This Poem was Submitted By: Lynda G Smith On Date: 2004-08-08 19:12:27 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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A life in the day of a gutter-girl

  Time had stayed her thoughts  in corsets of rigid-boned rules, yet she coveted the sensual, craved the carnal  with its’ secret canons,    fearing the release of  the gutter-girl within. Her genesis   erupted with the explosion of a magma confined by a lifetime of stricture. She forged her spirit  with her heritage, and heated her imagination  with possibilities and lusty histories. She dressed her mind in a gown of contempt and unlaced all limitations.   With the seduction of expectation,  she tempted contemplations from the secret privy of her being and poured her energy  upon the earth in the baptism of birth.

Copyright © August 2004 Lynda G Smith

This Poem was Critiqued By: Thomas Edward Wright On Date: 2004-09-03 22:07:57
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
One of the better ones this month. Thank you for keeping this site alive. ex machina

This Poem was Critiqued By: James Edward Schanne On Date: 2004-08-27 13:09:42
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.17857
Very tifgt in that I wouldn't know a word to take out or one to add, the succession of images this brings to mind were very interesting especially the contrast of the first two lines with the next two lines. Thanks for letting me read it.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Wayne R. Leach On Date: 2004-08-25 20:02:54
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.88235
Lynda, a most powerful piece of work. Catchy and "twisted" title, if intentionally done! The imagery simply "hauls" the reader down these lines to reach that dramatic punch-line - that powerful closing image. Wonderful job, so thanks for posting this one. Very sensual at times, with very accurate [IMHO] descriptors of what this girl might encounter. Thank you, and I can offer nothing for improving upon this one. [surprise!] ;>) wrl
This Poem was Critiqued By: Rachel F. Spinoza On Date: 2004-08-22 14:33:15
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hi, Lynda Another amazing poem. The irony of the title - a woman named for a diseased place and infantilized by the off-hand use of the word “girl” is not lost on me. Amazing. Time had stayed her thoughts in corsets of rigid-boned rules, Good opening which draws us the poem with its rich metaphor yet she coveted the sensual, craved the carnal with its secret canons, wonderful c and v assonance but the metaphor is lost here and a new one begun which would be okay except the use of the conjunction “yet” makes us sort of expect a direct continuation of the corset allusion. fearing the release of the gutter-girl within. [one wonders how she cam to use such disparaging terms for her own freedom of expression – very complex and interesting poem. Her genesis erupted with the explosion of a magma confined by a lifetime of stricture. [great rich writing and g assonance] Here the metaphor is picked up again – and wonderfully well! She forged her spirit with her heritage, and heated her imagination with possibilities and lusty histories. [interesting but this seems like a new route] She dressed her mind in a gown of contempt and unlaced all limitations. If you reverse the last two lines you will have subtly continued the corset theme and the “undressing “ would be smoother. With the seduction of expectation, she tempted contemplations [WOW} from the secret privy of her being and poured her energy upon the earth in the baptism of birth. Great great ending!
This Poem was Critiqued By: Robert Wyma On Date: 2004-08-14 15:34:46
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
This poem is rich with contrasting terms of constriction and expansion. This mix in balance plays out the tension that exists between what is taught, and what is felt. At the core of each of us in a natural sense of selfhood that is repeatedly challenged by rules and expectation, many of which remain unchallenged and unquestioned except in the privacy of our own internal dialogue. This poem captures the honesty and the rightfullness of this self questioning that eventually creates who we become. This poems contains many powerful metaphors: corsets of rigid-boned rules.... so descriptive and rhythmic gown of contempt.... very descriptive and vivid A very powerful truth emerges in the line that states that limitations are unlaced by seduction of expectation. So true. The poem ends with a very firm and very grounded statement, enclosed with aliterative "b" sounds that connect the reader with the grounding rhythm of the letter "b". Well done, Robert
This Poem was Critiqued By: marilyn terwilleger On Date: 2004-08-13 11:30:47
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hi Lynda, Aside from the fact that this poem is well composed it is also full of wonderful metaphors and descriptors that leave me breathless. I can't help but have empathy for this girl and instead of thinking of her as a gutter girl for wanting to break out of her restraints I think of her as being in a staid and constricted marriage. On the inside she is one person, dutiful wife and mother, but on the inside she is a volcano about to erupt. To me she went from a strict up-bringing to a sheltered and even more confining marriage. The use of a corset with rigid-boned rules to express her confines is brilliant. This frustrated woman fears the brewing temptress inside and longs to let 'her' out and become the person she feels she really is. Not a 'woman of the night' but someone who is as free as the wind and can do what she wants, be what she wants and not inflict pain on anyone else. 'She dressed her mind in a gown of contempt and unlaced all limitations'....I love the line...also 'forged her spirit...heated her imagination...I am on vacation and have little time before we leave the house but the truth is I could go on and on about this piece. But just let is suffice to say I love the entire poem and say...kudos...for writing such an amazing piece of poetry! Blessings...Marilyn
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mell W. Morris On Date: 2004-08-09 13:02:13
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Lynda: I like each and every poem you post and I would have to go back and look (I have no short-term memory because of my meds) but it seems you are emerging as a feminist poet. That's terrific company you keep. This free-verse definition of the evolution of a woman from prude to good-time girl is masterfully executed. You call her "gutter- girl" which is derogatory and a descriptor with which I wouldn't agree but it helps make your point that one can be overly restrained and constricted until they become a different person altogether. Your opening metaphor of her in corset stays and rigid-boned rules is excellent. You use the hard C sound in corset/craved/carnal/ coveted/secret/canons. It sounds as if she fears the strength of the physical side of herself never unleashed. Someone as tightly wound as she (magma confined) is going to create a hugenic explosion when/if released. I cannot possibly point out all your poetics in this jewel but they are indeed noted and contribute to the rhythm and sound herein. A veritable symphony of sound. Great linguistry in the allits and the phrase that begins: "She forged..." You have internal rhyme and so much assonance, I lean back in my chair and sigh with appreciation. Please remove the apostrophe from "ITS". The resolution in your poem likely says something different to me than to the typical readers. "....poured her energy upon the earth in the baptism of birth." For me, Lynda, this woman has been a prisoner all her life: by parents, husband, religion, does not matter by whom nor what she was kept confined. After toleration of this, it builds a volcano in her that must explode eventually. Or as your ending states, she is re-birthed as a free woman. For me, experiencing the entirety of existence is normal and for which God gave us potential. I may be out in left field where I often stay for days. Do let me know if I missed the import by miles. Your talent has never shown as brightly nor as sprited as in "A life". All that's left to say is Brava! Keep these wonderful poems flowing! Best wishes, Mell Morris
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