do you remember who you were before you picked up the pen? -CLINT SMITH
Greetings! My name is Allee and you have just wandered your way to my class assigned poetry blog, so welcome to the journey.
Here, you will find writings that gripped my heart and made ink bled onto pages. This adventure may not be so settle. You may stumble upon heartache, loss, and sadness. Perhaps you will trail onto some happiness and love. But wherever you stumble or stroll to, I hope you find your way back home. Your home. You find your way back to who you truly are. Damn it, it's a journey. But maybe through some of these writings we can do it together.
I am 17 years old and live in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. I plan to be a teacher once I graduate this spring because I think leading the future is the most rewarding way to give back to this Earth. I am a writer. I have been published by Teen Ink and some local newspapers, but I dream to have my own poetry collection published and on the shelves of young girls who aspire to be something, feel something, perhaps both, or everything in between.
"You don't just write poetry because you think it's easy & it's written all over Instagram. You write because there are people in the world who need to feel connected to something so badly it hurts. It's a responsibility..." -Courtney Peperneell
Buckle up. Explore. And feel.
ANALYZING CLINT SMITH'S POEM "WHAT THE CATHEDRAL SAID TO THE BLACK BOY" you can find this poem at https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C8NhRsHUwAQSKT-.jpg
'The black boy' because that is all that boy is, just another black boy. 'The lesbian' because that is the only label this girl wears too, especially when holding her hand walking into the church building. Over the summer, I used Clint's style as a mentor text to create something of my own. This summer I created this:
What the Church Said to the Lesbian: After Clint Smith and the black boy-- Your hands are too muddy to shake just sit down, girl The talk gets around girl, my daughter isn't allowed to sleep over All sin is equal they say, but girl, you got bricks in your hands and all we got are some stones. And girl, what would your Nana say about this if she was alive right now? But we will smile at you now, and shit on your family's name at our Sunday dinner. They say god loves everyone girl, but y'all don't belong here. -a. proctor
When creating this poem, I thought about how Clint uses religion and holiness in his piece and how he connects a worship place to his writing, but as I continue to re-read Clint's work again, I notice how craved the urge is to feel accepted in that worship place. A church, or a cathedral. Maybe for you, it's a synagogue. And isn't it mind boggling how those walls are suppose to be the closest thing to peace we can get, but we as people often wonder 'is it wrong for me to be here?' 'do I belong?" "they fear you because they ain't ready for your type of holy" This quote was like a quick throat jab when I read it. Your type of holy. Because who said I am not holy and loved by a powerful and gracious God because I love her. Who said you're not, either? And fear, many people fear what they don't understand, homosexuality, racism, poverty, and every other difference there is. Clint ends his poem with the following: "all we got is what we name ourselves otherwise I am just a room you are just a body and we know how wrong that is" So I ask, reader, what do you name yourself? The black boy? The lesbian? Or maybe you're just the body. How wrong is that, or is it even wrong? To end this post, I would also like to shout out the girl who asked if lesbians go to church with such shock and disbelief wrapped around each word as she spoke.
Yes, we do.
Welcome, this is blog post 2.
Touch me, I am begging you. Start at my hips. Make me drip. Split me in two. Don't be afraid of the scars, the scratches, or the secrets, Make me water.
Water by Nikita Gill When they ask you why you love the rain, the ocean, the river, tell them it is because unlike the people who should have loved you better, the water was never afraid to touch you; even when you were at your most damaged and broken
As a writer, I understand how Gill feels about water. Take in the simplicity yet the power the water holds in translucence, then soak in the vulnerability Gill created with the poem. Notice how she made her words flow like that river, the steadiness of the rain with her diction, and feel the ocean waves hit you with emotion. Allow the tides to take you under.
Simplicity. How the poem is just about water, right? Like all the choices you make are just about the moment then. Gill made the water sound powerful. As if it actually did glide it's fingertips on every crack she has in her skin, in her soul as the water runs through the river, the ocean, and rain.
Vulnerability. Our writer just wanted to be wanted at her most damaged and broken. For comfort, she found the simplicit water. Maybe you found Hershey Kisses and Netflix.
Emotion. Do you feel like a river when you read this? Do you long the rain fall and water driplits to touch your skin in every way no one else has? What does this water make you feel? More than just wet. This poem is more than just water.
By gathering in the simplicity, vulnerability, and emotion into the writing, Gill was able to make something miraculous about something as every day, ordinary, water.
While writing this reflection, I have been trying so hard to imitate an essay by Hanif Abdurraqib titled Carly Rae Jepsen Loves you Back in his collection They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us. What I noticed that writer do, is he just wrote. Simply. And maybe that is what we need more of. More simplicity in our writing. More authenticity. Explore with the alphabet, create with these 26 letters. Draft something beautiful, tie a bow and say 'here, find joy in this. find the simplicity and let it make you volunerable.'
I Am Offering this Poem By Jimmy Santiago Baca https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/53092/i-am-offering-this-poem
I received this poem from Mrs. Hillard-- thank you for offering us this poem to analyze, explore, and so on.
Today's blog post is gonna be ran a bit different. When I graduate, I want to be Mrs. Hillard, (okay not technically Mrs. Hillard but a high school English teacher just like her,) For this post, I Am Offering a Lesson. Today, we are learning about the 5-S's of analysis and using the poem I Am Offering this Poem as our text to analyze, welcome to my classroom.
1. Sentences-- What are the KEY lines? And the students recognize the repetition of 'I love yous', how Baca creates a theme of winter, and how all he has to give his is words. 2. Shifts-- Where does the poem change? This S also plays a role into structure. (That part is next, calm down) And the students recognize that the poem he is offering begins with "I have nothing else to give you" and ends with "I love you," They see how indented the "I love you" lies and they notice S 3. 3. Structure-- Where are the line breaks, repetition? Where is the craft? How was this poem molded? And the students seek to understand why those shifts exist. They notice all the commas and admire where each one lies. They see the period at the end. And some may ask, is that period really marking the end? 4. Speaker-- Don't just tell me it's Baca speaking this text. What is his point of view? His attitude? And some students say, he is in love. They live happily ever after. And some say, he's heart broken. He wants her back.
Now, we are coming to our very last S, and our last few minutes in class. I will begin to tell you what the last S is and I ask you to write a response on notebook paper and leave it on your desk.
5. Summary-- What happens in the poem? Sum it all up. And the student sitting closest to me writes: He is saying I love you, goodbye. All he has left is his words, all he is leaving is his words. You're not just reading his poem, but his suicide not. He wants you to remember that he loves you, he just doesn't love himself, right now. He won't be there to eat dinner together, to see you eat that corn. Just as the flowers wilt in the winter, he dies too. He says "I love you" Period.
The bell has now rung. You gather your books and I shout that this poem is all I have to give you, today. And I teach. Periods and periods after.
Rain, New Year's Eve By: Maggie Smith http://www.versedaily.org/2017/rainnewyearseve.shtml
I remember sitting in a long blue couch in this woman's office, trying to explain to her that when it gets hot outside, I get hot headed. How when its fall, I fall apart, and when everything else dies in the winter, a piece of me does, too. How rainy days are bad days, and it is so hard to not drown from those water droplets.
Then, one awfully rainy day in yoga class, I sat on the floor taking deep breaths as I was a twisted pretzel listening to the rain drops thud against the roof as if they were mighty stones. I said to myself that if I wasn't afraid, that I would embrace rain. I wouldn't look at dreary window panes and say well, here goes another shitty day. I would say, man, look at all those puddles I want to jump into. I would be brave. And it is now an epiphany that I live by. It's an epiphany I think Maggie Smith also lives by in her poem "Rain, New Years Eve."
Maggie begins her poem with the line The rain is a broken piano, playing the same note over and over again. Then alerts her readers that it was her five-year-old daughter who said that, and in other words, informs the readers that her daughter already knows that you have to love the imperfectness of life, a symbolism for the rain.
Smith ends the poem with Let me listen to the rain's one note and hear a beginner's song. Creating her epiphany because before it is evident the author did not embrace the imperfectness of life, since she did indeed think the rain was a broken piano. Before she did not love the wobbles she couldn't shim or the creaks she couldn't oil silent. She wants to love the world like a mother, be tender when the world fails her, and hear a song of a beginner.
Perhaps Smith's poem wasn't written on a rainy New Years Eve day, but perhaps it was written when she had the epiphany, when she wanted to change. I believe Maggie wrote this piece when she wanted to finally love the imperfectness of the world. When she finally wanted to love the cold rain's plinking.
The Princess Saves Herself in This One A Collection by Amanda Lovelace
In Amanda Lovelace's collection of modern poetry titled The Princess Saves Herself in This One she breaks the book into 4 chapters. 1. The Princess. 2. The Damsel. 3. The Queen and 4. You. All four chapters illustrate a theme of acceptance, body image, and learning to love yourself so much that you can defy society. Amanda uses technique of structure to create a unique style and her book creates a powerful message.
1. The Princess. "at eleven years old the doctor weighed me & afterward, my mother told me i was too fat & that i needed to diet immediately. for an entire year, food barely passed my lips. i did not even allow myself to take a sip of water because i wanted to be so thin that i could blow away with the slightest breeze-- d i s s a p p e a r . i dropped sixty pounds in a few short months & i had to wear long sleeves to cover up my only catharsis. -everyone told me how good i looked, though " This chapter of the book is a series of poems of how our author was young, eleven during this early memory. This chapter reveals how much she cared about society and the fear she had wrapped around her of not being what society wanted. She cared so deeply for what her mother, and even what her doctor thought of her that she starved herself. This princess in young and naive. Believing more of what the world tells her than herself.
2. The Damsel "when my dragon with the green eyes left,
i took a knife & cut off all my long, pretty hair, taking away the only thing he ever loved about me -over before it began. " Again, we see where our writer cares so much about her image, that she changed her apperance not because she wanted to, but because she did it out of spite of her dragon, an ex-lover. A dragon she soon realizes she needed saving from. Our now damsel creates a theme of not only image in this chapter, but loss and the need of being saved. And she doesn't believe she can do it herself, just not yet.
3. The Queen "once upon a time, the princess rose from the ashes her dragon lovers made of her & crowned herself the motherfucking queen of herself. -hows that for a happily ever after?" And now our princess, who turned damsel, has now realized she is a queen. Her poem symbolizes her growth as she calls out her dragons, as she crowns herself, and as she learns to defy society and not use a dainty term to call herself nothing but 'the motherfucking queen'. An irony move Lovelace makes in this poem. As society, we expect nothing but poise and proper from royalty. Here, our writer gives us something raw. A plot twist to the story. All along our writer has been obeying society and listening to others louder than she does herself.
4. You "you are not obligated to have children just because your body has that capability
you are so so so much more than the possibility of children
you give birth to oceans every single day. -your friendly man hater and child eater" Our writer can now assure her reader of thing such as image and society because she does so herself. Our writer has grown to nourish herself and is able to spread that nourishment with others. She exemplifies the power she holds to defy society by calling herself a man hater and child eater, things you do not expect to hear from the mother effing queen.
This is just one of my favorite poems from the collection that I would like to include in the post because it is so inspiring as a writer, enjoy.
"write the story. push your hands into the dirtiest parts of yourself
take the rot and decay and turn it into nourishment and life
water it and sing to it and show it sunlight
grow a beautiful garden from your aching and teach yourself how to thrive from it
write your story. - the sign you've been waiting for."