Kaitlyn's Self Portrait Conveyed through poetry

Monomoy by, Carl Phillips

Somewhere, people must still do things like fetch

water from wells in buckets, then pour it out

for those animals that, long domesticated, would

likely perish before figuring out how to get

for themselves. That dog, for example, whose

refusal to leave my side I mistook, as a child,

for loyalty — when all along it was just blind ... What

is it about vulnerability that can make the hand

draw back, sometimes, and can sometimes seem

the catalyst for rendering the hand into sheer force,

destructive? Don’t you see how you’ve burnt almost

all of it, all the tenderness, away, someone screams

to someone else, in public — and looking elsewhere,

we walk quickly past, as if even to have heard

that much might have put us at risk of whatever fate

questions like that

spring from. Estrangement —

like sacrifice — begins as a word at first, soon it’s

the stuff of drama, cue the follow-up tears that

attend drama, then it’s pretty much the difference

between waking up to a storm and waking up

inside one. Who can say how she got there —

in the ocean, I mean — but I once watched a horse

make her way back to land mid-hurricane: having

ridden, surfer-like, the very waves that at any moment

could have overwhelmed her in their crash to shore, she

shook herself, looked back once on the water’s restlessness —

history’s always restless — and the horse stepped free.

The poem "Monomoy" by Carl Phillips addresses the subject of strength and loyalty. He uses a dog to help create a mental image of true loyalty when he says,

"That dog, for example, whose

refusal to leave my side I mistook, as a child,

for loyalty — when all along it was just blind ..."

This part of the poem really caught my eye because i can relate to times in my life where I thought people were loyal but they just needed me to guide them. in life I try to be a strong person. I was able to connect with the poem when Phillips wrote,

"I once watched a horse

make her way back to land mid-hurricane"

Here the horse symbolizes a strong person while the hurricane represents perhaps a natural disaster in life, something gone wrong that the person is pulling through.

The Sun Changed Colors by, Marjorie Agosín

The sun changed colors

The moon enamored even the most elderly,

The tomatoes blushed with joy upon seeing you pass by.

The poem "The Sun Changed Colors" by Marjorie Agosín addresses the subject of passion in love. While love is such a broad topic it can used to describe many things in life. I can relate this poem to friends in my life. My friends make my life better I love them for that. Agosín says in the second line

"The moon enamored even the most elderly".

Here the poet is saying a person was filled with a feeling of love for even the oldest of thinks. The moon is a symbol for a person. I can relate this to my friendships because some times my oldest friends aren't my best but I love my friendships.

A Certain Kind Of Eden by, Kay Ryan

It seems like you could, but

you can’t go back and pull

the roots and runners and replant.

It’s all too deep for that.

You’ve overprized intention,

have mistaken any bent you’re given

for control. You thought you chose

the bean and chose the soil.

You even thought you abandoned

one or two gardens. But those things

keep growing where we put them—

if we put them at all.

A certain kind of Eden holds us thrall.

Even the one vine that tendrils out alone

in time turns on its own impulse,

twisting back down its upward course

a strong and then a stronger rope,

the greenest saddest strongest

kind of hope.

The poem "A Certain Kind of Eden" by Kay Ryan addresses the subject of strength and hope. The poet uses plants and roots to symbolize people who are attached to things in their life. When the speaker says,

"it seems you could, but

you can't go back and pull

the roots and runners and replant.

its all too deep for that."

the audience can infer that the subject of the poem has bad past experience they are willing to overcome but it means a lot to them--has hurt them a lot--making it hard to "pull the roots". It takes strength to over come hard times. Near the end of the poem, Kay gives a glimpse of hope. I can relate to this poem because I have past troubles that i still hold on to. While its possible for me to let them go, its also hard and takes mental strength. therefore I hope that the little part of me that remains to hold on is holding on for the better good.

Adolescence by, Adrienne Su

The trouble was not about finding acceptance.

Acceptance was available in the depths of the mind

And among like people. The trouble was the look into the canyon

Which had come a long time earlier

And spent many years being forgotten.

The fine garments and rows of strong shoes,

The pantry stocked with good grains and butter—

Everything could be earned by producing right answers.

Answers were important, the canyon said,

But the answers were not the solution.

A glimpse into the future had shown the prairie

On which houses stood sturdily.

The earth was moist and generous, the sunlight benevolent.

The homesteaders dreamed up palaces and descendants,

And the animals slept soundly as stones.

It was a hard-earned heaven, the self-making

Of travelers, and often, out on the plains,

Mirages rose of waterfalls, moose, and rows of fresh-plowed soil,

But nobody stopped to drink the false water.

Real water being plentiful, they were not thirsty.

A few made their fortunes from native beauty,

Others from native strength, but most from knowledge,

As uncertainties in science could be written off to faith.

Faith was religious and ordinary life physical,

And spiritual was a song that had not yet arrived.

The poem "Adolescence" by Adrienne Su addresses the subject of insecurity and acceptance. The poem discusses the "trouble of looking into the canyon" as the canyon is a symbol for a person who has parts missing from them. Canyons are deep gorges in the Earth which helps to symbolize a person. The poem says "Acceptance was available in the depths of the mind". I interpreted this as acceptance(being received as adequate), is always there but sometimes people don't see where it is in life. I can relate to this poem because in my life, as most people, we look for acceptance when people make friends, meet someone new, job interviews, common this in life require acceptance among people. All people come with their own baggage. this is what i can relate the canyon to. the gorges in the Earth are similar to the bad things that occur in life that could leave people with emptiness/missing pieces. While focused on these missing pieces, or looking "into the canyon", people still look for acceptance.

Your World, Georgia Douglas Johnson

Your world is as big as you make it.

I know, for I used to abide

In the narrowest nest in a corner,

My wings pressing close to my side.

But I sighted the distant horizon

Where the skyline encircled the sea

And I throbbed with a burning desire

To travel this immensity.

I battered the cordons around me

And cradled my wings on the breeze,

Then soared to the uttermost reaches

With rapture, with power, with ease!

The poem, "Your World" by Georgia Douglas Johnson, addresses the subject of optimism. the poem discusses on a literal level about a bird who used to nest in a corner and now starts "spreading its wings." I interpreted this poem to be from the perspective of a person who was shy and would go unnoticed but has learned to be more open. I can relate to this poem because at times I can be very shy and quiet but I'm learning to be more open as i get older. throughout this poem I saw myself figuratively as the bird cradling "my wings on the breeze,"

Imaginary Numbers, Vijay Seshadri

Vijay Seshadri writes "Imaginary Number", a poem that addresses the subject of optimism as well as the previous poem, "Your world". Figuratively this poem is talking about a mountain that still remains as the universe is destroyed. In my interpretations, this poem talks about a mountain symbolizing a person who in aware of the ups and downs in life but remains.(positive) The speaker in the poem also refers to the universe rather than the world for example because the universe is literally everything we know to exist. The poem is trying to say while everything that exists in the speakers like is destroyed/in bad conditions, the mountain remains or the person remains positive and trying. I relate to this poem because as I go through life there are ups and downs as for anyone but i try my best to stay positive and to look on the better side of situations.

Mama Said, Calvin Forbes

The slice I ate I want it back

Those crumbs I swept up

I’d like my share again

I can still taste it like it was

The memory by itself is delicious

Each bite was a small miracle

Both nourishing and sweet

I wish I had saved just a little bit

I know it wasn’t a literal cake

It’s the thought that counts

Like a gift that’s not store-bought

Making it even more special

Like a dream that makes you

Want to go back to sleep

You can’t have your cake

And eat it too Momma said

I was defiant and hardheaded

And answered yes I can too

The look she gave me said boy

I hope you aren’t a fool all your life

"Mama Said" is a poem from Calvin Forbes that addresses the subject of appreciation. The poem discusses at length about how the speaker, on a literal level, wants to savor the cake and have it again. However, it can be interpreted quite figuratively to be about the speaker missing something in his or her life and wish he had appreciated it better rather than being "defiant and hardheaded". The figurative language in this poem serves to provide a mental image and communicate/help to better the understanding of appreciation. This poem ties into family for me because when i was younger i was always around my father but a few years ago we lost touch. As the speaker says "id like my share again" I too wish I saw my father as I used to. In my interpretation the "cake" the boy wished to savor is a symbol that i can connect to as my father.


Created with images by Skitterphoto - "yashica filter camera" • Honza Soukup - "Well" • AdinaVoicu - "sunset sky sun" • congerdesign - "germ seedling oak" • palendromist - "Grand Canyon (Panorama)" • Pexels - "cold landscape mountain"

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