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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/poetjmariah
Review Requests: OFF
35 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I am thorough when I review. I like to begin by giving my overall impression of or feel for the piece of writing. Then I go into details explaining why; what worked for me and what didn't. I may include my favourite and/or my least favourite elements of the writing. I am honest and encouraging.
I'm good at...
Rhythm and rhyme (in poetry) and Grammar and punctuation are my forte.
Favorite Genres
Emotional, Romance/Love, Relationships, Nature, Philosophical, Paranormal, Fantasy, Erotic
Least Favorite Genres
Horror, Gothic, War, Political
Favorite Item Types
Poetry, Prose, Short Stories, Flash Fiction
Least Favorite Item Types
Essays
I will not review...
I will not review anything that fails to evoke some level of emotion or understanding in me. I will not review anything that is so littered with spelling or grammar mistakes that I have a difficult time reading through it. I will not review anything that is vulgar or gory. This basically covers everything that I have a hard time reading.
Public Reviews
Previous ... -1- 2 ... Next
1
1
Review of Green Spring  
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (5.0)
Robert,
I had a pleasure reading this spring poem.

*Bee* Overall: This is a delightful form, which lends itself so well to the subject chosen. And the form was followed precisely.

*Bee* Theme: You were able to successfully maintain the theme throughout, without any awkward lines.


*Bee* Grammar: to mark the welcomed end of winter's freeze

Very well crafted tribute to spring.
Well done!

JMariah


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review of Coronavirus  
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is a very well crafted limerick. The subject is very timely.
3
3
Review of Storm Clouds  
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (3.5)
Joylife,
I'm sorry I overlooked your email requesting that I read and review this poem. It wasn't intentional.

It isn't easy writing a form poem that has to adhere to a specific syllable count, but I think you did a pretty good job. I'll address the form of the poem first.


*Pencil* The Nonet is a 9-line poem with the first line having 9 syllables, and the syllable count descending per line. The traditional style is written in only one stanza. Yours has two, where you reverse the style in the second stanza. Calling this a Reverse Double Nonet seems quite accurate. Cynthia BuhainBaello wrote a poem called "You And Me" on PoemHunter.com, she wrote it in the same style you did and called it a Double Nonet Poem.

*PenV* You accomplished the required syllable count until the second stanza.

last night anyone die? (should have only 5 syllables)
helping neighbors cleanup

Both of these lines have 6 syllables.

*PenR* Now let me address the readability of the poem. I found the first stanza very descriptive of a terrible storm. I love the image of the "greedy fingers". But the second stanza was awkward and difficult to read.

I also found the title misleading, as the poem is more about a raging storm that passes through, doing immense damage, not simply about "Storm Clouds".


*PenP* I felt the poems' lack of punctuation caused some of the choppy feel and caused the difficulty in the reading. I've added some punctuation below to show you what I mean.

Clouds, heavy with blackness, funnel down
greedy fingers threaten snatching
the countryside, flattening
Ted's barn, Jo's spring flowers,
Wilfred's Repair Shop. (this appears to be the completion of the thought)
survivors sift
through rubble. (also the completion of a thought)
chaos
still
lives
in men
shaking hands.
terrible storm!
last night anyone die? (line suggestion: "Did anyone die?" 5 syllables, also less clumsy)
helping neighbors cleanup,
ignoring the storm of hate
brewing in their hearts, forgetting
their neighbors doesn't mean just next door.

*PenY* The last 4 lines are awkward and choppy. I understood some of what you were saying, but the demands of the syllable count seem to have hindered the natural flow of speech and meaning. For example:

ignoring the storm of hate
brewing in their hearts Why is there hate brewing in their hearts and for who or what?
forgetting
their neighbors doesn't mean just next door. (awkward wording)

Why are they forgetting their neighbors, when they are working together to clean up the rubble left behind by the storm?

*PenG* I think, overall, this poem is a great attempt at writing a Nonet. The first stanza successfully portrayed the devastation of the terrible storm. But work needs to be done to the wording of the second stanza to make it flow easier and relay a clear message of the cleanup during the aftermath.

I enjoyed reading this poem.
JMariah



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (1.5)
Urooba,

*ButterflyO* Thank you for posting this poem. It is always hard to post the first one, and have others read and review. Remember that what I say here is simply my opinion. Everyone who reads will have their own opinion.

*ButterflyB* I have to tell you that this poem seems quite disjointed in meaning. I found it difficult to follow. I think perhaps lines like:
Which, always compelled:
To do what no one demands
.
and
Push me onto the scale.
and
Everyone without sorrow unleash,
make this poem difficult for me to read and thoroughly understand. But remember, that's just my opinion.

*ButterflyG* I can definitely relate to the "feeling" of this poem; having wild thoughts in the head, wanting to please others, but wanting to be true to yourself. The last two lines are very powerful, which is a great way to end the poem.

*ButterflyV* Keep writing. Keep posting. I look forward to reading more from you.

JMariah


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (4.5)
Mike,

*PurseP* This is such a wonderful snapshot of a father/daughter moment. The subject is relatable, and the writing style made this piece enjoyable and easy to read.

*PurseP* I really like how you started the piece (in the middle of an action), putting me in the middle of your living room right at the opening.

*PurseP* I like how you move from the excitement of the birthday gift, to the everyday chore of doing laundry. This is so real. And how you describe your thoughts of her growing up, is priceless!

*PurseP* The only thing I thought was not really necessary is the mention of the five bucks.

*PurseP* The image of you sitting and reading a teen magazine is a great way to end this piece. It put a sweet smile on my face.

Well done!
JMariah


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
6
Review of Ambience  
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is a very sweet and romantic poem. I like how you set the ambiance (spelled incorrectly in the title, by the way) of this poem in the very first line:
In the early autumn glow
This gives the feeling of a romantic room lit by the orange glow of a crackling fire.

*Fire* In the line "Tilted me to your presence", I stumbled over the word "tilted"; it felt awkward and out of place here. And I wasn't sure exactly what you wanted to say.

*Fire* Another line that I had some trouble with was "The be-all and end-all". Although we know what this means, it seems cliche and detracted from the romantic feel of the rest of the poem.

*Fire* Apart from these minor details, I think you crafted a very romantic and sweet flowing poem. It appealed to my ears and emotions.

*Thumbsupr* Well done,
JMariah


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (3.0)
What a great tribute the King of Rock and Roll. This reads like the mourning of a fan. I liked the line
a sincere bass under slicked back, coal-black hair. I could picture that look he wore and this line made me smile.
I particularly liked the mention of his song titles spotted through the lines of this tribute.
Well done,

JMariah
8
8
Review of Summer Heat  
Review by JMariah
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
This mini satire moved from the main character suffering in a heat wave, to being killed and ending up cold. The character and setting were developed gradually through conversation, a great style, although, not enough description was given to make the images come alive. Many sentences were very short, making the read overly simple.

Filled it with cold water and just laid in it. This is not a complete sentence.

He owed some guys. The rent was overdue, as they say. The words "as they say" is an unnecessary filler, that doesn't add to the story in any way.

"I write a couple bad checks and it gets me this?" he complained, "I know you did....I know you tried, Tommy." This was confusing, leaving me wondering who Tommy was. After rereading the previous sentence, I realized that he was talking into the phone. This was not made clear. Perhaps if it was written like this:
He picked up his phone and gave it a tap:, "Anything?" he asked (into the receiver/mouthpiece). That would have helped me understand the next sentence where he was talking to a guy named Tommy.

"Siren brand gin is the cool choice." he mumbled. I like the fact that he was drawn to the words "cool choice"; this was a great support of the theme.

Three shots (shattered the glass, blasting him backward and) ended the suffering for Pete Stark. (Falling to the floor) He was (finally) cold. The last sentences cut the ending so short that I got no thrill from having the point of the satire linger a little in my brain.

This story has potential, but needs work.
Thank you for posting,
JMariah


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (4.5)
This poem sounds so amazing read out-loud (that's how I read everything I review). It has varying tones, much like a monologue. I love thunder, so I was drawn into this poem by the most appropriate title. I was left yearning for a good thunderstorm *Smile*

The power pulses through me,
and like the falling rain,
unearths the turmoil
just beneath the surface.


*Lightning3* These lines are well crafted, showing the connection of the narrator to the thunder. I really like the use of the harsh- sounding word "crack", in the phrase
...crack
with the lightning


*Lightning3* Then, through the use of the soft-sounding word "subsides", you very effectively help the reader feel the connection between the changing emotions of both the narrator and the storm.

*Lightning3* What doesn't work for me is the entire stanza about the sun. It is off topic and detracts from the emotions you've been able to establish for the reader. It isn't missed, when the poem is read without it.

*Lightning3* I like (and identify with) the point about needing to acknowledge that turmoil inside, and how the thunder doesn't just go through you, it is you - your voice.

*Lightning3* Great job with the line breaks and punctuation. This encouraged the dramatic reading of this beautifully crafted poem.

Well done *Thumbsupl*
JMariah*PenV*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review of Guise  
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (4.0)
*BurstR* Overall impression:
I really like the meaning in this little poem. It is sad in a way, but hopeful. I can definitely relate to putting on a different mask to suite different people and situations.

*BurstR* What didn't work for me:
The matter of fact tone of the poem doesn't make an emotional impact on me, though I can relate to the actions described. The first line
Myriad forms converge
is mechanical, rather than emotional in its tone, which is then carried throughout the rest of the poem.

*BurstR* What I really like:
none the prefect fit for his entirety
In this line I see that even though the many guises converge, they never merge, making him whole.
Then the last line happens
he is naked but finally complete
He has to strip them ALL away (become naked), in order to be complete. And as we know, appearing naked before the world, not just physically but metaphorically, is extremely difficult.

*Thumbsup* This poem appeals to my head; I hear it and I understand.
Thank you for the read.
Joan



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Review of Life  
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (3.0)
*Sun* Overall impression:
This is an inspirational poem. As you've listed this as spiritual, I assume you are writing that the reader look to God or Heaven. I rather enjoy that it also applies to those not thinking spiritually, as looking up means to look to the positive (not holding your head down in sorrow).

*Sun* What didn't work for me:
The short lines for me give it a choppy feel - totally a personal preference. Also the lines:
Can feel like
drowning
spinning
falling

This I find slightly confusing. Is it life that feels like it's drowning, spinning, falling? Or is it the narrator who feels like he's drowning, spinning, falling? I assume you are not saying that the narrator feels like, as in, desires to be drowning, spinning, falling. If it was written something like:
Can feel like
you're drowning
spinning
falling

this may make it clearer, if this is the sense you were going for.

*Sun* What I really like:
Don't look where

you fell

Look up

Here you are urging the readers to not focus on the mistakes that make them fall, but to look "up", the first step to getting up and moving on.

Thank you for this poem of hope and encouragement.
Joan


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
Review of Road Trip  
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (5.0)
*Cab*Overall impression:
This is a wonderful poem of hardship and change; about a girl who had had a difficult home life and was now making a series of "new starts" to better her life.

*Cab*Interesting imagery:
She picked at her wound This not only represents the physical, but the emotional wound created by the tumultuous relationship with her mother.

just a name scratched off a family bible This image represents the girl being "dead to her mother", disowned.

"Your turn to drive" It was now her turn to take charge of her life, take hold of the reins and steer her own course.

*Cab*What didn't work for me:
The only word I would change would be in the line
as he pulled into the shoulder
I would change the word into to onto, but that's just personal preference for how I phrase things.

*Cab*My favourite part of this poem:
The first three lines. I find they provide such vivid imagery that sets the tone for the entire poem.

I absolutely love this poem! I would be so proud if I were the one to have written it.

Well done *Thumbsup*
Joan


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
13
13
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is a very sweet love poem, that reads like a song. It is very tender in its sentiments. The first stanza sets the romantic tone of the poem and makes me smile.

*Heart*I find that in spots the rhythm goes off, where lines are either longer or shorter than the 4-beat lines established in the opening stanza. These lines interrupt the flow of the reading. For example:
It sings to me sweetly
This first line of the second stanza seems to cut off abruptly, as it is shorter than the four lines before it. There is nothing wrong with this, but it simply creates a different feel and mood for me. Adding the word so
It sings to me so sweetly
would keep the rhythm consistent and create an even flow between stanzas.

*Heart*I feel that the last stanza is awkward and doesn't flow in the same romantic rhythm of the others. I struggle with the sense of the lines
That your happiness I care ("care for" or "for your happiness I care"?)
Ahead of all the tea in China (maybe "above" instead of "ahead"?)
They feel forced in order to create an ending.

*Heart*How about something like this:

For it is more important,
How much for you I care
Every minute of the day
Every day of the year. (near rhyme; just a thought)

This ties the ending back to the beginning.

*Heart*My favourite stanzas are the first and second to last. And my favourite lines in the second to last stanza are:
If a smile should overcome you,
Well, That would be alright.

These lines are so real and make me smile. It reminds me of the friendly nudge a boy might give a girl if he feels he's getting too mushy with her. There's a real sweet innocence to how they feel.

*Heart*I really like this poem. I think it would be worth working on the last stanza, to leave the same romantic feeling in the reader at the end, that you introduce in the beginning. If you do revisions, please let me know, so I can revisit.

*Heart*Joan


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
14
14
Review of Who Would You Be?  
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is a very powerful poem that outlines the current state of affairs. You painted a vivid picture of American politics and social concerns. You used strong language, with assertive words and phrases, that give us all something very serious to think about. Phrases like:
The government says that it cares more than me?
and
Should it go to the maker, or the bully who takes?

Through a series of questions, you challenge the people (readers) to think! You don't tell us what to think, but just to think. Then you urge the people to "Wake up". I love this, as it is here that you present your arguments for us to consider.

Wake up, America! The wolf's in the fold;
and
Don't tell me I'm wrong, for others agree;

This is where you come out punching. Enough of the questions to get us looking inside to what we see and believe. Now, you are presenting the facts in a non-apologetic tone, straight-shooting!

My favourite and most powerful line in the poem is:
Then vote away freedom, and liberty, too;
Wow! If that isn't a slap in the face, I don't know what is *Smile*

You end by saying that we have the right to choose our position in this matter, and you demand that we choose:
Would you be cattle, or would you be free?

So powerful, from beginning to end.
Well done.
15
15
Review of Alone and Sad  
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (4.0)
I really enjoyed reading this poem. First of all, I am partial to rhyme, but also to poems with powerful messages. This fits both.

You started by painting a very bleak picture of people who walk among us that we wouldn't necessarily notice or consider. So right off the bat, you pulled me outside of myself to think of others. The rhyme really worked for this poem; I was forced to slow down and take in every line, as every line is important.

I did have trouble with a few lines in this poem.
In their voices as they grump. I found the word "grump" awkward, forced to fit the rhyme.
Memories their only friend. This line slowed me down and I have to reread it a few times. I wasn't sure if you wanted to say
Memory's their only friend (as in memory is their only friend) or
Memories, their only friend (the phrase being a qualifier of the noun memories) and
How our lives continue on,
To rise up or remain bent.
The stanza is talking about loneliness helping us heal, and these lines don't seem to flow from that thought. It's not the life that rises up or remains bent, but the person. Maybe if it was written something like:
Loneliness has a reason,
Time to heal is its intent.
We chose how we carry on,
How we rise or remain bent.

Even so, the word "bent" sounds awkward, another word forced to fit the rhyme.

I love the last two stanzas. They are packed with powerful encouragement and hope. This is a great way to end this poem that outlines the hurting people in the world.

My favourite lines are:
Think of others and be strong.This line moves my focus back inside myself and gives me strength and hope, for the purpose of helping others and myself. I could at anytime become one of these people described here, and I will need this strength to see myself through.
Only we can change the route. This line puts so much power in my (the reader's) hands.
What a powerful ending.

Well done,
Joan


16
16
Review of Maybe  
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (4.5)
Aur Dawn,

Wow! I love this powerful little poem. You tell a whole story in so few lines upon the page. This poem is brief without being vague. By relaying what you wish in possibly another life, you tell volumes about what the sad meeting in this life was like.

I would probably change the word as to so in the 4th line:
And our souls not as rough
to
And our souls not so rough
As suggests a comparison, and yet there is nothing within the poem that the roughness is being compared to. So indicates the intensity of the roughness.

My favourite lines are:
Perhaps then you will want me
And I'll finally be enough


These lines say so much about how the narrator is feeling, unwanted and not enough to the person being desired.

Very well written. I thoroughly enjoyed the read.
Joan
17
17
Review of Scars  
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (2.0)
Lyricite,
You have chosen a subject that is relatable. I definitely have been there and have felt this way. I understand the thoughts and feelings you have written in your poem.

I feel that your first two lines need a stronger hook to draw your reader into the poem on a more personal level, something less wordy like:
Scars I create burn my skin,
mar my future.

I switched the two lines, portraying a movement from close by the narrator (the skin) outward to the bigger picture (the future). I think this poem could be a lot more powerful if it was less wordy. That's just my opinion, as it is a definite style. Also you seem to be meandering through thoughts and feelings without joining them cohesively together. This can be fixed with further editing.

The line I like most is:
painful memories that leave me looking up to the stars.
This line suggests that there is a glimmer of hope in the midst of all the sadness and pain.

The ending is powerful, as you bring the reader full circle. You mention the scars at the end that ties into the beginning. It seems to imply the repeating of mistakes (my word) that cause you scars.

Well done.
Joan
18
18
Review of Mother Mozambique  
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (3.0)
This is a wonderfully encouraging poem, for the children of Mozambique to rise up and overcome their hardships. You urge the people to do what they've been taught, to keep the culture alive, "Till the land, sift the rice, Grind the bean.", continue their daily lives. And even though life seems futile, "Poverty is high, survival is low", there is a plea to trust in "The Most High". In the midst of all the poverty and despair, you ask the people to believe, to have faith. And you assure them that with that faith they will overcome, "soar higher than the eagle". You urge the people to rejoice "Wake up, dance up, sing up" in their hardships and they will be blessed, "you shall inherit the earth".

Very inspiring.
19
19
Review of Masquerade  
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (3.0)
This is a good piece of writing that moves the reader through the scope of despair to a state of hope. You vividly painted a picture of hopelessness, bleakness and fear, then bless the reader with the gift of leaving that all behind. And although the writer is still being enticed by this dark past, "I miss her for that", the writer is encouraged to move beyond it. And even though there's a fear about what's in store in the future, the writer knows there is something better ahead "I have only just begun to be true and to seek the truth"

This is inspiring.
Thank you.
20
20
Review of Rat  
Review by JMariah
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Nicely done. You used descriptive language to pull me into your story, and I wasn't disappointed. You painted a very vivid image of this man doing the job of getting rid of rats. He didn't care who the rat was, even when it turned out to be his own brother. Well, no wonder, his brother taught him never to be a rat, so I can understand his lack of feelings when seeing his brother was the body wrapped in the carpet. And he wasn't surprised. So he must have known his brother was a rat all the time he was talking about the importance of not being a rat. Great dynamics going on there between the brothers. Well written.

Very well written *Smile*
21
21
Review of Gems and Jazz  
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (4.0)
You had me at sodalite *BigSmile* I'm an avid rock and mineral collector who has been to the Princess Sodalite Mine in Bancroft, Ontario. This poem captivated me and held me fast in its grasp with mention of so many luscious gemstones. I also make jewellery using gemstone beads and crystals, so I can relate to this poem on a very personal level. I love that you wove this poem into a love story between gems and jazz, finishing it off with the title of the store being changed to "Gems and All That Jazz".

Very creatively done. I love it!
Cheers
22
22
Review of I'll Never Forget  
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (3.5)
What a beautiful poem. You are so fortunate to have your mother's thoughts about you written in this lovely form. I remember writing a poem for my son the day after he was born. What a legacy to leave behind.

My favourite lines are: "snatched from the womb" and "memories so precious
Which no-one can take"

Very well done. Memories well captured.
23
23
Review by JMariah
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This is such a touching short story. As soon as I noticed it was written in a series of letters, I was excited to read it. I wasn't disappointed.

Your words were well chosen, making your story concise without being wordy. The themes of love and devotion run through your writing: love for life, family and writing. These are intertwined, each effecting the other in very real scenarios.

I can identify with the grandma who isn't a grandma by blood, but is every bit a real grandma; one who loves just as deeply, and who grieves just as deeply. You so successfully brought this out in your short story. I was very deeply touched.

Thank you for sharing.
I hope to read more of your work.

Cheers,
Joan
24
24
Review of Power of a Seed  
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is a wonderful essay of "seeds", the seeds of the plants we hope to grow, and the seeds of good deeds in our lives. I enjoyed the use of the "box of dirt" also. As many look at dirt and only see dirt, but not see the ground, the world, the souls where the seeds are planted.

The sentence, "Maybe my work at the hospital has taught me to be not patient" (to be impatient), tripped me up and slowed the flow of my reading; also the sentence, "These ultimately come out of plain box filled with seeds" (a plain box or plain boxes). These are awkward phrases or slight grammar glitches, that really didn't take away from the message.

And I love your powerful ending line.
Good comes from a box of dirt and seeds.
Inspiration for us all.
Thank you.

Cheers,
25
25
Review of It is Dark  
Review by JMariah
Rated: E | (5.0)
What a powerful poem of darkness, hopelessness and despair. You don't tell about the emotions, you make the readers feel them with your word choices. The first stanza is so very powerful, what a tremendous way to pull your readers into the poem, and before they know it, they are in the darkness with you, feeling the cold wall rising over them, feeling the hot tears in their own darkness. Then BAM! we are hit with the phrase

hopelessness
sits with me.


Just when the loneliness seems about all we can take, we are told that our company is hopelessness. Wow!

But you're not done there. Inspiration comes out of an echo. And the hope that can break through the despair, the glimmer of light, shines through.

I'm in awe! I couldn't find any points of improvement to suggest. I love this brilliantly written poem just as it is.
Well done. I hope to read more from you.

Cheers,
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