Poetry is like making a joke. If you forget one word at the end of a joke, you've lost the whole thing. – William Stanley Merwin

Shown many examples of eloquently written poetry, I was given the challenge of delivering the same. With the task of creating different types of poems, I believe I brought forth worthy content. My favorite would be It’s Free. I think my beginning “I want Sprite / I'd like Pepsi / I'll take a Coke / And I'll quench my thirst with a Ginger Ale / Well I'll have the most free beverage the restaurant can offer” gives away the purpose of my poem away, but I didn’t want to be obvious. Through out the poem, I never say the word, I want to show it. Read the poem yourself and guess, I think it’s worth the read.

On that note, other than my ode, my I Was Raised By poem and Found Poem and Imagist Poem were very personal and I wrote about things I either enjoyed or thought highly of. Although I give a snippet of my ode, this was one of my favorite out of all the content that is on this wiki. I projected most will delight in reading it as I did writing it. But, throughout this whole wiki, one will enjoy thoughtful poetry coming from the heart of DeShawn McLeod.

Memory Poem:
Green to Blue
I Needed to go to another school
I didn't want to transfer,
I was afraid to
I shadowed at the school
The cafe ceiling was low,
girls in skirts making masks,
a big girl
who I thought wasn't really accepted in the environment she was in,
met an overly excited art teacher,
a circular math teacher,
coffee drinking english teacher,
a laid back long ponytailed science teacher

I talked with the counselor of the school,
took a test,
wrote an essay,
talked with her about my favorite and least favorite subjects

Had a talk with my dad about the school,
I cried and said I didn't really want to go,
He said I was going anyway

The last day I spent at my school,
Oct. 31st, 2007, it was a lock down and a white cop was shot

From gray and green to navy, light blue, khaki, and white

It's Free
I want Sprite
I'd like Pepsi
I'll take a Coke
And I'll quench my thirst with a Ginger Ale
Well I'll have the most free beverage the restaurant can offer

It's free
at 18th and Walnut B&N
It's free
at Llyod Hall
It's free
in the Art Museum Circle
It's free
in the subway
It's free
in the school halls

It's not free in the bottles though
It's not free in third world countries

Wells shut up
Owned by people who will never drink it
They fight for it

We can get it for free

Found Poem:
Late bird
Shiny cupcakes
Bop tastic
My nigga
Mike tyson
Earl tanktop

We call each other this all the time

I was raised by:
Led by...
I was led by
my Gran
Mrs. and

Family: first
SLA: the gates
Friends: exposure

Family: first
College graduates
Big achievers
Education pursued
Working men and women
Real talk
Self motivated
Character building

SLA: the gates
Sheltered until
In a central city
with no limits

Friends: exposure
New and
Show me their ropes
I learn
I take in what I want
Different morals
Do not change my own

Family: first
SLA: the gates
Friends: exposure

Riff poem:


Born with them

In due time, we will have the choice to make our own choices

For those who bring up the new, in due time, will let those new become old and

For those who grow from new to old have to choose

What do I want?

We have to realize

Know that what we are running toward is what we want*

Lose your sense of choice

Someone will choose for you

Know the things you need to be equipped with when the verdict has been decided that you now have your own choice


Choose wisely

A proverbs not learned until one has taken old age

Consequences accounted for after that choice is made

Choose wisely

Choose for yourself

*Italicized line taken from Lucille Clifton

Imagist Poem:
City Hall

City Hall. Photo by DeShawn McLeod

Beauty coming out of human hands
All done manually
No machine could deliver such precise beauty

Effigies and
Inside and out

Built on Centre Square
Serving Mayors,
City council, and
Court of Common Pleas

William Penn
Overseeing his Philadelphians since 1901
Thirty-seven feet high, bronze
Him facing the northeast toward Penn Treaty Penn

William Penn
Overseeing his Philadelphians since 1901

Detailed Analysis of Lucille Clifton:
With profound titles, Lucille Clifton has a way of drawing in suspicion by her titles. Although most are simple like Poem to My Uterus, it makes readers wonder. In the poem I mentioned before, it truly is about a uterus and its relationship to its holder. Clifton talks about a hysterectomy. “as a sock / while I have slippered into you / my dead and living children / now / they want to cut you out / stocking i will not need.” In the beginning of the poem, she immediately pointed out its purpose. She indicates, this is a middle-aged or old woman with the line “old girl,” referring to the uterus. In very little words, she points out the means of a purpose in the subject she illustrates. “my bloody print / my estrogen kitchen / my black bag of desire.”

Another example is Clifton’s poem Poem in praise of menstruation. Although she’s written many poems, this could connect to Poem to My Uterus because it’s in the same category. “bright as blood / red edge of the if / there is a river / more faithful / than this / returning each month / to the same delta if there.” Again, in a few lines of reading her work, and a bit of contemplating, you get what she is trying to convey. In many of her poems, she addresses the issues and problems women go through in their life time, through a poem medium. Someone could write essay of the problems women, but never touch what it feels like to endure pain.

Clifton also portrays trials and tribulations of women writing a poem dedicated to men about menstruation, Wishes for sons. In a women’s perspective, the poem can be quite comical because Clifton lays out some of the embarrassment, humiliation, and desperate times of being able to menstruate. And as the title mentions, she illustrates men should endure it also or at least know what it feels like. “i wish them cramps. / i wish them in a strange town. / and the last tampon. / i wish them no 7-11.” In four times, she shows a desperate situation that men cannot relate to. But, Clifton’s objective is to get them to relate. Again, few words, a lot of meaning and vision.

In the poem Moonchild she relates the moon and a young girl. “whatever slid into my mother’s room that / late june night, tapping her great belly, / summoned me out a roundheaded and unsmiling.” In this snippet of the first stanza she shows birth soon as one reads she mentions the moon. This poem could be perceived as praise to the moon. But it’s titles moonchild, so it can be confusing how both relate to each other. “the moon understands dark places. / the moon has secrets of her own.” It could be understand that in the line “the moon understands dark places”, the moon has light that discovers dark places. It’s a no brainer that light relieves dark places of its secrets. But Clifton gives the moon a type of power that humans don’t necessarily think of. Although this isn’t a good example of Clifton’s ability to create scenery with few words, she does something else; show not tell. In the stanza that was previous displayed, she explains the create and birth a child without saying sex or birth. She never told, she makes her readers think.

Clifton is clever with her words and as shown, her poems create scenery to help the reader understand the meaning she is trying to convey.