A Look at Alexandra Naughton’s poem “i am like a queen”

throne

Alexandra Naughton’s poem “i am like a queen:”

     
     “i am like a queen on a throne cold as blossoms on a cliff side clinging to some
     thing any thing waiting and all ways cold and all ways waiting because that is
     how you are perfect.
     
     “i don’t want to settle any more, for dirty cushions or not enough time or the cut of
     your stare, like why am i always waiting for you. i don’t want to sleep in a fugue
     state alone i want your thick limbs around me sometimes. i want to feel like i’m
     in a world on my own and i just need a visitor so i can know.”

 

The persona in Alexandra Naughtons poem i am like a queen,is like a queen on a throne. She is also Cold as blossoms on a cliff that are clinging toanything.In every way she is cold. She is always waiting and in this waiting it makes her man perfect.

Still, she does not want to stay this course. She is tired of the mess in which she is forced to live. She doesnt seem to have enough time. She is tired of her mans severe stare. She hates always waiting. Shes tired of sleeping in a manner that causes her to forget who she is.

The persona in the poem wants her mans thick legs wrapped around her.

She wants to feel like she is on her own, and she just needs someone to visit her.

The persona of the poem seems to be a product of a man, who houses her in isolation. She is a queen, held up on a pedestal by him, but perhaps using emotional manipulation to do so.

i am

i dont

i dont

i want

These are the nouns and verbs of the sentences in the poem.

She uses breaks between the following words: any thing,” “all ways,” “any more,and some times,but she has used alwaystoo, so we know she is aware of the seeming pause, where any thingmakes you question how thingscould be different. A thing could be a vine or an event, the presence of her man. She is not on a cliff literally. She needs to be given a sign. In every way too she is cold, not just physically in terms of her feeling cold inside, but she affects chilly, and you might garner a cold personality. In every way she is waiting. She waits on her man, she waits on things to change. I dont know of any more ways someone can wait. Can you think of some?

Her not wanting to settle any morespeaks of not wanting to settle on anything, not just from here on out.

Some timesalludes to a break between times, it holds us just as her mans intermittent leg holdings.

In these choices, we are made to feel the same waiting she must feel waiting for her man.

Knowing her poems in My Posey Taste Like are based on the Lana Del Reys We Were Born to Die,I can feel the singers long and her low maudlin voice.

This and Naughtons poem my posey taste like,from the book My Posey Taste Like manifests the seeming abused Lana Del Rey character in that Del Rey in her videos hangs out with extreme men, who are often older, tough, and seeming brutal. Why would such a beautiful woman choose such extreme men? Who do they represent? What makes them attractive to her?

When I read Naughton I sense a self-disconnected woman. She is powerful in her ability to wait. She is powerful in her coldness as we, or perhaps it is just me looking on. While she waits on the cliff, I am behind her in a meadow. I understand her. I am like her. All the women I have wanted were indifferent and for that reason they too were perfect. There was an absence, which must have/or still does complement me. My father died when I was ten. That event seemed to undermine all my security. He was a doctor. He represented the highest level of achievement: Social, psychological and economic status. I strutted around like an arrogant little boy whose father was a doctor. I was proud of him. I felt like I could become anyone and then he died and I lost all my confidence. I have withdrawn. Could that be the reason I am attracted to strong women, to women who appear as a mystery to me? My mother, a runway model and commercial artist, did not seem to be a mystery to me. Her energies and interests were my own. She represented beauty and she created beauty. The women I have truly yearned for were confident and beautiful, but they did not create beauty necessarily. I did not agree with their politics or ideas, we would often fight. I was jealous of them because of their practicality. My very existence is contingent upon an aesthetic consciousness and appreciation. The women I have appreciated most did well in business, kept moving from job to job until they were happy. I remain at jobs for many years until points of the inability to work there or because of some major change appears and makes it plain that I must move on.

Naughtons character doesnt want dirty cushions any more. She no longer desires not having enough time for herself and she is tired of her mans cutting stare. She asks why she is always waiting for him? She doesnt want to sleep separated from herself, where one would advice reconnecting, and maintaining her whole self. And perhaps the time has come when she is no longer interested or cannot compromise.

She wants his thick limbs around her. She wants to feel like she is in a world of her own.

I think we all come to this point, where the one we are with, who is not meeting us half-way starts to earn our disinterest, our distaste, and eventually we get it. They are either incapable of loving us or they dont want to. It has nothing to do with anything we can change. We cant change the things about us that they want. Maybe thats why we are drawn to them. They see our weaknesses. They remind us of things about us that we regret, and perhaps we should be moving to correct them. We sense the impossibility and yet we dont want it to be that way. I remember an exs mother coming to me and telling me that her daughter just didnt have fireworks when she met me and so it would never work. I understood that. There were fireworks for me. In fact, by that point, it became desperation. The die had been cast and there was no hope that she and I would ever get back together. I had to live with that: The stark reality of there not being fireworks.

Naughton does this for me as a reader. She does so much more as well about a woman and her control. And of course you can take away the gender assignments, this is a human problem as so indicated in Naughtons characters predicament. I wish her character well. She deserves to be happy. I hope her man wakes up and wraps his legs around her. But, as with me, I think the die is cast. These kinds of things inflict wounds and in time if they were together, the woman would exacter her revenge: Nature is always seeking an equilibrium.

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9 comments

  1. Impressive. Love your interpretation of Naughton’s poem and how you connect it with your life experience. So touching. I also like your analysis of these separate words: all ways vs. always, etc., and how these subtle variations give power and meaning to the poem’s message, as well as the verbs I am/ I want vs. I don’t. From this perspective, I think this poem is a feministic claim: the woman wants her whole self, a world of her own, the man’s limbs around her, not suffocating her, not being subordinated to the man, no dirty cushions, etc. Why some women are attracted to tough brutal men remains partly a mystery to me. I am the antithesis of this type of woman. But I also see how determinant family, friends and environment are for any person. A woman whose mother has been sexually abused by her partner will very likely reproduce the same in her love relationship(s) with men.

    I like the drawing of the throne that seems to have a life of its own with something like walking legs. To me it looks like what the female persona of the poem wants. The throne stands on a edge, the two flowers move and everything is moving. It is a dynamic picture showing a change in life, in the life of this woman.

    • “Feminist claim,” yes exactly. Naughton is very important and I might say, she is the finest feminist I know. I love how she is describing these relationships from the outside, but the man is perfect because of his indifference, which begs the question: Why are abusive men so attractive? I think as humans we are drawn to bullies because we have a problem with perceived weakness of ourselves. We are often confused by who is better. It is the person, who makes fun of us and makes us unsure of ourselves or the person, who honestly likes us. I think we don’t trust the person, who likes us for who we are. And the person, who undermines our self-esteem is “admirable,” we crave his “wit” and insults. We wish we could be so smart, confident, and insensitive.

      • Yes. I like the definition of “perceived weakness of ourselves” because each human being on earth is weak and strong at the same time. What counts is our attitude in life. If we make the wrong choice once, twice or even many more times, I think we can still learn from these mistakes. One day we will stop repeating them. Then we will find the right partner in love, of course someone who likes us for who we are, as you say. It means someone who does not want to change us and accepts our qualities as well as our flaws. Someone with whom we are an equal where no one is inferior or superior to the other person. Why not trust that person? Life is a risk anyway.

        I want the female persona of Naughton’s poem to learn from her mistakes as well as any other female or male person who has been or is still being abused to a minor or major degree.

        Mobbing at work looks more diffficult because there is danger of losing the job and having financial problems, but we can also learn to find the necessary strategies to deal with it.

        I find child bullying especially complex because children and teenagers are more vulnerable, so young that they have not developed the strategies of an adult. Children are very cruel to each other. I am speaking from my own experience as a child and as a high school teacher. I am currently dealing with a case of bullying among my students. Thank God we have a good psychologist in my school. Some tutorial action is also being carried out. Preventing and tackling school bullying is essential because it affects the lives of these children and teenagers. We don’t want them to become abused or abusers when they reach adulthood. Who knows what kind of childhood Naughton’s female persona of the poem had.

  2. Last point: Maybe the woman remains cold as a self-defense device to protect herself from further men power abuse.

    • Yes, I think you nailed this. The woman has become trained in picking on others because she has been picked on herself. As I said earlier, she learns that this weakness of her susceptibility can be attacked in others. She has been robbed of innocence. The only way to survive is to become cold, aggressive. It can’t actually feel good to be mean. I would just assume refrain from being social if being social means being mean.

  3. Thank you, I take it as compliment. But I believe I am as strong and weak as any other human being. Yes, I am strong but also an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), which is often culturally and socially unacceptable especially in our Western society. So what? After all any human being is made of fluctuating contrasts. Just look at James Joyce’s characters, he portrays them considering these contrasts and that’s why they are so human. Jonathan Franzen does it too. Sometimes we are nearer to one extreme and others it is just the opposite end. Thus, the female persona of this poem would be nearer to the stronger side now, if she is really able to free herself from this male dominance, if she can keep a love relationship where no partner exhibits superiority on the other person. Otherwise it is just a declaration of wishes she is unable to fulfill.

  4. Pingback: Review of Sergio Y. by Alexandre Vidal Porto and Alexandra Naughton’s poem: “put my little party dress on.” « Musings


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