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  1. #1
    Debbi Voisey
    Guest

    Poem Critique Please

    Hi all... I don't often post in here but I often read the posts. I write fiction, and that's where I hope my future lies. But since I don't yet have the courage to post any of my fiction work, I thought I would test the water with my poem called "Grandmother" that I wrote a couple of years ago. Comments and criticism welcome. Don't worry, I have read other critiques on here and know what to expect... don't pull any punches!

    Grandmother

    If I never understood you it was because you never let me
    As you sat there with your arms crossed
    Across giant, wool-clad bosom
    Your face pinched and sullen
    Mouth puckered like the anus of a pit bull

    I feared you, and I never wanted to stay
    But you made me, every Sunday
    You dragged me into that house of pain
    Where tortured souls bowed and scraped
    And gave their dignity to a man in black frilled with white

    The smell of ashes, sweet and oily palms
    Burned as offerings then smeared across the brows
    Of frightened children, faces wide like mine
    Our hearts fluttering as we chewed the flesh of a magic man

    With puzzled face each Saturday, I made up sins
    To tell the shadow behind the crimson curtain and hazy mesh
    And when I emerged with prayers to say, you'd take my hand

    And lead me to the altar, and watch as I knelt
    And smile as my lips moved, wanting you to know I was praying

    And you'd finger your black rosary.



  2. #2
    Lisa Werth
    Guest

    Re: Poem Critique Please

    Aaah, angry Catholic issues. The priest scandals dominate our newspapers so I'm a bit burned out on this topic.
    Nice imagery though.
    Lisa

  3. #3
    Debbi Voisey
    Guest

    Re: Poem Critique Please

    Thank you

  4. #4
    Nora Christie
    Guest

    Re: Poem Critique Please

    Bitter as gall! Being both a Catholic and a Grandmother, and loving both as a child and now, I don't like your poem.
    But as art? I can't say.

    Nora

  5. #5
    Debbi Voisey
    Guest

    Re: Poem Critique Please

    Thanks for your comments Nora. I take it as a positive sign that my poem stirred up such a reaction in you. It is good that you have such a positive experience of the Catholic Church, and I am sure you are a great Grandmother (mine is too)... but alas I cannot write my poem from your point of view or draw on YOUR experiences.

    Debbi

  6. #6
    danielle schaaf
    Guest

    off-topic, sort of

    Debbi, I too had difficulty getting past the anger in your poetry, but I suppose that is a good reaction for you.

    Nora and Lisa, I need to share with you some of the anecdotes I have collected for my humor book: Don't Chew Jesus! A Collection of Memorable Nun Stories. I have collected nearly 250 anecdotes about Catholic nuns from folks all over the U.S. (and a couple from people in Canada and England)and they are nothing like the memories portrayed in Debbi's poetry - they're lighthearted, nostalgic and just plain fun.

    You can check out my website www.nunstories.com to see where my book is heading or email me directly and I'll share a few anecdotes with you.

    Danielle

  7. #7
    Debbi Voisey
    Guest

    Re: off-topic, sort of

    I don't think that anger is the primary feeling in my poem. More confusion and puzzlement. The feeling of not understanding, but of being forced into doing something that you have no control over, or knowledge of. My view of religion, since I was able and old enough to form my own, is that it should not be forced upon anyone, especially children, who have no understanding of what they are committing to. At age 6 or 7 you are supposed to confess your "sins"?

    But I don't want to get into religious argument. I am agnostic, and to be honest, don't really care one way or the other. I respect other people's beliefs and I don't wish to offend anyone. The poem is simply a way of getting my confusion as a child over. It simply describes how things looked to me, because nothing was ever really explained... just expected.

    Debbi

  8. #8
    Debbi Voisey
    Guest

    Re: off-topic, sort of

    BTW, Danielle, I love the title of your book... "Don't Chew Jesus"... that was one of the major fears as a child whilst taking communion. Did we chew him or just let him dissolve in our mouths? Would it hurt him?

    Debbi

  9. #9
    Lisa Werth
    Guest

    Danielle

    Saw they web site already. I've told a few people about your book even. And found myself having difficulty dealing with communion wafers for a few weeks there. Wasn't until I got distracted by someone wearing a Snoopy Joe Cool Tie that thigns went back to normal. To clarify things I'm not Catholic, I just know a lot of them, grew up in a more adjusted and at times liberal protestant chuch.
    Lisa

  10. #10
    Johnny Appleseed
    Guest

    Re: Danielle


    <font color=blue> i like this title better:

    "Dissolving Jesus on Your Tongue"

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