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#18 aka 17b

by CaptainJack

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594 Reviews

Points: 906
Reviews: 594

Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:17 am
fortis wrote a review...

Heyo Lizz,

So this is quite a poem, huh?

I like how declarative and firm the sentence "dogs are our gods" is. Good start.

I'm a little iffy on some of these umm... middle phrases?
For example:
"they have all of the qualities" > this on its own line right after such a bombshell like "dogs are our gods"? I'll be honest, it feels pretty weak. How should you fix it? honestly, I don't know. Maybe you don't need the phrase at all. After the very controversial declaration you've made, the reader will be expecting you to back it up with evidence and similarities. I think you just jump from "dogs are our gods" to "lost so high in the heavens, they are still not..." Up to you though I guess.

Also the phrase: "they are still not forgotten"
That feels pretty awkward to me. I'd suggest maybe, "They will never be forgotten?" or something? "still not" is just a weird combination of words.

I'm assuming you're referring to dog owners when you say "keepers of these lands," but that doesn't feel... quite right? what lands are "these" lands? like, if you were to just say that phrase out of context, I'd never in a million years guess that you were referring to dog owners. It also doesn't really work on the god-side either, for similar reasons.

"They shall bring death or joy" From this it sounds like you're saying that dogs are harbingers of death? Like, I guess people do get hurt from dogs a lot, and it would make sense, but it seems a little odd of a thing to say based on the tone you've set up. Maybe a little more explaining that, yes, you do mean that dogs can kill you would be in order? idk tho

"for dogs shall portray the prophets in the greatest light." Okay, first, I DO NOT see how the "for" is working for you here. I see no correlation between the previous phrase and this one, so the "for" is sticking out real bad for me. It sounds like you're trying to make it sound mystical and old and mysterious or something? But it like, backfired. Secondly, I have no guess as to who the prophets are or how dogs will "portray" them or how this line makes any sense at all. You know what, this also applies to the entire next stanza. I'm just over here like 🤷

"whoever the prophets may turn to be" > another weird phrase. Did you mean "turn out to be?" that would make a li'l more sense.

Great refrain at the end.

I'm torn on the plea at the end. This is probably a very personal preference but the word "soul" in poetry always turns me off completely. It's so cliche, and while it makes sense in context, I feel like it would be just... better to say "please listen to them" or something.
But again I'm probably very biased against that word.

I like the right side part. It was such an interesting and powerful addition to the poem. Actually, now I'm rereading it again, I feel like the most powerful part was the first sentence. The other sentences feel very expected and don't bring anything very surprising to the table. Kind of like the left side: you give us something exciting and fresh, and then it just gets unfortunately weaker.

One of the poetry professors at my university has a little saying that I disagree with slightly, but it can still be good advice. He says that you should aim to have two surprises on every line. I think that's a bit dramatic, but I think maybe in this situation it would be applicable?

A quick note on the formatting: I don't really like how the left side piece always ends in that little step thing? I feel like it ruins its emphasis, and it makes especially the last line even more overdramatic. I think it's good for the first line, but gets old quick.

Hope this helps!

Keep writing!

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955 Reviews

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Reviews: 955

Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:20 pm
alliyah says...

I still like this poem Lizz, I think it'd be interesting if on the right side the poem/prayer was addressed to Mother Earth Dog of the World - or something that made it ambiguous who the speaker was praying to - but overall I really like the formality of the whole piece, it brings a seriousness to a poem that people might discount because of it's extremity, and makes people reflect a little more on what the words say.

Oh and another note - the drama of the piece is really what makes it intriguing. If the poem was "dogs are kinda really important" - then it wouldn't be as meaningful. Poetry can tackle extremes in a way that people are forced to reckon with their own discomfort of thoughts like that. If the drama was taken down a notch, it'd be easy to write it off.

Keep writing (especially keep writing religious animal poetry, because it's great!).

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13 Reviews

Points: 696
Reviews: 13

Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:47 pm
JulietWrites wrote a review...

This is a very interesting poem. My only critiques are that it's a little overdramatic. "Dogs are our gods". I don't think that many people (or dogs!) feel that way. Most people see dogs as slightly lesser equals because their thinking capabilities are slightly less advanced compared to human brains. This poem isn't very relatable because of the high ideals raised by it. Try to humble it down a bit. And really, "Dogs shall portray the prophets in the greatest light"? That really doesn't accurately portray the way the collective opinion towards dogs and their status in the world. Other than that, It's really quite good.
Keep writing! :)

I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.
— Markus Zusak, The Book Thief