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MercurySeven

Love in Living Colour by bichonfrisegirl
Chapter 9 of the book Colours of Love

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Without knowing it, I was just in the mood for this one, Connie. It was creative in a wistful, breezy, almost jazzy style, with the rhyming not so much emphasised but always there, always musical, always raising a smile (flashbacks/IMAX - fantastic lines!).

You're almost dizzy with the memories here, as illustrated (ingeniously) by the tempo of the inner rhyming, as well as the enjambment, in this stanza. It has a breathless quality:

In blistering heat we had found our shade
green and fresh, and swayed with each blade, we made
love, orbiting our space, spinning in place,
in soul-seeping love where I still can trace

And I think these lines are fabulous:

this whiff of grass has my brain downloading
apples in free-fall from trees and baskets

This deserves to do well in the contest. It's colourful and a pleasure to read.
Comment Written by MercurySeven on 02-Jul-2018

Freedom of the Sea by bichonfrisegirl
Chapter 8 of the book Angels of the Sea

Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

I like it, Connie. It's playful and a lot of fun, especially the rhyming - near rhymes, slant rhymes, not-nearly-but-hey-it's-my-poem rhymes (shoeless/ toeless - love it). Nibbling nubbles - cute! Solace/flawless is my favourite because it doesn't look like it would work on paper until you read the lines aloud and--hey presto!--what a great match.

I looked it up and couldn't find "perlex" anywhere. Did you mean "perplex"? If so, I'd suggest a slight change to the following lines:

The way they think perlex,
and sometimes cause dismay.

How about:

The way they think can perplex
and sometimes cause dismay.

You're always adept at alliteration and consonance, and it's in full swing in these opening lines, the "s" sound perfectly conjuring the freedom of the sea:

In froth and spray she bubbles
and slaps a shimmering tail.
She drowns her fishy troubles,
lets her spirits soar and sail.

and here:

The sea's her place of solace,
a freedom that feels flawless.

An interesting form, too. It's another I've never heard of. Villanelles are the hardest things to write, but these look a little less stressful.
Comment Written by MercurySeven on 17-Jun-2018

The Spring Band Concert by bichonfrisegirl

Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

That's another form I haven't seen before. You're always up for these poetry experiments, Connie, and that's great to see. So many writers stick to what they're used to, playing it safe. I think your phrase "prideful delight" also describes the way you use the reverse echo in line 4 of each stanza to illustrate how you felt watching your grandsons play - it gives a nice effect - pride and delight.

I've always liked brass band music and admire the dedication of anyone who plays in them, especially youngsters! I never had the patience at that age. Really enjoyed this read, Connie. Good stuff.
Comment Written by MercurySeven on 06-Jun-2018

Mezuzah by Pantygynt

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Oh the irony! Twisted but delicious irony - as soon as I'd finished, I went back and re-read the opening stanza, which really brought it home (so to speak). What I like most about this sonnet cycle is its easygoing, conversational tone that seems to blithely glide across lines and stanzas and sonnets on its way to the clever punchline. Unlike this particular "klaf", your words are comfortable in their shell - the form barely seemed to constrict the flow. I like that. It made this sonnet crown a pleasure to read.

This is one of my favourite parts - it sets the tone early on, and makes the reader feel like he's right there in the room with the (slightly dotty but likeable) speaker:

"My life already! I go rambling on!
You like the place? Make me an offer, yes?
It matters not to me that you aren't one
of us, for Jew or gentile, both I guess

"need house and home. Can we agree a price,
and shake hands on the deal? That would be nice."

A brilliant write and a fine achievement. Not many can write sonnet crowns and wreaths, even fewer can write them well, and fewer still can make them seem this effortless. Bravo!
Comment Written by MercurySeven on 22-May-2018

Midnight Echoes by tfawcus

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Admit it, your brain was hurting by stanza 8, and it was pure grit (and an endlessly resourceful muse) that drove you on to finish this intimidating sonnet cycle. I don't know where you found all those (always apt) rhymes, but I do know how difficult is was to make them seem effortless and natural and have them tie into the larger themes of your piece. Brilliant, brilliant work, my friend. I loved the probing philosophical weave that ran through the sonnets. And the mythological content is always welcome. That final acrostic flourish made our collective jaws drop. Not the easiest of poems to digest--it demands focus and stamina from the reader--but definitely the easiest six stars I've given in a while. Bravo!
Comment Written by MercurySeven on 19-May-2018

Mermaid Dream by ScarletAffliction

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

That is so sweet I want to box it and wrap it with a bow and give it to someone really special. I bet lots of girls have a mermaid fantasy at one time or another, but you captured the innocent, day-dreamy aspect of it so well here, it's like this leapt straight from your girlish heart onto the page.

"I jumped into my water world
And sucked salt like the air."

That's worth six stars on its own! The rest is smooth and full of feeling, too. I love it.

"I couldn't asked for more." -- I couldn't ask for more.
Comment Written by MercurySeven on 11-May-2018

Cornbread Without Butter by Sis Cat

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

I enjoyed this one a lot, Andre. It's different from anything I've seen from you--Country song lyrics, yee-haw--but it has some identifiable traits that are packaged differently. The genuine introspection, the tongue-in-cheek playfulness with language and tone, the outside-the-box creative flourishes, and the clarity of voice. I love the central metaphor; I think it sustains the song/poem all on its own.

Cornbread and butter,
the two need each other.

Luckily, the rest is very good too:

Now I'm cornbread without butter without you. -- excellent lyrics, a lovely and fun end to the refrains

You're not afraid to try for some unlikely inner rhymes and slant rhymes, that, IMO, work a treat throughout. The third one below is my favourite:

And now it's three a.m. (1) and I'm hungry again. (1)
I went to the kitchen (2) to check for some fixins. (2)
I found your cold skillet (3) with no cornpones in it. (3)

The Country feel really comes across in the following verse - the slang phrasing and suggestiveness left me grinning:

You had squealed at the deal on corn to grind to meal. -- nice triple rhyme
Now you've got up and gone. Woman, I did you wrong. -- classic Country lyrics
I sure made a mistake in your sis' Easy-Bake. -- rofl! But also kinda sad (regret)

There's nothing I'd personally change. Not that I know a great deal about writing song lyrics, but I'd love to hear this one sung. It's great fun!
Comment Written by MercurySeven on 07-May-2018

Foggy Night by bichonfrisegirl

Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

This one sure quickens the pulse. I like that you've kept the meter and rhyme scheme from our galleon poem, and flipped the content upside down for this little urban nightmare. Your descriptions are colourful and your phrasing wrings some quite original stuff from the difficult scheme. A few notes:

From whenst it sprang -- I think you mean "whence"

home-sweet-parked -- brilliant, surprising

life-blood's candle -- another good one, encompasses time, horror, and desperation

razor-like fangs pierced her hips. -- ouch!

to clout a'loose from vise-like grip -- "clout a'loose" is great fun, and with a sandal no less - beasties of the night beware!

Panic soared; what do? -- it feels like there's a beat missing between "what" and "do" - maybe "what to do?"

more than a pickle, more than a stew! -- I thought for a second you were going to go full-on cannibal on us! But luckily the sirens ended this scary-but-playful nightmare with a phew! Well done. It's a vivid and entertaining read, Connie. Good luck in ze contest.
Comment Written by MercurySeven on 07-May-2018

Sonnet for the Sequoia by lyenochka
Chapter 30 of the book Poems for Trees

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

This is excellent, Lyenochka. It's well-metred, the rhyming is natural and punchy, and you conveyed the dimensions (size, age, importance) of this giant tree with some nicely imaginative lines, especially:

With friends you form cathedrals by the coast -- love it

I also liked this:

listen to your yearly breath

And the final couplet is emotive and haunting. You personified the sequoia well in this winning sonnet. Bravo!
Comment Written by MercurySeven on 01-May-2018

A Mermaid, a Galleon, and Friends by bichonfrisegirl

Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

And here I go, tacking my sailboat into tacky waters with this tacky review of my own (decidedly non-tacky) poem. It's such a fun read, Connie, so rich with sea themes and little poetic quirks. I think we achieved everything we set out to achieve and more besides. And I have to really concentrate to remember who wrote what -- that kinda says it all about how well our styles blended together. It was a pleasure!

Great author notes, too! Pool noodles - lol!
Comment Written by MercurySeven on 01-May-2018


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