Calvin Forbes uses rhythm in the sense that rhythm is giving the poem life. Most poets use rhyme to give the poem a sense of organization, and to make memorization easier. Calvin Forbes doesn’t use rhyme in “Momma Said”, instead he uses shorter lines that all relate to each other, giving it the same flowy sense as rhythm would give, just in a different arrangement.
Rhythm helps to move the poem along and keep the reader alert, which is exactly what Forbes is doing. Most poets use rhythm by having certain lines rhyme after each other; which gives the poem a wispy sensation, causing the reader to stay intrigued.
Lines 13 and 14 state, “Like a dream that makes you want to go back to sleep.” which uses imagery to help you imagine a good dream. His poem is filled with lines that make you imagine beautiful scenarios, leaving you with a cheerful feeling. When a poet uses imagery they’re painting a picture. In the beginning of the poem, Forbes begins with, “The slice I ate I want it back, those crumbs I swept up, I’d like my share again,” he is describing a cake or pastry. Through details, (the crumbs) he is starting to paint the image that will soon turn into Momma Said. Although, Calvin Forbes is writing with the idea in mind that the cake isn’t actually a real cake - just helping the reader understand better how intimate the memory itself was.
“Like a gift that’s not store-boug...
... middle of paper ...
...lding him, and using that as a life-lesson. Either way, she was the inspiration of the poem. I was unable to locate online the reason that the poem was initially written - however, I can only assume that he is remembering a time when his mother was right, and he’s wishing he had listened. Maybe he is now older, wiser, and faced with a decision where he wants two things equally, and needs to make a decision. He might be recalling the advice that his mother once gave him, wishing that he had only listened then, because it’s helpful now.
Not only does this poem teach us a valuable lesson that also amplifies a message that we were taught when we were younger - you can’t have it all. Through the cleverly spun weave of “Momma Said”, Calvin Forbes makes it clear to us, using idioms, rhythm, solemn humor, and sophisticated language - you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
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