This poem is written by Rupi Kaur in her book “the sun and her flowers.” When I read this poem, it really stood out to me. It’s the kind of poem that should be read by both genders because it carries a very important message. There’s so much to be learned from this poem. It really sums up the unhealthy dynamic of how women are viewed in society. Viewing women as property, as harsh as that sounds, is still a problem that persists today.
“I felt beautiful until the age of twelve
when my body began to ripen like new fruit
the men looked at my newborn hips with salivating lips”
These first four lines of the poem really set the tone for the rest of the poem. It showcases a girl who once felt beautiful before she became oversexualized by society. It’s easy to mainly assume this only happens by guys, but girls contribute to this too. We’ve all heard a girl comment negatively on how a girl is “showing too much skin,” and it’s those comments that also tear us down and feed into the societal phenomenon that a girl asks for judgement when she wears something more on the revealing side.
It’a not only self confidence that is by this harsh reality. The sexual perception of a woman’s body can be dangerous as well, and it can have dire consequences. It starts with the looks and comments, and if that doesn’t already ruin someone’s confidence, it becomes very dangerous when things start to get physical. Sexual harassment and rape are not a joke, and they should not be taken lightly at all. This poem definitely raises awareness to that.
“I will not subject myself to their ideology
cause slut shaming is rape culture
virgin praising is rape culture”
Regardless of the negative comments you’re making, it still feeds into this horrible stigma. Frankly, no one has any right to judge someone. It’s cowardice, and it helps no one. Everyone is allowed to have their own opinions, but there’s no need to make them public if it brings someone down or causes someone harm.
Jimmy Santiago Baca, the author of I Am Offering this Poem, was abandoned by his parents as a child, and his grandmother put him in an orphanage. He ran away from this orphanage at the age of thirteen, and he went to prison for five years due to drugs. He learned how to read and write in prison, and that’s where he began writing poetry. Understanding a little about the poet gives us a deeper understanding about the poem, and we can make a better guess as to what was going through his mind when he was writing this poem.
With the poet’s backstory in mind, let’s jump into the analysis. At first glance, I thought this poem was about a couple in love. Let’s assume that it’s a boy and a girl. When I read it a second time, I was able to analyze it a little further, and I no longer think it’s about a couple in love. I think the speaker is in love with the girl he’s writing about.
“in dense trees, come knocking,
and I will answer, give you directions”
From this line, you get the feeling that they aren’t dating as of yet. It sounds rather alienated, knocking and asking for directions, much too platonic to be an interaction between two lovers. There’s also a lot of juxtaposition between warmth and cold. I think this may be a metaphor for how the speaker views her. Even if things are uncomfortable or miserable, referring to the cold, he’ll always view her as the warmth he looks to when he wants to feel better.
Also, if we’re looking at the mood of the poem, I find it to be very forlorn and lost. Certain phrases such as:
“if you were lost, needing direction”
“when the world outside
no longer cares if you live or die;”
“since I have nothing else to give.”
The speaker sounds as if he’s talking from experience, being lost and needing direction. He sounds familiar with the feeling, so in knowing how that feels, he doesn’t want the same to happen to her. He’s offering himself as a support system to her. The speaker sounds as if he has negative thoughts. Knowing what I know now, I thought of his backstory when I heard the line, “when the world outside no longer cares if you live or die;” Being abandoned by your parents, getting put in an orphanage by your grandmother, and growing up around other delinquents could definitely give him the feeling expressed in that line of the poem. There’s also a major shift in the last stanza. He goes from saying, “since I have nothing else to give” to “it’s all I have to give.” It sounds like a final attempt for the speaker to express his feelings. He sounds like he’s putting everything on the table and leaving the rest to her. The repetition with the phrase, “I love you” sounds like he wants her to hear, needs her to hear. The last one sounds a little like a goodbye, like he’s assuming she won’t reciprocate his feelings.
I rather enjoyed this poem. I felt that it held a lot of meaning that you had to think deeply to uncover. It demonstrates the importance of human contact and relationships. It’s about surrounding people that you feel safe around, people that make you happy even when you’re sad.
Written By: Gabbie Hanna
This poem carries a very deep message. When you step back and analyze it like a writer, you can see that it's an ordinary poem. It has 12 lines, 5 periods, 3 commas, and a total of 5 sentences. It's just a short and sweet, singular stanza that's trying to convey a point. This is all just information that you can gather as an outsider. You don't even have to read the poem to understand these simple facts. On the outside, it's nothing special, until you read it and pick up on the deeper meaning.
I think this poem is about reliability and staying inside your comfort zone. The speaker uses the concept of loneliness to explain their fear of change and unpredictability. Even though loneliness may be more on the negative side of things, it's a comfort because it's always there. A line from the poem states:
"Lonely is my bestest friend
'cause Lonely never leaves me."
When I read this line, I thought of an individual that's afraid of opening up to others. I thought of someone that's afraid to trust. I think they're afraid to trust. I think they're afraid of putting their all in someone only to be left again and to return to being lonely. Some people are so afraid of change that they don't try to mess with it. They shy away from it.
I think some real life examples of this apply to when individuals refuse to go to therapy or support groups. They may have a fear of getting better and loneliness either still being there or returning. They get so used to it that they think it's inevitable. They might not believe they're worth the time or effort.
I think this poem reveals a lot of fear that many of us may be able to relate to. I think it brings up a lot to talk about, and I think it's an important topic to have a discussion about. This poem was very forthcoming in its point. It was definitely my favorite from her book Adultolescence.
“Today I Bought a Book for You”
Written By: Clint Smith
Initially when I read this poem, I thought it was very well spoken and rich with thought. It was definitely an attention grabber for me because I love books, and that’s what some of this poem is about. At least, that’s what I thought initially. Now, taking a look at it a second time, I think it’s about more than someone trying to impress another person. I think it’s about the fear of oblivion. I think the speaker didn’t want to be forgotten. I think he wanted to be remembered by the world. I believe he tries to accomplish this by using big, complex words. In the last lines of the poem, he states:
“It should come as no surprise.
I have always used words
to try and convince the world
that I am worth something.”
I think these lines from the poem demonstrate to us that he fears being forgotten. I think this should be a life lesson for all of us. I think that we shouldn’t focus so much on trying to be remembered. Whereas, in the process, we could just as easily forget the person we started as. I believe we should just be ourselves. It’ll make us happier, it’ll surround us with the people that appreciate us for who we are, and it’s less worrisome than to keep up a persona that gets you noticed by everyone.
Personally, I don't worry what others think of me. I don't let others opinions affect me and how I choose to live my life. The most important opinion in my life is my own. In the end, I choose how I want my life to play out, not anyone else. This reasoning is why, as I read this poem again, I began to disagree with the speaker's stance on society and how they fit into it.
It’s easy to fall into the social trap that society creates for us. We see people thriving on Instagram with a countless amount of followers that’s almost hard to comprehend, and we watch celebrities every day and wonder what it would be like if that were us. However, that might not be the path that was intended for us. We should live our lives to the fullest without worrying how many likes we get on a picture, how many followers you have on Instagram, or how many people retweet your status on twitter. If we stop worrying about the minuscule things that won’t matter to us later in life, we’ll have more time to focus on the things that will.
We should direct our attention to our passions, our hobbies, and the positive people in our lives that shape us into the people we are. We shouldn’t tiptoe around who we are and who we want to be.
Clint Smith has touched on very important subject matters in this collection of poems, and I think this poem is important as well. It touches on the social pressures we feel from society and from ourselves to be the perfect version of who we can be.
I don’t think it’s our job to convince the world that we’re worth something. I do feel that we should focus more on believing it ourselves.