Critical Analysis of Fetal position by Richie Maccs

“Sometimes in the darkest of nights, the flaps of a passing bat, rather than eliciting fear of the bat, elicit that of dark nights. In essence, such a flap is representative of the many confabulations, albeit ill, that the night endures. Reading through this piece, I get that feeling. This woman curled up in fetal position, represents certain elements of uncertainty and aloofness that unfortunately, she cannot get rid of because she is a reluctant actor in her own dark story. A grown woman, yes a grown woman as the poet asserts! But the ‘grown woman is naked or rather denuded of all the features: all the warmth that comes with womanhood. Interestingly, womanhood has always been perceived as a comforting state where fruition, satisfaction, and contentment are enjoyed. This picture is thus a stark contrast from this age old societal perception.

Of essence, she hovers but does not hold onto any meaningful fruitive activity. Of apathy, she has lost all enthusiasm for any fruitive activity. Where lie the roots of this ambivalence, this fatal indecision? Is she a hermit in her own prison or is she a victim of an externally imposed social prison? I deign to ask for she desists from providing easy answers. She cries, she screams, at rains, at thunders the poet says. Besieged she is, afraid at the affronts of nature. No religion, no home, no social connection and in their place are ‘books, buildings, and bodies’. Naturally, the latter aspects are pursued only after the foundational aspects of belief, habitation, and society have been acquired. This is a unique situation where the ‘grown woman’ has been uprooted from her foundation. She has no bind, neither to society nor God. She is like a blade of grass, flailing in the wind and unable to either grasp air or prevent the winds’ effect on its motion.

Ironically, she remains confident of her treads and wickedly pursues that which she thinks befits. She is contented with her hopelessness and her disconnection from society but still seeks to pursue activities whose benefits can only be enjoyed within the social realm. But she never fares well, for the ‘weight of that ever present carcass’ wears her down…and so she curls up in a fetal position mourning her position on one hand, and on the other, refusing to be in harmony with nature upon which the foundation of her being rests. The society sees, but the grown woman beset by her own trials, is unable to accurately decipher what that view constitutes – primarily because she stubbornly refuses to hold onto the society as a foundation for favorable existence. Interestingly, she is confronted by her state; which the mirror (her judgment) perfectly pictures. Could it be the same picture in the society’s view? That she is a grown woman curled up in fetal position?

I am torn between sympathy and disgust. Should I comfort and console or desert and castigate such a situation. Ambivalent I remain, until the grown woman tells us more!

Julz, I am impressed by this poem. I have tried to take time to understand the broad cast that you are attempting to portray. Herein, I have tried my best to ‘rip this art till it farts and is relieved of inconsistencies and incongruities’. But this is just my critique; the poem can be woven in a million more prose. The simplicity and the tenacity of the diction to the underlying message are laudable. The depth tells me more about your growth as a poet. This is brilliant writ!”

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