Sunday, January 12, 2014

Tues Jan 21st: Poetry

Pick a poem that you like and think is powerful.  I encourage you to pick a spoken word poem (but it's not required).  One of the values of spoken word is that the poet tells you what speed to absorb the poem, while reading text you have to figure that out on your own.

Pick specific lines or sections that you find powerful, or perhaps its the dramatic situation (the topic and setting of the poem).  Write a carefully composed paragraph (that includes the lines in question) that explains what it is that creates the power of those lines.  You might consider insights from the “intended audience” (who you think the author wrote the poem for, and then allusions or connections they would be likely to make).  You might explain why particular devices (rhyme, repetition/anaphora, rhythm, figurative language, imagery, etc) are effective at conveying or adding power to the message.

Updated: Repeat this process 2 times for a B, 3 times for an A.  You can do 2 or 3 sections of one poem, or a mix of sections of different poems.  Post your writing on the blog, including links to the poem.  So for a B, you're writing 2 paragraphs, for an A, 3 paragraphs.  +5 POL points if you post by midnight on Sunday (so I can use your poems to prepare for Tuesday's class!)

The list below are some to get you started, or you can search on Youtube for “spoken word” or “brave new voices”.  
 (starts at 2:15)


  1. Why I hate school but love education

    1.) Suli talks about how school is largely just a place where students learn more about how to “Memorize equations, facts, and dates right down to the letter,” rather than understanding material and using it to develop your opinions about the world. While Suli is arguing that schools and universities tend to lobotomize its students, his message is not- drop out of school and create your own destiny. Suli is simply implying that when you go to school, you should be there learning on your own terms. You should take charge of your own education by learning about the things that really matter to you, and using them to develop your ideas about the world. This idea adds power to the power because it reinforces an unfortunate truth about the schooling system, while also suggesting something deeper.

    2.) “Because as long as you follow the rules and pass exams you’re cool… Because as long as you follow the rules and pass exams, you’re cool. But are you aware that examiners have a checklist? And if your answer is something is outside of the box the automatic response is a cross. ” These few lines really stand out to me because before this, In Suli’s argument against schooling, he lists many entrepreneurs, political activists, artists and sportspersons that have succeeded without pursuing higher education because if you have talent, hard work and perseverance you will be able to reach your goals, without the aid of schooling or university. After listing the many successfully educated people, he writes the above, Suli makes another powerful point on his view on how the school system can discourage creative thinking. He says that examiners have a checklist, and if you are outside the box, the automatic response is a cross. This ties in with the current proposal to favor technical subjects over more creative and artistic subjects. As Suli argues, without encouraging creative minds and original thinkers, freedom of expression will become ignored and restricted.

    3.) Suli writes, “there’s more than one way in this world to be an educated man.”
 This last line of this spoken word emphasizes the overall message of the poem: that school is not necessarily the only way to be educated or successful because school rarely rewards you equally for the amount of work you put in. This last line brings a powerful conclusion to the poem because throughout the poem Suli is advertising at this message, however he doesn’t actually say it this straightforward until the last line. His affect of stating his belief at the end seals his message with a heavy beat.

  2. Jessica, thanks for getting our conversation started.

    I want to emphasize that everyone needs to analyze the FORM of the poem, and how that conveys the message. The analysis here is a good conversation about the content of the poem, but needs to address word choice, syntax, organization, repetition, or other elements. Similar to the prose passage essays, you need to always analyze at least two specific devices (in addition to the content). You begin to do this when you talk about him saving the explicit message for the last line - but it needs a good deal more.

    You get an A though, because you went first :)

  3. In case folks are feeling at a loss for what devices to analyze, you might consider:
    word choice, syntax, organization, opening/closing lines, rhyme, anaphora and other repetition, metaphor (what connotation does that particular metaphor convey), enjambment and words at the end of lines. The practice will help you for Thursday's timed writing.

  4. Just Friends (

    The speaker’s intended audience is the boy who never loved her. She says to him how he used “puddles of flowers all the other girls tossed at your feet” to get inside her soul. The strength rooted in this line is found in the fact that these flowers were rejected by everyone else except this girl and the fact that this boy doesn’t realize how the speaker is always there to pick up the pieces in the end. These flowers were given secondhand to the speaker, and were given as a passing thought and nothing more. This imagery of an unwanted girl picking up broken, trashed flowers from the floor incites the idea of how this girl feels as if she herself were these flowers. She is thrown around like these flowers as if they are both dispensable objects. The speaker’s purpose to this boy is nothing more than a trash bin. The boy doesn’t care about her and strings her along when it’s convenient for him only to throw her out when something better comes along.

    The speaker calls all the other girls this boy goes after “a walking self-esteem issue clad in glitter and stilettos”. Through this line, the speaker generalizes all stereotypical girls who dress themselves in “glitter and stilettos” as a “walking self-esteem issue”. This imagery shows the difference of what perfection looks like in the eyes of this boy compared to the perception of the speaker. It degrades the goals and achievements of this boy. Perfection, to the speaker, isn’t and shouldn’t be about how much someone sparkles and shines on the surface. It should be about their actions. Although she seems to be talking solely about these perfect girls and their transparent flaws, the speaker is also referring to herself. Her intended audience is this boy, and she’s trying to tell him how she might not look perfect because she isn’t “clad in glitter and stilettos”, but she’s always there for him, always willing to carry his problems on her shoulder time after time again, and it is through selfless actions like this that the boy should base his perceptions of perfection on. She is trying to tell him she is better than those other girls he throws her away for. The speaker continues, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result”. She seems to be speaking to the boy, but she is talking to herself. In stating this definition, she is questioning why she comes running to this boy every time he needs her only to be tossed aside over and over again. She wonders why she expects him to change.

    She simply states, “He loves me. He loves me not.” This is an allusion to a childhood game of plucking petals off daisies to find out whether someone loves you or not. To the speaker, her relationship with this boy seems as simple and cruel as this childhood game. Children let themselves drift off in either direction, letting this all-knowing game decide their fates. Affections realign in a split second with the next petal. The speaker uses this allusion to convey how easily this boy’s affections for her change and how much it hurts her to have to go along with them, always powerless, unable to hold on. The simplicity of this statement continues to show how easily this boy can turn away from the speaker, but also conveys her devastation.

    Another line I loved was, “I am not going to apologize for this- for being open and free and willing to spill my heart’s bucketful of tears for you. But when your new girlfriend spills yours, I don’t want to have to say I told you so.” The speaker ends by confessing “and this hurts- just a little more than heartbreak”.

  5. Dina Kharag (part 1)
    When listening to the poem “The Nutritionist”, Andrea Gibson talked about how people get hurt from life’s difficult tests but can still overcome them. One stanza that really moved me was when Andrea Gibson talked about suicide,
    My bones said, “Write the poem.”
    The lamplight. Considering the river bed.
    To the chandelier of your fate hanging by a thread.
    To everyday you could not get out of bed.
    To the bulls eye of your wrist
    To anyone who has ever wanted to die.
    When she started talking about the lamplight was “considering the river bed”, this is to show how suicide starts. Usually, light symbolises a hope when a person needs it most. However, since its dealing with suicide, it makes this hope feel ominous since one of the ways people commit suicide is by drowning themselves. This is powerful since when people are stuck and have no one to look to for help, the only person that they look to is themselves. So this means that to people who feel suicidal, they don’t stop themselves to commit this horrible deed for they have no guidance to tell them why suicide is wrong. In addition, the syntax after this line are long sentences and all start with “to”. This demonstrates a person’s frustration when they are thinking about ending their life. This is why when reading that part aloud, it sounds like a person who can’t think clearly since all they can think about is their appending death.
    The second idea that caught my attention in this poem was when Andrea Gibson made a point about general grief,
    You are not weak just because your heart feels so heavy
    I have never met a heavy heart
    that wasn’t a phone booth with a red cape inside
    Some people will never understand
    the kind of superpower it takes for some people to just walk outside
    Some days I know my smile looks like the gutter of a falling house

    In this section, its intended audience is directed toward people who feel defeated by life’s problems. When Andrea says “You are not weak because heart feels so heavy”, to me, it made me think how I’m strong and powerful just because she said so. The reason this change of mindset occurred is because when a person feels down, he/she instinctively looks to others for help. This is the case since a person whose outside of the situation has a lot of power to make a person feel better. This road to feeling better continues as she adds symbolism to her argument. When she described the “phone booth” with a “red cape inside”, it’s to say in order to beat the problems you’re having, you need to use the courage stored inside your heart. Of course, the idea is derived from Superman and his quick changes in phone booths to dress into his iconic suit. However, with Superman leaving his red cape inside the phone booth it's an unsettling idea. In the next two lines, she compares how Superman leaving his cape in the phone booth is as bad as a person leaving their “superpowers” to themselves. No one should leave their “superpowers” inside themselves because it will only give others a chance to take away your powers. In the last sentence, she provides empathy of feeling broken when you feel powerless. This is demonstrated in her diction by comparing her “smile” to “the gutter of a falling house.” This felt powerful because it made me remember how even though she presents a lot of inspiring ideas, she’s still knows what it’s like to be in pain.

  6. Dina K (part 2)
    In the third and last idea that caught my attention is when she uses the window in a very symbolic manner. This happens at the end of the poem when is Andrea talking about coming out of her shell,
    So the next time I tell you how easily I come out of my skin,
    don’t try to put me back in,
    just say “Here we are together at the window aching for it to all get better
    but knowing as bad as it hurts our hearts, made of only just skin,
    knowing there is a chance the worst day might still be coming —
    let me say right now for the record, I’m still gonna be here
    asking this world to dance, even if it keeps stepping on my holy feet
    you — you stay here with me, okay?
    In the last section, Andrea talks about how the window presents people uniting as one. Like, how I said earlier, people have a need to get advice from others to get the help that they desire. However, in this part of the poem, Andrea says that people also come together to be able to grieve with one another. The reason she uses a window to demonstrate this is because windows are used to observe the surrounding environment. This means that anyone who's looking through this special window is able to experience the same pain and share it with one another. To me, this image is powerful because human connection is the biggest factor that leads to human survival. We all want friends so we can be understood when something goes wrong. We all don’t want to be alone when we are at our worst. She even says at the end “you stay with me, ok” since she also knows the pain of suffering alone. So by standing together through tough times, it becomes easier to fight life’s grueling challenges.

  7. 1. "The Lament" by Oscar Wilde

    “The Lament” by Oscar Wilde is one of my favorite poems. I find that this poem to have many layers. In the beginning Wilde writes about how the character has this fortunate life and that he has nothing to care about except himself. In the middle of the poem, Wilde switches the perspective to explain that while the man who is opportune doesn’t realize that there are those who starve or mourn have had to struggle to reach God. At the end of the poem Wilde says, “But well for him whose feet hath trod/ The weary road of toil and strife,/ Yet from the sorrows of his life/ Builds ladders to be nearer God.” I find this powerful to the poem. Oscar Wilde is making the point about how others suffered to get to God, but you decided to take a shortcut from life and now you have to suffer like they already did by building a ladder to get to God.
    Oscar Wilde uses repetition of “O well for him” to show the reader that he’s referring to the man’s privileged life and then writing “But well for him” to not only show the turning point, but to also provide the consequences of his fortunate life. I think that Wilde’s attended audience where the high class of society, those who had it all and never acknowledged those below them. What I like most about Wilde’s poem is the way it was written, he wants the reader to feel that if you have all this fortune from isolation or distinguishing yourself from everyone else you are able to feel happy for those few moments. Yet because you traded labor and sympathy you will receive your consequence once everyone else has already reached God.

    2. "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost

    Another poem I choose is Robert Frost’s, “The Road Not Taken.” The poem is about taking decisions. While the character is torn between different roads that look the same he realizes that there isn’t really anyway to determine which one he should take. Frost writes, “Oh, I kept the first for another day!/ Yet knowing how way leads on to way/ I doubted if I should ever come back.” He knows that even if he takes one road he will unlikely be able to come back and try the other one. The rhyme scheme Robert Frost uses is a ABAAB pattern except for the last stanza where it’s a ABAAC. He says, “I shall be telling this with a sigh/ Somewhere ages and ages hence:/ Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,/ I took the one less traveled by,/ And that has made all the difference.” He doesn’t annunciate the last word “difference” which makes the scheme change. In the last stanza Frost also explains that in the future when someone else has to make the decision of what road to choose they will see that one has already been traveled. I think that there is an underline feeling of remorse in the poem since it’s also about regretting not taking the other road. The roads that are mentioned are a metaphor for the choices that he makes.

  8. Inspiration by Tom Milsom

    In the poem, Inspiration, artist Tom Milsom uses several literary devices to show the reader the truth behind creativity.
    In Tom Milsom’s Poem, Inspiration, the artist uses analogy to explain to the reader the nature of creativity. Milsom begins by saying, “Inspiration, man/ It’s like asking a lumberjack as he’s watching the sap and sawdust stink and sweat from his skin/‘how did it all begin? Where does the wood come in?’”. By connecting creativity to the analogy of the Lumberjack, he creates a feeling of rawness to the lines. He then makes a point of asking the Lumberjack, “how does it all begin? Where does the wood come in?”. This contributes to the analogy of the lumberjack because the narrator is asking the lumberjack an overly existential question of a lumberjack. This analogy of the lumberjack and his wood is juxtaposed to the artist and his creativity and is used the show the reader the nature of the question they are asking, what is inspiration?
    The author of Inspiration, also uses rhyme to enhance his message in the poem. He recites, “And I recline and take my time and say/‘I can’t even tell the wood from the trees’
    The universe is expanding faster that I can blink/ and my neuron forest is changing faster than I can even think”. When the author incorporates this rhyme, he does so in order to reiterate to the reader that he “can’t even tell the wood from the trees”, that he is unable to separate his ideas and inspiration from his artwork. He goes on to say that, “The universe is expanding faster that I can blink/ and my neuron forest is changing faster than I can even think” a rhyme which effectively relays to the reader the authors inability to tell the universe from his own mind. The use of rhyme in Inspiration, serves to enhance the author’s perspective on creativity.

    In Inspiration, the author also uses simile to show the reader the ways he processes his inspiration. The author tells, “I use whats up here as a grand organic mirror/ The thoughts pour and non clear/ but its not getting any clearer/ because I’m hard-wired, and I’m tired,”. In this excerpt the author perceives his brain “as a grand organic mirror’”. He goes on to describe the nature of it by saying that it is “non clear/ but it’s not getting any clearer”. This simile is meant to intensify the author’s feeling of being at the mercy of his ideas rather than the organizer of them. He does not understand why people ask what inspires him when, as shown through the devices he uses, it isn’t even clear to him. The use of simile in Inspiration allows the reader to understand the way in which the author views inspiration within his mind.

  9. Part 1: “The Session” by Jeanann Verlee:

    In her poem, “The Session,” spoken word poet Jeanann Verlee employs rhythm, diction, and imagery to instill a powerful sense of sickliness, desperation, and lack of safety in her listeners, allowing them to experience the situation she describes. The poem begins as a woman, possibly Verlee herself, speaks to a therapist. The therapist forces her to face her greatest shames, that she is alone and has no children. As a result, Verlee narrates, “I am thinking of my sheets, thinking of my molding bathtub and how much blood could fill it. I think of a poem written by a friend about a tub full of teeth I think about teeth falling out of my face about my face opened by a bullet’s exit” (Verlee). In these lines, Verlee employs a rapid, accelerating rhythm and neglects pauses between clauses to reveal the power with which the woman’s thoughts escalate, almost independently of her. This automatic stream of thought, from “molding bathtub” to “blood” to “tub full of teeth” to “teeth falling from my face” to “my face opened by a bullet,” depicts her irrationality and emotional distress, as the thought process simply follows single words, bathtub, teeth, and face, and lacks grounded logic. According to such fast and furious thoughts - each barely clinging to the last - Verlee conducts the powerful and striking sense of desperation and the lack of control the suicidal woman experiences. Furthermore, as the listeners must fight to cling to her words despite their velocity, they sense themselves accelerated into domains unknown, without their control. Ergo, Verlee instills this sick emotion and a sense of danger - perturbation - in her listeners, drawing them deep into the poem. Finally, the diction and imagery of “molding bathtub” delves into her deterioration, for this place of cleaning now grows dirty itself, left alone to rot with age. The additional imagery of this old bathtub filled with “blood” or “teeth” most likely disturbs listeners, enforcing not just the physical decay of the woman but also her emotional distress. As readers question the woman’s sanity, they grow unsettled - unsafe - for they cannot trust her state of mind. Therefore, Verlee employs rhythm, diction, and imagery to implant sensations of insecurity, sickliness, and desperation in her listeners and convey the woman’s pain sufficiently.

  10. In later lines of “The Session,” Jeanann Verlee employs personification, juxtaposition, and diction to enhance the intensity and domination of the woman’s thoughts and emotions. After describing in length the stressful and disturbing conversation between the woman and her therapist, Verlee pauses and with a slow and steady voice reveals, “There is no she, it’s just a subway car and a Tuesday morning where the fluorescent lights are flickering so loud it almost drowns out the voices telling me that I will die today” (Verlee). Most clearly, the juxtaposition between her dark thoughts and the normal physical situation highlights the magnitude of the woman’s emotion, enhancing its intensity. As she employs the word “it’s,” Verlee indicates that “she,” the therapist, is “just a subway car and a Tuesday morning.” Ergo, she uses personification by insinuating that this ordinary object and time both embody a therapist, forcing the woman to face her deepest fears. Consequently, Verlee reveals the intensity of the woman’s thoughts, for her dominating state of mind drags this simple public place into her experience of pain, triggering emotion. Finally, the disconnected imagery of “fluorescent lights are flickering so loud” - a sight described by a sound - strengthens the emotion channeled. The powerful connotations of “loud” enhance those of “flickering,” painting a picture of flashing light and dark that flows through the woman and dominates her, consuming like her emotion, deafening her ability to think, and consuming her mind. As an image, this description enhances the poem’s intensity as it most likely paints itself into the listeners’ minds. Finally, the connotations of the words “fluorescent lights” indicates that the subway isn’t highly financed. As the lights break and staff neglects repair, Verlee highlights the woman’s deterioration through her surroundings. Therefore, Verlee employs juxtaposition, personification, imagery and diction to portray the intensity and self-domination of the woman’s decaying mind.

  11. Part 2: “Scars/To the New Boyfriend” by Rudy Francisco: ZLB8

    In his spoken word poem “Scars/To the New Boyfriend,” Rudy Francisco employs juxtaposition, imagery, repetition, and anaphora to portray the depth of the crippling damage a separation causes him. In this poem, Francisco speaks to his ex girlfriend, explaining to her how he “got these scars” with a list of reasons. He speaks, “7. . . I treated you as if you were the last molecule of oxygen inside of a gas chamber I was good to you . . . You see I swallowed my pride, and then it clawed its way out of my mouth . . . 10. I hope your next boyfriend gets smallpox 10 Yes I said smallpox 10 I hate you 10 but I still miss you 10 and a part of me still loves you 10 and it’s hard for me to count when I get emotional 10” (Francisco, Scars/To the New Boyfriend). The juxtaposition between the powerful imagery of treating someone as “the last molecule of oxygen in a gas chamber” and the simple word “good” channels the intense emotion of the first into the latter. As a result, “good” conveys a small but dense and fundamental meaning: that Francisco truly did everything he could and still failed, the concept slamming into the readers’ ears. This use of juxtaposition reinforces the heavy fact that though Francisco treated his lover so well on the most principal level, she still coldy leaves. There is nothing he can do; he is left without options, or incapacitated. Next, the imagery of “I swallowed my pride, and then it clawed its way out of my mouth” reveals Francisco’s internal battle, as he attempts to contain parts of himself (like his pride) - to attain composure and be well. However, the raging hurt inside him independently “clawed its way out,” causing even more damage as it rips into his flesh. The image of this event, a very inhuman occurrence, most likely disturbs listeners, conveying the emotional mutilation the speaker experiences, that he cannot control himself and is thus crippled. Finally, the anaphora and rapid repetition of the number “10” in the list indicates how Francisco cannot move past his feelings for his ex lover, including that he still loves her, misses her, and yet hates her, a disabling concoction. As he cannot escape these feelings, this repetition also insinuates that his emotions dominate his mind and crush his existence into only thinking of her. Therefore, Francisco employs juxtaposition, imagery, and repetition/anaphora to convey the depth of emotional decay and paralysis he experiences in his separation.

  12. OCD Neil Hilborn,
    In OCD, Hilborn employs first person narrative, repetition, and syntax to display the serenity he attained during his time with his girlfriend.
    The first “powerful” section of Hilborn’s spoken word poem comes when he introduces the intended audience to his O.C.D. Hilborn rapidly thinks “Even in bed, I’m thinking, Did I lock the doors? Yes. Did I wash my hands? Yes. Did I lock the doors? Yes. Did I wash my hands? Yes.” The repetition and speed at which Hilborn states these questions demonstrates his internal restlessness as a result of his disorder. Though Hilborn already knows the answers to such simple, everyday questions, his brain relentlessly inquires; Neil Hilborn cannot help but continue wondering. This section also invokes “power,” as the intended audience visualizes the amount of alienation and anxiety that arises with Hilborn’s condition. Hilborn’s fixation upon such uncomplicated matters hinders him from accomplishing everyday tasks.
    In the middle of the poem, Hilborn describes, “At night, she’d lay in bed and watch me turn all the lights off.. And on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, She’d close her eyes and imagine that the days and nights were passing in front of her.” The power within these lines lies within the discovery of an individual who accepts Hilborn for his identity and obsessive compulsion disorder. When an individual attempts to sleep, the constant flicker of the lights may seem agitating. However, in Hilborn’s case, his girlfriend imagines it as the peaceful passing of day and night. Where Hilborn expects to find alienation and distress, he actually discovers acceptance and love. As Hilborn explains his passion for his girlfriend, the audience conceives a period of tranquility; the general syntax of his sentences is more drawn out, and the speed at which he speaks slows down.
    At the very end of the poem, Neil Hilborn exclaims, “Love is not a mistake, and it’s killing me that she can run away from this and I just can’t… Now I just think about who else is kissing her. I can’t breathe because he only kisses her once. He doesn’t care if it’s perfect. I want her back so bad. I leave the door unlocked. I leave the lights on.” Within these lines, power is evoked as the serenity that Hilborn attained with his girlfriend is disrupted by her absence, and the return of his O.C.D. Hilborn’s disorder compels him to hypothesize about the “new boyfriend” his lover will attain after they break apart. The fact that Hilborn cannot control his thoughts further evokes power and causes sympathy to arise from the intended audience. The last lines can be seen as the most “powerful” part of the poem as Neil explains that not only does he feel great pain after breaking up with his girlfriend, her departure has overcome his O.C.D. Hilborn constantly contemplates questions that are self-centered for his safety. Washing his hands, and locking the doors provide physical and hygienic safety. The last lines elicit power as Hilborn mentally puts himself at risk, despite his barrage of O.C.D. thoughts, in hopes of her return.


    In the poem Who Will Survive in America (originally taken from Comment #1), Gil Scott Heron depicts the hidden face and ever so tainted American society. The poet accompanies an overpowering tone with devices such as allusion, hyperbole and irony, to hint at the blinded oppression that people in America live in. Referring back to what is believed to be every person’s basic morality, Heron says, “People don't even want to hear the preacher spill or spiel because God's whole card has been thoroughly piqued. And America is now blood and tears instead of milk and honey.” The poem hits at the moral faith of people, but most importantly a broken down society. One that forgets the morals of a past generation, and instead chooses to live by an allusion that is non existing, just like the God that people no longer believe in. American is said to be the land of the free, a representation of the biblical land of “milk and honey.” Heron uses allusion to break down the thought that America is actually the promised land, and uses it to instead claim that America is suffering and pain because of the lack of morals and knowledge. People are falsely lead on to believe that America is the actual dream come true never to realize that it is no where near the dream, instead it becomes the tears of the weak and the blood of the fallen.
    As the poem continues Heron speaks on the historical background of America and how past events have shaped the outcome of the country and its society. Heron says, “America was a bastard the illegitimate daughter of the mother country whose legs were then spread around the world and a rapist known as freedom - free DOOM.” The use of the hyperbole on the country gives birth to the irony on the emphasis of freedom. Heron exaggerates as he describes America as the bastard of the mother country and a victim that falls to the rapist known as freedom. The use of irony denotes the lack of actual freedom within the country, as the country enslaves from the beginning to the present. America once thrived of oppression and it was never free, it just doomed its inhabitants; just like society does today with those who don’t reach a certain stature.

  14. Hellbound 17 1/2 by Les Claypool

    At first this piece seems extremely nonsensical and a tad confusing, but I feel that it has a some hidden meaning wrapped up in there. At first Les questions life, "Questions deserve answers,
    Answers deserving action.
    What am I, of the populi?"
    Les strings together thoughts with the use of enjambment and repetition. The word answers is repeated to provide emphasis, that is what the author is looking for (aren't we all), and he wants answers to grand things such as, "is there heaven is there hell" but also to the very minimal, "Is that tuna melt I smell". Les juxtaposes the grand and the minimalist idea to bring meaning to the piece. He is, "but the fraction" showing that he is a small part of society, knowing this he chooses to focus on the little things. There are grand things to be thought about in the world, but those don't really concern you, it's best to live for the moment. Not for heaven or hell but for the guaranteed tuna melt you smell. The contrast of the opening and closing line helps to further the point of the very global and the very personal, and which one is worth focusing on. Of course this song is mildly psychedelic so perhaps there is no meaning, but that is what I got from it.

    A Letter to My 16 Year Old Self by George Watsky

    George Watsky is a genius, that's indisputable. If you don’t agree you haven’t heard enough of his stuff, and certainly not his rap crap. In this poem Watsky uses metaphor, allusion, and rhythm among other things. Metaphor is definitely the most prevalent as the entire poem is saturated with it. He uses it to get his point across in a non cliche way, to retain the audiences attention. “You're gonna have weeks where you don't feel like eating./ Where gravity is working overtime like it's afraid of getting laid off” and “It's like God just chucked a bunch of candy into space./
    And Earth is a jawbreaker.” He uses these metaphors to stress his beliefs and convince you of them. The Earth is important and amazing, and you get to chose how you see all the bad. If you like it can all be good! Allusion allows his poem to be somewhat relatable, “And spend, roughly, six hours a night on your side/ Watching Boy Meets World reruns/ You are capable of outgrowing that bullshit” Because it’s relatable you can take the message to apply to yourself, even if you didn’t watch boy meets world we’ve all done things that are a massive waste of time or something we aren’t proud of. But it’s never too late to change, everyone can get better. And finally, his rhythm gives the poem a driving force, sinking the message deeper and deeper into your brain so you can truly be inspired by something not “reheated”.

    "1. Fuck you." and, "10. No."
    These two parts to the poem are the shortest, but arguably the most power full. These two phrases show how answers do not always have to complex. Sometimes one can express themselves in a word or two, or even with no words at all. This also shows how one does not always have to agree to the request or try to justify themselves. They can just simply tell the person "no" or something similar. These two quotes are also powerful because they add power to the person who is saying them. One would think that he will jump right into explaining, but he is able to explain everything with two words, "fuck you". And in the end everyone expected him to bring in his final, complex point, but instead he just said, "no."
    "8. Boy babies get blue socks. Girl babies get pink socks. What about purple? What about orange, yellow, chartreuse, cerulean, black, tie-dyed, buffalo plaid, rainbow…"
    This quote seems to be simply talk about baby wardrobes, but in reality it is bringing in a common stereotype between sexes. This quote shows how males are implied to be associated with the color blue and females with red. But by questioning this concept, the poet creates a new level of thinking. He brings in the other colors to show how everyone could be different and there is an option for each. He wants to break the stereotype. He is saying that colors should not be associated with genders. This is powerful because he is able to realize and stand up for the problem.

    "9. I want to be free, to express myself. Man up. I want to have meaningful, emotional relationships with my brothers. Man up. I want to be weak sometimes. Man up. I want to be strong in a way that isn’t about physical power or dominance. Man up. I want to talk to my son about something other than sports. Man up. I want to be who I am. Man up."
    Once again, this quote is all about stereotypes. Between each "man up", there is a stereotype of some sort. What the poet is saying is that by saying "man up" the person is implying things on the "victim". The poet is saying how these stereo types are wrong to push onto people and that he be whatever he wants to be. He is saying that being manly is not all about these things and that for each person life is different. And he is saying he does not want to change and like the way he lives.

  16. The power that Jeffrey Bethke’s spoken word poem, “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus”, is conveyed through his bravery to touch a sensitive topic. It strives to clarify the differences of religion and who Jesus actually is. This poem is not a sermon, but truth that is in an unexpected art form.
    Bethke’s ability to be bold is driven by telling his own story. “I was acting like a church kid, while addicted to pornography. I’d go to church on Sunday, but on Saturday getting faded, acting as if I was simply created to have sex and get wasted.” The diction he uses in these lines include surprising words that many Christians are embarrassed to say. The words “pornography, sex, and wasted” are all actions that people are afraid to admit. The rhyme of the words faded and wasted put an emphasis on how religions have put an emphasis on perfection. It sounds so shocking to hear that someone who went “to church on Sunday” would wind up getting faded and wasted. However, Bethke claims that it happens, even to him. Religion puts expectations on him, expectations that he nor others can keep.
    The use of metaphors is used to stress the importance that Christians are not perfect. “If grace is water, then the church should be an ocean, It’s not a museum for good people, it’s a hospital for the broken.” The first metaphor of grace is water. Grace is God’s goodness allowing us as man to receive the things we do not deserve. He refers this grace to water, which is vital and necessary. He also presents the metaphor of the church as an ocean. Many people see church as a building full of hypocrites. I see the ocean as wide, accepts everything in, an endless body of water that also gives. People might see the church as a place where opinions and judgement are made. Maybe some people in the church are, but Bethke declares the church as a place where anyone is accepted. The choice of the word “broken” hits me right to the core because I am and will always be broken. Religion portrays the church as a place for all divine people, but indeed Jesus allowed it to be a place for the messed up.
    In the closing lines of Jeffrey Bethke’s poem, he stresses the fine line of religion and Jesus. “Religion says do, Jesus says done, Religion says slave, Jesus says son, Religion puts you in shackles but Jesus sets you free. Religion makes you blind, but Jesus lets you see.” The author uses anaphora to engrave the point he is trying to make into his readers/listeners heads. The use of anaphora can be read in the beginning of the sentences in the word religion and in the middle of the sentence with the word, Jesus. The words consistently prove the complete differences of religion and Jesus. The choice of using religion first as opposed to saying Jesus first allows the reader to see that truly “religions says do, Jesus says done.” Religion will always put up false appearances while Jesus did everything for you already.


  17. In the poem “Oh Me! Oh Life!”, Walt Whitman’s main message is that though you as a person may be small (in comparison to life itself), and though you may feel useless or purposeless while being surrounded by the negative and the boring who similarly feel as if their existence means nothing, you must also realize that to feel purpose you have to choose to feel meaningful. Whitman describes other people as being “plodding” and “sordid”, which could in turn symbolize how he feels about himself and how he sees himself. His own views on himself influences how he sees the world and his future, which he then describes as “empty and useless years of the rest”. Through these views, he questions what really is the purpose of it all, and whether these “recurring” questions will be answered through either self discovery or in time as he continues to live out his life.

    His “answer”, then, to these questions is “that you are here--that life exists, and identity, that the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse”. It’s such a simple answer, an easy discovery and realization, but to follow up on finding your own purpose in life is what could, inevitably, cause more questions and worries about life. Will I find a purpose? Do I even have a purpose to find? Part of his answer, as well, is to “contribute a verse”, meaning that one not only should find a purpose in their life, but should make that purpose have a place in society. For example, a person’s purpose is to help others, so they will in turn join a group that teaches or heals. Through this poem, Whitman is trying to address those who are having difficulties finding a reason for living, and then telling them to go out into the world and change it for the better.

    Whitman also gives a description of the two types of people: Those who desperately seek an answer to what it all means, “of eyes that vainly crave the light”, and those who briefly find the answer, but eventually lose it and attempt to find another, “of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d”. As a result of some people’s desperate attempt to find the answer, they lose the ability to look inwardly instead of outwardly, and thus are unable, in the end, to find a proper meaning, which leads them to be the second type of person. After endless searching in the wrong places, they begin to perhaps make excuses and lie to themselves that they have found the answer, when really, it is only temporary comfort. Whitman’s goal, perhaps, was to create a wake up call by addressing the different type of people in the world, and thus finding his own purpose to create beauty while helping others.


    In the poem The Type by Sarah Kay, Kay defines women by taking all of the generalizations bestowed upon them by society and counters it. She takes all of the “norms” of society and offers up her own advice. “If you grow up the type of woman men want to look at, you can let them look at you. But do not mistake eyes for hands. Or windows. Or mirrors.” The main word for the very first sentence is “let.” The word “let” is a word of permission. Most women in society today are constantly over sexualized and unfairly treated because of gender. The word “let” gives the power back to the women. If a man would like to look at her, he must first ask for her permission and her consent to. Women are not objects and should not be treated as so. However, once the man is given the permission, Kay offers advice to the women so that she may not be misguided. “But do not mistake eyes for hands. Or windows. Or mirrors.” She is telling women in general to not be fooled. Just because men were given permission to touch, it does not automatically give them permission to touch. Women must understand that men are not going to be exactly what they want them to be. They were not made to be perfect reflections of themselves, nor are they an escape. The intended audiences for this poem are women who are searching for or have ever been in love. In using the phrase “the type” she is taking the generalization that men have created and redefining it. Her usage of common household items, “mirrors” and “windows”, as metaphors are particularly helpful because everyone is aware of what they are made to do. Her anaphora includes very short and concise sentences that make it seem as if what she has been writing has been very thought out and carefully worded. It makes the reader want to heed her advice and it makes it sound very reliable.

    “You are a woman. Skin and bones. Veins and nerves. Hair and sweat. You are not made of metaphors. Not apologies. Not excuses.” When Sarah Kay describes women, she defines them as attributes that all humans have. In doing so, she is taking the large concept of women and putting it in its simplest form. Her writing also reflects that, as she does not use any adjectives. Instead of romanticizing how great women are, she does the opposite and strips women of preconceived notions. Both men and women have ideas of what women are and what they do. Women are complex. However, in describing women as human, Kay is able to redefine women and allow us to see from her point of view.

  19. “Sunflower Sutra” by Allen Ginsberg

    1. I believe Allen Ginsberg’s “Sunflower Sutra” is powerful in its entirety. The style in which Ginsberg chose to write his poem is unusual and lengthy; however, it is this exact manner that I find brings power to poem. In choosing to write a poem that uses formal prose “Sunflower Sutra” presents itself as a short story or rather, an excerpt from a novel. It acts as an open door to the life and feelings of Ginsberg and his relationship to the earth and specifically a sunflower. The style of the poem allows the reader to feel as if they are reading a short story, yet Ginsberg’s poetic language reminds the reader that they are indeed still reading a poem. It is this style that brings power to the poem… the entire poem.

    2. Poor dead flower? when did you forget you were a flower? when did you look at your skin and decide you were an impotent dirty old locomotive?
    You were never no locomotive, Sunflower, you were a sunflower!

    In these few sentences of the poem, Ginsberg seems to be speaking to the sunflower, almost as if the flower was a person. I found this particular section to be powerful because Ginsberg, though questioning the sunflower as if it were a person, asks the flower questions like, “when did you forget you were a flower?” and states, “Sunflower, you were a sunflower!”, both of which reaffirm, for lack of better words, the sunflower’s form as a flower, not a person. Ginsberg’s use of mostly questions as a form of communication also adds to the power of his writing. Constantly asking questions as a form of communication often allows people to have physiological power (i.e. most therapists often say things in the form of a question), I think Ginsberg acquires this physiological power for a bit here, maybe intentionally, maybe not.

    3. … we thought the same thoughts of the soul, bleak and blue and sad-eyed, surrounded by the gnarled steel roots of trees of machinery.

    Ginsberg’s use of imagery and diction brings power to this sentence and ultimately, to his poem. His use of the words “bleak”, “sad-eyed” and “gnarled” all have extremely rough and negative connotations. However the choice to use such words has greater power than alternative words with negative connotations. Each word gives the reader an image to what Ginsberg may have been observing and feeling. “… gnarled steel roots of trees of machinery” especially provides the poem with great power, it presents the reader with a deep and dark image of what Ginsberg was thinking and experiencing. It is his use of these poetic devices that allows the reader to understand Ginsberg’s writing and thoughts of his surroundings and life.

    One of the primary reasons that makes this spoken word present itself as a powerful criticism of schooling and education is the repetition of asking the reader/listener directly questions that provoke them to expand their thinking. Suli says, “So what are you studying for? To work for a charity? Need more clarity?” This quote is truly compelling and attempts to sway the reader into questioning their truest ambitions by directly asking them do they “need more clarity?”. This directness provokes the reader to seriously contemplate the actions of their life and what results it will produce because most of the time, “some of [them] even have the nerve to say ‘I don’t do it for the money’”; in actuality, Suli implies people do it for the money, which society looks at with disdain. In addition, Suli goes even further and provides a long and extensive list of people who were extremely successful and well-educated. After he lists those people, Suli bombards the readers with the question “Were either of these people unsuccessful… or… uneducated?” This direct question forces readers/listeners to realize that all these people that Suli listed were educated; thus strengthening the message that education is crucial to one’s success. His question allows readers/listeners to stop and think about how success is truly attained; in which Suli attempts to emphasize, an education is a requirement for anyone to become successful. Suli’s direct questioning of the reader/listener provokes them to think more realistically about success and come to the conclusion that success cannot be attained without an education.
    Another literary device that bolsters the strong pervasiveness of his message is the poetic rhythm. During his spoken word, Suli lists several powerful and influential people who very successful and educated. From “Jesus, Muhammed, Socrates” to “Sean Carter, Michael Jeffrey Jackson, Michael Joseph Jackson”, this repetitive rhythm that Suli speaks with serves to reinforce his argument that “education is key”. This rhythm strengthens Suli’s message because he is able to give a long and definitive list of people who society see or has seen as a role model; the sheer number of examples that Suli uses enhances his message overall.
    Furthermore, Suli’s message is invigorated by the usage of a metaphor. Suli says, “Because if education is the key, school is the lock, because it rarely ever develops your mind to the point where it can perceive red as green and continue to go when someone else said stop”. The essence of Suli’s spoken word is embedded in these lines, for the metaphor of school being a lock for education is the point that which Suli attempts to make. This metaphor is effective at conveying his message because it is a clear portrayal for readers/listeners that which school has on one’s education. The notion that “school is the lock” when “education is the key” is something that readers/listeners can see very distinctly, because a lock and a key are tangible objects and are used accurately to depict the message. To go even further, Suli mentions that “it rarely ever develops your mind to the point where it can perceive red as green”; this is another clear mistake that he highlights. Suli uses colors to emphasize how schooling shapes your mind to see one thing in a certain way, and that it “rarely develops your mind” in which you’re able to see it differently than as told. Thus, Suli’s metaphors serve to reinforce his argument that “education is key”, and that “school is the lock”.

  21. Panic Button Collector- Andrea Gibson

    Gibson uses form, repetition and diction to convey that it is okay to feel what you're feeling and that you are allowed to feel what you're feeling. Most of the stanzas of this poem are one line; this shows the urgency of the poem. There is also no punctuation in this poem so it is read off as run on sentences, giving it more of a panicky feeling. In addition, the poem is spoken very fast by Gibson. The fear aspect of the poem shows how people are scared to truly feel their feelings because they think they are not allowed too. The poem also deals with parallel structure. By having different ideas written in the same way, it shows how it is okay to have different fears and thoughts, you're still allowed to feel them.
    The poem in addition has repetition, both of ideas and words. The poem is composed of Gibson repeating her fears, over and over. Even though each one is different from the next, it shows how it;s okay to have so many fears. It's okay to have varied fears because you feel them and that is enough. Each new fear hits you The repetition of the last line, "everything you feel is okay, Everything you feel is okay" hits you in the face. It cements the idea in your head that it is okay to feel and to be scared and to be hurt, because at the end of the day, it's okay to feel that.


    1.) Throughout the poem, war is used a metaphor to the struggles minorities fight through everyday to survive in this country. The poem makes references to guns, bullets,and front lines. These references serve to convey the message. The war references also serve to illustrate the violence and brutality of this "war". "I've never seen a more disposable human being than a black boy, dying just to be granted the title of a soldier." I thought this line was very powerful. This part of the poem speaks about how black men are constantly being marginalized, killed, and dehumanized. Many have died and many more will continue to die trying to protect themselves against the oppressive system and trying to bring awareness and stand up against it. By using war as a metaphor, the poets emphasize the many emotions - fear, anger, sadness, etc - going on within them as they continue to fight this war.
    2.) "Soldiers marching one by one hurrah..." The poets use repetition throughout their poem to convey their message. The poem opens up with this very patriotic war song and it is repeatably sung throughout the entire poem. This serves to illustrate how war is not something that just happens between other countries but how it is also something that happens within communities fighting to protect themselves against an oppressive system. The song juxtaposes the message conveyed throughout the poem. The poem speaks about the everyday struggles minorities face trying to survive against an oppressive system. The song collocates with this message. "Soldiers marching one by one the greatest one always gets got by the gun, and they all going marching down, in the ground (the streets), in the mud (the system) in the rain (the struggle)..." While this song appears and sounds very patriotic, the poets use it to further highlight the message of their poem. It also further highlights the war metaphor. The song - which is originally called "When Johnny Comes Marching In" - was popular during the Civil War. I think this fact is important considering that many of the struggles minorities faced then are still relevant and prevalent today.
    3.)"I'm sorry you are a soldier...."In the very end of the poem, the poem is directly addressing the audience, making the message of the poem a lot more personal and real. "There's a war going on in my city, there's a war going on in your city, there's a war going on in our cities." The poem's address to the audience serves a source of unity and awareness. By addressing the audience and suggesting that "there is a war going on in our cities", the poem serves as a way to unite the audience. This war is not something one has to face alone - many people are fighting this war. "...and you are fighting everyday that you decide to live rather than die..." The poem also serves to make the audience realize that their everyday struggles is something that has been created by the oppressor and instead of fighting one another, they ought to come together and stand up for themselves and each other.

  23. This Shore by Tom Milsom

    I chose This Shore by Tom Milsom, a poem about the creative heart of the big city because it has interesting subject matter and nice wording and feel. This stanza is describing the strong land that the city is built on and the effect the city has on that land, “This land has deep vibrations,/ Anger and strong footsteps, rumblings/ And penetrations and this/ Shore-to-shore shake that keeps it/ Up. Wet, dry, hot, cold, down,/ It’s a furious nightlight;” The choice of big sounding long words “vibration, rumblings” and “penetrations” adds a larger than life feel to the description. But, the purpose of this stanza is infact not to show the strength landmass but the power of the city built on it, made clear by the last line. While the majority of the section is referencing the city indirectly by describing its effect of the land, the last line addresses it directly and affirms the meaning of the passage.

    The part of the poem that really sticks with the reader, the kick, is, “Paint this city black. Paint this city black. /Shout amongst this hum, this hiss/ And Manhattan’s smoke and mouth your words/ So every silent phoneme is a subway tunnel!” This passage is the most powerful part of the poem because all preceding parts were describing the place and the people but this passage is a command, a call to creative action. After a break in the flow of the poem is a sudden concise, grammatically familiar sentence which is then repeated for emphasis. This catches the reader off guard and makes the single direct statement truly impactful. Additionally he chooses black for the color which is both a very strong color and the color of the smoke that is referenced in multiple places in the poem. The color serves to give a strong tone to the command as well as tie together the people and the grime of the city.


    In this poem, "Sensorimotor (between breaths)" by John Paul Brammer, the poet describes the hardship of learning to love through the use of metaphor, word choice, and the organization of his words. The poem begins from possibly a female point of view and uses breathing as a comparison to love. “sometimes i think too hard about breathing and then i can’t breathe at all:” illustrates how easy it is to love but the fear and overthinking of the idea usually creates the difficulty. “i had it back when i met him/back when i fell in love with him/and loving him was like breathing/which meant for me/it was hard/so i had to learn to love him” shows that she wants feels the connection which draws her towards loving him. It is as easy as breathing for another, but as difficult as breathing for her because she fears the pain and “poisongas” that could tag along with the air she inhales. The nerve wrecking thoughts that there could be a chance of inhaling poisonous gas and never exhaling again is like letting herself love him and possibly getting her heart broken and never being able to love again. Her fear takes over the simplest abilities. “betweenbreaths/betweenanxieties/between/panic and fear” is the way that between every breath she takes and every part of loving him, she finds panic and fear. The anxiety creates a sense of insecurity and fear of loss.
    The word choice that poet uses depicts the pain and struggle she has in learning to love him. “strugglingfor air panting” shows how she has a hard time breathing in air even though in reality, there is an endless supply of air. This shows how scared she is to love him because she is capable of loving but prevents herself from doing so. “inhalingpanic” she takes in the panic that is caused by the anxiety of breathing in “poisongas”. By fearing that she’ll inhale poisonous gas, she takes in panic with her as she learns to breathe. The poet uses these poison to depict her fear of love because pain is like the poison in love. She fears the pain that often comes from love and does not want to risk the chance of getting hurt.

  25. Much of the power and meaning within OCD by Neil Hilborn is rooted in the piece’s inescapably genuine delivery, as Hilborn’s organic repetition creates a moving message on the imperfection of love. Hilborn expresses a sense of entrapment within OCD, lamenting that the woman in the poem can run away while he can’t, his repetition a symbol of a future that he perceives to be no different from the present. However, there’s an inherent beauty in his condition, and his resulting repetition of words. He says, “I can’t breathe because he only kisses her once—he doesn’t care if it’s perfect!” Hilborn admirably does everything in his life with meticulous perfection, repeating each action until he gets it right. Yet it is some strange man who only kisses once that takes his love, and Hilborn cannot breathe because of this nor understand it. To dramatically finish the poem, Hilborn conveys how his lost love causes him to shun himself by reversing the repetition – in the end, he leaves the light on and door unlocked so that perhaps she’ll return.
    Power also comes from the pacing of the poem, and how Hilborn speeds up when repeating words as if trying to break free of his OCD until he slides into slightly slower analysis when discussing the time period after his break up. Even his hands shake amidst his passion, adding to the sense that he is trying to escape. Then, after he gets to the part of the story when she leaves him, his pace slows except for one moment when he repeats “Blows out candles” longer than any other line in the poem. His frustrated yell after the last time he says “blows out candles” demonstrates how his quest for physical liberation is impossible.


    “O CAPTAIN my Captain! our fearful trip is done… While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring”. (Lines 1-3) This part of the poem seems to speak out to me the most. For one it’s the first line in the poem so it’s supposed to grab the reader’s attention. The way the fist line is broken up tells me that its read slow and melodically. At this time I feel like the reader’s heart is starting to pump a little faster. The next two lines describe words of jubilation “ the prize we sought is won’ and “people all exulting” paints a picture of a shipping coming home to a welcoming crowd.

    “ But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead”. (Lines 6-8) These lines come right after the lines that depict happiness and joy. This sudden transition of emotions quickens the pace shown by commas instead of exclamation points like the first lines. Theses few lines are powerful because it makes you feel the words. For example “But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red” the way this is written makes you feel as if you’re screaming out the same words and bleeding drops of red as well.

    “My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will; The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done; From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won” (Lines 18-20) The use of the word “father” portrays a feeling of closeness and personal loss. But the rest of the quote shows the captain’s accomplishment “safe and sound” and “object won” Unlike the two quotes before, this one is mixed with happy and sad emotions like the sense of a pyrrhic victory.

    In this poem, these four young women speak out to to break women stereotypes. They start talking about the things they have always wanted to be for Halloween and they explain that as they get older they want to be something different. However all of the costumes made for women are smaller to give women a sexy image."But when I went to buy a costume, I was like, 'where's the rest of it?'... Society is trying to squeeze the fantasy out of us, turn our femenine fatal ... so this year I think I'll be monster." By the way the ask the question, it clearly shows that they don't want to be shaped to be sexy women, just how society wants them to be. It shows that not all women want to be the way that society wants them to be and they use costumes as a metaphor saying how there are only "sexy" costumes at the costume store, which they don't want, this means that in our society women are not given many choices. They are just given what society chooses for them. When they say that society is "squeezing" the fantasy out of them by making them wear those tight and small costumes they are saying that they feel oppressed, that their right to make a choices has been taken from them. After saying all this they claim how instead of choosing one of those costumes they are choosing to be "monsters". When a person thinks of the word "monster" they relate it to something hideous that people are afraid of, something that is the opposite of sexy. With this they are saying that they are taking the risk to be different, to prove society wrong, saying that women can make more than one choice even if society thinks of them as something hideous for not following what society wants them to be.
    "On a bad day I'm human on the full moon werewolf when the lunar ticks, ticking to the time when I'm finally comfortable on my own skin. Monster." Here the poet instead of saying, during the day she says "bad day" as if bad things turn her into human, showing that being a regular human is something bad for her because when she is human she feels insecure of herself because she continues by saying how when she has turned into a werewolf she feels better about herself because it has been her choice to become a monster. She can be secure because she is a werewolf, someone strong that she knows people will be afraid of, too afraid of to judge her and as a werewolf she feels powerful because she is being herself, not the human that everyone else wants her to be. However she mentions time, while she is mentioning how the lunar ticks the time when she is finally secure the other poets keep repeating the tick sounds, making the audience have a feeling of pressure as if the time is passing quickly. This conveys the way the poet feels about how she is confident but it doesn't last long, there is a certain time when she feels confident but it doesn't last forever. Only during the night, when she can be what she wants to be.

    1. The lines that I found most powerful were, "A woman dressing, acting or beeing should be, her choice. If a woman wants to wear a skimpy outfit let it be her choice. If a woman wants to cover up let it be her choice. See, I much rather be a woman and if that means that I must be a monster then happy halloween." This was powerful to me because of the way they kept on repeating "her choice" together, showing how they want everyone to get their message that woman should be able to do the things they want to do, without other people choosing for them, without other people making them think that their choices are not okay. When I woman wears a skimpy outfit other people stare and automatically label that person as a "slut" and because of this women think it is not okay to dress like that but the poets tell those women that it is okay to wear those kinds of clothes because it is what they choose to wear and that is all that matters. The same goes to women who cover up. They are told that they should wear more revealing clothes so they could be more beautiful and this shows how unbalanced our image as women are and how society will never be happy with the choices women make because if a woman wears something releaving they are called sluts but when they are covered up they are told to be revealing? That is why women should not care about what society tells them to do and just do what they want to do, what makes them feel happy and like women. Even if society sees them as monsters.

  28. “She doesn’t paint her face because her whole body is painted on” the imagery and diction of this sentence is just beautiful. The fact that the speakers use paint instead of make-up that they refer to puts accents the ability it has to disguise. Make up disguises and hides, and there is no use of wearing it because her whole body is ‘painted on’. Disguised and fake. Painted on like a spray tan. The repetitions of the words work to give power to this line, putting emphasis on ‘paint’- on fake, on unreal. This body is the only thing that stays with us for the rest of our lives and this body she carries is fake and lifeless.
    “Sometimes she wishes she could rip the skin off her back, as every moment of everyday she stares into the eyes in the flesh of a stranger.” This lines imagery gives it every ounce of powerful meaning it owns. The brutal words spewed out radiate the intense hatred for the body he owns. Knowing who he is yet, being someone else. Already powerful standing alone, the performance adds another aspect as the emotion behind the voice and the hands reaching for the speakers backs illustrate this beautifully. The raw words piece together an image the audience can’t get out of their mind, and resonates with them, because this is something everyone can relate to. Staring ‘into the eyes in the flesh of a stranger’, while this is specific to the story, it can be open to so many different experiences, which is what makes it such an amazing line, the versatility it holds while still being extremely specific. The imagery and performance gives intensity to the poem that can’t be denied.
    “Waiting for the day Melissa can finally scrub off this made up genetic make-up…he can say I’m hir” The rhythm of this sentence, the short staccato syllabus puts emphasis on every word spoke. MADE UP, referring to his life, completely made up and unreal, unfitting. GENETIC MAKE-UP, even his gender is painted over, stripped of everything else and only left with her genetics – and it doesn't even portray him. MADE UP GENETIC MAKE UP. The rhythm and repetition seems to make it all the more real. All the more gut wrenching. It combines science and poetry, and puns. It has so many different elements that add up to one coherent line that says everything brilliantly.

  29. oops, this is the link

  30. "When Love Arrives"

    In this spoken word by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye, it is a poem that details the expectations and realities of what love means. Everyone will always have their own expectations of what will be like, but when the time comes when love is about to arrive, it doesn't necessarily match those expectations that one would have thought about. The poem typically illustrates two people who are describing what love is in their eyes and how it'll be. In the beginning of the poem, both Phil and Sarah tell what their love life will be when they find the right person. They begin by stating, "... and knew all of my favorite Beatles song./ Love wasn't afraid to ride the bus with me." This beginning part details the first realization of what their own love is. They feel as if they find "that" right person with what they envisioned, they will find love. But then afterwards, they told, "But when love finally showed up... Love hated the bus./ Love didn’t know anything about the Beatles." From both people's point of views, they are showing that love is something that can be blinding. What people may expect from others can be entirely different from what they may see from their eyes.

    Then, the Sarah uses a metaphor to detail that when she is with the person that she loves, it will begin to begin to fade away. Sarah says, "Love disappeared slowly, like baby teeth losing parts of me I thought I needed," In this metaphor, she saying that since love is vanishing, each one of her baby teeth represents something that clings on to her feelings of what love feels like. Baby teeth are things that people should feel happy about when they begin to lose them, but in Sarah's point of view, losing her baby teeth means losing the memories of what love meant to her and the reality that love can be just a distant memory, fading away as each tooth sorrowfully falls out.

    Lastly, the poets use the literary device such as repetition to indicate that whenever you find the person that you will love, that person will be the individual that will treat you with the same kind of warm, affectionate emotions that will cherish you. When someone expects to find love, they shouldn't have such high expectations of the reality of what love is. The repetition of the phrase, "You are beautiful," showcases that whether what happens to you, that person will show that unconditional love that someone would want."When you first wake up,
    “You are beautiful.”
    When you’ve just been crying,
    “You are beautiful.”
    When you don’t want to hear it,
    “You are beautiful.”
    When you don’t believe it,
    “You are beautiful.”
    When nobody else will tell you,
    “You are beautiful.”
    Love still thinks,
    “You are beautiful.”
    But love is not perfect,
    and will sometimes forget,
    when you need to hear it most,
    “You are beautiful.”
    This repetition of "You are beautiful," showcases that whatever situation you may feel that you are in, the person that truly loves will endearingly tell you all the time that you are beautiful.

  31. Hector the Collector by Shel Silverstein
    Silverstein employs imagery to vividly depict the large quantity and intricacy of the items that Hector has compiled. One example of this is shown when Hector collects “rusty nails and ice-cream sticks, paper bags and broken bricks.” The variety of items that Hector collects demonstrates that he doesn’t have a certain affinity for a type of “junk;” Hector favors items that have previously retained a specific function, but have been broken and alienated by their owners. The so-called “trash” stimulates a sentimental value within Hector, as he perceives value within the items though they can no longer be used. When elaborating on Hector’s feelings towards his collection, Silverstein uses repetition, stating that Hector “loved them more than shining diamonds,” and “loved them more than glistnin’ gold.” The jewelry of “shining diamonds” and “glistnin’ gold” is juxtaposed to the “worn-out belts” and “leaky boats” of Hector’s possessions. Its almost as if that Hector is obsessed with the past glory that the items once retained, compared to the present glory that jewelry holds.
    However, when society, or the “silly, sightless people,” catch sight of his “treasure trunk,” they label it as “junk.” A connection between Hector and his items is created in the last lines of the poem, as the intended audience feels sorrow for Hector; it is almost as if society had inadvertently labeled Hector as “junk” for collecting such pieces. It is not Hector’s own self that determines whether or not he has quality or function, it is how his actions are perceived by society that gives him a label. Hector’s unique fascination with his collection are rejected by society, and consequently his reputation is likewise desecrated.

  32. Embrace - Billy Collins

    In the poem “Embrace” by Billy Collins the poet uses personification to reveal the hidden loneliness within people and the need for embrace and company. Through the use of personification, Collins gives life to the “parlor trick” the tricky gesture that makes it seem like someone is hugging or kissing you from the back. In reality however, there is no one in front of you, just you. The poet goes on to say, “from the front it is another story you never looked so alone”, the story that reveals the actual truth which is the longing to have someone. To some point, Collins is suggesting the need for love, for the reassurance of having someone in front of you. It’s no longer enough to call someone yours, people want security, because the “back” is misleading and it never adds up to “front”. The front is the truth.
    Collins goes on to emphasize on this “tailor” and the “straight jacket” that the tailor is waiting on fitting you with. Personification enables Collins to use the tailor as a representation of life, and the fitting of this “straight jacket” as the discovery of love. As he says, one is “waiting” patiently to be fitted with this jacket, one is waiting for life to take the measures and dress us with the feeling of love. A straight jacket that “one that would hold you really tight”, meaning that one true person or love that will embrace or cover ones front and back. Never leaving any empty spaces, that one has to pull off that sneaky “parlor trick”