Sometimes life can be a little hectic, things may get entirely too difficult, and there will be people that may want to bring others down or see them fall. Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem, “A Speech to the Young,” is a refreshing reminder to simply stop worrying so much about negative people and to quit stressing over the future. She encourages her readers to just take life as it comes, and live in the present time. We could all use this kind of positivity that Brooks seems to be encouraging her readers to do throughout her poem. The message of this poem was clearly evident, and certainly made a motivating statement to all young adults (and regular adults too) that need to hear these wise words of wisdom. You are far too young to be stressed out; trust me when I say it will be okay.
This specific poem initially stood out to me because I am young, and the title read “A Speech to the Young.” Young folks seem to be the intended audience here, but after reading the poem I realized that it could be a poem for anyone that needs to be reminded to live in the present time or to get us back in line. I personally tend to overthink many insignificant things. On behalf of the young adults, over analyzing and panicking about the future and dwelling on the past is a natural tendency. Perhaps this poem is directed towards younger people or the “progress toward,” because we have a whole life left with so much pressure from people around us to be successful. With that being said, there are those that want to see successful people fall.
Within the first half of this poem, the author uses various creative terms to describe the one’s that bring you down. Brooks uses the metaphor “sun-slappers,” becaus...
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...f this word in a deeper sense than the literal sense of the actual word itself. Line 10 states to “Live not for battle won.” This means to stop counting all of the arguments won amongst others, stop counting all the successes, all of the things that one seems to be keeping tally of in order to justify how great they are. Line 11 continues to encourage the audience to “Live not for the -end-of-the-song.” Stop waiting the entire year for summer to arrive, or for the weekend to come, this illusion of future comfort is what is stopping one from being sincerely happy. Death is inevitable, and “the-end-of-the-song” will surely arrive eventually, so you might as well “Live in the along,” because life will keep on cycling and the world will keep on passing you by. Time is a precious gift that shouldn’t be wasted, and life will go on so it’s your choice to make it worthwhile.
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