Reviewer: Nagini Riddle
Date: 09/29/12 4:25
Chapter: Poems:

Wow. I don't know what to say. From the first line, my breath caught in my throat and my heart began to pain.
First off, your language was beautiful. It was simple, but agonizing and allowed the despair to really shine through. I also found that the varying points of view helped to give a stronger voice to the overall piece.
Now I shall attempt the brave process of reviewing each poem... :0

For Different:


Different
I hear it from everyone,
I'm not who they say I should be
I'm Different, I'm me

Who has the right to tell others what they should be? This stanza could have stood all on its own because of the strength in it. Though it is melancholic, it still has a powerful message- that we are "different" but that we are who we are. Poor Albus...

All because of a house
and a simple hat
My own family has turned,
Turned on me

My own brother glares,
My cousins shun me,
The only one who dares is him,
The savior, saving me

I cried! The fact that he would feel shunned just because he ended up in Slytherin! How alone he must have felt, especially since I'm sure his brother teased him endlessly. I also was rather attached to the fact that there was a savior mentioned, but I was curious as to who the savior was. Is it God or is it death? I could see both working in this context. I'm just curious what you were thinking.

Before this mess
when it wasn't all sour
He told me it didn't matter
But it does, to me

Why am I different?
Am I not brave like James
Or even smart like Dommie?
I'm not evil,
so why are they scared?
It's just me.


I really like the anaphora of "me" used throughout. It shows that individuals view things differently than most people seem to think. It sadden me that Albus wondered why he was different. I would like to think that if I had known him, we could have been "different" together. :)

I'm not cunning or ambitious,
but not brilliant or fearless,
I'm determined and quiet
That's just me

Sitting here in my dorm,
I now understand that batty old hat
I'm in Slytherin not because I'm afraid,
I'm just a different type of brave

I'm different from them all,
And that's perfect
Because in the end,
I am unique from everyone
I am me.


I think we all sometimes have trouble seeing the talents we can develop, but we should always remember that we all have strengths. We shouldn't wish to be someone else- because they are most likely wishing to be someone else, too. Plus, I find that individuality is sometimes pushed against in society, and I think we need to help save individuality. If we aren't individual, it is rather hard, I think, to be able to work together and appreciate each other's talents and strengths and weaknesses.

*~*~*~*

Why?

Why?
Why didn't you tell me?
Or dad? Or mum?
Or anyone?
We could have helped you. . .

Why, Al?
Was it my fault?
Did I make you do this?
I know I was tough,
but you were always the strong one
Always


I love how this starts out. It proves that we don't know what others think- we only see the outside. We need to learn to see the inside and then we can help each other pull through the difficulties in life. I think instead of assuming that someone is strong, we should do our best to be a good friend and let them open up to us, without pushing them into what they don't want.

The Slytherin,
The smart one,
The best seeker,
You had it all!
Even a girl who loved you,
So why'd you do it?

Having it all? I think this shows James' arrogance very well. I think that what is most important is not to be popular, but rather to accept yourself and learn to build lasting relationships with others. It does nobody any good to be alone, but just because someone has "the life" doesn't mean they don't feel alone, either. I am rather enjoying this thought process!

Did you think no one would care?
'Cause we do.
Rose hasn't said a word,
Mum hasn't stopped crying,
Lily hasn't come out of her room,
and Dad. . .
No one has ever seen him like this.

Why did you leave us in this mess?
Why did you leave your best friend?
Your little sister?
The girl you said you loved?
Why did you leave me?
I'm your big brother. . .

Just so simple yet powerful. The tone and language speak for itself, and it doesn't need any superfluous imagery or description. This was beautifully done.

I thought you could tell me anything.
My favorite line of this poem. It was genius to set it apart from the other stanzas, and it delivers a powerful message, that, once again, people think rather than know others well.

Looking back,
every fight that we had,
every time we said the word hate,
I would take everything back
Just to have you standing next to me

But I'm standing here alone
Watching you be lowered in the ground
You were only seventeen!
You didn't even graduate. . .
No one will know who you could have been
You're frozen in time,
just a memory

WHO DID THIS TO YOU?
Who pushed so close to the edge you fell?
Who threw you into a room so dark,
you thought you would never see the light?
Was the storm truly so bad that the rainbow would never come?
What happened, Al?
Why didn't you tell us?

You're gone.
Dead.
None of these questions will ever be answered.
Because you can't answer them.
You left us to try to piece it together,
but we can't.
You didn't even give us a note. . .

It just stabbed my heart and sucked out my soul to read this. I have nothing to add to its heartbreaking beauty, and all I can say is that I hope to never go through this pain.

So until we join you,
we will forever ask ourselves one question
Until I see you again, little bro. .

Why?

That question haunted me when my own brother passed away, and I feel like I connect to James on some level, though my brother died of natural causes rather than suicide. I'm glad you put in that James hopes to see Albus again some day. I feel the same way about my brother.

*~*~*~*

Too Late

You're standing here,
watching me
As I stand on the edge
You came just as I was about to jump
If only you were a second late. . .

Don't you see, James?
I can't get out
Death is the only way

I've been pushed too far
The tornado's sucked me in,
and I doubt I'll ever see the light

No one's heard what I've heard
Being the butt of every joke
The Slytherin Potter,
Son of the Boy Who Lived
The mistake.

Augh! I'm so depressed now. A mistake!!!! Don't think like that, Albus!!!!!!
It is rather poetic that he is on the edge, speaking this as he prepares to jump into the unknown. You really got into Albus' head, and now I think I may have to take therapy after this.

You should know,
your my brother
But you don't,
because I'm different

I can't live anymore,
I just can't
And Dad's not here right now,
but even if he was. . .
the savior can't help,
no one can save me

Who is the savior this time? Rose? Just curious. And full of melancholy.
I sometimes feel the pain of living is too much, and I can say that it hurts worse than insults thrown at you. But I also have to say that joy and hope keeps me going. And I hope that everyone out there has enough joy to power them through their trials!

Neither can you,
don't you see?
Everything my life has been
hasn't been worth it

Every joke,
every comment or glare,
It's all boiled over
I'm sick of being the quiet one,
the bullied,
the disgraceful son of a war hero,
I'm sick of being me

So I tell you the horrible things
And you just stare
the stupid map still clutched in your hand
And then I say good bye

To you, Jamie,
To sweet Lily,
To mum and dad,
and to Rosie
Even you're not worth living like this

And then I jump
And I hear a shout
But it wasn't mine. . .
It was you

You're trying to stop me,
but you're too late,
even a cushioning charm
can't save me
Nothing can

You drive the stake deeper into my heart with each line. I love how he names everyone rather than just saying "guys" or something else more groupish. It sort of puts into perspective that each person matters, and we are all individual.

Then you jump after me,
I see you just before I hit
Pain
Such Pain. . .

The charm had almost worked,
it softened the blow
But it wasn't enough,
it only made it worse

Then you hold me,
your little brother
in your arms as I slowly fade
And through the black
I see you cry

Suddenly, I want to try again
To take it all back,
to be strong for you
But it's too late

As the first tear hits the ground
everything goes away
All the pain,
all the feeling,
all of my life

But I whisper
one last thing
only two words,
that barely made a sound
because I know I hurt you
and everyone else
But I can't take it back
And I wouldn't

At least you'll know why. . .

Too much pain to bear! I need to take a moment of silence for Albus, here. And also grab a tissue. Or four.
Okay, this poem was tragically gorgeous. The fact that is was Albus' point of view was genius and really helped me understand the feelings he was having. Just beautiful.

*~*~*~*

My Fault

No
You're not
You didn't
It's not you
You wouldn't leave me. . .

I can't believe it
You were so strong
No matter what they said or did
You just shrugged it off
You were too strong to do this. . .

Every time something happened
You were my shoulder to cry on
Now I'm crying about you
Something I've only done once

When they took it too far
You almost died
But you didn't tell
Because you were too proud and stubborn
You told me you could handle it. . .

This shift again was just wrenching my heart out. It affected everyone who knew Albus, and that tells me just how important one person is. They can influence so many people with even the simplest acts.

I remember the day before
It all came crashing down
You and I were talking
And you turned to me
I should have told someone. . .

You told me it wasn't worth it
Life wasn't good enough
You begged me not to tell
So I didn't
Why didn't I?

Oh I have chills. And I suddenly feel so far away from everything. How do you capture this so well?

It's all my fault
Everyone crying
Lily
James
Aunt Ginny
Oh god
Uncle Harry
How could I do this to him?

It's too late
They'll never forgive me
I can't tell them
It's still your secret
And I couldn't do it
I'm not brave enough
It's all my fault

Oh, exactly how I felt when my brother passed away. Poor Rose! And the feeling never really goes away but haunts you. What if I had just done this at the right time? Would he still be alive? Isn't it interesting how we ask ourselves about things we cannot fix or change?

Maybe I should join you, Al. . .
Depressed!!!!!!!!!!! No, Rose! Don't do it! Life is too precious...

*~*~*~*

Too Special

Life
Live it to the fullest
Dad does
Mum does
Merlin knows James does
So why didn't you?

You always told me
"Life is like Quidditch,
You play for the thrill."
One of the thousand things
You taught me

So why didn't you finish the game?
You were always the caring older brother
Slightly overprotective of me
But I could always ask for help
No matter what the time

While I'm the oldest, I can still relate to how Lily feels. My brother and I were close, and I felt like I could go to him any time. But now, I can't. I also loved the Quidditch analogy used. It was very appropriate for this poem.

I remember when I would hurt
You always picked up the pieces
And stitched them together tight
Now the stitches have disappeared
Because you were them
You were always there for me

Ripped apart by your death
I've scattered to the winds,
Sobbing on the ground
And dad can't sow me together
Mum can't
James can't
Only you can, Al

And now my own soul is tearing while reading this. But it's true. There are some people we connect with really well who understand us and are always there for us. But to have that taken away would be so terrible and hard to cope with. Absolutely heart wrenching.

I always wondered why Rose worried
She said it was about you
I never did,
To me you were impervious
Until that day

You almost died, Al!
Yet you didn't care
I saw your sadness
and I'm sure Rose did, too

Later that night
While you two were whispering
I eavsdropped
It all started to make sense. . .

It was them, Al, wasn't it?
They made you do this
They made you fall apart
And no one could piece you together
You were too special for all of us

I don't blame you, Al
I really don't
You were the healer
The one who fixed everyone
But one person couldn't be fixed by you
You
You were too busy worrying about us
You were too good for any of us

Why did life hurl itself at you?
Why not me?
I was so rude to you
I never asked how you were
It was always about me
Me
Me
Me
It should have been about you

I cannot express how much I enjoyed your structure and diction and anaphora. The "me me me" really emphasizes how humans take but don't give. And now Lily sees that, and she wishes for a miracle to change that.

Then we wouldn't have to pick up the pieces alone
Because you were the one who always helped
You were so special, Al
Yet you never saw

So as I chase down every single piece of my soul
Each as fragile as glass
I know I'll always remember you, Al

Every day
Every minute
Every second
No one will ever forget you
You're too great for Earth, Al
Only Heaven deserves you

Goodbye, Albus
And if I only remember one thing
Though I'll remember everything
It's this
"Life is like Quidditch,
You play for the thrill."
Now I'll play for you
Only for you
Just for you

How many times can I say wonderful and you made me cry?
The ending was just perfect and really hit home how I felt for my own brother. Living on for him. Doing it for him. I cannot express how much that means to me.
I didn't expect to get all of that out of these poems!
Well, my fingers and wrists need a rest, and so does my brain and soul. Time to go eat ice cream... ;) No, time to ponder the meaning of life. The answer is 42!
Great- no, magnificent- poems. The subject was actually just right in order to get your point across. You have a real talent for capturing the emotions of each character. Just wonderful!

Hope to read more from you soon!

~Nagini Riddle

Reviewer: Padfoot11333
Date: 11/08/11 21:47
Chapter: Poems:

Hi Ellie! I really liked these, and I'm pretty surprised I'm the first to review as these are really good! You are one of the better people at doing free verse (because I'm terrible at it, and you hate rhymes, so you kind of have to do free verse).

Having said that, though,there were quite a few issues with rhythm throughout the poems.

Ripped apart by your death
I've scattered to the winds,
Sobbing on the ground
And dad can't sow me together
Mum can't
James can't
Only you can, Al


(This is my favorite line out of all the poems, so I'll use it as an example). Read this aloud. The first four lines sound fine. They fit together...yeah. Then the rhythm is thrown totally off by “Mum can’t. Dad can’t. Only you can, Al.” I really do understand that free verse isn’t supposed to have a per sey, “regular” rhythm, but it sounded weird to have the first four lines in rhythm and the next three out of sync.

One of the other things that I really liked about these poems was in “Different.” The way that you capitalised the word different really made it stand out for me in the first verse, like it was really important but not necessarily in a good way. You did the same thing with “Pain,” and that really stood out for me.

I also really liked that most of the poems were told from James’s perspective and not Albus’s, but it was still very obvious who and what the poems are about. Being the Tori Amos fan that I am, I maybe read a little too much into the poems, but I’m (pretty) sure that people could still tell what it was about.

Anyway, other than the rhythms and a few grammatical errors there was only one other thing that I found weird. Some of the words you used didn’t make sense in context to the poem (like using “Jamie” in Pain, I found that strange) but other than that, I didn’t see anything extremely messed up with the poems!

I really liked reading this, Ellie, and really can’t wait until you post another poem on the boards :)

~Lily~

Author's Response: Wow. Thank you so much for the review. I am in shock (and awe) of the in depth-ness of it. It's the longest I've gotten! For that, thank you so much. Yeah, sometimes my rhythm gets kind of funky. I'll look into that, and be sure to refer back to this review. I'll also check grammatically and word choice, but I'm not entirely sure what poem "Pain" is. Is it the one where Al jumps? Thank you so much for the ah-mazing review! Hopefully November produces more queue-worthy poems. *Ellie*

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