If I was to define perfect, it would start with a lemon.I can still feel the lemon, cupped in my hands, me tracing the smooth bumps and ovular shape. The smell still lingers in the back of my throat, the edge of a breath. Sharp, tangy, bright yellow, coating my tongue, rounding my my words. I can also still feel soft ground under my feet, running down a gentle, winding dirt path, running big down to the cluster of trees. Lemon trees. I feel her hand, grabbing onto mine, can see her hands clearly as we squeeze the lemons into juice. The colors are still as bright as that house, that summer. Perfect was a baked, summery orange, with splashes of yellow, bright and vivid like my memory. Like her smile. Perfect was a warm feeling, a summery breeze, dancing on the peripheral of my vision, gleaming in the horizon, just as unreachable as the memory itself.
I do get a sense of melancholy and longing from the piece. It’s quite poetic and the description lingers on many senses (smell touch, sight). It has almost a Proust-like quality.
This piece is a bit self-indulgent. It is apparent that you love writing, words, and are a very sensitive person. Nonetheless, when you are writing you have to put yourself in the shoes of the reader. Where is the hook? What is happening? The dream-like quality of the piece is not fit, in my opinion, for an opening, which should be gripping and force the reader to keep reading.
- From the point of view of grammar, hypotetichal sentences want “were” even when the subject is I. In spoken English this is rare, but in written English many author stick to the rule. In a piece so lyrical I would. “If I were to define perfect...”
- Choose your words carefully and beware of mixed images. Bumps are not smooth (I know what you mean, but the words clash). The lemon is not cupped, it’s your hand cupped around it. Ovular shape seems forced. We all know the shape of a lemon and it almost seems too technical of a term to go with the lyrical voice of the piece. A smell cannot be bright yellow. You can mix senses like that (Synaesthesia) but in narrative is confusing. I think it fits more in poetry. Again, the smell rounding your words seems a bit forced.
- There’s a subject missing (can see her hands clearly). Also, I cannot. What are her hands doing? Squeezing? And yours? Why are you squeezing? What’s the point of all this? Play a movie in the reader’s mind.
- “Perfect was a baked...” You lost me. Now I have no idea what you’re talking about. Did you make a cake? Where is the cake?
- Periphery (noun) not peripheral (adjective)
- Meaning before poetry. The memory is not unreachable, since you spoke about it. It’s the reality conveyed by the memory (I think that’s what you meant?)
- Running big?
- “Like her smile.” is a fragment, a sentence that will not stand on its own. This could be a stylistic choice, but it does not seem to go with the rest. It can be easily fixed replacing the period with a comma.
MY OVERALL OPINION
I see a lot of potential here. I see a lot of feelings, and some good writing, but I would recommend to keep going at it till you feel it’s a bit more polished and it has more direction. You definitely set the mood well!
How can you live after you left perfection slip right through your hands? The same hand that she squeezed, running down the winding path to the lemon tree orchard, soft dirt under my feet. Together.
I can still feel the lemons’ tangy fragrance lingering in the back of my throat, at the edge of a breath. The colors are still as bright as the house, that summer, the intense yellow of the fruit in the sun, vivid like my memory, like her smile. That perfect warm feeling, the summery breeze, dancing on the periphery of my vision, gleaming in the horizon. I would do anything to get it back. I will do anything to get it back.
Wanna get feedback on your work? Send me the first 200 words to gaia.b.amman at gmail.com :)
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