Category Archives: Poetry

Poem: “Hikari”

To you, I write “happy birthday”.
On this day, October 20, 2016,
You are eighteen, with stars
In your eyes and the same fire
In your chest that you had when I
First met you, and you walked into
A room not knowing quite what to expect,
But illuminating us nonetheless.
And now, after so short a time,
You will soon have left
To light up rooms so far from home
As we miss the warmth you gave,
Gleaming up there on stage
Or through headphones, like candles
Late at night, in grim places that
Needed a little glow when we couldn’t
Find the beam of your smile
Because it was shining somewhere else.
Eighteen now, you’re a flame in the dark,
A star in cold space, and I know
You will defy physics, and grow,
Not collapse, even as the universe
Changes around you.
You’ll be dazzling all the same.

Poem: “Letter of Resignation”

I don’t miss you.

I don’t miss you
The way I used to.
I don’t miss you at all.

I’ll take the buses
To where I saw you
Every day, where you’ve left
Not a trace.

I’ll play the songs
You sung to me
And hear only emptiness.

I’ll search for what
I buried to find there’s
Nothing left in the ground
But corpses.

I’ll look up at the sky
And see stars that don’t burn
For anything at all.

I don’t miss you.
I can’t miss what was never there.

A Poison Tree by William Blake written analysis

This a short written analysis of “A Poison Tree”

I would like some feedback before the 12th of June (this Friday) which is when my english exam is on.

Thanks, Jason Li 10L

“A Poison Tree” by William Blake is a relatively short but interesting poem. The poem is the narrator telling the story of two scenarios. The first and also shorter scenario is the narrator being angry with his friend and telling the friend about the anger which has no consequences. The second scenario is the narrator being angry with his enemy. He doesn’t tell the anger and it grows stronger. The narrator’s foe is eventually poisoned and killed by an apple that the tree bore. This explains the satisfied tone of the poem as it written in the past tense. By the end of the poem his revenge is complete so he is satisfied.

The narrator has already experienced both scenarios and the purpose of the poem is to teach others and for them to not repeat the same mistake. This can be seen clearly through the title of the poem. The use of the word “A” instead of “The” is significant. The tree can only refer to one tree and cannot be any other tree but a tree can be any tree. This is to imply that what happened to the narrator can happen to anybody and is not just his own experience.

The poem has quite a simple structure. The poem is comprised of four quatrains each one with the rhyme scheme of AABB. This means that for each stanza the first two lines rhyme and the last two lines rhyme. This links up the two lines and better expresses the meaning. The story of the narrator is also told mainly in two line blocks such as the first two; “I was angry with my friend; / I told my wrath, my wrath did end.” The second line explains the first and is rhymed. The poem is also written in iambic tetrameter which means that each line has four feet of an unstressed and stressed syllable making eight syllables in total (4 stressed and 4 unstressed). An example would be the second line;

“I told my wrath, my wrath did end” As shown, every second syllable is stressed which adds a certain flow to it and is easier to read and understand.

The most notable techniques used are metaphors and personification. The poison tree is the central metaphor as it is not actually referring to a tree but the narrator’s anger which can “grow day and night”. This is a personification as although a tree can grow anger cannot. This just refers to the narrator’s anger becoming stronger. This metaphor continues throughout the entire poem and there are many references to it such as the narrator watering the tree in fears. A tree can be “waterd” to help it grow but this refers to the reader helping his fear to grow stronger.

William Blake has effectively used the central metaphor of a tree being his anger for an enemy to convey his past experiences. Through this poem he warns us about keeping a grudge.

Sonnet- Jason Li 10L

Locusts

The farmers look toward the evening sky
An orange glow illuminates the land
Sickles stand by as harvest time draws nigh
Never witnessed before, a land so grand

Western zephyrs, a dark cloud encroaches
A low buzz, becomes a deafening roar
A soft breeze, now a gust, approaches
A peaceful sky, now chaotic in war

There is no mercy; they proceed to feed
Like a Devil’s newest incarnation
There is no mercy; they are driven by greed
Leaving behind trails of desolation

Sickles fall down as harvest time draws nigh
Never witnessed before, a land so dry

The poet and the songstress

This is a story about a poet and a songstress with a problem,

The songstress’ problem

It couldn’t be solved by a thousand compliments or ten thousand ovations,

Only the poet understood,

She wanted to push herself further and further, past her own limits

He understood because he, too, was a creator, and he had often encountered those limits,

So the poet began to sing,

For the songstress,

It was the song of chrysalis,

This chrysalis was more beautiful than any gem in the world,

Any who saw it, praised it,

But hidden within, there was an even more beautiful truth,

“Wings slumber inside you”

A burst of lightning coursed through the songstress’ body,

“Will you stay in that hard, cramped she’ll forever?

Is that what you truly desire?”

It is not

The poet’s song was like a spider’s thread, catching the songstress’ hard, tiny heart,

And wrapping itself around it,

The poet continued to sing,

He sang so that she could be true to herself,

The song became a sharp jaw,

Placing its fangs against the shell surrounding her,

“You needn’t hide yourself in anything”

With quivering hands, the songstress sloughed off her shell, as if in a strange enchantment,

She no longer saw the poet himself before her,

A comforting gaze, a hot breath like fire,

The smell of excitement, his very existence had become a song,

Her clear skin, that had captivated millions,

Was exposed to the wavering light,

“How beautiful,

You’re so beautiful”

More. Show me more

It’s all right”

The poets words were a sweet poison,

Spreading through her heart.

And the blue sky was there,

The songstress will be reborn,

She will throw off her false cocoon,

To become a free papillon,

And fly off, into the distant blue sky,

As she really exists, in her true form,

“Fly! take flight to a new world!

Fly!”

It was neither fear nor pain,

Let alone regret,

It was a height of joy she had never known,,

An overwhelming feeling of liberation,

The songstress died..

And a true songstress was born.

Poem: Cerulean Shroud

Image source: http://wallpaperswide.com/blue_clouds-wallpapers.html
Image source: http://wallpaperswide.com/blue_clouds-wallpapers.html

Yesterday was like one of those days,

But it wasn’t.
It was unlike none of those days.
But it was.

It began with an overcast sky,
A huddled figure.
His mouth veiled behind a cerulean shroud,
Eyes staring upward at the darkening sky, fixated.

His eyes were the colour of the sky,
His heart the colour of emptiness.
A dull grey, a shade, not a colour,
A meaningless ink of nothing, filling the void.

The grey woollen clouds above him,
An overcast sky that darkened the sun.
The drops dropped, a trickle becoming a drizzle,
Yet the man simply stood still.

The figure was surrounded, not by people,
But by the white noise.
Like silence but not empty, the downpour was there,
His internal and eternal emptiness.

The rivulets of rain trickled down his face,
Like his own rivers created by his eyes.
Yet, nobody could see him crying,
Or know that he was, because it was raining.

With a dampened spirit, and dampened clothes,
The man stood, unrelenting, against the rain.
As a deep booming from above punctuated his thoughts,
A flash of Hephaestus’ creation flickered in front of his eyes and through his mind.

His temper flared, filled by rage and hatred,
A flare of red against the darkness of the sky.
Again the blinding white, splitting crack of Zeus’ thunderbolt,
Uncontrollable anger and passion coursed through his heated blood.

The sky began to clear, his sudden anger subsiding,
He gazed up into the calmness of the sky.
The clouds began to disappear, as if nothing had changed,
As if there had been no rain or thunder.

He was overcome by a sudden calm,
As the sun began to filter through the diminishing clouds.
Filled with sudden elation, a genuinely happy smile,
Formed beneath his cerulean shroud.

The refraction of light created a spectrum of colours,
A beautiful rainbow of his inner emotions.
Who he was and what he felt,
All captured here by the hues of refracted sunlight.

Every day, he would wake up,
And he would know the weather.
Some days it rained, sometimes it was sunny,
And yesterday had been all of the days combined.

Yesterday was unlike any of those days,
But it wasn’t.
It was like all of those days.
But it was.

***

I wrote this poem a few months ago, originally to attempt to understand what it would be like to live with bipolar disorder. However, it could also be interpreted as the fluctuating emotions that we all experience throughout our lives. We often see the weather as portraying emotion, but in the poem, the weather mirrors the narrator’s emotions. I like to think of it in a similar manner to Charles Kinbote in Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire; we are creating our own meaning, instead of seeing what is actually there.