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100 Poems by 100 Poets

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Some of you may have heard of these poems before, but for me it wasnt until Chihayafuru that I became aquainted with them.

This old poetry is very different from what I am used to reading so its refreshing to go through them.

What are some of your favorites, and your thoughts on them?

 

 

   Do you mean to say

we must pass life not meeting

   even for a time as short

as the segments in the reeds

that grow at Naniwa Bay?

-- Ise

 

This poem speaks to me well of the sadness that one might feel for the fleeting of time and of missed opportunities (of which I have let slip quite a few).

But things were even harder for the people of this era. In reading these old poems I love that I can be transported to a time that I know relatively nothing about. Read about the secret desires they had for one another that weren't able to be acted upon for so many reasons... The seasons, traveling difficulties, status differences, Its an intriguing topic for me. Im glad these poems are still around for us to read today, to contemplate what things must have been like in another time.

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I like this little project! Even though I´m rarly dealing with poems due to school and not enough free time, its been always my favorite kind of literature. I just like inteprating the meaning of poems and transfer it to my own situation, like some soft of life lesson. 

Here I have a poem from the novel ´´The perks of being a wallflower´´ I had to read in school and this poem is the most remarkable part of it and its also the first thing to come to my mind when I think about the novel. Sooo, here it comes:

 

Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines

     he wrote a poem

And he called it ´´Chops´´

     because that was the name of his dog

And that´s what it was all about 

And his teacher gave him an A

     and a gold star

And his mother hung it on the kitchen door

     and read it to his aunts

That was the year Father Tracy

     took all the kids to the zoo

And he let them sing on the bus

And his little sister was born

     with tiny toenails and no hair

And his mother and father kissed a lot

And the girl around the corner sent him a 

     Valentine signed with a row of X´s 

     and he had to ask his father what the X´s meant 

And his father tucked him to bed at night

And was always there to do it 

 

Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines

     he wrote a poem

And he called it ´´Autumn´´

    because that was the name of the season

And that´s what it was all about

And his teacher gave him an A

     and asked him to write more clearly 

And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door

     because of its new paint

And the kids told him

     that Father Tracy smoked cigars

And left butts on the pews

And sometimes they would burn holes

That was the year his sister got glasses

     with thick lenses and black frames

And the girl around the corner laughed

     when he asked her to go see Santa Claus

And the kids told him why

     his mother and father kissed a lot 

And his father never tucked him to bed at night

And his father got mad

     when he cried for him to do it.

 

Once on a paper torn from his notebook

     he wrote a poem 

And he called it ´´Innocence: A Question´´

     because that was the question about his girl

And that´s what it was all about

And his teacher gave him an A

     and a strange look

And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door

     because he never showed her

That was the year Father Tracy died

And he forgot how the end 

     of the Apostle´s Creed went

And he caught his sister

     making out on the back porch

And his mother and father never kissed

     or even talked

And the girl around the corner

     wore too much makeup

That made him cough when he kissed her

     but he kissed her anyway

     because that was the thing to do

And at three A.M. he tucked himself into bed

     his father snoring loudly

 

That´s why on the back of a brown paper bag

     he tried another poem 

And he called it ´´Absolutely Nothing´´

Because that´s what it was really all about

And he gave himself an A

and a slash on each damed wrist

And he hung it on the bathroom door

     because this time he didn´t think

     he could reach the kitchen.

 

~taken from Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

 

So, after this long text, what do you think about it? I´m pretty curious about someone elses intepretation because I was talking with a friend of mine about it. In the novel, it´s stated that ,,[n]obody knew who wrote it, but said he heard it before, and he heared it was some kid´s suicide note.´´ I think in the end, the narrator of the poem does indeed kill himself, but I think the developement has more to do with the struggles of growing up. Throughout the novel, the protagonist repeats his actions: he writes a poem, tells about his teacher, mother, sister, the girl around the corner and his father. The poem itself is a repetition, also seen by the structure of the text- it stays the same (Parallelism).But even though the narrators actions are the same, his surroundings begin to change! His sister grows up from a little newborn to probably a teenager or young adult making out, his parents realtionship envolves as they are slowly drifting apart etc. The protagonist stays the same, or wants to stay the same. That is due to him crying and begging his father to tuck him into bed. His father thinks he´s old enough to go to bed by himself, while the narrator wants things to be the same. While his surrounding change by time, he´s stuck in the past, his childhood and does not want to face adulthood. But slowly realising that he cannot change time and not stop this process, his only escape from this one sided street is suicide. 

This is my personal opinion on the poem. Since I myself am going through these struggles of growing up and not wanting/ denying the obligations adulthood brings along, I can personally relate to it, which is probably why I´m so fond of it.

Please share your thoughts on it, because I´m reallllyyyy interested about other reader´s points of views that I haven´t thought of :)

 

 

 

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