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Reviews For An Oath Forsworn

Name: The owl (Signed) · Date: 11/20/12 16:58 · For: An Oath Forsworn
Hey Carole,

It really is a shame that poetry gets so little love around here, especially given the presence of gems like this. I loved how you took a little-written character and got straight into his head very convincingly. It could only help that the poem was so well written.

I think what made this work so very well is the contrast between your two repeated lines. Rebellion and a sworn oath: the opposing ideas reflect Firenze’s torn loyalty and conflicted mind, and make phrases like “my loyalty torn” seem more justified. I also found that the villanelle structure, with all of its repetition, added more emphasis to the idea of internal conflict and helped me to get into Firenze’s head.

I did find myself really starting to think about Firenze’s perspective after reading this poem. He’s not a character I’ve given much thought to in the past, so that was really interesting. That reflects well on your characterisation of him in this poem, I think. The way you wrote “Rebellious dreams and hopes are born” makes it seem like he didn’t intend to rebel; it’s not his fault; that’s just how it happened. That interested me, and I imagine that’s how he would have seen it. It’s not the sort of thing you would want to happen, really, but it might feel inevitable.

I liked the way you structured the story here. You started with the dilemma, but by the end you can see Firenze make up his mind. The way you built up Firenze’s thought process through the poem was very effective. The strong opening, seeming to definitely suggest his loyalties lie in the forest, gradually gave way to more uncertainty, then resentment of his herd and finally certainty once more. That development was interesting to track and held my attention.

Also, the resolution of the problem made the ending very satisfying to read. Twisting the repeated lines slightly was a great idea, I thought, because it kept the continuity of the poem while showing that things were never going to be the same for Firenze again. His decision was irreversible but it doesn’t seem like he will seriously regret it.

The language you used was so gorgeous. I don’t just mean that you have a good vocabulary, although that’s certainly the case. I mean subtle things like all of the centaur-related language “ “glimmering stars” make me think of divination, and “nags” made me giggle a little when I thought about it. That added to my sense of Firenze’s voice, made him feel more real to me. I also really rather liked your use of “forfeit life”. He has given up his herd, sacrificed it, almost, and using a noun as an adjective seemed to add more weight to that point. I thought it was very effective.

This was a gorgeous poem, and it gave me a lot more insight into Firenze’s mind. I look forward to reading your next piece, whatever it might be!


Author's Response: Hi, Sophie. thank you so much for the gorgeous review. I started thinking a little about Firenze when I included him in my Lavender fic, and although I don't write about him much, and he's never been an MC of mine, I do like thinking about his viewpoint. The centaurs were such complex characters, both prejudiced and prejudiced against, yet Firenze really stood out as his own man/horse (I've probably offended him - eeep).

Enough of Firenze! Thank you for reviewing this. Yes, poetry gets so little love, and yet it's usually easy to read and reviews never take that long. Ha, I'm giggling a bit because I hadn't connected nags and nagging. the use of 'forfeit' as an adjective was deliberate, though. It sounds, to me, slightly archaic and formal which is how I imagine Firenze's life with the herd to be.

Thank you againnnnn ~Carole~

Name: Nagini Riddle (Signed) · Date: 10/29/12 11:46 · For: An Oath Forsworn
It does get so little love! Why do people not like it???? Especially when you have this beautiful piece that I was just dying to read and review here on the archives after seeing it in the PA. :)

Anyways, what more can I say after my critique? It's such a great subject to write a poem on, and I was rather surprised to see that you thought outside the box. :) Plus, the words you choose are very elegant and graceful and just plain awesome. I really need your vocabulary list!
Best Potter villanelle I've read to date. And poor Firenze. I wonder what happened to him after the war...


Author's Response: I was quite stuck with the prompt, but knew I wanted to write about Centaurs. the thing is, they don;t think of themselves as discriminated against because they know they're better - ha.

Thank you very much for the lovely review. I'm not sure where my vocab comes from, years on this earth perhaps, butI pick up new ones every week by reading prose and poetry from different people, I guess.

Thanks again ~Carole~

Name: Dad (Signed) · Date: 10/28/12 6:07 · For: An Oath Forsworn
I am not a big fan of poetry and I had to look up what a villanelle was. I must admit I liked this work. Well done.

Author's Response: Thank you very much. The fact that you admit to not being a poetry fan makes this review all the more appreciated. ~Carole~

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