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*One of the most sought after reviewers at Writing.Com.* Seriously? *Laugh* There was a time my honesty could be brutal. Residing here 14 years, as a sensitive writer myself, I'm able to temper observations that neither flatter or off-put. I like to see the good, observe how each writing projects. If I review, it's mainly because I see the value. I want to strike up friendships and partnerships, though it can be quite isolating here for a non-conformist, who has bent part of the way, but not fully met with reciprocating compromise. This can temporarily cause me to bend back. *Smirk*
 
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Sleeping. Retired now. I encourage writers with my reviews. I look for strengths and give direction on how to make something better. I am willing to continue to correspond with the writer if there is more I can offer. I look at what drives a reader. I think with my experience, I can see where your art derives from and is taking you. Sometimes, before the writer knows.
Favorite Genres
nature, love, psychological, drama, human interest, history, science, conspiracy, dystopian, fatalistic, tasteful
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Public Reviews
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Review of Love Haiku  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
*Star*An Angel Army Review*Star*:

Romantic Japanese poetry of this form is rare to find. These short forms are usually reserved to describe nature, however there are nature-type elements used in this piece "Love Haiku. Tackling a subject like this to get the exposition just right can be tricky.

This poem seems to imply a love triangle, perhaps inspired by love's rejection in the first line. It could have been mutual, but 'hate' is a strong word in deciding to cool a relationship. But immediately, in short form, we are launched toward another when 'touched', which is vague. It could be an expression or something more physical than spiritual. We can only assume the latter.

The last line, 'love enflames our souls' can be inferred between the new couple. In a wild scenario, the couple in the first line could have gotten back together, because the interest in the second line informs the uncoupled partner of the first line/part. This is where it gets tricky for a reader. We can assume some things, but perhaps the point isn't concisely made.

The structure was right, following haiku syllable count. Use of fire symbolism is like nature, but I think it misses the true intention of haiku. It's to inform through nature how wisdom comes from life. This does have a moral of sorts. But, for subject it did not use enough imagery or sensory to connect a reader to subject.

If I may tackle this in a way that might illuminate what I mean. If you are to use nature to describe this:

Volcanic hearts chill
lava touch of another
erupts souls aflame


It's still difficult to differentiate the couples, even in this way. Wished I could work 'new' into that last line. Difficult subject to tackle in haiku. But, feel free to play around with that. The theme is good if you can draw out metaphors and images linked to nature to describe and relate the solution in summation.

Brian

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102
102
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Dear L.V. van Efveren ,

I like this poem, "For the Love of Coffee. Writing to this particular form shouldn't cause too much restriction in execution of what you portray here. I found a subject with some nuances about coffee that I could relate to in this poem that was written for a contest. It would appear that prompt is 10 years past.

I discovered this by following feedback on the review boards, but not sure after storing this in my review tool how it led me directly or indirectly to your poem. The subject of coffee came up and read the first three lines of description and decided to save to reread and comment at a later time. Now, here I am.

One line immediately jumped out at me. "Nectar in the shades of night," which made me think of the importance of a hook when offering up a poem. This is, however, set to rhyme scheme, but something to think about when drawing in a reader. However, again, what senses are at work first? We smell the coffee before we envision it. I could be wrong about my thought about the approach to this.

Fragrant, dark and sweet as sin
this drink divine is brought to me
Nectar in the shades of night
of weariness it sets me free
until an empty pot is all I see
its lofty promises dried up


When I read that first stanza, I thought, 'whoa, drank a whole pot of coffee!' That's a lot of coffee to consume. You haven't really set scene, except introduce us to this heavenly coffee and the narrator's reaction to it. When I read 'shades of night', I was thinking this could also have been set in the evening. Sometimes, word choices can trip of a reader unknowingly, though I like the reference to the java's color. Maybe, if night colored was shown as irony because of a bright morning, or just a dreary morning, it could use something to place us in that setting.

Yet once again I must give in
like Cupid's poor seductee
A love this true one should not fight
but rather taste its reverie
and feel each morning's ecstasy
through holy liquid in a sacred cup


Many praises for this addictive drink that the poet has given the soul over to in this 'sacred' morning ritual. I don't have a problem with 'seductee', when I wondered if it was in the dictionary. It's likely been used in poetry before, and license of course dictates the right to it. Gives power to this drink that is all the rage.

I did struggle with one small part: '...rather taste its reverie'. Could that be 'taste in reverie'? Just that the coffee isn't in reverie, right? We personify its powers to compel quite a bit, but giving it feelings might not be intended there?

Overall, very descriptive and emotive ode to your cup of joy. It was a pleasure to read and consider.

Brian

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103
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Dear Tim Chiu ,

I don't know if I would call "A Lengthy Effort: Education Unsatisfied a prose poem, per se, but perhaps, free verse? Or, vers libre, if you want to sound fancy. This poem reminded me of what is important to story: attribution. You have a great many good words collected within, but until the end of the poem, I could not attribute them within this loose narrative that arrives at concerns about the upcoming election...presidential, especially, I would assume?

Each of the statements in your poem requires introspect from the poet. When you make these assertions, what do they attribute to? Could they be displayed in a way that might give hints or clues to what you allude to? You open with some tongue-twisting, short bursts of expressions:

Smoothly and somewhat convincingly -
And most bewilderingly -


The 'ly' words here pile up...and question the need for 'somewhat' because it is either convincing or not, yes? Or, is it more like an oxymoron? I couldn't decide.

A violence deceiving
The lengths of tragedy.


What violence? Is it personified and how? and tragedy, too? After reading the full poem, came back to wonder if you meant the riots? Could this be stated more effectually?

A privilege for the forsaken duties
Of most,
And a devilish concept -

The hypocrisy of claims.

And the masking of a feisty heresy.


I'm asea on the privileged duty, but these lines by end make me think they are about the reports of all the false claims by the current President. It's too obtuse for a reader to realize what the poet is alluding to here and throughout. Masking is saying something to me and that line with 'feisty heresy' is telling now. I'm arriving at some thoughts after some consideration about the man at the center of this poem.

The sincerest, most ageless worth -
A streetwise assurance,
And a dedicated need.

A decision that warrants enmity
And exorbitant restrictions.


Here I'm just wanting to run to a dictionary and decipher all these words. However, a reader should get some context to at least have a feel for what you intend. This prose style of yours reminds me of another writer here who used to share auto-rewarded poetry, who used a lot of signpost words that stirred with emotions but seem disconnected from particular subject.

Here I can feel a theme building with the words and I really do want to consult Webster's, but should a reader have to? I find building a poem around a few choice words is good, if you can frame them in a way that a reader will get the gist, but may still peek to see if they fully understand the poet's offering.

This part I sort of get, and it seems to be about Trump's previous election decision in 2016:

Within the darkened turmoil,
The hapless misfires
Of some emboldened chief,
His narrow margin of victory
This unaffordable, streaming zone -
Drawing the destitute ire...


This is also likely about his remarks in the media and on Twitter. We get that he's a boastful guy that is less uniting and more provocative with his comments. You get a little loose with the language when you say...

Disemboweling the freedoms...

Have to consider words like that work as imagery, as well as emotively, and perhaps not the best choice for that statement.

The ending of your poem assumes that the election is to be rigged, am I right? Though, there have been accusations about each party manipulating the outcome, but I get the tone is anti-conservative here.

I think you know what you mean when you write this. It should be considered that we need references to put some of this together. Employ some poetic devices within metaphors and imagery, signpost words that link together a common theme or thread. There's symbolism that is strong within the political parties and the president is easy to depict with his cartoonish features.

I see you have opportunities here to really pull the flavor from this poem that I think you mean to intend and present it in a palatable way for your audience to consume and savor. It's just about attributing those words in a more meaningful way that could give this poem that right spice, for the best recipe to revealing what you've cooked up here.

It's a timely poem and worthy poem in this era, for this generation.

Brian

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Review of To My Muse  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Space Blog  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Dear Roari ∞ decks the halls 🎄 ,

As I read the ending to "To My Muse, I said to myself 'I do know what you mean.' Your poem about the muse that inspires is implied, which I infer. And this follows the logic of many a poet who ascribes to these beliefs that some great spiritual moment will inform the instrument that one writes with and the writer's block will be temporarily over.

Purely a free verse poem that is inspired by what appears the logical choice, free associating thought in the moment and chase that muse in hopes of flushing out. But, the poem dares ask why these moods are so fickle that one could get in a rut, be in a drought. That is oft asked question.

In a way, the poem answers it's own question without knowing it. That the muse is kind but that it doesn't arrive because the poet is distracted with other things (like what distracts this writer/narrator?), who does not put in the time and effort to have the little pixie, or whatever, come along and give flight to the pen. Right there in that third stanza, I read it.

The final stanza was kind of comical about how the poet runs out of words on the subject and runs into that wall, and reveals the crash right there at the end of the poem...*Headbang*

It is akin to mailing it in, when we don't really consider the subject, while we have chosen a narrative style of feeling incomplete and mystified by the process -- almost like willing it to be that way, rather than overcome with determination.

I like poems like this that show our weaknesses, our flaws, what we struggle with. All part of the human condition, something a reader like myself can relate with. I did see a line in that fourth stanza that could read better and wondered if flawed was the desired result...

"I begin these tasks at your beckon..."

Perhaps, "I begin these tasks you beckon," or "I begin these tasks at your beckoning..."

Muses can be described, also. What is this muse? A part of oneself? A faerie or something else? It could be described through actions or noted by how it appears to use and how it compels a writer through some imagery or metaphor. Many have done this type of poem. What can make it unique?

Of course, I am commenting on this because Chris Breva linked it in "Space Blog and I swung in to give it a look-see. It was pleasure to read and consider for feedback,

Brian

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105
Review of Honor Flight  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Space Blog  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Dear PandaPaws Licensed VetTech ,

My father-in-law at 74 does the honor flights, too, with the WW2 vets. I was introduced to that wall way back when it was on tour. I appreciate how your poem captures the perspective of how these flights give these older veterans a chance to experience and be honored for their service once more.

The poem sets up with some depictions that helps set the tone for a reader and what the former soldiers have been a part of. It reminds me that we are moving out of that greatest generation with so few left that can travel and visit the wall. It's a sad revelation for me with each passing Veteran's Day.

The poem uses a rhyme scheme to help keep the thoughts flowing. It feels "Honor Flight, is informed by your experience, and just a part of what you must have left to offer and convey about these flights you have hosted. Well done. It was a pleasure to receive a link from "Space Blog to visit this item and leave my feedback tonight.

Brian

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106
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Space Blog  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Dear Thankful Sonali WDC Power! ,

I found this contest entry "Nature Tries to Teach a very well articulated essay. I especially enjoyed how you pivot off thoughts of what man was intended to do (and not: "We shouldn't get from one end of earth to the other so soon, if nature had meant us to fly, nature would have given us wings"). It is a very agreeable statement that people of the world have upset that natural order of things.

To your essay open with people who express how the virus is some kind of 'nature's revenge' or that 'nature is angry with us'. It reminds of earlier beliefs when science wasn't fully developed and spiritual people, people in tribes, believed like this -- some form of mother nature. While I don't know who you refer these comments to, they are not unusual fodder on the internet for people trying to be expressive/funny, like 'the boogeyman will get you.'

You do right to take this as a way to focus on the science and what can easily be shown as man's interference in the order of things.

I'm definitely with you on that third paragraph, as to lifestyles. I think there are factors in play here. Convenience is a huge selling point and something corporations advertise to consumers. I think a little perspective would help on how the science is being ignored by those who would pollute our waters with chemicals to make products, or:

"Chickens bred for meat are...the most genetically manipulated of...animals, forced to grow 65 times faster than their bodies...would, and the industry continually seeks to increase their growth rate."

The reason the world won't change is that those who profit while destroying our planet don't have alternative methods that will make them more money, while sparing the planet. Hopefully, a pandemic will change minds as the economy shifts to cleaner fuels, etc. In an open, democratic society, the people should agree in moderation and not bigger is better.

Your summation about memes on 2020 really drive home your point about how ignorance is at play. People really just dehumanize everything and make jokes or criticisms at the expense of our humanity. You pretty much nailed it with this. It was a pleasure to read.

Brian

When I think of those poor little chickens raised to slaughter in 42 days on growth hormones, about five percent die when "Their baby hearts cannot keep up with their adult-sized bodies." *Sad*

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107
Review of The Home Sampler  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Dear Elfyn ,

I learned something today when I read this poem, having to look up your use of the word 'basted' in this very intricate poem "The Home Sampler. When I saw that word I obviously went to a cooking reference and thought how odd. That seems out of place. But, I do my homework before commenting:

In sewing, to tack or baste is to make quick, temporary stitching intended to be removed. ... To easily hold a seam or trim in place until it can be permanently sewn, usually with a long running stitch made by hand or machine called a tacking stitch or basting stitch.

Now, I get a richer tapestry to understanding your poem. And something darker was lurking, waiting for me to fully understand this offering, having missed the introductory description. The use of stitches and describing colors reveals a possible correlation of moods to the disorder told. The narrator trying to hold on to the calm greens by poems end held me, but that temporary stitch wouldn't hold.

I can imagine from that first stanza, this person described is having trouble telling truth from fiction with this disease. You have the character describing tales woven with those colors (moods) that incorrectly inform. With the ending, the image of the needle flying was like something very final, damaging this relationship, shown with it's loose depiction.

I found I could somewhat understand through what I read from this cryptic, poetic symbolism employed from beginning to end -- how it all unravels. Implied 'tangling' and 'knotting' might suggest something stronger, because this person is enmeshed by the struggle to keep it together.

Just a great use of symbolism in relation to bi-polar disorder.

Brian

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108
108
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Space Blog  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I always say write through it, whatever you're feeling. There is some good use of rhyme in this poem "A feeling of disappointment and some things that stuck out for me.

I was okay without the punctuation until I saw the need for a question mark in that third stanza where you were short a line and a rhyme, but certain you know that.

What this holds up to is the poet accurately expressing, using that rhyme to bend an expression or two into existence. It does feel like it follows the rhyme more than the informed mind. But, to me it's all good. The more you write, the more your brain is learning the ropes with poetry to finding just the right expressions or assortments of words. Practice makes perfect.

Sometimes, I throw away rhyme and just let words flow. If it's alliteration or words that have a familiar sound, you can weave whatever poetic devices you want with this or any poem, if you are just writing on a whim...called free associating. Rhymes come too during these writing events.

Line I would adjust, "No reason for future in light of my cope." Just because 'cope' is not a noun, or something that best bends poetic law here.

What I liked best: "But what really matters is invisible it seems." Very deep and introspective there.

It was a pleasure to consider your piece for feedback. Thanks for sharing your poetry,

Brian

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Review of These Old Eyes  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Dear Lockedhart ,

I discovered your poem when searching for new members who write poetry in this community. I found a poem that was more a block of text without formatting or structure to give weight to the lines hidden within. I would suggest a way to present this to reveal the hidden gems within, as I'm about to reveal now.
I'm struck by the open of this poem...

"I live in the forgotten place."

To me that first line stood out. It is something that I can relate to as a reader/writer caught in the neglect of the world. I go to this place implied (of my own) to reside when I read this, prepared to discover the rest of your poem knowing that is where live best, where I connect with the outside world. This poem doesn't relate exactly how I feel, however. I can assume it is from the narrative perspective of one who lives with other elders who might be looking at the last years of life while reflecting on the past:

"I live with all the missed memories, connections and chances. What could have been is our favourite toast here. The echoes of regret ring like a church bell. Looking back through these old eyes."

Herein above is the meat of the poem, and that which expresses best about looking back on life and the missed opportunities acknowledged, toasted even. 'Echoes of regret right like a church bell' was perhaps most poignant and evocative for me. I'm grasping even now to plumb the depths of the poet's meaning. 'Church' is a strong word to imply with the tolling of a bell, that from literature we know all too well told is 'for thee'.

I look at the remainder in two parts. The poem turns to the others who haven't made their peace with getting old, having not truly lived when you say:

"Please take me back they say. I missed something. You were so young then."

But also there is a great companion expression for that thought:

"Looking at what was in front of you, not knowing forever was behind you."

This poem comes from wisdom and experienced enough to know that one can put this all in perspective, putting aside regret. It can acknowledge the weakness of such feeling about not having lived. I go back to the 'forgotten place' though, which is strongest, reminding me to put this perspective in that frame. We are to understand that this condition is felt by one who is alone, observing. It is melancholy and saddening and again reminds me of where I live in this world, where I've been placed. Perhaps, I could take a cue from this to just live without regret.

It's well told in this poem and a much deserving piece for others to take note of.

Brian

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If the poem were edited, it could read:


These Old Eyes

I live in the forgotten place.
I live with all the missed memories,
Connections and chances.
What could have been is our favourite toast here.
The echoes of regret ring like a church bell,

Looking back through these old eyes.
Please take me back they say.
I missed something.
You were so young then.
Looking at what was in front of you,
not knowing forever would be left behind.



Slight alteration was made on that last line. I would either attach the last line of first stanza with first line of the second; or, find a way to make the second line a stand alone sentence, rather than leave it a fragment.

A third way to handle it is (replacing comma from last line of first verse)
flip the two lines assigned to that second verse to read as follows, flowing into the third line:

"Please take me back they say.
Looking back through these old eyes,
I missed something."

Okay, now I'm done with suggestions. *Smile*

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Review of Bonnie and Clyde  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Space Blog  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Dear Elaine Pitts ,

Sorry it has taken me awhile to get back to you with your request for further review. On reading Bonnie and Clyde, I could see some possible revisions, if you are aiming to improve this. The most important part of a poem is the open, getting readers hooked. People will tune out real fast just based on subject. But, if you intrigue them, you might have them around longer. Looking at the introduction to your poem, I made two alterations to show you how you might start this out differently:

A story of intrigue and mystery,
of two that were one,
A story to go down in history,
of two hearts and a gun.

I think the open is key to your poem. What you want to avoid is the repeated 'A story' for all four lines. Either it's too much to read over and over, or visually might be seen as landlocked text. I find a way to trim and get a rhythm for the read is just eliminate two introductions and make two complete statements in the first four lines.

Two renegades just-a-running, (runnin' ??)
Taking life day by day,
Looking into the eyes of the other
Hoping for another way. (might be a weak expression)

Here you have a verse that is trying to get that old-timey feel for narration with 'just a running'. I felt a Steve Miller song coming on, you know the one. It's similar. I don't know much about Bonnie and Clyde. What I remember is a picture book of them posed by their getaway car with guns. Another, of them shot dead. They let kids like me look at pictures like that. I think they were Time-Life books. Different times.

Wishing their love could have been normal,
With children and houses to live,
But this would not be their future,
Only destruction to society to give.

This could be a book cover teasing the reader about their life, what they would get up to. It's very broad in that scope. For a poem, sometimes, maybe focus on one particular thing that you could illuminate. I'm just wondering what made them do it? Did they kill people other than cops to get money? Were they celebrated for some reason, because I seem to recall that? This poem essentially reads as an overview, which can be good.

Texas could not hold them,
For their love and their passion's to wild, (too)
But away from the lights and the sirens,
You could see a hint of a child.

In the eyes that had seen so much hatred,
In the arms that embraced each night through,
Not knowing if tonight would be the last one,
To ensure that their love was known to be true.

This is like trying to imagine what it felt like to be them. I think getting into more of this would be good for the poem. Something specific to them to focus on.

Stealing a laugh or a tussle,
Hoping the coast would be clear,
Dreaming of free love in a bustle,
Holding their dreams so dear.

What were their dreams, exactly? How long did they think they could get away with this? There could be some foreboding here. Maybe, there's some readers with no knowledge of the couple. A chance to spin a bit with your narrative.

Tightly, passionately they loved the other,
Not taking one kiss for not, (naught?)
Caressing and holding and loving,
For what little time before they would be shot.

I liked this part. The idea of their love before they were shot, in the rhyming fashion.

Bonnie and Clyde were lovers,
Through toil and trials became friends,
Destined to be entwined together,
Until the bitter end.


I don't think it's a bad poem. When I read it, I feel it lacks detail. Even a poem needs setting, maybe a sequence of events when you are essentially trying to cover the whole Bonnie And Clyde thing, their motivations and love for each other mostly. But, they had fans, I think. Hollywood glorified them and it spawned all kinds of fiction from the written to film and tv.

But, what I'm thinking is, this needs to be more focused somehow. What was the last bank they robbed? What were some signs their demise was near? You encapsulate it pretty well. I just wonder, for a poem, if you can key on something like a slip up, or how robbing banks was some kind of high that they passionately enjoyed together that the got careless and wound up dead. It's not necessary though, just me wondering in feedback how it might be better.

Personally, I wouldn't change this. I'd work on another, if it inspires, after a little more research or applying untapped knowledge. Incorporate parts of this that fit thematically with a poem that focuses on their last days, for instance. You could use their last hours as sort of a recap of their love for each, bank robbing, a sort of life flashing before their eyes before they are caught and fatally shot.

That's just an idea. There's good stuff here. Whatever you chose to do, keep writing. It always helps me to keep thinking about a subject, or just to keep penning words. That's why I review. It helps me think about dissecting and revising and editing, all the things that make a good poem or story.

Sorry for the delay and that I couldn't be of more help with this one.

Brian

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Review of What should i do?  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (3.5)
I got a gander at the group you created and wanted to know more and found this poll that I thought might be related to it, but found that it was about what you should do as a participant of this site. It was a varied selection, from story to art, blog and make games. Some of those would erquire and upgraded account and in the end, with one two votes for story, poof!

So, hopefully this review will get to you and you will see the value of growing your portfolio with some written pieces first. I don't know if you were given a chance to land a free upgrade, so you could have that opportunity to blog. I'm curious what the littles group would have been about.

BK
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Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Space Blog  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Dear Annie ,

I really enjoyed the listing of reactions from daybreak to incorporating into this narrative a revealing of events unfolding in your poem "Windows of the morning. Sometimes, It's fun to just jot down every little thing we see and experience in a moment and see how it all connects poetically, which you have done hear. It seems organic and natural and somewhat informed by a spiritual mind experiencing and relating something that is pleasurable.

Okay, if I could just nitpick a bit for a moment. That sunrise is familiar and is glorious. I know that colors display around a sunrise and the word economy does not take time to attribute the green and pink, though I gather orange and yellow. Green especially seemed out of place. Do we attribute that color to the sunrise or something else? Is it a type of green we might see at sunrise, because it would be rare.

I imagine more unique word choices like emerald? It seems distinct enough to fit in that foursome. On spelling, just a note on the spelling of dewy. Or, are you English? British spell it with an extra 'e'? Sorry, don't mean to offend your colourful language? Just trying to be clever now.

What I would also adjust is giving a space behind a few of those commas wedged up tight between those sentence break to breathe.

I liked how this poem evolved from early morning to the exercise with hopeful thinking at the end. All of these images, expressions and shared thoughts bring forward this message of hope that narration extends to the reader. So, very nicely done.

It was a pleasure to read and comment as a member of the Space Blog,

Brian

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Review of A Noise Above  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
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Dear Strange Brain ,

I wrote an entire review for this, thousands of characters long, and lost it before I could send. Here we go again.

*Pthb*

What drew me to your poem "A Noise Above is the way you depict this scene and the rhyme scheme employed that gave it a suspenseful but fluid read. Bats are a great thing to discover, especially in this poetic form. There is some mystery and suspense with some trepidation for one to view.

This poem really hits on all cylinders before I got a little foggy on did we see or did we not see the bat in the sky, because it goes back and forth from end of second verse to the middle of third about this spying process. I can imagine that you sense it's presence, like maybe a shadow or it's body darker than the night sky as it swoops by. Perhaps, even our own auditory clues, unlike its echolocation advise the narrative voice of it's presence.

The third verse presents just a little awkwardly in how the bat presents. It's likely just the wording 'never once' as a clue that this might be for entire poem? Or, ever before? And if so, the evidence from the end of verse two of knowing of the bat's presence is negated? It gives me too many questions to ponder, instead of enjoying your poem. With a bit of rationalization, I can put together what I think you imply. The process to infer just slows me down a bit.

One other thing I got hung up, before I praise your poem some more, is the suggestion this "bat flies like a bird/As if it had no care." I pondered this but then had to google, because I do not know bats to behave this way. The information I was getting back is that the bat is the only flying mammal. No feathers. I flies in arcs, erratically to an from its destination. No wonder it would rather swim through the night air, because it is not a think of beauty.

In contract, "birds can open their feathers like a Venetian blind", however you might imagine that resembles. The have smooth lift and thrust throw air where they can glide. You could imply that this bat that is barely viewed has such confidence that it could fly like a bird, but that is not how I truly see it. They are awkwardly aggressive creatures that instill panic and irrational fear among some.

I guess if I could point out one more thing, it would be the ending. This last word seemed forced to fit the entire rhyme scheme unfolding. I really enjoyed the form and what you did with the structure. Even in the last line, comparing a bat to Angelic is a nice contrast, which is why implying it has the will to fly like a bird can be admired. This poem works against traditional beliefs about this flying mammal, showing a narrator that marvels at its nature.

This vision I have of a bat is something that zig-zags or swims against the sky in this dragon-like wing flapping across the sheltered sky. It's the perfect thing for a freeverse poem, because it defies convention, structure and order. You could give it a try with varied line breaks to present it and its wild change of course and the quiet pauses in night waiting to see where it will appear. Alliteration and assonance among other poetic devices could really breathe extra life into this vision of yours.

It was a pleasure to read and consider for feedback,

Brian

Look at that, I got through the review a second time without wiping it out complet...

...just kidding. *Laugh* I hope my grammar and spelling and review make sense, because I cannot go through all this again. SAVE+SEND *Facepalm*

And if you're interested:
 
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#2231099 by Brian K Compton

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Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Dear Detective ,

This was a nice poetic exercise in the use of the repeated Whitman phrase from the poem of the same name. You infused personal experiences and appreciation of literature in with this theme, albeit somewhat disconnectedly, but enthusiastically.

Though, it was true that Whitman was celebrating America that had a song in their heart with an eye to a bright future, what you employ in "Sonnet 29 (Because It's Her Favorite) are scenes from your surrounding that include birds, and shopping and people bustling, to the personal revelations that overwhelm someone who collects carts in the frigid cold and has their own dreams.

And then, this poem switches gears to a collection of summations about great authors and their stories. I think at this point, the poet become a daydreamer enjoying a bygone era of literature. Perhaps, it's a sharp contrast between reality and pure classic fiction that inspire a soul working with hands to dream of something better, the way that Whitman had hoped.

Perhaps, in an odd way, it's a commentary on how he may have been wrong about America, despite it still singing (maybe another, less harmonious tune?). That truth doesn't bear to fiction with as much sublime feeling as the poet. It does show that the narrator still burns with a passion for something that isn't so much Americana, but what it has produced and left behind for us to recall, like history, of what we were destined to be or become.

I'm probably over-analyzing a high School poem. But, even if unintended, there is something there in that raw, narrative dreamer's message that smells like hope to me, that we can resurrect America to former glory somehow, someday.

Brian

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Great poem. Always worth a read:


I Hear America Singing
BY WALT WHITMAN
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

n/a
Source: Selected Poems (1991)


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Review of FROGS  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Dear Meg ,

This was a very relatable poem and quite timely for these parts as the frogs at our nearby pond recently sung us a late chorus on a recent, warm summer night, though the crickets did their best to compete.

The revelations in this poem made me wonder about the narrator, and the living arrangements. I also pondered if we're hearing our frogs differently. Describing their voices like 'waves breaking over a sandy shore' helps a little, but seems more expressive about how the din makes it hard to sleep. The nearer the are, the sharper the croaks. The further, more unison like those black bugs rubbing legs together in the tall grass. There is no tonality or quality to that description I could appreciate further.

But, I do get not having A/C and needing windows open, but that sound. I reminds of birds that arrive too earlier or neighbors carousing too late. I think there are things to equate when you tell this frog story in poem form to lend to these revelations. I enjoyed the ending about sleeping outdoors all day, as a result. It felt kind of inviting really, though I sensed the sun was a problem.

So, in conclusion I have wonderings:

What, no ear plugs? *Laugh* Though, you use a pillow. And, no umbrella or shade for that backyard siesta? I imagine if the frog thing was unexpected and there was no plan for it, we get in these situations where it makes us so frustrated, there seems no preparation or remedy. I liked that about this poem, about how humanizing. As usual, your poetry employs the traditional rhyming and great storytelling you have been known for, depicting a scene with your usual flair.

It was a pleasure to read and consider "FROGS for feedback. Thank you for sharing your poetry with our community for so many years.

Brian

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Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Space Blog  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Dear Meg ,

This is a clever poem with a bit of fun, I suppose at a snake's expense. I have no idea what a Kookaburra looks like, or how big it is. Either it's a wee snake, which I cannot imagine, or that's a very large bird.

You have such light fun with the narration and depicting this bird that I sense revels in it's abilities to gather food. I wanted to know more, even though this is a short poem that doesn't set up for much more storytelling.

What serves best was this section of the poem:

He swoops down fast --- so glad he can fly
" One reptile breakfast --- to go!"

It's this whimsical style that is infectious and synonymous with much of the poetry of yours I have read and that you have shared in response poems with me.

" A KOOKABURRA'S BREAKFAST could be part of a collection of traditional rhyming poetry tales with that Aussie origin that you could deftly spin so well with these poems. Have you ever published? We've lost touch, but happy to read a poem from you tonight.

Brian

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Review of 11:34pm  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Dear Ximena M Gutierrez ,

This poem "11:34pm revealed to me feels very honest and is expressing certainty (with some doubt), but without regret, the end of a relationship. It is well described and comes across very organically.

There was sort of a raw, awkwardness to the language when the poet and narrative try to relive and grasp the reasons to end a relationship. It also reconsiders the value of the time spent together.

What I found most compelling is not overtly say why it had to end, only that it felt right. Perhaps, it was because of a disagreement that abruptly ended it. It might have been a relationship that was still new and discovering. But, because of the decision, the narrator here is reconsidering while having a cigarette (odd ending by the way) if it was the right choice.

The only revelation is 'it felt right'. Paraphrasing. This is special and unique to the poem, because it feels very personal. But, it also feels very relatable. I think setting up scenes to give context is what brought flavor to this and made it so easy to appreciate. Anyone who reads should come away with an understanding of what this person feels just in ending the relationship.

It read like an open letter to this person who will likely never see the poet in person again. Their mind is made up. Something pretty significant about that title. Probably, time of death?

BK
CircumpolarReviewer


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Review of Bodybags  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
This was a poem that grabbed me, "Bodybags, especially with that title line. And when I think of bodybags, I think of what the dead are carried out in. It felt like this was not about that, but an expression for something more.

I couldn't be sure what government you refer, though not uncommon if it were American, and wasn't sure if it is part of a feminist agenda, though it easily could be.

There are some strong statements with images that are provacatively objectionable should they exist, but also to the bystander/observer. This is political poetry, short and sweet and could have been more...needed to elaborate. I think if it is written for an audience that knows all to well what this it is about, and it works. For a general audience that includes me, I want to know more.

This could be about the right to choose...abortion, a timely topic now, even though it is not a current poetry piece. It might go further than that. I think of government testing, and may be more about pharmaceuticals. Each has very powerful and polarizing political statements as poetry that are worthy of perusal and discussion.

Unfortunately, it ends too quick. It hooked me. You really did well with that with the visual images, while not original, could have informed the poet to take this expression further and give us more of the passion that informs the narrative that could elucidate minds of readers.

BK
CircumpolarReviewer


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Review of In my garden  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (3.0)
This was quite the list. In my garden starts out with real flowers and organic things growing and it takes a tour into the mind and the poet's psyche and likes and some experience shared before it ends with torn leaves. I think it is a poem that wants to be comparative to a garden, but it failed to deliver on that theme.

When I saw black carnations, I was expecting some relatable comparison. I wanted to visually see in words this flower and how it related to the narrator. Unfortunately, all we got was a list of things that described the poet. Nice expression with 'crumpled smithereens', but wasn't sure if you meant the band or how smithereens might apply to one self.

I do like the listing, I just wanted it to have context. I wanted to see a garden that describes the self, but it didn't bloom. In fact, everything was bought at the story and stood around in pots. you might want to water and consider perennials for the next planting.

BK
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Review of Too Vain  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (5.0)
It's catchy where you have found words that rhyme and flow and use exclamations at the end. It is a narrative that feels certain of itself and one that doesn't feel it needs to apologize or to explain why one would feel no obligation to serve the needs of others over self. This is the second poem of this nature I have discovered by you.

This poem makes statements and it feels it comes from self-reflection, perhaps from an epiphany or realizations that life doesn't always offer the best outcomes. This is a person who basically says I like being alone, no expectations and I don't feel I owe to anyone or anything to sit around waiting for life or opportunity to happen.

What's great is this poem gets off to a good, rhythmic start and then like waves crashing lands lines four and five, tight and sharp with its punches. I have no problem with this whatsoever. I think you have found a poem that best expresses self and how you feel. It works divinely. I wouldn't change a word.

BK
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Review of Away  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Space Blog  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Dear Justine .

"Away is nicely worded and romantic poem using imagery and sensory to put a reader in these tender moments revealed. The feeling of love lost but somehow cherished, is how I imagined this to read.

What it lacked, however, is the ability to pace itself. The lines and the words were needlessly enjambed in some portions making it difficult to read. But, by the time I had gotten to the end of the poem, I felt a strange sense of reversing these thoughts and feelings right back to the beginning. It was like the poem had come full circle in thought and expression.

I think line two started incorrectly and you might have meant 'away' instead of 'way'. Also it should have been 'across' instead of 'a cross', though it made me wonder if it might be deliberated, like trying to set up the pace of the read. But, I could not make an argument for it, as it was not used beyond, or to lend to this theme.

The poem was well described and something I imagine readers could relate to. Very little to argue with when it is a romantic poem pining for it's lover. It was a pleasure to reader and comment. Thank you for sharing.

Brian

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Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Setting with perspective like what was employed by this poem are vital. A reader can easily and quickly connect with the narration or POV as you have conveyed in "Staring at the Clouds. There is something personal about this that makes me wonder, something I'm trying to figure out while I can relate with it. It's odd, as if I am in the moment with the two, even if just watching.

I like the brevity of your poetry 'Staring at the Clouds' and how it attempts to inform us in this particular piece. Wrapping my mind around this unfolding scene, beside the emotions conveyed, are the juxtaposition of the two lying on their backs. So, I had to try to figure this out. I think it leaves some question as to how these they are revealed or posed.

Lying side by side,
Looking in your eyes

I can get with this, because side by side, heads can turn toward one another. At least with him to view the other. But then strangely, expressively...

Feels like miles away
Lying back to back,

Side by side, back to back? Why the sudden change in positions? How do they see each other's eyes? Am I perceiving this wrong? I wonder for a moment if what feels like miles away isn't about in feeling from one another, but what they are viewing. Are the eyes an expression for something else? Let's let the poem finish below:

Staring at the clouds -
I have found you there...

This is what made me wonder. Have you found this other you are lying next to by this connection lying side by side looking at clouds? That I like. But then, how do they look into each other's eyes. Why are they side by side but then back to back? I think it needs to be clarified if they are changing positions.

I think once addressed, it would be easier to appreciate this shared experience. They can look each other in the eyes and feel miles away, but when they look up at the clouds from the ground, perhaps they feel connected.

What might help this poem is establish the cloud gazing first and then insert a moment of eye contact and that feeling of being far away. Perhaps, it doesn't have to end on that note, as this poem ends on a note where the two connect but sharing the view of the sky. You could finish the poem by returning to that.

It would also give the opportunity to express the change of positions. First side by side, then look in eyes, feel far away, then back to back and looking at sky but then feeling a connection through the shared experience. I think just a reordering can help a reader understand what is happening.

Short and sweet is nice. If it were me, I'd be adding more detail. Setting scene includes grass, how's the weather, clothes worn, physical descriptions, sky depictions, use of sounds or smell, anything sensory really. Though, if correctly constructed, short and to the point with the one takeaway can be an eye opener for anything gazing on these clouds of words forming on the page. *Wink*

It was a pleasure to read and lend feedback on this poem,

Brian

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Review of Meaning  
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Dear kesan,

Sometimes we are struck with a revelation of such importance as writers that we must pen it down, follow where it goes to give it weight. In this flight of pen, there is a point where the thought construction falls back upon itself. Essentially, the poet runs out of steam, into a wall, loses the spirit of the muse. It feels this poem "Meaning had direction before that last verse struggled, and no more...

I would like to examine this poem to see if the subject and theme pursued survive, if there might be purpose yet to breathe new life into this piece. It's a short poem because of it's truncated line length that lend to a read with pep and comes direct at the outset...

I fell over
Sorrow-stricken
When I saw
The gravity of life.

Right there, image struck. Some event yet to be described is setting up a life lesson, it seems. I had one problem though. I can't imagine seeing gravity. I imagine feeling it, however. Something to consider.

Now I know
What is written
On its other side.

Hmmm, I'm taken to this expressed 'other side' of gravity. I can imagine it could be a metaphorical place that has writing on it? Written is loosely expressed here, but I'm waiting it out to see where the poet is going with this.

Now I feel,
Short of feelings,
That I've found
A reason why.

Unfortunate structure, grammar problem and redundancy. It could easily be cleaned up, but needs to be clearer. At this point, the poet is losing me.

Yes, it seems
That all has meaning
Living is
What really counts.

This stanza alone does not relate to the open. It could be a poem unto itself. Something gravitational, something written underneath, I feel a reason, everything has meaning and living counts.

When a poem has a hook, an idea, it needs to convey it using whatever devices through imagery, metaphor, double entendre, personification. Essentially it lacks descriptiveness to get the message across.

I get these feelings. To convey them in a poem might require a little skull digging to figure out how to equate a message in more than just I feel like this or that. Though, it sounded like there was an idiom at play, something that was setting up but never realized. And for that, I say give it more thought and try to remember what epiphany caused this. There should be something concrete beneath.

Brian

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Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Space Blog  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Dear J.L. O'Dell ,

"ODE TO A BAD DRIVER was a fun poem that no doubt was a bit of a parody of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It was jaunty and fun with a bit of suspense with clear detail about the distracted, texting driver.

So much plays out in this poem that it made me feel it was all too real of an incident. I liked the intercedence (made up word?) of the two cops, though I would doubt they would arrive in a moment like that. Though, for purpose of story it makes for a satisfying conclusion to the poem. How many of us want to see these sorts pulled over, hauled in even, and ticketed?

What I also think would help us to know is that the narrator of this poem isn't rubbernecking at the end of this related story. See the irony? Perhaps, have this person pull over, or stopped at a traffic light to watch the ensuing action (safely). I doubt a cop is going to get out of car with ticket book in hand before the narrator can see, having cleared the scene under normal circumstances. And, maybe I'm quibbling too much. But, my mind did go there as I thought about this very visual and comical scene.

I also wondered if when the two drivers go left and right of each other that this negligent driver could drive up an embankment, and harmless to human life, have car collide or get stuck somehow. I've rolled a car over a tree stump once, getting the frame hung there so the front-wheel drive couldn't pull the car any further. Just a thought for an additional, satisfying conclusion.

I did notice one error, something mis-typed that auto-correct, though a grammar checker might, find: "I don’t what to see such a sight."

Overall, a pretty entertaining poem that gave me thoughts. I've written on this subject myself as one who gets distracted to write down a poem while driving. Once, on a receipt from a shopping trip. It's compelling to want to get down something you fear you'll lose when there's no place to pull over while doing 70 on interstate. *Shock* I retired the pen from my cupholder that day. I've got talk to text now! *Laugh*

Kudos,
Brian

I'm affiliating this review with "Space Blog because I want to help Chris Breva and his group become number one! We'll see...maybe number four reviewing group is in the cards? Don't tell him.


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for entry "September 23, 2020
Review by Brian K Compton
In affiliation with Space Blog  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
The lord (God) works in mysterious ways...and if we could peek behind the Oz-like curtain, would we be disillusioned? -Brian K Compton

Dear Chris Breva ,

All very good thoughts and views to have. I concur. We all mean to do well and be the best version of ourselves -- even if that is overemphasizing for purpose the realization, life dizzily passes by while we are missing opportunities to seize Carpe Diem style.

I appreciate the tag in your blog entry (9/23) and the link to my writing/poetry. Happy to be discovered. I feel somewhat sheltered here as a WDC member and enjoy a good shout out from time to time like a pinch to see if I'm asleep and just dreaming on this numb walk through of an internet community.

This is a great opportunity for me to revisit an older poem and see where I've come since. We tend to get complacent, despite the greatest of intentions to passionately expression a discourse placed on high mantles of hope. I could set the bar (mantle) lower for myself, but what challenge in that?

Being prepared to die...easy enough to say we can accept that inevitability. It can come at you in all kinds of ways, as with cancer to end-of-times-type scenarios. Hopefully, I can sound as self-assured as you, and I have during some moments in my life. I'm sure I will have forgotten to take out the garbage or pay a bill on that day and will be consumed with grief with something I forgot...even as simply as telling someone I hurt 'sorry' or that someone who needed an 'I Love you,' kissed upon the cheek with those last words.

With life comes great obligation...a bit too Spiderman-y an idiom? But, it's easier to overlook even when we are trying. There are things in our past, as small as anything you can imagine, that will overwhelm us when the time is right. It's always good to be introspective and be fully invested in self-improvement.

What you share has given me another opportunity to put into focus a writing life that has basically gone south since I've arrived. Unfortunate, when I consider I had greater goals for myself that this community could not facilitate, while requires a lot of my time. But, I am blessed too, because writers like you discover and share of me while I keep on questioning life, purpose and meaning as I age.

Good stuff! Thank you for this,

Brian

I am currently affiliating my reviews with your group "Space Blog, have stopped reviewing for number two and reviewing less for number one reviewing groups.

If you would like, I will link group reviews in an email or in the forum...but for now:

Review of "There was a Dog"
Review of "Responding to a Review"
Review of "Mama Said"
Review of "My Mind Compacted"


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