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for Blowing Out The Candles

5/20/2013 c1 76The Autumn Queen
I normally don’t see “and” working at the end of a line in a poem, but it works out really well with the last two lines as it gives the extra emphasis there. In fact, most of your line breaks seem to have that effect: stretching out the pause just subtly longer to put more or less emphasis on certain words and highlight the meaning…even though I couldn’t say there’s any unnecessary words in this piece at all. I like the way you’ve structured it: it flows really nicely as a narrative poem, with a scene set up nicely with an introduction, a climax and something at the end that ties back to the beginning. That structured approach makes it very easy to follow, and you haven’t tried to abstract it but rather put the narrative voice out as a very matter-of-fact speaker. The subtlety then is focused almost entirely on the breaks as opposed to the words, so that’s some clever bit of writing there.

I also like how the dialogue comes out both naturally as colloquial speech and poetic in that it is incorporated into the poem. It makes it sound natural in both senses, while at the same time giving a sense of authenticity to the female character introduced and extra emphasis on what she says as opposed to the narrative which is spoken by a different person. In a way it splits the voices without fragmenting the poem. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done before.

I do think though that the first stanza though might be a bit overdone with the imagery. It’s got a sense of melody to it, but compared to the voice that follows I find it a little abstract, particularly since they’re fourteen and, around here anyway, shouldn’t be old enough to drink anyway. It dims the teenage impression. If you’re going for the party-drunk impression, it might be better to say “buzzed”; that feeds more into the teenage image (late teens in my opinion, but I think the ages are different in Australia).

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