This poem is entitled Your Name, and was written by Sibelan Forrester in the Fall of 1986. In reading this piece and trying to understand it I have come up with two different themes. The first one is about a guy and his name or reputation that are pulling him down. He can't go out in public because of some mistake that was made, but can't run away from it “it strikes me out of the crowd as I pass.” When I first read this piece that was my exact thought. Then, in the second of reading it the line “stops my breath with the threat of your name” changed my understanding. Now I am convinced that it is his family’s name that is sticking with him “where did I drink it, when did it fall down to me.” This person doesn't want this reputation that one or more of his former family members had crushed for him. However, the poem might be going in a different direction. This guy might not be running away, but trying to get somewhere. What if this name is a metaphor for a girl that he is trying to win over and can't. “Wherever I walk, I can't walk past it” may mean that he can't be with her, however this guy will not move on in life. “I have to go inside. Chill myself with solitude, try to escape into sleep. (And weep in my cold bed.) This ending section plays a huge part in this theme. It is referring to him going home along, and trying to deal with this in solitude. He hopes that this could just be slept off ( so he climbs into his lonely bed and cries himself to sleep. There can be many different ideas or themes about this poem and what it means or whose “name” is it, but I can't agree with ether of my two thoughts. Though until this project I almost never read things more that once, and now I am amazed at how much can be hided in the the words.
October 23, 2008