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burned

by Lumi



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34 Reviews


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Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:53 pm
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Pentavalence wrote a review...



Hi! Pentavalence here with a review.

You're obviously really talented and I know next to nothing about poetry, so I can't find much to criticize.

The lines "but I swear that this is the last time // this is the last time and i will burn your prints" didn't flow as well as the others. The repeated use of the words 'this is the last time', intentional or not, made it sound a bit stilted.

Also, "and the smell of oils won't" made me think of watercolor oils, but it also occurred to me that it could be olive oil or something like that. You might want to clarify that.

Anyway, that's all I could find. I love your work, keep writing!

-Pentavalence




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Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:07 am
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silverhanded wrote a review...



Hey <3

So--and I'm just throwing this out there--I've been playing around with punctuation as a means of eliciting meaning in poetry. I've been especially fixated on colons & dashes (drawing on Jorie Graham, Emily Dickinson, etc.) and so I'm seeing a lot of places here where punctuating in one way or another could push ideas to be more concrete. Nothing against ambiguity (obviously), just something to consider. (Although on the other hand, it would seem a little odd to read your poetry punctuated heavily and you make lovely use of line breaks & spaces to create flow & rhythm & meaning so... I'm not sure where I stand.)

This one didn't grab me by the collar the way some of your more arresting poems have done, but that's okay. To me it read a little softer--not sure how intentional that was, or if it's partly born of personal lens in reading, but I like it. I like your imagery in that second stanza but I want more push in making sight organic and separate from the body. It's a gorgeous notion but a little lost in execution.

I'm a little lost in that stanza as well--it feels somewhat abrupt, like you can't quite pin down the thought. Whether or not that's intentional is beyond me, but I will say it's a little jarring. Unsurprisingly, there's a lot packed in, imagery-wise, and I think you could really benefit from paring down & refining. (Having someone else's fingerprints to burn off? God, that kills me.) Again: there's definitely some ambiguity as far as what the last time is and I'm not sure the ambiguity evokes the response you want. Personally it's a little confusing, but I'm also not one to thrive in nuance and subtlety so again, don't necessarily put any stock into this.

I have to say, I disagree with Morrigan (sorry) about the cozy santa mug line. I think it's one of the most effective lines here. There's no reason to know the backstory on this one, as it's evident from context that there IS backstory, if that makes sense. The inside jokes, the history--it's not necessary. Vague? yes, obviously. But ineffective? no no no no no. Same goes for the oils, though I agree that specificity as far as the type of oil could benefit you there.

And the ending--what were you going for? I'm getting mixed feelings, resignation & incompleteness & that part of heartbreak where you're not really sad but you still feel like your lungs won't quite fill. This is the point where lack of punctuation actually feels essential because it makes the end feel so hollow, haunting in the unfinished business kind of way.

Just a couple thoughts. It feels good to be reading your work again.

xoxo
-Ry (see what I did there?)




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Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:22 am
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Morrigan wrote a review...



Hi Lumibear <3
I'mma let you know what I think of this.

Firstly, I really like the reversal of the fingerprints. Usually you would burn someone's fingerprints off of them, but the narrator is burning someone else's fingerprints off of the narrator's own fingers. It's really nice.

"this will at last be finished" has a nice finality to it that it wouldn't have if you had used a verb other than "to be." Usually, I would advise against using a form of "to be," but here it is used to the benefit of the feeling of the poem, so I suggest you keep that.

The cozy santa mug bit feels a bit off. There's not enough context as to why the mug would make the narrator reach for the other person's hand. I understand that it's about cuddling and warmth, but like, what is the significance of the mug? Did the other person give the narrator this mug? I feel like it needs more. Or less. Something. Santa mug is such a strong image that contradicts the equally strong image of the fingerprints burning. While juxtaposition is great, I think it actually is more jarring than anything here. I understand having a soft image here, but Santa mug seems too strong a difference in imagery. Perhaps a favorite tea or hot drink that reminds the narrator of the other instead?

"the smell of oils" is too vague. Which oils? Olive oils remind me of cooking, but patchouli or lavender draws me to a different scene, peppermint entirely another. Gimme a specific oil.

Warm palms is good. Feels good rolling off the tongue.

I like that you bring the poem together at the end. It's focused on the other person, though it's also about the relationship, still image-focused, and you brought the burning back.

I went all the way down to the end, and I forgot to talk about the beginning!

I'm totally on the fence about the first two lines. On one hand, it's an assertion coming from the narrator like "hear me out because you haven't yet" and on the other hand, it feels over the top for the quiet but strong statements found in the rest of the poem. If there's another way to create the same feeling without being quite as over-the-top assertive, I think that would serve the poem better. I'm having a bit of trouble explaining this part clearly, so lemme know if you feel what I'm laying down here.

I'm confused about the "my sight is slow
swimming through tired oceans"
Is the sight swimming? Like, "my sight is slow-swimming through tired oceans," or is the sight just slow and the narrator is swimming? It's not a big deal, but it caught me off guard.

"to reach the photographs" I think "old photographs" or another adjective would work better than an article here. It would give some kind of feeling that the photographs, like the relationship, are in the past.

Altogether, I think the second and the last stanzas are the strongest, and you might need to work on the middle imagery. While it's excellent for a sandwich to have good bread, the filling is what you really order it for. I hope that this review proves useful to you! Happy poeting <3





The strongest people are not those who show their true strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about.
— Unknown