My initial reaction to the poem “A Smile” is I have lots of questions. The poem has a meaning beyond its contents. It is a depressing and sad poem to read. For example the title “A Smile” is meaning to put on a smile to hide your sadness. I have many questions about the work. Such as, why is there breaks in the stanza between lines? Also there is part where there is three * in a stanza and I don’t know what that means. I would assume it is to cause effect and let the lines sink in as the reader reads them slowly. I also am wondering why is there so many allusions and why you decided to specifically put the ones you chose in the poem. They add to the work and also help develop the poems theme. The theme has to do with having dreams and not achieving them which causes sadness. The allusions back this up. I also am wondering why you made the first stanza about a song by the Eagles. I think the poem “A Smile” is about a person who had big dreams and is doesn’t reach them and is dealing with sadness. I conclude this idea because all the allusions deal with sadness and the title has a deeper meaning. The poem could also be that a reader will read this and work harder to make sure the feeling that the writer feels will not happen to him. All the allusions are effective but some are more important than others. The allusion “Hearing mermaids sing, but none to me” is the most important allusion because it shows how the mermaids will sing to about everybody but do not sing to him. This shows he is not wanted and is sad about this. Also the allusion “As dreamers lie” is important because it shows how dreams are lies and not real. Also the quote shows how dreams are not achievable to this person and he is a waste. Many of the allusions are useful, but these two in particular are very important to the poem an its theme.