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.