“Teachers more than athletes”

For my found poem I used an article called “Teachers should make more than athletes” written by a Kentucky Supreme Court justice,  Bill Cunningham. He discusses the inexcusable fact that athletes, that just play a game to provide entertainment to our country, make quadruple the amount of money teachers make in a year. I used a blackout method to manipulate his article into my poem because I wanted the changes to be dramatic. I also wanted to amplify the importance of the words that were not sketched out. There is one sentence in the poem that is crossed out in a light blue color. This sentence is very hard to read but is still somewhat legible. The sentence is, “Those who teach in special education these days deserve a Purple Heart and a pension.” If the words I tried to make stand out to the reader to persuade them to see the unfairness in the wage gap, I hoped this sentence would open their minds to this concept. My overall goal of this poem was to inform to those who have no knowledge of this event and to persuade those who know of the gap, to see the impact teacher have, and how important their services to our youth really is.  Also, I wanted the reader to understand, as a society, we have to begin to recognize their worth. In doing so, we can help teachers in any way we can whether that is buying a box of tissues for the semester or making sure the child is ready to go to school on time in the morning. We need to begin to recognize how important teachers really are.

http://www.kentuckynewera.com/web/opinion/article_e2217d43-f20c-5061-b918-dd0674ca5e75.html

Head in the Social Media Clouds

Most of us have experienced it

Social media can make us feel good about ourselves

But its air of substance is too often just an illusion

Some of us give ourselves too much credit in general

Admittedly, it is difficult for me to swallow,

As I am guilty of everything I have mentioned.

I chose to speak about an article called Head in the (Instagrammed) Clouds by Isabel H. Evans. This article is about how all of us are basically brain washed by social media. The author makes some good points about what social media is doing but is also targeting everyone like we have the same problems. Although social media can be addictive and time consuming, some people have made their careers off social media. Also, this article speaks about how Instagram distracts you from painfully boring situations as if it is a bad thing. Social media helping us out of these situations is not a bad thing, older people just have it in their minds that us younger people being on our phones is so bad for us. We are constantly told that social media is ruining our social skills because all we know is typing and not speaking to people in real life. I don’t think this is true because it really just depends on your personality and how you are raised. Social media does not affect your social skills or your ego in my opinion. Egotism is a common term used in this article. Just because some people care about likes on a post, doesn’t mean it eats them alive at night, it only matters for that certain moment and then is forgotten about. Social media is not mind controlling and is not changing our lives in a negative way. Although it affects everyone in different ways, it should not be looked at in a negative manner any more than a positive one.

One in a Million

For my found poem I decided to choose the widely controversial song, “One in a Million” by Guns N’ Roses. This song has provoked a large negative audience and caused the band to omit the song from many sets due to racist, homophobic, and anti-immigrant sentiments. The band said they will not change the lyrics because they want to maintain free speech and they believe people are just perceiving their feelings wrong. However, the words from the song, “immigrants and fagots they make no sense to me,” and, “that’s right get outta my way,” strongly suggest a hatred towards immigrants and homosexuals – adding to the controversy surrounding the song.

In my poem I decided to take parts of the lyrics and create a different meaning by turning the words of hatred into an immigrant’s dream of peace. I used the words to tell the story of how many immigrants came in chains (figuratively and literally) and tried to contribute to our country. The words, “we tried / to reach/ you,” are supposed to be the immigrant’s efforts to contribute to a new culture, although they are often underappreciated. To me, the words, “just / one in a million,” can mean an immigrant’s thoughts of surviving and being accepted in the United States. Finally, the end is about the immigrants’ dream of a more peaceful future.

 

You’re so …

For my found poem, I decided to dissect the song “Ur so Gay” by Katy Perry.   When I first heard this song, I could not believe how offensive it was.  It immediately came to my mind to use as a found poem because of its offensive lyrics and overall message.  I cut up the words from the first verse of the song and placed them at the top of my poem.  In the upper right section of the poem there are offensive terms Perry uses to characterize the subject of her song.  The upper left portion of the poem contains personal beliefs regarding what the speaker wants for the subject.  The speaker acts as a bully in this poem, calling out a gay person as inferior because of their differences.  The upper middle of the poem contains other offensive descriptions of what the speaker considers to be a gay person.  My found poem can be read in any direction.  It is meant for the reader to find meaning by reading vertically, horizontally, diagonally, or backwards.  It is up to the reader to understand these offensive terms in their own way.  No matter which way this poem is interpreted, it should always have the same theme of discrimination against gay people.

For the second half of the poem, I decided to focus on the central theme of calling out a gay person.  To the left, I arranged several statements of “You’re so gay” to hone in on how offensive this claim really is.  I believe the repetition implies how much discrimination gay people face and how difficult it is for them to be accepted by the majority of people.  In the center, I included many fragments of “you don’t even.”  This is meant to reflect the confusion of the speaker in understanding his or her subject.  It shows how many refuse to accept gays because of their inability to understand them.  To the right of the poem, I organized the terms “like” and “boys” in several different ways.  Once again, it is up to the reader to interpret these fragments and understand them in whichever ways they see fit.  The central message of my found poem is to highlight discrimination faced by members of the LGBTQ community and to help readers understand the struggles that they face.  

My found poem would not upload either, so here it is typed out ” escape from       the humdrum

remedy the despair       “Of Love

connect with one another.

cut through the isolation of      life.

‘move out

from house to pub to flat to café to house 

to the next

be

a human being with strong passions and good reasons,”

tear                   and remake

something new.”

love

strong

For my article, I decided to stray away from something political that would make me angry. I decided to look at the passing of British poet Judith Kazantzis. An overview of her work and life were described by the New York Times article, and this did make me sad because I have read some of her pieces of work for other classes and quite enjoyed them. Kazantzis was a woman who tried to empower other women, and later in life turned her focus on political issues. These two characteristics are important to me, so I tried to play off of those ideas and focus on connections. Plus, since we are making poems, I thought using an article about a poet was appropriate.

I tried to have the idea of connections come across with this poem. I think that in the world today it can be challenging to be reminded to treat others the way we want to be treated. There is so much hatred, discrimination, intolerance, and drama, that I wanted to emphasize on the idea that love and connections with friends and family are so important. Being “good to your neighbor” and loving unapologetically is something I try to live by everyday, and I wanted that to come through with this.

 

Spread Kindness

For my Found Poem, I decided to use the lyrics from the song 1-800-273-8255 by Logic ft. Alessia Cara and Khalid. As soon as I found out about this assignment, this song was the first idea to pop into my head. I chose this song because it deals with such a dark sensitive topic; suicide.

This song is about the struggles of having depression and contemplation of suicide. By taking out and rearranging lyrics, I was able to change the original message that the singer wanted to portray. My poem is about feeling alone and struggles people experience in life. It is about finding someone who may bring light to negative situations and how important that person can be without even knowing it. You never really know what someone is going through and a simple act of kindness or showing you care can make a big difference in someone’s life.

What’s That Song Called?

For my poem I chose to start with the lyrics to the song Gucci Gang by Lil Pump and I extracted all of the Gucci gangs; all forty-eight of them so you can see them by themselves to get a feel for just how repetitive the song is. I chose this because I’m not really into literature or politics enough to get angry about a bill, law, or text, but I do love music.

I mainly listen to hip-hop and so called “mumble rap” however, I don’t like extremely repetitive music. When I tried to think of an annoying song this one was the first to come to mind. If you take out the hook, which appears four times throughout the song, and the forty-eight Gucci gangs, there’s only about 120 words left in the song that make up the only verse on the song. There isn’t a ‘correct’ song structure, but four hooks and one verse just seems lazy.

Found Poem: Avenue

Note: The photograph of my found poem would not upload. Avenue

I felt like I was drunk

I remember

driving in your car

City lights

speed so fast

cruising to entertain ourselves

we were driving,

And I had a feeling I could be someone

I remember we were driving,

And I had a feeling that I belonged

You gotta make a decision

You got nothing to lose

I got nothing to prove

Maybe we’ll make something

Be someone, be someone

I’d always hoped for better

Thought maybe together you and me would find it

I want more from life than you could give

And finally see what it means to be living

For my found poem, I chose the song “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman. I chose specific words from the song to create a story of a girl driving in a car towards the city with a boy next to her. The girl feels like she belongs with him but towards the end of the poem, she realizes that there’s so much more life left to live and he can not give her that. She realizes that only she alone can find her reason to live and happiness.

While this song may not be upsetting for people, it is for me. This was a song my emotionally abusive ex would sing and play guitar to. Thinking of this song places me in a bad mindset where I felt small and helpless.

Words to die to

For my found poem, I chose to use the FBI transcript of the “Death Tape” from the Jonestown Massacre.  The full transcript can be found following this link: https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=29081 . I chose this text because the Jonestown Massacre has always been something that has intrigued and troubled me. For those of you who don’t know what the Jonestown Massacre was, on November 18th, 1978, charismatic cult leader and priest Jim Jones, leader of the People’s Temple cult, instructed his followers of over 900 people to drink cyanide infused flavor aid, in what he called an act of “revolutionary suicide.” The deaths included the murder of over 200 children. Jim Jones established The People’s Temple, a Christian sect, preaching against racism and about an open and diverse world where love conquers all. He eventually led his followers to the beautiful country of Guyana where they made their home in the commune known as Jonestown. They had established a flourishing community there, but when word reached the states that some of Jones followers wanted to leave but were not allowed, some concerned family members of People’s Temple followers brought it to the attention of congressman Leo Ryan. Ryan and a few family members made a trip to Guyana to see what the situation was. They stayed a couple of days and a few of the members of People’s Temple elected to leave with them. Jim Jones begrudgingly allowed them to leave, as he didn’t have much of a choice in front of the congressman. When their plane was about to take off, everyone who was attempting to board the plane was shot dead via Jones’ orders. The events that followed are explained by the “Death Tape” and how Jones convinced nearly a thousand people to kill themselves. If you have ever heard the phrase “don’t drink the Kool-aid” this is where that expression comes from. The expression typically means, don’t believe everything you are told. It’s origins are very dark but also inaccurate, as the drink mixture of cyanide wasn’t actually with the Kool-aid brand but with grape Flavor-aid.

I took the transcript, as prepared by the FBI, and printed it off. I then cut up everything that Jones said, directed at his followers, specifically when he was speaking on their behalf or at them about their fate. The tape shows that at this point Jones is somewhat incoherent at times, he rambles a bit and sometimes doesn’t make a lot of sense. But overall his tone is very depressed and hopeless. I took pieces of his ramblings and final conversation with his followers, and made into more of a coherent explanation for why he thought this was the only route they could go.

My found poem can be found here:

Words to die to