Reviewer: Dory_the_Fishie
Date: 10/28/07 20:05
Chapter: In Different Constellations

-splutters a little- SPEW buddy! Man, I adore this poem; it’s absolutely wonderful. (And sestinas are quite difficult to write, I think, so major kudos to you.)

Of course, all the star/constellation imagery is lovely. I know that people use it a lot (including myself), but you just do such a beautiful job with it here. He blinks away tears, hums blindly at the sky I don’t know why, but I really love that line. Something about the humming blindly at the sky just puts this picture in my head and it’s positively wonderful. I really felt like you captured Sirius here, and Regulus as well. And, I’m quite picky about other people’s interpretations of my favorite brothers, so really excellent job. You dived into their relationship and just understood it and wrote about it perfectly.

The second stanza is so poignant; I got a real sense of how things used to be, and how reflective and nostalgic Sirius feels. Enough to fill an ocean; they stand, dis-united, two sides spilt by Fate. I love that line. And, for once, I understood the formatting in a poem. (Unfortunately, I am slightly poetry-challenged, and I tend to completely miss why people format things the way they do…)

The mocking songs of breaking glass melt into more tears
about the family, that was really only two of us now long gone

Guh! You’re killing me, Suzie dear. I really really love the words you’ve chosen to use for this sestina, because they all work so beautifully together (I dunno if you were assigned a specific set of words or not, but these are great just the same). I love ‘really only two of us’ and the breaking glass imagery and guh. Lovely!

where they will lurk in enemy trenches firing bullets; no interruption,
I think interruption is one of my favorite repeating words in this. I don’t know, it just seems so right. Interruption. And the enemy trenches is great here, too.

(He knocks, and the wind whips away his final fears as he hums to the sky.)
I told you I really liked the humming to the sky. -wink- But, yes. I love how this is set apart from the rest, and in parentheses, and in italics. Because, you know, I am a big fan of parentheses and italics. -shifty eyes-

So, all in all, I love this. Siriusly. It’s a truly beautiful piece, and so wonderfully portrays Sirius and his relationship with Regulus. I really need to go read more of your stuff right this very second. -trots off-

Reviewer: Sly Severus
Date: 03/30/07 21:18
Chapter: In Different Constellations

Amazing, Suzie!


I have no idea what a sestina is, but this was really good. The emotion and loss shone through wonderfully. Very well done.

Author's Response: Thanks for the review Elle! :D A condensed explanation - a sestina is a six stanza poem. You take the last word of the first six lines and rotate them round the other lines/stanzas, so that the line-endings in each stanza only ever consist of these six words, but in different orders. That probably didn't make sense...but ah well. :p Google it or something, and I think there's an excellent explanation in one of the poetry class threads. Try writing one! They're great fun, but frustrating at times. *hides* Anyway, thanks again! *huggles* ~Suzie

Reviewer: MJ_Padfoot
Date: 03/24/07 14:23
Chapter: In Different Constellations

I love it! I miss Sirius so much! Good job!
*huggles*
MJ

Author's Response: I know, me too! :( Thanks for the review. :)

Reviewer: hermione_at_heart
Date: 02/25/07 14:36
Chapter: In Different Constellations

Wow, Suzie! Again, I’m not usually one for poetry but I thought this was fantastic! It is very powerful and makes you think very deeply. I think I just liked the very memorable listing type lines the best. Hmm maybe I’m not explaining clearly, for example:

“diffused with anger, tinged with regret”
and
“Oceans apart, worlds separate, separately grieving, saturated with regret.”
Really well done with this! :D I will definitely take a look at some of your other poetry at some point too because I really liked this!

Phily :)


Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing Phily! :) This was the first ever sestina that I'd written and I wasn't really sure about much then, but I think it turned out okay. I'm glad you like it, you should check out the poetry on this site - some of it is fantastic!
~Suzie

Reviewer: Ennalee
Date: 12/31/06 21:21
Chapter: In Different Constellations

I don’t usually read poetry in fanfiction – the line between beautiful and sappy is dangerously thin – but I clicked on this before I realized it was a poem, read the first few lines just to see and then kept going. I am definitely impressed, and may have to brave the poetry section more often. You obviously have a very good sense of the sound of words; you do some very nice things with rhythm and alliteration in here.

One of the marks of a good poem is that it puts words together in combinations that make you think about things differently. “Hushed stillness…is interrupted by a wail…” You describe stillness, generally a quality used to describe motion or lack thereof, in terms of sound, and the image evoked is surprisingly powerful. Later on, you refer to “laughter days” – it’s such a short line, but it’s so evocative; laughter isn’t typically an adjective, but using it as one comes as a surprise and makes the reader actually think about it, instead of passing quickly over the words as we might have if you had phrased it in a more standard way. Great job!

I love the theme of interruption you have going: he shakes his fists at life’s interruption, and then later, “thoughts interrupting,” and even later “thoughts interrupted.” Not all repetition works, but this definitely does. Beautiful!

A few lines didn’t seem to fit in with the flow of the rest: (all very personal opinion, of course)

tinged with regret/ that things had to be this way. “Things had to be this way” sounds rather informal, almost slangy, when compared to the rest of the poem; I hate to tell you to try to be ‘poetical,’ but something a little less colloquial might fit better here. Likewise, “Wind whips away nature’s goodness until it’s gone,” the contraction (“it’s”) seems informal; I know you don’t want to sound too formal, or stiff, but I think that “it is” or even “it has” would be better in the circumstances. Aside from that, I love the alliteration in that line – there’s something special about alliteration of w words, for some reason.

He breathes in sorrow-mingled hope, wipes away tears, but still, tearing apart inside. I love the “sorrow-mingled hope” part; my one critique hear is that the idea of “tearing apart inside” is rather cliché – you’ve done a good job in the rest of the poem of using words unconventionally, which makes us pay attention to them. The sudden jump into a cliché also makes us pay attention, but not in such a good way – unfortunately, since that is a great phrase – it’s been rather over used. Can you find a way to express his emotions that is less evocative of nineteenth century romance novels, and more in keeping with the rest of the poem?

Perhaps my favorite line in the entire thing: “faces alike with tears” . The idea that everyone is alike in their grief – it’s beautiful, and you manage to express it in such a short, pithy phrase. I think the poem gets stronger as it goes along – the end repetition is beautiful (I seem to be using that word a lot in this review). In fact, the entire poem is quite lovely, and I will definitely be paying more attention to the poetry section from now on. Great job!


Author's Response: Wow! First of all, thank you so much for the fantastic review!! *grins and hugs* As this was an assignment and I’d only heard of what sestinas were the week before, I really wasn’t sure how it would turn out! I found the line endings really hard to manipulate – it’s so difficult to make the lines end with particular words! “interrupted” was probably one of the hardest, and I wasn’t sure if it had worked in places, but I’m glad you liked it! Gaah! I know what you mean about the “things had to be this way”; it’s my least favourite line of the poem and I really wanted to change it but couldn’t think of anything better. *hides* I agree that it kind of sticks out a bit as too colloquial…I don’t know whether I should change it at some point if I ever think of anything better… *squee* The line about wind was one of my favourites because of the alliteration, I thought it sounded kind of ‘sharp’, and a bit like wind really. The only reason I wrote “it’s” instead of “it is” or “it has gone” in that line, was because I thought that an extra syllable made the line drag on a bit. The same with “no ceasefire ‘til the backwards door forever closes…” I have a habit of letting lines run away and get too long! I hadn’t noticed the cliché until now, but it does seem kind of obvious…hmm. It’s another one of those cases where I need to keep the motif of ‘tear’ as the last word, to make the sestina structure still apply. Again, I might change it if I think of something! Thanks! I’m glad you liked this poem. You should definitely check out some of the (better) poems on the site! *cough* Noldo and The Half Blood Prince *cough* :D I wasn’t into poetry that much until recently, and now suddenly I’m obsessed! No idea where that came from… Once again, thank you so much for the lovely review! ~Suzie

Author's Response: Damn. Um...where did all the spaces go??

Reviewer: Diamond Quill
Date: 12/24/06 14:48
Chapter: In Different Constellations

*cries because this was so lovely*
It's beautiful, thankyou for such an awesome christmas present. I love the imagery and the description but the formatting confused me a bit, too many indents for my poor tired eyes. :) Unfortunately Like The Stars isn't up yet (I left a comment explaining on your LJ) but when it is I will enjoy adding much linkage towards this poem.

Have a splendiferous Christmas,
lots of love
Claire xxxx

Author's Response: *hugs Claire and hands over eyedrops* Yeah, I went overboard with the spacing...it's fun! I replied to your LJ comment, so go look there! :) ~Suzie (and thank you so much for reviewing!!)

Reviewer: just_the_contrary
Date: 12/20/06 18:24
Chapter: In Different Constellations

Spectacular! *claps* This is an incredible sestina. The structure is correct, and the way you've inserted italics and unique spacing makes it all the more intersting. What I love about your spacing is that there's always a reason for it - you never have random spacing just to look smart. There's always a reason and it always makes sense. You've done wonders with the rigid structure. Amazing, amazing job. My favourite line is the line in parenthesis and italics - humming to the sky is a wonderful image as well as an onomatopoeia. *loves*

-Prof Jenn

Author's Response: Aww thanks! *blush* I tried to make the spaces and structure seem as relevant as possibke...though I think if I did any more, it probably wouldn't have fitted on the page! I love sestinas now! Woot! And thanks for being such a fab Prof, I really enjoyed this Arithmancy class and learnt loads. *huggles* ~Suzie

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