Perhaps the harbor is only the imagined destination of the ball- the boy knows where the sewer leads? This means the boy is probably closer to 10 than 5- this is not a big colorful ball. This also suggests the classic American ball lost in a sewer scenario rather than some big ball lost directly to the harbor. Still, it is left ambiguous despite my leanings. The middle 5 lines:. Line 11 states bluntly the thing to be passed. Line 12 contains another great enjambment. Then, the middle line of the poem- an almost hushed soothing after the nakedness of the last 2 lines.
The boy is on his way past the loss! The boy is learning boundaries- then we get the machismo. Women are the center of the race, men are just grubbers who bash each other to keep up- but if you do not try, you die.
To the end:. We also get the meld of the speaker with the very idea of loss. Here, the poem turns away from the boy. Yes, there are subjects that would do far better with a little girl than with a little boy- but not loss. The poem plays off the verboten show of emotions men are not to display. Make no mistake. The boy is no longer that boy. Balls are it. Years from now the boy will recite his own The Ball Poem for another doomed laddy.
Now I was eight and very small, And he was no whit bigger, And so I smiled, but he poked out His tongue, and called me, "Nigger. Hart Crane would be the 4 th except that, unlike the others, he went beyond mere lyricism. We do not even know the age of the speaker- is it just a few years later? Or decades? I followed far as I could go and high as I could run. My special top went spinning down the gutter, down the drain. I heard it gurgling sideways, saw it grinning in the rain, my string wrapped around it while I reached for it in vain. My dog got thin and went away.
He took his leash- the wrapping string that we pretended was a rope- and went as far as he could hope to find the sickbed where I lay. And now, when I remember strings and how they bind together things, and how they stretch like reach and run , and hold like hope and give like sun , I tie together things I know and wind up with a poem to show.
JE, is in a lot of ways, the spiritual descendant of the CC take on the race question as regards to poetry. Stanza My kite broke loose, took all my string and backed into the sun. The boy attempts retrieval- we do not know what stanza 2 holds but we know the boy will be unsuccessful- the masculine in this cosmos will take things- the boy unknowingly follows after it, perhaps even desiring manhood subconsciously.
Queer Love Poems
Like any American boy, his pursuit is dogged- after all, in America, all things are possible if you try, try, try! Again, a Rockwellian moment- until a Ball Poem ian intrusion. The top goes down a drain- no doubt about where this toy ends up! Again, the boy does all he can to retrieve it. The music is superb- the rhymes lighten the mood of what could be a very depressing start to this poem.
We are really pulled swiftly along through the poem so far. But this 3 rd example of a thing-cum-being-cum string-stealer is the most peculiar yet. Either interpretation works. The important thing is the return this time. Despite the title this poem is not really about how the speaker became a poet- but became a man. His being a poet is just a nice metaphor in service to that idea. Instead, we go directly back to the scene. This is an amazing book for high schoolers, boys and girls, reluctant readers, poetry lovers, people who like edgy books.
This inspired me to want to create a poetry unit based on just what my kids experience. Kids don't normally gravitate tow 1. Kids don't normally gravitate towards poetry because they think it's stodgy and complicated, but writing about their own lives, they can do.
I love that he's saying that we are not one dimensional characters. We are many things. Joker "You would be surprised To know that the funny man Is also the sad man Like a clown fallen from its stilts. But this is his career Never will a joker feel secure in a serious environment He will keep telling jokes Never will a joker be secure in his insecurities He will keep telling jokes. In the process of getting out of a hole A hole dug for myself A bottomless pit I will die Like the product of a pun A misunderstanding. The saddest joke A clown dying by his stilts, full of regret.
He can never be serious. He has a pun for everything. But he has sadness about his childhood that he lets out sometimes. Dark Cellar "I like to hide in my dark damp cellar Where rats scurry across the cold cement floor. I don't know why I like to hide in my dark, damp cellar. All I know is that anger and sorrow Evaporate into clouds of air And bad thoughts disintegrate When I'm there. Every boy should have a cellar.
I am the father of a six-month-old girl who can light up the room when she smiles. To be a father is more than a responsibility; it is a job. Still, I do it for the good of my daughter, my creation, my seed. I refuse to be a dead beat dad because no excuse is a good enough excuse to abandon your own creation. Medina Arias, age 18 -Just beautiful. The words you speak are more powerful, more controlling than Big Brother. But, like a faithful pup, I bound back, sniffing for love, competing for attention, distraction, meaning. Pretty much true. Guts "With her he had some classes and saw her every day.
His eyes always seemed to wander Towards her general way. Quite the crush has developed; Within love he was enveloped. He could have asked her right away, But didn't have the guts. If she peered a little left And tilted her head correctly, She could face the teacher, yet Still watch him indirectly. He was ever a distraction; She couldn't even do subtraction. All but three words she could say; She didn't have the guts. Just a single moment needed, Yet many a moment passed. While unrequited love grew deeper, Quickly the years elapsed.
They thought their fears to be a crime And made me write this sappy rhyme, To warn you all this very day: You'd better have the guts. Gabayan, age 17 -Let's have the guts!! The boy, Jared Ryan Jackson, who came into a lot of money and didn't spend it wisely and ended up dying because of a heroine addiction made me so sad. The story about the dad who told his son, Jaime Daryl Marconette, that he was gay really got me thinking.
He placed himself at a crossroads of rejection and acceptance; a risk he took that shows me how much he truly loves me. And how many times to we reject without thinking about the other person and instead thing only about ourselves? The story about the wrestler who wrestled the kid with one leg: I love what he said about looking like an idiot either way. In victory you humiliate another, and in defeat another humiliates you I realized that winning and losing are only two of many possibilities and that each competition has the potential for an infinite number or outcomes Our primary goals, taught to me by the players, are pride, respect, and good sportsmanship.
What can we learn from loss? Is there a less barbaric way of winning? Todd VanDerWerff writes a story about being adopted and wanting to meet his real mother. He says that maybe she gets a little restless in November and no one knows why when she gave him up. For she is haunted by her past. And the baby she loved too much to keep I also have someone close to me who had an abortion and has always regretted it. Does she feel restless around a certain time?
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Oct 29, evergreencrime rated it liked it Shelves: ya-na , poetry. I had to write a poem for homework I had to be at a party for bon voyage I picked this for inspiration I wandered the library to get out of waving. I liked some. I didn't care for others. Some required too much thinking.
Either way I hope these kids are okay and lived through their trials. Think I'll read more poems, I did create the poetry shelf. Not really trying, just leaving a review so keep your knives to yourself. Jul 17, RyanneAndHerBooks rated it it was amazing. I will almost always give poetry 5 stars Because how can you say That someone's own feelings Are worth less Than anyone Else's? This collections will show people that you should not judge a young boy just by the way that he lives because that boy has thoughts of his own.
Maybe his clothes are big and his face is tough but even that boy just wants to find a purpose and to one day be loved. View 1 comment.
Dec 11, Dena rated it it was amazing. Summary: This piece is an anthology of poems and personal writings written by teenage boys from across the country. The writing includes thoughts on love both falling in love and experiencing a broken heart , family relationships, drugs, self-esteem, anger, and everything in between. Personal Reaction: I really fell in love with this book. If I had my students write poetry, and they were to lose all inhibitions in their writing, this is the type of writing I would receive. Working in You Hear Me?
Working in a rural community where the majority of students are economically disadvantaged, I have students that face a multitude of challenges. There are students living with an aunt or grandmother because they have been abandoned, a parent is in prison, or one parent or the other is working out of town in order to provide for the family.
There are students who are a day away from being homeless, students who are involved in drugs—using, dealing, or both. There are students who are abused at home, sexually active, working to provide for their families, or living a life no child should. With this reading, I would find a collection of similar poems for girls, so that each gender would have their own assignment. I would begin by having the male students read selected poems from this work, and then have them journal for a brief period to get them adjusted to the writing process. Then, from their journal entries, I would have students either develop poetry or expand short journal entries into longer narratives.
The key for this assignment to be successful is for each student to know that their writing will be kept confidential. Sep 13, Clare rated it it was amazing Shelves: poetry.
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I thought this book was both very approachable and very powerful. I think the internal life of young boys is still such unknown territory. I really appreciated that these boys were willing to try their hand at creatively telling their stories. Also, as a lay person who neither teaches writing nor poetry, I was really touched by many of the pieces. There are some very beautiful lines if not beautiful pieces.
I was glad I read it. It was extremely touching, especially considering the current news I thought this book was both very approachable and very powerful. It was extremely touching, especially considering the current news stories of bullying, teen suicides and teen pregnancies. Finding out how young men feel about their place in the world is valuable information and we should encourage their efforts.
May 05, Linda Dexheimer added it.
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Linda Dexheimer Poetry This a truly unique collection of poems by teenage boys. Poetry isn't usually a genre you see a lot of male interest in at any age. These poems are often graphic and obscene but they provide insight into the life of teenage boys. The poems cover a broad range of topics and the writing is honest.
Readers can identify with the poems and sympathize with the writing. They are also fairly easy to read and understand. May 26, Miszladiisparklesz rated it it was amazing. I really connect to this vook because it makes a different way in how i think about school. I really get my sense from this book about how poetry can explain my life and how i feel. Feb 19, Breanna Bond rated it it was amazing. My opinion of the book "You hear me," is a great book. Some of my favorite parts of the book were when the teens talk about sports.
The reason why I liked when teen boys were talking about sports is that they are so competitive. Another part that I acknowledged was when one of the teens was talking about his dad. He says "I wish you were here", I wish you could hear me. This makes me think about my mother. It didn't say how he passed away but I feel like it was somethin My opinion of the book "You hear me," is a great book. It didn't say how he passed away but I feel like it was something to do with drugs.
My mother overdosed. Some parts of the book relate to me Jun 21, Debbie rated it liked it. OK, I have to give this book a 3 because I get what the editor was doing. She chose poems and writings that were heartfelt. The boys poured their souls into their pieces, for the most part. But I found many uncomfortable to read hoping that my teenage son doesn't have such dark thoughts , and I found many still just bad writing.
So while I am so glad the editor gave these boys a place to express themselves, it's just not a book for me. No one has discussed it at length, and the few who have remarked on it merely point out that it gave rise to the "Calamus" sequence and leave it at that. We know, however, that Whitman valued the poems of "Live Oak" enough to include all of them among the forty-five poems of "Calamus" published in the third Leaves in , although he first reordered them in such a way that he obliterated the narrative they contain.
He was obviously sensitive not so much about the separate poems but about the sequence itself: he never published it, never so far as we know even mentioned it, and in his fourth edition of the Leaves , two of the three poems dropped from "Calamus" were crucial "Live Oak" poems 5 and 8. Perhaps he felt the sequence revealed too much, for it gives us the only sustained treatment of homosexual love in all of his poetry. True, Whitman had written of men loving men before "Live Oak" but only fleetingly or in ways so opaquely figurative that most readers still aren't sure what's going on.
Only in "Live Oak" do we get a clear story of a love affair with a man, along with a story of a coming out that affects Whitman's other poetry in this period and even changes the course of his life. In understanding what it meant to Whitman to love a man and to come out as America's first self-identified "homosexual," in seeing how, that affects the best poetry of his third edition, and in making sense of his subsequent career, we might at last begin where Whitman himself began. By Bowers's calculations, Whitman copied the twelve poems into a little notebook sometime in the spring of , apparently transcribing them from originals composed a short time before but now lost.
In Calamus Lovers , Charley Shively has identified the lover of this period as Fred Vaughan, a young man who lived with Whitman in the late s. Whatever Whitman's original plan for the poems personal memento?
A reader unfamiliar with the sequence should turn to it now, at the end of this essay. As with the other poems I quote, I give the "Live Oak" poems in their first published form—that is, as they appeared in the third Leaves of Grass in in the form Whitman approved for publication. I've simply removed them from "Calamus" and restored them to Whitman's original order. The love narrative of "Live Oak" tells a fairly simple story of infatuation, abandonment, and accommodation. In the beginning, Whitman is so ecstatically in love that an image of his formerly independent self the live oak now bemuses him.
His lover joins him, and soon thereafter Whitman renounces his poetry on the lover's behalf. The lover then abandons Whitman, and from that point on Whitman struggles with his loss. That much is clear, but the accompanying narrative of Whitman's coming out and its consequences is harder to discern. Whitman is certainly "feverish" in poem l and as "out" as he could possibly be in proclaiming his new love, but the poem is also musical, one of the "overtures" that mark key poems of this period and that serve to announce a theme while transporting us from our world into Whitman's.
The theme is clear—consuming love of.
It's hard to tell and hard to know whom Whitman is addressing, for he ends the poem exclaiming that his soul is "Wafted in all directions, O love, for friendship, for you. Poem 2 gives the sequence part of its title: "I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing. He's mesmerized by the tree, as we all are by vivid reminders of former selves, but he ends the poem affirming his new self, saying that although the live oak thrives alone creatively in "uttering joyous leaves" and sexually in that it "glistens" , "I know very well I could not.
It has the best of his tenderness and his homespun grandeur, and it's prosodically masterful—the lines swelling, cresting, and subsiding like the ocean waves Whitman sought to re-create in language. In its mingling of excitement and serenity at the end, the poem recalls the aftermath of the visionary experience in "Song of Myself," but Whitman isn't describing a visionary experience here—just a deeply loving, deeply human one. Note how he places the beach at a safe distance from the capitol, site of the reigning ideology of love and sex that he transgresses in this poem. Note too the nice awareness by which this "crime against nature" is endorsed by nature's congratulations.
Clearly, nature isn't bothered by anything these lovers are doing. The world of the capitol is bound to be, however, and that must be why, after the joyful satisfactions of poem 3, Whitman is "yearning and thoughtful" in poem 4, pining for men "in other lands. Oddly, the poem reads as though the experience of the previous poem had never happened, for why would the satisfied lover of poem 3 suddenly be "alone" and yearning for "brethren and lovers" in places further and further beyond the boundaries of his own country?
Transgression, retreat; transgression, retreat: therein we have the choreography of "Live Oak" and "Calamus. The capitol in fact occupies most of the poem in the form of Whitman's list of things he's renouncing, while the "One who loves me" the ostensible subject of the poem hardly appears. A split between the two narratives becomes obvious, for Whitman's claim that he no longer cares about his "songs of the New World" is belied by the space he accords them, while what he presents as his voluntary renunciation of his poetry is no such thing because he cannot be both America's foremost poet and its first homosexual lover.
Whitman must renounce his former poetry, and his confused view of the matter results in an ambivalent, bombastic poem in which he sounds more like a man addressing Congress than one celebrating his lover. A deep tension appears in Whitman between pride in his new self and a resistance to that self which absorbs him and provokes his blustering defiance. The tension breaks out again in poem 7 when Whitman instructs "You bards of ages hence" to "Publish my name and hang up my picture as that of the tenderest lover" but then walks with his lover "apart from other men.
All lovers prefer privacy, but Whitman is learning that in a homophobic society, homosexual lovers require it. That's surely why he looks so yearningly at those men in poem 6 who hug and kiss "in the midst of the crowd. But he knows he can't—except of course in "parting," which by this point in Whitman's career has become the central act of his poetry—and so the more he exposes and expresses his love in "Live Oak," the more there's a contrary, self-protective impulse in him to hide it or somehow displace it, distance it or sequester it from public view.
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