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weather reports bring warnings of monachopsis: locals advised to keep out of own skulls

by Pompadour

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1727 Reviews

Points: 94060
Reviews: 1727

Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:02 pm
BluesClues wrote a review...

UGH why are your poems so hard to review.

Okay, probably because they're so full of imagery and figurative language that I have trouble extracting any sort of meaning because I'm not really At That Level yet. But it's good practice for English class, I suppose.

The first thing I want to say is that the last stanza felt out of place. Which to be fair might be on purpose? Since monachopsis is (you sent me to the dictionary a lot for this one, good job) "the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place." But still. It was just so different from the other stanzas and kind of out of the blue except for "the birds that rain," which vaguely tied it back to "drown me in a flood of buzzards." It didn't feel as uncomfortable and hopeless as the rest. Plus I'd think "the dragon without the knight, without the sword" would be a happy beast, since knights and dragons are famously at odds. The way the last stanza is worded, however, makes it sound like the knight and the dragon are buddies-in-arms. It was just kind of a confused metaphor.

So then I want to ask if "spring solstice" was on purpose. It has a nice ring to it, but, well, let me give you my thought process on this. So I looked up Navroz, too, and came up with "a Muslim festival that celebrates the start of a new year and the first day of spring; spiritual renewal, physical rejuvenation; gratitude for blessings; hope; optimism, all of which is kind of at odds with the feeling of monachopsis," so I like having that paradox in there.

And then I was thinking, maybe Navroz = the spring solstice? but THEN I remembered that there is no spring solstice, there's a spring equinox and a summer solstice. I'm assuming you used the term "spring solstice" on purpose, but I thought I'd mention it anyway, just in case. If it was on purpose, I'm curious as to the reason.

I like the commas around the phrase "i narrate" and the ambiguity they create which is totally not at all because of the comma play in Hamilton. I also really love this imagery.

the sky: heaving, gelatin, thick soup
tinned pineapple syrup speckled with flies

Especially the second line, which is gross but really adds to the feelings of oppressiveness and unbelonging and also is just incredibly powerful imagery.

Also, despite getting stuck on "spring solstice" once I thought about it, I really like the words and ring of this.

the spring solstice today, navroz yesterday,
it is winter tomorrow,
and summer
at midnight

Although I also thought that came in kind of late to get the emphasis and repetition it got, which was sort of the opposite of the "i have ceased to marvel at the joy within things" and "i narrate," both of which received attention early on and were brought back in at the end but kind of seemed forgotten in the middle.

So...I don't know how helpful this actually is, because I still only kind of get the gist of this poem, but those were my thoughts on the effectiveness of various parts, anyway.

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742 Reviews

Points: 11158
Reviews: 742

Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:27 pm
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CaptainJack wrote a review...

Hey there Pomp. It's been a very long time since I've reviewed any of your poetry, and it looks like things on both sides of the table have changed some. I always liked your pieces but this one has a certain charm to it, even though the first look through scared me off a bit from the idea at first.

So let's just take it from the top.
You may not have seen many of my reviews lately but I like to start from the very, very beginning. In this case, I'm including the title because it was rather intriguing and distracting, all at the same time. And I did have to look up monachopsis, something that typically I don't like to do, but it does set the poem off just right. Having a heavy title to start off a piece is part of what makes it distracting, soon leading into the first line, which immediately related back to the title.

i have ceased to marvel at the joy within thing

So basically you start out with a sort of definition of the funky word mentioned in the title, trying to run along the same theme, and trying to describe the actual feeling of the emotion. Well I guess that's the best way that I could possibly try to state the feeling of metaphor behind the whole thing. In fact, the entire piece sounds like one long metaphor that's never really going to come to any sort of end and the ending leaves me sort of hanging.
But I'm really trying not to bounce around between topics here and remain on the path of going along the first stanza. Let's just talk about the rest of that first stanza before I get distracted.
i narrate, when you ask--for it is only for the asking
that i venture to speak anymore, and the asking
comes as monsoon showers do in Karachi weather:
rarely, if ever at all, and then
only to drown me in a flood of buzzards.

I focus on this one and the next to last stanza, because that's where the story starts to repeat itself and finally connect. To be perfectly honest, up until the third read through of your poem, I kind of looked at it as a drag. Most of the portions of it took a very long time to pass and at some points, I could find no interest in it. On one side you have a beautiful idea that you're trying to craft into something more, but like in many other cases, the execution seems to fall apart.
One thing I did maintain a liking for throughout the poem, was the imagery. It lit up the stage in spite of the other elements that were causing the curtains to close prematurely. "a flood of buzzards" brings several possibilities to my mind. Like the metaphor of a haunting death but also just like a bunch of birds. There may possibly be another use to the word buzzard but for now I've got the vision of a flock of turkey buzzards in a swimming pool trying to drown someone.
I don't why my mind works this way.

And since I feel like I'm starting to repeat myself, let's just move to the final stanza.
my town is chainmail; i am the dragon
without the knight, without the sword,
without the spirit to fight the birds
that rain down on its decay.

As far as emotional endings go, you've done a pretty good job of giving the reader something to go off with. I liked it. It was powerful and simple in the same way, just enough to leave a mark from what was presented in the poem, but not overpowering to leave it as a sour memory. The speaker also comes to more of a realization about what is taking place, even if it's laden heavily with metaphor, and I think that might draw some more peace into the reader's mind even though the subject matter is traumatic.

I've been writing this whole thing in pieces, so I really do apologize if the formatting or anything is off or if I'm going through things at a weird pace. If you have any questions about this review, you can always find me on discord, like 95% of the time. I really did enjoy your poem and perhaps I'll be seeing more of them during the poetry exchange.

For now, I'm signing out as this is my 450th review, and I'm going to go celebrate.
~Liz <3

Pompadour says...

thank you for this<3 and congratulations on the 450th review, woot!

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109 Reviews

Points: 3563
Reviews: 109

Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:49 am
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Nightshade wrote a review...

This is good. The voice does a great job of blending a winding, stream-of-consciousness style with a vivid imagery. The first stanza in particular is really beautiful, it reminds me of why I read poetry.

Sandwiching the "i narrate"s in between commas creates nice turns of phrase, which lend themselves to multiple readings depending on which clause the "i narrate" belongs to. ("i have ceased to marvel at the joy within things, i narrate" vs "i narrate, when you ask") ("i have ceased to marvel, i narrate" vs "i narrate, because I have forgotten how ink is made")

The repetition of "i narrate" suggests that it's important, but you abandon it after the second stanza, which is a shame. Calling attention to the fact that the speaker is narrating suggests that they are narrating to someone, and there's even some 2nd person in the first stanza. But then we never hear about this mysterious "you" again and the development of that portion of the poem goes nowhere. This makes it feel like two poems that don't entirely connect (stanzas 1 and 2, and stanzas 3-7). Even the imagery changes from a weather/meteorology focus to a medieval/fantasy focus.

The last stanza loses your tone entirely. The list of direct comparisons is heavy-handed and doesn't do justice to the much more interesting first six stanzas of the poem. Even just killing that last stanza entirely significantly improves the effect of the poem.

"chainmailiswrapped" ends up feeling gimmicky and is distracting. It just doesn't fit with the formatting and style of the rest of the poem.

"If diving be tantamount to a dance at all. Because it is" flows really clumsily, especially for a line you call extra attention to with italics and alternate formatting.

Overall, I'm a big fan of the core elements here. But I'm left wanting more consistency in tone and imagery, especially in regard to expanding and developing the world of narration, "you", and Karachi weather you set up so well in the first two stanzas.

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176 Reviews

Points: 2183
Reviews: 176

Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:58 am
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sheyren wrote a review...

Hey there! Shey here to review!

Overall this was a nicely written poem. I've just got a few comments for it.

First, I want to ask why the "I"s is never capitalized. I see this a lot in poetry I read around the site, and I don't understand why that is the case. In this poem, with the context of the story, I don't see a reason for the "I"s to not be capitalized. After all, pretty much every other grammar rule applies to this poem, so why leave out just one?

My other little nitpick is one I see PrincessInk touched up on too. That would be stanza five. In all the other stanzas, you kept any phrases not italicized on the left, with no exception. But then in stanza five you changed that rule only once, making it seem extremely out of place. Often, this is understandable when that specific rule-breaking line contains valuable information and the post is trying to get a point across with them or bring attention to them, but I didn't feel like the phrase you indented had any extra significance. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Overall, wonderful poem! I may have focused on nitpicks, but it was really quite amazing! Keep up the great work, and I look forward to seeing more!


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373 Reviews

Points: 46306
Reviews: 373

Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:21 pm
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PrincessInk wrote a review...

Wow! The imagery here was--amazing!

I looked up "Monachopsis" and it perfectly fits the poem. The theme was displayed really, really powerfully here and I love it. I only have a few nitpicks.

"for it is only for the asking" feels awkward here. I would have liked something clearer here, unless you're replace it with some poetic devices.

"because in my city/people have choked on dandelions" slightly confused me. I don't really understand how it ties to the rest of the poem.

And when you moved the lines forward, more to the center in the fifth stanza, it felt rather off, because that was the only stanza. I would have liked it to affect also the first few stanzas as well.

And the ending was good as well, as if you're a dragon that doesn't belong. (Like dragons stereotypes: dragon fights knight). Throughout the poem, I can sense some emptiness that's eating up the narrator, as if the narrator doesn't belong here. So overall, this poem had very strong imagery and theme, and I'm definitely looking forward to read more of your work!

~Princess Ink~

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.
— Woodrow Wilson