Feedback on Forte-Fortissimo

January 24, 2018
By AngelinaC GOLD, Staten Island, New York
AngelinaC GOLD, Staten Island, New York
15 articles 0 photos 0 comments

No one escapes from the hell and torture of their mouths and minds. Have you ever had a thought that you so desperately wanted to share but you couldn’t because your lips did not let you? Have you ever forced yourself to keep silent of things you urgently want to exclaim all because someone put their finger to their lips and said, “Shhh… It’s a secret?” Do you have locked up emotions that you could never show to another soul so instead, you wear a mask and fake your smiles and laughs? Why do we do this? Is it because we are afraid of looking terrible to others? Is it because we want to paint a fake perfect picture of ourselves and display it to people we don’t even know? Everyone is hiding something in pain, unable to express their sorrows, and worried that they will taint their perfect facade. This concept is illustrated beautifully by the poem, “Forte-Fortissimo” by Megan Williams.
In “Forte-Fortissimo,” an unnamed narrator compares herself to the piano, a wonderful instrument with more than one tone. The narrator silently complains of her family, revealing how her family is not as perfect as the public perceives. Despite going through these frustrations, the narrator keeps to herself and plays a soft, calm piece on the piano. However, this piece has no emotion. This nice, serene song is nothing but a facade to ignore all the harsh remarks the narrator’s family shouts to her. All the frustration and confusion her family creates is hidden to the public, to create the illusion that the family is perfect. When the narrator reaches her limit, she plays with forte-fortissimo. She plays loudly with a passion and all her conflicting emotions are finally displayed. But no one seems to listen to the incoherent jumble of piano notes. No one hears the cry for help the narrator so obviously displays. Nothing about the narrator’s life changes and all goes back to the normal superficial, apathetic song the narrator always forced herself to play.
Megan Williams perfectly portrayed the internal conflicts one might have regarding their social appearance and their family. The idea that one might not have a “perfect family” and lies to the public is not often expressed, but is executed perfectly in the poem. The comparison to a piano was unique because, as a pianist, I know that pianos can emit beautiful sounds-both loud and soft. However, simply playing the piano pieces right off the sheet music, or just going loud and soft means nothing without emotion. Whilst playing with “Forte-fortissimo,” the narrator lets out all her emotions, and said what she wanted to say. The idea that people should say what they want to say without the worry of being perfect to society, resonates throughout the poem. Overall, Williams poem, “Forte-Fortissimo” is one of the best poems I have read.

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