Question 1

The poem is a narration from an African American mother to her son. The mother, who is the persona, advises her son on how to tackle world problems plus survival tactics from her own experiences; the writer of the poem uses perceptible imagery of the staircase, making it look unpleasant for a walk. The metaphor used by the narrator might be effective since it illustrates that life human life is not smooth or easy. The poem primarily focuses on the staircase that is not made of crystal, which is the central metaphor in the poem. The metaphor is present throughout the poem, and the staircase signifies progress in life and the challenges encountered throughout human life. The woman uses the poem to portray hope about future situations when a person encounters adverse life events. Despite the life challenges, the woman states she manages to move forward. In the poem, the woman highlights that she climbed a staircase not made of crystal, which had turns and twists, rough surfaces which she faced courageously with no apprehensions and managed to achieve her life goals; the narrator of the poem advises her son never to give up towards reaching a personal life goal, despite experiencing uncomfortable life events.

Question 2

The writer of the poem uses imagery and symbolism to pass her message to listeners and her son. The staircase is the strongest symbol (Line 2) “life for me ain’t been no clear crystal stair,” where the staircase symbolizes the narrator’s life. The writer illustrates to her son how life has been, how to improve, and how to continuously struggle to win. The staircase from the poem might also represent the different life stages women encounter. Symbolism is evident in the poem in lines 3, 4, and 5, where the mother states that the staircase had tacks, splinters, and boards torn up. The speaker symbolizes that the stairs missed something; this might indicate that several of her life situations were tough. Since a torn ups in a stair might indicate gaps in the staircase and that the speaker faced challenges climbing up and down, she made it. The three lines could represent life difficulties for mothers in the early 1920s. “But all the time I’se been a-climbin’ on, And reachin’ landin’s, And turnin’ corners, “The writer might have used these terms to symbolize her life goals or accomplishments through the uncomfortable and unknown life challenges. 

Question 3

When I seem indecisive, weak-hearted, or even lose confidence, my father encourages me to be strong and always keep moving ahead to achieve my future life goals. Through my life experience, my father pillars me to put more effort and continuously keep working despite the outcomes or results by narrating several life experiences. He teaches me to remain optimistic despite challenging life experiences, thus nurturing hope and inspiring me. A message of advice from my father uplifts my confidence and encourages me always to work hard and never give up in life. The speaker in the poem advises the boy that he should not turn back, never sit down, and not fall in his lifetime. The speaker advises young men who might lose hope due to life challenges and convince them that life is worth living. I have never given an encouraging piece of advice to anybody.

Poem Analysis

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Poem Analysis

Poem 1

Question 1

The poem is a narration from an African American mother to her son. The mother, who is the persona, advises her son on how to tackle world problems plus survival tactics from her own experiences; the writer of the poem uses perceptible imagery of the staircase, making it look unpleasant for a walk. The metaphor used by the narrator might be effective since it illustrates that life human life is not smooth or easy. The poem primarily focuses on the staircase that is not made of crystal, which is the central metaphor in the poem. The metaphor is present throughout the poem, and the staircase signifies progress in life and the challenges encountered throughout human life. The woman uses the poem to portray hope about future situations when a person encounters adverse life events. Despite the life challenges, the woman states she manages to move forward. In the poem, the woman highlights that she climbed a staircase not made of crystal, which had turns and twists, rough surfaces which she faced courageously with no apprehensions and managed to achieve her life goals; the narrator of the poem advises her son never to give up towards reaching a personal life goal, despite experiencing uncomfortable life events.

Question 2

The writer of the poem uses imagery and symbolism to pass her message to listeners and her son. The staircase is the strongest symbol (Line 2) “life for me ain’t been no clear crystal stair,” where the staircase symbolizes the narrator’s life. The writer illustrates to her son how life has been, how to improve, and how to continuously struggle to win. The staircase from the poem might also represent the different life stages women encounter. Symbolism is evident in the poem in lines 3, 4, and 5, where the mother states that the staircase had tacks, splinters, and boards torn up. The speaker symbolizes that the stairs missed something; this might indicate that several of her life situations were tough. Since a torn ups in a stair might indicate gaps in the staircase and that the speaker faced challenges climbing up and down, she made it. The three lines could represent life difficulties for mothers in the early 1920s. “But all the time I’se been a-climbin’ on, And reachin’ landin’s, And turnin’ corners, “The writer might have used these terms to symbolize her life goals or accomplishments through the uncomfortable and unknown life challenges.

Question 3

When I seem indecisive, weak-hearted, or even lose confidence, my father encourages me to be strong and always keep moving ahead to achieve my future life goals. Through my life experience, my father pillars me to put more effort and continuously keep working despite the outcomes or results by narrating several life experiences. He teaches me to remain optimistic despite challenging life experiences, thus nurturing hope and inspiring me. A message of advice from my father uplifts my confidence and encourages me always to work hard and never give up in life. The speaker in the poem advises the boy that he should not turn back, never sit down, and not fall in his lifetime. The speaker advises young men who might lose hope due to life challenges and convince them that life is worth living. I have never given an encouraging piece of advice to anybody.

Poem 2

Question 1

The poem “Face It” by Yusef Komunyakaa is inspired by the speaker’s visit to the Vietnam Veteran Memorial. The speaker indicates dealing with trauma that resulted from the Vietnam War and the acts of confronting the hurting emotions. While the narrator cannot let go of the trauma, the world moves on without problems. The writer struggles to accept the reality of his pain, as the speaker tries to remain composed and stoic, as he also promises not to cry. The writer’s visit to the memorial center is seen as an opportunity for him to work through his grief since memorials are not only built to honor the dead but also to enable survivors to gain closure. The writer states that his “black face fades” when he looks around the memorial, thus making his face look like it is hiding inside the black granite. The writer might have used this imagery to suggest that he loses his mind in the powers of emotion in the memorial. The metaphor also illustrates invisibility, where the narrator hints that the sacrifices made by African soldiers in the Vietnam War are ignored by the United States of America, thus treating Africans as second-class individuals. The speaker uses the words “letter like smoke” to suggest that he expected to find his name after reading all the names in the memorial. He indicates that his name should have been there because the speaker was at war. The smoke might also indicate the smoke from the gun fires that led to the death of soldiers.

Question 2

The title “Face It” indicates the memories hunting the speaker as a war survivor. The title represents loss, where the poem indicates the writer’s reactions after visiting the memorial’s horrific and affected war areas. The writer indicates a loss of identity; he tries to be strong, but the war memories keep on hunting him; the writer thinks about his identity by skimming on the soldiers who lost their lives. The title may also suggest that the speaker faces events he had faced in his past military life, and the memories are hunting him back. The experiences are dark, dangerous, and threatening, thus forming bad imagery.

Question 3

The main relevance of the poem is on peace and war, and the poem indicates how to incorporate war memories into survivors’ lives without effects. Throughout the poem, the speaker wards off the emotions resulting from the memorial visit. The writer also portrays that memorials unify individuals by thinking of events that affect a large population. The poem’s relevance is whether the United States government has adhered to moral obligations towards the survivors of the Vietnam War. Lastly, the poem is a form of consolation for the surviving soldiers.

Poem 3

The poem’s speaker gives readers or listeners insights into what Sunday mornings looked like for him in his early life stages. The writer uses the words “Sundays too” to indicate the unseen sacrifices the father made to his child; the line illustrates that the speaker did not rest even on Sundays to ensure that his son lived well. The speaker uses the alliteration “Weekday weather, banked fires blaze” creates a reflection of the home atmosphere. The writer uses the word as cold as “blue back” to apply color to tangible objects, thus suggesting the intensity of the coldness. The /k/ and /l/ consonance in line 2 convey the grips of the winter cold on the house.

Question 2

The poem’s speaker highlights several feelings, including resentment, sadness, heartache, and remorse. As a grownup, the writer recalls his father’s struggles when he was young; for instance, he remembers when his father woke up early on Sunday mornings to keep the family warmer. The writer illustrates his regrets that no family member expressed gratitude to his father; despite tensions with the father, the writer feels sorrowful for not appreciating and recognizing his father’s love and faithfulness.

Question 3

The speaker seems to be catching his breath or haltingly crying in the lines. He realizes that he understood nothing back when he was young. The moment allows the writer to understand more of his father’s love back when he was a child. The speaker is asking himself questions about what he did not understand when he was a kid, thus indicating the writer was dumb as a kid and could not understand his father’s care. The line also indicates that wirier has grown up and understands that love is making sacrifices for the person you love. The speaker uses repetition elements in the line to rhyme and stress the words.

Poem 4

The poem explores the meaning of losing and gaining happiness and the different related mind forms. The speaker is interested in exploring the themes of happiness, human life, and unhappiness. The writer uses personification to speak on happiness as a prodigal kid, to depict happiness as a human being who wanders away over a long period and later comes back after squandering a fortune; the speaker also refers to happiness as an uncle. The poem metaphorically uses the biblical parable of the Prodigal Son to address happiness and the struggles during unhappy situations.

Question 2

The writer uses imagery, for instance, in the parable, where the father runs to embrace his son, but the son fails to kneel in the dust. Thus this hints at the mixture of light and darkness throughout the poem. Imagery in the poem is “the uncle you never knew about who flies a single-engine plane .”The description of the metaphoric uncle is more vivid for readers.

Question 3

In Stanza 3, lines 1-2, “No, happiness is the uncle you never, knew about, who flies a single-engine plane, onto the grassy landing strip,” indicates the speaker’s struggle to better understand what real happiness entails. The writer metaphorically celebrates the return of happiness that got lost.

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