poetry critical

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i was never beaten with a razor strop

burned with cigarettes
or punched in the ribs.
my old man
never once
put a hand on me.
he'd be on the couch
with a bottle
staring at the wall,
i was just a little shit
trying to find my way,
but he wouldn't so much
as acknowledge me -
so i stopped trying
at much of anything
for a very long time.
as my marriage dissolves
the wife pleads
how can you be so cold!
don't you care?
i take deep breaths
stare at the wall
feeling like a stone -
all i can think about
is how i wish the old man
would have
smacked me around a bit,

8 Apr 07

Rated 9 (9) by 1 users.
Active (1): 9, 9
Inactive (3): 8, 10

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(1 user considers this poem a favorite)

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Very sad indeed. Being ignored by a parent is just as soul-destroying as being hit and has obviously caused you to shut off your feelings. But seriously, being hit wouldn't have been better though I can understand how the poem ends with that feeling.
As a poem, well written and articulate.
Just wondering why all your "i" are in small letters? Is there a reason in particular?
 — angrychick

This is fine writing on a difficult subject which you cleverly and vividly portray
 — larrylark

The voice,  honesty and emotion drive this poem perfectly!  After this brief commercial break about fathers, I'll come back and talk about the slightly IM-perfect  grammatical things goin' on that don't quite make it a 10 and if applied, hopefully will.  My father never listened to me either and he was sober.  Constant degradation, reduction, hollering, namecalling, etc...That's all I ever knew and here I am years later knowing that he was just jealous of me and though I don't make much $, I'm a happy dude with just some sad ghosts that leave me feeling paralyzed or afraid much of the time.  I had nothing but fear programmed into me (physical, emotional and mental threats) all the time.  I'll be right back to help you with the delivery of this poem in a second after I post (and boast) its honor, power and value from the heart of a man to the heart of another man.  Thanks for that.  :-)
 — starr

Okay...I'm back.  Let's talk about punctuation.  I read this twice and then 3x just to know where the punctuation could be enhanced more effectively to bring this poem to Top Rated honors that it so completely deserves.  

L2 would benefit from a semicolon at the end of it and from a line break after L5.

L7 would benefit with a comma at the end of it and moving the period to the end of L8 followed by another line break.  I like how, through language, you reduce yourself with the most reductionist adjectives in human speech today ("just a," "little" and "shit") to show the reader exactly how little you thought of yourself.  Well done selection of words to portray such a keen and obvious outside perception of the "smallness" perpetuated by your old man.  Awesome!

L17 would benefit from a comma at the end of it and adding a comma at the end of L18 wouldn't hurt either and will serve as a needed breath before the upcoming dialogue.

I'd put quotation marks around L's19 & 20 because these lines are being quoted.  The exclamation point at the end of L19 should be a question mark AND an exclamation point because she's supposedly pleading.  Don't let the emotions get off easy by cheating them of their speech (appropriate punctuation) either.  L21 is correctly punctuated.  It, too, asks a question.

L21's and 22 should be followed by commas and on L23, I'd cut the present progressive verb into the simple present action, "feel" like a stone.

L27 might be followed by semicolon before it leads the reader into the final two lines which are so perfectly, powerfully and solemnly delivered.  BRAvissimo on this incredibly awesome portrait of personal art painted and then set to verse.  Adjust your punctuation and I (will come back and push it up to a 10 rating) as well as others, I'm sure, will give it its props.  This should be #1 Top Rated and I'll be so happy the day it is.  Thank you for your poem that reaches the depths of my heart and soul right now.  Good night, buddy.  
 — starr



thanks for reading and the comments/suggestions.

 — unknown

i used to get beat with the ruler and that's why my sense of proportion is pretty advanced. when i got old enough i broke it though.
 — joey

Just stumbled across this.  Sad subject, but perfectly conveyed.
 — mtharp

Lose all the punctuation, you don't need it when you have short crisp lines like this.
The flow here is natural and your poem reads well enough without confetti cluttering the stage.
Today's eyes weren't meant to be gouged out with semi colons.
 — unknown