Saturday, February 9, 2008

I'm Only Ten

After a year of analyzing poetry in AP English, I realized that I actually kinda enjoy reading poetry and even -gasp- analyzing it. Here's a poem that we read in that class that I found particularly interesting and applicable...

Flash Cards

by Rita Dove

In math I was the whiz kid, keeper
of oranges and apples. What you don’t understand,
master, my father said; the faster
I answered, the faster they came.

I could see one bud on the teacher’s geranium,
one clear bee sputtering at the wet pane.
The tulip tree always dragged after heavy rain
so I tucked my head as my boots slapped home.

My father put up his feet after work
and relaxed with a highball and The Life of Lincoln.
After supper we drilled and I climbed the dark

before sleep, before a thin voice hissed
numbers as I spun on a wheel. I had to guess.
Ten, I kept saying, I’m only ten.

Ah, wasn't that good? Maybe I just like it because I know what it feels like to be pushed really hard academically, even if it's only myself that's doing the pushing.

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