The Three That Speak To Us: “Humanity 101,” “Meet Me at the Lighthouse,” and “Ode While Awaiting Execution”

The goal for us is to choose three poems that represented  our year of 2016. With this goal we found seven poems we liked then we narrowed it down to the three poems we thought represented our year the most.  This year to us was more about storytelling and the three poems we picked really show the idea of storytelling within a poem. In the year of 2016 a lot of storytelling things happened throughout the year, one being the Olympics, with the US taking home a lot of metals it was one for the books for time and the future to tell the story of the Rio Olympics. One other big event was The broadway Play “Hamilton” really picked up attention in the year 2016, with the Tonys and the story that no one really new before. Lin-manuel brought to life the story of Alexander Hamilton, a storytelling broadway show. As you can see 2016 was a year of storytelling and here are the three poem we picked to show that in this year.

The meaning of this poem shows how easy for humans to get caught up in life forgetting to find humanity for others. This poem shows the rough path to being truly humane. In society today people have become so focused on themselves and are beginning to become blind to the struggles those with less face on a day to day basis. It’s easy for for high schoolers and young people today to get caught up in the flow of “the high school life.” Kids become more worried about the place socially rather than developing themselves as actual people who really care for others. Also this poem relates to the younger generation because what you see on social media might not really reflect the actual feelings of those people. There could be many more complex issues that a certain person is facing but you don’t know because they are hiding it. Denise Duhamel explains this in the poem when she says, “He closed his door and showed me the scars under his shirt where he had been stabbed. He said I had to assume everyone had a wound, whether I could see it or not.”

The second poem we choose was “Meet Me at the Lighthouse” by Dana Gioia. This poem was a memory Dana had about his cousin who past away. The Lighthouse was a jazz club they went to a lot together and Dana Gioia said he could not go back without him so he wrote about it. I think this poem is good for high school students because it shows how people go through the death of a loved one because it is different for every person. This poem is provokes the emotional side of people when they read it because it is referencing death. To show that everything has an end to it Dana Gioia used stop ends on the end of every line of the poem, what made this possible was using the free verse form. “The club as booked the best talent in Tartarus. / Gerry, Cannonball, Hampton, and stan, / With Chet and Art, those gorgeous greenhorns– / The swinging-masters of our west coast.” This quote because it shows the memories that Professor Gioia was having while writing this poem and it also shows the stop endings throughout the whole poem. This was one of our top three because it was an excellent example of storytelling and it really is a poem that opens up to the reader.

The last poem we chose was “Ode While Awaiting Execution” by Thomas Lux. This poem can be seen as a question or confrontation of the death penalty and it makes the reader question if it is actually needed. The poem’s main purpose was to explain the narrator’s regret over the things he didn’t do in his life. The poem itself is a metaphor as he isn’t actually awaiting execution. The poem forced you to think if your actually spending your life the right way. The poet makes the connection of pursuing you passions when he says, “Singing poorly is acceptable, not loud enough is not.”

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