Tag Archives: poetry

Death’s Grasp (Slam Poem)

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(Photo: Mat Collishaw , Burning Flowers , ca. 2010-2013)

 

Humans,

We are volatile temporary beings,

We are not immortal,

We are not omnipotent,

We come to this earth with a purpose,

A purpose to live, to love,

But the grasp of death is never far,

And that’s what makes us who we are,

 

We fear death,

For existence is all we have known,

Though life we take our initial breath,

But with every breath we step closer to death,

And as we approach death,

We lose all of our breath,

And collapse into a respite,

Which we may never wake from,

 

Our life is a sweet summer marigold,

Its buds bloom into a series of colourful petals during the summer,

Its beauty vivid and enchanting,

But evanescent in the end.

As the cold of the winter approaches,

That flower loses its petals,

And like us, collapses into a deep slumber,

Which it may never wake from,

 

Death deprives us of our loved ones,

It leaves us in solitude,

It reaps the souls of our sons,

And leaves us subdued.

We preserve ourselves,

We try to distance ourselves from the inexorable,

But the knowledge of our eventual demise,

Lingers deep down inside of our minds,

 

You may say that you wish to live forever,

That you wish to die never,

But our eventual passing is what gives our life it’s merit,

The looming presence of death is what motivates us to get out of bed each morning,

Because we may not always have a tomorrow,

The looming presence of death is what lets us perceive the true beauty of our lives,                                           

The looming presence of death is what gives our life its momentum,

It is not the vindictive venom we make it out to be,

Can’t you see? 

Death is what coerces us to be alive, 

We may blame death for our sorrows,

But rather, we should thank it for the happiness that it gives to our lives,

 

So ask yourselves again,

Do you want to live forever?

Do you want to live an endless reality of immortality?

Do you want to live a life with no motivation,

a life with no purpose,

a life where you can always adjourn your dreams for tomorrow?

Because I don’t,

I want to live a complete life,

A life where I can say that I have truly lived,

Because when I die,

I want to be satisfied with the life I have lived on this Earth,

 

Humans,

We are not immortal,

We are not omnipotent,

We come to this Earth with a purpose,

A purpose to live, to love,

But the grasp of death is never far,

And that’s what makes us who we are,

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.

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.