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mdccclxiv

by CaptainJack



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Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:31 am
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alliyah wrote a review...



Well Lizz, back in the day, I honestly promised myself that I would never review a poem with roman numerals as a matter of principle. (I literally wrote that in a few reviews) but I have decided to make a special exception for this poem due to the positive formatting conventions that you have chosen. So, let's get to the review, shall we?

Meaning/Interpretation
First off, It's about a train crash, this totally fits in the horror category okay, with that out of the way. ;)

So a quick google search makes me think this poem is about the 1864 Shohola train wreck, and there's a fabulous wikipedia article that I was able to read up on a bit too. I really like when you do these specific historical moments, because it brings an element of truth to the poetry that isn't present if this was just based on a fictional thought. I think you could add some more of the numbers in though - to clue the audience in that this is a historical event. Like maybe the number of people who died, or something.

I think there are really interesting elements of the story that the poem didn't get to too! For instace the dispatcher who ran away afterwards! And the unmarked graves dug right next to the tracks. Yeah overall, I'd just love a few more concrete specificities, because this story is so rich anyways.

I interpreted your poem version of the crash to be highlighting the drama of the crash itself and maybe the problems leading up to it. As well as some emphasis on how that especially contrasts with the nature imagery to the mechanical. It's interesting, and scary, and haunting - I would say this does fit in the horror genre.

Disaster poetry, used to be much more popular - I'm thinking of the ballads about the Titanic and the Wreck of the Edmund's Fitzgerald (one of my mom's favorite songs for no good reason). And there is something poetic about these sorts of failings. I'd love you to draw out the issue that these were prisoner's of war out a little bit more too - and there've been a lot of allusions with religious imagery to trains so lots of good options there too. But

Wording Suggestions

Although I like the repetition of the "way to get away" - I think that line feels a bit awkward, and then later you repeat with "the right way" and "along the way" - and I wonder if that is purposeful.

I think the phrase is normally "at break neck speed" rather than "a breakneck speed".

It also seems like the last three lines are the most climactic ones, as there seems to be danger here, so the clause about the engineer "needing to do their time" feels like an aside that just dimishes the drama at an important moment, unless it is an allusion to hell or purgatory. I couldn't quite figure out if that last stanza with "stand at the gates" was the engineer standing at heaven's gates or not, but that's an interesting picture in itself!

Formatting Thoughts
So, as I already said to you over discord - this poem has some trippy formatting. The reader has to weave back and forth as the lines trail, stretch, and then shrink - so in some ways it feels like you're going around a windy road or falling down a hill. That, coupled with the places of enjambment makes for a great poem to portray messingness, train crashes, smoke, and rivers.

One thing is, though that the whole poem's formatting doesn't necesarally change - it's all this weaving back and forth, sinking feeling. I wonder if you could have a point of contrast with the formatting where you slowly draw into this back and forth or suddenly align everything to the left to portray a turning point or crash.

But overall, I thought the formatting totally went with the hectic theme of the poem itself.

Well that's all I had for thought right off the bat, but feel free to ask about specific elements that I neglected, I'd be happy to comment on more. Overall I like this poem a lot though! It's direct, and takes a very concrete conflict, and I have to say I've never read a poem about an event like this, so the originality factor is way up too.

Best,

~alliyah

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Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:15 am
Dossereana wrote a review...



Hi there Ladybird I am here to do a review on your poem, so first I think this is a grate length,

I am not shore about this
I do not think that this is horror, okay next thing the second line, I feel like it just does not make any sens to me, I think that you need to explain this a bit better.
I love the third line this is really good description I think also I really feel like you have got a really good amagenashin to me sorry about my spelling. I really feel like this just needs a bit more work and it will be fine I love a lot of the lines, I just think that some of it does not make sens but that is okay I am shore that this will be easy to fix, by the way what is it with the green for matting I really am not shore that it should be there unless it is there for a good reason, I can not think of why it is there though.
So that is all that I can say, So keep up the good work, also if I came a cross as being a bit hard on you I am very sorry.

@EagleFly out to seek and kill




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Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:47 pm
AmadeusW wrote a review...



I don't know how this classifies as horror, but that's okay! Very creative with the whole green bit and... the formatting. Was that intentional the way you formatted the poem? It looks a little hectic, but that could add to the style.
One question: What's the poem about? It didn't make sense to me.
Lol the cows.





For in everything it is no easy task to find the middle ... anyone can get angry—that is easy—or give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for everyone, nor is it easy; wherefore goodness is both rare and laudable and noble.
— Aristotle