Analytical Response: Deliberate
“Deliberate” by Amy Uyematsu is a satire of American teenagers who adopt African-American youth culture in a bid to deny their own backgrounds.
The form of “Deliberate” is extremely naturalistic. The poet uses enjambement throughout the poem which effectively makes the poem one sentence. In addition to this, the poet uses no end rhyme and this adds to the naturalistic feeling, making the poem more realistic. The use of the first person poetic voice decreases the distance between the reader and the speaker, giving readers a better idea of the speaker’s thoughts and feelings as well as making the reader more sympathetic towards her. The persona of this poem is a sixteen year old teenager. With the “sassy black high heels” she creates the character of a party girl. She is “never to be mistaken for white” (1.6) suggest that she is Caucasian, but pretending to be an African American. These girls don’t live in the “rowdier L.A. streets” suggesting they are outsiders (1.8), something that is confirmed later in the poem with “Daddy’s muddy gardening shoes” which suggests a comfortable, middle-class background.
The diction in this poems fits in with the identity of the persona. The poet uses “cool” (1.6) and “gangsters” (1.10) to fit in with the language used by teenagers and to create the persona the speaker wishes to show.. She also mimics their speech pattern, like “Syn/co/pa/ted” (1.4) which shows the beat teenagers talk in. “Strut and slide” impersonates how they walk, showing how arrogant these teenagers are. The appearance of the sixteen-year-old girls is reveal by the vivid description of the “nylons sassy black heels” (1.12) and “two inch zippered boots” (1.13). The poet uses the simile “paint our eyes like gangsters” to express how adolescent girls put on heavy make up so that they would be unidentifiable. “Never to be mistaken for white” conveys the idea how the wish to be seen as something they are not, something they...
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