You are most welcome, Missy. This is the kind of effort I put into ALL I do. I have always been a "bolt clincher" -- as described in Edgar A. Guest's 1922 poem "Clinching the Bolt" (which is in my literary art book, along with the epigram below by an unknown author).
If a task is once begun
Never leave it till it's done.
Be the labor great or small,
Do it well or not at all.
First, never put yourself down, lest you come to believe you are less than you truly are. I value every reader's opinion of my work.
Second, you cannot offend me, as that is not my nature. If I disagree, I'll explain why, politely and logically. I taught Elementary Logic to freshmen through seniors for three years on my way to my Masters Degree as one of the first five students in Information Science when the university I attended was only the second in the country to begin such a program in 1964 (the year I got married). (My wife got a kick out of explaining to her friends what a Computational Linguist did. We liked entertaining some of my students on a Saturday night. She baked cookies from her mother's recipe, and we discussed Star Trek, which then was in its original three-season run.)
Both my mother and my wife had volatile tempers. From my gentlemanly father, I learned how not to respond in kind. (He and my mother were married for fifty-four years.) It irked my wife that she could not rile me, but we had fun making up....
The poem that lent its name to my book is my "flagship" -- "Till Shadows Have Eaten the Moon" (and it has twenty-eight color illustrations in my book). It is my expression of what an ideal long-term relationship should be. Other key poems are "Love is the Wind, the Sun, and the Rain" (which I had to re-title as "Life and Love" for posting here because the original title was too long), and "Mandorla" (about love between opposites).
If formal reviewing is too much, just make a list of titles that interest you with a comment on each and send it to me as a PM. Your opinion is what matters.
| 14-Jun-2020 ||
For some people (more often women than men), their appearance becomes their self-identity. For others (more often men than women), their job becomes their self-identity. In the former case, anything that lessens their attractiveness or any occurrence of rejection can leave them devastated, possibly permanently. In the latter case, men with no hobby or other pastime often die within eighteen months of retirement from a long-term job, as that was their reason for getting out of bed in the morning.
In my lifetime, I have personally known at least a dozen warm-hearted, mentally brilliant, beautiful (yes, all three) women whose husbands cheated on them with a far lesser woman (on those three scales) until the first women sued for divorce. Were I not already happily married at the time, I'd gladly have taken up with ANY of them and made a happy life by treating her right, including taking an interest in all she cared about.
The men who dump such women all have one thing in common -- they couldn't stand not being able to feel superior on all levels, so they sought one who filled that need.
A man -- no matter how disadvantaged in appearance, societal position, or wealth (or earning power) -- will never be dumped by a woman he treats with respect for all she is, and endeavors to show her daily that he cares about her and her interests, including through the companionship of meaningful conversation.
Thus, the foolish man in your poem would never have felt jealousy if he had properly cherished the treasure he had, for she would have proven to him daily (and nightly) that only he had her heart.
Meanwhile, she never felt her real worth because of the lack of praise and encouragement she apparently had suffered from childhood on. Therefore, when her man left, she had nothing left. What a waste of a far better life that might have been!
(Today's school systems are actively destroying the potential of many children by intentionally discouraging all aspects of their self worth.)
Your free verse poem well expresses this poor woman's sad plight. Her inability to grasp "why" results from her entire life, not just the man's departure caused by his own deficiency.
Sadly, it may not be possible to reverse her outlook, no matter how hard a new prospect may try, as she may be too afraid to trust his sincerity. She may turn vindictive, or just wither away.
Superb, and aptly illustrated.
[As for Norma Jean / Marilyn Monroe, she may or may not have known her own worth; but she did not die from a self-administered overdose. That was a factor, but she was murdered while unconscious for knowing too much. (I'll spare you the horrid details.)]