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16+ Violence

a wild woman, a burning stake

by lliyah


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence.


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Sun Sep 18, 2022 10:36 pm
Fishr wrote a review...



Hi there!

Okay, I won’t lie. When I read someone will be having a good old fashion burning at the stake in terms of execution, my mind went to, yep, you guessed it; the Witch Trials.

The imagery here shines through here. It is said the woman perhaps committed adultery (?) which in the times of Puritan rule would mostly have warranted death so if that’s the case, the plot thickens! More so when we see she married two men at once! For shame… Tsk, tsk. And then we read she abandons children! Like, what kind of demon mother/wife is this?! Obviously, not a very good person, that’s for sure.

There is a lot going on here in the poem. Right now, my little needy brain is going a mile a minute. Lol! I enjoyed reading your poem very much. Clearly, you have a knack and talent for composing poetry, a skill I do not possess.




lliyah says...


Hey Fishr - you got it! I was indeed making an allusion to the burning stakes of the Witch Trials here; I'm doing a series of ancestry inspired poetry for LMS and one of my ancestors was a victim of the Salem Witch Trials (executed by hanging, rather than a stake though). The critique in the poem is that women are still often unfairly / unevenly judged - for situations maybe beyond their control - especially in terms of familial relationships.

Like, what kind of demon mother/wife is this?! Obviously, not a very good person, that%u2019s for sure.


^ I think that's the first instinct people tend to have towards these situations is to paint with broad brush of judgement, but often the actual scenario is a little more sympathetic as the final stanza alludes to.

Thanks for the comments / thoughts!



Fishr says...


Knew it. XD. This area is actually my niche; I research the macabre, and the 1600s and 1700s are my jam. Apologies for misunderstanding the last stanza. Now you%u2019ve confirmed it%u2019s the Trials, yes, it was true about women. Look up what a scold%u2019s bridle was and why it was used.

Take in account tho, while women for second and treated as such in some households, not all, but some, there were men executed too. One, Giles Corey, was pressed to death. Another was sent to the prison until she had her baby, and then she was executed. Fun stuff. Who was your ancestor? And, I%u2019m very sorry to hear you have a direct line.



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Sun Sep 18, 2022 9:09 pm
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Seirre says...



Hi alliyah! I might stop back with a full-fledged review for you later, since I have a lot to say about this poem - but for now I'm just going to drop by with a quick comment in the spirit of the Comment Weekend Bonanza!

I see a bit of feminist critique of the standards people hold mothers to (vs fathers) in this poem, and I find that super interesting. And of course anyone who is a parent does have a lot of responsibility for their children's wellbeing, but I think this poem does a great job of exploring a lot of different perspectives and points - and the double standards there are between a mother's responsibility for her children and a father's.

I thought the use of parenthesis in the last stanza:

and you know i have in secret wondered (in wild dreams)
if we are the ones who are somehow in the wrong

was super effective! It makes it feel like this whole poem, this whole thought process, is a secret that's being whispered between the narrator and the reader.

I also agree with Plume that the visual effects are lovely! One thing I'm just curious about is whether the dark shadowy shape in the background is meant to represent something specific, or if it's just a shadow in the paper. It looks vaguely like it could be a form or a person, but I can't tell exactly. (and honestly I wouldn't be surprised if it's super obvious and staring me in the face xD)




lliyah says...


Hey thanks for the encouraging comment Seirre! <3 You totally got what I was going for with the feminist critique -> in my LMS thread I talk about this a tad; but I'm related to a woman who was tried killed in the Salem Witch Trials - and other authors have sometimes drawn interesting feminist critiques from that event that I've wanted to explore. And then it just lined up with another figure in my ancestry that I wanted to write about too - > It seems like men are let off the hook quite a bit more easily for leaving children or being "wild" than women are; and I can't help but have a little sympathy for the situations that some of my ancestors were in that maybe spurred them to make decisions that history wouldn't be sympathetic towards; especially wondering if it was a desperate form of self-preservation that their situation forced them into like the phoenix. Not excusing poor decisions; but hoping to at least give them a slightly generous re-telling so as not to burn them alive again.

One thing I'm just curious about is whether the dark shadowy shape in the background is meant to represent something specific, or if it's just a shadow in the paper.


Oh! Ha! I'm glad you asked about this - so I was messing with the bird doodle that I made on the right and made the outline very blurred / transparent / and then set it behind the text blown up and flipped the image. I wasn't sure if the blurredness behind the text was still reminiscent of the bird image at all but was mostly just trying to get sort of a smoky / ash-stained effect on the "paper" so it looked a little more layered. So that's what that is! :D Glad you liked the visuals!

Thanks again!<3



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Sun Sep 18, 2022 6:06 pm
vampricone6783 wrote a review...



Who was the Great-Grandmother, exactly? A wild woman or a woman who followed her dreams? That is left for us, the reader, to decide. This poem was deliciously dark and beautiful-perfect for the Halloween mood. The magic and mystery behind it, the secrets within, all give off a vibe I’m here for. I picture reading this in the shadow of night, with a murder of crows cawing in the background. I wish you a delightfully magical day/night.




lliyah says...


Who was the Great-Grandmother, exactly? A wild woman or a woman who followed her dreams?

Or both! :) thanks for the feedback!





You%u2019re welcome!



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Sun Sep 18, 2022 2:14 pm
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Plume says...



Hey there!

Right away, can I just say I love the presentation of this poem? As someone who loves combining visual aspects with poetry, the burned paper and bird drawing adds a lot to the poem. The question at the end too, was so beautifully executed and left me with a bit of a "wow" moment; the way you built up to it with the smaller "maybes" beforehand made it even more hard-hitting. The different ways you used fire in this poem was also nicely executed; the contrast between condemning someone to die at the stake versus a phoenix who is reborn from flames was used well to illustrate the great grandmother's wild nature and whether it was truly her, or if it only existed in others' views of her.

Really nice work, and good luck with LMS! I'm excited to read all of your poetry that comes out of it!




lliyah says...


Thanks very much for the encouraging comment Plume! <3 Glad you liked the visuals -> I wanted readers to sort of consider the poem itself as almost a burning stake -> because the reader enters into the process of judging the subject in the first/second stanza - which was my thinking for making the background look like burnt paper. Glad you liked the phoenix part too! <3 I'm hoping I keep up the energy for LMS!




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