Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Poetry » Narrative


The Seraphim and the Prince

by Aley

The Seraphim does fly in lofty skies
the scream is heard in clouds of ebony.
A gentle balmy rain is licking burns
from such a fire fierce it ate the tongue.
Forgotten Prince on his last Holy run,
Oh he is lost to mortal land of life,
Begot of sin for Seraphim did purge
the Prince of faulty failure against fate.
Nepenthe on his soul applied to cure
the of sin, a fire burned to cleanse
The Prince. He burned and charred as his low soul
did wash away in ebony-soft rain.
Such death did take his soul from mortal land
Nepenthe fire burned him free of us.

(Author Notes:
This was my prompt from dogs for the contest. I just failed to do it in time. My words were Seraphim, Ebony, Nepenthe, and Balm. I didn't actually enter in the competition because I did it late. -.o Lastly, I was going for Iambic Pentameter and a sonnet line number, but not the rhyme sceme.)

Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.

Is this a review?



User avatar
1272 Reviews

Points: 89625
Reviews: 1272

Sun May 26, 2013 3:09 am
Rosendorn wrote a review...

Hey Aley.

Unfortunately I am not that skilled in Iambic Pentameter to help you sort that out, but I can attempt to take this on general poetic merit.

I find myself puzzling over this. Puzzling isn't necessarily bad, mind you. There's something deep here, with the metaphor almost smothering it. Once I actually looked up what "nepenthe" meant the poem made a lot more sense (which is more an issue of my own vocabulary than anything).

One thing that bugged me was tongue/run, which is close enough to rhyme. I have a mild obsession with consistent rhyme so getting rid of that one should seriously help the flow.

My main thing here is that it looks rough at the beginning. It looks like you were struggling to get into the rhythm of the story. Near the end you weave a tale together and I can get into the story itself, without many breaks in what's going on. At the beginning it feels a little choppy, like you cut out pieces of information to have it all fit. But that could've been first read stiffness. I tend to not read poetry correctly the first few times I read it.

I like this, but I feel like my best critique would be given talking it out so I know what you did and why. There's something here but I'm having a hard time teasing it out, probably because I don't know your poetry style that well.

You know where to find me to talk about it.


User avatar
662 Reviews

Points: 52441
Reviews: 662

Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:15 am
dogs wrote a review...

Hey there Aley! Tucker here with your review :). So, to start, the writing in this piece is excellent. You have great smooth writing and wording, I really don't have any complaints about the content. So therefore, by default, I'm going to focus more on your 'sonnet' styling of this piece and ESPECIALLY on the IP.

Okey dokey, to start things off I understand that you didn't go for the classic rhyming of the sonnet (insert sad panda face here). That's fine I guess, but when writing in the sonnet style if you're not going to use the rhyming you have to be spot on with all the other requirements. Firstly, it doesn't really work if you break up the sentences and put a period in the middle of a line. That really throws off the rhythm, and because the sonnet style is entirely dependent on flow and so difficult to do, it really hurts you there. If you take a look at Shakespeare's sonnets, every single line ends with a comma or a period. And you'll never find a period in the middle of a line from dear ol' Shakespeare. Who is the prime example of the best sonnet writer.

Now this rolls into my next point. IP has two bits, you nailed down the first half of it to perfection, which is have ten syllables in each line. Excellent job in that regard. The other part is the natural writing style of Iambic Pentameter. Which is like it sounds, the reason it says "pentameter" is because there is five separate 'feet' in each line. (This is really hard to explain I'm sorry) So basically it's a soft syllable followed by a hard syllable. For example "Shall I Compare thee to a summer's day" ~ Shakespeare. If you read it out loud and annuciate where the down beats lay, you'll find that the emphasis on words come on "I, Pare, To, Sum, Day." The soft words come on" Shall, com, thee, a, mer's." You need to write in that style to complete the IP.

Let's take a look at one of your lines. You say:

"The Seraphim does fly in lofty skies"

So let's take a look at the down beats: "Ser, phim, fly, lof," Now your IP is perfect until you get to "skies." It needs to be a hard downbeat syllable in order to make the perfect IP line. I know this stuff is probably a foreign language to you, but it's important for Sonnets and IP (#IReadLotsOfShakespeare)

Content wise, this piece is darn near flawless, you use your words marvelously and your writing is excellent. Try and see if you can apply the proper IP to your piece and we'll see where we can go from there. Love reading your writing as always, let me know if you ever need a review. Keep up the good work!

TuckEr EllsworTh :smt032

Aley says...

None of this is a foreign language.

However, I disagree with you. When I was learing stressed-unstressed syllables there were three criteria we could use: First, it was stressed in a natural discussion. Second, it was a noun, verb, or single syllable. Third: It was elongated. Form my poetry class, I learned the the first one, but in my current lit analysis class we were taught that sonnets are not read with the iambic pentameter strictly, but inflection is used when reading it. This being said, it really depends on how you read the word and for me, 'skies' is stressed.

Next, just because Shakespeare did it that way doesn't mean that's the way to do it. Although I respect Shakespeare, I was not writing in Shakespearean English so I didn't feel restrained to stick to his structure of a period at every end. Also, Spenser and Milton both have sonnets of their own which don't follow Shakespeare's strict period structure of a sonnet having punctuation at the end of every line.
Some examples: ... oemId=6480

If you would, please tell me exactly what lines don't follow the Iambic Pentameter. I really tried hard to get that right and having you say it is wrong is very frustrating when you only gave me one line DX. I seriously spent hours trying to figure out the feet for every line.

User avatar
103 Reviews

Points: 451
Reviews: 103

Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:35 am
View Likes
wordsandwishes wrote a review...

This is very unique, and it portrays such a hauntingly beautiful story... Well, long story short, I loved it! Your words and imagery were beautiful, and your flow had a nice sort of... sway to it. Like the breeze.

Anyway, all your formatting, conventions, nit-picky stuff and all that jazz checks out.

Favourite lines~

"the scream is heard in clouds of ebony.
A gentle balmy rain is licking burns
from such a fire fierce it ate the tongue."

Overall, one of the best poems I've ever read.

Keep it up!


Random avatar

Points: 300
Reviews: 0

Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:25 am
ralfieobubbles says...

Hi, I'm Ralfieobubbles and I shall be your reviewer today :)
A very deep and in depth poem simply crammed with all the goodies of the poetic language. I think your usage of enjambment was a really good technique to carry out that darkening flow (well, at least that was the impression I got from this poem). I loved line 'a gentle balmy rain is licking burns' - it gives the reader the feel of healing and soothing. Just one word choice in the third to last line: 'ebony-soft rain'. I'm not sure but I didn't quite understand what you wanted to convey there, I mean I wasn't really able to paint that mind image there... However, overall, a clenching and deep poem. Keep up the good stuff!

“A good book isn't written, it's rewritten.”
— Phyllis A. Whitney, Guide to Fiction Writing