Depressing poems are what I live for. I really found that last line to be purely profound and hert breaking. Death is non-existent and life cannot be reached. Stuck between two worlds, huh? Sort of like Voldemort is. Sort of like Harry is, although he lives life moreso than Voldemort ever did. :) Seriously, you should join Poetry Anyone? in the beta forums!
Author's Response: Thanks! I'm really glad you liked it, and I really appreciate the review. Yes, I suppose it would be a bit like lingering between two worlds. :) I might try for Poetry Anyone on the forums later, but first I'd like to get a little more practice. Thanks again for reviewing! ~Ashleigh
Hi there, welcome to the world of my not-very-good-reviews.
I like this poem. You've created a dark atmosphere that fits so well with the subject matter of this deadly potion. I felt quite oppressed by it as death encroached.
Great idea for a poem. Very mysterious and creepy. Well done. ~Carole~
Author's Response: Although long detailed reviews are wonderful, the short, sweet, and to the point type are appreciated just as much (In other words I'm not too great at reviewing either)! I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it! I honestly don't know where the idea came from... I vaguely remember reading a fic about a screaming Hermione, and then a Ron squalling over her after she was fed the Draught of Living Death. Apparently I stored that in my brain somewhere, and the idea burst from the dusty corners at the back of my mind when I attempted poetry. Something like that... Anyway, I always love a review from a fellow Hufflepuff, especially a barmaid! Thanks. :) ~Ashleigh
I liked it! Yes, it's dark, but that seems like the point and the only way to go with a poem on the Draught of Living Death, and you captured the idea of it well. I thought your imagery was nicely evocative. The fourth stanza in particular was quite good, as were the concluding lines.
My only suggestion would be to try out some punctuation in your next poem. I think it could lend emphasis to words and phrases in such a way as to make certain bits even stronger. Oh, and here you used 'creeping' twice at the beginning, so maybe 'swirling' or 'floating' or another word to give it even more variety. :)
Congrats on your first piece here at MNFF!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for coming to review, Gina! You know how much I love your stories, so I really appreciate your input. :) I'll definitely think about using punctuation next time! I can see how it would help add more emphasis to certain parts of the poem, so I will have to try it on the next one. I just noticed my repeated use of 'creeping', so thanks for pointing that out as well. I'll probably go back and change that later. Again, thanks for the review! I always love to hear what you have to say. ~Ashleigh
Hello, Ashleigh. I see it didn’t take you too long to get something accepted :)
Depressing is definitely the right word here, but not in a bad way at all. I like the personification in the first stanza. Your word choices create a chilling atmosphere from the very beginning. I particularly like the claustrophobic feeling of “suffocate”. The one thing I would question there is your use of “throughout”. I think that “through” would make more grammatical sense here, and it has the added bonus of putting that first line nicely into iambs. Using “throughout” is fine, of course, but little tweaks like that can take a poem from good to great.
I can’t fault the second stanza. The assonant last line is deliciously atmospheric. The third stanza confused me a little though. What is the “light” meant to symbolise? I would have instinctively said it was supposed to be life, but in the next line you say it is “wishing to awaken” which made me think it was supposed to represent the sleeper. Maybe adding punctuation could help clarify this. Mainly, it didn’t bother me that you left this unpunctuated, but a full stop or comma might have helped to show what the light is representing here. Add a full stop, and it isn’t the light doing the “wishing”, but the person. Add a comma, and the light represents the person. Simples!
The fourth stanza is, once more, very effective, but again I find myself a little confused by your grammar. Using “when” sounds very good, but it implies that you are starting a sub-ordinate clause, with the main one to follow. Here, the main clause never comes. Anyway, like in the first stanza, the personification you have used works really well for me. It’s kind of scary, thinking that the darkness is in control to that extent. Then those last two lines. Wow. The binary opposites of “life” and “death” add to that claustrophobic feeling I mentioned before, and it just sent a shiver down my spine.
Overall, I think this poem works really well. However, I tend to like clear structures in poetry, so while I like your imagery a lot, I did find myself wishing for a more standard grammar in places. I suppose that’s at least partially down to personal preference, though. Well done!
Author's Response: Sophie, your reviews are amazing. ;) I never really thought much about my use of "throughout", but you make an excellent point here. I can see how "through" might have worked much better. I'm happy that you liked the second stanza, and I can see what you mean about the third. The "light" was originally meant to symbolise life, but I didn't make that very obvious. I will probably try to go back and edit that later, so that my original intentions are more clear. I can also see what you mean about the fourth stanza, with the clauses. I definitely could have improved that. I'm happy to hear that the personification worked well, though. I was sort of going for that scary effect, so it's great that you got that feeling! As for the last two lines, I'm glad I could make you shiver. I really wanted to wrap the whole thing up with some sort of bone-chilling effect, and hopefully those lines did so. Once again, thank you so much for such a lovely review! I can see what Carole meant when she squee'd about your sorting into Hufflepuff. You are a wonderful reviewer. ~Ashleigh