poetry critical

online poetry workshop



The Episcopalian Kind
kitkat

My Father is a priest, the
 1
episcopalian kind, bereft of robes and regalia he
 2
reads God and Kierkegaard with the same fervour of love
 3
contracted on the road to Damascus where,
 4
behind car wheel he wept for the world and the one, and
 5
committed life, and lineage to the viney path
 6
of unconditionals.
 7
 
 
My Father is a priest, the
 8
community-proclaimed ear-of-first-and-last-resort, he
 9
walks a mile at dawn and breathes the waking world in
 10
deep, he sleeps exhausted and I pray he dreams to ease
 11
the weight of souls and secretly I carry an unholy grain of
 12
fear that I might lose him in the fever of
 13
the sowing.
 14
 
 
My Father is a priest, gives
 15
diamond words, his ear is pierced - an extra hole to listen to
 16
the masses cry for manna, mouths, like
 17
fish unhooked, awash with dreams of milk and honey, they shun
 18
the sacred and yearn to swallow God, yet they cough up
 19
seeds of doubt and deliver to my Dad,
 20
the intermediary.
 21
 
 
My Father is a priest, his
 22
skin feels temptation and pain like any other, but his lips
 23
taste blood in wine, and body, bread, I’m bred
 24
the same as him they say, which makes me smile and
 25
toast another cup of time, take small sips to extend
 26
the cradle of resemblance, and pour again
 27
in recognition.
 28
 
 
My Father is a priest, the
 29
episcopalian kind, to his ear I want to be the sweetest sound and
 30
when I fall I fear to disappoint.  It’s because of unconditionals
 31
that I would turn, and turn to salt, and perhaps God would forgive
 32
me for the simple fact that as a daughter I know how
 33
many lines align my Father’s eye and why
 34
each one is there.
 35

25 Aug 05

Rated 8 (8.3) by 2 users.
Active (2): 6, 8, 8, 10
Inactive (53): 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 6, 6, 6, 6, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)
(6 more poems by this author)

(21 users consider this poem a favorite)



Add A Comment:
Enter the following text to post as unknown: captcha

Comments:

incredible write. beautiful.
L 26- 28 and 34 - 35 are simply fantastic...
 — lyom

nice words
 — unknown

Wonderful..I need to read again and again.
 — lavender

thank you lavender.  Blogspotter...grrrrrrrr.
 — kitkat

any other comments please?  No one likes likes reading the long poems!!
 — kitkat

how is this on recent best when it has only been rated by 2 people?  how odd.  Comments would be more fun :) I sent this to my Dad and he said "when you see me again you'll remember that I'm actually just a boring old fart". hmmm
 — kitkat

lol.  how sweet.  (;

hi kitkat.  i am too tired to give you a comment on your poetry right now.  i just thought i'd say hi, and goodnight.  (;

~Kellie (duckie)
 — ducktape

It's good morning for me here :D Sweet dreams duckie :)
 — kitkat

wow, fuckin a (sorry). you're unbelievable.
 — hank

hahahahahahahaha you apologised to me for swearing cos my father is a priest?  heehee...story of my life ;) thanks Hank, you're pretty damn good yerself.
 — kitkat

I like this too much to even try and be critical right now.  I'll just rate with my heart now, and try to help (if there's even any need) later.
 — housepoppy

thanks housepoppy.  very sweet comment.
kitkat
 — unknown

good

thank you, the best i've read all day.
 — cynthmala

im moved. in a nice way. them is some bootiful words. thanks for the read - anton
 — nullus

Thank you Anton and Cynthmala, you made me smile.
- Katie
 — unknown

I wish I wrote this. :(
 — Rhein

I'm glad you read it :)
 — unknown

ooo nice poem. resurrects me even though i am an atheist.


gonad dude viscera
 — unknown

fockin briliants
 — noodleman

I like this, especially the allusions. Good work here.
 — Hear

Hear Noodleman('s) Gonad(s): Thank you :D
 — unknown

Rhein: Is your father (ahem) a priest as well?
Kitkat
 — unknown

arent fathers always priests?
 — noodleman

Hmmm.  Good point.  I thought about it until my head hurt. Given that my pants are now on fire I don't know what to say.  Here's a quote instead:

There exist only three beings worthy of respect: the priest, the soldier, the poet. To know, to kill, to create.
Pierre Charles Baudleaire

Hmm.  I'm a pacifist.  How about the priest, the philosopher, the poet: to know, to not know, and to create?
 — kitkat

amazing
 — bloodytearsx

I read this many times.  Just realized I never rated or commented.  Too much for my poor comments.  Glad to see this on top rated list.  They shouldn't ALL be Noodleman's!!!
 — Isabelle5

Thankyou bloodytears and Isabelle :) although Isa I think Mr Noodle spends a lot of time on the top floor for good reason.
 — kitkat

wow, kitkat.  i have a whole new respect for you after neglecting this for so long.
great work, and.. um.. congratulations?

smile.
midare
 — midare

KAT IS HOT. EVERY PRIEST SHOULD LOOK AT HER WITH GUILT.




GANDHI
 — unknown

Midare: lovely comment :0 and...um....thanks....(what for?)

G(h)andi: er.....*awkward cough*
kitkat
 — unknown

My father is a priest,  the
episcopalian kind, from his lips to
little boys foreskins does he bequeath
gods love so he preaches.
My mother is a wench. The hooters kind.
Her mammaries mislead my father
every day from redemption to temptation
as he takes small sips and small steps away
from the god that i hide from.


narcissus prodicus
 — unknown

no way i could write like this... amazing...
prodicus or whoever you are... erm... what's wrong? hope all is well... nevermind...
this is great work...
well done kitkat...
 — unknown

awesome shit!
 — jittery

very good, like the format, nothing wrong here, seems stable and is, 9
 — Odin

ooh I feel so stable :D thanks Odin and jittery and unknown...
NP:  I was waiting for something like that...oddly enough, I like your poem and i don't deny its relevance to reality, although not in this instance.  Sad.
Kitkat
 — unknown

theres more to come kaka such is the fragility of meaning.
 — unknown

third read. sensensional. fourth read, explain to me 'manna'.
 — hank

i want this for myself. seriously. take it off. i don't like others reading it.
 — hank

The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.  In the bible, God provided manna for the Israelites for their 40 years in the desert, to teach them they could only rely on him as the world can be harsh and transient.  He promised (and delivered them to) a land of milk and honey.
So yeah....it's biblical.

As an interesting aside....in maori language (indigenous language from nz where I am from as I'm sure you are aware...) 'mana', pronounced the same as 'manna', means respect, power, authority, and also a supernatural force that dwells in a person.
Kinda cool.
 — kitkat

hmmmm.  how 'bout this:

DO NOT READ!  I REPEAT, DO NOT READ!  FOR HANK'S EYES ONLY!!!!
 — kitkat

fifth read?
 — kitkat

ooh...'sensensional'....my brain flicked over that....
I have now officially commented too many times on my own poem in a row, and I need to be moderated.
 — kitkat

ok kaka i m going to have to rewrite this for you in "your own voice" but my own deviancy unless you remove it >
 — unknown

l20-  I stuck on the sudden use of Dad.

but really- wonderful poem.
 — Cloudless

thanks cloudless.  C'mon 'unknown', lets have your rewrite...
 — unknown

I'll echo everyone else's comments. This is lovely.

The parenthetical "New Zealand" bugs me. It's not just parenthetical for grammar's sake, but in tone, and in level of abstraction too. It takes the reader a step away from the poem for a moment. What about just saying, "a New Zealand Damascus"? I think the effect would be the same without the same jarring.

L12, "secretly" is perhaps implied with the use of "grain". "Secretly" is perhaps even a bit of a cliché, esp in this kind of poetry. Maybe grain would not be ok alone, but maybe use another descriptor that implies secrecy too?

i'd reconsider some of the punctuation. run-ons in poetry are still run-ons; if they're intentional, it should be for a reason that adds to the poem.

I love the assonance, and the movement of vowel sounds in here. Very beautiful.
 — Ananke

the rewrite is nearly done.
 — unknown

waiting...
 — kitkat

... for godot?

bristling and lovely kitker. you have a miraculous musical memory melon to twist here.

kaleidazcope
 — unknown

wilting,


rewrite will soon appear this is not a tease
 — unknown

Very sweet and kind, I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't take a turn for the nastier and darker.

I liked that the gender of the speaker wasn't clear until line 33. It helped keep the focus on the subject. Father as both a title and technical description, so clever in it's obviousness.
 — oblivious

one thing. the parenthesis. they snap me into reality.
 — hank

are you still reading this?  so i should take (New Zealand) out?
 — kitkat

yeah.
 — hank

i hadn't notice ananke said the same thing. that's two VERY intelligent votes.
 — hank

Very good.....
This is a favorite of mine.
 — schotsy

holy crap this is a good poem.
 — noodleman

i agree with hank and ananke
 — Lia

Goodbye (New Zealand), you have been out-voted.

Thanks Schots and Noody.
 — kitkat

I am Episcopalian.  My father wants me to become a priest.  So thats why i read this.  I enjoyed it.  I particularly like the fourth stanza.  Oh and I love the phrase, "...the Episcopalian kind" just because it is so true.  
Does your dad really have a piercing?  I have bunches of piercings.  So, it would comfort me to know he does.  
 — meghanmidget

This is at the top for a reason.  It's absolutely touching and real.  Nice job.

It was a bumpy read for me, but I think that is necessary.

10

FAVORITE
 — BoundFeet

yes he really has a piercing, rides a motorbike, loves drinking wine and swears when the occasion calls for it.  He is the real kind.
 — kitkat

oh and you shouldn't do something just because your father wants you to, unless you also want to.  and where I come from 'episcopalian' is actually 'anglican' but the former has a nice reptilian sound.
 — kitkat

This is an incredible write.  thank you for sharing.
 — Delorable

i'm sorry to hear you missed the whole point.  did you actually read this?!
 — unknown

I'm sorry for you.
 — kitkat

beautiful. ( I suppose Kitkat was teasing about the purpose of the ear-piercing, though)I was sleuthing through the comments section for reasons of my own. You can't rewrite another person's poem. Plain + Simple. I find the notion presumptuous.
 — graceinmtl

Wonderful details and beautifully written. The piece is filled with so much love. I'm putting it on my favorites right now!
 — redsky

wow

makes me miss my father ;p

incredibly wonderful flow

wow
 — basketpacker

Beautiful poem. Your explanation on 'manna' in the comments section helped to appreciate it more & liked your relativity of a pierced ear. Can see your love & respect for your father. Grows as you get to know him better, isn’t it?? Enjoyed it more for I feel the same for my father.
 — unknown

I like...

The first stanza is the best. Then, the taut perfection you created seems to slide a bit. I feel it, but in a poem that is aiming so high, I would expect less to be told and more to be implied.

It is sweet, and very well written, but a few tweaks seperate it from what is written here on po tet and what is published in a book. In my opinion.

Grats and good luck.
 — unknown

beautiful and insightful; faultless.
 — Trish77

really good poem. i like the repetition. it's well established.
 — listen

Oh, wow. This is simply awe inspiring. Fucking awesome poem. Even with my aversion to organized religion I love this. I must say thank you for posting this. (10/fav)
 — Maela

Wow.  What a huge round of ego-stroking.  Feels a litle dirty.  A towel might be necessary.  But it is a good poem.  Nothing can take away from that.  Enjoyed it thoroughly.
 — atleverton

Unbelievable (and beautiful)!  I love L's 33-35.  
 — starr

Worth every top rating.  Putting in my 10 to say "I was here."  Thanks for gracing us with this beauty and may God bless.
 — boothben

could you explain to me the first comma in line 17, after "the masses"?

what if you instead put a fullstop after "say" in 25 and started the sentence with "this" or "it"? the runon construction and use of "which" feels like, well, a run on. In fact, I think this whole piece could benefit a lot from some well placed punctuation, breaking some of the stanzas into more sentences. i'll be the first to admit that i might be imposing my style on you, though.

i think you can do better than "unconditionals" in 31. i think i know what you mean, but then again i might not. and that's not good. that word probably carries a lot of meaning to you because you wrote it and not as much to the reader because, well, it doesn't mean anything really. you're trying to pack a lot of meaning into one word. go ahead and use a few more words so the reader doesn't get stuck on it long enough to write a whole paragraph like i just did.

all in all, one of the best pieces i've read here lately. i see it was posted last year; i hope these comments don't fall on deaf ears.
 — jade

prefection.
 — duffyj83

jade is rather annoying with those holier than thou comments. yes pun intended.


it is easy to criticitize yet harder to construct



jesus
 — unknown

mmm, anonymous jabs at my character and ability from the passerby. i finally feel like a part of this site again.

what is the difference between 'critique' and 'construct'? do you want me to write the poem for her/him?
 — jade

Thanks for the new comments.  I thought this poem was long buried.  Unfortunately Jade I feel it is too long ago to revisit this and make changes...It would be like renaming your child after a few years, but I really appreciate the crit.
Thanks everybody for reading.
Kitkat
 — unknown

i absolutely understand that feeling. glad you're still here reading and posting either way.
 — jade

priests are very dangerous. i do not know why they think they have a more privileged access or understanding of god. usually it is a mistaken association at first and when the error is realized the propaganda propagates to defend or camouflage the initial mistake.
 — unknown

Holy guachamole dip! Amazing! The last stanza was my fav and could even stand as a poem by itself probably. Great work! You are obviously a skilled writer.
 — MrChris

One too many commas on l17 I think.

Loved the use of 'unconditionals' especially.  Really good.
 — kite

I loves me the last stanza.
 — FolleRouge

Kierkegaard owns your soul.
 — unknown

Beautiful beautiful beautiful
 — stout

a very nice rendering of a portrait of a man so inimately known by his own daughter - how well you capture him as a human being

the futility - for me - it present through out this entire piece - as there is no god
 — Mongrol

Lines 15-21 are stellar. They could stand alone, I think. I really enjoyed reading it.
 — blee73

I would cut out some of the unecessary words to get to the good beutiful bones you have here.  Perhaps,  My father is a priest
            ;          &nbs p;          &nb sp;      Episcopalian kind
            ;          &nbs p;          &nb sp;      bereft of robes
            ;          &nbs p;          &nb sp;      reading God and Kirkegaard
            ;          &nbs p;          &nb sp;      with the same fervour
            ;          &nbs p;          &nb sp;      contracted on the road to Damascus

I like the thoughts expressed in the second stanza, the child's guilty wish.  All these stanzas could be shortened to retain the gems of your lovely images and words, which will gleam more poetically without the excess sentence structure.  This is not an essay, nor is it prose.  This will be brilliant if you cut out the excess.  I admit it is frustrating, since it is so close to excellence.  I believe in this poem.  Could you try revising it and re-posting.  I love the Lot's Wife reference at the end.

I'm giving it an 8, but it could easily be a ten and one of my favorites.  Thanks for such a thought full poem.

Lucy
 — mnemosyne

line 6 viney is misspelled. It should be viny.
line 17 the comma after masses should be removed, unless it is meant that the "extra hole" is to "cry for manna"?
line 30 eSpiscopalian is a misspelling.
Simply because this was written a long time ago is no reason to allow these obvious errors to go unedited. The previous commentor was trying to help.
 — unknown

perhaps that line should read "contracted on road to Damascus"  Just revisiting a really neat piece.  Thanks.

Lucy
 — mnemosyne

astonishingly beautiful.
I can't read it now.

But i will take it with tea an toast in the morning.
x
 — unknown

.
 — unknown

well done to you.
 — unknown

Just stunning, Always has been.
 — Quen

0.243s