Friday, November 16, 2007

"Where the Sidewalk Ends" By Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

I like this poem mostly because it is about sidewalks. To me, sidewalks represent a whole other universe full of people and conversation and kids playing, it's what in a lot of communities allows them to unite. One of my favorite lines in this poem is when Silverstein says, "Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow, We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow." I like this line because it reminds me of the book "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn," because when I picture this scene i picture a flower growing up through the cracks in a sidewalk, much like a tree that grows through one. I also like how the second half of the line is repeated again later in the poem. The repetition of this line gives a scene of calmness, there is not rush, they are just observing life around them. This poem paints a beautiful picture using something we are all familiar with, sidewalks.

Friday, October 19, 2007

"Let me not to the marriage of true minds" By Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

In my personal opinion this poem is the definition of an iconic poem. The reason being it is incredible well known and represents the time period that could be referred to as, "the era of Shakespeare." The language in this poem and the idea that love never "alters". It just represents everything Shakespeare was known for, his tragic yet o so romantic love stories. The words he used and images he portrays are ones that could never be recreated or ever be forgotten. Almost all of Shakespeare's works could be considered iconic because they are known so well and represent everything about his time period.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

"Mirror" By Sylvia Plath

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful --
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

This poem, although written by a very "dark" poet, has something special. Reflections are such an amazing thing to talk about because they are you and no one else. When looking at your reflection you can't hide anything or pretend, for that time, in the mirror, or in water, what's looking back is exactly what is there, imperfections and all. My favorite lines of this poem are in the beginning when she says, "I have no preconceptions. Whatever I see I swallow immediately" and then later she states, "I am not cruel, only truthful." These three lines are what i believe makes the poem come to life. Making the mirror seem real, like it's a person not judging you and not holding any grudges. Although towards the end of the poem it gets to be a little bit more depressing when it speaks of the young girl lost within the women. I believe this poem has a whole is beautiful and worthy of reading.

Monday, October 8, 2007

"Sick" By Shel Silverstein

'I cannot go to school today, '
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
'I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more-that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut-my eyes are blue-
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke-
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is-what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is...Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play! '

I love this poem because of the way it is written. When reading it you feel as if it is truly a young child speaking. It's a poem that has the ability to bring back the child within you. You can't help but wonder if you ever sounded like this when attempting to fake sick. I love at the end when this the little child finds out it is Saturday. It's funny because all that effort to stay home from school and then to find out it is a weekend, it makes you smile! Some of the excuses used are so funny, it just makes the poem interesting to read and more enjoyable!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

"The Road Not Taken" By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long i stood
And looked down one as far as i could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if i should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, a I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Making choices is, in some cases, a very hard thing to do. Sometimes they can be easy like what you will have for dinner tonight and other times they are tough and more long lasting such as where you will spend the next four years of you life. For instance, in this poem the speaker comes across two paths in which he has to choose one to continue on. While seeming simple, he makes the decision seem life altering. Does he take the road less traveled on or the one that has been worn? At first glance it seems the underlining theme in this poem is to be self-reliant and not follow everyone else. This can be seen through the description of the two different roads. But, as you approach the end, it seems the theme has changed. When Frost states, "I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference," the poems meaning shifts. It seems now as if the speaker is trying to say, that at some point we all have to make choices and we can never know if they mean anything until we have lived through them. I love to read this poem because it gives me a sense of peacefulness. Like no matter what decision or "road" you choose, as long as you make the best of it, and choose it for the right reasons, you can be happy. So, when coming to a fork in the road, think of this poem and smile!

Friday, September 21, 2007

"Famous" by Naomi Shihab Nye

The river is famous to the fish.

The loud voice is famous to the silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.

The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.

The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.

The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.

The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.

The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it,
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.

I want to be famous to the shuffling men,
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.


I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it did.

This is one of my favorite poems.I like it because it gives a sense of being, every object or person is important to something. My favorite line in this poem is when Nye states, "the tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek." This statement is so real. In those few short words she brings about such a deep visual of a tear drop cascading down someones cheek. By using objects such as a tear, a buttonhole, boots, shoes, and a photograph this poem comes alive in such a beautiful way. It's so true when she says, "the bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it, and not at all famous to the one who is pictured." I've never really thought about it but that is such an honest statement. A photo means so much more to the person who holds it and looks at it then to the person who is merely posing in it. I love that statement. Then there is the last stanza which ties everything together. The speaker states she wants to be just like a pulley or a buttonhole, her reason being "not because it did anything spectacular, but because it never forgot what it did." A wonderful end to a beautiful, simple poem with such an amazing meaning.