English I Honors Poetry Project

Ellie Moore

"My Life"

by Joe Wenderoth

Somehow it was, naturally trapped.

It was nothing more than a frightened animal.

Since than I raised it up.

I kept it for myself, kept it in my room,

Kept it for its own good.

I named the animal, My Life.

I found food for it and fed it with my bare hands.

I let it into my bed, let it breathe in my sleep.

And the animal, in my love, my constant care,

Grew up to be strong, and capable of many clever tricks.

One day, quite recently,

I was running my hand over the animal’s side

And I came to understand

That it could be very easily kill me.

I realized, further, that it would kill me.

This is why it exists, why I raised it.

Since then I have not known what to do.

I stopped feeding it,

Only to find that its growth

has nothing to do with food.

I stopped cleaning it

And found that it cleans itself.

I stopped singing it to sleep

And found that it falls asleep faster without my song.

I don’t know what to do.

I no longer make My Life to do tricks.

I leave the animal alone

And, for now, it leaves me alone, too.

I have nothing to say, nothing to do.

Between My Life and me,

A silence is coming.

Together, we will not get through this


Free Verse

Tone

"My LIfe" has a somber tone. The writer says things like "Together, we will not get through this," "very easily kill me," and "leave the animal alone". He used these things to describe how he calls his life an animal, how life gets more difficult as you get older, and how in the end it will end up killing him.

Theme

The theme of "My Life" is that life is precious when you are older. You do everything you can to make your life wonderful and take care of it. When you get older however you realize that problems surface that you didn't have before and you realize that you just need to let your life take it's course instead of constantly managing it. In the end, life kills you anyways.
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"The River of Life"

by Thomas Campbell

The more we live, more brief appear (A)
Our life's succeeding stages; (B)
A day to childhood seems a year, (A)
And years like passing ages. (B)

The gladsome current of our youth, (C)
Ere passion yet disorders, (D)
Steals lingering like a river smooth (C)

Along its grassy borders. (D)

But as the careworn cheek grows wan, (E)
And sorrow's shafts fly thicker, (F)
Ye stars, that measure life to man, (E)
Why seem your courses quicker? (F)

When joys have lost their bloom and breath, (G)
And life itself is vapid, (H)
Why, as we reach the Falls of Death (G)
Feel we its tide more rapid? (H)

It may be strange—yet who would change (I)
Time's course to slower speeding, (J)
When one by one our friends have gone, (K)
And left our bosoms bleeding? (J)

Heaven gives our years of fading strength (L)
Indemnifying fleetness; (M)
And those of youth, a seeming length, (L)
Proportion'd to their sweetness. (M)

Tone

"The River of Life" has a soothing tone because throughout the whole poem, the writer talks about how life is so precious and how it does get difficult, but in the end it is always wonderful. He says things like "A day to childhood seems a year," "it's tide more rapid?", and "one by one our friends have gone". This shows you that life does get more difficult towards the end but you will always look back and cherish the good times you had when you were young.

Theme

The theme of "The River of Life" is that life is an amazing thing. When we are young we want to grow up, but when we get older, we wish we were younger again. LIfe flies by and you dont need to take anything for granted. It gets difficult towards the end but you still cherish everything that's happened and that is happening. Like it stated at the end of the poem, "And those of youth, a seeming length, proportion'd to their sweetness" shows you that when you get older, you look at the youth there is now and love them and remember when you were young.
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