This Poem was Submitted By: James C. Horak On Date: 2007-01-10 09:37:35 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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White brother, self-scorned, lost in snarling guilt,    unthinking of protecting your own children                 repeating the stigma of being white. Anglo-Saxon, once taking more than taken now    mere remnant of proud reaching for more than                                    others have.  Protestant shout at an Estate you taught to share    in hopes for Heaven, protesting lusting here             unmindful of what was there to love.  Forgive yourself and onward trek, deny your destiny                                            no more. 

Copyright © January 2007 James C. Horak

Additional Notes:
It's way passed time for privilaged minorities to stop feeding on implanted guilt.

This Poem was Critiqued By: Ellen K Lewis On Date: 2007-02-02 12:08:45
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.87500
Hi James. I love this! This is my kinda give you an A+ for this! I am in awe, my friend. Your title is perfect...W..A..S..P... oh yeah! One comment..your last verse...loses its' punch ? I think your footnote would have made a 'better' ending. Ellen

This Poem was Critiqued By: Tony P Spicuglia On Date: 2007-02-02 11:06:42
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.78571
JCH, I could write a diatribe, or treatise, to expand on your point. Were I to be critical it would be that you should have thrown in a stanza about dehumanizing "gender" bashing and guilt. But this is enough. Not a popular stance for those that wish to place the blame of "all" on the white man. It is a fact that what white man has done- and he has done plenty wrong- he is no worse than any other race on any other continent. The guilt is misplaced. My only critisim, of note, of this verse is the use of Anglo-Saxon- although that is a point for nationality, it is not implicit for all the "lighter skinned" peoples who must carry the same indictment. Interesting piece.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mark Andrew Hislop On Date: 2007-01-23 20:37:18
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
JCH I've seen this poem commented on in the forum, and for all the wrong reasons. The right reasons, in my workman-ish view, can only have to do with two things: the sentiment, and its manner of expression. The latter is always of more importance to me, because manner of expression can turn the mercy killing of a diseased rabbit (see Philip Larkin's 'Myxomatosis') into a scene of beauty. But we've been down that path a billion times. In this case, I don't think the poem is a structurally sound and appealing as your best. But I don't think that is the point of the poem, and your end note makes that clear. The point of the poem is its sentiment. Unfortunately, I happen to be one of the guilt-ridden ones, and I cannot take comfort from this poem. I'll tell you why: on 26 January, it is our national day, Australia Day. In the car with my family the other day, speaking about the road closures for the "celebrations" to be held in the CBD, I said, "They should be more honest and just call it 'White Australia Day', because the aborigines sure as hell have nothing to celebrate." We have some of the worst human wellbeing indices in the world for our indigenous people. I'll stop feeling guilty when my country treks onwards WITH the aborigines, not OVER them. I hope you know what I'm saying. It's not a criticism of your poem, because I can see a case for eliminating guilt. But the first step for us, by whom I mean WASP Australians, is to take responsibility and action in respect of the people whose land we have usurped. MAH
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joan M Whiteman On Date: 2007-01-17 12:49:09
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
James - After reading the commentary posted on the forum regarding this poem, I had to read and offer comment. First, it is obviously a very well-done presentation of the point you are offering, judging from the response of the previous critiquers. Few (if any) critiqued the poem as a poem, i.e. offering opinions or criticism on construction, poetics, style or the like. All responded -viscerally, in some cases- to the message. Interestingly, the opinions were almost diametrically opposed. The poem was viewed (by most) as a strong portrayal of truth ("Speaks the Truth..." - Mary; "Truth spoken here..." - Claire) and by others as "Crap" (Rachel). One critiquer (Mark M.) was so provoked by the piece that he was caused to hurl epithets with no comment about the poem, its structure or its poetic value. The reason that I am citing these other critiques is that they validate my (unlearned) opinion that your poem - as a poem - is wonderfully successful. It, very obviously, has a great impact on its readers regardless of their opinion of its message. It seems that none can read it without being propelled into thought regarding its message and that, to me, is what poetry is all about. While I am not in total agreement with the idea of reverse racism or manifest destiny, the message of your poem reached inside and stirred my thoughts. To me, that makes a successful poem. Structure-wise, your punctuation (for me) was sometimes confusing. (I may just be reading it incorrectly) For example - 1st stanza, 2nd line - Should there be a comma after "...children"? Without the comma, the stanza reads (to me) that the "White brother" is not concerned with "protecting your own children (from) repeating the stigma of being white." With a comma, the stanza becomes a listing of the "White brother's" weaknesses: "...self-scorned..." "...unthinking of protecting your own children..."; ",,,repeating the stigma of being white..." Oh, just one more thing (forgive me...grammar is not my strong suit) - 3rd stanza: "Protestant" - are you using that as an adjective or should I read a noun there? (Sorry...I hope I'm not nit-picking!) I enjoyed the poem and..I enjoyed the responses! Thank you! Joan W
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mark Morales On Date: 2007-01-15 23:27:19
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Almost every pest insect species has a wasp species that is either predator or parasite. And so the question remains, “James, which are you?”
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mary J Coffman On Date: 2007-01-12 09:06:41
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
James, Touchee'!! (did I spell that right? LOL!) You wield a powerful pen, my friend. This speaks such truth! The opening line carries such a punch with it, and starts this poignant piece with such honesty. "...repeating the "stigma" (excellent word choice by-the-way) of being white...." Love this line, so revealing in itself. You've spoken a mouthful with this one, James. But, your last line, perhaps, is the most powerful of all. The words "forgive yourself" speaks volumes, regardless of the words to follow. "Deny your destiny no more...." Bravo, James! Enjoyed reading this one!! Warmest regards, Mary
This Poem was Critiqued By: Claire H. Currier On Date: 2007-01-11 06:12:54
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Good morning James......very well presented and hopefully it will be read by many who could grow from this. Indeed the truth spoken here should be perhaps printed and shared with all in hopes that even one might be set free. No suggestions as you have penned it well.......once more I thank you for sharing with us and look forward to more of your work. God Bless, Claire
This Poem was Critiqued By: Dellena Rovito On Date: 2007-01-10 23:42:54
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
James.........into the hornet's nest....... White Anglo Saxon Protestants…… the privileged minorities/upper class elite can still feed on their inborn guilt as far as I’m concerned. Families like the Bush’s, the Roosevelt’s, Rockefeller’s can carry whatever into eternity for all I care. I am past money issues, personally, other than it would be wonderful if it were shared more evenly. Their destiny, I guess we need up to have down, high to have low, up to have down, black and white. Since everything plays out as it is now doing....that is their destiny so far, hopfully they crash/and burn...[cliche!] Isn't wasp a cliche too?[marilyn has me going] This all coming from me an outsider. Dellena
This Poem was Critiqued By: Lora Silvey On Date: 2007-01-10 18:47:47
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
James, What can I say about this well penned right on target poem. You've called it like it is as far as this reader is concerned. I do hope you expand on these thoughts, perhaps they will be heard by those who need to be free of guilt, of a cultural stigma handed them, adopted by them and what has become a way of life. Kudos and a red rose at your feet. Lora
This Poem was Critiqued By: Rachel F. Spinoza On Date: 2007-01-10 10:45:06
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
This would make a lovely marching anthem for the KKK. That "destiny" crap is what murdered our native peoples. You are unclear on the concept of equality, James. Luckily your ideas will never be noted by more than a few people.
This Poem was Critiqued By: marilyn terwilleger On Date: 2007-01-10 10:19:51
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hi JCH...This poem speaks the truth and I see no reason for anyone to take umbrage for your well chosen words. I have more than some but less than others and I have no guilt for more and do not covet those with more. I think it is the media's constant reminder of the poor and down trodden (now there's a cliche) that festers guilt in those who have risen to the top of the financial ladder. I admire those who worked their way up and it is not a fault if you were born with a silver spoon (what is it with me and cliches today?) I love your last line...especially since it mirrors alive in your honor me! think
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