Poetry Interpretation

750 Words3 Pages
The poem On Girls Lending Pens that is written by Taylor Mali tells that a boy forgets to bring his pen for class, so he has to borrow one from a girl beside him. However, he does not expect that girl has too many pens to pick from. It seems that the girl cares too much about her stuff and makes the simplest thing more difficult to deal with. At the end, the boy decides that he would rather come unprepared than borrow a pen from the girl. It is a very humorous and rhymed poem. Through different poetic devices, it shows the theme of being prepared. The speaker of this poem is a boy and also a student who is in 6th or 7th grade apparently. The speaker is a boy because boys seem more forgetful when compared with girls. In other words, girls are thoughtful and come overly prepared most of the time. Specifically, the speaker states, “But when I reached for my pen, it just wasn’t there”, it shows the persona is negligent. Moreover, from the sentence “I really don’t care what color or style”, it can be confirmed that the speaker is a guy, because girls always have high and detailed requirements about their stuff. In addition, it shows the speaker’s tone is peremptory and impatient from the sentence “Just gimme a pen before the teacher gets here!” So it can be conclude that the persona is a boy. The speaker is also a middle school boy because in the first line of the poem, it describes that “I walked into the classroom”, and middle school students are more likely to keep and use different kinds of pens. By telling the poem, the speaker is trying to indicate one subject to his audience: always being prepared as much as one can in life, no matter what the occasion is. In this poem, the speaker himself is unprepared and he knows he will be ... ... middle of paper ... ...smile”; however, after listening to the introduction about every pen from the girl, the boy’s voice “filling with fear”. This marked contrast indicates the speaker’s impatience, and the audience can feel the development of the story clearly. If the attitudes of the speaker remained the same throughout the poem, it will create a lack of movement so that the audience cannot relate to the speaker. In conclusion, almost everyone has had the same experience as the speaker. Like the speaker, many people come unprepared for situations in life. Also, there are some people acting as the little girl in the poem, who looks like overly prepared but unreliable when others ask her for help. Mali’s poem is funny and easy to understand, but it also contains some life philosophic theory, just as what the speaker wants to tell people in On Girls Lending Pens: always being prepared.
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