Completely Subjective: Terence Hayes’s “A House is Not a Home”

I chose the poem “A House is Not a Home” by Terrance Hayes.  This poem was published in the Fall of 2007. Terrance Hayes has received a Whiting Writers Award and many other awards as well as appearing in two Best American poetry anthologies.  The awards really do add up in Terence’s writing.

He’s very smooth and fluid and the reader can get a really great image about the poems story.  Most poets can’t fit a whole story in just two pages, but Mr.Hayes pulls it off seemingly every time.  He’s able to really dive back and forth between conversing and storytelling with in this poem.

In this poem specifically he was able to display jumping back and forth between styles.  He will pop in and out, but he makes it flow so nicely.  It’s also unpredictable.  Which leads me into how there aren’t many patterns with in his writing.  He keeps the story moving at the right pace for whatever the theme is.  In his poem “A House Is Not a Home” Hayes displays perfect emotion and rhythm.  When it comes to stories and poems about betraying your best friend, most would use a lot of sad tones and regrets, but not Hayes.  He livens it up and gives it beef, instead of making it some sappy and sad poem.  It’s like making a song with sad lyrics, but the instrumentals are up tempo and exciting. It’s making something appear differently than how it actually is, A.K.A. window shading. Hayes has a lot of different lines that will really make you think about the meaning or what he is trying to convey.  “That night at Ron’s house I believed he, his wife, and Luther loved me more than anything I could grasp”( Hayes pg.50).  This line really exemplifies Hayes’s style of writing, he uses many different articles of interest to make you think about the meaning behind his lines.  That line could go both ways, you could think they were all having a great time with him, or you could easily think the husband and wife were attracted to him as well as the music of Luther Vandros setting the mood.

It’s left up to the reader’s interpretation, as are many of his lines.

Most modern poets can only keep readers at bay for a few lines, because after awhile you find the pattern or the result of the end is so dull and flavorless.  Look I don’t mean to sound like an uptight eighteen year old who thinks he knows what the poetry world likes and needs, but I do know what kids in my generation enjoy and if Hayes has an even bigger rise than he’s already had, than I think it would be safe to say that poetry’s not going anywhere for a very long time.



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