I like it! Is this to go with Shrouds? That's what I see so I hope I'm not too off. It rolls off the tongue beautifully. Nice job! ~Gina :)
Author's Response: You are wayyyyyy off. It's Remus/Tonks, but I guess it could fit Draco/Hermione. The 'love's harvest' was a reference to her pregnancy. *sigh* I think I need to tell rather than show - hee hee. Thank you ~Carole~
Alas, it's such a sweet yet melancholic poem. I love the poem- especially the third stanza. And like what Ariana said, it was rather clever to link it subtly to the idea of pregnancy.
Nice poem. :)
Author's Response: Thank you very much. I enjoyed writing it despite the sad subject matter. ~Carole~
It’s a shame that poetry seems to get so few reviews, because I thought this poem was absolutely magnificent. I’ll admit I don’t read a lot of poetry on the boards, but I’m so glad I chose to read this one. You did a wonderful job of weaving the lyrics between the lines of the poem, giving the piece a meaning of its own.
I love the opening lines you used for the poem. The reference to the moon in the sky was a good allusion to the man being Remus. I also liked your description of the soft starlight, firstly because I thought that sounded beautiful, but also because it really helps to set up the scene and the mood for the rest of the poem. You portray a solemn, yet gentle tone throughout this stanza, and its effect is lovely. Reading the first few lines is almost like the night itself: quiet and mellow, but there is a sense of melancholy to this that really presents a wonderful stage for the next few stanzas. The only thing that struck me as I read this stanza was your reference to Tonks as a “girl”, however, I can see how that word usage might also allude to the couple being Remus and Tonks (in reference to the age difference), or perhaps showing Remus’s perception of her, maybe in an emphasis of how he views her as innocent (in comparison to how he views himself as a werewolf). This might just be me, reading too much into it, but what I meant to get across was that I can understand the “girl” word choice; it just struck me as odd reading it for a second time but it in no way takes away from the poem.
What I admire so much about this poem is the little descriptions you add that make the imagery so realistic it is almost palpable. I especially noticed this in the lines “ A tender smile/ A whispered caress”. To me, these lines mean so much more with words such as “tender” or “whispered”. Reading this, I can picture Remus brushing a stray lock of hair from his wife’s face, staring at her lovingly as he prepares to leave her. I feel as though the simple words you used here imply so many more words that maybe you didn’t physically write, but it’s as though the reader can sense them being there. The next two lines in this stanza eliminate any doubt as to which couple you refer to. They also begin to draw out the more sad tone of the poem, the realization that the happiness of this couple is about to end, at least for a while. I thought the juxtaposition of the sweet, loving gestures and the foreshadowing that “…by the morrow/ She will be weeping” was very well done. It also showed that Remus knew the consequences of what he was doing, but he felt so justified in his actions to leave her, so sure that this was what would be best for Tonks, that he was willing to go through with it anyway. In the last few lines I can almost see Remus’s smile darkening as he turns away, not wanting to be reminded of how much this will hurt her in the morning. It’s another instance where your writing is so beautiful, so tangible, that the scene becomes real. I’ve seen very few stories like this and even fewer poems, so this is very amazing to me.
The second to last stanza contains subtle hints as to Tonks’s pregnancy, and I loved the way you went about doing that. So much of poetry is about “showing, not telling,” as my teachers say, or putting something into words without stating the obvious. I thought it was clever how the words you chose — “seeds,” “sown,” “harvest,” and “reaping” — are all related words themselves, and I liked how in your context they referred to Tonks and Remus’s child. My favorite lines in that stanza were “Their love’s harvest/ Awaits its reaping” because of the word choice, as I stated before, but also because I feel as though it refers to their child being the product of their love, as though if their love was personified it would be their child. The entire stanza just flows so smoothly and gracefully.
The tones evident in the last few lines are heartbreaking. As a reader, I could feel Remus’s yearning to stay with his wife and his child, to live a normal life with them. I thought the reference to Remus’s soul being darkened was very in-character for his feelings and perceptions about himself, how he felt as though he was less of a person because he was a werewolf. I also thought the ‘darkened soul’ was a good indicator of how he felt guilt over this situation, as though the pregnancy was his fault entirely. This last stanza makes Remus a very sympathetic character, and I thought that was brilliantly done. In the seventh book, his decision comes across as hurtful, and maybe a little selfish, at least from Harry’s eyes. I think because we don’t get to see inside of Remus’s mind, it is difficult to sympathize with him. This is definitely not so in your poem, where his feelings and thoughts and wishes become one with the readers, at least for the few moments it takes to read this poem. I thought your writing was absolutely beautiful here, Carole.
To be honest, I think rhyming poems are more difficult to write because I feel myself molding the poem to fit the words instead of vice versa. But when I read your poem, I almost didn’t notice a rhyming scheme; the words just seemed to flow together naturally and with ease. Rhyming the last word of every stanza was subtle, yet upon re-reading I think that’s where the soft, steady rhythm of the poem comes from. It makes the word “beseeching,” which is an imperfect rhyme compared to the rest, stand out and really emphasize the last line of the poem with a stern tone of finality. It really pronounces Remus’s determined resignation to leave definitely.
Ooh, I feel like there was something important I wanted to add, but I can’t think of it just yet, so I will end this review before it gets out of hand. Reading this poem felt like opening a gift: you can read it quickly, or savor each line, but the end result remains the same. I think I use the word ‘beautiful’ too often, but it describes this poem so much better than words like ‘handsome’ or ‘good-looking’, which is what my thesaurus tells me to use. I absolutely loved this poem, Carole, and I have written a note on my computer to remember this when QSQs come around.
Author's Response: Wow. I'm really not sure how to respond to that. Um ... yeah. ha ha - I'm so coherent.
I do take your point totally about the use of the word 'girl'; the trouble is that I can't see the word 'woman' or 'lady' having the same effect at all. It was the word I dithered over the most, basically because the connotations of that word. Clearly Tonks at the age of 23 and pregnant is not in the true sense of the word 'a girl', but I think she's still 'girlish'. The Tonks in my mind is a strange mix between mature Auror, joking friend, and innocent-in-love. I also imagine her looking far younger and less careworn when she's asleep. Plus, as you pointed out, Remus is older than her and I do think the age gap was always something that bothered him.
Thank you for the review. Oh, yes, and QSQ nominations .... you haven't been forgotten ,,,
Sad poem. I like the 'beyond beseeching' alliteration. BTW whp are the characters whom you've written this poem on?
Author's Response: It's Remus and Tonks. He's leaving her when she's pregnant with Teddy :( . Thanks for the review. ~Carole~