Just In
for train 79

7/12/2011 c1 6Natalie Field
I like this a lot. It's just got a nice feel and mood. I don't know quite how to put it. Sure, it's got images and nice details but there's something else here that sticks out.

I think it has a rhythm, but since I'm kind of new to poetry, I wouldn't know what it is that makes this feel like it has rhythm. But sometimes you just do have it here. And when you suddenly break off of the rhythm, it fits in perfectly.

I like the idea of the train and I think the way you ended this was perfect. I wish I could critique more, but I think anything I said might be a foot-in-the-mouth comment since I probably wouldn't know what I'm talking about. I hate it when people do that sometimes. They can't really write and then they review telling you to do something that could kill your story. Or whatever. And I don't want to do that here.

Well, good job. ^^

1/31/2011 c1 75thewhimsicalbard
Oh... This was good. Chills are running down my spine, woman. I think you've got the blues. And the blues? The blues are who I am.

I want Morgan Freeman to narrate this to me. Or maybe Lightnin' Hopkins. This is fantastic. Trains are such a bluesy thing; trains, rivers, and roads, you know? Maybe a little gi-tar here and there, but the blues are trains, rivers, and roads.

... I'm gonna make that into a poem.

Anyway, back to your piece. Sorry it's taken me so long to get back. The first round of midterms just hit, so I've been hard at work away from FP.

My train (no pun intended) of thoughts from top to bottom:

If you're going to include your title in the main body of the piece, you should probably boldface it. It's one of those things that poets generally do - mostly because it's distracting otherwise.

As much as I abhor rhyme scheme poems in general, I love it when poets only rhyme the first two lines, or they use it randomly throughout the poem. You did that here, and it really worked. I fell in love with this one in the first three lines. It was very bluesy, but you didn't keep a strict meter, which is also a very bluesy thing to do.

There were a few places I thought you could have improved, though. I thought a few lines were awkwardly phrased or had words that didn't quite fit, as I mentioned was a problem in the other poem of yours I reviewed.

Words That Didn't Quite Fit (by line #): 6, 15, 19

Awkwardly Phrased: 6, 8, 20

If you have any questions on the "why" of the above comments, feel free to PM me.

More on your line breaks: There were a couple times in here where, just as in your other poem, I noticed line breaks that didn't seem to do very much.

One very good rule of thumb that I use when writing poetry is this: never emjamb a line so that it ends in a preposition, as in line 5 of your poem. It is really jarring rhythmically, and it does little for the meaning of your poem. If you wanted to keep whatever device you had active there, what you really should do is enjamb the line right before the preposition, so that it reads like this: "the silence breaks / into polite breathing murmurs." That flows better, because there's not awkward break or strange emphasis on a preposition (the last word of an enjambed line receives emphasis, just to clarify).

The same thing applies in the line "'This car was built before / you or I was born.'" (Also, grammar nazi note: even though this is grammatically correct, it would read a lot better if you said "you and I were").

There are a few holes in here that a careful reader will catch, and there are a few things that will give a reader pause on a second or third read. However, despite that, you capture the reader on the first read-through, and that is half the battle. I very much want you to REVISE this poem. Do it. I'll be eagerly waiting to see this poem in it's final form. I mean, I really loved this poem.

I'll prove it, too.



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