,
(Curly’s Wife)

Everyday I watch men work
Behind the scenes I observe
I examine their movement
And watch them make conversation
Every day
Drowning in my own thoughts
Not permitted to say a word
Itching to say something
But I sit in silence
I’m full of words I wish to speak
From time to time I spill
When I sit and smile I’m something nice to look at
But when I talk I am an inconvenience
If I dare speak up
The workers stop talking and stare
With their sharp overworked eyes
As if I have tainted the very air they breathe
As if I’m already pretty without a voice
So who turned up the volume?
But of course
It’s my bad
I know their air tastes best pure
And uninvaded by my opinion
I didn’t mean to slip
I didn’t mean to overstep
I never meant for my words to clash with their closed minded ideals
In the company of my monochrome wordlessness
Is my awareness of the consequences
That come with speaking up `
If I could go back in time
I would continue my consistent silence
I would continue my suffering
As long as that meant
That today I’d still be breathing

In this assignment, we were asked to write a 30+ line poem from the perspective of a character from the book Of Mice And Men. For my poem, I wrote a poem from Curly’s wife’s perspective. In the poem, I tried to portray the level of neglect and loneliness she had been experiencing. When I read this poem I think about how the sexist environment, because of the time period, impacted this character. When other people read this poem, I hope they can find a way to empathize with Curly’s wife, and realize how sexism can effect someone.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 I’d Still Be Breathing by Chiara is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

3 Comments
  1. costello 2 months ago

    Thanks for your poem. I look forward to seeing what you make next….that’s just how my teacher wanted me to start this comment…ill keep it 100. i like your poem cuz of how dark it was…..its not like you just made it cuz your teacher told you to but cuz you had meaning to what you said,a perspective in it..a first person perspective….i could be wrong but if im not then here’s my message to you.”just do you and let the world do it..your not perfect thier not perfect…but be acceptable to yourself tho…and love yourself before they do.’

  2. Oscar 2 months ago

    Dear Chiara
    I am very impressed by your poem, “I’d Still Be Breathing,” because you really showed how she feels lonely and how sexism really affects her in a negative way. This poes really showed me how sexism is a big problem in the world and how we need to address it. To me the main message of your poem is how she feels lonely and affected by sexism which causes her great sadness. I know this because when you said “Drowning in my own thoughts Not permitted to say a word Itching to say something But I sit in silence I’m full of words I wish to speak” this shows me that she feels silenced and can’t speak out about how she feels. One line that stands out for me is, “I know their air tastes best pure And uninvaded by my opinion” I think this line is amazing because it shows how sexism affects her when she tries to speak out and shows how she silenced because of who she is. Also I love how you said that there air taste best pure to show and emphasize how her opinion isn’t taken into consideration. I really liked how you used the literary device of metaphor when you said “I never meant for my words to clash with their closed minded ideals”. I think this line is really powerful because I love how you used metaphors by saying my words clashed with their closed minded ideals. This line is really showing me how her opinion and words aren’t important to people which isn’t right. Your poem reminds me of a poem that I once read that was talking about how sexism causes women to feel as if silenced and oppressed by those who are in power .Your poem sends an important message about sexism because you talk about how she feels silences and how her opinion doesn’t matter. Thanks for your poem. I look forward to seeing what you make next. You are great poem and you are a great poet.

    • Author
      Chiara 1 month ago

      Dear Oscar,
      Thank you for taking your time to read and appreciate my poem. It means a lot that you went through the effort to write such a thoughtful response. Initially, I was worried that my poem was unclear, but I am happy to hear that you completely understood my poems messages. I was wondering if your class also posted poems on youth voices, if you did, could you please reply with a link to your poem? I’d like to read it and leave a comment.

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