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Category Archive for 'Poetry'

Metaphor in “The Road of the Dread”

“The Road of the Dread” is the most interesting of the Lorna Goodison poems in the collection for class.  It is written in the phonetic Jamaican dialect, which made it a fun challenge to read.  Like everyone else who has posted so far, I had to read through it a few times to make sure […]

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The selected poems we read by Lorna Goodison are fascinating in their contrast. “The Road of the Dread,” for example, is vastly different than any of Goodison’s other poems because it is written with phonetic spelling in the dialect of her native Jamaica. And look no fi no milepost fi measure you walking and no […]

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Nomenclatures of Invisibility by Mahtem Shiferraw My ancestors are made with water— blue on the sides, and green down the spine; when we travel, we lose brothers at sea and do not stop to grieve. Our mothers burn with a fire that does not let them be; they whisper our names nomenclatures of invisibility honey-dewed faces, […]

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Dark and Lovely After Take-Off (A Future) by Yona Harvey Nobody straightens their hair anymore. Space trips & limited air supplies will get you conscious quick. My shea-buttered braids glow planetary as I turn unconcerned, unburned by the pre-take-off bother. “Leave it all behind,” my mother’d told me, sweeping the last specs of copper thread […]

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The poems “Character” and “Border” are both about the patriarchy and how they hold the female speakers back in life. In the poem “Character,” the speaker has to take the first steps from her sheltered home, but if she does there will be men who are harassing her every step of the way, while in […]

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Our sweet soldiers wanted nothing for themselves. All they ever asked was to come home safe. In this poem, Dahlia Ravikovitch expresses a spontaneous reaction to a political and military event. Her poems are engaged, and just by being an Israeli writer, she is de facto politically engaged and apprehended with prejudices, good or bad […]

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A Study of Birds in the Collection

Dahilia Ravilovitch, “The Sound of Birds at Noon” “The Sound of Birds at Noon” is a very different poem than the others in Ravilovitch’s collection. The lines “They sing without giving us a thought,” “Some are rare, some are common,/but every wing is grace,” “This chirp is entirely free of malice” employ an entirely different voice […]

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While there are some aspects of Taslima Nasrin’s poems that specifically relate to life in Bangladesh, the feminist themes are very relevant in America – and across the world – today. Her poem “Character” begins with a message that is drilled into women’s heads from the start: “You’re a girl/ and you’d better not forget” […]

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Courage and Conviction in “Border”

Taslima Nasrin’s poem “Border” is told from the point of view of a woman fantasizing about leaving her family for a life of freedom.  Interestingly, she intends on returning, which is different from many stories with this theme.  The narrator is Hindi, and from the limited research I did on the roles of women in […]

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“Character” and Inequality

“Character” might be one of the shorter poems in the set we read for class, but it has one of the clearest voices.  “You’re a girl/ and you’d better not forget…” Nasrin writes in the opening lines, sounding both accusatory and commanding at the same time.  As the poem continues, though, we learn that she […]

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“At the Back of Progress…” raises an interesting question: is true equality ever guaranteed? It’s been almost 54 years since the Civil Rights Act was passed, and yet we are still fighting racism on a daily basis in this country; women are still fighting for equal pay and reproductive rights, though it’s been decades since […]

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After every war someone has to tidy up. Things won’t pick themselves up, after all. In reading the selected poems by Wislaw Szymborska, I found that her work entitled “The End and The Beginning” stood out to me the most. In researching her life, I found that her work was often inspired by her experience […]

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In this poem, Szymborska writes about the destruction war can cause and the time and healing the effects of the war have, but with that comes the beginning of a new life. The overall choice of words by the implies the serious narrative to this poem, thus pulling the reader visualize and feel the effects […]

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Interpreting “Theater Impressions”

As someone who admittedly does not read a lot of poetry, I was somewhat confused upon first reading Wislawa Szymborska’s collection. Even upon reading them a second time, there was still a bit of confusion there. Despite that, I was particularly intrigued by “Theater Impressions” from the beginning. When you ask most people what their […]

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I agree with the introductory line that Wislaw Szymborska creates a “detached sympathy with her subjects.” This is important when dealing with poetry because it has a bad reputation for getting too sappy and cheesy. I firmly blame this on the overabundance of love poems in our culture. By providing the readers with a bit of […]

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Try to Praise the Mutilated World by Adam Zagajewski Try to praise the mutilated world. Remember June’s long days, and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine. The nettles that methodically overgrow the abandoned homesteads of exiles. You must praise the mutilated world. You watched the stylish yachts and ships; one of them had a long […]

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Szymborska writes in a pointed, direct style that is lyrical at the same time.  Some of her poems, like “Reality Demands” and “The End and the Beginning,” discuss events from World War II.  Out of all the poems in these selected works, “Under a Certain Little Star” is my favorite.  The whole poem speaks to […]

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I usually don’t read poetry, but I enjoyed Wislawa Szymborska’s poems. She is a very subtle writer, and it’s amazing to me that her work was translated from Polish to English so successfully. I particularly liked her poem “Unexpected Meeting,” and the way she utilized imagery to say something about what her characters were feeling […]

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Leila Chatti, “Motherland”

Motherland by Leila Chatti What kind of world will we leave __________for our mothers? My mother calls me, weeping. I am __________far and the country she gave me could kill me. Or __________that’s what she’s saying, her voice clumsy with tears—my mother __________who never cries, and so for this, too, apologizes. Sometimes, more __________often, I […]

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Persistence of Vision: Televised Confession by Solmaz Sharif You are like a daughter to me—the prisoner’s mother tells me. Meal by meal she sets then clears. She rinses some tablewear the prisoner never held, then a glass she did, then recalls her daughter’s mouth opening softly to drink water on state- run TV, then water […]

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Apology from a Muslim Orphan by Tarfia Faizullah I know you know how to shame into obedience the long chain tethering lawnmower to fence. And in your garden are no chrysanthemums, no hem of lace from the headscarf I loose for him at my choosing. Around my throat still twines a thin line from when, in […]

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Fatimah Asghar, “WWE”

WWE by Fatimah Asghar Here’s your auntie, in her best gold-threaded shalwaar kameez, made small by this land of american men. Everyday she prays. Rolls attah & pounds the keema at night watches the bodies of these glistening men. Big and muscular, neck full of veins, bulging in the pen. Her eyes kajaled & wide, […]

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The Ghazal

The text below is taken from poets.org: The ghazal is composed of a minimum of five couplets—and typically no more than fifteen—that are structurally, thematically, and emotionally autonomous. Each line of the poem must be of the same length, though meter is not imposed in English. The first couplet introduces a scheme, made up of […]

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Leila Chatti, “Mubtadiyah”

Mubtadiyah by Leila Chatti (Arabic) Beginner: One who sees blood for the first time. “And indeed, [appointed] over you are keepers, Noble and recording; They know whatever you do.” —The Holy Quran 82: 10-12 Hidden in a dim stall as the muezzin called all worshipers to prayer, I touched privately the indelible stain. And watched, […]

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