Summary: A short poem about the madness that lurks in Azkaban.
PA? Poetry Review Circler, reporting for duty! -salutes-
Hmmm...one of the first things I notice about this poem is an excess of repetition (it waits, madness is waiting, waiting to take its...). I think with a bit more variety in vocabulary, the punch this poem packs (alliteration!) could be increased tenfold.
For instance, instead of “Madness is ready to consume you” maybe “Madness reaches to consume you”. Continue the personification you set up in the first couplet. Show Madness lurking, roaming, eager. It’s not just waiting, it’s seeking you out, actively attempting to destroy. That’s the impression I got at first, but with “it’s ready” that doesn’t carry through to its full potential to me.
Maybe madness isn’t “waiting” to take it’s next victim (which doesn’t really align well with the idea of roams expressed in the line previous) but is searching for its next victim.
What I’m saying is, most of the poem makes the Madness seem passive, but the most extraordinary lines give it life, show it clinging creeping clawing, a struggle between Madness and the person’s own sanity.
Author's Response: Thanks for this great review! Your comments are helping me a lot as I'm trying to rewrite it.
Summary: Have you ever wondered what talking to Gilderoy Lockhart after he lost his memory was like?
Dear Over Sea Green Hills –
This is one of the first Lockhart poems I’ve read, and I think you portrayed the effect of his memory loss very well. The poem has a kind of hectic feel, not in a chaotic way, but more of a “kid in the candy shop” way – which I think is an excellent portrayal of Lockhart’s regression to a more childlike state of mind.
One thing I would look at is how you’ve chosen to punctuate the poem. There are times, such as in the first two lines, where I feel a change in punctuation could more accurately portray the feelings you’re expressing. Looking at the first lines, I would change:
I lost my name; can you tell,
Come on, can you, well…
To something more like:
I’ve lost my name – can you tell?
Come on – can you? Can you? Well?
Because Lockhart is questioning his guest, as opposed to just speaking. I altered “I” to “I’ve” because it makes the name loss sound more personal to me, like it’s not something that happened a long time in the past that is no longer affecting him. I would change the semicolon in the first line to a dash because the “can you tell?” question seems to be an interruption of the first statement. I changed the comma to a dash in the second line for a similar reason. The second “Can you?” in the second line was being inserted automatically in mind while reading through, so it’s not all together necessary. However, it seems to add a sense of urgency to Lockhart’s questioning – like the answer is vital to him.
The urgency of the first two lines seems to be contradicted by lines three and four. Lockhart expresses surprise that his visitor knows his name, which I can understand, but the fourth line (“What a loss.”) is confusing to me. Why is it a loss for the guest to have found Lockhart’s name?
Something else that I’ve noticed is that these lines don’t fall into the general two line rhyming pattern (tell, well; someone, are done, etc.). There are other places in the poem where you drop the rhyme scheme as well – such as in lines 7, 8, and 9. If you combined lines 7 and 8 to read: Now I’m simply…well…I don’t really know…, that section would fit with the rhyming scheme.
Really though, the rhyming and rhythm seems to fall apart at this point in the poem. I can’t decide if I like the inconsistency or not. In some places, I do, but in others it makes the poem seem incomplete. One line that seems very out of place is line 11, How strange and queer. It’s not really connected to anything, and it just sits there, alone and out of place. I’d consider either scrapping this line all together, in favor of keeping lines 12 and 13, or adding a rhyming line after line 11, and scrapping lines 12 and 13. The only reason I suggest this is that what is stated in lines 12 and 13 was already stated very clearly in lines 5 and 6.
An example of a line you could add after line 11 is:
How strange and queer
Though you tell me I once held it dear –
Line 13, if you keep it, is a bit out of place due to its length. If you could edit it down some, so that it would fit with the general length of the other lines, I think it would read better.
I really like lines 14-19. They really display Lockhart’s confusion and utter lack of self recognition. Lines 17 and 18 seem a bit unnecessary though. What is it that Lockhart can’t win at? Remembering? But if he doesn’t remember, each realization would be new. The same goes for line 18 – forgetting would imply that he remembers by himself sometimes, which you seem to be implying he doesn’t. I think these lines could best be edited to read:
Is it yours?
No? You say it’s mine?
Well…perhaps it is, then…
Who are you again?
Lines 21 and 22 are lovely. They show how quickly Lockhart forgets his own self. The punctuation doesn’t seem to reflect this though. Maybe try substituting a question mark after “Oh”, and then again after “goodbye”. And then perhaps add an ellipsis after “so you can tell him”.
In line 23, I think Lockhart’s disbelief could be expressed very clearly by italicizing “me” and finishing the line with a question mark. Then the line after could have an exclamation, to show his utter shock and rejection.
The final two lines seem to reflect the beginning rather well. I think it might be best to omit the second “my”, but that’s purely personal opinion. I’d think about ending this line with an ellipsis as well, and adding an ellipsis after “Hmm” on the final line. Maybe add a question mark after “now what was I saying?”, because, well, it reads as a question. And then end the line with an ellipsis after “hazy”, because Lockhart seems to just be fading off.
Another thing I think might be beneficial is to split the poem into stanzas instead of just a chunk of text. This is a great device to add pauses and show Lockhart’s change in mood.
I hope this was helpful,
Summary: Theodore Nott is not your typical boy. It’s hard to be typical when you are the son of a Death Eater and everyone hates you for it. For Theodore, love is hard to come by, but that was before he met her.
I am eternalangel of Ravenclaw and this is my entry for the Great Hall February Month of Love challenge, the Forbidden Love prompt.
Oh wow this was amazing. I'm glad I chose to click on it! :)
The imagery in the writing was incredible, especially this line
"He looked like a rogue storm cloud, broiling on the surface as he rose to his full height, which was daunting to everyone in the room."
which just gave me chills.
There were a few places where your use of Nott's whole first name (Theodore) threw me off a bit, just because it seemed so formal. Anybody with a 3+ syllable name tends to get a nickname in my mind, so my brain wanted to think "Theo".
I loved how tentative the relationship between Theo and Susan is, and that it didn't end with a crescendo, passionate kiss, and a sunrise (the equivalent of a cliche happily ever after). That little touch of hope and happiness filtering into Nott's life made me all warm and fuzzy inside.
The darkness looms the harshest before dawn, but light will always cross lines drawn in the sand.
This is the story of the battle of Hogwarts.
This poem has been nominated for a 2011 Quicksilver Quill: Best Poem.
This poem has also been nominated for a 2012 Quicksilver Quill: Best Poem.
Aww it's gorgeous, thank you!
You are very welcome. Happy late birthday again!