English 1 Honors Poetry Project

Spencer Johnson

"My Life"

My Life

after Henri Michaux

Joe Wenderoth


Somehow it got into my room. (A)

I found it, and it was, naturally, trapped. (B)

It was nothing more than a frightened animal. (C)

Since then I raised it up. (D)

I kept it for myself, kept it in my room, (A)

kept it for its own good. (E)

I named the animal, My Life. (F)

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

I let it into my bed, let it breathe in my sleep. (H)

And the animal, in my love, my constant care, (I)

grew up to be strong, and capable of many clever tricks. (J)

One day, quite recently, (K)

I was running my hand over the animal's side (L)

and I came to understand (M)

that it could very easily kill me. (N)

I realized, further, that it would kill me. (N)

This is why it exists, why I raised it. (O)

Since then I have not known what to do. (P)

I stopped feeding it, (O)

only to find that its growth (Q)

has nothing to do with food. (R)

I stopped cleaning it (O)

and found that it cleans itself. (S)

I stopped singing it to sleep (H)

and found that it falls asleep faster without my song. (T)

I don't know what to do. (P)

I no longer make My Life do tricks. (U)

I leave the animal alone (V)

and, for now, it leaves me alone, too. (W)

I have nothing to say, nothing to do. (P)

Between My Life and me, (N)

a silence is coming. (X)

Together, we will not get through this. (Y)


(This is a free verse poem)

Tone

The poem, "My Life", has an apathetic tone. Wenderoth uses phrases like, "its growth, has nothing to do with food", "it cleans itself", and "it falls asleep faster without my song" to describe that the "animal" can keep going and he doesn't have to care for it.

Theme

The theme of this poem living life, because eventually life will kill you. At the beginning of the poem he talks about how he took great care of his life and tried to control how things went throughout his life. Then, at the end of the poem, he realizes that no matter what he tries to do his life will kill him eventually.
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Picture Description

What I got from this picture was kind of what he did to his "animal". He learned that he had to let it go because it was going to do whatever it wanted anyway.


http://www.thethingswesay.com/letting-go-doesnt-mean-giving-up-but-rather-accepting-that-there-are-things-that-cannot-be/

"Up-Hill"

Up-Hill

by Christina Rossetti


DOES the road wind up-hill all the way? (A)

Yes, to the very end. (B)

Will the day's journey take the whole long day? (A)

From morn to night, my friend. (B)

But is there for the night a resting-place? (C)

A roof for when the slow dark hours begin. (D)

May not the darkness hide it from my face? (C)

You cannot miss that inn. (D)

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night? (E)

Those who have gone before. (F)

Then must I knock, or call when just in sight? (E)

They will not keep you standing at that door. (F)

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak? (G)

Of labour you shall find the sum. (H)

Will there be beds for me and all who seek? (G)

Yea, beds for all who come. (H)

Tone

The tone of this poem is curious. I believe it is curious because the main speaker is always asking questions like, "Does, the road wind up-hill all the way?", "Will the day's journey take the whole long day?", and "Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?". By using those questions she is trying to show the different phases of life. To me the "road" means life and all the other answers and questions are metaphors for life's journey.

Theme

The theme of this poem is the road of life ends will death. This is similar to "My Life" because in both of them they have to learn that no matter what you do or where you try to go your life will end up killing you.
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