Reviewer: Oregonian
Date: 04/20/14 21:52
Chapter: To the Man on the Street

Hi, Nagini,

Here is another of your tiny gems, a poem about Merope’s yearning for Tom Sr when she fixes her hopes on the almost-unattainable person who could give her the one thing she longs for.

Your first verse is an introduction, an overview of the basic principle of a neglected and abused girl longing for love. How true: “In life, the paths of wanton love unseen consume the mind…” Then we segue into Merope’s own voice. She is looking for freedom from her life of neglect and abuse, and then there it appears, walking down the street, in the person of Tom. The poem is just her fervid imagination, her hope and dream for love and tenderness. She isn’t asking for much — a touch and a kiss.

The last line shows that the escape from her past is as important a goal as is the gaining of love and affection, and the second-to-last line shows that, at this point, she is already, out of desperation, planning to use a love potion because she knows he would never love her for herself. This is so tragic, a disaster in the making.

This poem is very accessible, but the one line that I am still puzzling over a bit is “His presence but the notion of conceit.” What do you mean by “conceit”?

Your meter is strictly adhered to, and your rhymes are good — exact or nearly so. You have adhered well to the sonnet form, and the subject is a serious, philosophical one which we associate with sonnets. The language is a little old-fashioned, but uniformly so; you never jar the mood by including too-modern phrases.

So I would say that this poem is very successful. As I recall, much of your Merope writings are less reflective and more factual, the stark description of Merope’s tragic final months or days. This is interesting for being a glimpse of her before she set out on her final, fatal path. Thank you for writing.

Vicki

Author's Response: Concerning "conceit:" I meant it more as he is the very idea of pride, as Tom really does seem to embody pride. At the same time, "conceit" means a fanciful notion or idea, or perhaps dream, so in a way, the word is twofold: it shows that Tom is the embodiment of pride and also an embodiment of her dreams. I also tend to use old-fashioned language for sonnets, or for most of my poetry, for that matter. :p I suppose it may be because it sounds smarter to me, but of course, I need to make sure that I use it correctly, or I just look like someone who is trying too hard and failing. But yes, most of my Merope poetry focuses on the aftermath of her decisions, and I wanted to show this time around the lead up to her decisions and focus on why she did what she did, and the fact that she already had in her mind of escape when Tom came along was a way to emphasize that she would do anything to get away. Thanks for reading and reviewing! I really am enjoying these spree of in depth reviews... 0.o I look forward to more! ~Nagini

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