Hi, Meg :) I'm sorry for being such an absent SPEW buddy. Things have been so busy for me lately; I really haven't had much time on my hands.
You may or may not know that I normally am very snobby about poetry, and that I very rarely enjoy poetry that doesn’t rhyme in some way. Yet in your poem, the way you’ve structured it is ingenious, and I loved your minimalist approach to the words. The minimalism enhances the rawness of the feelings in the poem, and given that I have just written — essentially — James and Lily Potter’s deaths (in the epilogue of Checkmate), I understand how powerful the emotions there would be.
Your choice of words — “billows” and “blemishes” in particular stood out for me — were wonderful, and I really loved the lyricism in your poem. My only criticism, really, is that it could have been longer. I honestly felt like you described the emotions so well, and the whole premise of the poem is brilliant, but at the same time, there is something... unfinished about the poem. I think, perhaps, if you expand it a little, it will have more of a completed feel to it. Yet, maybe that’s the beauty of your poem: it was like you took a snapshot of Lily and James’s death and put it into a poem, which is why it stands by itself.
A lovely, lovely poem, SPEW buddy, and I really hope you write more.
Author's Response: Sorry about the lateness of my response. Real life has just been very busy over the past several months. I wrote a poem in the same style as this in eighth grade, which was honestly a statement to a teacher that loved long poetry. (For future reference, I don't like long poetry.) To respond to your criticism, I can't think of any way to expand it without breaking the flow of the poem. I felt like ending with James and Lily's deaths was a natural way to end the piece. When I wrote this poem, I had a picture in my mind, and in the poem I tried to describe that picture. I wasn't trying to tell a story, which may contribute to the unfinished feeling. I really appreciate your review, which was much longer than the poem, and I hope my response is half as coherent as your review. -Meg
Hello! This is beautiful. I don't always get HP poetry but this was simply a beautiful poem in its own right. I love the mixture of senses you use- with the treatment of the colours as actual objects. That's badly phrased- but you do it with the "billows", likening them to wind, and the "bud," likening them to flowers.
I really like the way you've structured it as well, with a line of a similar length followed by a single word. It makes it look aesthetically pleasing and gives a rhythm to it, as well as it all being contained within a single sentence giving it some sense of continuity. And then the fading at the end- for such a minimalist style of writing it's very sad and poignant at the end. One thing that I'm wondering- why is the final from capitalised, whilst the others were not? Was this unintentional because it seems kind of out of place and throws the 'look' of the poem off slightly. That is however a very minor quibble and this poem is beautiful. You need to write more! Alex
Author's Response: I'm finally responding! Capitalizing the final "from" was completely unintentional, and was one of those things I looked at when I read your review and wondered how I didn't catch it. I think one of my favorite things about this poem was its structure. I wrote it in English class, and the text stayed pretty much the same as it did when I first wrote it. I ended up inserting spaces where I'd pause when reading it out loud. Thank you for the wonderful review, and I just submitted my SPEW Swap story to the queue. So, hopefully I'll have more writing up soon. -Meg
Hey Meg! I'm reviewing you for SPEW buddies.
Gorgeous little poem, first of all! Sometimes you read stories that almost sound like music, but your poem was like reading a painting. If that makes any sense! The use of color and words such as "blemishes", "flourish", and "billows" made me imagine a painter at their easel. I also liked the cool format, ironically the broken-up sentences make the poem flow. I'll admit, I was a bit confused by its ambiguity but it's so beautiful I don't mind.
Great job Meg :)
Author's Response: The ambiguity was somewhat intentional. I tried to keep the poem as short and concise as possible, and I found that adding words that would resolve the ambiguity made it sound cluttered. Thank you for the complements. While I was writing this, I had a picture in my mind, and it's lovely to hear that the visual-ness came across. I feel terrible about how late this response is, but I've been super busy with real life. -Meg
Hi Meg! Author notes can add a lot to a chapter or poem, so I second Gina's idea for you to talk about what inspired you if you need words to reach the minimum required. If you don't feel an idea's particulary inspirational to share, why not talk about the vision you had in your mind when you were writing instead? I'd love to read it.
The use of "blemishes" is intriguing. Is it white marks contrasting with the Dark mark?
As much as I liked your poem's abstract quality which left it to the reader's imagination to create mental images, it left me wondering what you saw. Colors have so many different shades that convey different emotions, which is an aspect the poem lacks. It reminds me of a film sequence where you see something happening, or a flashback, and it's all sight without sound or emotional reaction.
It isn't that I appreciate the visual emphasis less, it's just an observation, part of what I hope you'll consider "a lovely long review".
Author's Response: I'm sorry about how long it's taken me to respond, but I've been very busy with RL. The scene I had in my head was sort of similar to Lily's death in the first movie. Although I saw it much more as the feeling you get when you look at the sun or something really, really bright for a second. At least for me, my vision goes really vividly white for a second while I'm staring at it, then when I look away everything I see around me flashes between what I see normally and black. I probably did a terrible job describing it, but hopefully it made at least a little sense. To be honest, I wasn’t trying to make references or be symbolic; I was describing the image I had in my head. I didn’t even think about the white being in contrast with the dark mark or anything, I was just um… describing a picture. You’re making me feel quite un-deep and not-very-profound. I see the Harry’s parent’s deaths as being very quick, and I tried to slow the moment down a little. The emotions I hoped would go with slowing down the moment, but I didn’t want to really get into details. I feel that poetry tries to capture the essence of a moment, relationship, or something else in a concise format. I wanted to do that, and therefore tried to keep the poem as short as possible. I saw the scene as very visual and without sound in my mind, and tried to focus the poem on one aspect of the scene. I really did appreciate your ‘lovely long review’. -Meg
I like your poem, Meg! It's very visual with the color imagery. Great title. It's also very sad.
My only suggestion would be, if you ever need to reach that 100 word limit for a poetry submission again, maybe you could tell the readers about your inspiration, since I'm curious how this idea came to you and if it was a very visual idea for you.
Author's Response: Um... the idea came to me in English class. I ended up scribbling it down on a sheet of paper in my binder during class. I obviously revised it a bit, but how I got the idea isn't really an interesting story. Most of the poetry I've done so far is very visual; when I write it I'm usually looking at a picture or have a picture in my head. Thank you for the praise and the suggestion. -Meg
This is so simple and yet such a lovely poem. There is a real sense of the event here happening in slow lotion. The death of the Potters is still something that makes me sad (although without it there would be no series) but they were so selfless in their sacrifice *sigh*.
Great poem, Meg ~Carole~
Author's Response: I think the deaths of the Potters makes everyone sad. Thank you so much for the review. -Meg
LOL. *Gasp* But not on your poem! I think the poem is poignant and sad. Your note was LOL :)
Author's Response: Thanks, I'm glad you appreciated it.