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You Can't Blame Me For History (Workshop - Final)

Once upon a time, long ago,
through nothing I had ever done,
I was given advantages
and privileges above others.

And as the years rolled into a
present where all my assumptions
included these entitlements,
suddenly there were objections.

I see the inequality
and lives that matter less than mine,
but is any of this my fault?
Think on it, I am the victim!

Why am I being penalized
for my ancestors' bold success?
And why the harsh persecution
Over actions that are not mine?

I understand that change must come
and my sympathies are engaged;
I just ask, if you would not mind,
Never inconveniencing me.

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Last few words: 
Updated per suggestions and observations via the critique workshop.
Editing stage: 

Comments

Let's stay cosy in our little nests, be upset over those predicaments of they with 'lives that matter less than mine' (great verse) but it isn't our fault, so why should we suffer for it....

A really good use of subtext here Jonathon
great rhythm throughout
I really like this
Sorry, but I have nothing to offer in way of suggestions for improvement

love judy
xxx

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

I just realised this is your submission for the WS - you haven't put that in your title
sorry
I don't envy the person who has to crit this, I might say lol
love judy
xxx

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

Thanks for the input. I've fixed the Workshop indication.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

author comment

sorry if I am late.
Let me directly start and say that though your title, it is a good one as it tells the reader at least part of what you've to say in your poem, however,it is a bit long and I would have labled it as "Why me"? or simply "It's not my fault".

The content is good and tight though the theme has been told over and over again. Don't we feel that we are all victims of our worn up systems. But aren't we part of this in a way or another? I believe we are.

I think you could have come up with something better than what I read as a rant against the rules, the systems and the history. I also expect that you'd tell me, the reader for example what advantages you've been entitled and how you are now penalized for having them, one example would have made it a clearer read especially if you are after a broarder audience. I am for one who doesn't know anything about the country where you live. Or at least you've to keep this assumption in your mind.

Other than that I found the structure tight and the flow is really good, but I didn't like it when you ended your second stanza L.1 with an "a" though you are on enjambment . I believe you could have easily started verse 2 with it. "a present ......

However I can't deny that this is still a powerful piece of writing. I like it and anything I've said or suggested is done to give it a wider range of audience and more appreciation.
Thanks for sharing.

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

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you have commented with the tools of what you understand, being a non-westerner. What I mean by this, is that you have not seen the cynicism/sarcasm.... I can't think of the correct word... here - the poem is not a rant and not a why me? It is a tongue-in-cheek having a go at the ignorance of all of us - we tut tut and say how awful this and that is, but we don't do anything about it as we see it as not our problem.... we're ok, nothing I can do about that.... it's not my fault...

I don't know the literary term for saying one thing and meaning something else (if I do then I've forgotten lol) but this is what this is - and an extremely clever write... at least, this is how I read it lol I may be completely wrong in my assumptions...

word usage, rhythm without fault - as I said in my previous comment - i didn't envy the person (poor you) that would be allocated to crit this...

love judy
xxx

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

You always have so much to give some of it will help. I did like the way you critiqued by questioning it. I do, however, think that the story is generic to any society. There is nothing there strictly western.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
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on my part -- I meant that Rula may have missed the tone of the write as she is probably not particularly familiar with this way of saying something and meaning the opposite -- it is more a western style of sarcasm (wrong word I know) isn't it?

xxx

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

thought provoking, relevant, succinct

raj (sublime_ocean)

I like your honesty and I think you where helpful in offering suggestion on how to improve the poem - particularly the title, which I agree would be better shortened. It was a difficult poem to critique. :)

Wesley and Judy have made a couple of points, which I tend to agree with - but interpreting a poem, as the poet intended it can be one of the hardest things to do. ( I know, I quite often find it difficult ).

I agree with Wesley, I like the way you used questions, to make the poet think! that's a very fine tool to use to help someone better their work.

Love to you Rula :)

Mand xxx

Should take care of both Rula's critique and the poem itself. First the poem.Stanza 1 line 2 . Since talking about the past, have should be changed to had.Stanza 4 line 2 should be ancestors' not ancestor's since you are referring to more than one. Now to the message. I think this is a great sarcastic claim to victimhood lol. You must be a democrat because they always place blame on others lol. The only problem with the message, as Rula revealed< is that for this poem to be fully understood as it is requires an intimate knowledge of American society.
Now to Rula's critique. The main thing I find fault with is her failure to pick up the sarcasm but that might well be because she's not a citizen of the U.S. She hints that she realizes her unfamiliarity with the culture might be limiting her understanding of the poem but then she fails to give an example of how this might be cured(The cure I think would require 2-3 more stanzas for explanation and the explanation would likely ruin the poem). Plus she didn't catch those 2 minor grammar slips.
Well, i gotta go wipe the blood off my sharp teeth now.........stan

The only suggestion I would make is the use of line breaks so that we don't have to stare at a wall of words.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

Good critique is like a good dessert, it should compliment the meal rather than overwhelming it and it should be of a flavor and feel so that it can be consumed without pause or regret.

I will revisit this piece with the observations and input in mind.

To answer a couple of questions/observations:

1) No errors in this piece are intentional, if you caught something, it's because you caught it

2) Titles. I have a propensity to make title the same syllable length as the body of the poem. I do not say this is good or bad, just a habit.

3) I've been a registered Republican for 36 years, though my party does its best to exclude me when they go off into Tea Party land

4) Cultural perspective - While I do have more familiarity with the US, I believe this piece speaks to the way inherited privilege denies equality of opportunity. It is hard to compete when the playing field is rigged.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

author comment

I'll just leave my final word.
It's an excellent poem.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

Salaam Rula, you have done a good job. However, you might offer some good examples which you have asked from the poet to offer some guidance. You did point out which part of it you don't like.Still a good job.

Alid

Holier than though or a twisted version of.
You Plebs shouldn't blame me for being where I am, but just keep out of my way.
A good write on the thoughts of a snob that will not accept that others have to struggle for anything other than his own comfort..
I didn't find any form in there or rhyme, it didn't flow,
the theme was quite good says Ian spitting out the silver spoon.
All in all this could have been a good piece but I found it a whine from what the poem suggested was a well off person not liking critique lol.
Well that's all for now we shall wait to see if any changes are made lol.
Yours with love as we love all persons unconditionally, Ian..
PS:- You are welcome to pop in for a cup of tea anytime..

.
Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

please critique the critique and not the poem.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

yet you have no fucking idea of meter.
You have ideas,great concepts but no idea of the meter of poetry.
You simply have no concept of meter.
It can be called rhythm.
You have the intellect to study meter yet I don't feel you have the ear for it.
Study it mathematically, you might just get it.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

Jess,

We're going to have to disagree. My poetry is written to be read aloud and the flow reflects a pace for spoken word.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

author comment

You don't have a problem with technical terms. I sincerely recommend
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/meter-our-friend
Meter is not sing-song, it is the heartbeat of poetry.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

I read your work aloud and though it does not conform to classic meter it works superbly as spoken word.
https://soundcloud.com/neopoet/you-cant-blame-me-for-history
A few lines I think could be re-thought as they weaken it-
and lives that matter less than mine,
Think on it, I am the victim!
for my ancestors' bold success? [read "my ancestors ruthless exploitation"]

love the last two lines, yes, as a privileged white man I sympathise.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

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