poetry critical

online poetry workshop

My Famous Dad

What were you doing, John Kennedy
the day my father died?
And Luther King, what words did sing  
from you on his demise?
John Lennon, did you write a note
or Orson venture pawky quote?
And Marilyn never slit her throat ...
The day my father died.

17 Feb 03

Rated 7.7 (7.5) by 18 users.
Active (18): 1, 3, 6, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10
Inactive (39): 1, 1, 1, 1, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)

(29 users consider this poem a favorite)

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I kept hearing people talking about this piece, wishing it was still around, and I'd never read it. but now it's here, in front of me. I've always thought the title sounded a bit dopey, but now that I've read it, it's very right.

I can understand why people have kept talking about this.

my primary thought, criticism-wise, is maybe a comma before the "John Kennedy" on the first line. though I'm not even certain on that since it'd be the only one in this.

 — unknown

Well, if this person put a comma after Kennedy and after note in stanza three, both phrases would make a lot more sense, in my opinion.
 — Python13

This is kinda cool. I love the whole scheme of the piece.
 — rjianyg

if you're going to go off about commas, there should be one before and after John Kennedy and Luther King each, and one after Lennon. But I don't think that they're necessary to the piece. Call their absence poetic license.
 — unknown

well well well, look who's back.
 — jade

i am impressed, but i don't feel that this has lived up to all the hype.
 — unknown

I like this. It flows well.
 — Moose

nothing lives up to the hype. forget about that, and enjoy the poem.
 — jade

I don't see what is special about this poim at all.
 — FP

i don't see it, either.
 — unknown

FP the only thing more annoying than your purposeful misspelling of the word poem (“poim” is neither cute or clever) is your presence on this site. This poem comments on how losing a father belittles the significance of several historic tragic events. It is the realization that leaders, stars, and celebrities do not compare to the importance of a father. Not only does this poem entail deep personal meaning, but also its concise word selection is quite poignant and very effective in conveying a message.
 — unknown

Awww... did I touch a nerve? It is evident what was being projected through the poim. Your explanation does not change a damn thing. It is nothing special. I think I enjoyed it more before you started whining over it. And I agree, 'poim' is not cute nor clever, it's just the way I spell it. It's quite endearing that you have taken notice of me... trully... I am touched.
 — FP

Cheers, folks, and thanks 'unknown' and jade for trying to win over the accursed, infidel types. As for that, FP, character, he's so determined to piss me off that he's gone and removed from the site, one of my favourite poems, (moan-a!, moan-a! sniff ...) !

rgds, unk :)
 — unknown

I deleted it on accident. Not that it matters.
 — FP

I just don't know. I've come back and read it a few more times. I still have not rated it. Perhaps I am just impartial. Maybe it is because I feel it depends too much on famous people, and nothing is considered for the father, and of course that seems to be the point as well as the device by which the poim is constructed. But it detracts from the image of the father, when I read it at least. Maybe it is because the names of the people you chose seem too generic... which has the effect of making the father appear generic, in relation. Maybe they are fine... as I said, I just don't know. I don't see it as a great poim. It is clever has a nice rhythm. Not a bad poim by any means, but I don't favor it. I'll think on it more.
 — FP

ive always felt like this. however, i think punctuation could help tons here
 — maybenot

Interesting. I like this. Nice work.
 — unknown

I like this a lot. I retract my previous statement about the commas, because after re-reading, they aren't necessary to the poem. Nice job.
 — Python13

Thanks for re-thinking, Python. You too, FP. Interesting thoughts from both.
 — unknown

Look here, 'onester persons", you are not pissing me off! You can give me as many 'ones' as you want, but it won't bother me! You have even started giving me 'tens' and then converting them to 'ones' when i'm asleep, and still this does not put me up or down. I tell you, onester persons, you will never break my spirit ... NEVER ... NREVER .. GRR .. EVNER ..... BASTARDS!!!!!!!!!!!

You know, I don't think i'll even bother posting this.

 — unknown

nice twist lines 3 and 4, invocative of keats or shelley... concept is intelligent.
well done.
 — mtw

I apologize, I didn't mean to set it at one, I've changed it to 10, I don't know how that happened, I thought this was worthy of the 10 I gave. I aologize for any hurt it might have caused...That was purely accidental...I apologize again...
 — Python13

for some reason i don't like rhyming poems too much... i do like the 7th line... maybe i'd need to feel the loss to totally understand it.
 — unknown

Cheers, Python. You sure know how to keep me on my toes. ;)
 — unknown

Whats the point of this? IT RHYMES LIKE DOCTOR SUESS!
 — unknown

Rhyming whore
get on your knees
and freeze at the prod
of my magnum lolly.
Do you feel lucky,

Oh, hurt me not
Cro-magnum, man!
I'm only doing
the best I can.
It's just that i'm
so easily led,
and Dr Seuss is great
in bed.
 — unknown

Ok, what's wrong with rhyming?
 — unknown

That was my comment...what's wrong with rhyming?
 — Python13

About what python last mentioned, I myself am impartial to rhyme. Typically, I am somewhat turned off by rhyme. However, I enjoy inter-laced rhyme schemes and on occasion a structured rhyming poim. To speak on this poim specificly, I do not have any problem with the rhyme. It is not forced, does nothing to detract from the poim. It flows. I am just uncertain on the content, that which I spoke on earlier.
 — FP

I never saw this until October 3rd. This is such a slap in the face sort of poem - wakes you up. Reminds me of coming home from the hospital with my first baby, wondering why all the cars going past weren't honking and trying to sneak a peek - they didn't know that my whole world had changed.
 — Isabelle5

This piece is awesome.
 — Jsmiles05

i know its annoying to comment on the comments and all but that "FP" dude with the "poim" shit.. what the hell? why are you spelling it like that?

in regards to the "poem", the idea of it is very clever and kitchy. well done.. i missed out on the hype
 — unknown

what could be said about this that hasn't been said? brilliant in it's simplicity. I could recite for you more than a line from Frost or Poe, but this baby's been in my head for years (literally years now, eh old timer?). As an afterthought, do you have  s in all your lines? It's messing up the line count. And I'd rather deal with just a stanza break before 13 than the double-line break plus elipses -- just a tad overdoing it.
 — unknown

Wow, it was reallt thought provoking for me.  David Matthews Band sings a song, about what if he was all these different kinds of people, a post man or parking lot attentdant...like your poem that song reminds me that we are all people and it is a tradegy that our life is not more recognized for the incredible gift it is not only to ourselves but to othes.  From Sarah Rose
 — stes0007

I like it.. It's really good but i think you need to change line 7,8 and 10.... Not everyone knows who those popele are and what they even did... Other than that, it was really good.
 — unknown

unknown, you have got to be kidding!! How old are you anyway?
 — unknown

still, I'm saying though not evryone knows who John Lennon is.... I understand the poem its just.... i dont like line 7 and 8...
 — unknown

OMG how can you not know who John Lennon is!! I'm only 15 and I know who he is! if you don't know who the people are, how can you even say this poem is good?
 — unknown

firstly, don't say you're only 15 - it's quite old really and it's just annoying
secondly stupid stupid people, of course people know who john lennon is and it doesn't matter - if they don't they can fucking look him up
we should be able to write about obscure people in poetry so long as it's good poetry (as I think this is although I get the feeling - and it's not a very nice feeling, makes me legs wobbly - that I've missed a core point here....)
 — Minx

Minx----just shut up..... oh yea, this poem is really good.
 — unknown

I really enjoyed this.  It did what it wanted to do in 8 lines. and I think that's wonderful.
 — beatbitch

eh unknown? don't tell me to shut up... rude little bugger...
 — Minx

I like it.  Is it about how the anniversaries of some people's deaths are remembered and some aren't?  I'm not sure.  But I still really like it.
 — chevolleau

I really i like the first two lines and last.. The other ones are.. ok
 — Xxballet05xX

The poem intentionally makes a link between famous icons who died in untimely curcimstances
and the death of her father. I think that her father probally also died early and- with the comparison in mind, i believe she is trying to say that in the same way as these historical figures
will always be missed, her fathers departure will have a huge affect on her and all the sadness will rest on her shoulders as opposed to being spread out within society and a connection less close and personal
 — unknown

I got part way through reading some of the comments and when it got off subject, I gave up.  I may be saying the same thing as someone else or really contradicting others, but like I said...I didn't feel like reading through things that didn't have anything to do with this poem.  

I would really like you to add the original poem to the comments here.  I loved it.  I thought that it was saying that just because your dad wasn't in the public eye, he was still valuable.  He still meant something to the world even though his name may not have been uttered in every household.  I see the changes.  I know that some people told you that you should change it.  As far as punctuation and capitalization goes, sure, you could make some changes, but I think that the feeling of the poem is lost when you cut out so much of it.  

I first read this the day you posted it and didn't comment because I was still so new to the site and wanted to get a feel for the type of poems submitted before I commented on anything.  I can tell you that I have thought of this a couple of times and wished that I remembered the title so I could look it up.  It just happened to be my first random poem when I signed on today.   It is now in my favorites so I don't forget the name and I will be checking back to, hopefully, see the original again.
 — amy

Sorry to disappoint you, amy, but this is the original! :{
 — unknown

Sorry, I could have swore there was a little more to it.  I thought line 10 was different.  Still, as is it is an awesome poem.  I am not disappointed.  I just remembered it differently.  My comments below still apply to it as is.  
 — amy

Hard Contact Lens
 — unknown

you suck BIG time!!!!!
 — unknown

 — unknown

 — unknown

well... there are 4 direct addresses inthe poem... so you'd need a comma before 'John Kennedy', 'Luther King', 'John Lennon' and 'Orson'.... In fact the parallel structures of the first three stanzas are kind of thrown off by the expository statement made in line 10. And if you don't know who John Lennon is, perhaps you should spend less of your creative energy on poetry and more of it on trying to find innovative new uses for using rat poison in cooking. Does anybody who actually reads poetry NOT know who John Lennon is? Maybe I'm wrong, but... it's JOHN! THE BEATLES? ack. sorry... touchy subject. I <3 John Lennon....
 — omega

i'm not sure why i like it,  but i do.  the note/quote/thoat rhymes were great.
 — scribeastray

An interesting twist on the "where were you" theme.
 — larrylark

I really like this.  It evokes some very genuine feelings about the death of a loved one.  It reminded me of how I felt about the death of my own father.  It is clever and manages to avoid being over sentimental while still being somehow poignant (sp?).
 — akiikii

Thats pretty sweet, i like it a lot...
 — dmartin

I have also lost a father and this piece really captures how trivial those famous deaths seem in comparison and the bitterness one can feel towards the mourning of such figures when it seems only you mourn your father. It's a beautiful poem and is probably more poignant to those that have experienced the same emotions. To me, it seems of little importance whether comma's are included or not.
 — unknown

Interesting, but not a good poem
 — unknown

Well Done
 — Champ

I really don't get it.
 — unknown

its not bad... i kind of like it.
 — PinkClock

not bad
 — rosetinted

 — unknown

i like the poem and the feeling, only thing i would change is that id say Dr. King instead of Luther King
 — sflores

Hey...o.0 Whos your father?? *Pokes*
 — unknown

wow.   that's some good stuff, right there.  thanks.  that's a pretty loaded poem, right there.  *claps*
 — beckeyleigh

This poem is beautiful and has been on my favorites for eons. I'm glad it's back on the top rated.
 — SeverTheVein

Your dads famous...can i get an autograph!!? jk! good poem
 — orange

 — unknown

i dont get it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 — unknown

 — unknown

If everyone got it
there'd be none left
for the fairies.
 — unknown

This is total Koooolioooooooooooooo(Y) Love this!;)
 — WildSymphony

i can't remember
 — unknown

Love it.  I cant wait to see who it is after I post!  Love line 10.

I know exactly what you mean with the poem.
Punctuation, definetly would be an improvement though.
 — MFine

Ahh, still unknown!
 — MFine

i've just found it.

i've fallen in love with it (except for the ellipse-- oh, why do i hate them so?)

rhyming starts off shaky, but the line 7&8 are beautiful.
 — youthculture

This poem earns merit for its insightful, unique, and subtle humanistic critique of society and the idea that no human is necessarily more or less important than any other.  However, in highlighting through the question of what a celeberty would've said the subject of the poem expresses just how special the deceased father is to them.  In other words, it is through this creative twist that the father is more so special than a cleberty and more important as well in the fact that the celeberties in question didn't know him.  Very interesting.  I enjoyed this one.

Your "friendly, social" poet,
 — SirBoggy

wow, this really packs a punch with subtleness.
 — sassybnyss

this poem was very effective
 — unknown

 — mwalkerd

Very in your face and powerful. A excellent piece
 — SirSkankAlot

this poem makes you step back for a moment and take life  perspective.
I can't tell if you are speaking from animosity,where they are expected to do these things or your just reminding us that we are all human and each death should
be morned with the same importance.
 — mamjames8

i get it and i like it

i would, however, change Luther King to Dr. King
 — honeypot

Still love this, this time I remembered to add it to my favorites.  Astounding tribute.
 — Isabelle5

Wow i love it.
 — bloodflowers

this always pops up as the random poem on my page... it always reminds me of what my father's death means to me and noone else.  very nice.
 — mwalkerd

marilyn monroe overdosed.  
and teh kenedy / monroe thing was scandalous, did you mean to equate them?
 — unknown

horrible poem
 — unknown

You're right, we should value everyone.
 — UHamilton

That sux Eat chicken
 — unknown

At first, I thought this poem isn't that interesting, but I read it a couple more times and it has grown on me. It definately does need a few comas to make it read clearer....i suggest putting one after Lennon (L7) also. But overall It's alright.
 — joshcoops

Wow. Great poem. Needs some commas here and there, but a very powerful statement.
 — JustineCH

Just a suggestion, but how about "And Marilyn never overdosed.."  I don't believe it will detract from the rhyme in this wonderful poem.  Either way, a 10.
 — unknown

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