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Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “One Art” is a villanelle about coping with the loss of a loved one.  It is probably my favorite out of the group of poems for this week, just for the style.  Villanelles are an entirely new style of poetry for me, and I love them because they sound like lyrics just waiting to be put to music.  I particularly enjoy “One Art” because I can picture it as a heartbreaking ballad in a musical.

“One Art” flows like the songs of those beautifully flawed characters in almost every musical I’ve ever seen.  It starts almost innocuously, with Bishop talking about losing small things in order to “master” the “art of [loss].”  From the beginning stanza, the reader knows that Bishop is discussing loss for a reason, that she is probably building up to a big realization about the loss of someone or something important in her life, but they don’t know for sure.  She transitions to “practice losing farther, losing faster,” and mentions losing “cities,” “rivers,” and entire “continent[s],” before finally moving into the final stanza, which starts “-Even losing you.”  That one line is like that brilliant lyric that appears in my favorite heartbreaking ballads, where the viewer realizes that the character has been covering up some terrible loss for the entire show.  “One Art” brings to mind songs like “Time” from Tuck Everlasting, “How Could I Ever Forget” from Next to Normal, “You Learn to Live Without” from If/Then, “Without You” from Rent, and so many others.

 

Of this week’s selection of poems, Sylvia Plath’s “Mad Girl’s Love Song” was my favorite. I’ve always found eccentric, possibly crazy characters fascinating, and the speaker here was no exception. The villanelle style of repeating lines added to the “madness” of the voice – made it seem desperate and not exactly sane. The parentheses around “I think I made you up inside my head” caused me to feel like the speaker was not only addressing her lover but maybe talking to herself as well. Like many other poems we have read, I noticed the use of color throughout the poem, along with personification (“The stars go waltzing out in blue and red, / And arbitrary blackness gallops in”). I thought every line was written beautifully, but my favorites had to be “I should have loved a thunderbird instead; / At least when spring comes they roar back again.” I enjoyed the fact that Plath chose the thunderbird rather than a real animal because it showed how strongly the speaker felt toward her lover (in Native American mythology, the thunderbird is known to create lightning and thunder; this could mean that the speaker’s love was as strong as a thunderstorm). Overall, while the poem may be from the point of view of a “mad girl,” the emotion behind the words is something most people can relate – or want to relate – to, and maybe that shows us that love truly makes us mad.

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THE MUSIC REACHED DOWN MY THROAT, to nourish with each reverberating, electronic note and echoed with bittersweet, vibrant pungency out my ears. I was touched by music in an entirely new way when I heard/ ingested Maggot Brain for the first time.

 

I had allowed Napster and Instant Messaging to creep into my life with great excitement. I had found a way to access the world from my dorm room. Everyone around me was doing the same. My soon-to-be boyfriend was an Allman Brothers fanatic. He was Italian and true in form to many stereotypes. Everything with him was excessive, including the amount of time he spent messaging with his best bud back in New York. His computer screen was filled with back and forth Allman23 and FunkadelicNYU. I amused myself by imagining the scenario of the two bands being behind the screen names, tight pants and all that hair.  It was not long before FunkadelicNYU and I began our own banter. His name was Dan, but I rarely called him anything other than Funk. My education was expanding.

I was a fan of Bootsy. And what girl searching for her independence wouldn’t be a fan of an old man with rainbow dreds and a wardrobe worthy of envy? FunkadelicNYU schooled me in beats recorded and lived. He introduced me to Puerto Rican city life and the energized rhythms pumping out of New York City. We exchanged World beats without me ever leaving The Grounds of UVa.

And then it happened, it was time for me to know the insides and outs of P Funk, Funkadelic, and what seemed like a million other pieces of music history. Apparently, Bootsy came two years after Maggot Brain was released. “Maggot Brain”? Of course I hadn’t listened to something with a name like “Maggot Brain”! He couldn’t believe it, even for a white girl. With a sentiment nearing preposterous, Funk found it a necessity to reverse this craziness and he sent me a link to the title song despite it being near five in the morning, never mind that my roommate was asleep. He instructed me to turn up my speakers and cued me when to press play.

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Essence of Autumn

Red, orange, yellow, brown; pumpkins, candied apples, sweaters, crisp air.

 

These are some of the things that come to mind when one thinks of fall. However, for some there is something more important, football. Football sets the stage for the beginning of autumn.

 

Tailgates, barbeque, chanting, partying, team colors, fantasy football, rivalries.

 

Football has a way of bringing people together to celebrate their teams but also creates rivalries. In college football one of the biggest rivalries is Ohio State vs. Michigan State that has been around for decades and in the NFL one big rivalry is the Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys. Over time football has become the new favorite past time for US citizens and is only found in the US. In a way because of that, it makes football all the more special to those who live and breath the sport.

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T.R. Hummer’s “Where You Go When She Sleeps” is a poem that evokes a dreamy, surreal moment in time, as a man (the speaker) falls in love with the woman sleeping with her head in his lap. The poem is a run-on sentence, trawling through the color of the woman’s hair, a color the man can’t quite name, to a story of a boy the man had heard once. The boy drowned in a grain silo, and it is through this golden pallet of grain and dust in sunlight that the reader learns the woman is blonde.

The poem is full of comparisons like this, as the woman’s hair reminds the man of grain and golden color of sunlit dust, which in turn leads into the story of the drowned boy, which in turn is a metaphor for falling in love, drowning in it. As mentioned above, the run-on quality of the poem allows a smooth transition from topic to topic, and lends itself to a drowsy, dreamlike tone.

Surprisingly, Hummer brings us back to reality with the last two lines, which reflect back to the start of the poem, referring to the content of the woman’s dream, and the man’s potential place in it.

David Lucas’s poem “About Suffering–,” is beautiful, both lyrically and visually.  Lucas uses metaphors to paint pictures in our minds, bringing life and depth to actions and emotions.

There are no stanza breaks in this poem; it’s a continuous block of verse, flowing from one line to the next.  Some lines contain more than one sentence and some have sentences that start on one line and finish on the next.  Lucas’s style works well for the concept of this poem, creating a continuous stream of unbroken thought.  This ties in with the speaker’s lament, that we are not like Icarus.  “It’s never him.  His father, Daedalus–/he’s our muse, bent to an unforgiving craft/in someone else’s labyrinth, the dark/exile in which he sets himself to work:”  It’s “about suffering;” its about the loss of youth and its bold unashamed and unfettered lifestyle.  We age and become fettered by responsibility.

The turning point of this poem comes at the end, on the third to last line.  “At last he sleeps,” the poem reads, and the reader feels a sense of relief, and peace.  “…in fits and half-dreamed fears/that love, and work, and life are passing vapor,/and all the wings he’s made he’s made of paper.”

James Wright’s poem “Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio” is one of those poems that is very subtle about the use of its poetic devises.  It relies on natural pauses in speech patterns to dictate line breaks.  There is only one instance of enjambment: “Their sons grow suicidally beautiful / At the beginning of October.”  Wright includes subtle consonance, especially in the first stanza.  The lines “I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville / And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,” show the repetition of “l” and “s” sounds.  The following line, “And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Street,” repeats the “w” sound.  There is no rhyme scheme, and the number of syllables in each line show no discernable pattern. 

Wright does, however, use quite a bit of metonymy.  In replacing commonplace descriptors with more inventive ones, he breathes fresh life into the images portrayed in phrases such as “long beers,” “ruptured night watchman,” and “suicidally beautiful.”  I feel like without this metonymy, the descriptions of working class minorities in the factory town of “Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio” would feel very cliché. 

My favorite poem out of the ones assigned to us was James Wright’s “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota.”  Perhaps my favorite element of the poem was the author’s use of colors.  There is a clear division in the two color schemes used: there is a theme of dark colors, as well as warm colors.  They are indicative of the two contrasting themes in the poem: the poem depicts a peaceful sunset, but, in the final line, the speaker also expresses the realization that he has wasted his life.  Using phrases such as “bronze butterfly” and “golden stones” emote warmth and peace, while “dark trunk” and “green shadow” seem to foreshadow the dark realization at the end of the poem.

This was a poem that made me think. It was a poem about relaxing – until it wasn’t. The tone was calm and peaceful, and I could see the scene so clearly in my mind: lying in a hammock on a summer day, a gentle breeze blowing, just watching the day go by. And then suddenly, with the last line, everything changes. “I have wasted my life.” It was so sudden and such a contrast from the rest of the poem. Upon reading the poem again, I noticed another meaning to the seemingly peaceful words. I noticed that this wasn’t just a day of relaxation, but a day like any other. The butterfly, the cows, and the hawk each do the same things they do every single day of their lives. For them, that is all there is. For a person, there is so much more. That last line changed the perspective of the poem drastically, and I could then see that the speaker probably viewed himself like these animals: doing the same, dull things over and over, day after day. This is a feeling that many people experience at some point in their lives, and Wright expressed these feeling in a way that was clear without being obvious: loneliness and disappointment disguised as peace and tranquility.

I really enjoyed how James Wright wrote his poem “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota.” Although I have never been to Minnesota, reading his poem I felt like it was a warm day, and I was outside in a Hammock experiencing the day the way he was explaining in the poem. I could hear the cowbells and feel the sunlight on my face.  I think James Wright did an amazing thing with his language and making the reader feel like the world stopped and we were now experiencing it the way that he was. The other poem of his that we read left me a little confused as to what it was actually about. I kept picturing a football game where the fathers were so proud of their sons and mothers who were so afraid for their sons’ safety.

Last Sunday I decided to visit the diner. I watched Frida’s powdered sugar brow melt away atop my new friend Jay’s stack. I felt at home. I was there to return a fleece on my way through town. I stayed because of the energy of acceptance and community. It was no different from when I lived across the street a decade before. I stayed to read poetry and be surrounded by an eclectic collection of records and knicknacks. I stayed to smell the coffee in constant brew and to share Nodine’s thick cut artisan garlic bacon. I had biscuit and gravy and a rye Manhattan to complete my second breakfast of the morning. I was somehow waiting for “Maggotbrain” to be played next as the day had been in the realm of serendipitous, princess and carriage rides to boot.

A week later, as I begin to crawl out of the embarrassment and ignorance that engulfs me, I find strength in Adam Zagajewski’s “Try to Praise the Mutilated World”. Calculated or fortuitous in timing, it does not matter. The moment could not have been better. This poem is an offering of hope as it reminds the listener of surrounding miracles. I attended church this morning and a thought that resonated with me was that while I may not be able to heal the world, I can help stop the bleeding. Zagajewski’s words are a balm unto earth’s scars.

This poem will forever evoke sentiments and memories of September eleventh, as that is when I first became familiar, when I felt so small. My feelings of fragility and anger began to vanish. In the contemplation of the resilience of others, brave and battered, I felt petty clinging to the negative. Now, I understand this to be a poem of supplication, the song of a caged bird, a call to action. Zagajewski acknowledges the experiences of the oppressed: You’ve seen the refugees going nowhere… He offers a revolution beginning in the mind when elsewise physically dormant and suppressed. What we give our attention to is what grows and nourishes us. He calls for praise to be the force that uplifts and frees change from becoming stagnant, beginning with the reflection of where delight has previously been found. Return in thought to the concert where music flared.

I did not save room for the nostalgic ice cream sandwich and draft root beer last weekend that I initially planned, leaving something for me to look forward to next time. I sat in front of the photo that held Sydney in a place of remembrance. And it worked. He was a homeless man that found a state of happiness in knowing we both had the same Burger King watch. I had forgotten how he reminded me that joy was everywhere, if only I was looking for it. He would’ve liked Adam Zagajewski and probably admired his watch.

Arboretum

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IMG_9780Here are links to some poems — some new, some old — for you to explore. Some of these pages include the author reading her poem; I encourage you to listen as you read.

Cecelia Llompart, “Omens”
Paula Bohince, “Deer at Twilight”
Adelaide Crapsey, “Amaze”
Cynthia Manick, “A Taste of Blue”
H.D., “Sea Lily”
Sally Bliumis-Dunn, “Echolocation”
Robin Coste Lewis, “Reason”
Lynn Emanuel, “From A Train”
Paisley Rekdal, “Psalm”

 

 

This is just to say

I may have deleted Robert Hayden’s

“Those Winter Sundays”

In a drowsy stupor at 6 am.

 

I was trying to open it

But it vanished.

So I changed all the folder colors

To Roy G. Biv.

 

If you smile,

Maybe I’m off the hook?

 

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“The Girl with Antlers” is unlike any other poem I’ve read. While that may not be many, I’ve still read enough to know that this one stands out. It reads almost like prose; it was easy to lose myself in the way the lines flowed rather than think about how I was supposed to read it due to line breaks. From the title itself, the poem captures readers’ attention, and they remain hooked for the rest of the poem. The use of asterisks is something that does not seem common in the world of poetry, but here it helps the story flow beautifully. The language (“A terrified midwife named me Monster and left me in the pine woods with only the moon,” “When I awoke I was alone in solitude’s blue woods”) sets the whimsical, fantastic tone of the poem without overdoing it. It made me feel like I was really there with this wild, antlered girl, experiencing the world as she did. “The Girl with Antlers” definitely caught my attention and made me want to read more of Elkins’s works.

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In her poem “The Girl with Antlers,” Ansel Elkins explores what it is to be an outsider.  The main character is a girl born with a pair of deer antlers who is left in the forest to die by her mother’s midwife, but is taken in and raised by another woman.  As Elkins says in a brief essay on this poem in a Poetry Society post, the antler girl is inspired by the monster in Frankenstein.  Like the monster, the antler girl is cast out by society, although her isolation isn’t as complete as the monster’s because she has a caretaker.  As in Frankenstein, the antler girl sees her reflection in a lake and comes to a realization about herself, although hers is more positive than the monster’s.  The antler girl realizes that although she is different, there is a beauty in her strangeness, and as the author says in her Poetry Society post, she is “at home with … herself.”

Part of what makes this poem so enjoyable for me is how natural the antler girl feels.  Obviously, people aren’t born with antlers, left to die by their mothers, taken in by strangers, and spend their days wandering naked through the woods, but the antler girl’s position as a social outcast is painfully familiar (and therefore relatable) to many people, including myself.  Elkins uses enjambment liberally throughout the poem, which makes it flow more like a prose story.  She also uses alliteration and assonance to reveal the importance of lines like “when I awoke I was alone in solitude’s blue woods.”  These elements, combined with the vivid snapshots of her life in the woods, come together to form a beautiful poem about learning to accept and even love yourself as you are, without caring what the rest of the world thinks about you.

 

Source:  https://www.poetrysociety.org/psa/poetry/crossroads/own_words/Ansel_Elkins/

Ansel Elkins’s poem, “Going to the Movies Alone” differs from the other poems that we have discussed so far in that it does not have a defined syllabic structure.  It does have some structure to it, though, in the repeated use of the phrase “I want.”  Using these words repeatedly shows how the speaker is longing for an escape from reality.  I don’t know if this poem is referencing any particular movie, but the way it is described makes it sound like your average action movie.  Action movies like the one referenced are popular because people enjoy the escape from the reality of their stressful lives.  In fact, the opening line of Elkins’s poem: “tonight, I want to see something explode,” indicates that the speaker has encountered a stressful situation and is frustrated by it.  The speaker wants to escape into the predictable world of the movie, where everything will ultimately work out.  At the end of the poem, though, he is brought back to reality when he steps outside “into the dark parking lot slick with snow and ice” and tries “to unlock the frozen [car] door.”  This is a definite contrast between the generic action movie and the speaker’s life.  He has just watched a movie where people perform daring missions to save the world, and he cannot even unlock his car door. In real life, you have to deal with all kinds of little inconveniences, and the story doesn’t end when you defeat whatever obstacle is in your way.

In my room back home, I have an old black CD and cassette player.  Around the age of fourteen, I went through a stage where I would go up into the attic and dig through the boxes of CD’s that my parents had collected over the years.  I’d go through and pull out anything that I thought looked interesting.  I can still remember sitting in the hot attic digging through those boxes.  Anúna, Sarah Brightman, and George Winston were just a few of the artists I would play repeatedly.  One of my favorite CD’s though, was Sarah McLachlan’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.

Music has always been an integral part of my life.  It’s a love that’s been imbued into me throughout my childhood and teenage life, mostly from the influence of my dad.  My dad loves music.  He shared his love of music with my siblings and me, and has made music one of the key elements of our family.  Back in 2005, he bought my mum an iPod and speaker for Christmas, and since then we’ve always had music playing in our house.  My brother and sister have acquired his talents as well, playing guitar and piano respectively, and as much as I wish I had their talents and desire to create and replicate, I’ve come to accept that my passion is more focused on appreciation.

On my quest through the attic for music, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy caught my attention.  I’d heard two of the songs off the album, as they were on the family iPod, put there by my dad when he created the original playlists back in 2005.  He’d spent hours pulling songs from his massive CD collection, picking and choosing those he thought the best.  Two songs, “Wait” and “Elsewhere,” had made the cut, the rest of the album destined to wait in the attic until I stumbled upon it seven years later.  Those two songs were enough to pique my interest and make me choose Fumbling Towards Ecstasy from the 200 or so other CD’s packed into cardboard boxes.

No teenager can escape the so aptly titled “emo phase,” but I think mine could be described as unique, especially for the day and age.  I’m forever indebted to my parents for holding out and not getting me my first iPod Touch until the age of 15, staving off the possibility of any lasting embarrassment by way of social media.  Even though I wasn’t making angst-ridden Facebook posts, there are quite a few cringey journal entries stuffed in the drawer next to my bed, and of course, I had my music.  There was no My Chemical Romance or Green Day, those came later, and briefly, but I had Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.

Fumbling Towards Ecstasy is album full of longing and loneliness.   Listen as the wind blows, from across the great divide.  The title track, “Possession,” speaks to someone the singer wishes she was with, but can’t be.  “Plenty” speaks of a past love.  “Elsewhere” aches of solitude and the juxtaposition of enjoying it but longing for company.  This is heaven to no one else but me, and I’ll defend it as long as I can be left here to linger in silence.  To fourteen-year-old me, full of emotions I was trying process, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy seemed to echo these emotions.  I wanted to figure them out; I hoped that by listening to this music that seemed to express what I was feeling, I could make sense of this confusing time in my life.  What was I doing with my life?  Would I ever find someone who will love me?  I spent many late nights listening to McLachlan’s haunting voice and pondering these questions.

While much of Fumbling Towards Ecstasy is darker and more melancholy, it is not without hope.  “Hold On” was, and still is, a song that can help me through my tough days.  We’re told to hold on, because this is gonna hurt like hell.  McLachlan sings that we will have hard days, but we can get through them.  And you’ll be strong tomorrow when we’ll see another day and we will praise it.  These lines, back in 2012, twenty years after they were written, are just as poignant and striking to me now.  In some ways, I don’t think I’ve outgrown that awkwardness of my early teens.  I still don’t really know what I’m going to do with my life.  I haven’t found that love that I ached for, and sometimes still ache for, at one in morning, but that’s okay.  I’m still young.  I have years ahead of me in my life.  I think the last track in the album which shares its name, voices my feelings well.

All the fear has left me now

I’m not frightened anymore

It’s my heart that pounds beneath my flesh

it’s my mouth that pushes out this breath

And if I shed a tear I won’t cage it

I won’t fear love

And if I feel a rage I won’t deny it

I won’t fear love

My Voice

 

I was distant back then. Distant from my family, friends, and in some ways myself. I put up a wall to block anyone from getting too close. Every time someone tried to get near I would push them away until they were safely on the other side of that wall. I preferred it that way. It was better for me to be alone.

 

If I was to be honest, I probably was like that for a long time before I fully embraced it during my teenage years. I remember my mother telling me I was once a happy baby. I was always smiling and laughing and then one day it stopped. She never saw that carefree, giddy child again.

 

Up until high school, my entire educational background was catholic school. All the girls wore plaid jumpers in elementary school and then upgraded to the same colored green, red, and yellow plaid skirts in middle school. Everyone looked the same and acted the same. It was suffocating. Luckily for me, around this time my neighbor introduced me to screamo and alternative metal. Bands such as Escape the Fate, My Chemical Romance and Bullet for My Valentine started to fill my ipod. It was also then when I first heard the song My Immortal from Evanescence.

 

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Now, being in a public high school, things are a little different. Instead of there only being one group there are multiple groups of different people. What is comical though, is that out of all the different groups I still don’t fit into a crowd. Instead I migrate from group to group being careful not to get too attached to anyone. If past experiences have taught me anything it’s that I can’t trust people. It is better for me to play the part they want to see and then be me in solitude.

 

Throughout all this Amy Lee was my inner voice. She could articulate what I couldn’t to others and even myself; my anger, confusion, wanting, needing and angst all summed up in her lyrics while her voice was powerful enough to always give me chills. She was my rock in the ever-flowing cycle of fear and doubt I found myself in.

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Even with all I went through in my early childhood I wouldn’t change a thing if it shaped me into who I am today. Shit happened but I was able to get through it and grow because of it. My “dark” phase is a part of me I have accepted and moved on from. However, Evanescence will always be a welcomed listen at anytime.

India Arie

“You will never be white,” she said.  “Just because you talk proper and straighten your hair, and you have a good education doesn’t mean that you will ever be more than an ugly black girl.”  I stopped smiling and stood completely still.  It was as if her words had cast a spell on me and forced to me to stand there.  I didn’t need to turn to see who was talking to me; I already knew who it was.  She was tall and pale. She had dirty blonde shoulder-length hair that moved when she talked. And now, as she stood in front of me, I could clearly see her face, scrunched up as if she smelled something sour.  I watched as she dropped the finger she was waving in my face to her hip. I think she was waiting for something.  Maybe she was waiting to see if I would respond.  I wanted to react. I wanted more than anything to tell her how wrong she was for thinking that I wanted to be anything more than who I was.  I was confused, angry, and offended. I was confused as to why this grown woman was yelling at me in the middle of the hall. I was even more confused because I still couldn’t remember what had triggered this conversation.  I stood there for what felt like forever. I could feel a lump in my throat, the kind that comes right when you’re about to start sobbing. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes, but I refused to let this teacher see that her words had hurt me.  I opened my mouth to say something and then turned to walk away.  

I know you’re probably wondering why I didn’t put my “good education” to good use and tell her off.  Trust me, I thought about it.  And as much as her words hurt me, I knew that if I had tried to stick up for myself, it would have inevitably led to me being called aggressive. It was better for me to just walk away and not say anything.

My mom always tells me “Pick your battles.”  Which usually means, you’re completely right in how you feel but not every action needs a response.  As I was walking to the car to leave with my mom that’s all I kept thinking.  “Pick your battles.” I opened the car door and got in.  My mom started off with her usual ” Hey noodle, How was your day?” I told her it was amazing, and I skipped the part where I was insulted by a teacher in the middle of the hall.  I didn’t want my mother to try to handle this situation, not this time. I turned on the radio, to flood my thoughts with something else.  

Five commercials later, I could hear the beginning lyrics of a new song. The voice danced out of the radio and found me. It’s a beautiful day. The singer was someone who I was unfamiliar with. My mom had been telling me since I had entered middle school last year that I should check out this artist. India arie, I think was her name. Right now at this moment, listening to this song I wished I had listened and checked her out sooner. For the rest of the week the same song played on the radio at least twice a day.  On friday, India Arie appeared on the news to talk about her album, and then she performed the same song I had been hearing all week long.

On Saturday, I begged my mom to take me to the store so she could buy me the album, Testimony Vol. II: Love and Politics. I knew that if this one song I listened to made me want to wake up in the morning, and block out all the negativity in my life, then the album would change my entire life for the better.

By Sunday, I knew all the words to every song on the album. The album spoke to me in ways other music didn’t. The album made me fall in love with who I am and who I was starting to become.  Listening to the album brought me to tears. I cried because when I looked in the mirror I saw the beauty in my skin color. When I looked in the mirror I wasn’t ashamed to bear the hardships that came with being black. She lives a life she did not choose. That one sentence speaks volumes. I did not choose my skin color, and I did not ask for anyone’s acceptance of me.  I realize that I don’t fit into any stereotypical thoughts of how a black child should act, but that is what makes me who I am.  As I remembered the day that I was offended in the hall at school I was no longer angry. I was no longer offended, but I was encouraged. I felt encouraged to continue to be who my mother was raising me to be.

On monday, on my way to school I listened to “A Beautiful Day”. I went through the day bouncing, it was like my eyes had opened and I was seeing the world through new eyes. When it was time to go home, I saw her. I saw the teacher who offended me in the hall just last week. She still wore that same sour faced look she had when she talked to me.  I walked right up to her, even though I knew she couldn’t stand me, and I spoke.  When I spoke to her I was genuine, and I knew in my heart I had forgiven her for her ignorance. As I was speaking to her, I could see that she was confused. I knew she had to be, because of all the really hateful things she had said to me.  As the week continued I still spoke to her as if nothing happened.  I still kept a smile on my face regardless of how my day went because it’s still a beautiful day.

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