41.4 Sinner Woman

GretaB
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GretaB
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Joined: August 21st, 2017, 10:33 am

July 3rd, 2018, 10:49 pm #1

Sinner Woman
 
I’m a sinner by birth and always will be.
Post war prosperity was not hot on my block.
Our parents got drunk and threw dishes
while we, their raw children, stayed out
well past dinner, skating on steel skates over
newly paved roads. There was an optimism
in the country then that has not survived,
a post-apocalyptic hope that had people feeling
the worst was over, the horror had passed.
 
“Modern conveniences” were all the rage.
Rage itself was out of style. House dresses
and songs like “Wives and Lovers” held sway.
My father, a veteran and POW in WWII, came back
to the German dumplings of his mother, who herself
had fled the Bolsheviks, came back to life as a mechanic,
a working-class alcoholic, unlike Lawrence Ferlinghetti,
who used his veteran’s benefits to attend Columbia,
the Sorbonne. Low expectations are among the most damning
 
life sentences, as in “we are not them, nor ever can be.”
There comes a point when you are so far from the terrors
of youth in the purported paradise of the 50s and 60s,
it seems pathetic to recount them. But black and white
seethed then as it does now, clearing the bleachers
at high school football games between the west side
whites and the east side. Tame compared to now,
when the hate is inflamed daily by the dotard
who would be infinitely better underground.  About which I pray,
daily and passionately, as only a convicted sinner can.  
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piphany
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Joined: June 13th, 2009, 7:40 pm

July 4th, 2018, 1:57 am #2

Ah, I like the last line wrapping up the poem to L1. And that low expectations sentence--so true! Then the ironies for German-Americans of that time period (incl. some I knew). A fine poem. Getting its point across without being rambly.
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Osel
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Joined: June 20th, 2007, 3:33 am

July 4th, 2018, 3:47 am #3

about which... nice

“Modern conveniences” were all the rage. 
Rage itself was out of style. House dresses 
and songs like “Wives and Lovers” held sway. 

love it. such an authentic Mad Men vibe. 
great voice in this, Greta, and I feel those skates... the wheels 
of them.  My memory is of them in the basement, cruising  
it with pillows strapped to our bums. 

“There comes a point...” yes. 🙂
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TerryO
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Joined: November 28th, 2014, 9:40 am

July 4th, 2018, 8:14 am #4

A perfect rendering of the period and the echoes of it in the present. I envy you your paved streets--I grew up on gravel, no sidewalks. Skates were useless, as were skateboards. I feel the working-class anger/demoralization--so well visioned--the L Ferlinghetti reference--wow, perfect. Really enjoy this one. 
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Moll Arundel
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Joined: October 29th, 2017, 8:13 pm

July 11th, 2018, 7:14 pm #5

I love everything about this poem, its voice, its insights, its persistent post-apocalyptic optimism in the face of the dotard alas still above-ground.
Yes! to Ferlinghetti, too. I especially liked 

“Modern conveniences” were all the rage. 
Rage itself was out of style.

In fact, I just can't get enough of S2. I wish I'd been able to write that.
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rosered17
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Joined: November 6th, 2007, 11:17 am

July 12th, 2018, 2:38 am #6

Yes!!  “There comes a point...”

Loved this one.

"Our parents got drunk and threw dishes
while we, their raw children, stayed out
well past dinner, skating on steel skates over
newly paved roads. "
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rosered17
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Joined: November 6th, 2007, 11:17 am

July 12th, 2018, 2:43 am #7

Yes!!  “There comes a point...”

Love this poem.

"Our parents got drunk and threw dishes
while we, their raw children, stayed out
well past dinner, skating on steel skates over
newly paved roads. "
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Slowlearner
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Joined: August 30th, 2017, 11:32 am

July 12th, 2018, 6:33 am #8

Yes, yes. I like the wraparound and I like the theme. I like it all.
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