My first reaction to the poem, A Smile, was that I was confused and wasn’t a big fan of it for that reason. The poem had a lot going on with no rhyme or reason to it. The poem didn’t follow stanzaic form and didn’t have a specific rhyme scheme that I was able to pick out. However, I did find that the poem had some allusions buried within it . The allusion that helped me understand it a bit was “so much depends upon”. This statement means that life depends on the small things. Also when it is stated “reliant self” I was able to understand that everything in life depends on your choices and you have to make yourself happy. I feel like if we analyzed and read it together in class I would understand better but for the most part I’m pretty clueless about the overall message. My question is how do the footnotes tie in to the poem because I found they were throwing me off even more. The poet made sure to include some pretty complex vocabulary most of which I didn’t understand. I had to read lines multiple times in order to have half a clue what the poet was trying to get across. Some questions I have are why does the poem not follow a specific stanzaic form and why are there so many allusions found within? Also what is the theme that is trying to be presented? The poet has a very negative outlook in this poem. Maybe someone in the speakers left them but besides that guess I’m unsure of why it turns so negative as the poem goes on. I guess the end of the poem is meant to say that although life may be awful and miserable at one point you need to live it to its fullest. I’d say that, in my eyes the poem is about having to create happiness for yourself because you are the one that has any control over it. It’s your choice to be miserable in life or to have a positive outlook and live your life to the fullest.
My experience with poetry was a pretty rough one and I have concluded that I am far from being a poet. Having to write poetry made me realize just how difficult it is. While writing the poems there were times I wanted to throw something across the room and scream. Just when I thought my poem was sounding half decent a problem would arise, usually in the syllable count. Coming up with topics to write about and trying to make meaning of them was pretty difficult but I survived. Before this year, I avoided poetry like the plague because it was always taught in such a boring way. In 8th grade the same poems were played over and over again until you wished you hearing would just go. A lot of teachers would shove one specific theme down your throat instead of allowing you to interpret it your own way which made me really hate it. Interpretation of poetry has always been a weakness for me because I usually have no idea what is going on because some poets feel the need to whip out all these fancy words. My experience with poetry this year has been better than the rest, but id still prefer to pretend it doesn’t exist.
When I was informed we were writing poetry, I wasn’t too thrilled but I figured I could whip up a nice free verse poem. Then I read the directions and my hopes and dreams of my poem being a simple free verse were squashed like a bug.Writing the poems in stanzaic form stressed me out but once I got the hang of it I was able to stress a little less. Once I got the rhythm down I knew I could do it, even though I didnt want to. After creating poems, I give some serious credit to poets. I couldnt imagine writing poetry on a regular basis. After the poetry unit I have decided to give poetry more of a chance instead of automatically hating it. Overall I believe I kind of have a love/ hate relationship with poetry because some poems have good life lessons but some I just cant understand at all which makes me frustrated.