Three poems and one article, all have a strong message or meaning, but not one of them is alike. But what makes their message so strong? Each piece of work has a deep meaning or importance to the person that brings out their inner selves and their beliefs. This is important because it shows the true identity of these writers, and what is important and meaningful to them.
The point of Cofer’s poem, “Common Ground,” is to tell the reader that you are made of many substances that make you who you are, but when it comes down to it, you and your family, as well as the people around you all stand on a “common ground.” Everyone has a something that brings him or her back to a place where others are still standing. The speaker looks in the mirror and sees their grandmother’s pain in their lips, they see their “father’s brows arching in disdain” (line 14), and their “mother’s nervous hands” (line 15). These nervous hands smooth lines down on the speaker’s skin, that are “like arrows pointing downward” to common ground, where the rest of his or her family stands. This poem can be connected to The Whale Rider because it is saying that everyone is made of something different, but no matter what, at the end of the day, we all stand on a common ground. That is definitely a big thing that Koro noticed by the end of the novel, is that men and women do stand on the same ground and in the same place in society and that it is okay and acceptable.
Frost’s poem, “Mending Wall,” is the speaker’s thoughts as to why he has a wall between his property and his neighbors and if it is truly necessary for him to have. It never bothers him much until the spring comes around and it brings out the mischief in him (line 28). As he walks along the wall with his neighbor to find any damages he wonders why they need the wall at all, considering the fact that his “apple trees will never get across” (line 25) into his neighbors yard. The neighbor replies with “Good fences make good neighbors” (line 27). The interesting thing is, he is actually disproving himself by saying this. The wall separates the two and isolates the neighbors, making them not good neighbors, but instead ones that don’t want to interact with one another.
Yusef Komunyakaa’s poem, “Slam, Dunk, and Hook,” is really just a very descriptive poem that shows the man’s love for the sport. He uses many descriptive words and phrases to explain to the euphoria of the game to the reader. He says when they play it is “with Mercury’s Insignia on [their] sneakers” (line 1-2). He talks about how the men are poised in midair like “storybook sea monsters” (line 10-11). He describes the players as bug-eyed and lanky, just all hands and feet (line 17-18). Reading these descriptions I’m starting to see that the way he is describing the game is SO much more than just a game to him. It is an experience unlike any other. He feels joy and knows that as he soars through the air and runs down the court he looks “beautiful and dangerous” (line 40) almost like a vision.
In “The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education” the speaker is showing his true passion for the Jesuit religion. The point he is really trying to get across is that the Jesuit tradition of learning is a highly sophisticated and well thought out program that helps people build up to their greatest potential and beyond. The Jesuit tradition of education constantly “embraces new ways of learning” (pg 40) and does not want to force their ways upon people, but instead welcomes them in for discussion.
Although each of these four writings are VERY different in topic, whether it be about common ground, building or breaking down walls, soaring through the air to make a slam dunk, or dissecting the true meaning behind a Jesuit education, all these pieces of work are passionately written and each author feels very strongly for their beliefs.