For My Son, A Kind of Prayer

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About Richard Jeffrey Newman

Richard Jeffrey Newman is a professor in the English Department of Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York. He is the author of The Silence of Men, a book of poems, and three books of translations from classical Iranian poetry, most recently, The Teller of Tales: Stories from Ferdowsi's Shahnameh. "For My Son, A Kind of Prayer" is from his second, as yet unpublished poetry manuscript, Because Men Only Understand Cliches. He blogs at Because It's All Connected.

Comments

  1. “One day, he will be forced to choose
    where his allegiance lies.
    These words are for him
    on the day of that decision.”

    Certainly scar your child with shame for something he will never do unless its done to him.

    • Eagle34 says:

      “One day, he will be forced to choose
      where his allegiance lies.
      These words are for him
      on the day of that decision.”

      Sorry, but I find the wording of this too much as a threat to be taken as good intentions for your son.

      But that’s just by view.

  2. We all face choices. Some may seem small and insignificant. Some, large. We all face them and we all must make choice of being on the side of peace and compassion, or not.
    A beautiful piece of poetry.

  3. Caria Kirtland says:

    I found the last stanza to be quite appropriate and well chosen. If the little boy has been exposed to this piece, later, when he faces ethical challenges of social sexuality, he might harken back to find guidance from his dad. No scars; no threats; just mindfulness. I hope we all find the strength to teach the lessons that need to be taught, in order to not repeat the mistakes.

  4. I am stunned reading this, Richard, with the truth and terrible beauty of your words. Your son is fortunate in his choice of fathers. And the women of the world are stronger because of your ability to name the crime of rape and empathize with other victims. May all wounds be healed. And may our sons and daughters be inspired by this poem to lead strong, courageous, good lives.

  5. Beautiful. Newman, you are fantastic.

    (And I don’t see any moments of threat towards or scarring of a child. That is certainly not the poorly worded and totally misinterpreted analysis of people with any literary sense.)

  6. Thanks, Jill! :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] am really happy that The Good Men Project has cho­sen to pub­lish a new of poem of mine called “For My Son, A Kind of Prayer.” Too often, I think sites like that ignore the poten­tial for poetry to speak truth to the [...]

  2. [...] am really happy that The Good Men Project has chosen to publish a new of poem of mine called “For My Son, A Kind of Prayer.” Too often, I think sites like that ignore the potential for poetry to speak truth to the cultural [...]

  3. [...] from around 2007; the newest, “For My Son, A Kind of Prayer” – which was pub­lished by The Good Men Project–was writ­ten [...]

  4. [...] given the title of this post, I can imagine some might want to do–the three pieces are For My Son, A Kind of Prayer; My Feminist Manifesto; and Towards a Discussion of Male Self-Hatred. At the same time, I [...]

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