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This Book was Written By a Woman

by josierodriguez4


Who are we?

We are shunned, tossed aside

We are objects only labelled as brides

No one cares if we cry

When we’re fetishized and sexually eyed

In books we’re not treated how we should be

On the side smiling unproblematically

Yet we are always the difficulty

Because we weren’t written to have a degree

But those books were written by men, you see

Who are we?

We are worthy and priceless, nothing less

We are more than just a dress

We’re an organized mess, made for success

We aren’t damsels in distress

We are warriors and we are strong

We could write an eternity of songs

Of how we continued to be wronged

But I’d rather tell you why we belong

We’re original and resplendent

We are important and independent

We’re teachers, doctors, and lieutenants

We stand together for our descendants

And rightful freedom as one,

For our future daughters and sons

We won’t stop until we’re done

We are in it for the long run

Those who have hurt us will be forgiven

When they have learned they were mistaken

Until they listen, we won’t stay hidden

This is our book, and we are women. 


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400 Reviews


Points: 25128
Reviews: 400

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Thu Jan 20, 2022 2:23 am
Seirre wrote a review...



Hi there josierodriguez4, welcome to YWS! I hope you're enjoying it here so far, and if you have any questions about how the site works I'd be more than glad to answer those for you :D

Now, onto a review! Your title piqued my interest because it reminds me a lot of this trend on Tiktok where a (typically female) author will read out some passages describing women that are so preposterous that they're clearly written by men. I'm not sure if you were referencing that at all, but regardless, it is a very engaging title!

Compliments
One thing that really stands out to me as a polishing detail here is how you chose to use punctuation - specifically, full stops - in this poem. All the lines end without punctuation (except the "Who are we?" lines), until the very end where you have "This is our book, and we are women." Not only is that a very powerful phrase to end your poem on, the added finality and power of using a period there, and nowhere else in the poem, is super effective I think! And I love how the final line answers the refrain of "Who are we?"; it ties the poem together all very nicely.

I also thought your rhyming scheme added a very nice flow to the piece, and I could see this making a great spoken-word performance with all the sound devices you use. The theme you chose is also very fitting for a spoken-word poem, as they usually touch on social issues or personal struggles. If you ever decide to record a performance of yourself reading it, I would love to hear that! (And there's a great article here on the ins and out of spoken-word poetry, if you're interested!)

And lastly, I enjoyed how your poem ended on a hopeful and positive note after the turn at "But I’d rather tell you why we belong" - there are lots of poems detailing the hardships of being a woman, and they are superb poems that definitely have a place, but there's also a place for more uplifting poems about feminism and I think yours takes that place very nicely.

Critiques
The poem to me has a bit of a tone of a motivational speech or a rally cry, which can be a really empowering and effective approach to take! In fact, if you do intend for this to be more of a speech and less of a poem, then I think that's perfectly fitting. But if you're aiming more for a poetic form, I think there are a couple of elements that could be improved on to make it an even stronger poem. Mainly, I would love to see some imagery that uses any or all of the five senses to paint some scenes for the reader. You've already got a few images scattered throughout, eg "On the side smiling unproblematically" and "We are more than just a dress", but several of those are also cliches, eg "We aren’t damsels in distress". It's best to avoid cliches in poetry, since they've been said so frequently they've lost their oomph. Using images can help keep your reader engaged, can make the poem more emotionally impactful, and differentiate it from simple prose to fabulous poetry!

On a similar note, I would love to see you zoom in a bit more on specific experiences. Right now a lot of the scenes/situations being described are very generic and general, and I understand why you'd do that to keep the poem as relatable as possible to as wide an audience as possible - but, kind of unintuitively, people often relate and enjoy more to poems that are more personalized to the poet. A reader doesn't care if they've been through the exact situation, it's more about if they can empathize and relate to the emotions that the situation evokes. So don't be afraid to personalize this poem with specific experiences you've had! You can read more about specificity in poetry here if that interests you ^^

And finally, not so much a critique as just a very small suggestion ~ I'm also not sure if perhaps you intended to divide this piece up into stanzas - often the publishing centre will eat up white space if you don't pop in a dash or squiggle to hold the white space, like so
~
So if you did put this poem in stanzas but they just aren't showing up, no sweat! However, if you didn't, I might suggest considering that. (A stanza is basically just a paragraph for poetry!) So for example, one way you could break up the poem into stanzas is shown in the spoiler below:

Spoiler! :
Who are we?
We are shunned, tossed aside
We are objects only labelled as brides
No one cares if we cry
When we’re fetishized and sexually eyed
In books we’re not treated how we should be
On the side smiling unproblematically
Yet we are always the difficulty
Because we weren’t written to have a degree
But those books were written by men, you see
~
Who are we?
We are worthy and priceless, nothing less
We are more than just a dress
We’re an organized mess, made for success
We aren’t damsels in distress
We are warriors and we are strong
We could write an eternity of songs
Of how we continued to be wronged
But I’d rather tell you why we belong
~
We’re original and resplendent
We are important and independent
We’re teachers, doctors, and lieutenants
We stand together for our descendants
And rightful freedom as one,
For our future daughters and sons
We won’t stop until we’re done
We are in it for the long run
~
Those who have hurt us will be forgiven
When they have learned they were mistaken
Until they listen, we won’t stay hidden
This is our book, and we are women.

There are lots of other ways it could be formatted though, so that's entirely up to you! As you can see, it just helps to group ideas together and make the poem look less like one big intimidating chunk of text.

In Summary
This was a very lovely poem to read and review! I very much enjoyed the uplifting ending of the poem, and especially think your final line is super effective. I think it's a strong concept as a poem, but adding imagery and specificity would bring it up to the next level. I hope this review proves useful for you, and if you've got any questions at all about stuff I brought up, or the site in general, I'm glad to chat c:

Best,
-Seirre




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21 Reviews


Points: 1875
Reviews: 21

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Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:57 am
RavenWillow wrote a review...



Hey there @josierodriguez4! RavenWillow here for a review.
First of this is a pretty powerful poem and I really love it. Your poem beautifully upholds the character of women and how they are commonly seen as sexual tools and pretty faces. But women are more than that. They are of kind hearts and minds. Women are soft creatures who find it difficult to talk back in fear of "hurting the feelings of others".
Often men disrespect women. They harass them, catcall them and much more. Bad touch and rape are now common things that happen to women and we should take the necessary steps to prevent these things.
Your poem is beautifully written and the message it carries is as impactful as 'All the Bright Places' by Jennifer Niven.
Keep it up.
Without wax,
RavenWillow





You know that place between sleep and awake, that place where you still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting.
— J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan