Replace your small frown that they don’t see
With words, declaring it was offensive
Replace that forgiving hug
With admitting it’s actually not ok
Speak up.
Replace your smile
With a loud, cackling laugh
Say the whole joke you were holding in
Speak up
Don’t look down when they walk by
Start your own conversation
So you can at least say you tried.
Speak up
Replace your slow nods
With admitting you actually don’t agree
Speak up
and say what you meant to
Release the words trapped within
Let go of their opinions
They are weighing you down
argue and fight
scream and cry
and
Speak Up

In this assignment, we were asked to write a repetitive poem, repeating a phrase that we wanted to impact the reader. For my poem, I chose to repeat the phrase “Speak Up’ because I often struggle with speaking up myself. I enjoyed this assignment because we had a lot of freedom to spread whatever message we wanted to. When I read this poem, it makes me think about times when I should have spoken up, and it inspires me to speak up in the future. When other people read this poem, I hope it inspires them to say what they want, even in situations where it may seem scary, speak up!

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CC BY-SA 4.0 What You Meant To Say: Speak Up by Naomi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

3 Comments
  1. Joseph 5 months ago

    Dear Naomi,
    I am very astonished by the quality of your poem, “What You Meant To Say: Speak Up” because of how strong the message you are spreading is. The message in your poem is extremely bold and moving. I was very pleasantly surprised by this fact and encourage this in even more of your future writing. To me the main message of your poem is to speak out what you want to say and not hold yourself back. I know this because of the line where you say to not let your personal doubts weigh you down. One line that stands out for me is, “Replace your slow nods
    With admitting you actually don’t agree.” I think this line is greatly thought provoking because I feel like it’s very common for people to just go along with almost everything they hear and don’t express if they don’t think it’s right. I really liked how you used the literary device of anaphora when you said “Speak up”. I think this line is great because it strings together what each line of your poem is trying to say and gives a constant clear theme to your poem. Your poem reminds me of a poem that I once wrote in middle school. It was a poem where we also had to focus on including literary devices into our poem. The differences is I didn’t include anaphora and instead included similes, metaphors, and onamonapia. I think this connection between your poem and my past one will definitely make me remember it yours well. Your poem sends an important message about saying what you think and not holding your words/thoughts back because nowadays there’s a lot of different things that now seem more sensitive to talk about or mention so when they are brought up people respond to it by being extremely passive and letting it pass. I think this fact is very counterproductive for our society and messages like the one in your poem should be spread throughout society more commonly. Thanks for your poem. I look forward to seeing what you make next. I’d love to see more of your ambitious and bold writing. If you keep that kind of writing style then people are assured to be intrigued in your work. Keep up the great work.
    Sincerely,
    Joseph Thornton

    • Author
      Naomi 5 months ago

      Dear Joseph,
      Thank you so much for reading and taking your time to respond to my poem. It means a lot to me that it was inspiring and you were able to make connections. I was nervous that my poem wouldn’t be clear enough to the readers, so I’m happy that you understood it so well. I would love to hear your own poem that you made a connection with, and compare our different uses of literary devices in our poetry. Once again, I really appreciate you taking your time to read and respond to my poem, for it will help me be a better writter.
      Sincerely, Naomi

  2. Anaee 5 months ago

    Dear Naomi,
    I am so moved by your poem because I also struggle with speaking up for myself and then seeing you here talk about the same makes me feel heartened knowing that others go through the same thing and that they also are looking to improve themselves. There are many times I always get upset with myself for this reason and i’m sure you do too. Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show-stopping, spectacular, never-the-same, totally unique, completely-not-ever-been-done-before!
    One thing you said that stands out for me is: “Start your own conversation so you can least say you tried.” I think this is very important and comforting thing to say because telling someone that they at least tried is very important. I think i will also follow that advice.
    There are many many instances when I don’t speak up. Too many to count really so, picking one is gonna be hard.
    Thanks for your project. I look forward to seeing what you write next because you did a super good job with this poem and it seems genuine which I really enjoy. The picture you chose for the poem is also very pretty and I can already guess the reason you chose this picture for your poem. Everything you included in your poem is amazing so keep writing!

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