Reviews For Something Better
Reviewer: Oregonian
Date: 04/20/14 17:18
Chapter: Something Better

Hi, Nagini,

Here I am to review an excellent poem that does not deserve to have no reviews, so I will fill that gap.

Some of your poems are short, compact little gems encompassing a little moment, and some, like this one, are longer and have a much broader scope.

I see that each verse has a theme — squalor of her family home, abuse, useless memories of family pride, hopeless infatuation, twisted family culture, negation of her slightest dreams. The last, long verse has five lines (no more) of her hopeful action and eleven lines of its tragic aftermath. It’s interesting that you lump these two topics together into one verse; “hopeful action” does not merit a verse of its own. It was a brief, very atypical span of time within the scope of her entire life.

I love the apt imagery of your word choices. You are truly showing us, not telling us, what Merope’s life was like. A favorite line: “But dead snakes with a slight writhe found savage shelter on the door.” Wonderful image.

Canon tells us that Merope delivered her baby on December 31, so she was pregnant from April to December. The crickets were “berating the night” during the warm summer months, and the “frozen rain” was falling in December; she was on the streets for a long time, and no wonder that she wished for death at the end, having no hope of something better any more. When she is “wishing on one title star to finally die,” I can envision a little break in the rain clouds during December, revealing the one little star that she wishes on.

Your word-processing program has gremlinized you, as mine often does to me. Near the bottom of the poem you wrote “Squalor and filth still following me,” and your program, which thinks it’s so smart but which really is stupid, changed “squalor” to “squander”. This happens to me all the time. Usually it’s just stupid, but occasionally funny, as when I recently wrote “…he said, shaking his head,” and the computer changed it to “…he said, shrinking his head.” Reminded me of the Death Eater in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries who got his head stuck in a time-turner.

Jokes aside, let me say that whenever I want to read something fresh and original, I know that I can always turn to your poems. Good job. Thank you for writing.

Vicki

Author's Response: Goodness, yes! I hate my ipod programming. It changes even words like "of" to something else, which drives me nuts, and I yell at my ipod and tell it that it needs to stop changing it! That is the word processing program that gremlinizes me... So I usually use my laptop now, since it doesn't do that kind of auto-correcting. :) And thank you so much for your review! I don't even remember writing that line about the snake and when I read your words, I thought, "Wow, that is a good line! I didn't write that. There's no way I wrote that!" That happens to me on occasion, and sometimes, I won't even remember writing an entire poem. That might be why I sometimes have lines in one poem that show up in another... But I am so glad that you enjoyed my spoken word poem. And if you enjoy reading fresh and original, perhaps I should get cracking on some more poems! ~Nagini *winks*

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