Blackout Poem – “Where The Sycamore Grew”

Joel Thirsk
English 11
17 December 2018
Mr. Barazzuol

Analysis of “Where The Sycamore Grew”

“Where The Sycamore Grew” written by Carrie Richards, is a narrative poem is about a old woman visiting her old house and seeing all the change and reflecting on her time there. The poem begins with the woman visiting her old home and she says, “The street seems narrower, and the trees are taller../ Where once open fields spanned both sides of the road/ there are new tract houses, and fences have bloomed” (3-5). The poem continues to have the woman witness great change in her old property, and as she is looking around her property she sees, “an unfamiliar red tricycle, and a skate left behind/ along flagstone pavers that wind to the door” (9-10). She is remembering all the happy times, such as “our first Christmas trees, our first anniversaries…” (18). The mood then changes as the woman is nostalgic and remembers the tough times when her mother died. The woman misses the memories that were made, and is so grateful for the home that she used to lived in, and cherishes the times she had in it. A thematic statement to fit the poem could be, “A home can have a great impact on one’s life, and the memories made there can stay with you forever.” This thematic statement suits the poem well because the woman is reflecting on the memories many many years later, and they will stay with her forever. There are many poetic devices used in this poem, such as simile, apostrophe, and alliteration. Simile is used when the woman’s memories are flooding back to her, and says that they are, “like a whirlwind of leaves, in a springtime of lives…..” (17). The woman is describing how quickly her life flew by, and how she cherishes the memories created. Apostrophe is used when the woman describes her house as, “the place where I cried long into the night,/ as the child in me grieved for a mother who died…” (19-20). The woman is talking about someone who is not present, as her mother died many years ago. Alliteration is used when the woman first visits her old home and says, “The sun-yellow house seems smaller somehow” (1). The poem has the repetition of the letter “s” at the beginning of the three words, to help the reader be interested in the poem. This poem is significant because so many people move houses and feel a connection to where they live, and there are so many memories that are made in a home everyday, so many people can relate to this poem.

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