Nominations for PFFA’s Picks of the Litter

Above Rostrevor by jj_mills
Comment: It evokes the grey granite hill-country above Rostrevor at the southern end of the Mountains of Mourne in County Down. The language is rich and the imagery is evocative, describing the people of the region through a description of their surroundings.

After The Cremation by Cher
Comment: The decomposition of a man’s corpse is described using some fresh and imaginative imagery demonstrating some excellent word-choice and line-breaks, with an inspired image of an armadillo as a lolling tongue and a fine play on the angel theme.

*romac1’s sonnet, Girl Playing Sudoku on the SevenFifteen.
Comment: This has been a favorite of mine since I critted it. He achieved a special rhythym with internal rhymes and caesura in that poem that I had not experienced before.
It’s not perfect, but tone, word choice and cadence make it very tightly woven.

*February ” by HowardM2
Comment: In a very small poem he manages to include sparklingly sharp imagery, an entirely uncontrived and believable situation and an endearing and humorous surprise.

22.2 – Discretion by Donner
Comment: In the words of a nice Scottish poet this is “a three line poem with one basic point – two great images, succinct language, and a fine pay-off”. I agree with that and would simply add that, incredibly for such a tiny piece, it rewards several reads.

The Invitation” by romac.
Comment: The phrase that lifts this poem above the merely good is placed almost centrally. “Kate’s sloping script” is so intensely personal in the use of the christian name and the detailed description of something unique to each of us – handwriting. That sudden zoom into the tragedy of a single life and away from the showiness of religious pomp, simultaneously shows the truth and importance of the former and the shallowness of the latter. Hypocrisy, dogma, media glitz and the misery that orthodox religion can sometimes engender are all exposed to that most revealing of spotlights, a mother’s love.

This is at once a lovely poignant poem and an unequivocal reminder of what life is really about.

*After Carl, Sunday in Dad’s Car (Revision)
by Messalina.

Comment: Deliciously creepy.

What I Meant To Say
by jsdealy

Comment: Spare, accurate and haunting. The best close I read this year.

After Infidelity
by Bulldozer

Comment: For the progression of the ideas through the poem.

Intercession
by Triglyph

Comment: For the progression of the ideas through the poem.

The Cowhands Killing Rattlesnakes
by george_london

Comment: For the pleasure of the language.

We Are Not Descended from Monkeys
by Andrea345

Comment: For both the progression of the ideas through the poem and the pleasure of the language.

Hamlet, Lucky Bastard
by Ossity

Comment: For both the progression of the ideas through the poem and the pleasure of the language.

Seremba’s A farmer is laid to rest
Comment: for the sonics and evocative imagery and economy of emotions.

Larryrap’s Late to Dinner
Comment: for rapid rhythm and original characters.

*Gabriel’s Cliché # 5.
Comment: Gabriel takes a difficult subject, easy to do really badly, and does it really well.

He maintains complete control but succeeds in releasing an intense emotional impact. The sentences are clipped, sparse, and contribute to the chill atmosphere. The well chosen detail of the images act on the senses.

This was part of the NaPoWriMo series, so it might be that the poem has been subsequently tweaked, but even this version posted to the board is excellent.

*Fair Voices: The Contortionist Speaks of Dislocation by Rachel Lindley
Comment: Though it was only available a short time, I still remember it well. It was one I came back to many times. I actually got the layers, or some of them, at least, which is quite something for me. That was the thing, it was complexly well-crafted yet easily understandable, to us lamen and women. To me, that’s an important and admirable quality. Anyway, it was really neat how you literally and figuratively twisted her. And the clear, concise language was so polished it shone, and still does I’m sure, wherever it is.

*jsdealy’s Alligator.
Comment: Best first line of the poems which stick in my memory*, a terse little section structure, and a fabulous contrast to end with.

*Rachel Lindley for The Circus Girl Speaks of Her Unbalanced Head.
Comment: What I liked about this was that it made me see things from Ns perspective, and how it gave me insight into Ns inner demons. I would love to see Rachel make a series around circus freak show characters – the bearded lady, the snakeman, etc. all written in the same insightful and revealing way.

Rob Mackenzie for At the Harry Potter Launch.
Comment: I chose this poem because of it’s attention to detail, sonics and the sinister tone that runs like a strong undercurrent throughout the piece. Rob captures what lurks beneath the surface very well. After reading it I felt like I was at that launch myself. Though it didn’t get alot of crits (only two to be exact) I still think it’s worthy of nomination. For me, it’s one of those poems I can read over and over and not tire of.

Melanie’s Tracks of No One’s Acre
Comment: a poem that easily and successfully relays a strong sense of place. It’s been one of my faves since she posted. The imagery combined with the low-key tone of wistfulness and sonics left a lasting imprint on this reader’s brain (no pun intended).

shadygrove’s More Fish in the Sea
Comment: Forceful writing. A fresh narrative voice. Effective handling of images. A pleasing sense of humour in a serious situation.

Jee Leong’s Wildwood, Nebraska City
Comment: Excellent and unforced treatment of the technicalities, especially the rhymes. Evocative and descriptive, keeping the reader’s interest throughout. The Chinese fan image alone makes this poem distinctive and memorable.

Jee Leong’s Aubade.
Comment: The handling of form is creative and skillful, the repetition works well and adds to the piece, the closing metaphor is very unique, and the emotions of the piece are conveyed excellently without being whiny or dramatic.

Robtm’s Buttermere from his NaPo thread
Comment: Such a pleasure to read aloud for Rob’s usual attention to language but what I particularly enjoyed about this one was the pace – so beautifully languorous, which fits so well with the subject. The images are particularly rich too – S4 perhaps stands out for me.

Jee Leong’s ‘Around the Wooden Table’
Comment: a good example of his skill and style, which I so admire, but also for a narrator’s voice that I find thoroughly convincing and compelling.

*Scavella’s The Mulatto Shoots Lily’s Son.
Comment: This was the first Lily poem I read and I immediately connected to the characters even though I had no context. Very vivid. The rhythm of the lines was good. That sentence: “The news stole Lily’s spit.” A rare tactile image that showed the emotional reaction. And the cinematic structure of the poem focussed the reader’s attention on each character.

wizzard’s rewrite
Comment: paints a fine picture of a mother, with direct clear images. I especially liked the ending words “and us still here” because of the way it conveys the idea with a slight gramatical clumsiness that makes me think of a rough grown man speaking his heart.

TK’s Headland
Comment: nice sonics and a straightforward idea. Unfortunately I liked the original better than the later revisions.

Senia’s Portraits of You
Comment: Best relationship poem I saw all year. The ending took my breath away.

HowardM2’s Autumn Still Life
Comment: I like the use of the sickle in a still life. And the word “delpheniums” is like a set jewel in this little piece.

David Mascellani’s Exchickamental post #49
Comment: Funniest poem I read all year. And it reawakened my interest in experimental poetry. It also made me think hard about what does and doesn’t happen when a poem is in a series.

CJ Mennie’s Charity
Comment: The pacing is the result of the poem’s devices working together along the lines, something very difficult to achieve, and the message is absolutely at the center.

Lola Two’s Museum of Murder Weapons
Comment: Lola’s poems rarely have to fight for attention, in any way. In this one, the poem is the governing figure; voice, tone, and sentiment are each reflected in the symbols. The weapons not only serve to create an surface tension that keeps the reader attracted, but broaden in implication with additional readings.

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