Reviews For The Raconteur
Reviewer: The Half Blood Prince
Date: 06/08/08 7:06
Chapter: Chapter 1

Yes, quite a lot. I'm currently spending time over at poets.org, ablemuse.com and alsopreview.com. You learn so much there; I've even had the pleasure to meet Richard Wilbur and Dorianne Laux at those sites.

Maybe I'll see you there someday soon? Let me know. (email: inevitably.grey@gmail.com) :)

Reviewer: mcclure_512
Date: 06/07/08 21:52
Chapter: Chapter 1

A great poem. This and other poems of yours, I remember, helped a great deal in resolving qualms I had had with free verse. Still writing I hope, away from fanfiction.

Reviewer: Lurid
Date: 04/11/07 0:28
Chapter: Chapter 1

Okay, so I’ll be the first to admit poetry isn’t exactly my specialty. I find as a writer not only do I have trouble with figurative language, but also wordiness. So congratulations to you for being able to say what you mean in such a minimal amount of words.

Can I just be stupid and say that I wouldn’t have realised who it was, unless I’d actually read the reviews and seen the name Sirius. I also have no idea what a Raconteur is, either, so that probably didn’t help.

With my limited knowledge of language techniques and their effects and whatnot, I can’t actually pick something out and say, “Oh yes, this shouldn’t be here &c.” but I guess what I can give you is a bit of reader’s feedback until such times as I do know all the special little things that make up a poem.

One of those things
we cannot but
properly misunderstand,
misplace–

I think your use of “properly misunderstand” is almost as if the two terms cancel each other out. I know, reading Noldo’s review that she was as confused as I was at first, but coming back to it, I don’t actually mind it that much. I think the wordiness actually adds to the confusion that comes with the term fear. It’s almost as if when reading through it, you almost get the meaning of it, like you get a feeling but aren’t completely baffled by it; you feel the faintest touch of it. That’s my interpretation, anyway.

As for misplace… my understanding of this poem is that there’s fear all around us in that we can’t escape it even if we don’t understand the different types of fear, or recognise the multitude of it. Correct me if I’m wrong, I’m very new at this reading-into-the-poetry stuff.

But at times you wonder
if it is that which comes
to an all-snagged falling
into
the not-known
(all turning, all black–)

I have a feeling of disjointedness in part II (why are they so labelled, by the way?) which really does follow the “falling”. Although, perhaps I’m not to be thinking about it too literally? In any case, the half-lines (hemistich?) are really effective here.

rancid,acid breathing

Just for punctuation’s sake, there should be a space after the comma.

And those last few lines really do make me shiver. The use of the word “prickle” is very effective.

So I’m sorry if it wasn’t exactly the most in-depth of reviews, but I’d love to chat with you one day about poetry so that I may actually be able to understand it a little more. I must say, apart from your LJ, I’ve never seen a poem structured like this! It’s very interesting and pretty to look at :).


Author's Response: *loves* You're TOO good for me, Steph.

Reviewer: PumPkin_JuiCe22
Date: 11/09/06 19:38
Chapter: Chapter 1

wow.........that was amazing
~kelley

Author's Response: Thank You! :)

Reviewer: Bane of Severus
Date: 11/02/06 15:34
Chapter: Chapter 1

Cool, thats deep, man. Keep writing, alright?

Author's Response: Of course. I have another poem in queue, already; hopefully, it won't be too un-HP related that it won't get accepted. Thank you for your review. ;)

Reviewer: EtherealElation
Date: 11/02/06 0:18
Chapter: Chapter 1

Woah..
This was spectacular. All out - oh my goodness, what an awesome poem. Good job on the freeverse situation, and I love the occational sidethoughts in parenthesis... Loved it. Bravissima!

~Juliet

Author's Response: Thank you, and an even bigger thank you for telling me you enjoyed my work - I could need, I have figured, some confidence, which I am severely lacking after I post a poem on this site. Again, thank you! =)

Reviewer: cor_leonis
Date: 11/01/06 18:56
Chapter: Chapter 1

This was really lovely--evocative imagery. I'll be the first to admit that I am completely clueless when it comes to writing poetry, so my knowledge (or lack thereof, really) is limited to what I like, and how I interpret it. But this is really very telling of fear. I really like how you structured your poem, with the breaks and the pauses and the interjections. It reads like art, if that makes any sense. My favorite lines were:


all guesses, all mere

hollow thoughts without that
room for slight correctness,
based on not-facts,


and self-morals–
false, perhaps?–
and nothing else.


I think it describes Sirius' situation clearly. Well done. :)

Author's Response: I wasn't much into poetry before, either; it started four months ago reading the works of William Carlos Williams (you know who he is?), and took off from there, to be honest. And I think I've written, in that time, around twenty poems, this being one in the middle. You know, that part was my favourite as well: it was one of those sentences that just came. Thank you very much, cor_leonis. :)

Reviewer: Noldo
Date: 09/29/06 9:02
Chapter: Chapter 1

One of the things which always strikes me about your writing is the fact that it always sounds wonderful - the words you choose always read and flow beautifully, but this occasionally gets in the way of comprehension. I think I've mentioned before that quite a few of the phrases you use come across rather as though they're intended to sound pretty, and not as though they've been used to convey a specific meaning (which is, after all, the point of most writing). Of course, this is less jarring in poetry than in prose, but it's still present in places.


once in ink and once in speech;
grey and black and somewhat lost;


This is a lovely image (especially the 'somewhat lost', which is rather evocative), but doesn't seem completely relevant to what you're talking about - why a written description of fear? (Which I assume is what this refers to, although I could be terribly wrong.) The poem would probably work just as well without these lines.


properly misunderstand,
misplace–


I'd take out 'properly' here, mostly because 'properly misunderstand' is an extremely peculiar concept, and jars the reader out of the poem for a second; the flow probably wouldn't be interrupted by that, if you moved 'misplace' up a line. (Incidentally, why 'misplace'? It's only really used to mean 'lose' (in a very trivial sense - I've misplaced my spectacles, et cetera), and I doubt it fits what you're trying to say.)

I love the description of 'hollow' thoughts, and the way you partially deconstruct fear in the next few lines - it's evocative, and very interesting indeed.


As far as the second part is concerned, I'd probably bring 'thing' into the same line as 'odd, ambiguous', and let 'But' begin the new stanza - it seems to flow a lot better, since a line-break in the middle of a sentence works a lot better when an entire thought has been completed (which it hasn't, here). I'd also probably lose that last '(fear-)' - the poem works perfectly well without it, and ending it with the 'you' is, in my opinion, both far more elegant, and a lot more haunting.

Criticism aside, though, the poem's extremely well-constructed, and I particularly like

Sometimes you
wonder if it is this
feeling (cold, lingering)
on your back, on your skin;
this slight prickle
on your arm


which is both appropriately chilling and extremely well-worded. Lovely work!

Author's Response: Noldo, I love you. (In a purely platonic way, yo.) I'm going to see what I can do with those suggestions. :)

Reviewer: blackpaw93
Date: 09/25/06 1:07
Chapter: Chapter 1

It's gripping, descriptive and powerful. I actually felt fear, I shivered during the last verse. It's wonderfully well written. Keep it up!

--Georgia

Author's Response: ::looks at reply; --begins smiling:: Thank you very much for the review; am flattered. Don't particularly know what else to say. =)

Reviewer: GreyLady
Date: 09/16/06 16:40
Chapter: Chapter 1

I loved it. No, truly I did. Your amazing structure and word choice and every careful placement of punctuation--it all embodies fear. I'm just stunned--it can't be improved upon. Fantastic job.

Author's Response: Um, how to reply? As I'm left rather speechless (exceedingly so), I hope a truthful "thank you" is acceptable, and that this reply doesn't come off like too formal. I'm still a little surprised by getting yet another lovely review, you see. :) (And thank you very, very, very much for adding the poem onto your favourites.)

Reviewer: BeautyInTheBreakdown
Date: 09/07/06 22:05
Chapter: Chapter 1

I loved it. It is so amazing. Those are the most constructive words I can think of right now. You really know how to write poetry! I've not talked to many people who can. This was fabulous. The bits inside brackets add so much to the poem. I've never seen that before. I really love it. *I think I said that already* Anyway. It was fabulous. :)

~Gabby

Author's Response: Thank you: I am very much flattered! Hopefully I will post more poems up soon. (School is stealing my life.) <3s Gabby! =)

Reviewer: xMBx
Date: 07/11/06 12:59
Chapter: Chapter 1

Beautiful poem!!! LOVE IT!!! :-)

Author's Response: Thank you very much. Your comment is appreciated. =) - James

Reviewer: Periwinkle
Date: 06/28/06 20:51
Chapter: Chapter 1

James, this is really quite amazing.

It's a very complex poem -- the words come randomly, yet they mean so much. The stanza and how it's written is very unique, and your word choice is queer yet perfect for it.

I can't express how awesome this poem is - you have a real talent for coming up with something so original!

Author's Response: Thank you, Anna! And thank you so much for this awesome review. I really am rather flattered. =)

Reviewer: just_the_contrary
Date: 06/28/06 9:09
Chapter: Chapter 1

Oh, my goodness. You dedicated this (half) to me. I am so flattered! Anyways, this poem is amazing. I love the effect, and as I said I love the second person. I also love the parentheses and hyphenated words, they really add to the effect of the poem. My favourite part:

They say fear is a strange thing
(tones ragged, low, on the lips)


and

Sometimes you
wonder if it is this
feeling (cold, lingering)
on your back, on your skin;
this slight prickle


and

comes to an all-snagged
falling into the not-known


which is practically half your poem, but that's what makes me love it so much. ;)

Keep writing these astounding poems of yours!

-JTC



Author's Response: I am flattered by your review (and such a lovely one, at that). I really don't know what to say without my words turning uneloquent and the like, expect a huge, huge "Thak you". (I agree with you on "comes to an all-snagged falling into the not-known" - if I might be allowed to say so myself, it came out just as I wanted, sesquipedalian and intricate and yet understandable.) Again, thank you so, so much for this lovely review! =)

Author's Response: And I'm on your favourites! And my story, as well! OMG! I don't know what to say ... *wide-eyed gasps*

Author's Response: Really ... I've got no idea.

Reviewer: Evilpersonified
Date: 06/28/06 8:35
Chapter: Chapter 1


Oh wonderful! Well, you know I love it already, but oh! It's just so expressive, so powerful...*sigh* I wish I could write like this.


I particularly love the words in bracets. Not only do they work with the poem to give it an undercurrent, they make their own poem. String them together and you have another gorgeous piece of poetry. Brilliant.


And I love the last two lines...This rancid, acid breathing (its)-on you (fear-). EEEEEEE just so....chilling. Can completly feel this. Gorgeous.



One minor crit: Is the one in one in speech meant to be once? Just wondering ;)


Again, great job! Wonderful, wonderful poetry. WRITE MORE. hehe


-Hannah-


Author's Response: Now I am severely happy you cannot see the colour my cheeks have become. (Although you may know already, no?)
Interesting notion about the words within the parentheses; while I did use them to create a certain after-effect (and an undercurrent) of lingering, I didn't even think about them making their own poem. But when I read the poem over again, I actually noticed. =) And I'm glad you liked the last two lines - they were the ones I struggled with the most, because I just didn't manage to get them right. I think that last stanza in particular has undergone around ten revisions. And so it means a lot to me to know that my work paid of in the end. But Hanna, thank you, thank you, thank you; you're amazing (and you know it). And you give so nice reviews, as well. =)

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