Ruth Forman

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Ruth Forman

In the poem Poetry Should Ride the Bus, Ruth Forman beautifully writes about what poetry should be. Each stance describes a beauty and intensity of emotion regarded as a characteristic of Ruth’s life. Each stance of the poem is a significant memory that Ruth had at a certain point in her life. The first stance is a memory of when she was a child; the second stance is a memory when she was a teenager, and so on.

The dehumanizing oppression of African Americans in the southern states of America during the first half of the 20th century is regarded as one of the saddest chapters in the history of the nation. They were denied their Human and Civil Rights to a most severe degree, including the regulation of the very basic right of suffrage. African Americans were also denied equality in the classroom, stemming their ability to develop as a race. Ruth touches on this subject on various lines such as being “not so educated” and “riding the bus”. Ruth does a magnificent job of using poetry to describe this social injustice.

One unique thing about this poem is that it does not pertain to any one specific person. The content is vague, and the subject of the poem is “poetry.” It is not Ruth who should be riding the bus, but rather the poetry. This symbolizes the importance of community because anyone can relate to it. Ruth also symbolizes community with the imagery used in the poem. Ruth writes about “hopscotch in a polka dot dress” and “sitting through a whole photo album.” These are all memories that most people can relate to.

I thought the poem Poetry Should Ride the Bus was very powerful and beautifully written. The content is so vivid and direct, and you can easily paint a picture in your head. I love how Ruth Forman used such simple everyday life experiences to indirectly describe social injustices to African Americans. Overall, I really enjoyed this piece of work.
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