You can find the poem here: https://rifflesandslicks.blogspot.com/2018/01/a-landscape-by-carl-dennis.html
Appearance is everything, right? I know my parents have stressed that ever since I was able to dress myself. There are certain 'rules' we expect every member of society to follow and when someone doesn't meet those expectations, we judge them. In "A Landscape" by Carl Dennis, he uses the painting of a barn and barnyard at sundown to point out how ironic it is that we judge by appearances.
Dennis uses the painting of a barn and barnyard at sundown to suggest that, "We don’t always have to distrust appearances." Now this is certainly funny, because I highly doubt that the barn looks like it does in the painting all the time, so how can I not distrust appearances, but that is the point Dennis is making through his use of irony. He is attempting to say that,"...if we gave ourselves more often to the task of witnessing," we would be able to find beauty wherever we looked.
Sure in broad daylight the barn and barnyard might seem like a regular old barn and barnyard, but if we took the time to actually witness them, we would find, quite like the painter did, that they are both quite simplistically beautiful. Dennis ends the poem by stating, "When the usual veil of dust and smoke/ is lifted a moment and things appear/ to resemble closely what in fact they are." We can't judge things on just one passing glance because we just don't know. You don't know how beautiful that person may be when they are smiling, quite like how the artist wouldn't have seen the beauty in the barn and barnyard if they hadn't waited for sunset.
In this poem, Kaur is advocating for self-love. She describes it as, "...i am the longest relationship/of my life." Thinking of self-love in this way, as a relationship, makes the do's and don'ts easier to achieve. You wouldn't shame your significant other for not having abs, a perfect smile, or a big butt. That would cause loads of problems which would eventually, if not immediately, lead to the end of the relationship. So why would you do that to yourself? You are only causing loads of problems for yourself, but the difference is that these problems cannot be fixed by ending a relationship.
One key thing to notice in this poem is Kaur's choice of the word "nurture." She asks, "...isn't it time to/nurture intimacy/and love..." To nurture is to care for and encourage the growth or development of something, or, in this case, love and intimacy. When I think of the word, I think about nurturing something back to health. When you are doing this, you are gentle and kind and most importantly you don't rush. With this word, Kaur is telling the reader to be gentle with yourself and to know that this will take time; nurturing love and intimacy for yourself will take time.
Kaur ends the poem with: "...with the person/i lie in bed with each night." This is a nod back to her thinking of self-love as a relationship. I know may parents have told me that no matter how bad their argument was that day, they could never go to sleep angry with each other; not only is this not healthy for a relationship, it's not healthy for a person physically. So why then, would you go to bed angry or upset or disgusted with yourself each night? You are your longest relationship and, just like any other relationship, it should be joyful and full of love.
Everything that is holding you back is a thing that has clipped your wings. In this poem, Nikita Gill means to remind us that we are stronger than the thing that is trying to destroy us, it is just a matter of learning how to fly again. At the beginning of the poem, Gill tells the reader, "...you were made of the sky/ do you remember that?" as a means to remind them of what they were before they were torn down; to remind them that they were something once before this hazardous thing, which means they can be something again without it.
She goes on to describe that, "they tried to remold you/ into something/ easier for them to understand," to show the reader that it isn't their fault this is happening; it isn't their fault that they can't understand you the way you once were. In the middle of the poem, Gill states that, "Nothing about this was ever/ going to be easy, freedom was built/ on backs and bones and blood." This is the turning point of the poem. Gill is trying to show the reader just how not easy this is going to be by describing how freedom was once built.
Gill ends the poem on a strong, suggestive note. "Watch them quiver as you rise again...Show them what happens when they try/ to steal the voices born of the sky,/ become your own battlecry." She rhymes the very last stanza, which makes the message she is trying to convey more appealing. Gill is attempting to show the reader just what they can be if they teach themselves to fly again. The tables will be turned; they will be liberated and will strike fear in the hearts of the ones who tried to tear them done.
How exhausted she had become
trying to please someone who could not be
Bending herself backwards and
turning herself inside out
was simply not enough
She had been lucky to see what she really was
who she really was
the whole field not just a blade of grass
She is A Woman
strong enough to accept nothing
less than her worth
strong enough to leave him
She is An Example
to any and all
you do not need to bend over
backwards and turn inside out
you do not need them to prove you exist
You exist and can exist
all on your own
In the original poem, the author writes about a girl's maturation journey to learning that she can exist without another. In the first two stanzas, the girl starts out by being things that she wants to be, but he refused to support her in any way. In the following three stanzas, the girl simply settles for lesser and lesser objects that would make everything easier for him; even when all he has to do is let her grow, he still refuses to support her. In the last stanza, the girl decides to become a woman and even though he refuses to become a man, she decides that she will be okay; the "deciding," instead of settling and "being okay," instead of continuously changing, means that she has matured and realized that she can exist without him.
In this poem, Parker works to further destroy the simplified and romanticized narratives about black identity and how it is perpetuated in a century of popular culture.
The number of words with a negative connotation outweighs the number of words with a positive connotation. "Dyke, thot, loud, ratchet, exotic, " are just a few words that show how black girls are viewed. "Sex," is the only word in this poem that is repeated, thirteen times to be exact. Parker is pointing out how black girls are mainly seen for their bodies and not their personalities; they are people too, but they aren't portrayed that way.
Parker also mentions celebrities such as, "Michelle Obama, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, and Wanda Sykes," to show that there is no one-story that fits all black girls; that you cannot boil us all down to the color of our skin and the size of our hips. Black girls can be first-ladies and famous popstars. They can be powerful political leaders and great mothers. They are more than just the stereotypes we tape them too, but even when they become more, they are still held back by these stereotypes.
Ending the poem with the word, "lost," Parker means to show how these black girls feel after having to live with all of this. It's quite like how you might of felt after reading this very confusing, more than thirteen reasons, poem. With constantly being told how you should act and who you should be, it's only natural that you lose who you truly are along the way. You watch even the celebrities, who are supposed to be above all of this, being torn down because of something they cannot control and it's quite frustrating. Parker writes this poem to all the black girls out there to show them that they are not the only one's fighting this battle and that while they may never escape all of these judgmental eyes, they can make themselves into anything they want to be.
In this poem, Smith uses a meteor as a metaphor for the struggle to leave your beginnings and make something of yourself. Smith grew up in a small town in New Orleans and while he was better off than most, it was still an uphill battle to be able to leave.
He starts off by saying, "I heard that meteor showers are almost always named after, the constellation from which they originate." He goes on to explain how he thinks it's funny that even the universe is showing you that you can't get too far from the place that created you.
For Smith, just like for most black boys, getting away is supposed to be just that; they want to leave everything behind. Smith explains the things that they have to go through as the journey that the meteor has to take to get to Earth; "...enter a new atmosphere, become subsumed in flames, turn to dust, lose ourselves in the wind, and scatter the surface beneath us..."
Even after being turned to dust, there is still a part of home in that meteor just like even after the black boy has left his hometown and made a name for himself, there is apart of home that will never leave him.
Hello! My name is Corrina and I am in my senior year of high school. One thing most people do not know about me is that I love anything cinematic, from movies to tv shows to anime. My perfect day would be lying on a nice plush surface with plenty of unhealthy snacks, hot tea or cocoa, and as many films/t.v. shows that I can watch. This might be because I have an insanely big sweet tooth, but I also love to bake. My grandma is a master at anything that deals with food, but baking is her specialty. She's been making my family's birthday cakes for as long as I can remember and I always enjoy helping her, partially because I get to lick the bowl, but mostly because I love being around her. Even in this cruel world, I thrive off helping people. I grew up watching my mother struggle with lots of things, but she still found the time to help anyone who needed it. I want to be just as selfless as she is. I want to make sure that everyone knows that they are kind, smart, and important. I think this is why I was drawn to the fields of teaching and psychology. I'd like to pursue both as majors in college with the hopes of bettering as many lives as I can. As my favorite captain has said, "No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."