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To You:

You are worth the fight.

The Beauty Underneath (Name Vignette)

A tug. It’s always there, like the voices that echo in the distant corners of my mind. It drags me back sometimes, that pull, but it has also shaped me. It all comes down to where I came from. India is where I was born, the place I became, Kalindee. Kalindee. The one ultimate thing that would tie me back to my heritage, no matter where I went or what I would do next. Life is not an easy game to play; there are many barriers that block my path. But still, I keep walking. I cannot live a positive life with a negative mind. So I live my life to the fullest, do what I enjoy, surround myself with the things I love. However, there are always restrictions; always rules. There is always that pull, holding me back. But while where I come from has limited me in my life, it has also made me who I am today. Everything that makes me, well‌me, is because of those restraints. I have learned to love and respect what is around me, to be a compassionate person. That pull is always there. It keeps me grounded. Reminds me of who I am. Though as I grow older, the pull starts to weaken. The rules and restraints begin to peel away from my life like paint slowly chipping off aged walls; only to reveal the beauty underneath. And soon, all that is left is my name. - Kalindee V.

Not In Vain by Emily Dickson If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain: If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin Unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain.

“Not In Vain” is a very short, but powerful piece. Consisting of only seven lines with an ababa rhyme scheme and a rhyming couplet at the end, Emily Dickson really uses simplicity to create a potent statement and evoke deeper meanings. The repetition of “I shall not live in vain.” (Lines 2&7, Dickson) throughout the poem draws out the importance of what she is trying to say. What is her purpose in life? To Emily Dickson, it’s about helping others. Touching other people’s lives in a positive way. And if she is able to do that, her life will not have been useless. “Or help one fainting robin/unto his nest again,” (Lines 5&6, Dickson) This is a line that really stood out. Is the speaker talking literally or figuratively? Taking these lines figuratively, they start to make more sense. Emily Dickson could have used the fainting robin as a metaphor about a person who needs help… someone who needs picking up, or a shoulder to lean on. But by using this metaphor and other purposeful language, Dickson was really able to create a determined tone. When reading the piece, you can hear it in your own voice, the sureness. As the readers, it is like being told this poem by Emily Dickson herself, rather than reading it in our minds…and that, is the beauty of Not In Vain.

Lying Mirrors They left you in pieces. Shattered. Broken. But a cracked mirror, gives false reflections. Your smashed mirror lied; the truth misspoken. Glum and hurt, you had lost all direction. I could not stand by, and watch you shed tears. “They were lies…” but you heard with disregard. Wanting to act, I cleared away my fears… Slowly, carefully, I picked up the shards. I knew, while picking them up, I’d get cut. But I went in knowing I could take it. I saw what you did not: the truth, somewhat… You had a spark. With it, my heart, you’d hit. Hate is easy; it destroys in a flash. But love takes courage. And for it, we bash. Kalindee V.

This sonnet explores more bigger themes and ideas. When talking about the broken mirrors, and getting cut by the shards…it was meant to be more of a figurative idea, a conceit (lines 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10). The idea of a broken mirror was that, when people are bullied or hurt, they often become “broken.” Looking into this idea of being broken, I decided to help the reader understand it more with a metaphor of a mirror. Think of it this way: when you look into a broken mirror, you will not see what you truly look like. You will only see bits and pieces, put together messily. It’s a lie. When a person is broken like that; their reflection on themselves becomes distorted…it becomes untruthful. This is often where many become to feel like they are not worthy of anything. But reality is, they just do not see the whole truth. With stanza 2, it is exploring the idea of someone wanting to help a broken person. The thing is, sometimes, while helping others – while picking up the sharp shards of the broken mirror – we get hurt too. It is a reminder that, while it’s good to help others, we must think of ourselves too. We cannot help others, if we are in no good shape ourselves. Overall, there are many themes and messages you can take from the piece, however, the main theme in general was meant to be that sometimes, when we see ourselves in such a negative light, it is usually not the truth. So do not believe what you originally thought, and find your true self.

At first glance, nothing is amiss. Gazing up at the morning sky, you utter, Nature is flawless. But as always, you begin to scrutinize. And in an instant, you realize: The moon is in the sky, When it should not be. Amongst the faultless scene, There lay a blemish. A flaw. A deformity. The moon does not belong, because it is something different. But just looking at the view in front of you, You forget. Beyond the blues and oranges of the sky... There is a universe. The universe is one; it is woven together. And there are rules. Seldom broken. But the moon, the sun, the earth; They all do what they will. Orbiting in their own speeds, They are all different. Not one star or planet is quite like the other. However, they all exist together, in the same time and place. All wholes are made of differences. There is no definite belonging of anything, rather, where one belongs, is simply where one exists. The moon, indeed, belongs. Kalindee V.

This poem, inspired by a walk afterschool, can be anything you want it to. However, this poem was written as a conceit. The meaning and theme behind the piece doesn’t have much to do with astronomy, but rather the circumstances. The theme that I tried to convey in the poem was hidden within the lines, in plain sight. “There is no definite belonging of anything, rather/ where one belongs, is simply where one exists.” (Lines 26/27) ‘The universe’ is the ultimate metaphor for a society or community. The moon being out in the morning sky, when it shouldn’t be, was my way of trying to tell the reader that things that are different and unique in society are often always judged and picked out. Why do we, as people, say to embrace difference, when all we do is judge anyone who tries to stand out…⋯why do we tell them they don’t belong? The fact is, no one “belongs.” Belonging to something is just an impression of our minds. Everyone is different in their own ways, but that is actually what belonging is all about. You belong to yourself. What you are, who you are, and where you are is my take on belonging. You simply exist in this world, and if you stay true to whom you are, that is belonging.

This photo taken by

Kalindee :)

Like a Lightning Bolt

This simple and rhythmetic concrete poem talks about the things in life that make it worth living… The theme in this piece explores the idea of the fact that no matter what, there will always be something in our lives that makes it worth living, even if you don’t see it at the moment… The dribbling rain was a metaphor for the monotonous boring routine in life that often seems endless, just like that slow and dragging rain. But then once in a while something comes along - a person, a thing, a chance, or a burst of inspiration – that really sets off a storm…in a good way. The thunder and lightning shakes up our world, setting us free from the drab life. Along with the alliteration (“…a dark dreary dribbling rain,” lines 20,21,22,23), the rhyme scheme (aabbcc) really helped set a rhythm for the poem, something that was really important. It was sort of meant to take the reader to this place in their head. Where they could hear the loud thumps of raindrops and the roars of the thunder… maybe this was the burst of inspiration?

Explosive On still, sultry nights; Explosive arrays of stars

stir forgotten d


Kalindee V.

Following a simple 5, 7, 5-syllable sentence structure, this piece is a tweaked version of the traditional haiku. The kigo I chose to use in my haiku is, ‘sultry.’ Hearing “sultry nights;” immediately makes you think hot and humid. What other season could this be than...summer? The kireji in Explosive is “nights;” Lines 2 and 3 have a bit of a different focus than line 1. “On still sultry nights;” (Line 1, Kalindee) This line was used to give the reader a sense of the sound and feel of the setting. It really adds and contrasts to the imagery that comes later on, in line 2. “Explosive arrays of stars.” I chose the word ‘explosive’ for many explicit reasons. The first, being the perfect way to describe an especially starry night. I am hoping the reader is really able to see what I see, through this word. A forest maybe, far away from the city lights that block out the stars. The second reason I chose ‘explosive’ was to really outline the stark contrast with what I hear and feel (line 1) compared to what I am seeing (line 2). Even though they are completely different, they really fit together and balance out the overall scene. In line 3, “stir forgotten dreams.” The word stir was used to help the reader feel inner emotions. Really beginning to reflecting the importance of the scene specifically to me...

Dreams by Langston Hughes Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow.

Photos taken by

Kalindee :)

Langston Hughes’ “Dreams,” is a short, but powerful and compelling piece. Using some strong metaphors, repetition (the metaphors and the parallelism of “Hold fast to dreams” [Lines 1&5, Hughes]), and rhymes, Hughes was really able to create a poem with rhythm… a piece that really stays with you. In the first stanza, he compares a life without dreaming to a bird that cannot fly using a metaphor. “Life is a broken-winged bird/That cannot fly.” (Lines 3&4, Hughes) What I get from these lines is that if you stop dreaming, your life will have no meaning. You will not be able to soar and really be content with your life. The second metaphor in stanza 2, is almost saying the same thing as the first, really emphasizing what Langston Hughes was trying to say with this poem. “Life is a barren field/Frozen with snow.” (Lines 7&8, Hughes) Without dreams, without any hopes or goals, you will not be able to grow as a person, just like how nothing will grow on a barren land. What, then, becomes the point of our lives? Hold fast to dreams.

Tonight you're letting go, under the burning glow We're too young to hold this all on our own All that came and went riding them by the winds Blowing through the trees, she could feel it on her skin Walking the lost streets, no one ever shares Cry yourself to sleep, waiting on a little prayer Bags are by the door, hearts are on the floor There's a bottle of tears on the dresser drawer

She wants to be free, like a runaway Trying to believe, gonna find a way We got just one life, tonight we're running all the lights Trying to break free, like a runaway

Nobody knows the trouble we've seen Nobody knows the price of this dream And nobody knows what it took to believe Nobody

She wants to be free Like a runaway Trying to believe, gonna find a way We got just on life, tonight we're running all the lights Trying to break free, like a runaway

She wants to be free, like a runaway Trying to believe, gonna find a way We got just one life, tonight we're running all the lights Trying to break free, like a runaway The road below our wheels, all that we fought to heal You close your eyes and cry, dying for the right to feel I hear it coming down, oh the sweetest sound Of forgotten tears falling on the solid ground Nobody knows the trouble we've seen Nobody knows the price of this dream And nobody knows what it took to believe Nobody

We're singing "How did we get this far riding on a shooting star? " It's like flying on the wings of God

Featured on the sound track of “Soul Surfer,” Runaway sung by Mat Kearney, is a catchy tune, with meaningful and empowering lyrics. The main idea of the song is based off of a clever simile. At first glance, the title Runaway could be taken literally, rather than figuratively. But as we progress into the chorus, the meaning behind the word becomes figurative; and it is stated clearly and simply to the audience using a simile. “Trying to break free, like a runaway/Trying to believe, gonna find a way.” (Chorus, Mat Kearney) These sentences immediately tell us a lot about the entirety of the song and also touch on the theme. It explores wanting a taste of freedom, wanting to break free of everything that keeps you back in life. Looking at the pre-chorus, we can really begin to see the theme the author tried to convey, shine through. “Nobody knows the trouble we’ve seen/Nobody knows the price of this dream/And nobody knows what it took to believe/Nobody.” (Pre-chorus, Mat Kearney) With the use of parallelism, the song effortlessly emphasizes its meaning…it’s hard to break free of everything, and it’s really hard to believe in yourself, but in the end…all of it is worth the fight.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the dierence.

Robert Frost’s well-known poem, “The Road Not Taken” explores common themes of choices and the paths of life. However, Robert Frost looks at these themes in a different way, talking about lost opportunities (therefore the title, “The Road Not Taken”) rather than just choosing a path and the opportunities he has come across. It consists of four; five line stanzas, all of which follow an abaab rhyme scheme. Frost begins with the idea of coming across a fork in a road, as stated in the first line; “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.” (Line 1, Frost) He starts to explore the idea of having a difficult time choosing which road to take… a clear conceit of coming across difficult decisions in our lives. This is also a case of symbolism in which the “roads” represent the choices we encounter in life. However, he states that both paths are equally the same; “Though as for that the passing there/Had worn them really about the same.” (Lines 9&10, Frost) This really draws out the idea that all these choices we make are just based on chance… How there is no way of telling where a path will lead you, but the path that you do take ultimately changes your life and who you become. The ending to me is almost like the author is trying to justify their decision of taking the path they did; he mentions that the path he took was on purpose, the “unique” way: “I took the one less travelled by.” (Line 19, Frost) When in reality, both choices held equal amounts of promise, and the road he ended up taking was just by chance.

Excerpt from The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

This excerpt is only a couple of lines, yet Mitch Albom was able to create a striking phrase. Using specific line lengths and a ‘common’ sentence structure, Albom was able to create an intense and suspenseful tone that really makes the reader reflect on life, both the past and the future. While also making you stop and think, the short, choppy-like sentences throughout the piece really emphasize the purpose and theme of the writing. Mitch Albom explores a more complex theme of carpe diem. He looks at time being a non-existent thing in nature. He questions you to ask yourself…what is time? Our lives are wrapped around this concept of time. But what exactly is it? Time is only the essence of our minds. There is always a clock ticking away in us. Whether it is a relentless reminder of how much little time we have or even how we might think we have too much time. But when you stop. When you stop and forget about time, there is only now. Do not fret over the future; do not torment yourself over the past, because in the end, today will be just another memory.

This photo taken by

Kalindee :)

A vast sea of green. Azure skies and wispy clouds: A time to savor.

The sweltering days, Leaving everything in haze: There’s nothing but fire. Slowly, they’re falling: The leaves abandon their homes… Trees become barren.

Enclosed in darkness: I’m surrounded by silence, As winds bite my skin.

Fiery tones of red… As they fall, they become free, and lost in the breeze.

A stark white blanket; Flakes whisper in a soft hum, while dancing in ease.

Bleak, overcast, dark. Like tears, raindrops tumble down: It stays in its dark.


Life begins to bloom, Vibrant hues dotting the land: The sun hides no more.

Darkness and Light by Kalindee V.

These collections of haikus all share a common theme and tone. There are 2 haikus for each season, 8 in total; they go from fall to winter to spring and then lastly, to summer. The theme that was tried to be conveyed in this collection, was that there is both darkness and light in everything; it just depends on how you want to look at it. The haikus on the left were written in a much more dark and gloomy tone than the haikus on the right, on purpose. It really was looking at things in a negative light vs. things in a positive light. The change in tone and atmosphere, really helped highlight the theme and meaning of the entire collection as a whole.

All About Me Personal Response to Poetry Anthology

Life is only how you decide to perceive it; it can be whatever you want it to be. Some of the poems in this anthology explore common themes of how we look at life, the choices we make, and how they ultimately change us. In Darkness and Light, it specifically talks about how there is both light and dark in everything…but it depends on how you choose to look at it. In a similar way, the excerpt from The Time Keeper talks about time. “Man alone measures time.” (Albom, line 10) It got me thinking about how when we look at life in a measurable way, whether this is time, success, or popularity…we are never happy. However, when you choose to look at life differently – a simple change, a choice – everything changes. The Road Not Taken talks about the choices that we make in life and how they affect who we become. The thing is, the choices we make in life are always based on chance (“Though as for that the passing there/Had worn them really about the same.” Frost, Lines 9&10). There is no way of telling what will happen in the future, but each and every decision you make all add up to the person you are today… So, how do the choices I make right now, affect me as a person? I wonder…taking out all the outside influences, would I be having different opportunities? All my life, a part of me has always wanted to break free, “Trying to break free/like a runaway.” (Kearney, Chorus). Being free is something that has always been a part of my ambitions in life, because I feel like I will never be able to follow my dreams or find out who I really am with all these constraints. Along with that, dreaming is also something that has always been important to me. “Life is a barren field/Frozen with snow.” “Life is a broken winged bird/That cannot fly.” (Hughes, lines 7/8 & 3/4) Without dreams, you will never be able to grow as a person...there won’t even be any ambitions or goals or success for you to chase. It’s the little things in life that keep dreams going and make life worth living. “But there is always something that creates a turn of events…”(Like a Lightning Bolt, lines 12,13,14,etc.) “stir forgotten dreams.” (Explosive, line 3). Why is it, that when we finally find ourselves, it never feels like we belong? I’ve found throughout my life, that there is no such thing as ‘belonging.’ Trying to “fit in”, is pretty much impossible. Society has these set rules and expectations. The truth is, no one will ever fit into those expectations. I’ve found out that true belonging is really where you are yourself and accepting of it. “There is no definite belonging of anything, rather/where one belongs, is simply where one exists.” (Free form, lines 26&27). It took me a long time to realize this… many still don’t realize this, thanks to society. A lot of the times, we forget about who we are and begin to dislike ourselves, because of the things and people that surround us. Things like bullying may not mean much at first, but it slowly breaks us down, eventually ruining the way we see ourselves. “But a cracked mirror, gives false reflections. Your smashed mirror lied; the truth misspoken.”(Lying Mirrors, lines 2&3) When you don’t even see yourself for the real you, how can you ever be truly content? The one thing above all that is really important to me is putting in an effort to make a change. I believe that huge differences can be made in the smallest of ways. Take society for example. Bullying seems like such a huge problem, but it all starts with us as individuals. Making others feel good about themselves rather than bad, having a positive role in your community…all these things add up. For me, if I can achieve these things in my life… “I shall not live in vain.” (Dickson, lines 2,6)

Image Sources (MLA format citation) Dedication: Jorge Quinteros. “At the light.” Photograph. Flickr. Web. 03/10/13. <> The Beauty Underneath (Name Vignette): Cheryl Colan. “Cracked Paint.” Photograph. Flickr. Web. 03/10/13. <> No artist. No title. Photograph. HaeJude. Web. 03/10/13. <> Not In Vain by Emily Dickson: mmohan. “Lonely Bird, Dying tree.” Photograph. Trekearth. Web. 17/09/13. <>. Lying Mirrors: No artist. No title. Photograph. wallpoper. Web. 16/09/13. <>. Free Form (Untitled): No artist. No title. Photograph. Travel Mood. Web. 16/09/13. <>. Explosive: Mike. “Starry Night.” Photograph. Tau Zero. Web. 08/09/13. <>. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost: No artist. Untitled. Photograph. Photography Life. Web. 19/09/13. <>.

Excerpt from The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom: NatalieJB. “walking alone.” Photograph. DeviantArt. Web. 17/09/13. <>. No artist. No title. Photograph. Tumblr. Web. 17/09/13. < Oa1r46fnpo1_1280.png>. In Darkness and Light: teh-artish. “A light from the darkness.” Photograph. DeviantArt. Web. 20/09/13. <>. All About Me (Personal Response to Poetry Anthology): No artist. No title. Photograph. Ginva. Web. 06/10/13. <> No artist. “Stars.” Photograph. Wallpapersus. Web. 06/10/13 <>  

Text Sources (MLA format citation) Dickson Emily. All Poetry. No publisher. No date of resource creation. Web. 08/09/13. <>. Langston Hughes. No publisher. 1994. Web. 09/2013. <>. Kearney Mat. “Runaway.” Universal Republic Records. 2012. MP3. Robert Frost. Poetry Foundation. No publisher. Web. 03/09/13. <>. Albom, Mitch.  The  Time  Keeper.  New  York:  Hyperion,  2012.  Print.      

A special thanks to my teachers, my friends, and the world. You all have inspired me to pursue my dreams and continue to grow as a person. :)

Just Another Day: Poetry Anthology by Kalindee V.