Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sample Post

It is very difficult to settle on four poems, so I chose five:) These are the poems that are "speaking" to me at this stage in my life.  I look forward to reading about the poems that resonate with you.

The first poem that I would like to share is "To My Son's Girlfriend" by Michael Milburn.  I love how Milburn likens the parental love the father feels toward his son with a table a woodworker makes "intending to sell it but prays no buyer will recognize its worth."  I imagine myself feeling similar feelings of possessiveness and jealousy when my daughters enter their teenage years.


Similarly, I love how Sharon Olds employs mathematical computations to describe her daughter's coming of age in "The One Girl at the Boys Party."  I hope the daughter (and mine as well) continues to use her mathematical mind even if "in her head sh'll be doing her wild multiplying."


It probably doesn't surprise you that I would enjoy about poem about food.  In this case "Good Hot Dogs" by Sandra Cisneros.  I love the image of last line "You humming and me swinging my legs" because it portrays the pure joy and childhood innocence of the simple moments in life shared with someone you love.


The last two poems are similar as they speak about timing.  I love the way William Baer describes that image of the snowflake and then uses the qualities of the snowflake to describe the chance timing of this couples meeting and eventual kiss.


In "End of April," Phillis Levin uses the qualities of a broken Robin's egg to compare to a loss felt by the speaker.  The "bird" that has left the shell "lives in my heart where, periodically, it opens its wings, tearing me apart."  Levin captures for me the feelings that we think we have put to rest, but occasionally catch us off guard.


  1. http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/just-say
    This poem so dearly speaks to me because it is so simple, but at the same time so meaningful. This poem reads like a post-it note left for somebody. I love it so much because the meaning of this poem speaks louder than the size of each individual line. The phrase big things come in little packages applies nicely here.
    This poem by Maya Angelou speaks to me in a way that most others can’t. I love how it speaks about love in a way that changes someone and grows the indivual into a lighter being of themselves, or angel if you will. It also speaks of how love doesn’t come to you, but you come to love and you have to be brave and embrace it.
    Even though this poem couldn’t necessarily be taken as contemporary, it still holds great meaning to me. This poem encompasses the thoughts and feelings of many African Americans in the beginning of the 20th century. Being one, I feel the need to look at the history of a culture of people which relate to me. Even though I do not agree with the clear signs of radicalism in this poem, it does serve as a history lesson about the feelings of certain diversity long ago.
    Maya Angelou yet again doesn’t fail to carouse me with her amazing writing. Her straight to the point way of wanting, no demanding equality is the way I too always saw it. This poem doesn’t speak to me because it has a literary technique beyond known; it speaks to me because I relate to it entirely.

  2. http://www.julie-hill-alger.com/dif.html
    This poem by Julie Hill Alger really reminds me of something I almost had to face. My grandmother recently suffered a severe heart attack, and luckily survived and is going through recovery. This poem opens my eyes to what I would have had to endure if things did not end the way they luckily did. Many families experience death on a daily basis, and this poem really portrays this concept.

    This poem immediately made think of what we are all going through right now as high school students. On a daily basis we are pushing ourselves to be better academically, athletically, and socially. As the poem states, you can either teeter over and fall, or you can end with success.

    This poem speaks to me more than anything I’ve ever read. My mother and I have experienced some difficult times together, and the way this poem reflects on experiences really reminds me of my own life. It reads words that my mother has said to me many times.

    This poem is very deep and meaningful, and represents a concept that I have only briefly experienced. Many people in our society are afraid to share their feelings and emotions because maybe they’re afraid of being judged, or don’t want to be a burden. unfortunately, the results of holding in emotion and feelings can be fatal, and is currently a very prevalent issue in today’s society.
    -Sam Coleman Period 1

    1. I really liked the last poem, because it kind of describes the way some people may feel about others. I think it is extremely relatable to us as teenagers because we are constantly faced with inner turmoils that we are unable to describe. Sometimes I also feel as though the words in the English dictionary won't suffice to the way I might feel about a particular situation or event.

  3. http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/mfalley/2012/05/thomas-edison-on-the-amazon-river/

    This poem by Megan Falley, one of my favorite writers, really speaks to me. It touches on my own insecurities about failing while giving an honest, raw, yet hopeful perspective. It speaks about Edison’s failures, even calling light bulbs a mockery of sunlight. This is sometimes how I feel when writing and a lot of the times how I feel in general. Good art, makes people feel understood and less alone. and for me, this poem does just that


    The sensibility of this poem is very inviting to me. It is simultaneously spontaneous and controlled. We move through unexpected actions while remaining in a constant space. The internal conversation the writer is having with herself is present in this poem which I another smart move that portrays to the reader honesty, and authenticity. Additionally the direct address of the reader makes the poem even more pungent and powerful.


    This poem by Sarah Kay, another spoken word artist, centers around the idea of her raising her own daughter. However, this metaphorical daughter becomes a device used to portray the lessons she learned through life: That nothing comes easy, that it hurts to live sometimes, that it’s okay to apologize, and to always remain hopeful. This speaks to me because this is how I would’ve wanted to have been raised, had I a choice, and how I’d raise my own daughter.

    This is one of my favorite poems. Though there are couplets I think dim the poem slightly, the ideas and raw emotion presented in this piece are stunning. This poem grabs me and refuses to let me be unforgiving of its mistakes. It centers around the idea of loneliness and alienation, as many writers do. The syntax of the third and fourth couplets grab me especially. It is such an inventive and interesting idea that a person could be lonely while still in utero. Additionally, the misty motif which returns repeatedly in the images of dripping mist, forest mist, and gray mornings add to the heaviness of the poem which weighs perfectly.

    Amanda Period 5

  4. Oh Captain, My Captain by Walt Whitman
    I found Oh Captain, My Captain after watching Dead Poet’s Society (which is still one of my favorite movies of all time), where it is referenced. I looked it up and read the whole thing, and I really liked it. I’m not quite sure what it is that I like so much about it, but I think it’s a really good poem.

    Invictus by William Ernest Henley
    I read this poem for the Poetry Out Loud contest, and I liked the message that it sends. It felt like most of the poems that we read this year were somewhat dark or depressing, but this poem is the exact opposite. It is very inspirational, and it has helped me to realize that “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”

    Truth by Stephen Crane
    I found this poem very relatable, because of how rare the truth is in our society. It is much easier and more common to lie, leave out details, or stretch the truth than it is to say something honestly. Although I wouldn’t say that no one has ever been truthful with me (as the author of this poem suggests), I do agree that it is a rare thing to come by.

    “Home” by Phillip Phillips
    This has been one of my favorite songs ever since it came on the radio. I really like the lyrics, because they remind me that even when I put myself in unfamiliar, uncomfortable, or otherwise unpleasant situations, my family and friends will always be there to help me through.

    1. The Stephen Crane poem is extremely relevant to society, something that I find to be relatable in everyday life. I like how everything is said implicitly and uses a lot of personification and metaphors. This forces me, the reader, to interpret and reflect on what actually happens in society about the fact of "truth". When I reflect on this, I realize that the truth isn't as easy as it seems. Many people lie to get what they want, and this seems a little cynical.
      Thomas S P1

  5. Sanctuary by Jean Valentine
    I memorized this poem for Poetry Out Loud last year. What drew me towards the poem was the two tones. One voice in the poem was the curious one and the other was the more passive, unsure one. I thought that it represented something like metacognitive thinking or that we doubt ourselves by asking “why did we do that?”

    The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen-Poe
    This made me change the way I viewed poetry. I had always thought poetry was just a collection of metaphors and imagery, but with this poem, it was a way to tell a story, a morbid story. (I had actually disliked this after first reading it). I remember having to learn about Poe, and by doing that, I understood how the author’s life had an impact on the writing style, even the bad qualities of life.

    The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Loyd Tennison
    This poem was in one of favorite movies, The Blind Side. When Michael needs to boost up his grade, he writes an essay about what this poem meant to him. I found his essay inspirational as it reflects the power of courage and honor and whether we choose to differentiation from the norm.

    Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
    I remember owning the titular book when I was younger, and I used to read it all the time. This poem sticks to me because of the imagery with the children only drawing on the sidewalk with chalk, something I had done many times. Where the sidewalk ends, there is no more space to draw.

    Meredith J. Period 5

  6. http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/taylorswift/badblood.html

    My first poem, or song shall I say, is the new hit single by Taylor Swift, “Bad Blood”. I love how Taylor uses her past experiences to convey what is going on in the lyrics. The two lines, “Oh, it's so sad to think about the good times, you and I. 'Cause, baby, now we got bad blood” really speak about her life and the hard relationships she’s had. Specifically, this lyrical narrates a feud with what I believe to be a past friend, something that everyone can relate to.

    This poem resonates loudly in this day in age especially since women have critical role in society. This poem almost speaks ill of the role of women in society. The narrator’s mother was “was not amused by my transformations” because of her interactions with her father. The mother sent her to “the real world of her kitchen.” Obviously this isn’t the view that should be taken upon and I felt that this poem spoke loudly to how far we came and how much we have to overcome that stigma of women.

    This poem can strike a chord with so many people since it shows hardships inside a family. The narrator has this dark image of her father that convey the horrors he’s done to her. She calls him a “black shoe” and describes him as a Nazi. Even though her father always tormented her, she was now through with him and no longer cares for him. This gives the sad narrative of a broken relationship, something that almost everyone can relate to.


    I especially liked the way this poem was written. The content of it was historic and something that I’ve never read in a poem. I liked how the author mentioned the great president Abraham Lincoln in the poem, stating the Constitution and narrating the Civil War. You can tell that the author had a concise reasoning for the poem, paving a clear path to what is going on.

    Thomas S P1

  7. I love “Mercy” by Alanis Morissette. This is a song from the Prayer Cycle, translated into English from Hungarian. This song is from the Prayer cycle, recently performed two years ago by the Branford High School Choir, in which i sang in. The lines “We're nothing We're everything I am nothing Yet I am everybody” speaks to me as a universal connection between the earth and people. This song is very peaceful and very poetic.


    Time by Pink Floyd is a very deep song. It’s poetic, but also talks very bluntly about life. This song expresses emotion. “Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
    Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines” are lines that speak about time passing in life and time being wasted. “Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today And then one day you find ten years have got behind you No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun” expresses time wasted and the way that life itself can be waisted.


    The poem “Woman Work” is a poem by Maya Angelou. This poem is about women doing their “work”, or the work expected of them. “I've got the children to tend The clothes to mend The floor to mop The food to shop Then the chicken to fry” express the work that is being done. The tone is a tired, overworked, almost slightly sarcastic, tone. Then, the lines shift to “Shine on me, sunshine...And cool my brow again. Storm, blow me from here...'Til I can rest again...Fall gently, snowflakes...Let me rest tonight.” at this point in the poem, the woman's anguish and exhaustion is apparent. She feels brittle and aches to rest. It’s implied that woman never really rest. I can relate to this as a female who takes care of my house, but also as a woman of our society and the expectations that are put on me.


    “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman is one of my favorite songs about love and struggle. Tracy says “You got a fast car I got a plan to get us out of here I been working at the convenience store Managed to save just a little bit of money...You and I can both get jobs And finally see what it means to be living” explaining, in a light way, of the struggle to make money and also maintaining a relationship. This song ters at your heart strings.

    Remi S
    Period 5

  8. Poems I love

    Waiting for the fish to bit
    Or waiting for wind to fly a kite.
    Or waiting around for Friday night
    Or waiting perhaps for their UncleJake
    Or a pot to boil or a better break
    Or a string of pearls or a pair of pants
    Or a wig with curls or another chance.
    Everyone is just waiting.
    ~Dr. Seuss


    Dr. Seuss is one of my favorite poets. His cheerful, simplistic style reminds me of the stories I red by him as a little kid. Through the use of easy vocabulary and rhymes schemes, Seuss delivers a clear message to his audience. This poem in particular, brings to life the idea that we are always waiting for things to happen- rather than taking advantage of the opportunities we have been given. If we continue to do so, our lives will pass us by without success.

    How did it get so late so soon?
    It’s night before it’s afternoon.
    December is here before it’s June.
    My goodness how the time has flewn.
    How did it get so late so soon?
    ~Dr. Seuss


    Here is another one of my favorites by Seuss. I love how simply he portrays an idea so complex as the passage of time. As many others do, I often find myself amazed at how fast things seem to go by. Although each individual day may take a slow course, it is crazy to look back on all that we have left behind. We are almost seniors!

    who knows if the moon’s
    a baloon,coming out of a keen city
    in the sky—filled with pretty people?
    (and if you and i should

    get into it,if they
    should take me and take you into their baloon,
    why then
    we’d go up higher with all the pretty people

    than houses and steeples and clouds:
    go sailing
    away and away sailing into a keen
    city which nobody’s ever visited,where

    Spring)and everyone’s
    in love and flowers pick themselves


    I just discovered this poem, and was interested by its perspective on life. It suggests that, in the end, we really are unsure of our destinies. Thus, why not live adventurously and take risks? In turn, we may find something even better than we what we have left. I also like the way he does not conform to traditional writing styles, but rather uses free verse, word misspellings, and inconsistent word structures.

    If freckles were lovely, and day was night,
    And measles were nice and a lie warn’t a lie,
    Life would be delight,—
    But things couldn’t go right
    For in such a sad plight
    I wouldn’t be I.


    I love this poem! As humans, we are often overly critical of ourselves, and act as perfectionists. We must accept our individual flaws, and understand that we are guaranteed to have them. As the author says, “Life would be a delight- But things couldn’t go right. For in such a sad plight, I wouldn’t be I.” Perfection is impractical.

    Raissi B
    period 5

    1. I though each of these poems were adorable! My favorite was If. I loved the way it takes such random things and puts them together to symbolize a great meaning. I thought If's deeper meaning was if it was a perfect world then everything would be perfect however it cannot and will not be like that but it's okay because no one would be able to be themselves without facing life struggles.
      Abby A
      Period 5

  9. http://www.tothisdayproject.com/the_poem.html
    My absolute favorite poem is 'To This Day' by Shane Koyczan, and its about how when he was a kid, both him and his future wife were bullied so severely their confidence to this day has not been repaired, and how she still thinks of herself as ugly and not worth it despite a loving family. It goes into how so many kids now a days are bullied and not getting the help they need to cope with it or just to end it all. He brings up how he became a "pill head", stuck on antidepressants and despite that the suicidal thoughts still went through his head. He urges the reader to realize that they are a beautiful person and that those people who bullied them were all wrong.

    Another one of my favorites is OCD by Neil Hilborn. It's about him and his OCD, and how the first time he met this girl, he said that all the tics in his head went silent, and all he could focus on was her and how beautiful she was. She thought his "quirks" at first were cute, but after realizing how serious they were, left him. He went on about how much he misses her and that he still loves her. it's really heartbreaking to watch, especially because of his repetition of lines and how emotionally distressed you can see him while performing,

    One of my other favorites is "Asking For It", in where a girl depicts a world where, according to our clothing, we can be seen as asking for sex. She says she was inspired by a Facebook post that claimed if women had too little clothing on, they were clearly asking for sex, so she depicts (in a very funny way) a world where this is true. She ends the poem with "stop asking people's clothing to have sex with you, and start asking people." which I think sends an amazing message out there that you shouldn't be judged on your clothing or how you appear to show who you are as a person

    "Pretty" by Katie Makkai brings you on her journey of self esteem and insecurities, as she complains to her mother that she doesn't think she's "pretty", so her mom helps her create the 'perfect' image, ending in her biggest step, a nose job. She says that after the surgery, she felt like the pain her body was experiencing was its way of telling her "What did you do?". My favorite line is when she says that if she has her future daughter come to her and ask when will she be pretty, she'll "wipe that question from [her] mouth like cheap lipstick and answer, “No! The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be, and no child of mine will be contained in five letters.You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing. But you, will never be merely 'pretty'.” Slam poetry is my favorite kind of poetry, and this poem is one of the best I've seen so far.

    Kylee D
    Period 1

    1. I really like the poems that you chose, because they shed light on issues that we as a society are sometimes uncomfortable with talking about. I'm glad I read "To This Day," because I had never realized just how badly bullying can affect a person. I also enjoyed "OCD" because someone I know was just diagnosed with OCD, and reading the poem opened my eyes to what he (and everyone else with that illness) is going through.

  10. http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/you-smiled-you-spoke-and-i-believed/
    This poem speaks to me quite a bit, as it is short, simple, and to the point. Also, the author, Walter Savage Landor, has quite a name. Although the poem may initially seem to be expressing anguish at some form of betrayal, the ending line "Deceive, deceive me once again!" seems to show me that the author is actually not upset at all.
    Margaret Atwood writes on a subject that all teens are well acquainted with: having all that time and nothing do with it! Yes, boredom, although for some reason she speaks about being bored of helping someone with their woodwork. I really don't know why this poem appeals to me so much, but it certainly is worth a read.

    1. Extension:
      In one of Frost's lesser known poems, he speaks of a bird that he tries to shoo away from his window. This poem is primarily about waking up in the morning to the shrill screeching of birds, an undesirable experience that anyone can relate to as many of the avian species of Connecticut are excessively loud and piercing in their song in the morning. However, this poem is also about music, and ends on the line
      "And of course there must be something wrong
      In wanting to silence any song"
      which leaves the reader to ponder the various different forms music can take.

      This poem is about a myth, and actually tells the entire myth in the poem. Although it is rather lengthy, for me the poem holds a special meaning because the only pet my parents ever allowed my sister and I to keep in the house was a cat who we named Beowolf (yes, that is the correct spelling...) after the hero of this poem. Throughout the poem Baudelaire relates the man Beowulf's life to us, and I tend to think of my cat as a sort of Beowulf to other pets because of how protective he was of my family even though there never really was anything more dangerous than the neighbors' dogs in our yard.

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