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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*
 
So if you want to see how I review, my feedback is public. Don't be afraid to tap in and see for yourself. *Smile* UPDATE: IF YOU'RE AN UPGRADED MEMBER, you don't have to gift me points for reviews. Send me that one free merit badge you're allotted monthly and I'll review up to 4 mid-length poems, or one short story up to 5k words.
I'm good at...
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
Least Favorite Genres
Horror, fan fiction, some fantasy and sci-fi, or anything Lord of the Rings/Game of Thrones-ish.
Favorite Item Types
poetry, short story, essay
Public Reviews
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Review of A Violet Dance  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (3.5)
I think the last line of this poem says it all, "too many possibilities" of what this subject displayed in poetic fashion is about. Definitely could categorize this poem: philosophy, psychology, maybe.

I think this lacked a hook, lacked concrete imagery or directed subject to aptly apply. It was well written and haughty. It's a Poet idealist in love with fancy words that want to connect and reveal a deeper meaning which I could not fully devise.

I think you are on to something with this.

RR


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In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Oddman has odd syntax and style in approach that first gave me thoughts of a Gertrude Stein classic. I'm thinking the rhyming and meter were raw and unrefined. There is a message in this poem that relates well to readers and is unkempt like the cluttered mind that needs order.

It was entertaining and unusual as poetry goes. Thank you for sharing.

RR


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Review of Engraved  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (3.5)
I like idealism in poetry where we want to find ourselves in a shinier world. Definitely a poem foremost about spirituality, which you could add as a genre.

The syntax was off and you misspelled rain. Otherwise the message was strong, raw and searching for meanING. I think the Poet was in the moment like the described shine, and in this portal connecting with a message to translate to the world.

I wish I could connect to it better.

RR


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Review of The Beach  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Dear Robert Edward Baker ,

In completing your entry for the Verdant poetry contest, I could learn a form I have never used and appreciate with the provided link how well you completed each aspect of the rules laid out.

You added alliteration and applied a solid final two lines that serve as a sentimental and touching summation for this poem. Using the form correctly, there is an ease about the poem that allows me to gently consume the theme with clear intent and easy connection to any reader.

I think if I took points away from this, it would be hard. But, the poem directly describes rather than implies, It's emotion is felt but seems more directed than suggestive this way. For instance: instead of telling us 'daughter' you could suggest 'I take her tiny hand in mine,' as a for instance.

I also stumble on cliché phrases. They are hard to avoid when I write. I try come original when I pen, even if it means I will lose readers who don't have patience to discover underlying theme or expressions. In your poem, the lone weakness in language is, 'summer sun smiles down on me." The alliteration peaks here. I sacrifice alliteration over language like this everytime I recognize I've done this.

Upgrading to a better expression might take time and effort. I think your poem would benefit greatly with a unique depiction that could invoke senses. It may just rely on adjectives for sun, or avoiding sun but implying how it envelops the narrator with feelings in that scene.

You are constrained by form. That is your obligation. You have an opportunity with this poem, and I think material that could inform another poem and more -- with concentration on this slice of life to further reflect in any other style or form you like.

You have a great construct at work that could easily land the Verdant trophy. You could reel additional trophies personally from this exploit. Excellent work!

Brian

* Saw your comment this morning in newsfeed on Rachel's post and arrived to support a fellow writer and commend your effort. Thank you for the link.


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In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Hello,

When I see a poem like this, I ask myself how as a reviewer to best offer feedback, especially when auto-rewarded. I investigate more from description to genre to writer bio to learn a little more. Then, there is the approach to just give your gut reaction and don't sugar coat it.

You paint a stark, darkly humorous image of someone, maybe a disliked child, who died after eating a pencil that stuck in his throat. And gore, forced to rhyme, implied to me a situation I see as remorseless. The narration seemed voyeuristic like another child watching, enjoying, not helping. It's through the attempt to sound funny that it seemed sadistic and cruel. 'Bob would eat anything' I can assume little brother. Or, I think of a school setting.

If you went for disturbing, it worked. It's not artfully crafted, but I see it's appeal to like-minded adolescents. I see it is the open to (or ending of) something chillier than a Goosebumps book.

Brian


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In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Dear alisony ,

I can really put myself in the scene created by this poem. It reminds me how we can simply but eloquently describe our surroundings with an emotional connection to it. This poem reads how words should expressively move on the page. And, you send it off right with the last line, punctuating the poet's whistful feeling, no doubt inspired in a moment to pen these emotions into words:

"with stars freshly imprinted
on my eyelids."

The broken umbrella was the bittersweet, deft touch of someone letting how they feel slip through in the describing of mostly inanimate objects, that you/narrator say goodnight to. It might be that thing that just always sits there that we think might still have purpose. It represents how we feel about ourselves and we protect our broken umbrellas.

There's obligation to have to go outside, which I relate, and take care of these things set up outside our living spaces for purpose like entertaining. It reminds our little place is meant to encourage gatherings. This person is alone with dog. It helps set the mood.

Very short and to the point. I can imagine many readers would connect to this, as lonely people. I think we are all lonely in some way. When we write like this, we hope another like-minded romantic (perhaps) will see and agree.

Nicely done,

Brian
Circumpolar Reviewer


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Review of After It All  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Dear Mar Prax ,

I see a poem making an impactful point about the effect of war on a soldier, i assume. it is something that could go beyond war. I think brevity has served poetry well. I think here the writer has only a brief skirmish with the subject. this is worthy of deeper inspection, further perusal. an opportunity exists for the writer to challenger oneself, to really lay out something on these theme of drowning memory.

If it's true experience, then it would be difficult. I grapple with subjects and fail because it's too real. I'm not ready to deal. A brave writer would find something sobering in this to waken our hearts to realization of how cruel war.

One suggestion for improvement would be to replace 'they' with 'it' in second line. Thank you for sharing,

Brian



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Review of Scars  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Aur Dawn ,

I felt something at work here after reading the description line to this poem. The integral word 'diamonds' might be implied, but not revealed in the context to deliver potential impact.

I like the idea of brevity. In poetry, it can grab a reader with a deft touch. I would think the idea of tears leaving scars works better with diamonds flowing. Otherwise, the narrator would have been crying a long time.

As the creator, you know best how these tears and diamonds work together. I think it gives you an opportunity to describe more.

I think of those words as a final, sad send off to something. It feels like the end to a sad drama we've all experienced upon a time.

Brian


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Review of Longing  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Josh,

I spied this poem on the review pages and noted your poem was awarded a blue ribbon. I had to check your bio to learn more about you before offering feedback.

There is something simple and earthen at work here. You've taken three truncated statements that show progression. The narrator talks about rain falling expressively/suggestively and how the shower produces worms from the ground. That experience is then related to how the subject feels with an aching soul.

That in essence is how poetry is created. Congrats on the award and high marks. Hopefully, this adulation doesn't deter you from growing as a writer. I believe you can develop your gift here.

Brian


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Review of The Note  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Dear Cu-Bella Lestrange ,

I read with some pleasure your mono-rhyme described as children's genre with a story of a shopping trip gone awry. It gave me a tickle to see this silly adventure unfold. I knew from the open with the intentional bad grammar we were in for a ruse.

I see this was written some time ago and edited as recently as 2019. I wondered if the author was trying to improve upon it and had some thoughts of my own. Just a casual observer and thought it would be fun to ponder the possibilities with the poem's creator.

The mono-rhyme was a good prompt but mid-way through the read I was about ready to be done with it. I think at this point it lost a little luster as words were being reused, as with boat three times, twice in successful sentences. And, it had taken on an internal rhyme to boot.

I liked the story of forgetfulness. I think adults would chuckle at this too, especially as we age and forget. I think if this person is shopping for a goat at the store and can't remember, they are awfully silly and a bit looney. I think you could add more looney to the story. Everything this person does should be odd. It would be easy to pull down a rhyming dictionary on the internet and collect a bunch of non-sensical nouns.

Now, if you're not into revising this, you could, and maybe already have, make it part of a series. Perhaps, instead of first person narration, use third and give this person a funny name as they go on all kinds of weird adventures like this. It would add the ability to describe this person, who I imagine would do well to describe themselves in first person, probably with more of a haphazard aplomb.

Prompts are great, aren't they? They set us on adventures to find our goats. You may be half way to finding gold, I feel, if you keep striving to develop this. It might require easing up on the mono-rhyme. I'm not sure. It lends to this. I just think you could add more color and silliness about this person's forgetfulness and you might find more than just a kid's audience, if you play it right.

I think of stories that parents like to read to their kids because they get it and the kids get something from it, too. A common bond or connection is formed this way and is among the most desired books nostalgically remembered in this house. I'm reminded of the intelligence and entertainment value of a Pixar movie. You don't have to aim that big, but they get their theme across to both audiences.

Best to you,

Brian
Circumpolar Reviewer



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In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (3.0)
I read your article after seeing someone else had recently reviewed it and thought I'd read and possibly send feedback. I must say this is a surprising article see posted here. It's something that was on the tips of everyone's tongues for awhile, but in this day and age, most have moved on to other topics of interest. To me, it's about as dead as theories about JFK's assassination.

Your article reminds me of the National Enquirer type of stories I would see years back. It alleges information but does not provide sources or supporting evidence. Nevertheless, it is an ongoing, interesting subject matter to consider as you re-examine all the rumors, legend, folklore we've heard that have grown over time during many recounts. The truth may be lost in all the embellishments. You may want to ask why so many varied back stories and odd people come forward and not reputable folk who have the resources and desire to bring this fully to light.

Your article seems to ask or raise more questions than it answers and cites a video as evidence that may or may not still exist somewhere on the internet. You should hunt it down and link, if it is found. This is an example of what lends credibility to your article, rather than a lot of third to fourth party and beyond assertions that lack the true eyes and ears to assemble and inarguable offering of what might be best described as circumstantial evidence. Corroboration is the key in the finality.

Overall, the wow factor is there. The grammar needs to be run through a checker of some kind. I think this could read cleaner. You could focus on those assertions less aimlessly and discover each in the paragraphs, staying on point and following a progression to conclusion.

The best way to write an article like this is to make a thesis and tell how you will support it. Save the summary for the conclusion(s) you make for this. Or, the ending would be an appropriate time for all the questions. It reminds me of a lot of television episodes that do this in closing before credits. Tantalize with some folklore, mystery, items of interest and then ask your questions about what they mean.

You risk sounding like a conspiracy theorist with no true aim or focus, if you cannot directly draw lines from evidence to conclusions in an undeniable reveal/manner. Look at parts of these Roswell stories that are strongest and connect all those pieces to be the center (or breath) of the story.

Thanks for sharing this,

Brian
Circumpolar Reviewer



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Review of Home  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Dear Aur Dawn ,

This is a very nice and neatly wrapped up expression for finding home in another. It read a lot like music lyrics and has a quality to it that is melancholy and relatable to a reader such as I who dabbles in words relating loss without another to complete self or a vision sought.

In my personal opinion this is raw and could use a tighter edit, but could see it get over edited and lose some of its charm. It's the author's discretion how this poem reveals, but I'll throw a few for instances at you to see if my thoughts could coalesce with your vision for this poem.

I'll start by pasting sections of poem and showing other looks I imagined when I read this:

It was nice, it was warm
In your heart, that felt like home


Lyrical already and has a nice easy flow. I wondered at first about the use of verbs. Simple is sweet, but want to impact with each word used. Just a thought, but not anything I would necessarily suggest changes for from this point going forward as I read further, anticipating where this will flow...

Protected from rain
And from the storm
These days more
I miss my home


Words are good, maintain simplicity. But, I got tripped up a little by sentence structure affecting flow. Suggestions I suggest might differ from view of poem, but just for consideration of how I viewed.

Okay, stop. I read again and can make a case for 'these days more' that while awkward at first seem to fit flow okay. The poem is light on syllables per line and the tightness of read can make it difficult to keep this smooth. It was just three syllables on that line that got me more. Something to consider when you write is to make this dance with words last long enough to switch feet on each beat (my expression). If you move too fast or slow, the dance becomes awkward for a reader. My only concern, I suppose here.

My children might ask
Where am I from
I'll mention your name
There was my home


Here is where I would visualize this expanding to a wider audience who might not have children, but experience this emptiness the same. This line is personal to you, but I see a version uncoupling from the personal pronoun 'my' and leave 'children might ask/Where I'm from...' flipping 'am I' because I think it would flow better, despite tight read of lines.

I prefer 'I mention your name' versus 'I'll' in third line. And, 'There was my home' while effectual is somewhat awkward for me. Would 'He was my home,' be too on the nose?

I learn sometimes a little rearranging of words opens up other expressions that help the structure of a verse or poem, once re-envisioned. So, that is my suggestion for that section there.

But I chased my dreams
Started to roam
Got lost on the road
Far away from home


Good. Keep it. It fits lyrically as a song, matches the simple sweet-bitterness of the poem. It's a structural point in this writing where the narrator opens up the door to the experience, regret and perceived pain that we the readers can connect to. We say, Amen!

It was nice, it was warm
In your heart it felt like home


Excellent echo back to the open, your chorus. This brings full circle the opening reflection and re-explains what a reader might have been fuzzy about, what we experienced, felt and shared along the way in a very brief and poignant poem.

If I were writing something like this, I would overwork it until the bones of the thing weren't as good anymore. I would be trying to reach for words and expressions that would intone deeper meaning, the hardest lessons. This poem proves you don't need to be verbose, can be direct with easy expressions sweet to taste.

I think the poem invokes what touchstone represents. We can all connect with it and have these feelings of our own that while not the same are similar from experience, our humanity shared.

Well done and thanks for sharing,

Brian
Circumpolar Reviewer



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Review of Green  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Very progressive grasshopper. Knows what it likes and wants. It identifies by it's color, a strong green locust.

Big reveal at end of this poem because the narration had me thinking it was a person or the poet speaking of preference. Could have sold me this was an Irishman.

I wondered if grasshoppers change color to adapt. Googled a little about that, gave me something to ponder, including what colors they actually see.

Humans might be limited in ability to see color compared with other insect and animal species.

Good stuff to consider

Brian


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Review of Raising Ophelia  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Dear {super:wildone},

Where have all the good reviewers/writers gone? I had but once learned:

"You've definitely captured something...here - an almost muted, but still very present eroticism in the building of images; the contrasts upon which experience depends...and so leads to risk, and even possible crisis; and you have an ease with words and diction here, along with well-placed rhymes ... that is really layered and draws the reader into this world that is both strange and oddly natural."

As do you. Well captured visuals that stir emotions for this reader. Great reaction to Shakespeare's Ophelia. Bit awkward was line three that required punctuation where I stumbled. Wasn't sure I fully followed rhyme scheme. I write freeverse now.

Thanks for your past reviews,

Brian
C.R.


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for entry "Body Shopping
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Dear hullabaloo22 ,

Macabre. Congratulations on this "Body Shopping, as I was riveted wanting to know where this was going. Feminists would hate this story, because men decided the fate of a woman who was not only judged by her looks but allowed men to decide her fate in the end.

I think your depiction of how women feel about themselves as they age and how they are judged by society, not just men, felt accurate and humanizing for this character. I don't think the story fully revealed the motivation to check out this place, The Body Shop (made me think of a local strip club here: Ha! It could double as that! *Laugh* Maybe, be a front.). Anyway, if this story were more fully developed with more dialogue and maybe one or two more characters who make her feel insecure, you could really develop this into something publishable.

What I like about the ending is was it leaves the reader with this nightmarish realization of a cliffhanger. It's surreal and dreamlike in that aspect. It's like something someone would wake up from. It gives me all kinds of ideas, but the science behind this body swapping could make a reader wonder. It is standard, boilerplate science fiction, akin to time travel. A kind of fiction trope.

Though, I like the image of all the previous victims her age still remaining in those cases. Now, unless they get a lot of women in one day, or are especially cruel in leaving them there for her to see, it seems odd that they would just let her see that. I would think this operation would be working more covertly. I like that she feels alone amid this. You could have had the husband surprise her there at the end. But, it feels so cold that it makes sense he's not there to see her off before replaced by the hot hooker like woman. How come she gets to chose and not him? Hmm, wonder if he would have steered her toward a stable of women he preferred before she chose. You could go as far as her connecting to that choice because it reminded her of her young self. This is where you could imply cloned women or cyborgs or robots. Just stuff that pops into my head as I think about this.

I do appreciate that they work in a shady part of town, beneath the law, would be hiding what they do, working with elite and rich men who want Stepford Wives, I guess you can call it. I forgot about the divulgement of her wealth, which didn't really set in for me, except for one statement. You could show or describe in scenes their life. It might reveal she has become shallow and dependent on this lifestyle. Dependent on her husband's validation. In a way, she should have an inkling of what she's in for because she has to make a sacrifice to continue to live a superficial life. Though, to what extent her sacrifice must go becomes that shocking ending. She doesn't know she signed up for that, really. That's key.

I would suggest having the Body Shop technician, or whatever you would call him, excuse himself from the room for some reason, to allow her time get snoopy and to accidently bump something that causes a panel to slide open and she has to view all those other women like her. She hears him come back and closes panel before he sees that she realizes what's really about to happen. Just makes more sense that they would keep it hidden. Or, if he does find out she has seen, a "I really wish you hadn't done that," moment where he has to call in extra people to secure the room before the body swap, to make sure it goes off without a hitch. Wouldn't they sedate her for this?

I can really see this developed with scenes with not only the husband, but a friend who recently had a makeover (or, maybe from the same place and is barely recognizable) and she feels less worth. Judgment about appearance does come from both men and women, who compete. I would spend more time describing their life and impose more dialogue in this story, especially to get to hate him a little more. She excuses him, which makes sense. But, maybe let us judge him through his choice of words, or some described mannerisms or his appearance or what he prizes on his shelves of collections. I would really take time to cultivate this into something that hopefully allows for commentary on today's society.

I do like that this narrative is deeply rooted inside her mind. I would keep that focus deep-rooted as if dreamlike or a person journaling to oneself. It feels like inner dialogue, but I would interrupt it for outside dialogue from time to time like being woken from these dream episodes. It's a good style.

Okay, those are my comments after just one read. After perusing once more, I'm reminded I was surprised by the husband being named Gregor. I wanted to know more about that guy, like how he talks or what he does that acquires wealth. This woman could also feel insecure because she feels like a kept woman by not being a contributor to the household income? Just want more of the psychology of her character that plays on insecurity and valuing looks over most all. I gather they are without children? Don't have to tell, but it could be implied somehow and still keep story on point to its destination.

When I think about this story, its brevity gets us to the point quick, which I like. I think we just need some polished brass door knobs here, a domineering spouse with a Russian accent there, a friend who judges her too and the feeling of having to compete with other women. Just suggestions. You know best who or what these people are. Morality would give the story more flavor. It doesn't have to be overdone.

I think we completely dismiss what happens to those beautiful ladies at the body shop, almost like they are cattle, eh? What did they sign up for? She might have that realization, too. She might be wondering why she is looking at that stock/stable before ushered into a room. Maybe, she was thinking he wanted to know what she would prefer to look more like. The story may have implied too soon, and she should know, that there is a body swap coming. A great story would give a reader all the clues and signs she's overlooking or missing because she is too focused on vanity and insecurity to realize what this all adds up to. I feel like she did see it coming but gathered she submitted earlier than when she got into that room. This was not fully realized, in my assessment, as a man. *Laugh*

Okay, I've gone on long enough. Must look like rambling. It's a short story worth commenting on. It gives me ideas for stories when I read this. I had some thoughts in my own mind where this was leading and have one unique idea in the works that I may take up at a later date, thanks to your cleverness. It was a pleasure.

Brian
Circumpolar Reviewer

hope there wasn't too many tpyos ... ha ha, typos!

Men really don't have this worry about looks unless they are fat or bald or get older than sixty?





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Review of Resonance  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello James Munz ,

I found your poem listed as one of the new or "newbie" writers here and decided to look in and possibly provide feedback.

Honesty is what I feel writers want from reviewers; however, this site heavily leans on positive and encouraging interactions from this process. Pardon me if what I offer seems limited in the detail I could give from my thoughts, as I feel an obligation to this community to provide input that aligns within accordance of the values set forth that distill the reviewing process.

That said, I will temper honest revelations with what I see needs improvement.

This offering of yours is brief and reads quick and smooth and plays with words as expressions that have some vibrancy to them. The overall message and theme of the poem does not reveal in your description line, though I get a flavor of its genre as philosophy, spiritual and tribute. I get the philosophy angle primarily from this.

When I read poetry like this, I'm reminded of the spare thoughts shared by e.e. cummings in what I think was a final anthology of his previously unpublished work. To me, you are using some clever words as imagery related to the narrator as a complex, wired machine. Though, I think it might more about the process of one's personal creativity or ideation that sets oneself apart uniquely.

I find the writing to be a bit oblique and not concretely tied to a particular vision forming in my head about what I am to visualize. It is purely the spirit of the author being ascribed colorful words. It feels like you could get more from this experience if you associate it directly, comparatively in a way readers can relate. I cannot offer detail on what that would be, since this is the property of the author, and in accordance with their vision can only suggest providing more detail for a heightened experience for consumers of your art.

This poem to me reads as something deeply personal to you and is just the beginning of what I believe the writer in you can express moving forward with your skill, having mastered some visual word play.

Continued good writing to you,

Brian
Circumpolar Reviewer


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In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello Cali Falling ,

Here I am at a funeral? "Death of a Thought I eulogize?

I step up to this poem today that is intended to challenge the brain and I am intrigued by its existentialism, the description that reels me in. It seems we are getting deeply philosophical with this 'antithetical jotting' as I will call it. It is neither a poem nor prose, muse on that while I continue my eulog...review, that is.

'Death of Thought' is to me inspired by the notion that when we have something original or declarative to share with the world, the moment it is released it loses all special meaning. To this, I partly agree. We are assuming this is a perfectly formed thing with such originality it should be impervious to public opinion, unless...it is not?

However, ignorance is what likely will destroy the theoretical notion. In essence, we got Shroedinger's cat in a box and we're not going to let him out. At least, until I get done eulogizing...er, memorializing this poem of yours.

Now, for the purposes of experiment, don't we have to let this feline free? We have to see it struggle for acceptance, to gain any notoriety, to even act as a stepping stone to that next inspired thought that could carry the conversation forward? In essence, do we let the cat out of the...box? This is a rare cat that doesn't require the physiological to survive.

I agree with the poet's notions that we 'can murder a thought' if released. But, what have we to say if we don't? Would it make all thoughts and conversation moot? Should we all be like Tibetan monks and climb the nearby mountain to sit alone in silence and think, as if we can carry forward to nirvana previous notions into clarified, undeniably equitable arguments? How many monks are currently quoted in modern society? Well, they're not on Twitter exactly and news teams with their helicopters looking for divine answers likely won't reach out.

So, here we have a poem that states a simple philosophy that risks negating it's own argument/existence by being penned. And yet, it still has life. Someone wrote an essay-type review about it and could continue on this conversation over coffee and scones, but where in the world are people like you in the coffee shops, book stores, but online writing poems that multitudes will never see, let alone comment on?

My review will be public; I will share it. Will I give your poem new life, new meaning, a purpose? Will it bring notoriety to the reviewer who already knows his own worth in these rooms, the indifference unspoken. I too am a cat, an idea brought to life and uncelebrated. Why do you suppose that is?

The part about ideas spoken is that when they are not received well, they are attacked. When we chose sides over something that some disagree with, does it make it a bad thing? I say, anything that is polarizing, that keeps us talking, even when we don't agree, is the thing that identifies us and makes us a community. It is the thing that inspires a cat in a box to inspire activity.

So, keep slinging your notions and maybe with less philosophical posturing to get at the true worth of a comment spoken. And, thank you for sharing this thought within the incipient void.

You killed it's spirit
when you shared it with the world


It still breathes my friend, as do I, until my dying day. But, because I wrote and shared my notions, better chance of not being invisible to the ignorant who have yet to learn. Let's keep the coffee hot and the conversation alive.

Brian K. Compton
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3592 characters alive!


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Review of Where You Are  
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Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hi Joan,

Good job with the revision of this poem and putting more focus on the imagery and emotions unfolding by taking away the strain of the personal pronoun in a previous version of this poem.

As a reader, we can connect more in the moment by seeing this scene with memory slowing play out. I would think if you could capture more of the mood through specific images coalescing with feelings in this moment, you could heighten our awareness of how this moment comes about.

I see the narrator arrive at a moment nostalgically. Would like to get more of a flavor of those memories, what inspires the reverie. Your words move cleanly and fluidly in this moment and do inspire connections readers can relate with.

Brian
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219
219
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Rated: GC | (3.5)
Dear Cali Falling ,

Your story hooked me with that opening paragraph, and I imagine the initial thoughts are what inspired the author to beginning jotting down the story. I found it intuitive and insightful with a bit of dark humor I can relate to. It just needs more development from the composer, because it became cliché and lacked a sense of direction.

The opening to this did not mesh with what was about to happen next. Spongebob reference seemed out of place immediately. Slayer reference hit me out of left field. I guess I was not picturing someone with references like these from how I observed an intelligent forward to the story. There were some notable sentence fragments. It also lacks dialogue, relying on narrative and paraphrasing to get us through.

There is some serious irony at play about a person needing to self-actualize and love oneself, not to commit to another who is casual and doesn't serve others. About realizing weakness in character but not resolving. The conflict resolution thing is skirted.

The story seemed about getting what you deserve out of life. Just felt it wasn't poignant enough to convey that to a reader. Not truly evolving into an epiphany of any sort with that ending, which just left me with 'huh?'

So, if you're tackling this again, I feel some thought on direction, plot outline, or whatever needs to be done so this can adequately resolve issues that can give a reader something pleasing to consider. We want to see character either evolve, though reverting to old habits is the irony that also can serve story. Much preferred the person reflecting or musing about feelings on the npn-PC comparatives/revelations to the holocaust museum.

Brian
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Review of The Move  
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Rated: E | (3.5)
Dear krichmond86 ,

I found your story on the website and while reading thought I might drop off some feedback. I felt a bit of myself as a young man in what you share. Not sure at this reviewing if it's intended as fiction or trying to make non-fiction sound like an entertaining read.

“Well we aren’t moving all the way across the country without you. If you don’t come, we won’t go.”

This line above needs attribution. It’s a nice starting point for a story because the reader is curious why this statement is made. You don’t get to the answer right away. You went too long describing your situation. You could break it up into parts, sprinkling it in through the story where it helps a reader understand bit by bit why the family was going to put moving plans on hold for you.

Graph 2:
As this is non-fiction, I suggest not telling people you had just started learning to do laundry by 20, if as protagonist, you want readers to side with you in this story. This is the hardest part. Being able to perceive how people will respond to you moving forward.

I was 20- young, still learning life and had my first full-time job at a non-profit agency in Orange, CA.

What was the non-profit? What I want to know first?

I had only been doing my own laundry for a year before I was asked to move across the country. Away from everything I’ve known and everyone I’ve known.

Moving across the country seemed like a big choice…even if it was with my family.
We need to know what the situation was that would cause you to wonder why move across the country when you had a full-time job.


Those were just some of my initial thoughts. I ran out of time responding to this and just wanted to send those off before this feedback laid around too long in my review tool inbox. I wish you the best with your writing endeavor. I hope my comments were useful.

Brian
Circumpolar Reviewer



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221
221
Review of Crafting you.  
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Dear Sammy ,

I like what you are trying to do here. The description line helps me realize your vision for this poem. Sometimes, it's hard to get the vision right. The simplicity of the poem itself is essentially what makes it special. I have a few suggestions and an example for you to consider.

Since there is no real person, but a construct at work, is the personal pronoun 'I' necessary? Looking at this, it would be hard thing to edit out or restructure for the purpose of getting the reader to become the viewer of the thing you wish to bring to life. Is there a way to speak of this in third person that would allow a reader to still assume the narrator is in the poem?

If I could speak
I would talk.


Did you mean 'it'? If you did, it would change the whole thrust of that open and maybe the scope of what I am now reviewing. because the following lines"


If I could paint
it would be the Mona LIsa.
If I could construct
it would be the Taj Mahal.


I like the concept of this. It shows the ability, what's inside of us yearning to escape. I think as writers we all feel this is in us, but how to tap into it?

One word
a single brushstroke.


Nice. I see this as a great hook to open a poem. Riff off that because it feels like the starting point. It does serve well as the midpoint to this, jumping off the idea the poet must take the journey of a thousand miles with that first step, but with artistry and specific purpose...not an aimless journey.

Sentences
voice my thoughts on you.
Together
with layer on layer.
My words build you.


This part is where you may have felt the Taj Mahal wasn't being constructed and may have just ended it there. I think your paintbrush would agree you threw in the towel too early on this poem. Where was it going to go? It does, ironically show, the artist still struggles to tap into that gift of creativity. Anyone ever get poetic describing sentence construction? It's a boring process, but I'll bet if you google you'll find some inspiring words you could feed off.

This is a poem worthy of further consideration, even if it is never successfully painted like Mona. It is part of the writer's process to greater works. Who painted Mona, I'm not sure. But, I'll bet they struggled until she found acclaim. And maybe, not in that artist's lifetime. Davinci, maybe. Rembrandt, likely. Others, I've heard stories they had to die before fame found their works.

Pleasure to consider. Your poem does inspire thought and helps me carry forward thoughts about constructing poetry and envisioning potential talent. Keep writing,

Brian
Circumpolar Reviewer






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222
222
In affiliation with Circumpolar Reviewer *ALL CASE...  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Dear Becka Altea ,

This was a pleasure to read with unique word choices, expressions and form that catapults a reader from stanza to stanza. What was a change of pace was the use of masterpiece, that if you don't look up the expression, you won't fully comprehend it's like a triumph of hunting.

Applying words like bright in ears as expression was the most difficult to relate. I enjoyed, however, working on that. That's why as readers we ponder over word usage to get the message. It's better than a Sunday crossword, because we have arbitrary rules for consumption and reconstruction.

I chose not to look up all the definitions for bright. Someone could really have fun with a thesaurus changing all the intended words into something more reaching. That's what makes your poem fun to consider.

Great use of repeated words with surprise ending to show hunting is for the strong of mind and/or barbaric. I think this poem speaks to guilt and preservation of nature. It's like shooting that bird was like shooting one's soul to haunt dreams.

Sorry to wrap up review so quick, but it was a pleasure to read,

Brian
Circumpolar Reviewer


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Review of Troy  
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Rated: ASR | (4.0)
I guess I wasn't sure how to assess this writing based on a prompt to create backstory for NanoWrimo, but it shows there is story development in the works that does show some rising conflict to be considered in several relationships related to the main character.

It does go back and forth as a raw piece of directed writing. It doesn't show any progression or true conflict, but sets up some inner turmoil from this inability to please others, the father and the girlfriend. And, psychologically speaking, he's well suited as the type that would find himself in situations similar to the unresolved issues with dad. I could imagine he is not a problem solver, but an avoider through his decisions, like joining the military to get away from the man he cannot get approval of. Ironically, leaving the unapproving girlfriend in the process, because she is second to his nature to appease father.

I'm sure this was developed further and presented a sound basis and reasoning for his leaving home for the military and how that pans out for him when he returns, more of a man.

Brian Keith Compton


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224
224
Review of Where You Are  
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Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello JMariah ,

This is such a well revealed personal feeling and revelation that intimately touches a reader. It really connects the viewer with narrator in this scene depicted.

I would visually like to respond to narrator and inside the mind playing back memory even more to fully experience what I feel is just the tip of this berg.

I could suggest some ideas for editing to take more of the personal pronoun references out, once we can assume who speaks and to whom it's being referred. (You know what I'm reviewing to lend a hand and assist in whatever way I can. I seek self-improvement as a writer and find reviewing helps me deconstruct and reconstruct words in a more pleasing way. I hope this helps.)

I lay my unclad body down
upon my open bed,
(maybe, first chance to change 'my' and be more descriptive)
the gentle whispering of a fan
blowing against my skin.
And I think of you.
I close my eyes
and remember you touching me
(remember your touch, removing 'me', perhaps)
in the memories (memory repeated, delete line because following connects w/ line above)
that dance around in a time
far behind me.
(Delete 'me' here. It's shared time, anyway.)
And I long
to drag you into my room,
or go back to meet you
where you are.


Just a few suggestions so it's not so pronoun heavy. I can apppreciate being in this transcendent state. This poem could evolve into imagery, more specific feeling as to arousing the reader's senses. It's sweet and sentimental and definitely personal and relatable.

You could challenge yourself more when you approach a poem to connect reader to an experience, that while relatable, gives them unique flavor, a fuller story.

Very nice share here. Thank you,

Brian
Circumpolar Reviewer



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Rated: E | (4.5)
I found this to be very informative, however, as essays go I thought the writer was supposed to formulate an opinion or move the conversation forward. I did not see a thesis sentence or a conclusion that would take this evidence and put it in a new light.

Having said that, this was very informative and gave me insight into Freud and Jung that I found useful as a reader. The knowledge I obtained about dream analysis was intriguing and well written, for that matter. This gave me new insights into the way our unconscious minds work.

In thinking about your paper, I think Jung owes much to Freud. He essentially took dream analysis and ran with it in his own way. I was not aware that the two became popular because of this rising interest. But, I suppose it makes sense. Before modern time, I imagine it was safer to have your dreams studied than to be psychoanalyzed, which could be implied or inferred that you were half way to the looney bin. It was a safe method of studying the unconscious while getting at how your mind was processing thought through dream.

This paper did go into some detail about how the two approached dreams and the basis for their interpretation, beyond this mysticism of early times when they were not so clinically studied or revealed.

Thanks for sharing this,

Brian
Circumpolar Reviewer


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