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The Rings of Saturn

by fortis


A/N: This is a Creative "researched" Essay, meaning it should entertain AND inform you. Please don't mind the little-bit wonky formatting (like where the lines don't meet up right).

The Rings of Saturn


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Sun May 07, 2017 3:34 pm
alliyah wrote a review...



I'm just going to leave a few comments here...

One of the things that was interesting about this piece as a whole is how quickly you could go back and forth between pretty formal language (with references to Greek mythology etc) and then go straight to very casual language. I think this makes the piece interesting and really challenges the "traditional" format that this essay/poem is in. I like that this poem is breaking boundaries and poetic conventions. On the other hand, I think some readers could feel disjointed from the flip-flop back and forth from the type of language being used and I wonder if maybe you could make the disjointedness more extreme to make it clear that you are being intentional. Just a thought.

I think that in some ways the length of this piece is largely okay because I could see someone reading each of these sections in like a poem book with one section on each page. I would be really curious as to what you could do with line breaks in some of these sections though, because I felt some of the paragraph breaks weren't super helpful to giving extended meaning to the piece. And although the length I pretty much didn't mind, I would say there is some wordiness in each section (especially more so in the left column's work).

I really liked E's descriptions in particular. You go from very distant in the one before, talking about the rings extending forever and then suddenly it gets to the personal, to an embrace. That zooming in is really really neat and I think compliments the form you chose to present it in as well, because we expect distance in an essay and in a poem we expect closeness so to
combine both extremes is a good move.

Not sure why there's a big paragraph break between "happy // time gone by"

I would like to see more continuity from section to section. I want to come away from this feeling like I read a snapshot of astronomy, greek mythology, but also some narrative continuity. We get little nuggets like the note about a mother's embrace, a middle name, separation between siblings, a father, and the speaker relating to the aspect that they know least about, but I'm not sure that that all really paints a continuous picture. I might just be missing something you've already encorporated into the piece, but I think the continuity just needs to be clearer and build up to something in the narrative portion of the story.

The right hand section of your explanation of Saturn is lovely and definitely gets towards significance. the last line is great "tell me the story of Saturn".

Overall I liked the piece, it was such an interesting take and new form to work with. You have many really interesting lines and questions here, and I think the main extension I'd like to see is a bit more continuity on the narrative because at the end of reading I feel like there wasn't quite a resolution there wasn't an end or reveal to the story and bits of personal reflection in here. Nice work! And I would add upon seeing the review below that I for one thought this piece was both beautiful, elegant, and intriguing and I also I think this form helped the piece because like I said earlier it allows you to "push the bounds" of what we think conventional poetry is. Please let me know if you have any comments or questions about your review! :)

~alliyah




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Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:27 am
Ishan212 wrote a review...



Hi Fortis
When I read your 'essay', I thought that either I have been living in a cave or the definition of essay has. changed over time. So I decided to write a typical critical review about your work, thinking you to be a new member who does not take writing seriously. But when I saw the large no. of works you've published till date on the right my mind changed.

I'm no expert on astronomy neither I know what a modern essay is. So I just tell you with utmost respect Fortisi didn't like your work. It was more like a school practical observation table. Please stop calling your 'literary' work(,if you can call it one) an essay. An essay is beautiful.
The others claiming to be an essay are not.

Well...... Keep writing
Literary works!!!!!!!!

Sorry if I've offended you.




Ishan212 says...


There are some errors in my review .Due to my keypad not functioning properly.
Thanks.



fortis says...


This is a creative, informational, personal essay with the form of a hermit crab essay. Hermit crab essays take on the form of other things.. For example, my creative writing teacher was able to fit an essay into the form of a buzzfeed quiz!
Anyway, I tried to make mine into a map/atlas sort of thing, though I agree the form didn't add much. In later revisions I removed the form entirely.

The one thing I'm hung upvon your reviw about is when you call my essay "not beautiful." What is your standard of beauty to not see any in this? If absolutely nothing else, it should be sern as beautiful. Excuse me for assuming, but did you even read it? Or did the form just throw you off that much? Please tell me your opin8on of the content, not just the form.



fortis says...


This is a creative, informational, personal essay with the form of a hermit crab essay. Hermit crab essays take on the form of other things.. For example, my creative writing teacher was able to fit an essay into the form of a buzzfeed quiz!
Anyway, I tried to make mine into a map/atlas sort of thing, though I agree the form didn't add much. In later revisions I removed the form entirely.

The one thing I'm hung upvon your reviw about is when you call my essay "not beautiful." What is your standard of beauty to not see any in this? If absolutely nothing else, it should be sern as beautiful. Excuse me for assuming, but did you even read it? Or did the form just throw you off that much? Please tell me your opin8on of the content, not just the form.



fortis says...


This is a creative, informational, personal essay with the form of a hermit crab essay. Hermit crab essays take on the form of other things.. For example, my creative writing teacher was able to fit an essay into the form of a buzzfeed quiz!
Anyway, I tried to make mine into a map/atlas sort of thing, though I agree the form didn't add much. In later revisions I removed the form entirely.

The one thing I'm hung upvon your reviw about is when you call my essay "not beautiful." What is your standard of beauty to not see any in this? If absolutely nothing else, it should be sern as beautiful. Excuse me for assuming, but did you even read it? Or did the form just throw you off that much? Please tell me your opin8on of the content, not just the form.



fortis says...


Sorry that triple posted. Internet issues.
And I wrote these replies on my phone, so pardon my spelling mistakes too.



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Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:14 pm
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Hannah wrote a review...



Fortis, hi! I remember seeing some poetry about Saturn from your NaPo and felt drawn to it because oh my god, seeing Saturn through a telescope at an observatory was one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring moments of my life. I was similarly drawn here, and immediately pleased by the organization. Why can't more essays be organized in columns? It makes me feel comfortable, like I have a map of the path I should take. Great choice, in my opinion.

I really love the imagery that you give with your explanation of lighting up Phoebe in infrared, and even the aside about the snakes -- it helps me visualize that we can see beyond when we look in infrared. I would like a bit more specificity in the description of Phoebe the moon goddess, maybe? It seems like right now that your text is saying the moon is named after the goddess of the moon, which just seems obvious and doesn't get into the relationship. This is especially disappointing because directly after that you do a brilliant job of lovingly portraying the relationship between the moon and the rings -- god, that's gorgeous.

In E, I don't feel quite as much the necessity of your aside about how you think being in E would be like a warm embrace, mostly because you haven't described why, so I can't agree with you. I think you might want to say something like "a real giant of gas" instead of a "real gas giant", because otherwise it implies that Enceladus was a fake gas giant, when you're only meaning to compare the giant part. :) I love the translation of the moons names, and I love the image of the ice making the cradles sparkle, but again I don't see where the caring persona is coming from. (Also, A+ inclusion of "the first letter of my middle name" -- I suddenly feel connected to YOU as well).

I adore the information in Alkyonides, but I think it could use some smoothing. For example, saying take out your first guess that they broke free of the ocean in a spray of foam, since you go back to it later in a more appropriate place. Also, take out "From these facts, I can only imagine" -- just tell the story; it is much stronger as a statement than a guess. You don't need "themselves" after rings. Finally, you can add "in a spray of foam" after atmosphere", and instead of something vague like "imagining", bring an action to them -- chasing to see if their father is around the bend, or searching for their father around the bend, for example.

Um, and how delicious is the phrase "a cough of Aegean ice"?? I think there's a cute mystery to you just saying you relate most to G, but I would also like to know the reason why.

Again, bring strength to your great descriptions and drop the parentheses -- say that it's a story of another moon, as rings are just moon debris after all. Bring that into the main sentence! I am so especially delighted by your description of the relationship between E and P, especially with your note to the right, letting me know they play perfect tricks together as humans, but have been frozen apart in this celestial parade. :(

This is the point where I begin to feel fatigued, and so something might be off with the rhythm. Is there a way that the format could change here, to surprise and refresh? Could we have another image, another form of motivation? Something?

What catches me in the succeeding sections is:

- the description of moonlets as lice and the connection of Bleriot to its namesake.
- your contribution to s/2009 s
- your passionate note in the right column about your connection to saturn -- "the story of saturn"

I feel like something needs to break up the pattern in the last half of this essay, and also that you can put strength in several more of your sentences -- while "guessing" and "imagining" can sometimes put a nice, fairytale film over your sentences, which matches with your whimsical descriptions, it more often weakens our connection to your storytelling. And I was especially confused by when, in the last section, you said "much more can be said", but never said it.

I really hope that what I have here is helpful to you! If you edit this piece, I would very much like to read the second version. Let me know if you have any questions or comments about my review.

Thank you so much for sharing,

Hannah





If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing.
— W. Edwards Deming