poetry critical

online poetry workshop

twenty-eight and five days sober

by the age of sixteen
it was no longer
my dad's fault.
had really
his drinking
started making
did i
need help
changing the oil?
would i
like to go with him
to the pool hall?
my pride
wouldn't let me
doing so
would be admitting
that i needed him,
of course
i did.
i knifed him
with all my
hurt turned hate
at every offering.
i was cold
and hard
as the inside
of the casket
i wished for him.
its the
of my son,
my own
or the weight
of my
failed attempts
at sobriety.
i don't
but lately
i've been thinking
about that casket
how the regret
will taste.

1 Jan 07

Rated 8.5 (8.5) by 17 users.
Active (17): 6, 6, 6, 6, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10
Inactive (3): 8, 8, 10

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(9 users consider this poem a favorite)

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With an alcoholic father myself- I feel ya. I like this.
 — ky_diva

tough stuff well expressed. the only critique I can offer is to say I'd like to see stanza 7 in parenthesis. good work
 — SteelAngel

Poetically this lacks near everything, there is little poetice device employed, the line breaks are arbitary and appear to be used as an attempt to hide the lack of substance. Needs a re-think
 — unknown

Unknown above has some points... but the content is fabulous.
 — WordsAndMe

If you know this, do something about it today. Tomorrow isn't promised, and you'll feel a lot better.
 — unknown

read Bukowski do you?

not bad. effective in conveying the emotion it intends, but not groundbreaking. not that every poem should be. enjoyable read.
 — theair

I'm bigger on what poetry speak than on how it appears on the page.  Maybe that's a fault of mine as a writer, however, this poem speaks such incredible truth that the beauty is in the ugliness of it and these are two very difficult flavors to combine for one ultimate taste.  Sadly, it's delicious.
 — starr


thanks for reading.

justin hyde.
 — unknown

My father is an alcoholic, and I'm in recovery myself.  I feel this.  I think anyone in a similar boat will feel this.  Good work.
 — likeavirus

Great poem. Says a real lot about pride and hurt and the way life has a strange way of turning everything on its head as we get older.

Larry OAP Lark
 — larrylark

I agree that the line breaks create a rhythm that doesn't seem to suit.  Unless the speaker is drunk and his synpases are having trouble connecting.
I think the subject is great but I don't enjoy dissertations passed off as poetry.  I need images and lyrics and all those juicy things that, for me, are what differentiate poetry from monologues.
 — aurelius

the line breaks are perfect, i love this. 8
 — chloee

I like this just the way it is. This is powerful. We never know what tomorrow will bring, do we? I often wonder what I would feel if my own parents died tomorrow. I started crying and realized that there was so much I had to make right.

thanks. You are great. I like the linebreaks the way they are. Everyone else will debate it and never come up with the "right" answer so I will tell you- keep it the way you have it. Why should poetry be perfect when we are not?

 — nightengale

turning into a little mikebauer junior, aren't you, nightengale? "don't change, don't try to edit, my preferences are the best"? eh?
 — unknown

i like this.
my real mother is an alcoholic.
and i feel for you
 — kenzee

great (from a rflective point of view
 — unknown

turning into a little mikebauer junior, aren't you, nightengale? "don't change, don't try to edit, my preferences are the best"? eh?
— unknown

hardly. I don't think he (or she) should change the poem. The poet can edit if he or she wants, but I personally do not think it is necessary, unless he or she thinks it needs editing. I was just giving my opinion and whoever wrote it can decide what to do with it. Is that wrong?

Honestly, you look for something to criticize and I promise you, you will always find it. I'm not perfect and don't pretend to be so get that notion out of your head.
 — nightengale

I think the content is awesome and means a lot but the line breaks are extremely off putting. So bad, they are deflecting from the poem itself. You need to revise the line breaks, make the lines longer, make your breaks mean something. Think about where you want the brief pauses if reading it aloud. I hope you try because this would do your poem justice.
 — marieF

Absolutely stunning harsh reality.  The boy becoming his father, sad story well told.
 — Isabelle5

Amazing. I can relate, my dad is an alcoholic. I've spent my whole life hating it. But I'm afraid that I am becoming it.
 — Bandrews

This is good - the images are stark but strong and the way you've arranged the line breaks mirrors the starkness of the thought processes of the poetic voice. I think many will relate - the starkness disguises the passionate feelings beneath in the way of so many of us.
 — opal

very bitter after taste, but thats what you were aiming for I suppose. The line breaks are timed perfectly, as if my own voice is speaking to me through the seeming dark.
 — Esoteric

no alcoholic father here - just an alcoholic myself.

i like it. at first it wasn't much to cheer about, but the last stanza kicked in the rest of the poem...

and let me tell you; it fucking works.
 — mould_jesus

L 33-36 are my favorites- "hard as the inside of a casket" - that's great.
 — SarahMichele

line 38: it's?
 — inebriated

once again you've made me feel. sad.
 — hank

up to line 17 is magic.  after that, it gets too abstract, i think. there's nothing concrete; nothing to grip onto and touch..i don't know. it seems like you're trying to be too deep after that point. it gets cliche and mehhh.

in line 38, add an apostrophe to show possesion. "it's"
 — unknown

Sometimes I think that every word we write is about our fathers.

Other times I realise every word I write is about me.
 — seventytimes

I love the double meanings that l51 holds.

Wonderfully written. 9.
 — stateofmind

 — listen

i love the ending of this.

the taste of regret. that's such a good... i don't know, image isn't the right word.

i could taste it, i can feel it.

this is great.
 — shakeit

This is SUCH a good poem. It's so honest and truthful.

The last line is brillant.

 — zack

very much, i like..
the images,
the things said,
the short lines.
well done.
 — photobooth