Short Poetry Paper
Organic poetry generally seems to be the most common type of poetry. To me, they are the easiest to come by, but aren’t always the easiest to understand simply because they are taken straight from random thoughts of the poet and jotted down on paper, a napkin, or any kind of canvas available to that poet. Although they don’t have much planning and are difficult to decipher, it is possible. When Patricia Smith wrote “What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl (for Those of You Who Aren’t)” (854) she was simply telling us about her experiences in life as she grew up. She may not spell out everything she is saying, but expects the reader to pick up on it. This tendency is also carried out in “Surprise” (899) and “Summer Words of a Sistuh Addict” (962) as Kenyon and Sanchez tell casual stories of what they portray as their lives. There are hidden messages these poets want the reader to understand, but they do not want to lay it out on the table word for word.
Although Smith’s story may not be about her personally, she writes it in first person as if it is a story of her life. It is easy for someone to jot down their thoughts in story form and it be considered a poem. This is a great example of an Organic Poem simply because it comes from her heart. There is no specific formatting that Smith had to think about in order to write this. Naturally, she told her story without having to plan what she was going to say or how she was going to say it. There are parts in the story that possess word play such as, “…until your legs pop,” (line 12) where Smith had to ponder her diction, but it was not something she had to plan out ahead of time in order to create some kind of organization for the poem.
Just as Smith did with “What It’s Like…,” Kenyon did not use a format in her writing. It is a simple paragraph arrangement that is written as a story. Expecting her audience to understand who she is talking about when she mentions “He,” (Line 1) she...
Cited: Meyer, Michael, ed. The Bedford Introduction to Literature. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 2013. Print.
Smith, Patricia. “What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl (for Those of You Who Aren’t).” Meyer 854-55.
Kenyon, Jane. “Surprise.” Meyer 899.
Sanchez, Sonia. “Summer Words of a Sistuh Addict.” Meyer 962.
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