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  • KiranChaudhuri



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“Pride in my nation is not a problem… / But what also follows me? / In my community where homophobia / And prejudice is very common.”

Poets as survivors.

“Grows” and “rose” rhyme.


I don't see alliteration or Allusion in this line.

I agree. The tone shifts, but the content is the same. HOWEVER, that tonal shift clues you in to the content that you just skipped over, and makes you re-read the first five lines.

Yes! I hear the repetition of the “h” that you're talking about in the title, “Harlem Hopscotch”; and the “g” in “Good things for the ones that's got”; and the “c” in “Curse and cry”.

These are verbs. But, yes, Kwame Alexander's writing puts emphasis on the verbs.

Laurel looks like this:

What is a madron tree?

A “glen” is a deep valley.

“Torrent” here means a mountain stream.


Cool idea. I love that! “A once-destructive force”…

Seriously. Why do they want to swim in it?

Yes, I see the rhyme in the first two lines of each stanza. Rhyme makes me hear the text’s ‘voice’, and feel its physical effect in my body.

Hopscotch would no way be enough of an escape, given the harshness of the reality you're talking about. And to suggest that it would trivializes people's “struggles of life”.

I like this interpretation.

Kwame Alexander's verbs don't sound calm to me: “Climb”, “Swim”, “Dance”, “coming and going”… they all sound busy and active. Also, there's no tree in this poem.

Austin is not a person. It's a city in Texas.

How come? What is it about these three words (“in Austin, Texas”) that reminds you of traveling?

I don't get it. If you have big feet, why didn't they call you “Big Foot”?


I agree. “Soul” does sound like a soft word. The “S” and the “L” are both soft sounds.

Or maybe a child to whom something horrible happens, so the parent is calling and calling for them and getting worried, or wailing their name.

“the mysteries of minnows and of mud.” I like the sound of the repeated “M” sound.

Yeah, Baldwin's descriptive writing reduces the distance between the character and the reader down to zero. Like, his descriptions position a reader practically physically inside of the narrator.

I agree. A Pentacostal evangelical church in the 1930's and 40's would not have been a hospitable environment for a young, gay, free-thinker.

Yeah. Tish got jokes.

Hello! Everyone, that's Fonny who's putting his hand on Tish's breast. It's the sex scene.

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