Confessions In RhymeConfessions in Rhyme
L.A. #201 October 27, 1997
Charlotte mixing in with the sailors,
is like a drop of gold paint in a bucket of gray paint.
Under all the pressure she must feel faint.
No other drops of gold paint to accompany her.
Only a fraud.
Gold on the outside,
but hateful clear on the inside.
trying to be a good captain,
but less than the sailors.
Since the golden drop of paint is all alone,
it blends in with the gray.
This relates to when Charlotte is coming aboard the Seahawk. Also it relates to how she becomes one with the crew.
This poem is modeled after my poet’s work because Molly Peacock would use metaphors in her poems. She would compare two things together to make one.
For each sailor a flag has fallen and surrender was pleaded,
for each sailor a country was overpowered,
for each and every sailor a kingdom was conquered.
Pain was planted into their hearts and minds.
A plan for revenge has just been born.
Captain Jaggery has made his last wish.
His death wish…
This relates to what happened after the Rebellion, all reactions that became one. Everyone wants revenge!
The captain worked them day and night
for he had no mercy,
because of this they had a fight
though hungry and very thirsty.
In that fight two men had died
or at least it was thought to be
when they found out one was alive
they went on happily.
They tricked the captain and two of the crew
into thinking that Zachariah was dead,
but all that was thrown overboard
was some cloth in a hammock bed.
Because the captain thought he was dead
his secret was very big.
Every day the sailors would bring him food
while he was hiding in the brig.
This poem relates to the part of the novel when there is a big fight and two are thought to be dead. It tells what happens before, during, and after the fight.
The captain’s musket was once useless
until the crew became ruthless.
Aiming at all insight,
he pulled the trigger with all his might
After thinking he stole two people’s lives
he collected the sailors’ swords, pistols, and knives.
Now that he has a scar on his face,
he thinks Miss Doyle is a terrible disgrace.
The captain’s rage was at a boil,
because of the action of Miss Doyle.
Since she hated the captain and he hated her too,
She became a member of the Seahawk crew.
This poem relates to the rebellion. It also relates to the relationship between Charlotte Doyle and Captain Jaggery.
With fire in their eyes,
regret in their minds,
and doubt on their faces,
they put her to the test.
Can she climb the royal main mast up and down?
In one whole piece.
All in one test.
Can she sail with the best,
live with the men,
rough up her hands and try it again.
This relates to when she’s becoming one of the crew. Also it relates to the test Charlotte has to pass.
It’s the struggle to get to the top,
do not look down or you might drop!
Choose to shimmy up the mast or take the ladder,
both ways are fine,
neither one is faster.
I’ve reached the top!
I feel like a bird about to fly,
either that or a human about to die.
This is the test that Charlotte had to take,
climb up there and put her life at stake.
This relates to the part of the story when Charlotte Doyle has to take the test to become one of the crew. She was Struggling but she made it in the end.
On this day a stark truth came to her,
she was where no proper young lady should be.
With nobody of her proper station here,
She had felt very queer.
Since the captain was very mean,
she knew not from good and bad.
So she didn’t sail as a Miss,
she sailed as a Lad.
The poem relates to when she became part of the crew and became a mister in the captain’s book.
Charlotte Doyle would never give up,
but when the hurricane came, Charlotte took a drop.
She hardly got any sleep and was accused of murder,
so now she is in the brig talking with Zachariah.
Now knowing that her friend was alive,
she was very happy,
but since she was still mad at the captain,
her attitude was very crappie.
This relates to he hurricane scene in the book. This also relates to the murder accusation scene in the book.
Though the first night she felt very sadly,
when offered some tea felt delighted and happy.
When given a dirk by the kitchen’s cook, she felt very scared.
Although, she soon discovered it was only for her to bewared.
After a few days rebellion is what she feared.
And to be a part of it she never dared.
This poem relates to her first night on the Seahawk. Then goes on to the other days in that week.
Who had stolen the knife?
Who was where at the time of the crime?
Who decided to take Mr. Hollybrass’ life?
Who is to blame?
All suspects are the same.
The Captain is to blame.
The Captain is an animal untamed.
He tried to pin it on Doyle,
?cause his anger is at a boil!
This poem relates to when Charlotte is accused of murder. It also relates to when they have a trial to discover if she is guilty or not.
This poem is about a girl who’s inheritance is just blank pieces of paper. On the paper her name was not mentioned like other names of family members. She said the blank paper has the life she tried to restore after feeling like a nobody. She thinks the true gift of inheritance is to recreate her past. She is going to ?re-blanken? her life and fill it in with the right life experiences.
I think this poem is fantastic. It is creative and well written and is also realistic. I like the way that the poet expressed so much in such a short poem, she had a problem and a solution. I think it takes a great writer to do something like that. I also liked the way that she entitled her poem because the title ?Blank Paper? means the paper might as well be blank to the poet because her name has been excluded, it also means that her life is like a blank slate that she must now fill in.
The Valley of the Monsters
This poem is about the author’s life experiences. She is comparing a fictional valley of monsters to her childhood. The fictional valley of monsters is a place where rocks form into monsters’ shapes. In her real life experience it was the minds of her family that were formed into monstrous shapes. Both the stone statues and minds of her family were very permanent. When she wrote this she was comparing the monsters to shapes in the clouds that people pointed at and made fun of. She said that the rocks that form the fictional valley of monsters are statues meant for tourist attractions, but the valley of monster she grew up in was tough slice of life that became part of her normal existence. The monsters in her life were ?two dinosaurs… guzzling beer and crushing the cans with their scaly thumb-equivalents.?
This poet is creative in the way she compared fictional and non-fictional matters of consequence in one poem. I like the way that this poem is partly realistic and partly unrealistic. If you really think about the poem it is very sad, especially since it is partially biographical. I liked the way that she used so many metaphors to compare the two subjects. It was kind of like a mystery to figure out what she was trying to say. That is why I did not understand the poem at first. I have never read a poem that was more original.
THE BOOK OF LIGHT
This poem is about a landscape called Thel. The author said that it was her first landscape, probably meaning where she was born. She described it mahogany as the clay of Georgia. This is also about a woman who has sweet attic of a mind, a safe place to keep of old songs. There was music inside her; she would sit down, shy as ever, humming alone among broken promises and among sweet broken bodies of birds.
This is the type of poem known as ?short and sweet.? This poem is one of the shortest written in The Book of Light. Although this poem is short it is quite sweet. It is as if Lucille Clifton’s words just make you imagine what is happening. Even though this poem is beautiful and short, I bet if she added more details and story line, then she would have just as beautiful a poem.
This is a poem basically about imagining things about somebody. It seems to be a bear, but could possibly be a human. In this poem the author is imagining him too tall and too fat to enter into the parlors. She imagines his hide as tough and his walking clumsy, with his grown filling the wind. ?Give him an old guitar, give him a bottle of booze,? she said. The author gets you to imagine his children and his wife sighing and laughing. We imagine him singing and his granddaughter remembering him in poems.
The first time that I read this poem I thought that this poem was about a man. I thought this poem was about a man. I thought this because in the poem she always addresses the character as him. Also she would mention his children, his wife and his granddaughter in the poem. She said ?Give him an old guitar, give him a bottle of booze.? Those are thing that men use! The second time I read the poem I thought the author was comparing a man to a bear. The words that she used in her poem are what made me think that. She would say things like ?imagine his hide gruff, the hair on him grizzly even to his own hand.? Or, ?Imagine him lumbering as he moves. I imagine his growl filling the wind.? Alas, the third time I thought it could be a man or bear and that the poet wanted to demonstrate the similarities in both.
1. Avi (1990). The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. New York: Avon Books.
2. Peacock, M. (1989).Take Heart. New York: Random House.
3. Clifton, L. (1993). The Book of Light. Port Townsend, Washington: Cooper Canyon Press.