He found out his wife was with child
And he took it the wrong way
As the fear of his child being wild
Took his common sense away
Without warning, he had gone
Without so much as “goodbye”
It took this coward’s friend’s son
To make him go back by asking “why?”
Because what he did was unforgivable
Almost as bad as those curses
He just felt so miserable
Until at last he followed his urges
When he heard her say his name
And, God, he missed that voice
So he dithered and at last he came
It was certainly the best choice
These two verses, I just can't figure out whom they're about. I feel like an idiot, but there it is. Please tell me.
The first is Remus and the other is Ron.
I liked how you dedicated a stanza of this poem to each character. Beginning with defining remorse was a very neat idea, which I’ve never seen done in a poem before. However, I thought it worked nicely; especially, since you didn’t directly quote the dictionary, but rather phrased it in poetic form. I think the first stanza was about Harry, which was an interesting choice. If you asked me for characters feeling remorse, I probably wouldn’t list Harry immediately. When I think about it, though, he does feel a huge amount of remorse for everyone dying for him. I liked that you only described one episode of Harry feeling guilt over someone’s death. It kept the stanza focused, and I think if you had detailed multiple deaths that Harry felt sorry for or vaguely described many the stanza would have felt cluttered.
Lupin also was a choice that made a great deal of sense when I thought about it, but who I wouldn’t have thought of immediately. He does appear to blame himself for everything, and I can completely imagine him feeling very guilty when he returned to Tonks, after running away. Again, I thought that the stanza flowed quite nicely. I liked how you alternated the rhyme from line to line, rather than having every set of two lines rhyme. It gave the stanza a very structured flow, and kept it from sounding like a Dr. Seuss book (which I also greatly enjoy, but I don’t think it would work for this subject matter).
In a poem about remorse, Snape was an obvious choice. The flow was lovely, as always, but I’m not certain about the second to last line. I liked the idea you expressed, but it sounded a little long and wordy to me. Previously, all the lines in the middle of a stanza were of similar length, and all the lines so far in this stanza seemed to follow that pattern. I think that even though the syllable number in that line was similar to all the rest in the stanza, it felt that the line was somewhat separated by the word ‘and’. If it were my piece I would reword it along the lines of “So he dithered until he came.” Obviously, since you used ‘until’ earlier in the stanza, I wouldn’t use it again so soon. But I would use a word that indicates the passage of time, since I think it’s important to emphasize that he dithered before he came. I think since the word ‘and’ is often used to separate words in a list it broke the flow of the line a slight bit.
I’m not sure whether it was intentional, but I liked how you progressed from Harry, who I think we all agree is a really good guy. Through Snape, who is debatably a good guy, and Wormtail, who I don’t think many people like at all, to finally Voldemort, who is the ultimate villain. The stanza about Wormtail was, I thought, a nice transision between Snape and Voldemort. I liked how you began the stanza with having him not really regret or feel sorry for his actions, and ended it with him sort of sacrificing himself because he suddenly felt remorse.
I liked how you dedicated two stanzas to Voldemort. The two stanzas, I think gave an accurate portrayal of Voldemort’s inability to feel any remorse for his actions. The first of the two just gave an overview of Voldemort’s actions. I think that made the last stanza, detailing Voldemort’s refusal to feel any type of remorse, far more dramatic and powerful. I loved how you showed a contrast between Voldemort, Harry, Snape, Wormtail and Lupin. Beginning with characters who displayed huge amounts of remorse, I think, made the contrast with Voldemort very clear and climactic.
I thought that defining remorse between almost every stanza tied the poem together. However, I think it sounded a slight bit repetitive after a while, and began to detract from the main focus of the piece. I really liked how you led into the poem, by defining remorse. However, I think that repeating the definition (even though it was phrased differently each time) became somewhat redundant and broke the flow. I feel that the emphasis in this poem was on five characters dealing with remorse, and including more just shifted attention off the main idea of the piece.
I really did enjoy the piece though. I liked how you included people I wouldn’t have originally thought of, and provided contrast between the experiences of the different characters. I hope all this rambling was at least semi-coherent.
Author's Response: Hello, SPEW buddy! Wow, your review is far, far more detailed than mine. I'm sorry for being such a rubbish buddy; that's why I'm not using that for my monthly requirement, LOL. :)
I'm glad you liked the idea of defining remorse. Initially, it was only meant to be one definition... but then my muse sort of took over, and I defined it for each person in the end. And yes, I definitely agree with you re Harry. This poem wasn't meant to be all about Harry; it was meant to be about other people, so it's good to know I didn't go off track or anything!
Remus was a slightly unconventional choice of mine, so I'm glad you thought it was a good one after all. The alternating rhyme scheme was a pain in the you-know-what -- and I have read a Dr. Seuss book too, and agree with you that it wouldn't be fitting given the subject matter in the poem.
Actually, the stanza you speak of is about Ron, not Snape, although I suppose it could apply to both now you come to mention it. When I get a moment spare, I'll definitely use your reviews for reference when I finally get a chance to edit these poems, because the suggestions you gave are very helpful. Thanks for those.
You may or may not have seen, on the boards a while back, there was a discussion about how much thought you put into your work, and if you intentionally make your poems/stories drip with symbolism and are filled to the brim with literary techniques. I never do, so I'm always delighted to see that someone's found a pattern I unintentionally inserted into some of my work -- like the good guy bad guy thing you pointed out. One of the many things that makes you such a wicked SPEW reviewer is that you have such a keen eye for detail, and you notice little things like that (which, often, I don't notice!) so thank you again.
Voldemort was always going to have two stanzas, purely because the whole poem sort of builds up to Voldemort. The other men -- Harry, Ron, Remus and Peter -- have souls that are whole, unmaimed, whereas Voldemort's has been ripped apart due to his lack of remorse, so it was always going to be Voldy at the end. He has a kind of dubious honour, LOL.
I know, it was rather repetitive, repeating the definition of remorse, but I genuinely thought that if I did not stay consistent with that pattern in my poem, the stanzas couldn't tie the poem up, like you said, so I don't think I can really do anything about that. But thank you for pointing that out; I will definitely bear this in mind later.
Meg, you didn't ramble at all. This review, as always for you, was absolutely stellar. As you could see from my crappy review of your poem, I can't review poems well, so I so fangirl you for being able to do it so effortlessly :) Thank you thank you thank you!
*squishes SPEW buddy*
I’m always in awe of writers who are able to write poetry that fits so neatly into the world of Harry Potter. I can’t write poetry as it is, but I do enjoy reading it and I can easily spot which ones ‘work’ for me and which ones don’t. Yours definitely worked. It was powerful, and embedded one of the most important messages Rowling has tried to portray over the course of seven books. Wonderful job with this!
Throughout the poem, I liked the repetition of the ‘remorse’ stanzas, which showed different definitions of the word and sort of led into what the next stanza would be about. My absolute favorite lines from the poem is from one of these stanzas: “to feel deep shame/In the actions one has done/To realise one is actually to blame/To see what one has become”. Your tone in these stanzas changed from when you narrated the ways each of the five men felt remorse. It felt more official, more stoic, and I thought it was a good style on your part. It helped to break up the stanzas, yet leave the reader guessing who the next one would be about.
It was intriguing how your first remorseful man was Mad-Eye Moody. He isn’t one that would jump to mind at first (I thought of Peter first to be honest, as I read the poem’s summary) but the way you’ve written it gives fresh insight to his death. The responsibility he feels and the failure he is condemned to face once he is killed strikes home, and is nicely written. It’s different than what most people would expect, but I think the way you’ve portrayed it will work positively in that it makes readers think about his last moments. We only know, after all, the grief that the Weasleys and other Order members felt when they realized one of their own had fallen. It makes perfect sense after reading your poem that Mad-Eye would experience some sort of guilt as he died when he was supposed to be a protector.
The only nit-pick I have over this is that some of the rhymes seem a little forced, such as “child” and “wild” (the latter word is not how I’m sure Remus would describe his fears for his child), or “shirt” and “dirt.” They were a bit jarring, but nothing more. Some were imperfect, like “treachery” and “cleverly”, or “that” and “sapped.” I think if all the rhymes were imperfect, it wouldn’t make such a striking impact, but because most of the other words fit neatly together the lack of rhythm between the two makes them stick out. These didn’t really take away from the poem, but I felt as though they disrupted the flow a little bit as I was reading (and enjoying!) the poem.
Finally, I loved how you ended with the one man who would not show remorse. Your isolation of Voldemort, putting him at the end, really made him contrast to the other characters and how in the end they were prepared to feel the pain. It makes his cowardice even more overt, but it also makes readers feel for the characters who did choose to show remorse in that it was probably very painful for them but they chose to go through with it anyway. Voldemort, on the other hand, ignored his last chance for salvation because he realized what it would do to him, and that he would have to come to grips with the fact that he had murdered so many innocent people.
I’m glad you were the Featured Author and that I got to read this because of it! You are a talented poet, and your work is really worth reading.
Author's Response: Hi Ariana! I'm glad you liked it. I'm actually not a massive fan of poetry either -- I can easily pick out which ones work for me as well. Mostly, that would be poems that rhyme. Wow, I'm really chuffed you liked the remorse stanzas. They were the easiest to write, so perhaps that's why. I have no idea where this poem sprung from. Honest. It just... popped out of nowhere, LOL.
I actually intended my first remorseful man to be Harry and not Moody, but now you come to mention it, why not? I suppose Moody is more than applicable for the verse, especially because I said "he died along with the owl". So I'm glad you liked that. And I thought it was fitting, given how Hermione was saying that stuff about survivor's guilt and everything.
I know some of the rhymes are forced. It was really difficult getting everything to rhyme, to be honest, so I'm more relieved than anything that you didn't pick out every single rhyme. You're right -- it interrupted the flow a bit. I'll bear that in mind next time and if I have some time on my hands after exams, I'll definitely edit it.
And I'm very happy you liked the last verse. I hate Voldemort for not wanting to feel that remorse and that pain, even though the damage he had caused by ripping his soul apart was worse. I'm really glad you came by to visit, Ariana. As you know, I love your work, and I'm honoured you would give one of your SPreviEW-Award-winning reviews to me. Thanks for the wonderful review!
this is really awesome, i love this little bit of poetry! you should do another one!
Author's Response: Oh, wow, thanks so much! I'm so, so glad you loved it. This is one of the few things I pride myself on and actually, I have two other poems on the archives at the moment: Always and Regret. Check them out if you want and review them! ~Soraya~
Wow! Wow,wow,wow...this was simply amazing. Great choice of concept, words, everything. That concept of murder ripping the soul and the pain of remorse haunts me too.
Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing, Rose! Yeah, this was meant to be a bit of a haunting poem...the most insightful thing I could ever write, hands down. I'm glad you liked it and thought it was amazing! ~Soraya~
I enjoyed this poem. :) It was well written and flowed easily, like a poem should (Unfortunately not all do...) The five men were Mad-Eye, Remus, Ron, Peter, and Voldemort, right?
Author's Response: I'm relieved you think my poem flows easily and is well written--I know exactly what you mean about poems not doing that. The five men were actually Harry (feeling guilty ABOUT Mad-Eye) Ron, Remus, Peter and Voldemort. I'm really glad that you enjoyed my poem and I hope to see one of your reviews again soon! ~Soraya~
Soraya - this is really neat! What a original idea, to explore remorse through these characters. I really liked your use of repetition - the word 'remorse' and a definition to introduce each new character's experience with it. And kudos for taking on a tough rhyming scheme! You could have done this free verse but finding the right words to convey your thought and have them rhyme is much more challenging and well done. I thought the idea of ending with Voldemort and extending his verse as the one who did *not* feel remorse was a great way to conclude. It really tied it to the title, as well. My only suggestion would be not to shy away from punctuation. I saw several places where a comma, semi-colon, or period could have been used, but then punctuation in poetry is so subjective, it seems. Nice job!
Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing, Gina! To be perfectly honest, as clichéd as I know this is going to sound, I don't really like poems which don't rhyme, so I find it even more difficult to write poems which don't rhyme. I'll admit that the rhyming was hard in places but I hope I did an OK job on it. And this idea was just stuck into my head as I thought about what Hermione said--how the pain of remorse can destroy you if you want to put your soul back together. I'm glad you liked all my ideas as this was my first ever time writing HP poetry so I'm glad you think it all worked. As for the punctuation--you're completely right. It is really subjective. This initially started with loads of full stops/periods and commas but I took them all out because I wasn't sure how they would look. Once again, thank you so much for reviewing. As one of my favourite authors on this website--particularly for Lily/James--I'm really happy you reviewed this. Have a nice day! ~Soraya~
This was a really interesting idea, to link all these different characters together. Your five different definitions of it were very interesting and appropriate, and it was easy to tell which characters you were writing about (though I thought Ron's paragraph was Severus for a bit... it's a pity he wasn't in here in a way, because he certainly feels a lot of remorse). Anyway, I'm not usually a massive poetry fan so I can't really comment on the structure/rhyming etc., but it did seem to flow well. Your word choice was great too, really appropriate (I almost laughed when you used "wormed" in Peter's stanza). I also liked how you brought the title into the last stanza. So anyway... sorry this isn't a particularly great review... but great poem!
Author's Response: Thanks for another one of your lovely reviews! I'm really chuffed you like my poem. It's the only one on my story list which has less than five reviews, sadly. Still, I'm happy you reviewed it and told me what you think. I don't know how on earth it got into my head, the whole concept of it, but I'm glad it did because--without trying to sound arrogant or anything--I did like my poem. I don't know--am I allowed to like it? I'm not sure. Anyway, you're completely right; Snape should've been there, but I'll admit that I completely shut him out simply because I hate him, despite what he did for Harry and everything. I don't know, maybe I'm like Harry, in that I don't care what he's done, he's still an overgrown bat :P I'm glad you liked my word choice and that you thought it flowed--that's usually a problem with poems for me. And...you almost laughed when I said "wormed"? Well, it wasn't exactly my intention but I did think it was appropriate given his name. And this entire thing really started when--I remember now--I read in DH about how putting your soul back together would be excruciatingly painful. That day I was thinking a hell of a lot about souls and how painful it would be to tear it apart, let alone put it back together, and I think that's where it came from. As for the title, I only decided it after I wrote the last stanza, so it was really just coincidence :P Thank you ever so much for your reviews, all of them. This one IS a particularly great review, don't worry. ~Soraya~
i loved this poem! i think you really captured the feelings and internal stuggles that each of these guys went through. i also liked how the definition of remorse changed as the point of view changed. the internal rhyming, (or at least i think it was that) worked very well. good job, and keep writing! :)
Author's Response: Thanks! You're right, the guys - Harry, Ron, Remus, Peter and Tom - all had internal struggles while they felt remorse. And, of course, like a lot of words in the English dictionary, remorse has multiple meanings, and I'm glad you picked that up in my poem. I'm glad you think the rhyming worked, I was pretty worried about that, so I'm relieved that you thought it worked. Thank you for your review. ~Soraya~