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Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

  1. Original Poetry

    June 1, 2017 by Kassandra

    As part of a project for humanities, we were tasked with reading, analyzing, and writing poetry that fits a theme from the 20th century. I chose to look at pieces around the Vietnam war. Below are the three poems that I wrote for this project, as well as an explanation of the thought put into them.

    Grim Mathematics

    To them I am a figure
    And a provider of statistics
    Kills to deaths
    Putting a tally on destruction
    They say no value can be put
    On a human life
    But they’re damned well trying
    I may be a subordinate
    Insignificant in the grand scheme
    But the power I hold
    Is nothing to laugh at
    And I choose to use it to resist

    Part of what I used to help shape this poem was a natural rhythm. Not a strict form, but I wanted everything to flow nicely until the last line, in which things change. A lot of the poetry about the war is literal. Although they use figurative language, the message is usually clear. So I wanted to use some of the same themes from these poems, and pull them together in something that seems grim with a voice that comes across as frustrated and fed up. Whether you read the poem as by a soldier who decides to leave duty, a draft dodger, or even a Vietnamese soldier fighting against the Americans, the tone is the same.

    Left Unanswered

    Who is it that against we are pitted
    What justifies the crimes committed
    There is so much we’ll never know
    Going on in this awful show
    My grip is tight as I hold my gun
    It seems that we will stop for none

    There is no rest when the objectives wicked
    Perhaps you’re just too afflicted
    My soul is numb for weeping so
    And even still we do not go
    Are kills battles really won
    Each loss is replaced by another mans son

    My goal here was to try and use rhyme to convey a somber tone. I was inspired by the fact that “Dance to the Music” had a rhyming pair, and there were some couplet lines in “Implosions”, and so I decided to write a poem in the form of rhyming couplets. These are questions I ask myself about war, and although it is written from the point of view of a soldier, “I hold my gun”, it is in a sense me trying to come to terms with what happened.

    Snuffed Out

    Everything
    Is loud
    Is moving
    Is turbulent
    And I keep walking

    Everything
    Is hot
    Is red
    Is trembling
    And I keep walking

    Everything
    Is hazy
    Is still
    Is over
    And I stop walking

    In this poem, I wanted to attempt to write something that could serve to illustrate two points, by using vague adjectives. Snuffed is a term usually used for fire, but it can also be used for killing. To this end, I wanted to talk about the death of a soldier on the battlefield by comparing it to the burning of a village, and the fire eventually going out. Destructive in it’s time, both serve a purpose they may not have wanted, that they did not choose.
    The use of a very simple form and a lot of repetition was part of keeping it vague, but it was also meant to give everything a rhythm, so that to some extent the last line is unexpected.


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