"Home is sometimes coming back to yourself. When all has
been forgotten and you feel lost. It is the moment you realize
darkness holds as much beauty as light. When you remember
the feeling of bare hands in snow, the first smell of spring, and
the importance of letting kind people in. Home is rising to
start another day and knowing that despite all things, you will
find your way."
The general meaning of this poem is to show that the world is yours and you can always get past things that may feel like they're holding you back emotionally. What really caught my eye was the way she reassured the readers that everything has duality. An example of that would be when she said "It is the moment you realize darkness holds as much beauty as light". Saying in a way that with light there is darkness in its absence, that everything has an equal opposite.
Something else that caught my attention was when she said "Home is rising to start another day and knowing that despite all things, you will find your way". It caught my attention because the line before that was stating that in order to find "home" you must remember that there is always more. Like it's a reminder that in order to find "home" you will need to remember what things were like before you let the sadness overcome you.
I personally love this poem because after reading it, it left me with the thought that there really is so much more to life then we're afforded most times. It showed me that no matter what the struggle, you'll find your way to happiness. You just have to find the positives in your environment first.
When I first read Counting Descent over the summer, a few poems really caught my eye and this was one of them. Clint Smith speaks on the issue of police brutality in many of his poems but Playground Elegy was the most captivating.
"The first time I slid down a slide my mother told me to hold my hands in towards the sky
something about gravity, weight distribution,
& feeling the air ripple through your fingers.
I remember reaching the bottom, smile consuming
half of my face, hands still in the air because
I didn't want it to stop. Ever since, this defiance
of gravity has always been synonymous with feeling alive.
When I read of the new child, his body strewn across
the street, a casket of bones and concrete I wonder how
many times he slid down the slide. How many times
he defied gravity to answer a question in class. Did he
raise his hands for all of them? Does my mother regret
this? That she raised a black boy growing up to think
that raised hands made me feel more alive. That raised hands
meant I was alive. That raised hands meant I would live."
I think what intrigued me the most was his use of vocab when describing what police brutality really is. Using words like "casket" and "bones" really strung togeher the idea of what the poem is about. I'm a teen in 2018, so I've lived to see what the reality of this issue is. I've grown up to see that even in this day and age, people still have to fear that they'll be put in a situation that could have them harmed, something that some are privileged to not have to worry about. His attitude is both emotionally appealing and sentimental. Sentimental because I feel as if when an author speaks on their childhood, it attracts more attention (at least in my case) since it's something we've all lived through. It connects all the readers in a way.
The last 3 lines amazed me the most because he transitioned from referring to his childhood experience, to mentioning the issue the whole poem is about. When he said "That raised hands meant I was alive. That raised hands meant I would live" my jaw ACTUALLY dropped. It was really such a heartrending line that made me have to sit for a minute to take in what I had just read. Clint Smith did an amazing job at writing a thought provoking poem that could open the eyes of readers who don't put much of their time or attention towards the problem, and I hope to be able to write like him someday.
1) I'm 18 years old as of July 20th.
2) My favorite people in the world are my best friend Maddy and my boyfriend Artie.
3) My favorite color is blue, but recently it's also been yellow.
4) I sometimes lack common sense, but my ability to read and comprehend books fast makes up for it (sometimes)
5) My biggest goal by the end of senior year, is to take a road trip to Orlando.
6) I only want to go to Orlando so I can cross the bridge that inspired my favorite playlist of mine and so
I can go to Universal Studios.
7) Music is my 2nd favorite thing in the world, behind my close family and friends.
8) Raw cookie dough is my favorite snack even though I know it could give me salmonella.
9) I hope to be a marine biologist or neurosurgeon in the future, and if neither works out I just hope to
be rich and happy.
10) I am the most content with life I've ever been.