Poem with an explanation: know the truth that it is day

twenty past three
and it was getting late
the force of the wind
was blowing strong

in the night
the monsters roamed
and in the light
the drums did beat

and so in the day
the steps were taken
to the woods
and back again

and days and days
did move on by
and by the fields
the hills were climbed

and then one day
it was two

and birds did sing
and butterflies flew
and flowers bloomed
beneath the sun

but in the caves
the ogres watched
and said their words
of vileness

and rain did fall
on butterflies
and clouds did cover
all the fields

but listen you
who walk the paths
the words of ogres
are not the end

walk the fields
and climb the hills
and look beyond
toward the sun

know the truth
that it is day

 

This poem is about a person losing weight, but rather than their accomplishment being applauded, they are looked down upon.

In the poem, a person starts off weighing 320 lbs.  This is referenced as a time (twenty past three).  The time reference is continued with the idea of getting late.  This refers to the idea that the person’s health is poor, and if steps aren’t taken, they might not live as long as they could.

The person finds themselves short of breath.  This feeling makes them worry.  This is related in the lines the force of the wind/was blowing strong.  The word force also relates to the fact that weight is a measure of force.

The person has this experience and it keeps them up at night (in the night/the monsters roamed).  They are worried that because of their weight, they might die.  The next day (and in the light) they are so worried that they can feel their heart beating inside of themselves (the drums did beat).

The person decides to make a change (and so in the day/the steps were taken).  The person starts walking (the steps were taken).  In the beginning, they can’t go very far and simply walk from one door of their house to another (to the woods/and back again).

The person keeps walking (and days and days/did move on by).  As they do, they find they are able to go farther and they leave their house (and by the fields/the hills were climbed).

The person keeps walking, and then one day, they fall below three hundred pounds (it was two).  It was two ties back into the idea of time from before.

The person is very happy (and birds did sing/and butterflies flew/and flowers bloomed/beneath the sun).

This happiness though isn’t shared by others.  The family of the person puts down their accomplishment.  They say the person is still overweight.  They say that being less than three hundred pounds isn’t an accomplishment.  They say the person hasn’t done anything.  They criticize the person and call them names (but in the caves/the ogres watched/and said their words/of vileness).

The person is saddened by this (and rain did fall/on butterflies/and clouds did cover/all the fields).

In the poem though, someone else speaks.  They talk to the person (but listen you/who walk the paths).  They tell the person that the words of their family aren’t what is important (the words of ogres/are not the end).

They encourage the person to keep on working (walk the fields/and climb the hills).  They tell them to look past the negative comments (and look beyond) and see the accomplishment they have made and where they are going (toward the sun).

They tell the person that the words of their family are lies (know the truth), and that the reality is they have done an amazing thing (that it is day).

This poem relates to something that happens in life.  A person can accomplish something that makes them feel good, but if that accomplish doesn’t meet the expectations of others, the person might be criticized for achieving so little in the eyes of others.  The poem express the idea that this is wrong and that people should feel good about their accomplishments, even if they have more to do.

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Poem with an explanation: flying through the walk

sparrows fly each day
ten hours across the field
turtles look and walk

 

This poem is about ease and difficulty.

For some people, certain things are very easy.  They do them effortlessly.  For other people, those same certain things are hard.  With great difficulty they accomplish their goal.

In this poem, the sparrows do something easily.  The sparrows fly.  This is nothing to them and they do it each day.

The turtles though find traveling hard.  It takes them ten hours to cross a field.  This is contrasted with the speed and ease of the sparrows’ travel.  The turtles notice this and continue.  They accept their situation although it weighs upon them.

The idea of the poem is to show a human feeling with animals.  This situation can often come up in life.  A person can struggle to do something, and then see someone else do it effortlessly.  Seeing this, the person feels worse about their situation.  They feel their lack of ability is amplified.

This poem is a 5-7-5 haiku.  The second two lines go together.

Poem with an explanation: the scarecrow falls down

earthquake tremors start
rain falls on an autumn day
the scarecrow falls down

 

This poem is about a person with low blood sugar.  Their blood sugar has dropped dangerously low.

As this happens, the person starts to shake (earthquake tremors start) and they start to sweat (rain falls), even though they feel cool (on an autumn day).  Their condition worsens, and they collapse (the scarecrow falls down).

This poem is a 5-7-5 haiku.

Poem with an explanation: drought and rain

each day plant leaves wilt
soil turns from grains to stone
the monsoon arrives

 

This poem is about a common occurrence in people’s lives.  It describes a situation where first a person has nothing to do and then all of a sudden has too much to do.  It is about imbalance.

In the poem, the first two lines describe drought conditions.  The leaves are wilting from lack of water.  The soil is hardening under the bright sun.

These ideas are a metaphor for a person who to some degree is deteriorating because they have nothing to do.  An example of this might be a person who becomes unemployed.  As time goes on, it is possible the person’s condition might worsen.  They might change their sleep habits, their hygiene habits, and their daily routine.  They might do less and less as there seems to be nothing to do.  They might lose their motivation.

The last line of the poem describes a sudden overwhelming change.  In the poem the conditions change from a drought to a monsoon.  The monsoon will be long lasting.  The monsoon will cause flooding.  The monsoon will overwhelm.

This idea is a metaphor for a person all of a sudden having too much to do.  Using the example of the unemployed person, an example situation might be the person all of a sudden getting three part-time jobs.  The person instantly becomes busy.  They have a hard time juggling things.  They have a hard time keeping track of things.

These ideas describe imbalance.  Continuing the example, had the person had two part-time jobs or one full time job the entire time, they would have been in a state of balance.  They wouldn’t have had too little to do or too much.  They wouldn’t have experienced any sudden change.

This poem is a haiku.  It is written in the 5-7-5 style.  The first two lines describe one situation and the last line describes a change in the situation.  It uses nature as a metaphor for a human experience.

Poem with an explanation: springtime is coming

the treeless branch droops
from the burden of the snow
springtime is coming

 

This poem is about hope.  The poem is a 5-7-5 haiku, and uses nature as a metaphor for a human situation.

In the poem, there is a treeless branch.  This represents a person who has been through a lot.  They have lost their energy.  They have lost their hope.

In addition, the branch droops.  This represents something additional on the person.  The person is pressed down in some way.  What they have been through has pushed them down.

In the poem, the branch is drooping from the burden of the snow.  The snow is what is weighing on the person.  It is the stress, anxiety, problems, and situations the person feels and is going through.  It is a burden to them.  It is what is pressing them down after they have already lost their leaves.

The next line of the poem represents hope.  It says that springtime is coming.  This means the snow will melt and the tree will grow new leaves.  This represents the problems leaving the person and the person becoming revitalized.  It represents a positive future.

In the poem, something that has been through a lot with something weighing it down, will at some point be relieved of what it is going through.  This represents the same idea for a person.

Poem with an explanation: the cow calls out

In the nearness,
the seed is planted.

tiny

Far away,
the cow calls out.

The spider weaves,
a single strand.

The pulling begins.

Friction starts.

Back and forth
the waves roll.

Walking and running.

Walking and running.

The cow calls out.

The lawyer speaks,
and pleads the case.

The defendant speaks,
and says the truth.

Walking and running.

Walking and running.

The cow calls out.

The jury decides.

The cow is met.

 

In the sand,
there are tears.

 

This poem is about a person struggling with a temptation.  In this case, the temptation is ice cream.  While the subject here is light, the general ideas apply to a person struggling with any temptation.

The person in the poem is trying to watch their weight, but they also want to eat ice cream.  This creates a tension in the person and a battle of their will against the temptation.

In the first stanza of the poem (In the nearness, the seed is planted) the person gets the idea to eat ice cream.  The idea comes in a small way (tiny).  The person has a thought, completely unrelated to ice cream.  This thought though leads to another thought and then another.  This then leads them to thinking about ice cream (Far away, the cow calls out).

Once the person starts thinking about ice cream the connection of temptation starts (The spider weaves, a single strand).  It begins to pull on the person (The pulling begins).

The person resists (Friction starts).  They struggle with their want to eat ice cream and their want to watch their weight (Back and forth/ the waves roll).

The person starts to give in (Walking) but then resists (running).  They struggle and do this again (Walking and running).

They feel the temptation to eat the ice cream (The cow calls out).  They then start to rationalize eating ice cream (The lawyer speaks, and pleads the case).

The person knows this rational is wrong (The defendant speaks, and says the truth).

The person then physically struggles with the temptation.  They walk toward the freezer and away.  They do this twice. (Walking and running.  Walking and running.)

The temptation comes again (The cow calls out.)

The person loses the battle against the temptation (The jury decides).  They go and eat ice cream (The cow is met).

After some time passes (In the sand), the person regrets giving in (there are tears).

This poem explores the idea of a person struggling with a temptation.  It goes through the battle the person has from the start of the temptation to when the person feels remorse for giving in.  Although the idea presented here had to do with ice cream and eating, the basic notion could apply to any temptation.

The poem was written in a very metaphorical way.  The idea was to express the thought with imagery.

Poem with an explanation: through the lens

through the glass
the mirror speaks
and says the words
you want to hear

the world is known
through the lens

“What do you mean,
you don’t see?”

 

This poem is about news that leans one way or the other on the political spectrum.

In the poem, a person watches news that is on the same side of the political spectrum as they are.  They hear something they agree with.  This is symbolized by a mirror saying words a person wants to hear.  A reflection of the person’s views are presented to them.

The second stanza provides a commentary.  It says, the world is known/ through the lens.  This means that what a person knows about the world is influenced by how the information is presented.

In the third stanza, a person is taken aback when they encounter someone who perceives the world differently.  In this case, the person encounters someone who watches news that is on the opposite side of the political spectrum as what they see.  Because of this, the person encountered has received a different presentation of events and therefore perceives things differently.  The original person finds this confusing for two reasons.

First, they perceive the news as fundamental.  They don’t see a political leaning in the presentation.  Additionally, they don’t see how a political leaning could influence facts or their presentation.

Second, they had not considered that others might see news presented in a different way.  They had not considered that others might see the world through a different lens.

Because of these two reasons, they can’t understand why a person they encounter knows different facts than they do and why they see those facts differently.

Poem with an explanation: narrow minded views

the bears
did chastise the deer
for their narrow minded views

 

This poem is about differing beliefs.  In the poem there are two groups with different beliefs: bears and deer.  Bears are omnivores and deer are herbivores.  The bears chastise the deer, because the deer don’t eat meat.

The groups represent two groups of society.  One group, represented by bears, engages in some behavior.  The other group, represented by deer, don’t.  The group that engages in the behavior believes there is something wrong with the group that doesn’t.

The poem shows the idea of intolerance, but turned around.  It might be more typical for a group that doesn’t do something to be intolerant of a group that does.  This poem twists the idea and shows the group engaging in the behavior being critical of the group that doesn’t.

In the poem, it might seem that the deer have the more moral behavior.  They don’t eat meat.  Rather than they criticizing the bears for doing so, it is the other way around.  The bears look down on the deer for not doing what they do.

Poem with an explanation: this time, things would be different

she had a month
and so resolved
that this time
things would be different

she listened to the birds
she saw the plays
she watched the performers on every corner

through the gloss
she went to the weaver
and bought the cloth
on display

why are they running?
she didn’t understand
but she learned to speak the code

what are they saying?
she didn’t understand
but she learned to speak the code

taking out her map
from its new glass case
she went to the places with names

she listened to the professors
and tried to discern
the direction of the wind

she learned the names
and the stories
of the stars

she left behind
the books she read
and the posters
with the lessons

she made a mold
out of chiseled stone
and walked inside
and shut the door

she looked around
and listened to the wind
and tried to sing
the same song

in the wind
the sand blew
and who she was
was gone

she smiled then
but wasn’t sure
what was real

 

This poem is about fitting in.

In the poem, a woman quits her job and finds a new one.  She has a month though before the new job is to start.  At her last job, she did not fit in.  She decides that this time things will be different and decides to spend the month learning how to fit in.  These ideas are related in the first stanza (she had a month/ and so resolved/ that this time/ things would be different).

One thing she does is learn about entertainment.  She listens to popular music (she listened to the birds), watches popular movies (she saw the plays), and watched popular shows (she watched the performers on every corner).

She also learns about fashion.  She gets magazines (through the gloss) and buys clothes that they advertise (she went to the weaver/ and bought the cloth/ on display).

She also learns about sports.  She finds she doesn’t understand the games (why are they running?/ she didn’t understand) but she learns how to talk about sports (but she learned to speak the code).

She also learns how to talk.  She learns slang as well as jargon related to her job.  She doesn’t completely understand everything, but she learns to speak using the words (what are they saying?/ she didn’t understand/ but she learned to speak the code).

Another thing she does is learn about local places (taking out her map/ she went to the places with names).  As part of this she buys a new cell phone (from its new glass case).  She goes to places she has heard about and places near where she will work.

Additionally, she tries to learn about current events.  She watches the news (she listened to the professors).  She tries to figure out how her new coworkers will perceive the stories (and tried to discern/ the direction of the wind).  She wants to make sure she talks favorably about what they like.

She also learns about celebrities (she learned the names/ and the stories/ of the stars).

In the process of this, she tries to leave behind her old behavior.  She was intellectual, and this did not go well at work.  She tries to leave this behind (she left behind/ the books she read).  She also had a code she lived by.  She realized though that this caused tension at times when she didn’t think the way others thought.  She tries to leave this behind as well (and the posters/ with the lessons).

She becomes a new person (she made a mold/ out of chiseled stone/ and walked inside/ and shut the door).

She makes a very conscious effort to conform to how she believes people are (she looked around/ and listened to the wind/ and tried to sing/ the same song).

In the process, who she was goes away (in the wind/ the sand blew/ and who she was/ was gone).

As a result of all this, the woman fits in at work.  She becomes like her peers.  In one sense, this makes her happy (she smiled then).  On another level though, she realizes she isn’t being herself, but is rather conforming to her perception of society.  This cause a conflict within her (but wasn’t sure/ what was real).

The idea of this poem is to show a person making a very conscious effort to fit in.  The person has a perception of what society expects of her and she tries to conform to it.  She does this because of past bad experiences when she did not fit in.

Although she learns to be like the group, and this brings her some relief, the fact that she has become a mirror of her perception of society and has left her personality behind, causes her some conflict.  She is not sure if it was worth it.

Although this poem show someone going to great lengths to fit in, the ideas expressed can apply to smaller situations.  Readers can think about a time when they learned about something they really weren’t interested in for the sake of being part of a group.  Maybe the watched a movie they didn’t care to see or maybe they started watching a sport they didn’t have an interest in.  The ideas can reflect any time a person did something – even things that weren’t inherently bad – for the sake of being part of a group.

As a note, the poem isn’t about peer pressure.  The group doesn’t put the pressure on the person in the poem, like might happen when a group gets someone to drink alcohol, for example.  Rather, the person perceives society to be different from themselves and puts a pressure on themselves to be like what they perceive.

Poem with an explanation: though the raindrops fell

though the raindrops fell
she stood outside

 

This poem is about a person doing something they believe despite others disagreeing with them.

In the poem, a person stands outside, and as a result she gets rained on.  This is symbolic of a person being outside of a group and facing consequences for it.  Despite the consequences, she still does what she believes.