I love Remus and Tonks, so I was immediately drawn to your poem. :) My favorite imagery was "the shelter of second chances". It reveals her depression in thinking it's too late because it's already raining (regrets? tears?) and she's already wet.
"Incoherence" in the second stanza really sets the tone. It isn't that Tonks is speaking nonsense, it's that she can't clearly express herself. The images that come to her mind are disjointed.
The use of "cranial" in the fourth stanza is an alliterative but odd choice. It suggests skeletal figures, maybe watchers beyond the veil, but the end of the stanza refers to Remus with the following lines Tonks' plea.
Words wrap around my body in a twisted, grotesque internal lullaby reads awkwardly, just a little too long. Words wrap my body in a twisted internal lullaby would have conveyed the thought more fluidly.
I like the questions interspersed through the poem. The last one, though, I'm not sure is needed. It comes across as a little self-pitying, and takes away from the simple, and effective
My first comment has to be that I love the imagery you’ve created in this. You’ve painted several pictures in quite a short time, and I think that’s effective in showing Tonks’ state of mind – the incoherence as she kind of jumps from thought-to-thought, but at the same time, they link with the overall theme.
Soaked through, memory-stained.
The burnt out end of a once-lit spill.
I love the link you’ve made here with stain and spill, but I’m not really sure what you mean here. I thought maybe the wax of a candle dripping on a tablecloth or something, especially taking into account the burnt/lit. Still, I’d love to know what you envisioned with this stanza. Reading through this I like that you don’t make it completely clear, though, because of the incoherent idea. It makes me feel almost as if I’m Remus and seeing what I’ve done to Tonks, however unintentional.
These two words kind of jumble together for me when reading because they’re so similar and right next to each other. Again, they do give the sense of incoherence, but I think it would be better if you chose less conflicting words. I’ve done the same thing in my own poetry [a Remus/Tonks funnily], but I had comments about it then, and reading your poem now makes me appreciate how similar words too near each other can make it a little hard to read without stumbling.
Do you hear the incoherence in the words I speak?
As I’ve mentioned, I so love this incoherent theme. But, to me, this line is too... coherent, LOL. The very directness of it contradicts the muddle that is everything else she says, and I think it would be up to Remus to acknowledge her state of mind, not for Tonks to have to tell him. I don’t see Tonks as the type of person to put on an act -- look how genuinely depressed she is in HBP – so I can’t see her being incoherent just to win him. If anything, I believe she would try to make sense if she acknowledges her state of mind at all. Maybe this line would be better suited to the summary?
Carved, cloaked, cranial figures,
Embedded in my mind’s eye.
Immortal arts to haunt.
Gah, I’ve quoted way more lines than I usually do when reviewing, but I have to comment on the imagery here. I love the ghostly image you conjure up in that first line, and then the second line, which I think is so true. Like, where you just can’t get something out of your head -- and the first image here has implanted itself in your mind already, so that the second line is even stronger. Finally here, I just like the use of the word ‘haunt’ to link back to the first image of the stanza.
The only other comment I really have is about the punctuation. Poetry punctuation is so hard! What I think works another person thinks should be changed and so on and so forth. The thing I’ve got with your choice in punctuation is that you’ve used a lot of full stops, and to me that makes it seem a little too abrupt at times. I can see why she would be abrupt, and to a degree I like it, but I think you’ve maybe tipped over the edge into ‘too much.’ If you got rid of some of the full stops, I think you could have some nice enjambment, or at least a little smoother flow. You could change It’s already raining. And I’m already wet. so the first full stop isn’t there for example. I don’t think this needs cutting off into two to make the point. Another example: Tear down the barriers. Make them crumble. Here, maybe change the full stop after ‘barriers’ so it becomes ‘barriers – Make them crumble’. Really, I just think if you played around with the punctuation a bit you could take the poem up a level.
Again, love love love the imagery in this poem and thank you. xx
Author's Response: Thank you ever so much for such a full review! I really appreciate the effort you must have put into that, and all the comments you gave were very very helpful, so thank you.