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What Gave You The Right?

by JeniR 

Posted: 19 May 2003
Word Count: 82
Summary: This is a poem from a collection that I have wrote based on my own life experiances. I would welcome any opinons good or bad. Thank you.

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What did I ever do to you?
What gave you the right?
When did I ever say,
You could steal my soul,
Each and every night?

Do you think of me now?
and wonder how I am.
Does knowing you stole my
childhood innocence
make you feel like a big man?

Sometimes when I think of you,
all I can do is cry and yell.
But for you, the Thief of innocent souls,
Your time will come, when you rot in hell.

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Comments by other Members

Ally at 19:48 on 19 May 2003  Report this post
I think this is powerful. It says enough for the reader to understand but doesn't overexplain, and I like the way the line lengthens slightly in the last verse - it makes me feel like you have taken control, like you refuse to let him be the winner.

I hope that writing this has helped you come to terms with what happened so that you can move on. I think the very fact that you are sharing it is positive.

I wish you happiness and love.


olebut at 19:55 on 19 May 2003  Report this post
so emotional and so sadly a true reflection of many childrens early life,

I took the trouble to read your profile before commneting I am sure that you have made the right decision to share your writing with us and I wish you luck for the future

take care and thank you for sharing yor words with us

JeniR at 20:10 on 19 May 2003  Report this post
Thank you both for your comments. I have to admit that I am not too clever about presentation of poetry, I am not sure what is the wrong or right way.

But I am so pleased that this poem touched you, that means a lot to me.

Thank you again.

olebut at 20:14 on 19 May 2003  Report this post
Jeni I am not sure if there is any right or wrong way less so than perhaps in days gone by. I have always worked on the basis that I present my poems in the way I feel best reflects the message I am trying to convey.

It may be that others will disagree iwth me but why should convention inhibit you it didnt inhibit Picasso orother painters so why should it inhibit creative writers.

take care

Ally at 09:33 on 20 May 2003  Report this post
Sometimes Jeni, the best work comes from artists (and within that term I include writers) that don't conform to other people's ideas of what is the correct way to do something.

I don't think you need worry though, that poem worked for me.

fevvers at 18:48 on 20 May 2003  Report this post
I agree with olebut, there is no wrong or right way of presenting a poem in free verse.

I hope you don't mind if I make a couple of suggestions. You have this fantastic phrase in the poem "The Thief of Innocent Souls" which seemed to me to be a much more concrete entry into the poem than the title you've chosen - It sets up the horror of the poem before the reader even gets to the first line and reinforces the fact that the narrator is talking to this man.

Also you might want to use a few concrete images. Carol Ann Duffy wrote a poem, 'Lizzie, Six' about child abuse in her book 'Standing Female Nude' which just made me cry when I first read it. Very simple language and full of strong images. I'll post a copy up if you want or I can ww-mail it to you even. It's written in a very similar pattern to yours (even thoough it's more formal, with it's metre and rhyme scheme) which is one of the reasons I thought of it.

Hope some of this is helpful.


olebut at 19:20 on 20 May 2003  Report this post
fevvers what a superb title i can see why you are an expert, serioulsy it is a great phrase and I think reflects the subject so graphically.

llydstp at 10:55 on 24 May 2003  Report this post
I totally agree with fevvers that "The Thief of innocent souls" is a fantastic phrase: taking away the innocence of a young person, and the way that affects that person for the rest of their lives, is a violation tantamount to robbing them of their soul.
Two suggestions if you don't mind: [1] I think the first question mark in the second verse would be better at the end of the second line not the first. [2] I would remove the words "when you rot" from the last line, even though this takes away words filled with hatred and vengeance. To my mind, doing this somehow makes the last line even more powerful.
Best wishes

fevvers at 20:19 on 26 May 2003  Report this post

I've had a thought about how to enter concrete images into a poem like yours without it being too painful to actually sit down and write about it(I know what it's like to sit scrawling couplets and having a good sob). If you think of a thing you really dislike and address that thing, but not the actual object/subject of your anger. Eg an ugly chair, an insect or animal you hate, a book you can't stand. And address the thing as if you were addressing the real object of the poem, but you need to draw in elements that would indicate the thing eg green chipped paint etc. This creates a little distance for you as a poet to write about the experience with very concrete images. I've done it before with rats, it works wonders.


JeniR at 01:30 on 28 May 2003  Report this post
I just want to thank you all for your comments and and a massive thank you to fevvers, I really am thankful for the time you have taken to read my work and to comment on it.

I have taken all onboard and I love the new title!! The Thief of Innocent Souls.

Thank you all so much.

fevvers at 17:12 on 29 May 2003  Report this post
I'd like see the new drafts when you've written them, but no rush - ake your time.

Lisa at 13:09 on 31 May 2003  Report this post
Really gutsy and doesn't pull any punches.

By the way - all poems are written based on life experiences in one way or another, (as yopu mention in your summary) But not all have the courage and emotional fortitude of yours.

Ioannou at 20:46 on 11 September 2003  Report this post
Jeni, this has potential. The line 'Does knowing you stole my childhood innocence make you feel like a big man?' is great. I like Fevvers idea for the title too (sorry!). The last line didn't convince me. Maybe it's too cliched? It doesn't seem to fit with the rest of your strong and clear words. Love, Maria.

old friend at 14:46 on 16 September 2003  Report this post
Hello JeniR

I have little understanding of Poetry that would justify my commenting on ANY poetical submission.

However I would like to see some of your fictional work for what comes over in the above and more particularly in your profile is a young lady, somewhat nervous, shy and sensitive. If this influences your short story writing I am sure your work will be very good.

Look at your spelling - your readers will.

Above all tell yourself that you will be a truly Great Writer!

old friend, Len

Zigeroon at 14:04 on 05 April 2005  Report this post

Very emotional-simple and to the point. Hope the pain recedes and fades away.


Alison at 19:32 on 14 April 2005  Report this post
I think this is really powerful, and filled with anger - it really makes me feel it.

I don't really know anything about poetry, but I had to go back and re-read some of the second verse - the words are brilliant and powerful, but the rhythm seemed wrong, compared to the first verse. Like I said, I don't know anything about poetry, I was just jarred slightly reading it.

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