|Reviews for Helen Kidnapped|
| DustyCook54 10/27/12 . chapter 1
Time was that when she screamed we thought that it was from pleasure and when she cried, we smiled, thinking that it was from joy. Now we know the truth and dream of the good old days.
| Gilee7 7/1/10 . chapter 1
Hi. It's been awhile, huh?
I could've sworn I reviewed this way back when, but apparently not. I also could've sworn it was a poem, but it's one of those weird fusions- proetry? LOL. I don't know what to call it, this mixture of poetry and prose, but I always enjoy these pieces that aren't dictated so much by line breaks.
And, by the way, it's a huge honor to see "For Gilee7" in the summary. You're an incredibly talented, gifted woman- one of my favorite poets- and I greatly admire your writing. So, seeing this little "baby" dedicated to me is like . . . whoa, Keanu-Reeves-style. Quite the fitting piece, too, LOL, considering the subject matter.
Anyways, on to the actual piece . . .
Two of the biggest strengths in your writing is your incredible knack for word choice and your powerfully vivid imagery- And from the very beginning of this piece both things jump off the page (or, erm . . . screen, rather): "sour slush on your tongue . . . rose-bud blooming . . ." As always, beautiful imagery and perfect word choice.
The rhythm of this piece (another of your many strengths) is quite hypnotic. I keep reading it aloud because the words roll off the tongue so easily and taste so good, just like the lyrics of a really great song.
As far as corrections go, or re-write suggestions, only a couple things stand out: "You like to pluck her like fruit. Ripe seeds. You bite, and plant them." With the rhythm of this piece, I dislike the brief pause of the comma. I think it reads better without it. I might would even change it to "You bite and plant."
"You, move your land up each ankle."- I'm guessing this is a typo, that it's meant to be "hand." Unless, of course, you're going for metaphor. But, if so, it reads too awkwardly, so I'm guessing it's unintentional. And the comma doesn't need to be there, either.
"Each calve"- The singular verison of "calves" is "calf."
By choosing to write this in second-person, using "you" instead of "he," you force the readers to be drawn into this piece in a way that probably makes most people feel uncomfortable. Which is a good thing, of course. There's no wall for the reader to hide behind, no invisible veil- You've made each of us a participant in this horrible act, which adds to the power of the piece.
We don't know the age of this girl, but I think the word choice of "plump" gives us a bit of an idea. Most would like to think that the girl is at least in her early teens, maybe eleven or twelve at the youngest . . . But "plump," to me at least, brings with it the image of a really young girl, single-digits. Before girls really start to grow, they often have a bit of a pear shape. I picture a seven, eight-year-old girl when I read this. The image of scratched knees is also telling, since we always think of little kids with scrapes and bruises from running and playing outside.
You did a fantastic job presenting the way a pedophile would deify a little girl, worshipping her body and her innocence and purity. She's "fine silk," a "queen," "gold all around you." And she's so much more perfect and desirable and WORTHY of him than all the "fascinated sluts."
I think there are many reasons why pedophiles are attracted to little girls, but probably one of the biggest reasons is their purity- Or, as you put it in this piece, "the warm petals that you know have never been touched." Young girls are clean, inexperienced- They haven't been vandalized, as WOMEN have. Afterall, there's a reason Muslims are willing to blow themselves up just to get a chance with 72 virgins, or however many it's supposed to be. The whole idea of our bodies being temples . . . Who wants to worship something that's been ravaged and degraded? I mean, the word "used" isn't often considered a positive. So I think pedophiles get a rush from the idea of deflowing something they view as holy.
The "you" of this piece definitely falls into that category.
Probably the saddest and most disturbing aspect of this piece is how the guy, in his delusion, thinks the girl is smiling from pleasure and crying from joy. When someone molests a child, I wonder, do they actually think they're doing the kid a favor? Do they think the kid is enjoying it as much as themselves? Do they convince themselves of that as a way to assuage their conscience? And I'm sure that there are probably plenty of pedophiles that don't really care what emotional trauma the kid grows up to suffer, or even consider the repurcussions of what they're doing. Instead they only care about the pleasure and intense rush that they receive from deflowing a girl.
I'm sure plenty of guys would rather be a girl's first than a girl's 55th. I'm sure it's quite empowering and a bit of an ego-trip to feel all experienced and like you're singlehandedly turning a girl into a woman. There was a girl I dated for almost two years, and when we first started fooling around sexually she was 14 and I was 17. It was very comforting knowing that we were the first to ever touch the other in that special kind of way. It felt like we were discovering our sexuality together, still cautious and unsure, yet incredibly excited. To me, I don't think it would've been as special, and I certainly wouldn't have felt as secure, if she had already fooled around with two or three guys before me.
. . . And I think I'm getting side-tracked and losing my point. I was trying to say that I think many people could understand the desire to be with someone less experienced, just like adoscents fantasize about older, more experienced women or men who can show them new things and almost "baby" them through sex, like some weird, perverted, Fruedian, mom-son (or father-daughter) relationship. But to take it to the level that some people do, like Helen's kidnapper here, and steal a little girl's childhood and innocence, thrusting her into adulthood way before she's capable of handling or adjusting to it, is one of the cruelest things a person can do. (Which, of course, is the reason I often write about such scenarios, because I enjoy disturbing people through my writing.)
I do sometimes feel a bit of sympathy toward pedophiles, however. Never with the ones like Helen's kidnapper, of course, but they're not all monsters, I don't think. Dateline's To Catch a Predator is compelling television, but instead of pumping my fist each time they arrest one of the men, which is the type of reaction the producers seem to expect from the audience, I often feel bad for the men and angry at the people tricking them and taking advantage of their loneliness. The 50-year-old men who show up with alcohol and duct-tape definitely deserve their fate ... But what about the chubby single guy in his early 20's who is lonely and hasn't had anyone to talk to and who suddenly finds a young teenage girl taking interest in him online and wanting to spend time with him, wanting to meet him? I don't think those are bad men, necessarily, yet they'll all be stigmatized as "sexual predators" for the rest of their lives.
Anyways, I've rambled quite enough. To sum it all up, this is, as always, a very powerful piece with great imagery, word-choice and rhythm. You probably elicted all types of reactions from people who read this: shock, disgust, anger, sadness. And you know I always appreciate and respect writers who face such taboo and controversial subjects head on instead of pretending such things don't happen in this world.
So, I plan on posting some new stuff within the next couple weeks. But, in the meantime, I plan on catching up on as much of your poetry and writing as I can- Which will be difficult, since you've remained quite busy.
That's another thing I admire about you, Juliet: your incredible productivity. Your creative fire never seems to diminish. Most writers, if they were as prolific as you, would probably burn themselves out. I know I would. Yet you continue to crank out such amazing pieces of writing as if it's effortless. It makes me a bit jealous actually.
Write on, Fearless/Faithless/Insanely Talented Juliet.
| CostumeForAGutterball 1/8/09 . chapter 1
wow-so achingly beautiful in the way you describe such a horrible act. Causes a real influx of conflicting emotions. You are very talented!
| McKinley Cooper 9/23/08 . chapter 1
An amazing demonstration of how a woman (or a girl) can become an incredible universe IF only she is touched inwardly and outwardly with honor when she choses to give herself to someone,
Or she can be a hopeless, damaged "slave" when her mind and emotions aren't brought into an experience.
This was nauseating and realistic while maintaining its integrity as poetry (or prose).
Unreal imagery. The kind you wish you could forget, but the impression is too greatly seared on your memory.
| One-Hand Clap 3/31/08 . chapter 1
Disturbing, definitely, but oh my God... It's amazing. I don't know. It chills all cold in my center. It just resonates. The haunting image at the end of slaves, kings, and her - this screaming plump child, the queen. Helen Kidnapped is haunting. Helen Kidnapped is a humane, attempted rationalization of pedophilia. I only say 'attempted' because it's something I could never understand. Thank you for trying, though. It musn't've been a nice place to go.
| Gollummullog 6/26/07 . chapter 1
Hm... I'm sure there's a metaphor here that I'm missing, what with all the imagery. *sigh* I wish for talent like yours. Great work.
| Marx Garza 1/15/07 . chapter 1
This is shocking, impressive and captivating. Good Poem.
| no.peace.los.angeles 12/19/06 . chapter 1
Oh my God, from the very first line of this, I was hooked. The sexuality in this and your metaphors...and I'm just shocked speechless. This is one of the best pieces I have read in a LONG time. It's so controversial, and that's what makes it such a guilty read. I love it, though, and am adding it to my favorites. And here I thought the drabble I'm currently working on is blasphemous...Beautiful breathtaking work. Keep writing! :)
| Ashelin 12/13/06 . chapter 1
Oh gosh, I wanted to stop reading, but I couldn't. I think it is illegal to make people hooked like that. Wow. I mean, it was so terrible, so excruciatingly true. It made me so angry, wow, just wow. Amazing, what more can I say?
| Aneliz Rei 12/11/06 . chapter 1
Horrifying. Mesmerizing. Impressive.
| Carp 12/3/06 . chapter 1
This poem is...I mean it really strikes you to the center, making you just cringe in disgust and fear. But the way it's described also gives it this animalistic sensuality that for some reason no one can tear their eyes away from. I don't mean this in a perverted "this is cool" kind of way. Just...you can't look away.
| hellbentheretic 12/1/06 . chapter 1
Wow, this is quite vivid indeed. The smattering of images come together like paint on a canvas. This man that wants to dominate her is a beastly brute that seems to care nothing for her, but to deflower her virginity. My question is this: Is she scared that if she doesn't do this he will do it to her anyway i.e. rape her? This may already be occuring and I just can't see it right now. I love the disriptions especially in the last two parts. It seems to me that she wants this as well, but of course is frightened b/c it is her first time. The innocense of her is kidnapped and will be changed forever after this encounter. Will she be the same afterwards? My guess is that eventually, yes, she will be, but for the last line 'and when she cries, you smile thinking that it is from joy.'
As for the format I can't tell if this is poetry or just a short blirb from something larger. I still enjoyed it though.
| in a jar pk 12/1/06 . chapter 1
brill imagery; i missed reading your work. x
| bipedalcooney 11/30/06 . chapter 1
This is such an amazing piece. The feeling and the imagry are alive and so well written. I love this, keep up the stunning work.
| Tabi Berkey 11/30/06 . chapter 1
wow. is this by any chance helen of troy? either way, it's still amazing!
i love your work...keep it up!