Breaking Free: A Prose Piece of Fortitude and Passion

March 2, 2009
By Amanda Matos BRONZE, Bronx, New York
Amanda Matos BRONZE, Bronx, New York
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Over the past couple of years, I have begun to realize that I am not ordinary. My mind is filled with complex thoughts that mark my behavior as that of a knowledge-seeker, and not a typical teenager. I seek solace in the works of Jane Austen, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Walt Whitman. English class is where I can let go of my tight breaths and exhale. I am free. My soul delves into a sea of beautiful words pieced together by creators and I welcome their thought-provoking challenges and life-altering questions.

At the close of English 3 Honors, we studied various works of poetry ranging from Langston Hughes to Sylvia Plath. In the midst of everything, the words of Whitman sought their way to the curriculum. I was elated. Ever since my eyes beheld the inspiring film Dead Poets Society, my admiration of Whitman has expanded. My teacher informed us that we would have a Whitman assignment to complete over Memorial Day weekend: a mimetic poem of Whitman's style. Apprehension crept over me. 'Poetry should not be confined to a style or formula,' I immediately thought. The entire class agreed. I had no choice, though, but to do the assignment.

I procrastinated the entire weekend. It was already Memorial Day, and I thus had no choice but to bring my notebook and pencil with me to Central Park for the picnic my friends planned. We spent the entire day frolicking through the grass, playing Frisbee and eating juicy slices of watermelon. Exhausted from the springtime sun, I recall lying on a blanket and closing my eyes. Time passed slowly, and as my ears heard the mellifluous songs of God's creatures, I became ready to write. Whitman is renown for his depiction of nature and real life urban scenes so I was in the perfectly inspiring spot.

Then it happened. The laughter of children and the soft music of the birds were stifled by repulsive and debasing words. My moment was ruined. Two men approached our blankets and asked us if we would vote for them via text message for a rappers contest. I instantaneously felt uncomfortable and my entire deportment depicted this. A couple of my friends asked for a sample of their work. Their words pierced my ears and burned my heart. They were blatantly degrading women. I couldn't take it. I was not only aggravated that these two men ruined my solitude and peace, but they were discriminating the opposite sex, my sex! Some of my friends noticed that I wanted to say something. I was nervous. They encouraged me, and I spoke out against the present injustice. I told the men how degrading toward women their music is and how despicable they are for publicly rapping such profanity. I shortly thereafter cried. I think I was surprised at myself that I had the power to stand up for womankind.

This uprising was the natural scene I needed to illustrate through poetry. I noticed I was forcing myself onto nature. Whitman wouldn't approve. 'Leaves of Grass' is his, not mine. Standing up for equality is my forte. Although it conformed to the style of free verse, my poem was mine. It wasn't formulaic; it was my creation.

I am the sculptor of words that will transform the world.

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This article has 1 comment.

jyeloh888 said...
on May. 14 2010 at 5:09 am
can i use your essay for college?


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