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for Eldest

12/18/2012 c1 hohoho
This was simply heart warming. It gave me a smile even with the sad current that ran through it. I never had that close of a relationship with my mother, and this made me wish I had. It was lovely and touched me.
12/6/2012 c1 19Twyla Cole

I do like it, a lot! And I do remember favoring it (I think). But reading it again I am having some issues with flow. Your language is very simple in this piece but there are lines that are awkward to me.

"they were reassurances and promises,"

I know what you're doing, but! reassurances give me pause and creates such a faltering rhythm in teh first stanza for me. I think you could shorten it to promises. Or Hints and promises, or truths and promises. Something that didn't stop that line's flow. Even the next line is a little faltering.

Rhythm and word choice are my main issues. Like you have said to me, I see where you are going and I see what you want, but the rhythm is keeping me from going with you. It is pulling me out of the story. I can feel that you want it to be conversational.
But you do have some lines in here that I LOVE! "and wise enough to know I am not." Great! I think that this captures a lot of what you are trying to do in the piece. This line works back on its self, being efficient and succinct. You needed no extra words 'cause we get it. You didn't have to say "wise enough to know I am not wise." You know what I mean?

A line that is almost awesome: "that my struggles had once been hers as well,"

I love it and I love the introduction of the title, but I think you could leave off the "as well,". I really love that stanza. But trust in her cliches. Trust your words and trust that we will get it. Don't add extraneous could also leave out the "because" in the 2nd line of the stanza as well. so then we get:

"I had a special nickname,
like her, I was "eldest"
and it was our shared secret—a promise
that my struggles had once been hers,"

Here is why I think this stuff will work for you. When you talk about a cliche it is well known. We get to the point with a cliche because the listener understands it, the concept, without explanation. Use this to your advantage. It is just a little form and function idea that can help you clean this up.

I feel this way a couple of different places in the poem as well. But I think you should go back through and look at the things you repeat like "she said," "another phrase/cliche" "fallen in love" and really ask if their repetition is being used successfully.
I see "Fallen in love" twice and something about it rubs me the wrong way.

You were the one who told me to be specific. "and seal them with a diamond" is specific and yet not over used. We get the picture. Give me the picture of "fallen in love."

You really do have awesome lines in here as well.
"I'll love you forever, I'll like you always,"
"because i am afraid of the word forever, and other conditionals."
I love the facial hair through-line.
"like all mothers mine had phrases,"

They are all great. But the lines I really like are the ones that really flow well and aren't interrupted by justifiers.

I think you just need to read it out loud, or have someone else read it out loud.
I know I was kind of harsh. I know you really love this poem. And I know you do not by any means have to take my advice. Maybe you could explain anything that I missed.

I hope this is helpful.
And I hope you are well,

As Always,

11/11/2012 c1 6Findus
Crap. That was beautiful.

I don't know what I expected from the title but certainly not this. I liked the 'soft whisker' phrasing and how you kept that theme throughout. Then again, just the word 'whiskers 'makes me smile. I thought you carried off a sentimental theme real well without making it sound like a big bowl of schmaltz. Sweet.

Good luck with this month's WCC!
11/10/2012 c1 74Grains and Oats
This poem was unbearably sweet and touching. One of the better ones I've read lately. I really liked the subject material and how you treated it. Usually when someone tries to tackle something like this, it turns out sounding really cliche and boring, but you really touched me with this. I also really like how you structured this. Lately, I feel like most of my reviews have been saying "Oh, your stanzas don't make sense" or "You should really add stanzas to this," but how you broke up the words makes a lot of sense and the stanzas flow really well together.

That being said, I feel like one stanza that could be improved is "Now my whiskers are full,/my voice is/deep;/I am older,/and wise enough to know that I am not." It took me a few read-throughs for me to see what you were trying to get at here. I understand it now with the next few lines, but that kind of threw me for a loop. I think if you switched the order of a few of those lines around then it would help keep the continuity of the piece. That may just be my own shortcoming, but that was the biggest thing I noticed.

Like I said, this is a really great piece overall. I look forward to reading more!

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