Joseph Grijalva Section: 5
Context (When/Where FOund? Why Looking? " Overview," )
I found this poem on smiley00.tripod.com, an online poetry archive of both famous and amateur poetry. The fact that the author of this poem is unknown gives it character. The reader does not know what background or training the author is coming from, and can therefore consider the idea that profound and poetic thoughts can come form from anywhere.
Content/CD (Say? " Plot?" Setting/Situation? Key lines/phrases.)
The poem does not contain a plot and is set up as a freestyle reflection or a conversation between two people.
Content/CM (Meaning? Theme(s)? Study Q's?)
It is fairly obvious from the popularity of television shows such as " Doctor Phil" , that advise giving is big business. Most people who have to admit that they are quick to share their views when people come to them with problems. However, sometimes what people really want when they come to someone else to discuss their problems, is sometimes to hear them. This method of listening is the topic of the poem " Please Listen" . The author discusses how he (the author will be referred to as a " he" for simplicity purposes) he has observed the tendency of people to jump to advice giving with lines like, " When I ask you to listen to me, and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I said." He goes on to express his belief that " advice is cheap" , mentioning " Dear Abby" and another newspaper advice column. The author has a good point in this regard. After-all, how is someone that a person has never met, and has no idea of the inner workings of that persons relationships and life, supposed to give them advice for dealing with the most complex situations in their lives.
The author also makes mention of another interesting idea. He says, " When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy." Basically this statement tells the reader that we should not allow others to become dependent upon us. After all if a person has had every task in his or her life completed by someone else, that person would be afraid to try to do anything on his or her own and would be helpless if their support was to be taken away.
Form (Diction? Construction Terms? Symbolisms?)
" Please listen is organized into one giant paragraph containing several sentences. The poem takes place in the form of a person talking to someone else about listening. Interestingly, the person reading the poem must have some clue on how to listen already in order to fully appreciate the poems meaning.
Commentary *What do you want to say? Why like? Dislike? Relevance (to personal literature/other poetry, 20Q's? etc.)?
I found this poem to be particularly enjoyable. The author hit the meaning of " listening" right on the nose. If someone wants advice, then they will ask for it, but most times people just want to take a load off their chest. Also the author made a good point in his discussion of why prayer proves so valuable to some people. God is the perfect listener, he never gives advice, never ties of listening, and knows that we must help ourselves in order for him to help us.
When I ask you to listen to me