Poetry Project

Image that captures the poems theme:

10 Things to Remember When You Are Feeling Stuck | Inc.com

My Poem: What is Black?

Black is the night

when there isn’t a star

and you can’t tell

by looking where you are


black is a feeling hard to explain

like suffering but without the pain


black is your soul trying to reach the end

of a dark dark hole;


big black ball bouncing off the walls

trying to reach the end


black is feeling

you can feel all the time

in any way


Composition on “What is Black?” by Lindsey Webster

Depression. An empty void of your own thoughts circling and circling with no escape. “What is Black?” is an open poem by Lindsey Webster comparing a colour/shade to emotions. She opens it off with a statement that really makes you dig deep into what is really trying to be communicated here. “Black is the night when there isn’t a star and you can’t tell by looking where you are” First off, we have some rhyme here with star and are. Not only is there a rhyme but it gives you some imagery to picture. How often do you come across a solid black night sky with no stars and no lights whatsoever. It’s dark but it also makes you feel calm in a way. Everything around you is shut off, including mother nature and you’re all alone. You’re surrounded by this darkness, and you feel like it’s almost trapping you but at the same time holding you together and making you feel safe. Throughout the first two stanzas, there’s a rhyming at the end of each grouping. In this next stanza it is explain and pain. The colour black is normally associated with death, mourning, and darkness. When you are going through something where you have those emotions or thoughts, it is extremely hard to explain to someone who’s never been through it. “like suffering but without the pain”, here imagine the feeling of suffering and the weight it leaves on your chest, and you just feel so heavy, but take away the emotions from that. You feel that weight in your chest, but you don’t feel anything, no emotion, you don’t feel any pain but that feeling of the weight is still there. At the end of this stanza, she ends it off with a semi-colon. In this poem it has a different meaning to it. A semi-colon means you wanted to end it but didn’t. It’s like the author being able to end a sentence but continues it. In this next stanza Webster is just explaining how you as a person is trying to get rid of this feeling on your chest. Just waiting and waiting until it goes away. Which transitions into the next stanza where she starts it off with an alliteration. Not only is it an alliteration but also gives you some imagery as well. Here it’s like a ball trying to escape a 4-wall fortress but it can’t get out. It’s just bouncing from wall to wall trying to find a way out over and over again. In the closing stanza, Webster writes “black is a feeling you can feel all the time in any way”. This stanza is a closing off for everything she covered in the poem. The feeling of that weight on your chest and never being able to escape it, it’s always there. She does say that you can feel it in any way so maybe the similar physical feeling of suffering, of that weight always being on her chest is her personal experience.


Class Poem Analysis:

“What can a poem do?” is an open poem by Darius V. Daughtry that touches on both external and internal events. The poem addresses to the public and society. He opens the poem by saying “a poem cannot save a life”, which is an antithesis that’s contradicting the title of the poem. He explains how poetry can’t change who you are, he references a Marvel character, “Luke Cage” who has bullet proof skin. The beginning of the poem he talks about heavy subjects and how poetry can’t help you with how you were born, and it can’t save you from a bullet or bomb. It can’t save you from inevitable hurt. It also talks about inequality in today’s society based off skin, religion, etc. People are judged based off the colour of their skin or gender, things that they can’t change. Daughtry is telling the listener/reader how poetry can help you discover yourself. He’s talking about his experiences as a black man and how poetry kind of saved him. Unlike technology we can’t change the past or mistakes, but it can help you understand love, the truth, give you hope, and can help you discover yourself and your true identity. “A poem can love like hold you and scold you at the same time”, here he is contrasting comfort and sort of personifies a parent caring for their child. “A poem be like a mirror sometimes help you see the crust in your eyes and the plank”. Here he’s saying how poetry can be like a mirror and help you see yourself in your true form.  It is also a biblical allusion to a verse from Matthew. Daughtry also says “the layer of truth just below the scriptures” where he is referencing the bible and all holy books and how we lose the truth of power. He then proceeds to talk about his own experience about his life on his block and how there were more fighters than writers. “Pen is mightier than the sword” here it’s a paradox that means written words are more effective than violence. I believe it’s very deep and meaningful to him to write about how he was treated differently in his life and the people around were too by society. Not only him and the people around him but the whole community of African Americans experiences today in American and all the horrible things they go through. At the start of the poem “treated equally” is its own line and I believe it is for people to understand how poetry is an open world with no limits unlike the world we live in today. The poem shows how inequality is still a very real thing in today’s society and how it can limit people. He’s saying in poetry there are no limits for anyone or anything, you can be who you want to be without trying to hide from anyone or anything. Poetry can help you see who you truly are and understand who you were meant to be.


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