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1/3 c1 32GrrraceUnderfire
Winter Reviewathon 2020-21
I love this poem, even though I hate this episode with my whole heart. I used to be able to write it off in my head as not that important until a certain author wrote a brilliant story about the aftermath of this lunk-headed plan of Hogan's. Now it breaks my heart to think of it.

OK, so that's 50 words about me Me ME, not the poem, which is VERY powerful.

FIRST, Hogan ought to be having second thoughts! The word "if" should haunt him to his grave! His doubts are appropriate, because he did so much harm.

BUT... darn it, the last two paragraphs really cut to the heart of the matter. Putting Newkirk's future on the line was a trade-off. How sad, but true-because it saved many more lives than it damaged.

AND, such introspection had NOT defined him, nor served him well. True again, becaus Hogan was a man of action, able to put nearly flawless plans into action. If, once in a while, he really messed up and implemented a flawed plan with terrible unforeseen consequences, well, he could still do something about it because he was Hogan! This poem shows his determination to set things right, one way or another.
1/1 c1 29Abracadebra
Hogan's motto might as well be "one miracle at a time." The repetition of "If" in this poem reads like a record skipping, as the bothersome thoughts needle away at Hogan. (I speak, of course, as a person old enough to remember a record skipping, knowing exactly how annoying a sensation it is.) The odds really were stacked against Newkirk. The line that grabs me the hardest is "If... the corporal had rejected his proposal, had resolutely failed to volunteer," because it's at least partly Newkirk's fault that his usual skepticism and professed cowardice deserted him. Also, "resolutely failed to volunteer," with its nine rapid beats, strikes like a hammer.

I cannot explain how I missed this very fine piece of work when it was published nearly a year ago - but I'm certainly glad to have found it now!
12/26/2020 c1 21Tuttle4077
So many ifs, so many opportunities to make a different decision. And yet, everything fell into place to serve their ultimate purpose and one casualty was weighed against a host of others and lost.

We've all speculated what the fallout of that broadcast would be and this was a really good followup to the episode.
12/5/2020 c1 18tallsunshine12
Thought-provoking and realistic. I like the refrain IF for a reflective tool.
2/16/2020 c1 5Tiny1217
The "ifs" in between here were a neat way to divide the lines. Really, the episode ends and we don't think about the long term...but here, you deal with that. Nice work.
2/14/2020 c1 52Signy1
Oh, very nice. I especially like that bit at the end; 'such introspection/ had not defined his work, nor served him well.' Because it didn't; too many times, we see him just plain not thinking more than two moves ahead, and never behind. And yet, the question about how many battles would have been lost if he second-guessed himself is undeniably true. Eggs and omelets! Regarding the structure, the repeated 'If' like a drumbeat keeps the whole thing flowing faster and faster. Well done.
2/14/2020 c1 71snooky-9093
Kudos for a concise and realistic episode tag. You never disappoint. This is an uncomfortable episode for multiple reasons; the fact that Hogan would allow one of his men to be "used" this way is a stark reminder of the war and sometimes heart-wrenching sacrifices made by everyone stuck in that prison camp.

I attempted to make some sense of this by somehow making parts of the speech Newkirk gave comprehensible to some of the Brits listening in, in hopes they would realize it was not the true Newkirk, or that he was being coerced. I confess , it was not an easy task.
2/9/2020 c1 18Ennui Enigma
A lot of "ifs"
Well put!
I like how you conveyed such powerful introspection through this style.

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