The poem I chose was Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden.
This poem is specifically an elegy, with a sad and remorseful tone to it. It is associated to the grief one feels during a funeral. It is filled with powerful imagery with lyrical statements such as "I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong," This is my favorite line of the elegy because it is true ho nothing lasts forever, and you have to cherish every moment you can get with the people you love before they are gone.
The organization of the poem is four quatrains for a total of sixteen lines. Almost every line is end-stopped with either a comma or period. There is some caesura throughout the poem, however it is not much. The rhyming scheme is "aabb" throughout all four quatrains. Every elegy can look different. but this specific one looks like more of a typical poem with rhymes throughout.
This elegy is not very specific in who has died or any such details like that, it is pretty broad in content. This works well, because more people can relate to it. This poem pulls at a lot of heartstrings because it is easily relatable to people. The third stanza is the only one that is a little more personal, with phrases such as "He was my North, my South, my East and West."
The speaker seems to want death to be heard, it is not something to try to hide. Most people have had someone close to them pass, and while everyone grieves differently, some may find it helpful to have something to relate to. Auden uses the symbol of a dove in his poem, which represents purity and is used from a religious standpoint. This is used perhaps to pay respect to the deceased.
There are multiple themes such as death and grievance, as well as dependence to the deceased person. These themes are exemplified by the use of lines such as "stop all the clocks" and "Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead". These symbolize the speakers feelings toward death and how they are affected by it. Certain words also denote a sad connotation such as silence and stop. Colors such as blue and black that are mentioned represent the dark emotions the speaker is feeling.
"Sonnet 71" by William Shakespeare can be found here.
By looking at the structure and rhyming scheme of this sonnet, it is easy to tell that it is a Shakespearian sonnet, also known as english. There are three quatrains and a couplet, and the rhyming scheme is abab cdcd efef gg. This sonnet is also in iambic pentameter, which means there are ten syllables in each line.
The first quatrain introduces us to the problem of the sonnet. In this case the subject seems to be dying, or knows that he may soon, and is speaking to either a loved one or friend. When I first read this sonnet I thought he was speaking to his significant other, but when I went back through it, there is never actually any specification for who this poem may be for. He is telling the person that he should not be mourned when he passes, however he will hear the "surly sullen bell" that announces that he is gone "with vilest worms to dwell".
The second quatrain is an extention of the first, with him declaring his love for the other person. He believes that he would rather be forgotten about completely if it makes them too sad to think about. This quatrain gives us a little insight into the subject's personality, because he does not care if he is remembered. He only wants what is best for his lover, friend, or relative, so if it is too hard on them, then he wants to simply be forgotten.
The last quatrain and couplet talk about how he does not even want his name to be spoken out loud, and how their love for him should die just as he did. He is also worried about how other people may mock their relationship after he is gone, which is revealed in the couplet. This also gives another note of his selflessness, and how he does not care about himself dying, but rather what may happen to the other person when he does pass.
This sonnet is especially morbid and mournful compared to some of Shakespeare's other ones. This particular one deals with his approaching death and how he would like his friend to deal with it when the time comes. This poem was not that hard to understand once you paraphrase it, and it was interesting to look at after we had looked at some of his other love sonnets in class.
Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle can be found here.
The premise of this poem is a girl wanting to play the drums, but society believing that only boys could do it. This is sort of a two sided poem, because the content of the poem is very sexist and brings up societal issues, but the language used makes it sound like a beautiful poem. And it is a beautiful poem! The first thing I noticed about it was the constant devices and repetition throughout, which gives the poem a whimsical tone. The story progresses, but the tone never seems to shift, it just ends on a happy note with the girl able to chase her dreams.
The repetition of the phrase "drum dream girl" is significant because not only does it give importance to the title, but it reiterates the message of the poem, which is courage and determination. Besides repetition, alliteration is used in such phrases as "boom boom booming with long, loud sticks" and "the clack of woodpecker beaks".
This poem is good example for girls to follow, because it teaches them never to stop chasing their dreams. Overall I love this poem because of its whimsical tone and message.
"Phenomenal Woman" by Maya Angelou is an exceptional poem about confidence and empowerment of women. Angelou preaches that a woman is capable of defining her own worth and should let nothing bring them down. The tone of this poem is very poweful through its message yet sophisticated and mature in the word choice, which gives the reader a sense of empowerment by the end of it.
"Guapo" by Jose Olivarez stood out to me the most in Citizen Illegal. This was the last poem in the collection, and for good reason. Since this was one of the more positive ones to be written, placing it at the very end made sense after all the tough and grievesome topics already spoken about. Olivarez shifted the tone of the entire collection with this poem, demonstrating how he grew and changed as a person throughout his life.
The way Olivarez chooses to write this poem is interesting, because he is essentially just listing the "bad" parts of his body and starting to accept them, however the poem is much more powerful because of this. Phrases such as "the hairy terrain named my legs" and "red bumps i used to hide under my t-shirts" are used to show how he has come to think of these things in the past. He follows these phrases up with words such as guapo, heartbreaker, or even "ugly as hell but all mine". to express the love he feels for everything now.
In part I of the collection, he wrote another poem titled "My Therapist Says Make Friends with Your Monsters", in which he talks about all of the demons he faced regarding his body and how he needs to deal with them. The difference in these two poems is astounding. At the beginning, he doesn't want to face them and believes he is worthless. However, in Guapo, it seems as though he has overcome these monsters and is finally confident in himself, which shows growth. After all the hardships he has gone through and the experiences he's had in his life, he is finally able to accept who he is and truly love himself. In the words of Olivarez himself "Guapo, i say. it is my new name. it is my old name. it is my only name." This line is why this poem is my favorite out of the entire book, because it is bitersweet in the change he has gone through,
Growing up with insecurities can wreck anybody, and Olivarez has shown that that doesn't neccesarily have to be the case. You can have impurities and still be grateful for them. No one is perfect, and people need to accept this, as it will make the world a little easier to deal with, He is proud of his hairline because it makes him look like his dad, and his face is from his mom. Even in a world full of terrible things, Olivarez has shown that if you take a look at the little things and start accepting yourself for who you are, then you will have a better life.
I have high hopes for senior year. Really high ones in fact, My hope is that I make every day count and to try to find something good in everyday, Some days will be bad, but I am sure I can find one little piece of joy to hold on to.
Without getting into the personal stuff, junior year was not the best for me. Things happened but I've moved past them all. I'd like to say most of it made me into the person I am today. You learn to trudge through the dark to get to the light, which is where I am now. I am happy today, and hopefully every day is the same. The friends that are in my life right now are the ones I know I can count on when I need them. I can laugh with them, cry with them, and have the time of my life with them.
During the fall and winter there are many things I look forward to: football games under the lights, soccer games with my teammates, watching scary movies with my friends, which then transitions into Christmas movies when the time comes. I am responsible for making my senior year into something great, and that is what I intend to do. Some good advice my teacher told us was that not every day will be a good one, and that's perfectly okay, you just have to earn to move past these days and make the other ones count. I think this is amazing advice and I will try to stick to it when I can.
Honestly I do not know where senior year will take me, but I hope it's good to me. If this post tells you anything about me, it's that I am trying my best to have a good year, or more accurately a good life. I'm not sure what I will do after high school, but I am interested in zoology, so I might intern somewhere to see if I like it, which is what my mom told me I should do. Some more simple things about me are that my favorite color is yellow, I love Parks and Rec and the Office, I am captain of my high school soccer team, I listen to music constantly, and i love to shop.
I am happy with who I am and hope senior year treats me well, because before we know it, we will be walking across that stage and moving on with our lives.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.