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For poets who want unrestricted constructive criticism. This is NOT a vanity workshop. If you do not want your poem seriously critiqued, do not post here. Constructive criticism only. PLEASE Only Post One Poem a Day!!!
12/29/2017 12:52:27 PM

levi johnson
Posts: 13
The Adopted Mind


A backbone of bliss until abyss
You’ve been resoundingly rejected
By those dearest who care the most
To provide those needs so protected


Motley mothers throughout the world
Have sacrificed since the dawn of time
To find a way to cargo their children
Except for the one I mistaken mine


The excuse of poverty is so perilous
With youth and readiness an empty glass
To those thirsty for depth of personal truth
And rationale for this blatant bypass


The trauma of childhood separation
Is the center of my conscious core
An identity that won’t release my ego
As I scream and shrivel on the floor
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12/29/2017 9:20:14 PM

Jack Webster
Posts: 59
The title "The Adopted Mind" is interesting for a variety of reasons. On the one hand it refers to the mind of the adopted person, but also it references the idea that the mind is changeable, that one may adopt different states of mind. However, the ability to adopt different states of mind is rebuffed by the statement that the trauma is fixed at the center of the speakers conscious id entity. I think there are many paradoxes available to the author - clearly in terms of the speaker's life experience "adopting" is something not good, but in terms of wanting to be free of the trauma "adopting" (a new state of mind) is good. There is also the dichotomy of blood vs mind. One cannot adopt new blood the way one might be able to adopt a new state of mind. I think this offers the author room to play in terms of expressing the yearning and ability to heal the trauma vs the inescapable nature of tangible reality.

The other thing that jumps out at me is the line about poverty being an excuse. There is a lot of pain in that stanza, but beneath the scab of anger, is a soft, warm, ruby-red love: the speaker is essentially saying "I don't care if you are poor. I love you. I would go through anything to be with you. I would die for you. It doesn't matter."

I think the unknown and the imaginative space that poetry provides gives the author the opportunity to imagine the mother in the best light possible, the opportunity to imagine the choice was difficult instead of easy, inconvenient instead of convenient, hopeful instead of selfish.

The motives of the mother character may not be known, it is not unimaginable that her choice to was also a different form of love (just as the accusation that poverty was an excuse is scabbed form.of love). I think it would be an interesting artistic choice to juxtapose her choice to give up her baby for adoption as an act of love, with the love of the speaker mentioned above.

In fact, it might be interesting to rewrite the poem, or write part of the poem, from the mother's perspective. Did she think about abortion: did she want to but got talked out of it; did others want her to get an abortion, but she refused; did she catch herself thinking about baby names during her pregnancy, but stopped herself; did she hold the baby when it was born; did she refuse to see it because it would break her heart to hold the baby she knew she couldn't keep, that she had to leave to the mercy of strangers?

I think there is so much more humanity for the author to explore. If it is explored with good faith, humanity, and imagination, accepting that it may provoke questions that have no answers other than what the author chooses to create, i think it could be a healing poem, rather than a way to crystalize the hurt.

poems are different than prose. prose can release feelings. poems create images and sounds that give feelings a sort of body that become a part of us rather than leaving us, sometimes. rhyme and rhythm and images are mneumonic devices - they form associations designed to cement things in the mind. my advice is to do cathartic writing in prose first, to clarify the feelings and hurt, and use poetry as a way to create a vessel to preserve the light, love and freedom that results from your prose exercises. (It's true there are many poets that write from dark places, however it's worth noting doing so never freed them from the places they wrote about...).

good luck!
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12/30/2017 11:05:26 AM

levi johnson
Posts: 13
Thank you for such a detailed review. Your skill of reading into the natural extension of emotional responses is excellent. The idea of editing to include the angst of what the mother probably experienced is creative and worthy of a second poem. Your ability to analysis content really shows your insight into the human condition. A word on psychology(my background): You used the word "cathartic" but then say dark poems don't free the writer. Well, catharsis(writing or speech) is a "freeing" experience and, in the world of psychotherapy, is used as a core technique. Again, thank you for such astute detail. Have a great day
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