So Jess, here I am killing several birds with one wordy stone: another belated birthday review for you, learning to review poetry in accordance with your royal wishes, and ensuring that you don't have to excommunicate me for tardiness!
I'm obviously not really going to comment much on any of the more technical elements of the poem because I wouldn't have the foggiest clue what I was talking about, apart from the fact that I was going to mention that I thought it had a lovely rhythm and flow to it, and seeing you mention in response to another review that it's in iambic pentameter, I now understand why. It suits the tone of the poem so well and you've used it beautifully. This is very much the sort of poem that just begs to be read aloud.
You've done a wonderful job of capturing the whole ebbing and flowing maelstrom of emotions that the battle evokes, in so few words. The whole poem is an emotional rollercoaster, with each new stanza bringing in some fresh response for the reader, from the edgy calm before the storm, to a strident martial call to arms, to the horrors of battle, to the draining loss of defeat, to the resurgence of fresh hope and finally the glory of victory. That's a huge amount to pack into eight brief stanzas!
I think perhaps the opening verse may just be my favourite because it's so wide. It feels universal. It's not just this battle; it's any battle of good over evil that repeats time and time again.
I love the use of fatalistic in the first line too because it carries hints of the prophecy and destiny that we know lurk behind it all.
The reference to dawn in the final line of that stanza is really effective because there is just a kernel of hope there right from the start: if the light comes, evil must be vanquished. It's so neat and tidy how you return to that theme at the very end as well. It gives the poem a real feeling of completeness.
The change of pace in the third stanza is an effective contrast. You've set up darkness and fear and looming death in the opening two verses, but then as a counterpoint you bring in hope and the secret weapon that means a chance of victory and a chance that the fight can mean something. The last line of that stanza really has the feel of a battle cry to it.
The fourth stanza feels wonderfully dark in the midst of the battle. You really highlight the depravity of Voldemort and his cause. I find myself half expecting it to lead into some sort of dark ritual rather than just a victorious displayal of Harry's body. The phrase 'noisome hearse', I think, is a large part of that impression; it's not just a fabulous turn of phrase but it's a very strong piece of description too. I get this horrific image of them carousing their way back to the castle bearing his body like a trophy amidst their revels.
I like the way you then focus back on Harry again in the fifth stanza, and like in the third, the emotional tone slows it right down. It feels heavy and hopeless and lost, but then you twist it again going into the final stanzas, and it feels like the whole poem builds to a satisfying crescendo.
I may not know a lot about poetry, but I do very much know when I like a poem and this definitely qualifies, dear. I think you've done a fab job with it and written a very stirring poem.
I've been grappling for a month now with my inability to respond to this review. It truly is a masterpiece, and it's no mistake that it helped you on your way to winning a well-deserved SPreviEW award.
One thing I really wanted to point out is that you picked up on SO many of the underlying themes, like the darkness of war/hope of dawn theme. Unlike my normal lyrical vomit, I actually did that on purpose in this poem. I really liked that it was there but not 'in your face'-like, but still recognisable.
Honestly, as this is technically free-verse, there really wasn't much in the structure upon which one could possibly comment, other than flow (which you did).
You are a fearsome poetry reviewer. I really think you could do this more often. :)
This was amazing! Your words flowed naturally and none of the rhyming seemed forced, It was well written and your choice of words made it all the better. It perfectly described the atmosphere of the final battle, as I saw it. Well done.
Thank you, O Pixie Duster. The flow was greatly aided by the use of iambic pentameter and a fortuitously bookmarked rhyming website, hehe. As for the atmosphere, I've been on a major battle kick lately, so it was the natural destination for this poem. I'm glad you appreciate it. :)
The meter just flows and it is so simple, yet so eloquent at the same time. There seems to be no forced rhyme, to find a word that works simply because of the need to rhyme isn't evident here(If that makes sense). Just very nice to read :)
Thank you. :) It wasn't easy to do, and I always spaz about that a bit, but I'm happy that you find my hard work worth it, hehe. Thanks again for stopping in and reading my poem.
Author's Response: I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you very much for reading and reviewing. :) ~Jess
Squeeeee!!!! Jess, this poem is just AMAZING. The words flowed beautifully and I just loved it. This is soooo getting a QSQ nomination :)
Oh, wow! Hehe, when I wrote this, it was solely with the intention of making it decent enough for Bella not to defriend me for giving her a crap birthday present. Thank you. :)
Aww it's gorgeous, thank you!
You are very welcome. Happy late birthday again!
Jess, this is amazing! The narrative fits the metre superbly. It's so natural and unforced and just wonderful! I don't really know what else to say but how much I love this. I really hope that they record some poetry when Audiofics starts up again because a poem like this is perfect to be read aloud.
You shouldn't doubt your poetry so much, Jess!
I don't know why, but I think I find structured poetry easier than free verse slash non-rhyming things. It fits my OCD-ness, especially when the rhythm actually is able to drive the storyline.
Anyway, I'm prolly being nonsensical, but I love that you love the poem. Thanks for the visit, dear.