Reviews For Letters of Loyalty
Reviewer: Nagini Riddle
Date: 09/20/12 21:20
Chapter: Letters of Loyalty

First, I would like to say that I adored this poem! It was very beautiful and rhythmic and slightly despairing. I commend you for gliding into the hazy realms of poetry!

The letter, wax seal
broken
The news, such honor
taken
A friend, forever
gone
His Andromeda, the
swan.

I really enjoyed the subtle rhyme presented in this stanza, and really liked the metaphor presented. I am drawn in by the letter being opened, and your simplistic language lays it out quite nicely. I do have a qualm about punctuation. I myself feel like punctuation isn't necessary in poetry, but I will echo y colleagues in saying that if you use some punctuation, it is probably best to use it all the time in the poem. So, i would either add in punctuation, or else get rid of it, and place breaks in lines where punctuation would be used.


she had found love and
left her home and
ran away and
didn’t look back and
sent a last note and
changed his mind.


Note on capitalization: what is your purpose for switching it up in each stanza? I rather like it without capitalization for the whole piece. Again, I like the simplicity of your word choice, because it allows it to speak for itself and emote an emotion closer to something I recognize. :)


The pain, too much to
bear.
Lost religion, perhaps a
prayer?
Or an idea, a plan, a
plot…
His past loyalty but
forgot.


"Lost religion" makes me shiver. Yet, I want just a tad bit more in this stanza to show what he is going through emotionally. Does he lose himself in sleep or drink? Or does he remove himself from the world, become a recluse? Adding one more detail would make it that much stronger!


he went back and
took the prize and
lost his balance and
sank, deeper, deeper, and
the bubbles stopped and
he closed his eyes.


Very nice imagery with the bubbles. It can take on so many meanings, and I think the ambiguity of it lends the reader to be able to feel as broken or lost as he was, kind of like that there is no set meaning for life.


The letter, wax seal
broken.
Her cousin’s life,
taken
A friend, forever
departed
Her Regulus, she felt
fainthearted


Oh wow! The fact that you repeat the motif of the letter is haunting, because it makes the letter itself a villain, the bringer of bad news, and kind of suggests that "news" is impassive and uncaring. I hope to never receive such a letter...


she cried as he had cried and
sent a note to his mum and
pondered lost religion and
said a prayer for his soul and
almost looked back and
wished she hadn’t changed his mind.


The other stanzas all have shorter lines, and then these are longer. That's fine, but I felt like perhaps another stanza could have been as similar to really make this piece feel like part of the whole. That being said, I still enjoyed the message at the end, and felt so bad for the main character. I am a little lost as to who the characters are, but it may just be me. I did like that you repeated the lost religion and the contrast with prayer.

If I could give you any pointers, it would be that sometimes, vagueness is okay, but I as a reader, while I loved the effect of the poem and the imagery, did not quite understand who it was about. Try to make it a bit more clear- not much is needed to do so, but if you added another characteristic to help, it would. I realize there are names- Andromeda and Regulus, but I'm not sure I understand the relationship going on, or if they are in anyway connected...

I still enjoyed the poem, though! Remember the bit on punctuation and capitalization.

I am very happy to have this opportunity to leave a review for a fellow writer! :) Have a fantastic day!!!!!

~Nagini Riddle

Reviewer: SingingWren
Date: 12/20/10 21:04
Chapter: Letters of Loyalty

Hello mahogany_wand! Ah, I always love finding some nice new poetry to review.

First, I'll get the critique-y part out of the way before I go to the good stuff. :) I was unsure about your first stanza. A more definite rhyme scheme would have worked better for me, as in the other two corresponding stanzas the singular words very obviously rhyme with each other (ex. "departed" and "fainthearted") while "broken" and "taken" don't seem to. Yes, I realize that this same combination was used later and I had no problem with it then, but by that point I was so engrossed in the poem my mind automatically made them rhyme to fit with the rest of what I was reading. I just spent too long reading over the first stanza trying to figure out whether taken and broken were supposed to rhyme (which says more about my stickler tendencies than about your writing.)
I don't know if that made any sense at all, and it wasn't a major thing nor did it affect how much I liked the poem, but hey, I try to put at least one point of critique in every review I do.

Ok, that's over! Now can I say: loved it loved it LOVED IT! Very prettily written. i loved how you manipulated punctuation and capitalization to make some stanzas more informal and rushed while others more pensive. It made reading an interesting experience and really enhanced the meaning behind the words.

I was especially impressed by the second, fourth and sixth stanzas. You chose such beautiful words, like "pondered" and "prayer" and "deeper" (sorry, just something about the sounds of those particular words which really struck me).

The way the parallel in the idea of lost religion was effortlessly worked into two stanzas was quite effective. It caught me off guard and impressed me a great deal. The same with the "changing his mind" idea. The last line in particular was beautiful and very emotionally powerful.

Most of all, you got me to reread this poem two or three times. That's more than I can say for most fanfiction poetry I've ever read. The first time through, I was a little confused, but I could tell that there was so much more I could get out of your words than what was on the surface, and I was not mistaken. Like:

lost his balance and
sank, deeper, deeper, and
the bubbles stopped and
he closed his eyes.

It took me till about the third read to really catch the beauty of that portion. Just so, so excellent. And even now, rereading again to write this review, I'm struck by even more lovely pieces which I missed.

So basically, I absolutely loved this poem. You have a very lovely style and I look forward to reading more of your work.

Cheers and Merry Christmas!

~o~ Karen

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