Dear Spire –
This was a very interesting poem. It was fascinating to see your interpretation of Severus’ thoughts. He’s such a complex character and I think that you have a good handle on his younger self.
I found it very interesting that you chose to use the night (with its moon and stars) as the central image of the poem. It’s a fairly popular theme in poetry with good reason. It’s definitely mysterious, slightly lonely, and beautiful. You can evoke so many images just by using the night. What I immediately thought of when I noticed that night was the central piece of this poem was romance. Of course, when you mention Lily as the “only friend” – something that is reinforced from the repetition – I was immediately reminded of the idea that Severus was apparently in love with Lily. So, although night is one of those common things in poetry, I thought that you used it well to evoke certain images and ideas without having to openly state them.
But I wish I had them in their entirety,
A full moon and a smattering of stars --
Every night, especially on the darkest…
So why aren’t they always there?
I thought that these lines were quite beautiful and really capture Severus’ character. You spent a stanza before these showing that Severus can’t have everything. He can’t have both the moon and the stars at the same time. The mention of Lily in a stanza before that draws a great parallel between being unable to have both Lily and his other friends (and things like Death Eater activities). I thought that this parallel was especially pretty and fairly heartbreaking. I felt terrible for Severus because he can’t really have both – he can’t have weak stars and a weak moon. Essentially, he can have one or the other and it’s fairly heartbreaking to think about everything in Severus’ life that he wants but can’t have.
These lines are also very telling as to Severus’ character. The last line, especially, demonstrates that he seems to have very little to comfort and support him. After all, he seems to be relying on the stars rather than on another human. We, as readers, know that other humans haven’t always been there for Severus. His father didn’t seem to care about him and his mother did, but wasn’t strong enough to counteract his father. Then, Lily essentially abandoned him and their friendship. Severus’ mindset at this point – I’m putting a guess in that this was very near to the “Lake Incident” – must have been one that just didn’t trust other human beings. It just makes it more tragic that he has to apply that mistrust of humans to nature, as the stars and moon and the light that they admit are no more constant that the people in his life.
I found the structure of this poem to be very interesting. In the first three stanzas, the first two lines open with “Sometimes”. Then, a later stanza has the first two lines begin with “Most of the time”. This seems to give quite a bit of uncertainty to Severus and his actions, although the first three stanzas are actually about nature (and, thus, kind of underscore the point about the inconsistency of nature that I made in the previous paragraph). However, the repeated use of words and phrases like that seem to me to say something about Severus’ character. He seems to be questioning his actions and what he does; almost as if he’s testing out different courses of action and seeing what suits him best. We can only imagine that his Hogwarts years were some of experimentation with various things before settling firmly with the Death Eaters. So even though most of these phrases tended towards describing nature, I thought that their repetition definitely highlighted that questioning part of Severus’ character. I do, however, think that the message might have been more strongly conveyed if you had used the same structure throughout the poem. Most of the stanzas begin with a few lines that open with the same phrase, but there are several that don’t. While this is a largely stylistic note from someone who tends to like symmetry, I think that the poem would have flowed a little more smoothly if the other stanzas had opened with the same repetition. Not the same words, per se, but with the same repeating structure.
So, I wanted to tell you that this was an absolutely lovely poem to read. I think that you really explored Severus’ character in a believable way and left very thought provoking questions for the reader. I really enjoyed this.
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Kelly! This is one of my favourite things I've written, so it's lovely to read this feedback! -hugs-
I really like this poem. I really love the ending to it. The whole poem is good.
Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you like it! xx
Oh wow, that was very good. It's poems like these that make me feel sorry for ol' Snapey! I write HP Poetry too, and this one was so good i wish i wrote it!
Author's Response: Wow, thank you so much! -squishes-