Daddy's Womb | Teen Ink

Daddy's Womb MAG

April 23, 2008
By Carl Haynes, Staten Island, NY

i asked my father if i could swim,
and he said that i would drown.
The Sea would imprison me – he said
if my feet had left the ground.

So i walked out to the water,
and cried out – how ’bout now!
He said, a little bit further, Son,
and then you’ll leave the ground.

i stepped on sand then stone,
from hollow ground to sturdy.
The sky was at my level as I
gazed at the birdie.

The Sea brought me a new idea,
the urge to flee to the high.

i asked my Father if i could fly,
and he said, sure, Son – go try.

i jumped as high as i could.
Still, i landed on the ground.
i saw my Father pull on a chain,
then i knew that i was bound.

Similar Articles


This article has 2147 comments.

Jaejae said...
on Jan. 16 2009 at 2:06 am
This is really amazing. I love how at first you put the idea of your earthly father and how he wouldnt let you, but made it in context with your heavenly Father and how he let you go try.

Great work!

Mickey said...
on Jan. 15 2009 at 4:54 pm
I love the poem.I think you did a great job.

c.c. said...
on Jan. 14 2009 at 8:11 pm
Hi RGallagher,

Can we skip the drama please and get back to talking about poetry? Do you have a poem I can read?

P.S. Reread how many times I commented. I wasn’t putting anybody down! If you actually read what I wrote, you’d see that I have no problem with criticism, as long as your argument is developed and can sustain itself. And yes, I am a junior in college and I’m Editor-In-Chief of my college’s literary magazine and I got a 4.0, and blah blah blah blah blah—so yea, I think I know what I’m doing! And I’ll take the cokkie—I’m a good poet and a good human being. I specifically sent this poem to Teen Ink because of its content, and I refuse to send anything “mature”, as you put it, because this is Teen Ink…and all the bickering and lack of literary criticism proves my point. Now here’s where you get all upset—wait! What I’m actually saying is that this is a community intended for teens, and it’s a pretty great one, but one in which, I (and maybe even you) am no longer academically challenged in. Point blank, I’m growing up, as do we all.

RGallagher said...
on Jan. 14 2009 at 4:56 am
"I am a junior in college and I’m Editor-In-Chief of my college’s literary magazine—so I think I know what I’m doing!"

If you're so well "educated", I would expect your writing to be of a much higher quality. It should have more depth and be more thought out. And the writer should be more mature. Instead of putting down every person who tells you something that they don't like, maybe you should listen to them. When you start hearing the same things repeated over and over by different people, maybe you should listen to what they say. People aren't on here just to say "you suck." and move on, we're telling you what we didn't like and everything in hopes that you'll use the feedback to improve your writings. Don't walk in here acting all arrogant and put down every person who gives you negative feedback. If you don't want people telling you that they honestly didn't like something, I suggest you not show your writings to other people.

Many people have said that they don't like the grammar, the style, the rhyme, etc. Maybe you should listen to them. If that many people think something is wrong, something might actually be wrong.

Don't walk around acting like you're better than everyone who is giving you feedback. Woohoo you're a junior, woohoo you work on a lit mag. Want a cookie? That doesn't make you any better than us. I too am a college student and I too have worked on lit mags. For all you know any of these writers leaving you feedback could've graduated college have masters degrees and be publish in tons of magazines. You don't want us to assume things about you and your writing? Then don't assume you're better than us.

FireFallon said...
on Jan. 14 2009 at 4:29 am
Okay I get what you are saying. It just seemed unintentional, lazy typing was the first thing that popped in to my mind. And you are right I did speak as if I knew the author/speaker and in the future I shall try to be more clear about my personal opinions. But can I ask you a question? Can you explain to me why things aren't capitalized I just don't understand why they aren't. And another thing relax you're still (or were recently) a teenager yourself. :) I must admit you are more accomplished than me but based on what you said before we're a lot closer in age than you realize. As for the poems, oh dear. I have four up...they were, how do I say this politely, submitted against my better judgment and are very...I can't find the word I'm looking for but...yeah. Nevertheless, here are the links, I look forward to your feedback. By the way I'm insanely jealous that you are almost done with college, I'm finding myself hating it and I'm not even done with my first year. <--- I'm sickened by that one...still kind of bitter about that break up.

Just FYI I know some of these are emo sounding or overly emotional in other ways but strong emotions tend to bring out my writing.

And as a literary mag person I strongly suggest you check out its pretty cool. Our chatroom is pretty awesome too.

Infidus said...
on Jan. 14 2009 at 1:46 am
The concept was beautiful, well explained and understood. I love the uniqueness of it's form.

XeyesclosedX said...
on Jan. 13 2009 at 8:28 pm
I like it, I just finished it, and I'm thinking, why couldn't my father be like that?

Lisa T.92 said...
on Jan. 12 2009 at 6:00 pm
I love this poem it really inspired me to write one just like it. thank you for writing this it is very creative and you are very talented.

c.c. said...
on Jan. 11 2009 at 2:08 am
FireFallon, I don’t know if you fully read what I wrote. I don’t have a problem with criticism—I do have a problem with readers who claim to know what was and what wasn’t intentional about my writing process… When responding to any work of art, it is best not to make assumptions about the author. The speaker of the poem and the author are separate. Among other things, you said, “The lack of the capitalization was not intentional…the inconsistency proves that.” This set me off. You say this as if you know the speaker of the poem and/or the author. I would’ve had no problem with you saying, “I think the lack of the capitalization was not intentional because of its inconsistencies.” But even this is an unsupported and unprocessed statement. What role does capitalization play in the poem?

Simply put, why are teens on here always trying to determine what’s wrong or right about the poem instead of interrupting it—that’s how workshops work… You tell me what you got from it…I listen…I then edit attentively, based on the understanding you got, and the one I want to communicate to you. And the closer you get to my interruption…the more successful the poem whether you like or agree with the content/form or not.

You have no idea how much tolerance I have…I ignored foolish comments since August because I know you’re teens! But wouldn’t you rather know how you’re responses can mature? Don’t misunderstand me! I’ve welcomed all the comments whether I agree with them or not! There are, in fact, some comments I disagree with that are understandable.

But my overall mistake was expecting and/or trying to demand constructive and literary criticism from others who may not have had the opportunity to analyze the craft as much as me. I mean no disrespect, and please don’t misinterpret me.

But here we are so far off track from the purpose of TeenInk. Do you have a poem I can read?

P.S. I can tell that you actually give a dam. Thank you.

Excuse any grammatical errors—I am way too tired.

FireFallon said...
on Jan. 9 2009 at 8:01 pm
Carl, two things if you don't want criticism then don't post, we were trying to help, there was no way we could possibly know what you were thinking when you wrote it. For an amatuer who is just starting out with writing out comments are valid, so don't lash out at us for trying to be helpful. Secondly, we were pointing things out that we off putting and detracted from your poem and may discourage people from reading if they don't understand. So don't attack us for tell you what we thought, poetry and writing is subjective like you know and have expressed so everyone sees something different so you might want to practice the tolerance you want us to use. Just saying.

dobbins said...
on Jan. 9 2009 at 4:32 am
interesting work. Screams of cynicism. Perhaps the child is symbolic of society, the father of "Big Brother." Not enjoyable at all. And that is the highest praise i can give.

c.c. said...
on Jan. 8 2009 at 4:57 pm
I tried not to take the bait, but some of you guys are so hasty to rant instead of process your comments. It's one thing to criticize or interrupt; it's another thing to define what my intentions were. The use of capitalization is intentional where it happens and where it doesn’t. If you’d read/reread the poem rather than go off on a tangent about what you would do, you’d understand the poem! I am a junior in college and I’m Editor-In-Chief of my college’s literary magazine—so I think I know what I’m doing! And if your next question is, how did I publish this poem if I’m in college? Well, I’m still nineteen.

The number one way to tick a writer off—any writer off—is to tell them what they mean instead of what you took from it!

FireFallon said...
on Jan. 8 2009 at 3:53 pm
Okay first this poem has some serious grammatical issues. The lack of the capitalization was not intentional, as others have pointed out, the inconsistency proves that. I have an issue with the capitalization of the word sea but I suppose if you are personifying it I can understand it. The near/slant rhymes need some work if your are trying for a every 2nd and 4th line rhyme scheme some of them are done poorly. You completely broke your poem structure with the fourth and fifth stanzas, even you added them together your rhyme scheme would be thrown off. "Birdie" was a little bit of a stretch for a rhyme, but admittedly works even though the shortness of that line detracts from the flow a little. The last stanza doesn't really fit well with the entirety of the poem. I'm assuming you meant the father's love held the son to the ground, safe from possible harm, but in my personal opinion it doesn't come off that way. It comes off as though the father was the sea and imprisoning him, but if he's on the land then it still doesn't work. This poem holds promise I'm not going to lie. The poem's title is also a little contradictory as well as some what not applicable to the poem. Males in general do not have wombs, but I see what you are trying to say, but again, it's not really what you mean. Poetry is about self-expression so as another writer I feel inclined to point this out for the betterment of your future works, but also, to those that have bashed (I'm including myself in this because I've stated some of the very things you have.) it's about the author's point of view and perspective, we can't bash someone's writing style because it differs from ours. It is obvious why there are flaws that the author took sometime crafting this and that needs to be respected. Nothing comes out right on the first try or even after several edits. That being said, I'm a tad bit disappointed in Teen Ink for putting this on here raw as it is, but poetry is subjective. You have a voice that is unique, just need need to work on refining it a bit.

RGallagher said...
on Jan. 8 2009 at 3:38 pm
hitthelights93 : "stop leaving comments saying you don't like the rhyme scheme or how it's formatted. does it really, honestly matter?"

That's the whole point of feedback! You tell the author what you think of how it's written. If you only want people to say "oh I love it, it's awesome." Don't put your work up for people to comment on. Not all comments will praise your work.

wonder wall said...
on Jan. 7 2009 at 10:55 pm
I love this poem so much. U are so talented...

crich897 said...
on Jan. 7 2009 at 12:57 am
Yo, DUDE, why am I the only one getting bashed here? Which of my criticisms was not constructive or offering uplifting advice? Sure, I was a bit critical. Many others were very much more critical than I, however. Sorry, geez.

on Jan. 6 2009 at 11:07 pm
ummmm so i was thinking that people should stop hating in their comments.

and stop leaving comments saying you don't like the rhyme scheme or how it's formatted. does it really, honestly matter? he was just putting his feelings into a poem, like most of the people here, and you're going to say you don't like it's format? no. if i wrote this, i'd say "okay and i care why?..."

we're not professionals here. we're TEENAGERS. we don't have to try and impress anybody. we are just living our lives and writing our hearts out. isn't that enough for you? you know without having to use proper english throughout...anything and everything?


oh and i LIKED the poem, by the way. i can relate.

kitkatpoem said...
on Jan. 4 2009 at 9:34 pm
Yo, crich897, lay off dude. It's one thing to say you don't like a poem but it's quite another thing to be very rude about it a repeat you thoughts over again; and again and again and again!!! Just reading your comentssss gives me headaches! "i" for one love this poem and the "i"'s, so dude, lay off. Word_addict is right, you are not; get over it.

PS: Yo, crich897, is ma gwamer wong dud, "i" dnt dink so.

RGallagher said...
on Jan. 1 2009 at 7:42 pm
Kinda confusing. It has potential, but in my opinion, it still needs works.

Not to mention the 12 capitalized I's made me want to cry. I don't think this should've been published like that. No self respecting publisher that I'm aware of would allow this to get through like that.

on Jan. 1 2009 at 6:55 am
wow this poem has alot of emtion to me. I really enjoyed reading this awesome poem.

Smith Summer

Parkland Speaks

Campus Compare