1st: Sweet or Sour – Candice Wedermann
2nd Place: Sweet or Sour – Lynne Savy
3rd Place: Sweet or Sour – Spaces Apart
Overall the poems were well written with most poets understanding the use of poetic devices and adding an extra dimension of personal experience. When writing poetry, it is important for one to understand that it is not just open poetry, spoken word, nor is it for reading pleasure. It is also of literary value. It is E-motion in motion. A single word can suffice for an entire sentence. Poetry is perfected through continuous practice. It’s building a house without the broekie-lace eaves, verandas and gazebos. Be wary of grammar and punctuation as this alters the message and the rhythm of the poem. Words must not be superfluous.
Styles, variety, topics and ideas must flow to create synergy in poetry. When one reads the poem, one must be carried away with the metaphor and the emotion. It must evoke and invoke feelings. Poetry is a novella in the specified lines given. Look at it as a correlation, objective or subjective, literal or figurative. Research and reference the topic and reflect on the POV (Point of View). Is it a personal or universal point of view? Consider your memory bank by being reflective and introspective. There is always a spark to light that emotive fire. Does the poem or poet change? Is there transformation? Reflect on poetic or literary devices of time, sound, light, historical events, repetition, enjambment, figures of speech, and the five senses, to name a few. Remember that the message of the poem must create an effect, an emotional response or transform the reader. Poetry is ever evolving and revolving. Look for markets that publish poetry and feel confident enough to submit because each rejection and each criticism adds to your growth and improves the writing.
In the October poetry competition, it was enlightening to see poets attempting to achieve the above. Some tried and succeeded. With more practice and lots of discarded drafts, all will be achieved.
- 1st Place: Sweet or Sour – Candice Wedermann: This message of sexual harassment is presently very topical. Too few people have the courage to speak about this particular type of harassment. It is captured so aptly that one can literally feel the anxiety and fear with time used as a poetic device. The meter is set out to effectively enhance the fear. Repetition in each stanza enhances the passing of time. The self-deprecation in the end is an anti-climax. Loved it.
- 2nd Place: Sweet or Sour – Lynne Savy: The use of rhythm and rhyme is a brilliant poetic device. Enjambment is used very effectively. I loved the metaphor of food and drink with a love affair. Well done and continue writing. Look for markets to publish your poem.
- 3rd Place: Sweet or Sour – Spaces Apart – Sanabelle Ibrahim: Well-crafted and written with very effective literary devices. A poem written simply yet with a universal message. Well done.
- Gerald Bosch: The rhyme and meter are most effective. This will do excellently as spoken word poetry. The four stanzas of sextets are very experimental and bold. Well done. However, the structure can be improved and enhanced. Poetry is like building a house without the broekie-lace.
- Tracy Colgate: The dramatic effect can be reworked into a well-crafted construction of the poem. You must be experimental and bold to see what is most evocative. Feelings can be expressed with a single word or couplet; it does not need an explanation. With the emotion in motion the poem must be concise. The use of ‘and’ repetitively spoils the dramatic effect of the poem and the evocative lines.
- Lebensweg: This topic is potent and is a scourge in society. The style and language of the poem must be simple. Remember the essence of a poem is lost when the poet is pedantic. The essence of the poem must be imbibed by being simplistic to even that the most unsophisticated reader can be transformed by the message. A great attempt and a poem that can be even better if reworked.
- Duke Byron: The theme and the message did not resonate with the poem. However, it is a meaningful poem that if reworked by showing not telling, it can be a winner. Read the overall comments and use some of the suggestions to rewrite this poem into a dramatic historical poem. Remember your topic and content is a magical but not reflected in the poem.
- Mynie—I smile. This poem will work excellently for spoken word poetry. Be bold and speak it, sing it or just have your say. It is great. Poetry is most effective without conjunctions.
- Paige Wright: The use of too many metaphors detracted from the message and construction of the poem. Choose one and stick with it. Remember you must not be carried away by your poem but allow the reader to do so.
- Mynie—Melody of Life: The grammar and punctuation alter the message of a poem. Be wary of this. Sometimes the meaning is lost in translation. It is not actually conveyed literally in the construction of the poem. Both your poems have great potential and if rewritten with the universal point of view, it can be most evocative.
- Derek Griffin: The beginning of the poem is beautiful but the latter half, the meaning and message was lost in the language and translation. This is an excellent poem that can be rewritten and remember that the message must be continuous. More like the circle of life.
- Anthony Perkins: This poem is very classical in its construction. Well done! Sadly, too few understand this level of writing poetry. The question? Is it still effective in the annals of poetry today? Will the present readership understand the level of English reflected in this poem? Because I can assure you the message will be lost to most readers.
- B D Stevens: A well written poem, however, too many hypothetical questions. This detracts from the message, but what is most interesting is that is creates an excellent meter.
- P N Apple: Interesting metaphor. There are words which are superfluous. Rewrite the poem and focus on the metaphor with sharp contrasts.
 Editor’s note: Enjambment – the carrying of sense and grammatical structure in a poem beyond the end of one line, couplet or stanza and into the next. Enjambment occurs with the use of run-on-lines.