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Reviews For The Tempest

Name: Gmariam (Signed) · Date: 08/14/12 14:45 · For: Poem
I love sonnets! This was great! It really elevated a mere Quidditch match to much more, lol. Rhyme and rhythm were great but the gorgeous language jumped out at me. Wonderful poem! ~Gina :)

Name: goldensnidget92 (Signed) · Date: 08/13/12 23:10 · For: Poem
I was immediately drawn to this poem by the title: I’ve always loved Shakespeare, and any allusion to it will instantly attract me.

It was interesting to focus on so small (although, I’m sure people like Ron might argue otherwise) a part of Hogwarts life, but you gave it a completely different feel. Aligning the power of nature and Quidditch together in this poem gave, to me at least, a very forceful message. It suggested that whilst humans can make as many plans as they want, “nature does as nature surely must”. This made the students seem small and helpless as they “hope in vain / for clearing skies and fast-abating storms,” and I think you emphasised this in your personification of the school building which “appears to fear the gale”. In this way, your evocation of nature’s absolute power over mankind was very powerfully done.

I thought the line, “an expeditious caging of the winds” sounded particularly Shakespearean and heralded the intertextuality that you alluded to in the title. The Tempest is obviously about a magical man who tries to conquer all of nature on his little island, and I feel like he might have attempted to “cage the winds”. Bringing this level of poetry into yours adds deeply to the subtext: for the first ten lines it could almost be about the island concerned in Shakespeare’s play, as the sole focus is the weather. There are many uncanny similarities between The Tempest and aspects of the Harry Potter series, and I therefore think that you emphasised this through this. Was that a deliberate effort? I’d like to know why you chose The Tempest.

Writing in the sonnet form must have been challenging “ I’m not a great writer of poetry, so to me something so structured seems incredibly daunting. I found it to be fitting with the context of the poem though, because whilst the wind is madly whistling through the forest and striking fear into Hogwarts, the structure of the poem directly contrasts with it. Perhaps it reflects mankind’s attempt to reign in nature, to keep defences up against it. Perhaps my English degree is making me over-analyse things. But I did find that the form complemented the poem, especially with the final two lines. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the final two lines of a sonnet are meant to be a “response” to the previous lines. Here, you justified the seeming helplessness of the humans by implying that nothing will ever defy nature. This gave the poem a resonant ending, and the grip it has over the reader was reflected in the grip nature has over the students.

For so short a poem, it seemed to me to be very well written and constructed, and you evidently thought deeply into what you wanted to convey. Bringing in Shakespeare was a wonderful touch, almost giving the poem a double meaning. We wonder what the tempest of the title is referring to: the storm in the poem, further, metaphorical storms to come, or the many correlations between the play and the series.

Author's Response: Oh, Lord. Ha. I've actually never read The Tempest; I needed a title and I just really like that word. The caging of the winds, if anything, was a reference to Greek mythology and Aeolus, but even then a half-hearted and absent-minded one. The intertextuality here is perceived rather than intended - you're giving me a lot more credit than I deserve. I do thank you for the review, which is rather more clever than the poem it's attached to, haha.

Name: The owl (Signed) · Date: 08/13/12 17:44 · For: Poem
Hello Minna,

I’ve never had much luck at writing poetry within a strict structure like sonnet form, so I find it very impressive when you do it with such flair. Not all of the rhymes you used here were quite perfect, admittedly, but they all worked well enough for me. I would always prefer read a line that fits into the poem naturally than one has been twisted for the sake of the rhyme scheme, so I’m glad you didn’t try too hard. The rhythm, too, felt very natural and not like you had had to add/remove words to conform to it.

Another thing that fitted into the poem very naturally was your wide range of vocabulary. There were some really gorgeous words in there -- I particularly liked “expeditious” and “autumn squalls” -- but it didn’t sound forced. It made the poem seem that bit more mysterious and suspenseful for me, like there really was a storm brewing in the background. Oh, and while I’m mentioning “autumn squalls”, I smiled at the avoided Americanism. I couldn’t help but remember our duel the other day.

A technique I noticed you using a lot here was personification. The “sullen clouds”, the way the trees “shiver” and the school being afraid of the storm: these things really brought the elements to life. They seemed sometimes malicious and sometimes miserable. It’s like they were conspiring against the students, and that made the atmosphere of the poem a lot more powerful. All of the different weather related nouns you used added to that too, of course, but for me it was the personification that really brought it alive.

I think my favourite thing about this poem had to be the final couplet. Preceding it with the list of the students’ hopes -- building up the expectation levels -- made the come down even more entertaining. It sounds like some sort of reproof -- “No, you can’t expect the world to be as you’d like it” -- albeit slightly less gloomily done than that. I thought you got the balance right: neither to flippant nor too miserable. The rhyme adds to the whimsical humour of it, and it was just a brilliant note to end the poem on.

I felt that this worked really well, overall. You built up the tension of the storm and the hopes of the students, only to knock it down with the final couplet. It was atmospheric, without taking itself too seriously and still being enjoyable and entertaining. Nicely done!


Author's Response: Oh, thank you. <3 This was a lovely review. I had fun with the imagery/personification/atmosphere here, ha, it had been a stormy day out and I set out to catch that mood, so I'm glad I managed. Re: rhythm and not trying too hard for a rhyme - I do my best to eliminate both, though ha, had forgotten all the near-rhymes in this. As for the avoided Americanism - that's one I'm particularly aware of, like gotten and pants, because friends moan about it. :P (Although it also neatly fits the meter, which 'fall squalls' would not have, plus that's a rubbish phrase. So I'd probably have used it anyway lol). And I do love playing with nice vocab. <3 Anyway, glad you liked the poem - and again, thanks for the fab review. :)

Name: Nagini Riddle (Signed) · Date: 08/06/12 18:57 · For: Poem
Nice imagery!!!!! I love your poetry a lot! Great job. :)

Author's Response: Thanks. :)

Name: Equinox Chick (Signed) · Date: 08/03/12 22:43 · For: Poem
I love this. You do write structured poetry so well, minna. This flows effortlessly and the rhyme is never forced. And yet you manage to cram the poem full of atmosphere.

Great sonnet. ~Carole (sorry for poo review)

Author's Response: Thank you. <3 The review is not poo but the response is.

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