A Close Reading of I Woke Up by Jameson Fitzpatrick - Paper Example

Published: 2021-08-11
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Carnegie Mellon University
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Research paper
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I Woke Up by Jameson Fitzpatrick is a persuasive poem that the poet uses to understand the theme of political. First when analyzing the poem, one can identify the poet identifies all things he does to express his freedom as being political. The poem establishes the position by which people can understand the theme of political theme and purpose of social decision making and how it cultivates community bonding. Such political nature explored in this poem establishes the indirect but powerful rational approaches that society uses to reason on the appropriate standard of life. The poem begins with a sense of abstract language.

and it was political.

I made coffee and the coffee was political.

I took a shower and the water was.

I walked down the street in short shorts and a Bob Mizer tank top

, and they were political,

According to the poems first four lines, the reasons associated with social and personal judgment are aimed at improving the standards and status of people within a community and thus the organized control over people. The lines also establish the importance of politics in human life in that it results in the free practice of freedom in the position of many issues in a community. The poem can also be described as being lyric poem considering a single speaker is expressing his point of view, and it is more like a song. The style of the poem is that of a Couplet because the rhyming lines follow immediately after each line.

Who I thought was handsome was political.

I went to work at the university, and everything was

very obviously political, the department and the institution.

All the cigarettes I smoked between classes were political,

where I threw them when I was through.

I was blond and it was political.

When analyzing the above stances, one can realize the representation of consciousness due to the non-orderly patterns of thought by the poet. The two-step processes that make the poem a mimesis are that it is a direct representation of speech and narrative. The representation of consciousness gives one pleasure as it demands concentration to be an active participant in the task of making a theme. Once people get intimate with poetic language, they realize that it inhabits endlessly complex and flexible theme and just like politics, one starts to crave more poetry, its supple literature, and the complex theme. Just like politics, poetry has the potential to disappoint especially when one can not grasp the theme of a poem and also, poetry has the potential to keep us from panicking in case of traumas and national crisis. There are no definite criteria or objectives that could apply in evaluating a poem because it is implicitly a free space of language. Poetry is political because it is useful in inviting people's minds to participate in making the theme of what the poet is expressing in their poems.

My mother read to me almost every night

and the conditions that enabled her to do so were political.

That my fathers money was new was political, that it was proving something.

Someone called me faggot and it was political.

I called myself a faggot and it was political.

How difficult my life felt relative to how difficult it was


According to the above stances, his essential expression of freedom and for the matter that it is urgently an issue makes the poem of seeming like a narrative verse. Such poems deal with the response of the human mind to reality in a two-step process of representation of consciousness and wondering. Because of its satirical nature, it is hard to know if a poem is good because it requires both the rational and analytical part of the mind to grasp the sophisticated theme of the supple poetic language. From these, we can assume that the poem is a narrative poem political whether the poet is aware or unaware of it because it narrates how politics is part of the normal life. The poem also captures the attention of the audience in various circumstances one being that it is focused on the cultural prestige that is an understatement or the opposite of exaggeration. For example, the above lines seem to be contradicting, but it is the understatement that makes them seem that way.

When trying to understand the ballad nature of the poem, we might refer to (Fitzpatrick) and how she expresses poetry as being ballad because it associates human being's rational and analytical thoughts. Kathleen Fitzpatrick also tries to identify how just like politics, his poem is hyperbolic because it tries to show the reader the existence of politics everywhere. But most importantly, one can identify that the poem features mock epics and a dramatic prose; as a result, the ballad nature can be identified because the listener can criticize or agree with the poem based on their understanding of the poet's intention. The social function of the poem can, therefore, is described as being ballad because it seeks agreement or disagreement and might, thus, cause clashing opinions or imply a ground of understanding.

I thought I could become a writer

and it was political that I could imagine it.

I thought I was not a ballad poet and still

my imagination was political.

It had been, this whole time I was asleep.

The poems ballad nature can be described as what it is and not what it means. The poem is a ballad utility mainly because it initiates the analytical thought process from which the reader or listener tries to derive its theme. The poem's content does not matter because different listeners might acquire different themes and responses to the poem which acknowledges that politics is part of life and history to be. Just like politics, the poem has complex themes, and once people get intimate with it, they start to crave more of it after the realization of its potential to make us aware of natural freedom.

Works Cited

Fitzpatrick, Jameson. "I Woke Up." Poetry Foundation, 2017, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/91685/i-woke-up.

Fitzpatrick, Major. "Does Poetry Have A Social Function?." Poetry Foundation, 2016, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/articles/68755/does-poetry-have-a-social-function.

Fitzpatrick, Kathleen. "Why All Poems Are Ballad Electric Literature." Electric Literature, 2017, https://electricliterature.com/why-all-poems-are-ballad-47e714028853.

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