V “Jakarta, January” - Sarah Kaye V
In text form --->https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem-day
Performed ---> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OemkJy0y0b0
I would like to remind my nonexistent readers to be grateful that I’m not analysing another Phil Kaye poem. I would also like to a apologize for some fake news that I included in my last blog entry. Although Phil Kaye and Sarah Kay have basically the same last name, and went on tour together- they aren’t married. My bad guys 🤷.
Jakarta Indonesia experienced a wave of deadly terror attacks on January 14th, 2016. The attacks were part of a campaign carried out by the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”, this attack came just months after the deadly 2015 Paris Terror Attacks. Sarah Kay was teaching poetry when the attack occurred on the other side of town. Her poem was inspired by Hanif Abdurraqib (solid dude), who was inspired himself by Frank O’Hara. “Jakarta, January” is about what happened that day, it also about what happened on 9/11.
In the poem Kay talks about how she was on the “lucky side of town” when the attacks occurred. She goes onto to wonder “how lucky do you have to be for it to miss you twice[?]”. “Jakarta, January” is written almost as a stream of consciousness, it’s disjointed and chaotic. The poem is all one long run-on sentence, no periods or anything, not even to mark important rhetorical questions that add to meaning. Those rhetorical questions are what I’m going to focus on.
“what is a boy if not a glowing thing learning what he can get away with[?]” this passage is one of a few jokes that serve to lighten up the otherwise heavy poem, it also helps to create a sense of childish innocence. Another question is “what is a girl if not a pulsing thing learning what the world will take from her[?]”, this adds to the aforementioned sense of innocence by describing how a girl doesn’t yet understand the cruelty of the world. The last question is “what is an adult if not a terrified thing desperate to protect something you cannot save?” this question creates no innocence, instead reflecting the harsh reality that the world can’t be controlled.
“Camaro” By Phil Kaye
In text form: https://www.wattpad.com/473971022-spoken-word-poetry-camaro-by-phil-kaye
In video form: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYngD80CG6g
After another evening of searching I’ve finally settled on a poem. The poem is “Camaro”, and it was written by a lovely poet you may have seen on my blog before- Phil Kaye. I read this poem because it had a cool title, but I’m analyzing it because I relate to it. I understand talking to an empty room, I understand being the only one to remember a moment, and I understand the power of a “normal Tuesday”. Having said that, I’d give the poem 7/7 hatchets. "Camaro" got this rating because of the skillfully executed E.T reference “Two aliens phoning home”. It was a bold move that not a lot of poets would’ve even attempted.
“Camaro” is a love poem, which seems to becoming a trend on my blog. Kay wrote it for his ex girlfriend, who he seemed to be rather fond of. I’m not sure what Sarah Kay (Phil Kaye’s friend) has to say about this. Like most of Kaye’s work it’s from his own perspective. He doesn’t have much of a persona but if he does it’s just a more melancholy version of himself. Although the Camaro comes up in the work multiple times it’s more about the memories associated with it than the vehicle itself.
The part of the poem where Kaye best paints a picture in the reader’s mind is when he uses repetition. The beginning and the ending of the poem are very similar, both reference renting the Camaro and two aliens phoning home. In the way that an essay’s intro and conclusion reiterate the same ideas to make sure the point gets across Kaye’s use of repetition drives home the nostalgic tone of the poem.
V For anyone wondering just how beautiful “Big Sur” really is. V
I feel like these two works relate to each other because this location is specifically mentioned in the poem.
“I Am Offering this Poem”
Jimmy Santiago Baca
This poem was introduced to me by my endearingly enthusiastic AP Lit teacher. It’s time again for the annual “Poetry Out Loud” competition. This year- we’re gonna win. After skimming the entire poetry out loud catalog this is still my favorite poem. (I just saw on snapchat that one of my classmates also chose this poem even though I called dibs.) (Not Cool Kass)
I Am Offering this Poem is a love poem, but it’s a good love poem because it doesn’t just say he loves the intended reader. He asks the reader to remember that he loves them, and to use it as a soothing balm.
“When the world outside no longer cares if you live or die;
I love you”
The reader is never truly alone, because wherever they are, they will always be loved. The quote is from the last stanza, which is also my favorite stanza. I like it because it’s where the poem shifts from talking about the warmth of love to the use of love.
On the subject of structure, this poem doesn’t seem to be very structured. Although it has stanzas broken up by “I love yous” it doesn’t fall into a category of poem or a pattern of rhyme (I think). The only stanza that has a rhyme scheme is the last one (AABBCE). Another super obvious thing I noticed was that the “I love yous” were separated from the rest of the poem to make them more impactful or “Punchy”.
Moving on to yet another of the five Ss(esses?) Syntax, a keen eyed reader could note that there’s only two periods in the poem. The first is in the first stanza right after “It’s all I have to give” and the second period is at the end after the final “I love you”. Another brilliant tidbit about syntax is the frequent use of simile and metaphor. The main body of the poem is comprised of one metaphor after another. Painting a picture in the reader’s mind that allows them to envision the warm wholesome love that the speaker has for the reader.
Kaye’s anguish in the poem is like the Titanic; calling, calling, and calling some more- searching for an answer that won’t come. In the work, Kaye reflects on the memory of his parent’s separation. He opens and closes the poem with an extended metaphor about space. Kaye uses the metaphor and his frequent use of repetition to craft a childlike persona. These tools combine to tell an emotionally compelling story.
The poem is titled “Repetition”, a title it well deserves. Kaye establishes a desperate tone through his use of repetition, it’s like Kaye’s younger self is begging the separation to not be real. This most obvious example of this comes from the about the middle of the poem when he says,
“Separation, separation, separation;
Apart, apart, apart;
Just like his mother said, if you repeat something over and over again it will become meaningless. By repeating the words into nothingness he’s not trying to convince the reader that they’re fake, he was trying to convince himself.
One motif in the poem is space, more specifically, weightlessness. Experiencing your parents separation can create a sense of unreality, especially if you’re as young as Kaye was. When my parents separated it took me three days to realize it wasn’t just an elaborate prank. Kaye conveys this experience by saying,
“When I came back there was no gravity in our home, beds floating”.
The bed wasn’t actually floating, his house wasn’t actually without gravity, and his parents "definitely" weren’t actually separating. Kaye used this metaphor to convey both the surreal nature of the experience, and to show how difficult it was for him to process it.
I found the poem by looking at who my LIT teacher followed on twitter and clicking the first one that had word “Poet” in the bio. After that, I googled “Phil Kaye” and clicked links until I found a poem in text form. Given my careful selection process I didn’t expect to be able to relate to the poem on the level I did. Kaye manages to put into words an experience very similar to mine, that I previously thought to be indescribable. In my humblest opinion, Faye is a poet of merit. This is displayed through his brilliant weightlessness metaphor, and his emotionally impactful use of repetition.
All in all, I’d give “Repetition” a solid 10.
(I’m not qualified to review poetry)
Chaos theory seems to be meant for a person dear to Smith, probably someone he loves. Smith talks about all the ways they couldn't have met, but he also talks about the ways that they could still be together. Smith closes the poem by revealing that his purpose for writing was to say how much he likes knowing the person. In the poem Smith is the speaker and his persona is a mix between aloof and factual. The title is significant because the entire poem is an explanation of Chaos Theory, and his musings about it. The title gives the reader the right expectations for the rest of the poem.
In lines 9 & 10 it says
"maybe you would have been a tortoise and I would be a raspberry"
this is the first of a few different instances of personification. Chaos Theory is different from most of the other poems in the book because Smith never uses the word, instead preferring to use commas. The poem is one long sentence, the only period is used to close the poem at the end. To fit with prehistoric theme he mostly talks about natural things that could've existed twenty million years ago.
In my opinion, this poem is simply cute. The poem stands out in stark contrast when compared to the rest of the book. Instead of focusing on the usual themes of injustice and death the poem serves as a genuine and authentic way for the writer to express how much he appreciates someone. My favorite part is found in the last few lines when he ties it all together by saying "I could go on but what I mean to say is that it would have been such a tragedy if something happened that prevented me from meeting you".
1. Raccoons are my favorite animal
2. I'm a radical centrist (Leftist Libertarian)
3. I'm a radical dude (Clinically Depressed)
4. My favorite color is green
5. I never learned how to tie my shoes (Yes seriously, I do some bunny ear thing)
6. I'm a genius (Perfect 100% IQ) (Straight Facts)
7. My favorite drink is chocolate milk (Trickling springs creamery) (It's local, #locavore)
8. Terry Crews is my hero
9. My favorite song is Cleopatra by the Lumineers
10. My favorite word is quackery (Medical Fraud)