Bilingual Poem: perspective

standing,
by the old house,
with an elderly man,
the young man,
took pictures of,
the old house,
for fear,
it would not be there,
much longer

 

estando de pie,
cerca de la casa vieja,
con un hombre mayor,
el hombre joven,
sacó fotografías de,
la casa vieja,
por miedo,
lo no está existir,
mucho más tiempo

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Poetry topic idea: perspective

Today’s poetry topic idea is perspective.  If a poet writes a poem from a person’s point of view, the idea of perspective can be influential, although in the background.

Sometimes, a poet might be writing about a detached event, such as rain.  The poet might write that the rain is either positive or negative, depending on how they themselves, or the subject of their poem, views the rain.  For example, a poet writing about a farmer, might describe rain positively, whereas, a poet writing about someone participating in an outdoor event, might describe rain negatively.

In other instances, there are two parties and some connected event.  Think about two people arguing over something.  The something might be the same, but each person views it differently.  There are many situations where two people can be involved in something and see it differently.  Imagine a situation for example, where one person gives a gift, that the receiver of the gift resents.  The gift giver thought they were doing something good, but the receiver saw it as bad.

Interestingly, a poet might not realize that they are applying perspective in their poetry.  They might not realize that they are writing about something from a certain point of view.

Some ideas for using perspective in poetry might be:

  • A poet could write a pair of poems, one poem looking at something from one perspective and the other poem looking at it from the other. For example, a poet could write about a wedding.  They might write one poem where someone at the wedding viewed the marriage positively and another poem where someone viewed it negatively.
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  • A poet could find a poem they previously wrote, examine it for perspective, and write a new poem from a different perspective. For example, a poet might find a poem they wrote where they describe the weather negatively.  They might think about someone who experienced the same weather, but saw it positively.  They could write a poem from their perspective.
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  • A poet could try to write a new poem from a perspective that they don’t have. For example, they could write about a political issue from the other side’s point of view.

Poem with an explanation: Home

Home,
peacefulness,
serenity,
what is good seems more,
what is bad seems less

the mundane grows flowers,
the tree,
the wall,
the difference in the sky

all things seem different,
like a lens was changed

the colors are new,
and all is better.

 

This poem is about the perspective of someone who has been away from home for some time.  They were away in an unpleasant situation.  It might have been a long arduous trip, for example.  The person is relieved and happy to be at home.

At the start of the poem, the person is standing in familiar surroundings.  They are home.  They feel a sense of peacefulness and serenity after what they have been through.  They have a new perspective.  The good things at home seem better, and the bad things seem less bad.

The mundane things in their life at home seem to grow flowers and grow better.  They notice with fondness ordinary things like a tree and a wall.  Because of what they have been through and their changed perspective, even the sky looks different.

All things seem different to them, like they are looking through a new lens and can now see things as they really are.

Things look so different that colors seem new.  All seems better to them.

Poem with an explanation: Little Billy’s Birthday

Little Billy’s dad told him he should like football.

Little Billy replied that he did not.

Little Billy’s dad told him that was silly, that all boys should like football.

Little Billy replied that he did not.

Little Billy’s dad told him that for Billy’s birthday, he would buy Billy a football.

Little Billy replied that he did not want a football.

Little Billy’s dad told him that was silly and he would get one.

Little Billy replied that he did not want a football.

 

Little Billy’s birthday came, and his dad gave him a football.

Little Billy looked sad.

Little Billy’s dad asked why he looked sad.

Little Billy replied because he did not want a football.

Little Billy’s dad said that was silly, that all boys should like football.

Little Billy replied that he did not.

Little Billy’s dad said that all boys like football.

Little Billy replied that he had told his dad that he did not.

Little Billy’s dad said that Billy had not said anything like that.

Little Billy replied he had.

Little Billy’s dad said that was not true.

Little Billy replied he had told his dad twice.

Little Billy’s dad said that Billy was ungrateful.

Little Billy asked his dad why he would buy him something he knew he did not want.

Little Billy’s dad said that Billy was spoiled.

Little Billy asked his dad why he couldn’t have gotten him something he liked for his birthday.

Little Billy’s dad said he should be happy he got anything.

Little Billy asked why his dad had treated him this way.

Little Billy’s dad did not understand.

Little Billy asked why his dad had to do something to his son rather than for his son, even on his birthday.

Little Billy’s dad did not understand.

Little Billy asked why his dad could not have just been nice to him on his birthday.

Little Billy’s dad got mad, cancelled Billy’s birthday, and sent Billy to his room.

Little Billy sat in his room alone.

Little Billy stayed awake until 12:00:01 am.

 

This poem is about a little boy’s birthday.  It tells the story of the boy getting a present he did not like for his birthday.  Rather than it being a poem about an ungrateful child, it is a poem about a boy whose father doesn’t listen to him or care about his feelings.  The present the boy got was something his father wanted him to have, but not something he wanted.  The idea of the poem is that the father is concerned with his view of things and doesn’t care about his son’s view, even on his son’s birthday.  This reflects their relationship overall.

The poem starts before the boy’s birthday.  He is having a conversation with his dad.  His dad thinks his son should like football, but his son doesn’t.  The dad doesn’t listen to his son and dismisses him.  The dad feels so much that his son should like football that he tells him he will buy him one for his birthday.  Twice his son says that he does not want a football.  He is dismissed by his dad.

When the boy’s birthday comes, his dad gives him a football.  The boy is sad.  When the dad asks him why, he responds because he does not like football.  His dad dismisses what he says and insists that all boys like football.

The son tells his dad that he had said that he did not like football.  His dad denies that his son said this.  They go back and forth and his son says that he had told his dad twice that he did not like football.

The dad calls the son ungrateful.  The son questions why his dad would buy him something he knew that he did not want.  The dad calls the son spoiled.  The son questions why his dad couldn’t have gotten him something he liked for his birthday.  His dad says he should be happy he got anything.

The son questions his treatment but his dad does not understand.  His son asks why his dad did something to him rather than for him on his birthday.  Again the dad does not understand.  The son questions why his dad could not have been nice to him on his birthday.  The dad gets mad, cancels the birthday, and sends his son to his room.

The son sits in his room alone and stays awake until his birthday completely ends.

 

This is a poem about listening, perspective, understanding, kindness, and importance.

In the poem, the dad does not listen to his son.  He sees the world a certain way, and doesn’t seem to comprehend why his son doesn’t see it the same.  The dad wants what he wants and disregards how his son feels.

The dad didn’t listen to his son and couldn’t see things from his son’s point of view.  He wanted something for his son and couldn’t see past that.  When his son isn’t happy having a day that was supposed to be special for him, turn into a day where his dad imposes something on him, his dad doesn’t understand.  The son is insulted and punished and his birthday is spoiled because the dad thought it was more important to do what he wanted to his son, rather than doing something for his son.  He couldn’t see that his son’s birthday was an important day where his son should be given importance.  He simply thought something and did it.  He didn’t think how his son would feel.  To the son, the day was important for him; for the dad, the day was just a day to do what he wanted to his son.

 

Every line of this poem starts with “Little Billy” or “Little Billy’s”.  While this may seem repetitive, it was done intentionally.  The idea was first, to stress the importance of the son.  The poem is about him and his perspective.  Second, is the idea that Billy is “little”.  He is little for a few reasons.  First, he is young.  He is just a little boy.  Second, in the poem he is meek.  His dad is big and imposing and he is small and helpless.  Third, Billy is a junior.  He is named after his dad.  This goes back to the idea of control.  His dad named his son after himself as a way to control him.

In the first section of the poem, the part before the party, in every statement of Billy’s dad, his dad tells him something.  He doesn’t speak with his son, but to his son.  In that same section, every time Billy speaks, he replies to his dad.  Billy is talking with his dad, not to him.  In this section, Billy’s words are repeated.  His first two lines are the same and his last two lines are the same.  This stresses that Billy was clear about how he felt.

In the next section, Little Billy’s lines continue primarily with the idea of either replying or asking.  His dad in this section says things to Billy or acts.

 

In some ways, this poem is about perspective.  Some reading it may side with the dad, and think Billy was ungrateful, spoiled and should be happy he got anything.  Presumably, there are some who feel that way.  For those he see it from that perspective though, imagine for a moment, if you were a vegetarian, and someone bought you meat for your birthday because they thought you should eat it.  Would you feel like Billy?

Others reading this poem though, may see it from the point of view of Billy.  Billy’s birthday was supposed to be a very special day for him, but it was changed into something else.  Billy wanted his birthday to be special and important for him and it wasn’t.  His dad put himself first, rather than his son.

 

P. S. Do you like poems with explanations? If so, you can purchase a copy of M. Sakran’s self-published collection of poems with explanations called, Understanding: poems with explanations.  It has twenty poems, each with a detailed explanation.  If you like explained poems, you should buy a copy.

Post Series: Poems with Explanations: Shapes

It is what you see,
but it isn’t what you see.

When in a sea,
looking at the sea,
and thinking of the sea,
is it what you see?

All that you see,
floating in the sea,
does start with c,
no matter what you see.

Do you see?

 

This poem is a riddle.  Before reading the explanation, take some time to think about what the poem is referring to, and make a guess.  Then, read on, to see if you were right and find out what the poem means.

*

*

*

The answer to the riddle is:

clouds.

That is what the poem is about.  The first stanza says, “It is what you see, but it isn’t what you see.”  This is referring to the idea of seeing shapes in clouds.  On the one hand, the shape is what a person sees.  A person thinks a cloud looks like a rabbit, for example, and so, in a sense of description, it is a rabbit.  In a realistic sense however, it isn’t a rabbit.  It’s a cloud.

In the second stanza, the imagery is of a person lying in the grass looking up at the clouds.

The first line says, “When in a sea“.  This is referring to the “sea of grass” the person is lying down in.

The next line says, “looking at the sea“.  This is referring to looking at the sky, which can be referred to metaphorically, as a sea.

The third line says, “and thinking of the sea“.  The idea here was to have something a person could imagine while looking at the clouds.  In this case, the thing is the sea.  It can bring up images of fish, dolphins, sail boats, etc.

The last line asks a question, “is it what you see?”.  The idea here references the idea in the first stanza.  If a person is lying in the grass, looking up at the sky, thinking of the sea, and they see a cloud that looks like a dolphin, is that cloud a dolphin?  The answer, not given in this stanza, is the same as from the first stanza.

Depending on the setting and the way the question is asked, the answer could be yes or no.  If someone were lying in the grass with the person and they were both saying what the clouds were shaped liked, and one asked the other, “Is that a dolphin?”  The answer might be yes.  In another setting though, if someone pointed at the sky and asked the same question, the answer given could be no.

The next stanza refers to the same idea of seeing shapes in the clouds.  It brings up a somewhat silly point, that regardless of what a person sees in the clouds, that the clouds are still clouds.  So, for example, if a person sees a dolphin in the clouds, it is still a cloud.  Regardless of what a person sees, they are seeing a cloud, and cloud starts with c.

The last stanza is asking the reader a question.  It is basically asking, “Do you know the answer to the riddle?”

In terms of form, every lines ends with the sound of “see” (either see, sea, or c)

*****

Do you like poems with explanations?

M. Sakran’s self-published book of poems with explanations called Understanding: poems with explanations is available for purchase as an eBook for an available price of $0.99. Buy your copy today!

To help celebrate the self-publication of this book, there is a post series of poems with explanations on the blog.  Above is a poem with an explanation for the series.  This poem with an explanation (as well as the rest in the series) is not from the book.  It is a different one that is part of this post series for readers to read and enjoy.

Post Series: Poems with Explanations: Perspective

It’s funny,
in a way,
being the one behind,
slow,
gasping,
seeing the one ahead,
fast,
waving,
thinking back,
to before,
seeing the places move,
and thinking of,
the one behind,
slow,
gasping,
and having,
a realization.

 

This poem is about two people walking.  One person is young and in good health.  They are the person ahead.  The other person is older and in poorer health.  They are the person behind.

The poem is written from the perspective of the person behind.  As they are walking behind the person ahead, they have a moment of contemplation.  In a moment of introspection, they think of the irony of their situation (It’s funny, in a way, being the one behind).

They do this by seeing how they are now (slow, gasping), seeing the person ahead (fast, waving) (the person ahead is moving fast and they are waving to the person behind to come along), and thinking back.

They think back, to a time years before (to before) when they were the person ahead and someone walked behind them (seeing the places move).  As they do, they think about (and thinking of) the person who was older and in poorer health (slow, gasping) and they have a moment (and having) where they finally understand what the person was going through (a realization).

This is a poem about how changing a place can change perspective.  When the person behind was young and in good health they wanted the person behind them to hurry up and come along when they went for a walk.  Now that they are the person behind though, they finally understand what it was like to be that other person.  They realize the wrongness of what they used to do.

This is a free verse poem with some form elements.  One form element is the repeat of the two lines slow, gasping.  Those lines are lines four and five and fourteen and fifteen.

Another form element is the parallel between the first lines of slow, gasping and the lines fast, waving.  The idea was to show a parallel difference.

Another form element is the similarity between the line being the one behind and the line seeing the one ahead.

The syllable count of the lines is 33612612336441235.  Although this is just the way it worked out, there is a bit of a pattern.  The first ten lines have a syllable count of 3361261233.  This has a pattern of 33 612 612 33.  Additionally, it is almost a mirror.  If the last six and the last two of that part changed places, the syllable count would be 3361221633.  That would be a mirror – 33612 … 21633.

*****

Do you like poems with explanations?

M. Sakran’s self-published book of poems with explanations called Understanding: poems with explanations is available for purchase as an eBook for an available price of $0.99. Buy your copy today!

To help celebrate the self-publication of this book, there is a post series of poems with explanations on the blog.  Above is a poem with an explanation for the series.  This poem with an explanation (as well as the rest in the series) is not from the book.  It is a different one that is part of this post series for readers to read and enjoy.

Poem with an explanation: Perspective

Perspective

Tears fall,
from the small eyes,
as the gate closes,
and she is gone.

 

This poem is about the moment when a dog owner is with their dog in their backyard in the morning, but then leaves for the day.

There are two aspects to this poem.  The first aspect is simply that of sadness.  The poem is sad – the dog cries when the owner leaves.

In another sense though, the poem is about perspective.  There are two points of view in the poem: that of the owner and that of the dog.  This poem picks one of them, to highlight the differences between them.

From the perspective of the owner, this moment is only mildly sad and ends at the point in the poem.  Nothing in the poem refers to the owner’s sadness, and whatever sadness she may feel ends in the poem.  It ends at the moment when “she is gone”.  The owner leaves their dog every day.  While the moment she says goodbye in the morning might be a little sad to her, she soon forgets it as the day moves on.  Also, the dog cries “as the gate closes”.  The owner never sees this sadness.  Eventually she comes home and sees what seems to be a happy dog.  She might think nothing of the time in between.  The moment of sadness is small and it ends.

The other perspective is that of the dog.  This poem focuses on that perspective.  The dog in the poem is very sad.  It senses finality in the situation: “the gate closes and she is gone.”  The dog is alone, and rather than simply feeling slightly sad like the owner at the departure, the dog actually expresses the sadness through tears.  There is a physical expression of sadness.  Additionally, this moment of sadness is the beginning for the dog.  The dog has just begun to feel sad, and may feel sad until its owner returns.

This poem highlights the differences of perspectives, one mild and ending, the other large and beginning, by focusing on one of them.