By Brynn Saito
I bathe my television in total attention I give it my corneas
I give it my eardrums I give it my longing
In return I get pictures of girls fighting and men flying
and women in big houses with tight faces blotting down tears
with tiny knuckles Sometimes my mother calls
and I don’t answer Sometimes a siren sings past the window
and summer air pushes in dripping with the scent
of human sweat But what do I care I’ve given my skin
to the TV I’ve given it my tastes In return it gives me so many
different sounds to fill the silence where the secrets
of my life flash by like ad space for the coming season
This poem is a poem about how Americans are glued to there televisions. This poem was written a little while ago so it is probably less relevant, but the same can be said for phones of this time. The title of this poem is "Like Any Good American." This is a great title for this because it explains an addiction a country has to the television. The structure of this poem is interesting because of the spaces between each little part of the sentence. Each part is a little sentence that when you read with a pause in it, gives it a dramatic effect. Brynn's poem tells of the sacrifice one make to a television to avoid everything else around them.
Brynn starts of his poem with showing and extreme of the addiction a television has. The says "I bathe my television in total attention." The word bathe is very interesting. It is defined as total immersion, such as we do with our T.V or now our phones. Next there is repetition in his poem. He says "I give" over and over again. This shows how fully immersed we are into our screens. He then states the reward out of watching the television. He mentions things that will make you question why you watch television. Brynn says that "sometimes my mother calls and I don't answer." This is probably one of the more important parts of this essay. This really shows how hooked we are to our screens, we don't even bother listing to each other. The next part he talks about a siren going by his window and not caring about it. This shows some perspective one our screens. We are some into our T,V's or phones that someone is hurting somewhere and we don't even bother thinking about them. Brynn ends that part with "But what do I care." He then goes on again and states what he has given to the T.V and what he got in return. The last line of the poem says "where my secrets flash by like ad space." This tells us how much time we are wasting for the little in return we get.
Overall Brynn's poem was written to remind us of the sacrifices we make for our screens. He talks about what we give to our screens and what we get in return. He gives dramatic effect to his poem by adding multiple spaces in between each little phrase. This will serve as a good reminder for all of us to lay down our screens and live life without them to see what we really gain in comparison for what we give up.
The soldiers life is not for all
A soldier must be willing to give his all
He is overworked and underpaid
A truer patriot was never made
Ready to go at any time
Wherever there is trouble or the first sign
His courage and honor are unsurpassed
Ready and willing to complete the task
Travelling to lands both near and far
He stands his post and looks at the stars
Wondering what he might have done
If he had not chosen to carry a gun
Remember the next time that you are driving by
And see the flag flying proud and high
That somewhere out there a soldier stands
Weary and cold in a foreign land
Protecting our country from our foes
Standing tall and proud come rain or snow.
By: SSgt. Scott E Hilligoss
I feel this is a very appropriate poem for this time of year. Veterans Day is today and was made from Armistice Day after WWI, the war to end all wars. Often it is known what we see from the civilian side of things. We see sacrifice, courage, and dedication. But we often don't consider the soldiers side of life. So what a better way to show it than through a poem by a marine.
This poem is written by Scott Hilligoss. Hilligoss starts this poem with a very broad perspective. Instead of saying we or I, he says "a soldiers." This is very idealistic of the military because the job of the military is never to think about itself, but to think of everyone else. He continues with talking about why the soldiers life isn't for everyone.
Hilligoss mentions they are "overworked and underpaid." This makes the reader think about how good they have it in life. Next Hilligoss talks about the courage that a soldier has. He says that "his courage and honor are unsurpassed." This shows the preparation that a soldier has in time of trouble to defend others. Hilligross then shows the sacrifice that a soldier must have as he travels "to lands both near and far." Soldiers defend freedom for those everywhere around the world. Hilligross shows this in a very sly way and doesn't just come out and say it which is part of the structure he uses.
Hilligoss shifts the tone of the poem here and questions a soldier must make later in their career. He states "wondering what he might have done" to show the questions that a soldier has if he didn't stand up and defend his/her country. Hilligoss then aims his attention at the reader by telling them "remember the next time that you are driving by and see the flag flying proud and high that somewhere out there a soldier stands." He ask his fellow Americans to remember the sacrifices that a soldier makes for their country.
Hilligoss ends by reminding the audience to remember the sacrifice a soldier must make to defend the country. Overall, Hilligoss wants his audience to remember the sacrifice a soldier must make and does this through strong vocabulary, structure, and by sticking with the strong theme present through the entire poem. Hillgross poem gave many military family's the perspective they have on life while also showing people the sacrifise a soldier has to ensure freedom for all Americans.
Please, don’t tease!
Even the bread shies,
The butter sighs,
The knife takes pity,
The lunchbox cries!
Cheddar? I guessed right!
I’ll retaliate – I’ll start a fight!
At least try spam
Or breaded ham.
Maybe meat paste -
But bloody cheese,
It’s blight – a disease!
I don’t want calcium
Nor all that fat;
I’d rather eat snails -
Or fricasseed rat!
Another day and I’ve a hunch -
Well whaddya know!
It’s cheese for lunch.
Oh, I throw in the towel; I just give in.
Let's cheer for cheese
And down a gin.
Mark R Slaughter
Mark Slaughter's poem is talking about the getting tired of a cheese sandwich. I picked this poem because it matches my theme and is also interesting that someone would right a poem about a cheese sandwich. The poem starts out asking a question which is usual in poems. Ask a question makes the reader pay attention more at the beginning of the poem and makes the reader wonder what is to come from this question. The next part of the poem is giving feelings to different things such as a lunch box and a knife. This is a very interesting way to start out after a question. This personification does not answer the question, but adds to the confusion that is created in the opening of this poem. The next paragraph of this poem Mark offers alternatives for cheese. He says "I'll retaliate-I'll start a fight" in this you can see the angry that he has from this same old thing. But a very unique explanation and bigger meaning comes from this. His anger is less about the food and more about getting tired of doing the same thing everyday. He offers alternatives to the cheese as a possible change in what is daily schedule is. At the end of this poem he restates his anger from the same old stuff, but this time he says "I throw in the towel" as to say he gives up. Mark is saying he must make the most of his daily routine and make sure he changes his attitude towards his daily life. Overall I found it very interesting the meaning that came out of a poem about a cheese sandwich.
When I was twelve years old
on a field trip some place
I can’t remember, my friends
and I bought Super Soakers,
turned the hotel parking lot
into a water-filled battlezone.
We hid behind cars
running through the darkness
that lay between the streetlights.
across the pavement.
Within ten minutes
my father came outside
grabbed me by the forearm
and led me inside to our room--
his too-tight grip unfamiliar.
Before I could object,
tell him how foolish
he had made me look
in front of my friends,
he derided me for being so naïve.
Told me I couldn’t be out here
acting the same as these white boys--
can’t be pretending to shoot guns
can’t be running in the dark
can’t be hiding behind anything
other than your own teeth.
I know now how scared
he must have been,
how easily I could have fallen
into the empty of the night.
That some man would mistake
that water for a good reason
to wash all of this away.
Clint Smith poem, "Counterfactual", is telling a story about him going on a field trip and all the kids had a water gun fight in the parking lot. After his father saw him having a water gun fight and he grabbed him "and led me inside to our room-his too-tight grip unfamiliar." His dad tells he can't be "acting the same as these white boys." He then reiterates why his dad was scared. Clint realized that since he is black it could be mistaken for a real gun and he could have been shot. In this poem Clint tells a story that has stuck with him throughout his life. His fathers conversation with him about the water gun fight was probably when he first realized the effect that racism has and what is dad has seen. In the beginning of the poem he talks about how he can't remember where they went, but remembers what they were doing. I believe this shows the effect that the story has out on him and how he would create his opinions. I find it interesting that he called it a "water-filled battlefield." I would assume at that time this happened he didn't see it as such but just as some fun they are having, but now he see's what happened in a different view now that he is older and has seen more examples of racism. That story would effect how he remembered that scenario. The title really explains the whole poem. "Counterfactual" shows how something could be seen as them having fun but to others could be seen as a bad thing, a kid with a gun. I find that the overall poem is really him telling a story that changed his view on life and how he see's events in his life. I chose this poem because of the great insight this story has on the whole book. This provides us great insight on his younger years and what shaped him to be the writer he is today. This story highlights the racial struggle that his family has and how that created his opinions later in life. Throughout the book Clint provides these stories that have impacted him, but I believe this story had the most effect on him. I say this because first the story is near the beginning of the book and it is more straight forward than the rest of the poems in the book. Clint poem is a great representation of what he has gone through and what has effected him and his opinions in life.