poetry critical

online poetry workshop

a drunkard feeds his son bananas from a jar

the young man is on my knee,
his name is ivan.
he attacks the spoon ferociously,
more with his face than mouth.
i tip back the second forty of the morning
and wonder how long this can go on.
the wife and i reconcile twice a day
only to have it explode in f bombs
and half pulled punches.
i don't think i can leave this little man.
fathers do it all the time these days,
but that's one type of cowardice i'm not cut out for.
i don't want to leave her,
but that, i could manage.
his eyes are bluish black,
the left one still a little lazy.
they stare me down like a lighthouse.

10 Feb 07

Rated 8.5 (8.5) by 2 users.
Active (2): 9, 9
Inactive (22): 1, 1, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)

(6 users consider this poem a favorite)

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great poem-just enough detail and the unemotional straight reporting style gives it power.
 — unknown

amazing, the best poem I've read in quite a while.
 — bleach

awesome title!

this certainly possess' the force neccesary to convey such an event. i honestly have nothing to add. i like the simplicity at the beginning and how it slowly gathers momentum.
very nice write,
Eso 10
 — Esoteric

I'm not that fond of the 2nd line, maybe switch 1&2 somehow?
 — unknown

I think 1 and 2 are fine the way they are.
 — unknown

This is wondrous - this poem has a great form - i love the way it begins and ends with the boy, the narrator sandwiched inbetween - like the boy is the staple, of utmost importance.
 — sisotowbel


thanks for reading, and for the comments and suggestions on line #1 and 2

 — unknown

great stuff!
 — unknown

Such a powerful, honest, familial and urgent poetic statement.  Congrats on all its recognition.  It's very deserving.  
 — starr


thanks for reading.

 — unknown

A joy to read and say aloud
 — idontknow

Well, i like the title, but am afraid that's all your "poem" is riding on.

Jaded, over-used lines thruout.
 — Goldilocks

the young man is on my knee,
his name is ivan.

That seems like a bit of a weak opening in my opinion. I think you should also replace the comma with a semi-colon or a colon. Otherwise, it wouldn't make the reader go "this doesn't seem right".

Otherwise, it's pretty good. (:
 — DaylightChar

would suit your title with more gravity, i think...
if that's what you're going for.
you don't see yourself in quite the negative light you'd like everyone reading
your gloomy-gus poems to believe?


this just carries a light-hearted, innocuous connotation, to me.
maybe i'll go into psychology
 — chuckles

agree with chuck.
title might be too long for this nice poem.

 — unknown

I disagree over the title -
I think it sets the scene nicely,
however i would tend towards 'drunk' as opposed to 'drunkard' here.
 — sisotowbel

ick--tastes bad
 — unknown

Oh, the grief, the love, the committment and the rage all combined in one poem.  Good job of getting it all down so well.
 — Isabelle5

i loved this. the orginial emotion you gave was just so hard-hitting and real. fabulous piece of literature. rock on.
 — lanezfairy

love the title and lastline.
i read that hemmingway spent most of his time deleting unnecessary words and compressing thoughts and sentences.
this poem would benefit from some compression.

not because shorter things are better stated,
but because they allow for more interpretation,
and provide more stimulation.

i guess what im saying is this poem is too easy.  
i suggest you see how far you can pare it down
and see what happens. nothing to worry about;
you can always go back to this version.
in the exercise you will learn stuff and see stuff.

for example- without the first two lines, it's still the same poem.
delete 8, 9, it's still the same poem.
delete 12,13,14, it's still the same poem.

he attacks the spoon ferociously,  
more with his face than mouth.  
i tip back the second forty of the morning  
and wonder how long this can go on.  
the wife and i reconcile twice a day
i don't think i can leave this little man.  
fathers do it all the time these days,  
his eyes are bluish black,  
the left one still a little lazy.  
they stare me down like a lighthouse.

you can get even tighter on the word level.
fathers do it all the time these days.

nice poem in there!
 — gnormal

good last line.
 — aerol

This gave me chills. Very well written.
 — Andiam

incredible emotion
 — unknown

The last line is promising. The rest reads like a journal entry, not a poem
 — unknown


thanks for the comments.

 — unknown

This is a great poem and if the last line makes or breaks a poem then L17 takes it all the way. Powerful and pulling no punches.

 — larrylark

It is like watching a movie where you really don't give a shit about any of the characters.

By the fucking way - if a father or mother thinks that they can love the child but not the mother or father, they are doomed. Love the mother or father and that is the real gift to the child - bozo.
 — unknown

I think there should be subject matter consideration when writing a poem.
 — unknown

You do see by agreeing that you null and void this poem, yet it remains. A contridiction remains.
 — unknown

oops, comment above not intended for this poem.
 — unknown

Wow, this is not only eye opening but sentimental. The mention of his eyes and the metaphor used there, priceless.
 — bmurrietta

 — mandolyn

 — 9

Damn fantastic!
 — unknown

Mr. Fantastic
 — 9

one of the best things I have ever read
 — unknown