When Odes Fall Flat

These Poems are Educational but Not Exactly Sensational

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While the subject matter of D.S. Pais’ poetry is inspiring, these verses are not.

D. S. Pais’ “Poetry on Inspiring Women -Book Two,” published in 2019, is a collection of odes to important women in history. She writes the praises of women like Mary Seacole, Jane Austen and others. The jubilant nature of the work is carried by purple text on a blue background but this unique look cannot disguise the technical aspects that continuously nag the reader.

A particularly aggravating feature of this collection is the lack of punctuation. This is especially irritating as Pais writes all of the poems using a couplet rhyme scheme. The use of punctuating bodies would not only alert readers as to which lines should be read together but also create some variety in the verses. The way the work is now, the lines exist as if they were simply inserted to rhyme and only vaguely connect with each other. An example of this unfortunate construction occurs in the second stanza of “Unnamed Author:”

“Love and Friendship” mocked sensibility novels

She had a way with consonants and vowels

Embarked her journey as a professional writer

“Sense and Sensibility” became her first work later

Pais’ lack of attention to detail is what causes these poems to become points of frustration rather than the works of praise she intended them to be. Pais should challenge herself to think beyond the end rhymes and chisel the lines into more artistic forms. The rhyme scheme is controlling her in this collection when it should be the other way around. Punctuation doesn’t remove the poetic nature of a piece. It could actually help heighten its poetic prowess.

“Poetry on Inspiring Women -Book Two” doesn’t lack passion, just finesse. It is obvious that Pais is an earnest poet who is moved by her subjects – so much so that she wrote an entire collection to honor them. Like Austen, she is inspired by women and wants this work to be a gift to all. She tells stories that need to be shared, but they could done so with a bit more polish. As there are many more women Pais could write about, it will be intriguing to watch this writer’s further progression with poetry.

If you would like to learn about more female historical figures, you can purchase “Poetry on Inspiring Women -Book Two” from your local bookstore or online.


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16 thoughts on “When Odes Fall Flat

  1. It’s a real shame that these poems didn’t quite work as intended, as the concept is great. However, I definitely agree with you – from the stanza you’ve shared, I wasn’t gripped whatsoever and definitely couldn’t find the flow with it! Hopefully this is something Pais can work on as the ideas are definitely there.
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That seems like an interesting thing do, use blue background and then purple font to stem away from what we readers are normally accustomed too, it seems like it’d take a while to adjust to that. Ah no punctuation in poetry either works great or it doesn’t and based on the one you wrote here, I don’t think I’d be able to make it through the whole poetry book like that, the flow just seems all wrong. Definitely hope Pais improves on that for the next poetry book!


    Liked by 2 people

    1. When I construct a poem I try to make sure that the verses are conveying the proper emotional tone while being constructed in such a way that even if they are not grammatically correct a passerby can still interpret them in a way that at least makes sense to them. I know poetry is mercurial but I do think it shows if a poet is in control of their verses or not.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think sound and connotation play a bit part in conveying emotional tone as well, even if a particular word’s denotative meaning isn’t strictly correct for the context.


    1. I think in this instance it may have just been a case of getting a pair of outside eyes involved – I think getting outside critiques can really help hone a poet’s vision even if that vision is quite inspired as was the case in this particular situation.


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