Reviews For A Ghost Story
Reviewer: Fenrir_Confringo
Date: 10/10/08 9:40
Chapter: A Breath of Darkness

Great, I loved it. :)

Reviewer: GreyLady
Date: 07/17/07 13:35
Chapter: A Breath of Darkness

Out of all the poetry that I’ve read on this site, yours is some of the most professional. This poem is probably my personal favorite; it’s wonderfully chilling. The rhythm is so smooth and there seems hardly a misplaced word. It was nice to read something with such consistent form, too.

The choice of words paints very vivid images. The opening stanza is very powerful; I could see the candle burning down agonizingly, and then the sudden darkness. The verb “recoil” worked fabulously—overall, the creepiness of this poem makes it exceptional. The refrains are perfect in adding to it: “I hide my dreams and fearful things, / For who knows what the darkness brings,” and “Shut my eyes, close them tight, / Shield me from this ghastly fright.” They really make it seem like a ghost story. Some of my other favorite phrases in this respect were “I take a breath of darkness” and “They encircle me and my chair.”

Other favorite lines and phrases…

“Open my eyes, and close my mind”—very clever.

“Fingers point to my trembling hands, / Whose palms sketch the word,
innocence.”—chilling, though I don’t know about the verb “sketch.”

”It’s been gone since the good man died.”--another line that emphasizes the ghost story mood well, and I like how it sort of clues the reader in to who this person is and why they are haunted by their memories.

“So I crush the words with a fist, / Search my robes for a dream slayer.”—do I really have to say anything? ;)

But as much as I love this poem, I do have some qualms. In the third line a dash would be more suitable than a comma, I think, and in the fourth stanza I think a comma would be preferable to the semicolon. Also, in the sixth stanza, the first full stop seems like it ought to be a comma, or else the rest of it would become a sentence fragment. The semicolon in the ninth stanza is a bit oddly placed as well. You could remove it without disrupting anything as far as I can tell. The phrase “thought machine” struck me as strange too.

Nitpicking aside, the ending is just fantastic. “Have you ever heard a ghost story? / Marked with lost memories of glory. / Or seen the fawn murder the buck?” The fawn murdering the buck is a brilliant comparison. Deer are a traditional symbol of innocence, and I like the idea of an older/younger comparison, too.

Beautifully written.

Reviewer: Hermione_Rocks
Date: 01/29/07 19:25
Chapter: A Breath of Darkness

Fabulous poem. It's very chilling, and the rhyme scheme is really good too. Poor Severus though...

Author's Response: Thanks! Yes... poor Snape.

Reviewer: just_the_contrary
Date: 12/04/06 19:04
Chapter: A Breath of Darkness

Hi, Jeff...
Well, I picked this poem for my class. I had to. It's for studying couplets, because you put them so wonderfully into the poem. Plus, you are much too underlooked, so I'm forcing my students into loving your work as much as I do. :) So far, they like your poems. Hehe.
Love it.

Author's Response: Yes, cram it nice and deep down their throats. There will be to come shortly!

Reviewer: Saffron91
Date: 11/11/06 19:45
Chapter: A Breath of Darkness

Woah... So basically this is hella good. ;P
I'm just wondering... does it reflect his feelings post HBP? Well, that's what i got from it anyway. Fabulous job! I loved it!
kudos for brilliance,
Saffy

Author's Response: Yes, it was written to reflect his feelings post-HBP. Thank you for the review and the kudos!

Reviewer: JewellPotterFan
Date: 11/06/06 23:45
Chapter: A Breath of Darkness

Okay, yeah..."dark" and "chilling" are the words I came up with (while reading your other reviews, so I know there's nothing new with my words).

Reviewer: JewellPotterFan
Date: 11/06/06 23:40
Chapter: A Breath of Darkness

wow.......this is really beautiful. How come I can never find the adjective I'm looking for when reviewing things? Oh well, great job anyway!!!!! :-)

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. May I suggest investing in a thesaurus. I find myself adjective befuddled at times too.

Reviewer: Bane of Severus
Date: 11/04/06 10:15
Chapter: A Breath of Darkness

I really enjoyed reading it. It sounds like it was incredibly well thought out. One question though: Is this poem supposed to convey that Snape is afraid of the dark, or ghosts, or demons in his own psyche? Or is there an even deeper meaning to it?

Author's Response: Thank you for the review. yes, you could say that the "ghosts", for lack of a better word, which Snape sees are demons of his own psyche. Reminders of his guilt over the murder of Dumbledore.

Reviewer: Islander
Date: 11/03/06 22:03
Chapter: A Breath of Darkness

Wow, this is absolutely amazing! It's much better than "The Raconteur", and you should have won the Quicksilver Award! Amazingly creepy and well-written!

Author's Response: Thank you for the review. Didn't like "The Raconteur"? I guess free verse isn't for everyone. I found it quite good myself though.

Reviewer: crazy_purple_hp_freak
Date: 11/02/06 13:34
Chapter: A Breath of Darkness

Came across this on the main page...congrats on being runnerup for QSQs! This poem deserves it :)

I'm not very good at poetry critique...but I think that the rhyming and imagery in this is fantastic. The intro sets the scene really well and the ghostly, sinister atmosphere is maintained throughout the poem.

I love the rhyming couplets in italics, they enhance the 'fear' element really well.

A great poem. Well done!!

Author's Response: Thank you very much. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem, always good to hear. Don't worry, no one's good at critiquing poetry.

Reviewer: TotalLunacy81
Date: 10/29/06 3:28
Chapter: A Breath of Darkness

Great poem.

Author's Response: Thank you for the review, TotalLunacy.

Reviewer: Subtledagger
Date: 10/27/06 19:58
Chapter: A Breath of Darkness

Congratulations on being a featured author! Although it's pretty obvious why; this is a sensational poem!

Everything is really very goodl. The form is brilliant and the bits in italics that give it a dark childlike appearence are chilling. The rhyme scheme is really well done and the words are well woven and beautiful.

Wonderful poem! Made for a great bedtime read.

Author's Response: Thank you for the review, I had no idea this was featured until you so graciously enlightened me.

Reviewer: comewhatmay
Date: 07/13/06 23:12
Chapter: A Breath of Darkness

Well I particularly liked this one because
it was very dark. I like dark literature,
especially the aura of this one.
Good job!

Author's Response: Yes, I too enjoy a little bit of angst every once and a while. Thank you for the review.

Reviewer: pandafan81
Date: 04/18/06 14:53
Chapter: A Breath of Darkness

Wow! This was a very well written peom. To be honest, I'm not much of a peotry fan, but you captured the emotions so well. I'm very impressed.

Author's Response: Thank you for the review. I've just figured out why I've been getting reviews for this poem when it is pretty old. It seems this poem is the object of discussion in the Susan Bones Book Club on the forums. Well, feel free to tear this poem to shreds if you wish, I'm sure there's plenty to work with. =)

Reviewer: FanficWriterNikki
Date: 04/17/06 18:36
Chapter: A Breath of Darkness

Wow. You are an amazing poet. This poem was just so wonderfully dark, deep, and thought provoking. I usually am not a big fan of dark fics, but I loved this poem. It has a nice balance between rhyme and free verse and also with the mixed lengths of the stanzas.

One thing I really liked was how this poem truly captured Snape's thoughts. We are used to seeing him from Harry's perspective, but this was a nice change. Snape showed fear, courage, and determination, which were nice changes to see from the usual "evil professor" characterization.

Great job with everything on this poem. It really was a pleasure to read!

Author's Response: Thank you for the review, I'll admit I was nervous about my characterization of Snape in this poem, I really didn't want him to come off as a whiny coward in this poem. I'm glad you thought I pulled it off well and thanks again for the review.

Reviewer: kitkat2010
Date: 04/09/06 20:20
Chapter: A Breath of Darkness

Wow. Just astonishing! And delightfully dark. I loved how you inserted actions normal human beings would experience. Such as:

This time it happens so suddenly, I recoil when the black meets my eyes…

Wonderful. I also adore the parts in italics, especially the last three lines.

I'm am ine awe over Snape's characterization. I, being eager like I am, didn't read the summary. I began to read, not knowing the poem was about Snape, and found myself thinking during the middle of the poem, "This sounds like a Snape poem."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I do believe ninth stanza refers to Snape killing Dumbledore? That is the interpretation I got. Even if I am wrong, it still fits wonderfully with the rest of the poem.

There were a few spots where I was unsure about the comma uses. Rereading over the poem, I gues they are used correctly, but it might just be my reading style that makes them sound weird.

Overall, wonderful poem, and keep writing. P.S. If you see those tags around my paragraphs, please don't mind them. I'm still trying to figure this out. =)

Author's Response: Thank you for the great review. I rather liked the parts in italics also, they were there to add a catchy rhythm to the poem and I guess they did their job. I will review my comma use, I wrote this poem so long ago, and I'm sure I could find all sorts of problems with it now, lol. Well, thanks again for the review and I've begun writing again so you may see more from me soon.

Reviewer: MithrilQuill
Date: 01/15/06 11:56
Chapter: A Breath of Darkness

Wow, a delightfully dark poem. I liked it alot. Especially since it clearly told a story that I could follow, while still being very poetic at the same time.

I especially liked the parts in italics, and the ending line was very good.

Great poem, and keep up the good work, your poems always make my day when I read them...=)

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