blog no. 8 no smiles here

Reading the title “a smile,” I immediately thought this was going to be a nice, happy, and laid back poem. Boy was I dead wrong. This poem did everything but make me smile. My first read through this poem had me so lost, and I had no clue what was going on. My initial thought was that it looked like a bunch of words were thrown onto a piece of paper. Having a number of different stanzaic forms for sure threw me off. My first question I would have would be why the different types of stanzaic forms? Why was the poem organized the way it was? I had no idea if it was just for presentation, or if there was some sort of deep philosophical meaning behind it.
After reading this poem a billion times, and barely knowing what the hell was going on, I came to the conclusion that this poem was about someone who’s hurt, depressed, anything but smiling, faking a smile and painting a persona of happiness. The bear is a metaphor for problems. This person is being chased by his problems, and he can’t escape. I merely thought the title “a smile” was ironic due to this being one of the most depressing poems I’ve read. Well after a discussion in class, we were told that the title is so much more than just the title. It plays a big role into the theme of the poem. So I scratched that idea of the poem being a joke, and started fresh again. I was struggling a lot trying to decipher what in the world was going on. If it weren’t for the help of other classmates and the footnotes at the bottom I would be completely lost. Other than complaining, I was a big fan of the Eagle’s reference and having Hotel California, Already Gone, and Love Will Keep Us Alive being used as allusions throughout the poem.
I’m not saying I disliked the poem, yes it was very confusing, but if it’s a good poem you can’t just read it once and understand what’s going on.

blog no. 8 no smiles here

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