story, it works very well.

The piece is well-titled as the story takes the character from experience to experience, finally settling her in a place that is neither heaven nor hell, but much like reality, it has both in it.

A few suggestions you are free to ignore as this is just my opinion:

In the second paragraph the word "gives" appears a few too many times.
He gives you the warmest of hugs and the sweetest cuddles. He whispers promises that could make you swoon. He gives you forehead kisses like he was the knight protecting you from bad dreams. He gives you affectionate pats and meaningful advice. He cooks you food and gives you drinks
Perhaps you could replace "gives" with another verb in one or two places, such as - "he wraps you in the warmest of hugs" or "he cooks you food and mixes your drinks" or some other descriptive verbs you prefer.

Due to your insistence of drinking sleeping pills just to reach a slumber, I feel like there's a verb missing. I would change it to "insistence on drinking and taking sleeping pills" or "due to your insistence on consuming both alcohol and sleeping pills" or something similar.

He was the type to wait no matter how long it would take for you to warm up to him because you got all e I don't like "got". I think because you "have" or even "had" all eternity sounds better.

Again, these are just suggestions that I think would make this good piece just a little easier to read for your audience. The ideas behind this piece are imaginative and well-expressed. I enjoyed reading it and it gives me much to think about. I wonder if the character has finally reached that in-between state through pills and drink, ending up in a permanent state of sleep, or coma? I may be wrong, but it feels that way to me.

Keep writing more like this excellent piece.



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Review of A New Look  
Review by Ned
Rated: E | (4.0)
The tragedy of a dropped phone whose owner didn't buy that protective case. The phone's fears of being replaced are not unwarranted, humans always want the shiny,new thing. Good job of making me feel sorry for the phone.
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