I was so impressed by the strength of the structure in this poem - I can definitely see why it came first place in the Structure category! I loved how, even though it isn’t technically a sonnet, it conformed so closely to most of the rules. This made it jarring, but in a very good way: it seemed to echo Bellatrix’s mind, in that it’s not quite right, that there’s something about her that doesn’t make sense. I thought that was also shown in the first stanza, when you used the half-rhyme of “paw” and “all”, and it was an effective way of representing character through structure. The rhyming couplet at the end concluded the poem nicely and, combined with the words “then the lights go out”, enforced an air of finality to the poem and to the victims.
Speaking of the victims, I thought it was brilliant how there is essentially a death at the end of every stanza. Even if it is only implied, it emphasises the theme of death and hints at the sheer number of people Bellatrix has killed. At the end of the first stanza she says how she enjoys them “one and all”, referring to her pleasure in torture and murder. Then in the second she mentions crushing lives, and in the third that it’s all “for my Lord’s ear”, which I found powerful because it merely hinted at all the murders she’s committed, simply to be in favour with Voldemort. The most chilling end was, of course, the final line, which seemed to me incredibly ominous. This repeated emphasis on death impressed upon me the way death follows Bellatrix everywhere, how it permeates her life, and how it is inescapable.
This bleak idea was supported by the language you used for Bellatrix’s voice. It was formal, slightly archaic, and yet surprisingly lyrical, for example when you used words like “lament” and “anoint”. Words like these made me think about her ancient background, and how she holds such old-fashioned values about Muggles and Mudbloods. Yet, the lyrical nature of the words, partly aided by the structure and the Iambic Pentameter, evoked a sense of poignancy that I hadn’t expected when I came to read the poem. This went well with the theme of death, and implied that, despite her power over her victims, death will inevitably come for her too. She, instead, will become the mouse; death toying with her as she toyed with the lives of countless others, but finally catching her as we know it must.
Okay, why didn't I see this???? I must have been overly stressed and busy, because this should have caught my eye right away!
Wow, is all I can really say. This is a great sonnet, and is far better than my attempts. *chuckles* And I love how you interpreted the "prompt" given to us. :) You are a true genius with poetry.
My only complaint? I must see more! I want to read more! And also hear your thoughts, too. I'm not psychic, either...
Great job, Jess. I look forward to all your poetry, past, present, and future.
You really do excel at sonnets and other poems with structure, Jess and this poem is no exception.
What I particularly liked about 'Lights Go Out' is the way you got right to the heart of teh ebil Bellatrix and conveyed her rather sick dilemma.
Well done ~Carole~
Love it! Of course, I always love a good sonnet, but it this is quite good! I thought the rhyme and rhythm was perfect, and the imagery - esp. in the beginning with the cat/mouse stuff - was great. But the final couplet was the best - ending with the title gave it a masterful impact. Great job! ~Gina :)