Hi guys. this is my first time using this forum.. actually any forum... so let's see how this goes!
I am reading Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, and my teacher requires I find a relevant poem, and describe the connection to themes in the book. A few topic ideas are:
discussing how humans deal with guilt
the resilience of the human soul
a past that "you can never bury," that "claws its way out"
the loneliness and scarring of rape victims
the fragile father/son relationship
any help would be wonderful. thanks!
Welcome to Emule, Red. I don't know the book Kite Runner, but as you have stated the themes you would like to match with poetry, that probably doesn't matter.
For your theme 'the resilience of the human soul' one of the classic poems is 'Invictus' [Latin for 'Undefeated'] by William Ernest Henley.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud,
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
I have not read it either, but there are some reviews at Amazon:
BBC Radio 4 is half way through it as "Book at Bedtime" so you could catch up through listen again.
Well, with those thoughts in mind, I suspect any poems about dealing with adversity, coping with grief, courage in difficult times, would be on topic. Edgar Guest comes immediately to mind, along with Kipling's If, and similar genre. I remember Les sometimes posts a site address where one can search by such terms, but the url escapes me at the moment.
Probably this one, Hugh: [www.poemhunter.com] />
Yup, that's it. Overcome, for example:
thanks guys! very quick, and very helpful!
and for those of you who haven't read kite runner, DO. it's an incredible story.
(Hosseini, Kahled. Kite Runner. 2003)
i had no idea forums could be so interesting, and the responses so immediate...
. . . on human resilience---take a look at this Sharon Olds poem and how she ends it . . .
Good luck with the assignment.
I Go Back to May 1937
I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges,
I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch, the
red tiles glinting like bent
plates of blood behind his head, I
see my mother with a few light books at her hip
standing at the pillar made of tiny bricks with the
wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its
sword-tips black in the May air,
they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,
they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are
innocent, they would never hurt anybody.
I want to go up to them and say Stop,
don’t do it – she’s the wrong woman,
he’s the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do,
you are going to do bad things to children,
you are going to suffer in ways you never heard of,
you are going to want to die. I want to go
up to them there in the late May sunlight and say it,
her hungry pretty blank face turning to me,
her pitiful beautiful untouched body,
his arrogant handsome blind face turning to me,
his pitiful beautiful untouched body,
but I don’t do it. I want to live. I
take them up like the male and female
paper dolls and bang them together
at the hips like chips of flint as if to
strike sparks from them, I say
Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.
As for the fragile father / son relationship, peek at Li Young Lee's famous poem.
Best wishes again,
To pull the metal splinter from my palm
my father recited a story in a low voice.
I watched his lovely face and not the blade.
Before the story ended, he'd removed
the iron sliver I thought I'd die from.
I can't remember the tale,
but hear his voice still, a well
of dark water, a prayer.
And I recall his hands,
two measures of tenderness
he laid against my face,
the flames of discipline
he raised above my head.
Had you entered that afternoon
you would have thought you saw a man
planting something in a boy's palm,
a silver tear, a tiny flame.
Had you followed that boy
you would have arrived here,
where I bend over my wife's right hand.
Look how I shave her thumbnail down
so carefully she feels no pain.
Watch as I lift the splinter out.
I was seven when my father
took my hand like this,
and I did not hold that shard
between my fingers and think,
Metal that will bury me,
christen it Little Assassin,
Ore Going Deep for My Heart.
And I did not lift up my wound and cry,
Death visited here!
I did what a child does
when he's given something to keep.
I kissed my father.