In Response To:
Journal of Poetry (I)
Student ID: 487200099
"I Ask My Mother to Sing"
First I read the line "…the waterlilies fill with rain until they overturn, spilling water into water, then rock back, and fill with more." I think the rain symbolized the different culture to immigrants like the speaker's family. And the spilling water symbolized their original attitude toward life. Like people who live in foreign country had to give up some of their tradition. After the class, I got the idea that the rain might be a symbol of something that force people leave their native country, such as political turmoil or the national economical problems. And the song that Li Young Lee's mother and grandmother sang might be similar as a Taiwanese local song "思想起". Both of these two songs try to help youngsters imagine what kind of life the old generation lived.
"Those Winter Sundays"
I think the speaker of this poem is a man. And his relationship with his father is not well at that time. (When he was a teenager or a boy.) There is always "the chronic anger of that house"; the reason why there is a tension atmosphere around the house may due to the inharmonic relationship between his parents. (The introduction in the textbook mentioned that the poet's parents got divorce at last.)
There is one thing that I suggested is the speaker of this poem wrote this poem might because now he also becomes a father. So he can understand how his father love him and how the feeling of "No one ever thanked him." Is. Just like a Chinese old saying "One never thanks his own parents until he began to raise his children." (養兒方知父母恩)
"We Real Cool"
the speaker in this poem use the words and the tone which lower classes teenagers use.(or the black teenagers use) Gwendolyn brooks wants to identifies herself with the black teenagers in lower classes. Being a successful African-American poet, Ms. Brooks try to make those teenagers think the meaning of their life seriously. By writing such an ironic poem. Or they might will "die soon." I think that is not Ms. Brooks does want to see.