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If I Have a Daughter

by StoryWeaver13


[Sidenote: I'm trying to post one poem a day. I know that's a lot to put on this site, so to make up for it, I'll return the favor and review one of your works for each review; so, if there's anything specific that you'd like to have reviewed in return, just let me know what it is!]

If I have a daughter,
I hope she doesn’t simply play with dolls
by dressing them up and pretending to wait
 for her husband to come home;
I hope she takes  her little Raggedy-Anne out
into the forest to play House on the Prairie,
 and that Raggedy-Andy leans over the nose of a canoe.
 
I hope she aspires to be more than a mother,
that she’ll pursue the life of a philosopher,
 a scientist, a visionary of sorts
before she ever dreams of settling down
with 2.5 kids and a suit-and-tie husband
who pecks her cheek and asks her to sweep the floor.
 
If I have a daughter, I hope she asks for a telescope
instead of a Barbie doll, so that she chooses
to emulate the nature of the earth above artificial life forms,
and so she’ll look with wanting at the stars instead of Barbie’s size-zero waistline.
 
I hope she knows she doesn’t need  shallow things to be happy.
I hope she knows that a crooked smile is a becoming trend.
I hope she likes to play in the rain and the mud and the snow.
Most of all, I hope she sees what’s beautiful. 


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14 Reviews


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Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:56 pm
ThePretentiousEnema wrote a review...



This is unarguable a very personal piece, which I can identify with quite deeply.
The subtle details of how boring and artificial the life of the average middle class citizen is
makes it a whole lot easier to relate to, since it's a poster of the typical, submissive life of a woman who's only duty has become to deliver kids on queue, and the swooping of the floors.

Now, apart from the obvious points, this piece made me think of something.

I can't help but to feel that you are projecting onto your imaginary daughter, the type of self-walking, independent attitude that you wish for yourself, somehow. Maybe this is just an arrogant assumption.
Tragically, I feel like this path is beautiful in thought, but a hell of a lot harder to actually walk in life. It's hard not to get pulled in by our shallow, consumption-based civilization, especially in the western world.

I guess, one should ask themselves: would this path make me happy? And if you still feel like appreciating beauty is not enough to fill the holes of your being, then what are the holes?

Sorry for that nonsense rabble, but it just made me think a lot.

Keep writing!






Hi there! I know this is very delayed, but I'd like to do what I rarely do and clarify a little.

I don't have any problem with my future daughter being girly, per se, I just don't want her to be materialistic or shallow. We often hold some value in girls being pretty and adorable, and while those are nice qualities, I don't want her to spend all those years that I did seeking self-actualization through her appearance. I just want my children (of either gender) to identify themselves through a deeper basis than societal expectations or some iconic "image" of perfection.

Thanks for the insight, I really appreciate such an in-depth review!



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Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:40 pm
SkylerLestrange says...



Oh My God, I was actually crying at this! It's beautiful and deserves to be an actual published poem.
If you actually become/are a mother, maybe you should show this to your kid. It would make an exellent gift :D




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Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:23 pm
guineapiggirl wrote a review...



Really brilliant poem, and I couldn't agree with it more! It's so sad the way so many young girls don't want those things and just want to get married and never dream of doing things and having jobs.
I have nothing to suggest for you to change! this poem is beautiful as it is.
The best verse, i think, is this one:

"I hope she aspires to be more than a mother,
that she’ll pursue the life of a philosopher,
a scientist, a visionary of sorts
before she ever dreams of settling down
with 2.5 kids and a suit-and-tie husband
who pecks her cheek and asks her to sweep the floor."

I really like the two contrasting images you make and the way the first one is obviously better.

I really love this poem! Please tell me when you post anything else so I can review it :D




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Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:53 pm
Nightnotes wrote a review...



I'm new on this website but far from when it comes to writing, so I hope that I can provide a decent review here.

First of all, I applaud your choice of topic for this poem. There is only so much that can be said about gender implications, that it often turns into a lecture that we have all heard before. In your poem you managed to avoid straight criticism, and hid it behind the description of a dream. It applies depth to it, but the message is still very clear.

I can't help but notice that you used the words "I hope she" both in the beginning and middle of sentences. Repetition is a great way to build tension and emphasis in a text, but I would suggest that you are a bit more selective about where it is used. Reading the last stanza, I found myself skipping the beginning of the sentence, because I knew what it would say. I particularly like the last sentence, though. It has a bit of a different form, and concludes the text very well.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading it! The use of concrete examples in the beginning and gradually shifting to emotions and values at the end is always a great way to build tension in a piece.

Please keep up the great work!




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Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:44 am
BrokenSkye wrote a review...



I really enjoyed this poem, scrolling down the library isn't exactly what I want to be doing on my Saturday night, but pieces like this make it worth staying in. I don't really have anything negative to say about your work. It is simply perfect in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and lines (at least for what I can see).

I do agree with HorriBliss on the tom-boy thing, but I believe that was the point that you were trying to make through out the whole poem. My favorite parts would have to be the last three lines of the first stanza, and the whole last stanza. The last line of the last stanza is a perfect ending as well, it has so much power in that one line.

I hope you keep up on posting, I would really love to see more of your work.




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Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:45 pm
100xstupid says...



This is a lovely poem; heartfelt and meaningful. I'm sorry I can't give you a proper review but I've been out shopping and gone to the gym- I need a nap.

Maybe when I wake up though :)




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Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:36 pm
Eddie wrote a review...



wow. This is really beautiful and the thing that stands out in this poem, or makes it so special is that you wrote it to encourage something which defies the usual trend and encourages people to look into the face of reality and think in a more sensible way.
Your poem is really flowing. The way you have carried the poem from one word to the next is tremendous.




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Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:20 pm
HorriBliss wrote a review...



I love the poem, and the sentiment behind it, StoryWeaver, and it's kinda refreshing to see, too; a critique of what is expected of a woman in today's society, against the expectations of old, and I like how seamlessly you weaved the two concepts together to contrast one another.

I'll go through stanza-by-stanza now, hopefully for a little bit more detail.

With regard to he first stanza, don't you think children will be children regardless? Sounds like you want a 'Tom Boy' for a daughter, but what if she genuinely enjoys playing with dolls as opposed to the grass, earth, mud and all things dirty? She's as free as her parents would let her be, of course, but by imposing your own viewpoints on her, you may accidentally 'push' her down one path instead of letting her choose her own, y'know?

I like the little indentation in the first two stanzas, they're related, and stand out, and their meanings are obvious: well done!

The contrast in the first three lines of stanza two with the last three lines of stanza two are strong, potent and flow quite naturally from one extreme to the other. However, the 'perfect' nuclear family is 2 children: a Mum; a Dad; a son; a daughter.

The last two stanas transition quite well into each other, I hardly notice the change in form, neither. I don't know how to describe it, but it flows well, and there's little I could add (or request is taken away) as it seems so natural.

With regard to the rhyme-scheme, you've paced the poem so well that I didn't even notice it; lines flow into each-other easily, the meter is uninterrupted, there aren't jaunty endings, it just *weaves* together quite well.

That's all I could say really, I tried to be as detailed as possible, but there wasn't so much I could say!

Here are some links you might find useful; if Barbie was real:

- http://www.broadsheet.ie/2011/04/21/get-real-barbie/

- http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7024/6576 ... 430331.jpg




annabanana says...


Great poem!!!! :)




Journeys end in lovers' meeting.
— William Shakespeare