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My Liar (Poem) and Discussion
Discuss of my poem "Liar"
Why am I putting my poem here with a discussion attached? I find that many times schools no longer teach critical thinking skills. And discussing poetry does two things, it makes you think critically and it makes you examine the human condition.
By studying other humans, you find more about your own life. Or that's my theory anyway. The following poem 'Liar' is about a personal memory of mine that I've converted into a poetic form. The poem is listed first, then my discussion of it. Please feel free to leave your own thoughts or ideas concerning the poem.
A reader adds a new layer to every poem because they add their own lens of experience. So what do you see in this poem that I do not?
Red, white and blue
Freezee pops melting
under the truck heat.
We sit there, side by side,
wrapped in the blackness
of Christmas night.
There's nothing to say
no Bethlehem star
to light our way.
My toes are stiff and cold,
my fingers numb
but I'm not ready to go.
We should, I know.
flushed, worn, sick.
But I can't go
I'm tired, you know
worried, worn, sick.
I know you lied
To your mother,
my mother, me, the guys
You're dying...you sonofabitch,
You think I don't know,
But I’ve always known.
there were miracles.
to hear me waste a wish like that.
But Christmas is just another night
and we need to get going;
Home is a long cold drive.
And your damn Freezee pops
are melting all over my thighs.
I tell you I don't mind.
*HubPages is messing with my spacing in the poem. Sorry about that.
I debated how often to repeat the word liar in this poem. The speaker never actually says the word out loud to the man. She instead accuses him in her head. It's not a question but a statement. So why doesn't she accuse him?
I think she avoids actually saying it to him because then he'd confirm it and it'd be real. She knows he's lying. He knows he's lying. But as long as they don't acknowledge the lie, then perhaps it won't come true.
The word 'liar' also refers the narrator and the man. She's a liar too. By not discussing it, she agrees to his lie. And in the end, not only is she willing to be a liar by non-action, she actually lies back to him by saying she doesn't mind.
And what doesn't she mind? That is talking about two things, the melting Freezee pops and the fact he's dying. She does mind. But she keeps up the basis of the relationship. Why do people agree to lie to each other? It's as if the truth is worse than the lie. The lie is easier. Do you agree with that statement?
The reality is that the narrator doesn't want him to die. She is angry at him for lying, for dying. She wants to scream liar at him but confronting the lie won't change anything.
Why doesn't she express her anger? Why does she embrace the lie?
Does she lie back to him to spare him the guilt of her pain or for some other reason? Why doe he lie? To spare her pain or to avoid dealing with his death himself?
The only statement she actually says aloud is 'I wish there were miracles'.
Why do you think he laughs and tells her she's wasting her wishes? Do you think he's telling her to save her wishes for something she can change? Or do you think he means she should make a wish for herself?
If you don't wish for miracles, what do you wish for? And is 'wish' the same as 'pray' or is more childlike? I used wish because I wanted that feeling of when they were children. Kids believe harder than adults, they wish harder.
This also shows this relationship is probably not romantic but more one of siblings.
How about the significance of Christmas in the poem? The poem says there's no Bethlehem star. The classic story states that the star leads the wise men to where Christ was born. In this poem, there is no star, so there is no birth. Since birth represents new life, perhaps this also means there is no miracle coming, that there is death instead of birth in this case.
Then there is the play on home. On one hand, home is their actual four walled house but the other home is the final home which is 'death'.
What are your thoughts on this poem?