Reviews for When your mother made us dinner
pumadelic chapter 1 . 7/31
Depth review

Theme/tone

The voice is immediate and involving. There is irony, detachment, a sense of the speaker watching herself as the family watches her and I'm drawn in. It's always nerve wracking to visit a boyfriend/partner's family and this captures the tension really well.

Structure

Free verse narrative poems are not easy to pull off. I feel the run on lines are managed very deftly here for maximum emotional impact. One good example:

.../my cheeks
red, expectant, I am a good little
girl, I always want to please

I even took seconds, didn't
let my eyes wander to the corner
of the room like they usually do

There's a nervousness to these cadences that really works.

Having just quoted that, it would have been better to have a full stop after 'do'

Imagery/vocabulary

This is mostly everyday speech which befits a dramatic monologue. There is very effective use of typical grammar structures and verbal repetition to create parallels

eg between the internal monologues and the
inside jokes between stepbrothers

The contrast between 'internal' and 'inside' points up her isolation in this situation.

Another example that conveys the paranoia/justified suspicion well is

'to note what I did
and didn't fill my plate with'

The 'conspicuous' fold of the napkin underlies her hyperawareness of their scrutiny perfectly

I didn't feel that the darkened skyline image worked but I liked the smirk that might turn into future wrinkles - expressing the speaker's fear and distrust of the stepbrother.

As overall it is such a strong poem, I was a little disappointed in the ending. 'Silent guest' didn't feel quite right, quite up to the situation.

Narrative

It is a disconcerting story. The reader feels uncertain of the relationship between the speaker and the boyfriend. Should he have shared her personal problems with his family? Does he not trust her to tell the truth about her well-being?

Reminded me of Sharon Olds at her best. I'd like to read more.
Felrain chapter 1 . 4/26/2013
Very good, I enjoyed reading this. It all flowed beautifully and there's nothing better that could have been done. Perfect!
Let's See If It Moves chapter 1 . 4/16/2013
Such a good poem, this. You've portrayed the awkwardness of meeting your significant other's family for the first time perfectly.

Baaaaaaaaaaa,
Ewe.
Purplemonkey123 chapter 1 . 4/13/2013
I like it, I love how the poem tells a story