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exodus

by Kaylaa


A viper coils before him, his knuckles whiten
as he grips arms of the throne, though he is too foolish
to unfasten the ropes that tether an exodus of wrists.
Brothers bound by blood, but adversaries by nature.
Oh, what a turn of events, for the two never expected
to be gazing into the eyes of one another in such a manner.

A series of events unheralded by all. 'Where are my manners?'
he asks, a facade to hide his unease. His face whitens.
Three men ambled into the room. Not what Moses expected.
The Pharaoh smiled. Maybe he had been too foolish--
no. Moses loosened, knowing this was to happen by nature
and spoke, 'Unfetter these people and unbind their wrists.'

The serpent devoured the ones before it and the wrists
of slaves feel free, if only for a moment. His manners
and behavior do not change, but that is by nature.
Moses left the sacred temple, the sun whitened
as he stepped outside into the smouldering desert, feeling foolish.
'Take off your sandals.' God said, words Moses never expected.

Moses did not ask for this life, it was unexpected.
A newborn dropped from the sky, expected to soar, tiny wrists
flailing in midair, but perhaps the Nile will soften his fall. Only fools
plunge through the laden clouds without a place to land. In the manner
of which he nosedived into this life, the rivers would turn to blood, whitening
the faces of many, for this was not a normal occurrence in nature.

Moses struck his staff into the unruly river, and nature
responded. Crimson seeped into the turbid waters, though no one expected
this. The fish perish under the Pharaoh's rule yet his knuckles do not whiten
by a shade, perverse and baring the head of a bull. His wrists
cling to the chair, not bothering to lift a single hand. What manners
did his mother teach him? The same as Moses, though he chose to be a fool.

Smear the blood of sheep on the tops of your doors; only the foolish
refused this notion. The Pharaoh, set in his ways and adamant in his nature
woke to a refrain of death, repeating as a whisper in his ear. In a quiet manner
he lifted the body of his firstborn son and choked, "It's over." and by nature,
they left scavanging the belongings of others without a second thought. Their wrists
free of shackles, Moses led them to the land of milk and honey, the skies white.

The Pharaoh, foolish in his ways, never expected
to be of this nature. Left penniless and with naked wrists,
no jewelry to veil his poor manners, he is swallowed by black and white. 
 
Author's Note:
 I went ahead and edited through this NaPo poem. Hoping to get some feedback on this since it's more narrative-based than what I usually write. Note that I mainly based this off research. I haven't read the Book of Exodus since I'm not religious, though I still felt the urge to write this. Feel free to point out any inaccuracies here because there are probably a couple. I also wanted to mention this is a Sestina, which explains the structure. That being said, any criticism and comments are welcome and appreciated! 


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Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:31 pm
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CaptainJack wrote a review...



Since I finally managed to show up and want to see if I can get myself to a nice, even 400 before RevMo begins. Well that's not going to happen if I stand around yakking all day. Let the reviewing begin.

It's been a long, long time since I read bits of Exodus and even then I've probably forgotten everything that went. How couldn't you really? The style of this comes across to me as very formal, like the poem is puffing up its chest to try and get the readers to notice it more than it already would. The descriptive/narrative nature of it blends in so at times I really admire it and at other points it proved to be tiring to trying to get through the poem. The structure and length is also different from your other poems but then of course you gave the disclosure notice of that when you requested a review. Guess I'll just have to bend things to make them fit.

Opening Lines
Let's just have a look at the entire first stanza for the heck of it and that I don't feel lazy about reviewing for once in along time.

A viper coils before him, his knuckles whiten
as he grips arms of the throne, though he is too foolish
to unfasten the ropes that tether an exodus of wrists.

This set of lines seems to be more about the imagery and first picture in the readers' mind than anything else. I can clearly start to picture the main character of the narrative, even to the point where I can picture the snake just based off of Ark of the Covenant.

Brothers bound by blood, but adversaries by nature.

*coughs*
I believe that this line had a rather noble beginning and that it was meant to be all serious and everything but with my own personal experiences thrown in, I just couldn't see it that way. It screamed cliche to me, like I was sitting in the very back row of a sort of good school play, where only certain parts are terrible. That's really the best way that I can find to describe this poem without being too light or too cruel. It's okay but usually this early on is when I judge if I want to read the rest of the poem. This is resting on the edge right now but I think I'll manage to make it to the next stanza.

Overall
I'm skipping right to the overall opinions because Aley and the others have already picked apart the middle regions of your poem. Just think about this as a first opinion and a last opinion on the matter.
You've got the overall theme of the Pharaoh being "foolish in his ways". Something totally true based on the stories and you do a pretty good job of pushing the poem to this point everytime you got the chance. I liked the persistence of this one main point throughout the entire thing because often I see works that swap out main points, especially as the piece gets longer and they have to work through things.
I was surprised that this didn't get very many likes and/or reviews because most of your poems go over well. It does take a certain taste for someone to like it, with the connection to religion and all going on, where people sort all things containing religion together. I read this in a similar sort of way that I had read the Bible (basically I read it as a really epic adventure novel with all sorts of backstabbing and the like).
So yes now that I've gotten to the end, I still think this is 'okay' but in the star rating system, I moved it up to 4/5.

I'll probably come back at a different point and add on to this review but this is really all that I can think of for now.
~Liz <3




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Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:05 am
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Aley wrote a review...



"to be gazing into the eyes of one another in such a manner." What manner? Why not just say the manner in which they gaze? Why are you being shady about this?

"Brothers bound by blood, but adversaries by nature." The classic then. Got it. Same as always.

"though he is too foolish to unfasten the ropes that tether an exodus of wrists." So, what does this mean? An exodus is a mass running away of people. How could wrists that are tethered have a mass running away? You used the vocabulary word, Congratulations. Now use it better XD

"Oh, what a turn of events, for the two never expected" how? HOW could they not expect this? By standards of EVERY MONARCHY WHERE THE THRONE IS PASSED DOWN BY MALE HEIRS there are two brothers who would kill one another to get that crown. I think I've heard of ONE real life example of that not being the case, and then the brother died anyway, so the little brother was forced into it. They should have seen this one coming. Usually this type of thing doesn't sneak up on you. I mean, even christianity cites it, and moses is a bible name, so this guy should have seen it coming.

"A series of events unheralded by all. 'Where are my manners?'" WHAT SERIES OF EVENTS DX I'm honestly confused about your progression of the story here.

"and spoke, 'Unfetter these people and unbind their wrists.'" But you said the king's wrists were bound. the guy on the throne's wrists were bound to the throne. I don't understand.

"of slaves feel free, if only for a moment. " How? How do their wrists feel free for a moment? Why? What's going on? I can't see anything here and you're being too descriptive for me not to see anything.

"Moses left the sacred temple, the sun whitened
as he stepped outside into the smouldering desert, feeling foolish." Why? Why do this? This makes no sense. Just throw a knife at the guy, or a knife at the slaves? I don't know. Did they all get eaten by a basilisk or something? HOW did the giant snake that can eat all those people NOT eat Moses if he ate all the others?

"Moses struck his staff into the unruly river, and nature
responded. Crimson seeped into the turbid waters, though no one expected
this. The fish perish under the Pharaoh's rule yet his knuckles do not whiten
by a shade, perverse and baring the head of a bull." Wait wait wait. Why do we jump from one thing to the other here? I see no connection.

"What manners did his mother teach him? The same as Moses, though he chose to be a fool." How could he POSSIBLY know that? I mean, mothers don't always teach the same. [and if he was thrown from the sky, he had no mother, so...?]

""It's over." and by nature,
they left scavenging the belongings of others without a second thought. Their wrists
free of shackles," Wait wait wait. Where's the reason? WHY are they suddenly free? I mean, I'm not convinced they were captured in the first place, but weren't they all eaten? And if they were all eaten, then HOW are they all bound again and WHY do you preface this by talking about child sacrifice? I don't get this DX

"The Pharaoh, foolish in his ways, never expected
to be of this nature." Of WHAT nature? "Left penniless and with naked wrists,
no jewelry to veil his poor manners, he is swallowed by black and white." <-- that nature? Then put this first.




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Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:17 am
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Tikki2968 says...



Wow! I really liked this! It must have taken a while to get all of the facts down and actually write something like this. I would like to see more things like this to be honest. Keep it up!




Kaylaa says...


I actually wrote this on the spot! Took about three hours though so I'd say that it took awhile. Glad you liked it! ^^



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Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:41 am
GinaERufo wrote a review...



Hi there :)
I would like to begin this review by saying that this is a very creative idea and did require a lot of research (like you commented on in your author's note), and that it was a bold choice to do so but I am happy that you did. Things like this are the things that I, and many others, enjoying reading. It isn't traditional and gives character as well as insight into who the author is as a person.

With that being said, I do have some small things to critique, though I'm sure they are all simple editing mistakes, which I myself am prone to, so just be sure to look over your work as many times as you feel necessary.

"Moses left the sacred temple, the sun whitened" to better fit your format, I would suggest ending the sentence after "temple" and starting a new one for "the." simply because that's how many of your sentences have been written, short and to the point without many commas, but please let me know if that was a personal choice, because I may just be too nit-picky

Really, that was all that I noticed besides the things mentioned by midnightmoon in the previous review.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this and thought that your format was very unique, which is something I like to see when reading things by new authors. You took a chance by writing about a topic you were not knowledgeable on, and I believe that you succeeded. I look forward to reading other works by you. Have a great day :)




Kaylaa says...


Thanks for the review!



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Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:52 pm
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Midnightmoon wrote a review...



Good poem! Just a question, are the events out of order for a reason? Like is that part of the structure, or just how you wanted to write the poem? Just curious, because the first paragraph is rather confusing. Especially the first sentence.

"A viper coils in front of him, his fists whiten..." The way this is written, it makes it sound like the viper has fists. I would do something like this;
"A viper coils in front of him, The (or a) man's fists whiten."
Second line; "Though he is too foolish to unfasten the ropes that bind an exodus of wrists."
The word "Though" doesn't really make sense. I feel like it's unneeded, it makes it awkward to read. I think maybe something like this; "He is too foolish to unfasten the ropes that bind an exodus of wrists," etc.

That was really all I noticed. It's a really good poem, with a lot of depth in it. I really like how you make one paragraph lead into the next, especially on this line;
"Take off your sandals," God said, words Moses never expected to hear.
Moses didn't ask for this life..." Etc.
Sorry if this didn't help, and if it's a little harsh. Looking forward to more!




Kaylaa says...


Nah. Definitely not harsh. The events are probably a little out of order just because of how I ended up writing this, which is a bit odd. Will be taking the critiques here into account and thanks for the review!




Uh, Lisa, the whole reason we have elected officials is so we don't have to think all the time. Just like that rainforest scare a few years back: our officials saw there was a problem and they fixed it, didn't they?
— Homer Simpson