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November 6, 2011
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(Contains: sexual themes and ideologically sensitive material)
I do not believe you.

it was not the flash of an ankle,
small and white,
or the thin slip of a thigh, or
the crowning arch of a collarbone
which drove you to hunger.

it was all you,
all your own vile initiative
that awakened your greed,
your imagined right
to what was not yours.

but try convincing the court,
try telling the accusing populace
(who think they've a right to decide)
and all I encounter
is a harsh syllable like a popped balloon:
slut.

you are all deathly sick
and determinedly wrong.

the fuse was lit by his hand.
it doesn't fucking matter what I was wearing at the time.

EDIT: Ohhh my goodness thank you. My second DD! This makes me so happy. Thank you to all who've read, favourited and/or commented. It means a lot to me.
:hug:
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Daily Deviation

Given 2012-10-26
Concise, cutthroat, and a truth that challenges a common way of thinking. punitive by *Hersoftestsoul ( Suggested by LadyofGaerdon and Featured by Nichrysalis )
:iconkristallkatze:
Coincidence led me to this poem. It was the title that aroused my interest, yet the content kept me spellbound. I think this is a great piece of work, which is mirrored in its being a Daily Deviation, and feel obliged to write a critique.

The title is always the first thing I notice. It's the hardest part, really, to sum up the content in a word or two. The poet here used “punitive”. I really like that choice – it is one word, not over-commonly used, and it tells the reader about the content in some way, too, without spoiling anything. This title is very nicely chosen indeed.

“I do not believe you.” A sentence, slightly apart from the following text, that blames a person yet unknown. This choice of word is more elegant than saying that someone is a liar, though it is the same thing. But the package matters, too, and I as a reader was already drawn into the poem at that point. You wonder, what did the person lie about, how grave is the matter, really? It could be anything at that point.
The next sentence gave me a deeper understanding of what the poem really is about. The topic, if I understood correctly, is a sensitive one, something people don't like talking about. Yet the poem screams at the top of its lungs, without the poet really making it seem as if she tried to do just that. I really adore that talent: the poem is written in an off-hand manner, as if it did not really matter, somehow, but it's mattering a lot.
I love the sentence “which drove you to hunger.” A limitless choice of words could have been chosen here, like everywhere in the poem of course, but it was that very special one. It makes the person spoken to – the one the title refers to – seem like an animal, completely instinct and without reason. That creates a dangerous image indeed. There's a lot of accusation behind that sentence, too, but not in self-pity. It's cold fact, as if the poet spoke to the person, years later, and answered to a thing that person said, as if it wasn't his – I assume it's a man – fault.

Coming to the next part of the poem, “vile” here is stating how very bad the thing that was done is, not a minor fling. The right of the person to “what was not” theirs, is “imagined”, therefore it is stated clearly that the person should not have done the deed, that it was wrong. Yet the person took what it wanted, without caring about the speaker of the poem. This cruel egoism seems to be highly despised by the voice in the poem. Which only more enforces the message: You should not have done it. It was wrong. “Greed” again, as in “hunger”, diminishes the person and transforms it into an animal at best.

Next part makes the thing get even more serious: “try to convince the court”, so apparently the speaker has accused the person, in front of others, and now the person is trying to convince the court that it was a mutual thing, that it was the speakers fault, anything, to get the neck out of the rope. The populace, “who think they have a right to decide” is also, it seems, looked upon by the victim with cold eyes, as if they are not better than the culprit, only feeling they are. The victim (lacking a better word) is not openly relying on other people – maybe it is, but does not show that – and thinks, maybe, that they are all the same. It only depends on which side they sit on.

The word “slut” in a poem is difficult, normally. It would completely kill any style, but in this one, it's perfect. It describes how the woman, already having mentally and physically suffered, encounters that word. As if she wanted it and now she blames the innocent, poor man for something that was her doing, because she possibly teased him and he had no choice. The popped balloon is a nice image, it's gone, but there's shock before, and now it's burst and there's nothing you can do to bring it back. The word cannot be unsaid – the meaning neither, whatever the other people would do now. It seems to me as if the culprit used the word (slut) while talking about his victim. Again, to say that he couldn't do anything else, that it was not his idea, after all.

“You are all deathly sick and determinedly wrong” - not only the culprit is, everyone is, the reader maybe, the people at court. “Deathly” and “determinedly” is a nice alliteration. Both are words that describe that the behaviour is fatal – and that the people know and don't care. They build a mass, acting against the speaker in the poem, knowing they do.

“The fuse was lit by his hand” - it's his doing, not the speakers, don't you see? That's what screams out at me, open your eyes, people.

In short: This is an amazing poem about a topic that is not. I love it, not because it's stylistically interesting and beautifully written, but because it brings the words across in a manner that cannot make you look away. Chapeau to the poet... And I sincerely hope this never happened to you.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
54 out of 57 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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:iconilyilaice:
ilyilaice Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014
siiiigh. yes. powerful point. 
Reply
:icontoxic-nebulae:
toxic-nebulae Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Student Writer
<3
Reply
:iconmaestroswallow:
MaestroSwallow Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a subject that I have to continuously argue with people about: that a woman who expresses her sexuality, or at least dresses provocatively, is NOT a SLUT. Sensuality is a natural thing with humans, and shaming someone for that is unacceptable.
That is what I see in the poem at least XD
Thank you for writing such a beautiful piece of art.
Reply
:icontoxic-nebulae:
toxic-nebulae Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student Writer
:hug: thank you for commenting.
Reply
:iconshakrain:
shakrain Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
Excellent. Congrats on the DD!
ps. I think your comment would be perfect added as the last line of the poem (verbatim).
Reply
:icontoxic-nebulae:
toxic-nebulae Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Student Writer
:heart: thank you.
Reply
:iconkatarthis:
katarthis Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Congratulations on the Daily - a very well deserved award for the presentation and creation of a very direct, well spoken poem.

And I agree with you, for a great many reasons. But I won't discuss much more. So many people need to learn some self control.

k
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:icontoxic-nebulae:
toxic-nebulae Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Student Writer
:heart: thank you.
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The switch to third person at the end threw me off at first, but the more I read this the more I like how it tosses in that distance.
Reply
:icontoxic-nebulae:
toxic-nebulae Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Student Writer
thank you.
Reply
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