So many things can be inspiring,

the birth of a newborn baby or even Jesus dying. 

People choose their inspirations so easily, 

its almost as natural as a family. 

People get inspired by a good, happy event, 

but for me it's a time in my life where I lacked consent.

He took my ability to give consent, 

it made me feel worthless, not even a cent. 

I struggled with self love and I pitied myself,

I became as stiff as a book on the shelf.

This inspired me to have higher expectations,

inspired me to get a guy that passed all my inspections.

I never once failed myself again,

and for that it inspired me to never be scared of men.  


This poem is about: 


Murray Alfredson

It seems to me that you have written on very unpleasant subject, but one that it is important to have brought to the fore.  Since you say this is also about you, I think it takes courage to bring into the open.  To be overwhelmed and hurried past your ability to give your consent sounds like rape to me, even if not aggravated by violence. I shall post a poem of mine, really not one one poem, but three, a triptych, titled 'Stolen', of the god Zeus impersonating a lady's (Alkmene's) husband (Amphityon) for a drawn out night of pleasure resulting in the birth of Herakles, but rape nevertheless.  The point is, that Alkmene was deceived, even if the night was a wild romp.  Zeus was a rapist.

The other very impportant thing in your poem is a message, that though the 'I' of the poem felt horribly degraded, she managed rise above above the experience, and not allow fear to rule her life.  She dared to love despite the experience.  That is the true inpiration of the poem.

I am reminded of a Jewish lady I once knew, who was actually in Stalingrad during World War 2.  Her whole family was taken by the Nazis, and disappeared into the holocaust.  She rose above even that terrible experience.  So when her husband said to me that the Jews were meant to suffer, she rebuked him, saying that the Germans suffered in Stalingrad, and the Russians.

So, I commend you for your courage in making a poem out of such a negative experience.  That in itself makes an impact, at least on my sensibility.  My further remaeks are concerned with giving your poem greater impact.

I do think the poem needs quite a lot of further work.  I expect part of the point in posting a poem on this web site, is to receive critical comments that will, we shall hope, help you to bring this poem and further poems you write up to a fully professional standard.

I think there are two factors that give a poem impact: a) one is the vividness of the writing, usually achieved through the connotations or overtones of the words you use, and the appeal of your writing to the senses, the five physical senses, and the mind as sense; and, b)the compactness and brevity of your writing, so every word, even every syllable, pulls its weight in producing that impact.  Suppose you are attacked in the street, and the only object you can defend yourself with is an umbrella.  If you strike by thrusting with the point of the umbrella, that will hurt.  But to strike by wacking with the shaft will be ineffectual, because in the one case the force is concentrated in a small area, where in the other it diffused.

On vividness, can you, for example, make the experience seem in your poem as overwhelming as it must have been in reality?  Create some sense of the bloke's urgent hurry, his pressure from within that would not take no or an answer, perhaps even the girl's surprise that what what seemed perhaps more than acceptable, suddenly became wholly unacceptable, that it was all too rapid.  A sort of no red lights tonight approach.  Can you embody the experience into your poem, the particulars of it, instead of the bland 'he took my ability to give consent'.  I shall leave it there, but also look at thefollowing lines, the sense of being besmirched, of worthlessness.  Give it some edge.  You don't need to describe the whole thing in detail.  just pick out a few of the most salient points to make, perhaps the tearing of a garment, or entering ahead of being fully wanted.

On wordiness, look to your opening line, for example.  You could say that in three words instead of six: Many things inspire.  Look right through for where words can be dropped without loss, or where a shorter word might do as well.  One trick good exercise in teaching yourself might be to try writing some pieces without adjectives, or particularly adverbs.  The tend to slow the action.  Present participles demand an auxiliar verb that fills no other purpose: e.g. in 'be ininspiring'.  So if you can avoid participles as the heart of a verb, do so.  One limitation of all Germaninic languages, including English, is that there are only two tenses inherent in the verbs: present ans preterite ( the simple past).  All other tenses require an auxiliary verb. See how far you can go using only those two tenses.  The present can have overtones of the future.  See how far you can manage so.

I hope these comments have been helpful, without my attempting to take over your poem; It is your poem, after all.  But know this: I do not give my attention to work I do not think worth giving that effort to.  I am an old man with limited energy.





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