Category Archives: Poetry Analysis Essay

Poetry Analysis

The poem that I have selected is “Who Said It Was SImple” by Audre Lorde. This was actually the first poem I read out of those that were provided on blackboard, because the title initially grabbed my attention. I was interested by the title because I think of myself as an overthinker who tends to make life more complicated than it already is, but the title made me feel as though someone was telling me that was normal. The opening three liners also spoke to me very directly. “There are so many roots to the tree of anger that sometimes the branches shatter before they bear”, (Lorde Who said it was simple by Audre Lorde). These lines resonated with me and my life experience because I felt as though they were saying that there are countless reasons to be angry or upset, to a point where they lose their merit. 

The poem would most likely be accepted as Lorde highlighting the hypocrisy in the feminist movement at the time, in that they are fighting for liberation and equal rights, yet the movement is still very racist. They are only fighting for specific freedoms for specific people, and are contradicting the nature of their own movement by doing so. She states, “discussing the problematic girls they hire to make them free… and the ladies neither notice nor reject the slighter pleasures of their slavery”,  (Lorde Who said it was simple by Audre Lorde). She also explains later in the poem that she “sees causes both in color as well as sex” meaning that there are issues in equality with both aspects of humanity that need to be fixed, however one is being completely neglected, and she exists as a victim of both. 

This Poem by Lorde is a free verse poem. Something that is very noticeable in the structure of the poem is that there are 3 stanzas, of which the first and last are only 3 lines each, while the second stanza is 12. This structure breaks the poem up in a very distinct way which I believe has a specific purpose behind it.

I feel that this structure provides emphasis on the beginning and ending of the poem more impactful, the shorter stanza provides emphasis on the messages within it, as well as prevents the point from being diluted with words. Additionally I believe this structure gives the poem a sense of a beginning, middle and end. The first stanza feels like the introductory idea, the middle being the explanation and context, and the final stanza being the conclusion/major takeaway from the author. The length of each line starts to get shorter towards the end of the poem as well, which I believe further perpetuates the impact. 

The other poem I chose to analyze by Adure Lorde is named “Coal”. Coal is a lyric poem with racial commentary about black people and how they are viewed by whites.It is a three stanza poem that also has a beginning, middle and end feeling to it due to its structure. This poem however is not a story, nor does it have a particular setting. 

There are some overlapping ideas and techniques used in both poems. Both pieces include a racial commentary about the treatment of black in America. Lorde shows this by using coal and its black color to represent black people. Lorde states,  “As a diamond comes into a knot of flame I am black because I come from the earth’s inside Take my word for jewel in your open light”  (Lorde Coal by Audre Lorde). The reference to earth’s inside is that coal is black and comes from the earth, and the diamond is the result of coal when put under immense pressure. The structure of this poem is also identical to “Who Said It Was Easy’, in that it is only 3 stanzas, of which the first and last are significantly shorter than the middle. 

I feel as though Lorde had an internal mission that she was carrying out through her poetry to highlight the humanity and greatness of black people. In both the poems that I chose to analyze She had highlighted how black people in society are often neglected, even by those who claim to believe in equal rights. She attempts to show the humanity of people of color in the way she describes herself and others. Her poems also tend to open and end with her major points. They are often short and concise while grabbing your attention and driving home her point in a meaningful way. Her middle stanzas seem to always tell some sort of story or perspective to provide context for how she is thinking, why, and what she is choosing to bring attention to.

I find Lorde’s poems to be rather emotional. They invoke a feeling of sadness and empathy within me because I feel I am peering into the mind of a good person who wants to be understood and accepted for what she is, in a world that is far too ignorant to do so. I do not personally share the struggles that people of color have and continue to experience, however I believe everyone at some point in their life has experienced what it is like to feel like an outcast. To feel like no matter what you do sometimes people will just not like you, or even tolerate you and it is a terrible feeling. Her experience is an extreme version of this and the way she chooses to articulate it I find to be very elegant and graceful.

Poetry Analysis Essay

Angelo Toro                                                                                                    Professor Perry

December 20, 2022                                                                                        ENG 201

Poetry Analysis Essay

The poem I selected was “Saguaros” by Javier Zamora. Part of a collection of poems from his book “Unaccompanied”, this particular poem talks about Javier’s early experiences when making his traumatizing journey to the US from El Salvador. From this poem, we can see and some of the early struggles and traumas he had when traveling with the “Coyotes”, a group of people who helped those escape the aftermath of the Salvadoran Civil war. In this poem, we can see how a young Javier viewed the world as shrouded in darkness, always having to look behind his back and always be wary of “la migra”.

The reason that I had chosen Saguaros as my poem for the blackout poetry assignment is because of the overall tone of the poem spoke to me. The feeling of intensity and the aura given off by the words and the description of Javier’s surroundings really made me feel as if I had experienced some of the hardships he did. The themes I am getting from reading this poem are themes of “New Life” and of “Desire”. There is the immediate desire in the poem of Javier wanting the red fruits to satiate his thirst but looking further into the meaning of the text we can also see that he has a desire for freedom of the situation he is in, and to begin a new life, one where he no longer has to be on the run and keep an eye on his back (Zamora, lines 6-8, lines 15-16). What this poem meant to me was that he would endure his hardships in order to make a better life for himself, by any means necessary.

This poem is free verse, meaning that there is no specific structure and that the author can go wild. I believe that this amplifies Javier’s work because he does not have to try and mold his traumatizing experiences to fit a rigid format. The line length for the poem was around the same per line, and each stanza ranged between two and three lines. I believe that the shortness of the stanzas helped his poem come off as more of memories that he was trying to repress, as he stated in an interview by Today with Hoda and Jenna, many of his works are drawn from his memories unearthed through therapy. As for the rhymes in the poem, there are not many, and the one I did find seemed to be an unintentional internal rhyme: “…bats in the lavender sky/like spiders when a fly is caught…” (Zamora, Lines 1-2). The lack of rhymes allows the poem to retain much of its weight and in my opinion, allows for the emotion to carry out better. There is also some repetition in the poem, with lines 1,5, and 9 mentioning bats, in this case the bats being the people he encountered and was with on his journey.

The way that these formal elements affected my interpretation was that they allowed me to better immerse myself and feel something akin to what he was feeling during that perilous time. As I continued to read over the poem, I was able to look beyond the surface level, finding the hidden meanings in the way the lines are constructed. For example, with the mention of bats, my interpretation is that while initially there may have been literal bats in the sky, he came to associate border patrol and immigration with bats, as they would have been prowling the night as well. This is further backed up by this line: “These bats speak English only” (Zamora, Line 9), meaning that these were likely not the people helping him, but people who were trying to stop him.

Another poem that I found that spoke to me was a poem from Javier titled “To Abuela Neli”. In this work, he is telling this “Abuela Neli” about the struggles he has had to endure and what has been going on in his life since arriving in America. This likely takes place around 2008-2009, as Obama’s election is mentioned (Zamora, Lines 3-4).  This poem spoke to me because I found it to be a very personal work, one telling not of his struggles to getting to where he was, but one of venting to a person who is extremely close to him. It is not only the journey to America that has caused him strife, but the people back at home who are proclaiming falsehoods about him. His old friends say that he has changed from who he previously was, calling him a “coconut: brown on the outside and white on the inside” (Zamora, Lines 16-18). This poem is also free verse. There aren’t any rhymes, but some lines have some alliteration, such as line 7: “There’s no path to papers”. Along with this, the free structure allows this poem to feel much more like how it is intended to be interpreted as, as a letter. The whole poem flows nicely, and the informal words used really made this poem stand out to me.

The similarities I see between these two poems are that they are both free verse and come from deeply personal points in his life. He uses images of his childhood and of his journey to help bring forth that personal feeling and honestly made me feel like I was intruding on an intimate moment between him and his thoughts.

What these two poems tell me about Javier is that he is someone who doesn’t conform to the typical standards of poetry that we see. While he may use his experiences like other poets to create his pieces, the way that he uses his words makes it so that you do not feel like an outsider to his world. His use of free verse allows for this, as it feels more like a story being told than that of a poem being recited. In his interview with Hoda and Jenna from TODAY, Javier speaks about how difficult it was to look back onto his trauma and that vulnerable 9-year-old kid; some days he had to let it out through tears or through sleeping it off. While the interview is regarding his book, Solito, he mentions Chino, a member of a family who took him in when he was not with a Coyote or his grandfather, who had accompanied him for two weeks. This “Chino” is also mentioned in another poem, “Second Attempt Crossing”, which seems to be a farewell poem and a thank you for this young man who protected him when Javier was younger.

Poetry Analysis Essay

Levon Turner Jr.

Professor Perry


November 7th 2022

Poetry Analysis Essay

The poem ‘Who Said It Was Simple’ by Audre Lorde is an inspiration to me because the poem was able to gain an in-depth understanding, particularly about the tone of the poet. The intended message that she wanted the readers to get was to make them aware of the tribulations black females go through, particularly their affliction and discrimination due to their race and sexuality. What grabbed me in the poem was the tone of the poet and the image that came to my mind was the “whites’ only” feminism whereby blacks were not considered, and I was able to picture how the discrimination occurred. The poem’s memories included the forms of discrimination that marginalized groups and people of color have been experiencing since time immemorial and how equality seems far-fetched.

The poem ‘Who Said It Was Simple’ is able to focus on discriminative feminism that only focuses on people of the white race. The poet has been able to describe the occurrence of racial discrimination by implying “discussing the problematic girls / they hire to make them free,” and “the ladies neither notice nor reject / the slighter pleasures of their slavery” (Lorde).The poet calls out all the people who consider themselves feminists and that the movements they have formed tend to be structurally oppressive and calls on everyone to practice what they preach and stop being hypocrites who say one thing and go ahead to do another.  

The poem ‘Who Said It Was Simple’ by Audre Lorde consists of three stanzas that have been separated by sets of lines that are uneven. The first stanza comprises three lines, the second has twelve lines, and the third has three. Therefore the poem can be considered to be a tercet. The poet wrote the poem in free verse, which implies that there is no existing rhyme scheme for the poem. However, readers are able to take notice of rhyming words such as ‘anger’ and ‘shatter’ that are contained in the first stanza of the poem (

The poem ‘Who Said It Was Simple’ by Audre Lord comprised elements that impacted the interpretation of the message. Some elements, such as the solemn tone used by the poet, imply to the reader that the speaker in the poem is used to being discriminated and she is dealing with it despite the odds being against her in fighting for equality in aspects that the society has turned a blind eye on including racial, sexual and gender discrimination. The poet has also used imagery to paint a vivid picture to the readers, “the slighter pleasures of their slavery” this makes the audience create the picture of the pleasure people can have yet have been enslaved. Hence

‘A Woman Speaks’ by Audre Lorde inspires me because the poem was intended to be a song for feminist warriors across all communities. The poet has been able to proclaim the experiences women of color go through in the United States and abroad (Lorde).Whatever grabbed me about the poem was the fact that the poet had opened the opportunity to start a conversation, particularly on the ways to the improvement of the feminist movement to have an impact on the lives of marginalized groups and women of color. The memories the poem brought to me were how women of color have been discriminated against in the United States and that nobody tried to speak out against the act (Lorde).

‘A Woman Speaks’ by Audre Lorde is a poem of three stanzas. The poet has used a tone and form that have helped in the creation of a tranquil surface, and when the poem progresses, the readers are directed toward the real conflict. The poem’s theme is similar to ‘Who said it was simple’ since both address the discriminative racism that black women have continued to face. The author has consistently used imagery to paint a vivid image to the readers such that they can see “Moon marked and touched by the sun, my magic is unwritten, but when the sea turns back it will leave my shape behind” (Lorde).

‘Who Said It Was Simple’ by Audre Lorde implies that people should practice whatever they preach and avoid being hypocrites. The poet uses this opportunity to address the various forms of discrimination that women of color go through. The author stated that “and sit here wondering / which me will survive / all these liberations” (Lorde). The author used irony to imply that the liberation movement that has been formed to support feminism is the same movement that oppresses women and is discriminative based on color. The poem’s tone is solemn, which indicates that the poet has been used to being discriminated against, and this results in her scrutinizing those who identify themselves as members of the feminist group but continue to oppress others since they benefit as a result of oppression.

I connected with ‘Who Said It Was Simple’ by Audre Lord because I believe that every member of society ought to be treated fairly and equally without being discriminated against based on their race or gender. Moreover, people should practice whatever they preach and avoid being hypocrites. I also agree with the poet that a conversation on improving the welfare of women of all races needs to take place. Therefore, I believe that people should take bold steps to ensure that they do not oppress others even though there is an opportunity for them to benefit.

Works Cited

“Free Verse.” Poetry Foundation,

Lorde, Audre. “A Woman Speaks by Audre Lorde.” Poetry Foundation,, Audre. “Who Said It Was Simple by Audre Lorde.” Poetry Foundation,

poetry analysis

“So Mexicans Are Taking Jobs From Americans” by Jimmy Santiago Baca is a free verse poem. This uses non-rhyming lines that follow the natural rhythms of speech. (Poetry Foundation) Likewise, another poem by Baca, “Main Character,” is also written in free verse, and its themes are similar.

Jimmy Santiago Baca was born in 1952 near Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is of Chicano and Apache descent. He was abandoned by his parents and put in an orphanage. He ran away from the orphanage when he was 13 and began selling drugs. He served five years in prison. He wrote “So Mexicans Are Taking Jobs From Americans” while in prison.

His writing is concerned with social justice and marginalized people. The free verse style reflects his own experience as an outsider to the American Dream.

“Main Character” is also a free verse poem, about the dispossession of Native Americans. During the showing of a Western film, a drunken Indian rose cursing and sobbing and the narrator is left looking for the main character.

In “So Mexicans are Taking jobs From Americans,” the tone goes from playful (“Oh yes? Do they come on horses? with rifles, and say, Ese gringo, gimme your job?”) to brutal (“The rifles I hear sound in the night are white farmers shooting blacks and browns”) to resigned (“What they really say is, let them die, and the children, too”) (

I responded strongly to this poem. To begin with, as the child of an immigrant and a friend to so many more, I believe that immigrants are a positive force for our country. Also, I have great admiration for Jimmy Santiago Baca and the way he was able to overcome his difficult upbringing and his time in prison, to become completely self-educated, and to reach out to those who are struggling.

Poem Analysis

Legden Dorjee

Professor Perry

ENG 201

Sep. 12 2022

Poem Analysis

The poem “Abecedarian Requiring Further Examination of Anglican Seraphym Subjugation of a Wild Indian Reservation” by Natalie Diaz is about the history of Native American and how they were treated and forced into reservations to take on the ways of the white men. What grasped my attention in this poem is how Diaz uses vivid imagery and words that evoke a range of emotions. The poem shows how the Native Americans felt when white men came to take their lands, thus evoking feelings of inferiority.

This poem shows the injustices experienced by Native Americans. Diaz uses symbolism to refer to white men as angels “Angels don’t come to the reservation” (Diaz, “Abecedarian Requiring Further Examination of Anglikan Seraphym Subjugation of a Wild Indian Rezervation” line 1). Angels are usually regarded as helpful deities, and Native Americans thought white men came to save them. However, in this poem, the white men were responsible for the suffering and death of Native Americans. Diaz ties angels with death and warns against desiring the presence of angels in reservations.

This is an Abecedarian poem because it has twenty-six lines, and each line follows sequentially through the alphabet from A to Z. Acrostic poem are poems in which the first letter in each line spell out a word (Agarwal and Kann 1). This is a form of acrostic poetry because the first letter of the poem is A, Angel, and the first letter in the last line is Z, Zion, thus spelling out the entire alphabet in a rhyming way.

Diaz’s poem’s structure has important rhetoric and imagery elements that give the poem its meaning. Being an Abecedarian poem, Diaz used the style as a cunning way to point out injustices that Native Americans experience. Abecedarian poetry is generally regarded as playful poems, especially for children. Therefore, Diaz makes a joke that society cannot see how injustices are experienced by Native Americans even though it is as easy as reciting the alphabet ABC.

Another poem by Natalie Diaz is “American Arithmetic,” which portrays the effect of police brutality and racism in America. I selected this poem because of its structure and relevance in today’s society. Diaz uses anaphora “less than” (Diaz, “American Arithmetic” line 29-30). This emphasizes the theme of the unfair treatment of Native Americans. Through her word, she evokes feelings of frustration with racism.

Diaz uses the element of irony and forms poems that shine a light on those who are oppressed by society. she uses “angels “as an ironic symbol for white men (Diaz, “Abecedarian Requiring Further Examination of Anglikan Seraphym Subjugation of a Wild Indian Rezervation” line 1 ) and “efficient country” to portray a county that does not treat everyone equally (Diaz, “American Arithmetic” line 4). Also, the poems are written in the first-person point of view, supporting her perspective of Native America. This is significant for social and political purposes since the native perspective is rarely heard and marginalized in American society (Jackson).

Diaz focuses her writing on the lives of Native Americans. Her poems are her ways of exploring social injustices and why she worries about these issues. Diaz crafts her poem from a personal narrative, thus allowing the readers to understand her thoughts and feelings about the issues pointed out. Although she focuses her writing on social issues, she stated in Pen Ten interview that her writings are not activism but just a practice field for her life.

I am a person who is passionate about listening and understanding the problem that people experience and usually try to help ways to help them. People daily go through hardships that make their life stressful and challenging. Through reading Diaz’s poems, I have understood the problems that affect Native Americans and how society contributes to their hardships. I believe that understanding society is the first step to solving social injustices.

Works Cited

Agarwal, Rajat, and Katharina Kann. “Acrostic Poem Generation.” ArXiv:2010.02239 [Cs], 5 Oct. 2020, Accessed 11 Sept. 2022.

Diaz, Natalie. “Abecedarian Requiring Further Examination of Anglican Seraphym Subjugation of a Wild Indian Reservation.” Poetry Foundation, 17 Apr. 2021,

Diaz, Natalie. “American Arithmetic.” Literary Hub, 5 Oct. 2018,    arithmetic/.

Jackson, Jared. “The PEN Ten: An Interview with Natalie Diaz.” PEN America, 5 Mar. 2020,