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« Andrew Marvell | Main | Poet Jack McCarthy as understood by 'A Modest Construct' »

March 30, 2009


I am a student of Mr. Eleveld’s and as a part of a homework assignment, he asked us if we would like to post something on this blog related to the two poems that he had recently posted (for a grade of course).

“LXXXIV” is a difficult poem to understand. Michael Kadela’s piece was similar to a distorted fairy tale. He writes about a different kind of fairy tale; one where the characters are drastically different than traditional fairy tales. I personally found it difficult to understand this particular poem after reading it numerous times. The poem seems to be about (in a much broader sense) how life at large can suck and be screwed up; especially if a simple fairy tale can be messed up. Towards the end of the piece though, the “mob” finally releases its anger and leaves the scene, but why? Is it because maybe the mob approved of the prince’s speech? or is it because of something else? The ending was one of the parts of this poem I failed to understand. Sad enough though, this poem was entertaining to read, and, if I was correct in my meaning of the poem, (one of the main discussions in our English classes is whether or not something can be interpreted in different way to different people, this is just how I interpreted it) I thought the broader message is parallel with how life really is. As a whole, I do not believe this poem really contained any bad parts. On the other hand, the poem did contain many good parts including when the scene where the mob is relaxed because of the prince’s speech and the part in which the prince speaks about how tomorrow will probably suck too (“do not cry over spilt blood there’s more if you need it at your neighbors home today is yesterday’s tomorrow and tomorrow sucked yesterday in 2 days, tomorrow will be yesterday and then too, it will probably also suck.”). Overall this poem was a good read and I look forward to being able to discuss this poem tomorrow in class.

“Careful What You Ask For” is one of my favorite poems that we have read in class so far. The poem has a great message behind it and is well written for a reader to clearly understand the poem. I like this poem particularly for the way in which the piece ends because it was unexpected and it tied everything together at the end which is most likely the reason that Jack McCarthy included it into his poem. It helped tie the whole poem together in that, he dealt with his crying at a young age and it even continued to his little son, making it apart of life, as well as death. This poem was about the poet, at a young age, being beaten by a little girl and crying over it numerous times, mainly because he did not think it was okay to cry. After hitting the little girl back, he realized he made a terrible mistake and the poem continues from there. The larger message throughout this piece is that people make mistakes everyday and the stereotype that society places on us, doesn’t allow for boys/men to cry (including the poet hitting the girl, and wishing not to have a son so he is not put through the same things that the poet went through) but sometimes, to cope with life as well as mistakes you cry, and it’s okay to cry. It is the same with the previous poem, whether my interpretation of this poem is correct or not, this is the way in which I interpreted this poem.

Thanks Mr. Eleveld!


Thank you Newbs. So, you didn't answer the discussion. What is more valuable, the author/poet's intent or the readers interpretation of the intent--is there one, eternal and unchanging truth? How do we get there?

Honestly Mr. Eleveld, I am not sure. Ever since we have had this discussion, it has made me think a lot. I would like to think that the reader's interpretation is more important because the reader's interpretation should be close enough to what the reader's intent is, but then again, every human is different in their thinking. So is either answer correct? I am not sure, but they are damn good questions.

"Honestly" is a rhetorical device you're using to disuade me from the issue at hand. Why would you be anything other than honest? Come on Newbs. How could the reader/writer be on the same page (ignore the pun) or be completely separate. Who wins?

In regard to the poem "LXXXIV", I had a hard time understanding it. I believe Kadela is writing about life in general. Life sucks and there is nothing you can do about it. Crying over it isn't going to get you anywhere, so you should just accept it and move on. I saw parallels between the poem and society. One part that I really liked in the poem is the last sentence, "so endings came in ways beginnings went". I think it wrapped up the poem very nicely. I didn't really see anything particularly bad in the poem. The poem made me think of society and of a fairytale gone wrong. It also reminded me of the song Fairytale by Sara Bareilles. The song is similar in that it is also like a fairytale gone awry, "Cinderella's on her bedroom floor, She's got a crush on the guy at the liquor store, Cause Mr. Charming don't come home anymore and she forgets why she came here".

I enjoyed the poem "Careful What You Ask For" much more. I have read this poem several times before and each time I get to the end, I almost start crying. That shows that this is an excellent poem because the reader was able to feel a strong emotion from reading it. In this poem, McCarthy is trying to tell his audience that he has learned through his own experience that crying is okay and you don’t need to be ashamed if you do cry.The surprise ending wraps the poem up because it explains what he was leading up to in the beginning stanzas; it explains why he would feel that way if he had a son.


The reader and the writer could be on the same page if the writer's intent was easy to understand and the reader understood it. In other words, if the piece was easy to read an understand, then there should be no reason that the reader shouldn't understand it. But then again, the whole issue of everyone is different and interpret things differently comes into play. Both could also be on different pages for a couple of reasons (feel free to add more). One is that the reader just did not grasp the idea the writer was trying to convey and another is the fact that it is possible for a reader to see (interpret) something totally different than what the writer intended; it just depends on the way someone sees or reads something.

The first poem "LXXXIV" by Michael Kadela was difficult to understand, I must admit. I was confused when I read it the first time through. But, in my interpretation of the poem, I find it to talk about life in general. That it isn't always perfect, that it does have its flaws. In the third stanza the poet states the word "it." In my mind the word "it" is referring to life itself, because the author states that we should write a "sorry tale of it." Which in turn makes the reader think of the illusion that it is like a fairytale gone wrong. The mob also represents the unrest things in life or the difficult things. In this poem the Prince had to face the mob and give a speech, so in his life the mob was like an obstacle, that made his life troublesome or a burden rather than enjoyable. The Prince also gives the illusion of the fairytale gone wrong, because the typical stereotype of a fairytale is that it has to be magical and have princes and princesses.

The second poem "Careful What You Ask For" by Jack McCarthy is an easier read, but at the same time this poem has a much bigger effect on me. It has a much more melancholy tone to it. It also has a stereotypical event in it, for lack of better words. Inside the poem the boy is ashamed of crying when he is beaten up by a girl. The stereotype of this is that males are not supposed to cry. That they are supposed to be strong and solid as a rock, so to speak. As the boy becomes older and turns into a grown man, he becomes humiliated, because as a result of his childhood memories he now cries at the slightest emotion. Meaning he no longer cries when things really strike him as sad or depressing. But, yet he will cry in a sad scene of a movie that may not even make his own wife cry. Since, his childhood his tears have become a big part of his life. they made him feel very embarrassed. So, he wished he would never have a son, because he was afraid his son would then fall into his own footsteps. But, then at the end the last stanza ties the whole poem together by him having a son, and the first and last thing the son did was cry.

--Kimi Sullivan

The first poem “LXXXIV” is an interesting fairy tale; except for the fact that it is not easy to understand. I still don’t fully understand the poem. From what I do understand there is this prince in this far away land who doesn’t care about the people, the people riot, he gives a speech and everything is hunkey-dory. Overall the poem was written well, using parallelism in the 13th stanza. The one thing that is not satisfactory is that the tone and mood of the story are not the same. For sure the author had a different meaning of the poem than what I currently understand, or it could be because my analysis of poetry is not that great. The last line ties the entire poem together, as to say the cycle never ends and hardships and bad times are an essential part of life.

The second poem, “Careful What You Ask For” is a lot simpler to understand. Although that may be attributed to me hearing the poem several times beforehand and talking about in class. Jack’s poem is written as a simple story starting with his childhood leading up into later life. I like Jack’s poem better because the reader perceives exactly what he was trying to say about his life. The tone and mood match up. Many people are saddened by this poem, as am I, because of the very end of the poem.

~Nick Molo

By Michael Kadela

An ideal fairytale is portrayed as a happy ending with some sort of romance between a prince and princess. Hence second title, “The Effed Up Fairytale,” this poem is anything but a fairytale with a happy ending. I had difficulty interpreting this poem, but from what I could decipher from the poem, Kadela is attempting to demonstrate that life does not always end up as the “cookie cutter” or “perfect” lifestyle many Americans dream of. Society and the media tend to portray the life that Americans desire as a perfect commodity, commonly compared to the life of a prince and princess. He uses negative word choices to emphasize the forlorn state of the prince/princess relationship, emphasizing the unhappy ending we would generally not associate with a typical fairytale story. He uses repetition with the phrase “I guess,” perhaps to make it appear more realistic by demonstrating that he’s only human and does not know all the answers. Kadela uses a dreary and desolate tone to establish a somewhat anti-fairytale type poem. I like the word choices and admire that this is a different poem, not a usual feel-good poem.

“Careful What You Ask For”
By Jack McCartney

This is one of my favorite poems. McCartney uses humor to attract the audience initially, and then he resorts to more serious matters by expressing his feelings and making them relatable. This is a narrative poem where McCartney does an excellent job illustrating his journey from boyhood to an adult and father. What McCartney is trying to say can be concluded of the poem, “Careful What You Ask For.” He never wanted a son, in fear that he would turn out just like himself. Instead, he received a son who died shortly after birth. Exactly what McCartney was trying to prevent was a son who cries, just like himself. Although he didn’t survive, that son did cry, just like his father. You can’t change faith, but you can change your attitude as to how you approach your life, I think that’s one of the messages McCartney is trying to get across. The humorous tone in the beginning misleads the audience to think the poem will be all fun and laughter. At the end, it hits you hard in the stomach and really makes you think about what you’ve just read. The surprise ending really makes the poem because it’s so unexpected, and leaves the reader wanting to read it again. I really like the last stanza, it was an appropriate way to wrap up the poem.

-Abby Batis

I also found the poem "LXXXIV" hard to understand. After reading it over several times and thinking about in a simpler more literal sense I was able to get a better feel for it. Kadela writes about how wrong life can be. He does this by telling the story of some far away kingdom that sucks. He gets this across because of his word choices. For example "tragic b___s____ withers", "oh well, so let us write the sorry tale", "very many stupid things", "skinned&screaming", and so on. It seems that there is an angry mob that wants a new leader for the kingdom ("anyone else that may have helped was dead"). The only person available to the people is the seemingly incompetent ("and where was the prince for all of this? he was drunk...") prince. But still the people are eager to be led by him (perhaps by anyone). The prince tells them that life sucks and that they should get over it. In the end what I think the poem is saying is that, yeah, life sucks but you have to live it yourself. Don't go around looking for anyone else's "presentation of solutions." The mob gets the prince to talk to them, but when he is done speaking they leave “in an under whelmed indifference.” They go back to their lives and life continues to be the same as before (“endings came in ways beginnings went” (that line just sounds amazing :D)). Now, although this may be because life just sucks (“today is yesterday’s tomorrow and tomorrow sucked yesterday in 2 days, tomorrow will be yesterday and then too, it will probably also suck”), isn’t it possible that everything goes full circle in the poem because the people choose to continue living the same way? I really enjoyed the parallelism. I found it amusing how it was like saying “that’s how the cookie crumbles” but in different and interesting ways (“I guess that’s just the way the cake collapses”). Also it got progressively worse as you went through it. With all the mention of clowns the poem made me think of some creepy and deranged circus. It was difficult to understand, and I’m still not sure I understand it all too well, but it was very enjoyable.

“Careful What You Ask For” is a great poem and is very enjoyable to read. It’s written very well. How can I tell? Because the end leaves you really sad, thus it effectively conveys the tone to the reader. Usually when someone says to you “careful what you ask for” it has either sad or negative connotations. So upon reading this someone might be expecting something like that. But McCarthy throws the reader for a loop. He relates rather funny stories of his childhood when his crying embarrassed him. Then near the end when he writes “an unexpected act of simple human decency; new evidence, against all odds, of how much someone loves me” he adds a poignant resonance to the piece; and that all leads up to a sorrowful ending. I think using that array of emotions helped to really showcase the ending. The poem carries the message that the phrase “careful what you ask for” usually entails. It’s just done in a different way. It adds a deeper meaning to it by attaching human experience to it. But that’s just what I got out of it.

The poem “LXXXIV” was not the easiest of poems to interpret. After reading it a second time I thought that one way to interpret it was that life isn't perfect. I also found that he could be referring the people in our lives that are not perfect. Like in the first stanza Kadela says, "the perfect bitch was fixed and forecast waiting for her stern reply". He only mentions this female character once and he doesn't really portray her in a positive light. He also personifies the phrase "once upon a time" to be a person who had physical signs that he had been overworked. Kadela then mentions a prince who did inappropriate things at times when they aren't needed and seems to know how to handle a situation like the mob. The poem states that the mob was looking forward to the prince's leadership yet it also says they are angry. Even though they are angry he seems to calm them by telling them that everyday will be just as bad today. The prince and the "once upon a time" relate to a fairy tale. We can say that most fairy tales have a happy ending but at the end of the poem it says "so endings came in ways beginnings went" meaning that the story went bad.

The second poem "Careful What You Ask For" is one poem that I really enjoy. I have heard it before and it provides a straight forward story with an unexpected twist. McCarthy writes the poem using his own life to describe why it's okay for boys/men to cry. In the poem he tells the story of being beat up by a girl and then crying afterward and hoping that if he had a son that he would never cry like him. I think that poem is a good example of how the stereotype that boys shouldn't cry is passed around. He cried when he was young and hoped that his son wouldn't. McCarthy goes on and says that if he had a son that cried the soon might think he was ashamed of him. To me that could be why McCarthy hopes he doesn't have a son that cries. Also that surprise ending with the baby son crying at the end before he died only shows us that all people cry and that crying just makes us human. It's a part of life and death.

Victor B.

Kadela writes an interpretation of life as a “fairy tale.” I, myself believe the other title for this poem is more appropriate for what its saying. Life is not a fairy tale. Life is an f’d up fairy tale, just like the title. Life and hardship is a vicious cycle. Problems arise and when it does people react. They expect a person to guide them and lead them away from the hardships but that can’t always happen. The tone comes across as looking at a society in a negative way. The people turn into a mob and gain a mob’s mentality. They think as one mind not many. None of them think as individuals and find a way to make their lives better: to better themselves. They look up to the princely character who just tells them life sucks and each day will. No matter what life stays the same day after day. Kadela uses parallelism to emphasize how life is. Life is always the same. I find that the poem does a good job of showing people in society as followers. They don’t think for themselves as I said before.

Careful What You Ask For
Jack McCarthy writes in a free verse style in my opinion. He starts out making remarks on how society has made out that boys should be the tough ones and girls the ones to pick up and comfort when they cry. He, though, as a child was beaten up by a tough little girl and he cried. The poem is called Careful What You Ask For because he was hoping that he wouldn’t have a son so his son wouldn’t end up like him, very sensitive and emotional. But at the end he tells how he almost did have a son and for the short time his son was alive all he heard from him was crying. And the baby knew nothing, went through nothing, and was affected by nothing. But he still cried. The ending affects the reader by making them feel the pain of his loss of a son. And guilt for asking not to have one. All because he didn’t want him to cry because of society making him feel ashamed of his emotions.

By Michael Kadela
An ideal fairytale is portrayed as a happy story with some sort of prince or princess. I had a hard time understanding thiis poem, but after reading it over a few times, Kadela is attempting to demonstrate that life is in no way perfect. Society wants to believe that they can have this perfect life thrust upon them, similar to the life of a prince or princess. He uses negative word choices to contradict the “perfect life” a prince or princess lives. He uses repetition with the phrase “I guess,” to make it appear more realistic by demonstrating that he isn’t perfect and doesn’t know all of the answers to life’s unanswered questions. Kadela uses a melancholy tone to create this anti-fairytale type poem.
“Careful What You Ask For”
By Jack McCarthy
When you start reading this poem, you think that it’s going to be humorous and lighthearted, but when you’re done reading it, it really puts things in perspective. One this I liked in particular about this poem, is that the tone corresponded with the age of McCarthy. The first few stanzas are about McCarthy’s childhood. The tone in the beginning is lighthearted, as children are lighthearted characters. As the poem progresses and McCarthy grows older, the tone of the poem becomes more and more serious as his life progresses. McCarthy realizes that he doesn’t want to have a son, because he is afraid that his son will cry a lot. He does not want his son to end up being like his father. He is told his baby boy will be born dead, but as his son is born alive, he realizes his worst fears might come to life. Right before the death of his first son, his son cries. The irony in the ending of the story punches everyone in the stomach. His son did in fact cry as he did, confirming his worst fears.

The first poem we read in class, "LXXXIV" by Michael Kadela, was a poem that dealt with a prince in a kingdom where all is not right and his people mob against him. Kadela uses parallelism in the poem when he says "I guess that's just the way the cake collapses. I guess that's just the way the screaming clown will split his chest. I guess that's just the way the tumor celebrates. I guess that's just the way the body dies." these stanzas all show a negative connotation also. This poem spoke to me because it basically describes life and shows that each day that passes will become "yesterday" at some point and each day sucks just like the last did. In that same stanza about how all days suck, Kadela says "do not cry over spilt blood there's more if you need it at your neighbor's house." After reading this poem it just reminds me how life works and I enjoy Kadela's take on a fairytale hence the title "The Effed up Fairytale."

The second poem we read in class I enjoyed much more than the first. The poem "Careful What You Ask For" by Jack McCarthy also is a poem showing negative connotation. The tone of this poem seems to me to be sad while Jack describes his life from his childhood to his adulthood. When Jack was a child he used to cry about silly things like getting beaten up by a girl but not at things like his parents death, afraid to pass this trait on to a son if he ever had one, Jack wished not to have a son. When in labor with what the doctors said to be there dead son, the baby came out and cried briefly then died. This helps carry out the title of the poem "Careful What You Ask For." I can't sit there and say that the whole poem is sad, because Jack uses humor to share his journey through life which is what makes the poem enjoyable.

Catie H.

During my first read of Kadela's poem in class, I thought the poem was about social unjustice and the lack of effective leadership in society. I think Michael Kadela uses imagery very well in his description of the scenery. From the disturbed and restless mob, to the twisted and frightning clowns, I can vividly picture the surroundings of this poem. This poem reminds me of a memory that has a man dressed in black watching the whole scene from afar. After finishing our first run through, Mr. Eleveld suggested that a meaning of a poem should be taken literally before someone considers the symbolism within the poem. Considering this "advice" in my next runthrough I imagined the scene exactly as it was and I realized the author may have intended for the poem to be about a distopia of a fairytale.



In this poem by Michael Kadela there seems, at first glance, to be many separate tangents occurring right after the other with some sort of order belonging to them. From what I believe to be the correct(in my view anyway) placement of the puzzle the following events occurred in the poem. The prince had a significant female other who was pregnant with the next heir to the throne(fairy tale mythology) after the prince. This can be inferred by the first two stanzas where the author states; "tragic furtive formulae", "perfect bitch", "fixed forecast", "wanting", and "devil's tail-it danced, and dancing leveled lives of happy trust"

From these stanzas it is shown that there was some relationship(happy trust) with a women he desired and impregnated(perfect bitch) but she died(leveled lives).

Next the prince is in grief so he resorts to pleasurable behavior wanting what he cannot have-his heir.

A mob of angry citizens formed in response to lack of leadership from the prince(and it might also be assumed unrest at the uncertain royal line of lineage) as stated in the passage; "the prince, who lacking pants, addressed the angry mob they were looking forward to his leadership his presentation of solutions"

In response to the crowd the prince gave a short speech on how life sucks and tragedies happen but there is naught that can be done about them. The crowd getting no solution for the questions and action they seek become disheartened in their efforts and come to agree that all is futile.

All of this forms a great parallelism to real life. To which I believe the author is referring to his own tragedy and showing the hopelessness of the situation. It is a very depressing read after you wade through the intricacies of the poem, but if your you can relate this might be a good poem for you.

Careful What You Ask For

In this selection from Jack McCarthy the early mood of the piece is humorous. It is intended to draw the reader into the story and the tale by providing humor and interest for the reader’s enjoyment. This is done by giving a story of the author’s life(be it real or fictional) about him getting beaten up by a girl. After sharing his story he moves on to a more neutral topic posing the question; “why do I cry?” and making observations and comments seemingly to start answering his own question but also to disguise it as information for the reader’s benefit. Following that the mood gets even more serious, even remorseful. The author talks about never wanting a son, so that he may not cry like he did, or be ashamed of his father for his crying. Then having that same son and right before he died, he cried. The most devastating thing to have happened and exactly what the author had not wished for. It did even without him and the author is saying that he regrets the things he thought and even said because there are more important issues at stake than crying. The author(and as an extension the reader) got to feel the pain and sadness of loss and tragedy as felt in a situation only the author could have had(with his life experience).

Overall this is a reliable example of a bait-and-switch poem used by McCarthy. Many interesting devices were employed by the author to be subtle about his intentions until you got to the point he was making. In my opinion this is an outstanding poem that succeeds in getting the author’s message across and a great example of American poetry.

Kyle Berg

Michael Kadela in his poem “LXXXIV” is writing about human life in the form of a fairytale. A lot of the poem itself I don’t necessarily understand, but by reading the past blogs I have obtained a better grasp on its meaning. I don’t know what the definition of an “excellent” or “bad” poem happens to be, and therefore don’t feel I can answer the question in any way other than an opinion. I love the irony displayed in the poem, such as in the line “I guess that’s just the way the tumor celebrates.” It is ironic for a tumor to celebrate if a tumor is what could harm a body, so why would it need to celebrate. The poem expresses a lot of anger from members of the mob toward the prince, as well as from the prince to the world. The prince almost seems to be viewing the world sarcastically because he is beyond the point of anger and has accepted that “so the endings came in ways beginnings went.” The poem, through my interpretation, is about a man’s life, which he views as a tragedy, (the prince) and a fight with himself to truly accept who he is, and the consequences of his decisions. The prince’s anger is with himself rather than the angry mob because at the end of the day the mob moves away and gets on with their lives (“their anger dissipated in an underwhelmed indifference they walked among the strange parades on their ways back to their beds”), while the prince drowns himself in his misery and pessimistic view towards life. The fairytale is ironic itself because the typical children’s fairytales have happy endings, while “LXXXIV” does not. Kadela’s poem reminds me of the version of “Snow White” that I read in Mr. Eleveld’s class, and how tragic both settings happen to be.

I love love love Jack McCarthy’s poem “Careful What You Ask For.” McCarthy’s poem displays a bigger message on the inside of its text, and uses a simple example to make the poem relatable to its audience. Jack is trying to say that people make mistakes they regret, but it really is ok to make these mistakes in life and to feel humility. The example he uses to demonstrate this theme is kind of like a sense of comic relief because the story of him crying after getting beat up from a girl is humiliating on his part, but humorous and light hearted for the audience to enjoy. McCarthy’s poem shows how for the longest time he wouldn’t accept that fact that it is ok to make mistakes, and he lets the past linger in his mind, which is displayed in the lines “In movies I despise the easy manipulation that never even bothers to engage my feelings, it just comes straight for my eyes, but there’s not a damn thing I can do about it, and I hate myself for it.” In the end, however, the author realizes it is ok to cry, or in general it is ok to screw up, or to feel isolated. Readers know he has come to this conclusion in the last 2 lines (“but he wasn’t: very briefly, before he died, I heard him cry.”) The poem was written very well for audiences of all ages, and the theme can be applied to people of all ages, making the poem an easy interpretation and impacting read if the audience can apply the theme within their society. As mentioned earlier, the ending displays Jack McCarthy’s son crying before he dies, showing how it is ok to cry, and how he shouldn’t feel ashamed of his past.

In “LXXXIV,” Kadela writes about a fairytale that is not how most of the stories go. He is writing the poem as a tragedy of a Prince who neglects his people and they become an angry mob. When the Prince is confronted by the angry mob he tells them that life sucks and it will always suck, so they shouldn’t expect anything to change, which causes the mob to calm down. The poem, although difficult to understand, brings a twist to fairy tales and how life isn’t one and we shouldn’t expect everything to turn out good. The flaw in this poem is that it is very hard to understand, so how I interpreted may be completely opposite than what Kadela was writing about. The tone of how the poem was written could be different than the mood of how the reader interprets it, which is the problem with this poem. The poem is parallel with how society is that life doesn’t always go your way and the ending of the poem “so endings came in ways beginnings went” was a good way to end the poem in saying if things begin badly they will end badly as well.

The second poem, “Careful What You Ask For,” was my favorite of the poems because I could understand it better. Jack McCarthy tells a story of how he was always ashamed of crying and didn’t want a son because he was afraid that his son would be like him. The best part of this poem was the emotion you get from the poem especially towards the end of the poem. The ending really surprises the reader because you don’t expect it and you feel sad when you thought that the poem would make you feel good since McCarthy got over being ashamed of his crying.McCarthy does a good job of letting the reader interpret what he is trying to tell in his poem.

The first poem entitled "LXXXIV" by Michael Kadela has a fairy tale setting, pretty traditional in a sense. Yet, the archetype of the fairy tale is dissolved withtin this piece. This fairy tale is of a crude prince who addresses his people and tell them all that their lives suck and that will not change. With Kadela setting the morbid tone so early on in the piece it gives the reader a good amount of time to establish their mood towards it as well. The first stanza helps the reader do so quite easily, which brings us full circle to the very last line, "so endings came in ways beginnings went," we started out with a life that sucks and sorry, it's going to be that same way.

The second poem "Careful What You Ask For" by Jack McCarthy was an interesting piece. Jack writes this piece with a personal or narrative stlye you might want to call it. He's telling the reader a story and it's about him. He's putting his emotions; his feelings into the piece at hand. Throughout the poem Jack is focusing on the story of his life and how he always "cried". He had gotten himself beaten up by a girl, and he had cried at movies. Those are the one in which he is ashamed of. Then it brings him to explain that he was not ashamed of crying with his daughters which is contradictory to his whole "no crying" policy. But it seems odd that he didn't cry at his mom or dad's death, or his wedding, I know not every person crys at wedding but you never know, it seems as if smaller things make go to tears. The surprise ending of his son dying affects the readers mood towards the entire poem. Jack hits the reader with the 'big blow' to the heart making the reader feel, but it gives the poem a concise ending and showing even crying comes full circle, even for men.

Although I already commented on Kadela's work, I would like to make more comments on Jack McCarthy's poem. The poem seems to be written as a memory and a story in flashback. McCarthy is using the poem, "Careful What You Ask For" to express his uncertainties in his habit of crying and being emotional. I enjoyed this poem because I think McCarthy makes several points that could apply to many other people that might be ashamed to cry in front of other people. I think the end of the poem ties the author's fears of having a son that cries, into a happy moment of birth, and a painful moment of death. This ending seems to be the author's realization that crying can be a wonderful as well as terrible thing.


by Micahel Kadela

Kadela's horrific poem seems to have some hidden meaning. By using the complete reverse idea of a utopia and looking at a dystopia, the author wants to readers' to look at the actuality of life. By focusing on negativity that happens in reality and in fantasy, he wants his reader to see the reverse side of a utopia, a dystopia. Dystopia and utopia are the same idea, just the opposing. The poem lacks dissonance when I read it, so it isn't meant to scare the readers or have them feel disgusted. The poem does a splendid job of portraying a dystopia and has no poor quality in it.

Careful What You Ask For
by Jack McCarthy

McCarthy's poem is a type of realism to express the conflict a man or just any gender or person may encounter during a hardship in their life. McCarthy's hardship of crying more easily than expected from a male and lack of confidence in being able to deal with another like himself, causes the surprise ending of his newborn son's death. McCarthy's character did not want to deal with a crying son, so when his son was born crying and instantly died afterwards due to fetus complications, this can jump to the assumption that after the character analyzes the situation, he wishes he didn't think what he had previously thought. McCarthy does great in his characterization in Careful What You Wish For because he enlightens his readers to not lack in confidence because they failed in their eyes, but to use your own experiences, and share that with others.

In Kadela's Poem, it seemed to be symbolizing a hard time or rough patch of some-sort in a person's life and showing how unperfect people are. Although the character is a Prince, there is nothing especially great about him. The crowd to me seemed to be representing all factors that a person can have in their life and that although there may be problems (the crowd) one has to confront these problems no matter what. There are also no quick fixes as stated how many days will suck! I liked the imagry that was in throught the piece although some of it was a bit abnormal to try to imagine in my mind. But overall a good read.

In McCarthy's poem, it was much easier to follow and understand than Kadela's. Boys aren't supposed to cry, it just isn't a normal thing. And his worst fear is that he will have a son that takes on his traits of being a crier and as a shocker, he briefly has a son that right after its birth but before its death cries revealing the irony of the poem. It was a very enjoyable read.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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