poetry critical

online poetry workshop

The Perfection of the Day

On this morning’s news
the talking heads, with their
perfect hair and plastic smiles,
spoke of the trouble in Darfur
as if discussing the weather—
without saying which way
the wind was blowing.
They failed to mention
how the eyes of men
are plucked from their heads
like ripe olives;
how the bodies of women
are ripped and torn
by the hard thrust of hate.
History keeps repeating itself
like a skipping record
on the phonograph of time;
the Janjaweed are painting
the dust of Darfur red
with the horrors of genocide—
is there no cure
for the blind eye of the world?
I think of this as I step outside
with my granddaughter
to the kind sweep of sunlight
across our faces,
to the crispness of cool air in our lungs,
to the perfection of the day.
Anna is only five and has yet to learn
of apathy and its cousin,
the inconvenient truth.
Soon enough she will come to know
darkness in the world runs deep;
that the selfsame sun
and the air we breathe,
also give life to tyrants, murderers—
and worst of all,
to those who don’t give a damn.

8 Apr 08

Rated 9 (9) by 4 users.
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Inactive (0): 8, 9

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I Love You.
 — p_p_love

 — nisetru

Oh, ouch and bravo!  This could be so mundane and flat but you have brought the entire emotion of rage vs love and peace to life.  Very good writing.  
 — Isabelle5

Thanks p_p_love and nisetru.
Isabelle, thanks for the critique.  I wasn't sure how this would come across.
 — PaulS

Well, it is mostly well written...I think the second stanza is where you really get this to work.
"talking heads"- reminds me of the band- ok i suppose,
L7, perhaps, doesn't really complement what you are saying about the weather...and, really, after all these many centuries of war and genocide you can't really expect much of the media-- it has become common place, people don't really care...and they reflect that realization. It seems pointless to chastise them, to expect anything more.

I don't like that "history repeats itself" stuff, mainly because we have heard it all before...and the "like a skipping record" is basically just underlining something that we don't need underlined.
Maybe you don't even need L15-17.

The "painting the dust" bit is perhaps a bit soft maybe, like you are trying to be artful on the topic. Not sure about "horror of" either, isn't that all covered in the second stanza...genocide is just genocide.

L31 annoys the hell out me, but I guess there will be no doing away with it.

This is good though, the ending perfect.
 — DeformedLion

Thanks Deformedlion, I agree this could be culled a bit.  I appreciate your taking the time to look this over--you've made some insightful points that I will seriously consider.
 — PaulS

political poetry can be trickey because of it's explosiveness. when i write it, i usually piss people off, i think you wrote this well.
 — raskolniikov

I understand rask.  Political poetry has a tendency to limit your audience, but what else can you do but write what you feel.  Thanks for reading and for the comment.
 — PaulS

hi Paul. another great poem.

i particularly like stanzas two and three. i think they contain the strongest writing in this piece. but the very last line was also a good closing, somehow ironic but also clever, true.

i guess my only suggestion is making "horror" in line twenty plural. of course completely optional, i just think that it would help imply that genocide has a lot of problems with it.

but that's just my thought on that. great writing.
 — listen

Thanks listen, i think you're right about horror--I'll make that change.
 — PaulS

You've weaved sad poement that speaks of the human condition...of course, it's not all bad...nice write...
 — JKWeb

...or should I say? nicely written...
 — JKWeb

Thanks for the positive comment JK.
 — PaulS