SoClose.

don’t.

no use. 

you know how girls get.

Inside her,                                    

     HurT

          E

          M

          P

   FrusTration

          A

          T

           I

     jealOus

          N

                  

Bad Accusations f  l y

She’s hurt.

He is strong.

She’s half of him.

It’s no use.

NoRoom.SoClose.

SoClose. By Sara Weber

In my writing of SoClose. I wanted to draw the reader’s attention to gender inequalities that are so prevalent throughout the United States and the world. My piece was comprised of words found in the song “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” sung by “The Police”. I found this song to make me uncomfortable. It speaks about the temptation that a male teacher has for a female student. As a female student, I have been objectified in the classroom before and have been made uncomfortable by a male teacher. Students should not enter school, a place of learning, and feel uncomfortable or vulnerable.

As a future teacher, one of my main goals will be to make my students feel comfortable. This song makes me realize how important that goal is. A line that struck me in this song is “You know how bad girls get”. While I don’t know the intent that the writer of this song had, I can make the assumption that it wasn’t a good one. This line is a hasty generalization used against women, and it makes me very upset. My goal for this found poem is that the reader understands that women are just as important as men, and should not be made to feel otherwise.

A Figment of the Imagination

“The Woman Warrior” is an autobiography written by Maxine Hong Kingston. This novel explores the depths of the imagination through storytelling and the creation of new stories. Kingston attempts to make sense of the stories that her mother tells her, the first of which being that she has a deceased aunt that she never knew. This news would naturally be a shock to anyone, and Kingston’s way of dealing with this confusion is to use her imagination to create a story about what she thinks her aunt’s life may have been like. Due to the fact that her aunt became pregnant by a man that wasn’t her husband, she became dead to the family. Kingston never meeting her aunt greatly impacts the validity of the story, and we wonder who is in her life when she recounts the story. This caused Kingston to come to her own conclusions about her aunt since she couldn’t talk to anyone else about her. Kingston creates the story and image in her mind that her aunt gave birth in a pigsty. The validity of this story is highly in question and could have easily been made up, however it is up to the reader to decide how much he/she believes is a figment of her imagination and how much is real, if any. 

Kingston’s mother opening up the story with “You must not tell anyone…” (1) is a very dramatic opening and makes for a mysterious and ominous beginning. Since Kingston has to keep what her mother reveals to her about her aunt bottled up, she becomes very curious. She imagines her aunt’s ghost walking around. This leads back to the cover of the novel, stating that the story is “memoirs of a girlhood among ghosts”. This evokes a sense of a presence/presences looming, as if Kingston feels as though she has been surrounded by ghosts her whole life. Maybe her mother revealing to her that she had an aunt that she was never aware of is freeing to her and her way of being curious is to use her imagination. This creates a focus on the imagination and that we can shape a story into whatever we want it to be. 

Kingston’s imagination tends to run on the wild side. She presents us with dark images and forces us to think about many upsetting topics. This makes the reader wonder how the obstacles that she has had to face in her life being Chinese-American has impacted her mental state. She may assume that her aunt’s life was miserable due to what her mother told her, however, a child tends to make light of a dark situation, and Kingston does not do so.

An interesting literary device that presents itself in “The Woman Warrior” is irony. The irony that can be noted in this story is that although the first words that Kingston’s mother says are “You must not tell anyone…” (1), Kingston continues to recount the events of what she believes her aunt went through. Kingston speculates and makes up stories about her aunt and imagines what her life would have been like. This is an interesting aspect of the story and allows us to wonder what made Kingston so curious. We can also notice 

Kingston wondering whether she is creating these stories to honor her aunts memory or to fulfill her own needs. Since we receive no background about Kingston, it is hard to make a conclusion about why she is so speculative throughout the story.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What makes Kingston so inquisitive about her families’ past?
  2. What does the cover “memoirs of a girlhood among ghosts” reveal about Kingston?

Sara Weber

Hi, I’m Sara!

Hi, I’m Sara! I’m from Long Island and this is my second year at Cortland. I’m an Adolescent English major, I recently switched my major and I’m glad I did! I am on the Ultimate Frisbee Team here at Cortland and enjoy doing that in my free time.