Identity
by Julio Noboa Polanco

Let them be as flowers,
always watered, fed, guarded, admired,
but harnessed to a pot of dirt.

I'd rather be a tall, ugly weed,
clinging on cliffs, like an eagle
wind-wavering above high, jagged rocks.

To have broken through the surface of stone,
to live, to feel exposed to the madness
of the vast, eternal sky.
To be swayed by the breezes of an ancient sea,
carrying my soul, my seed,
beyond the mountains of time or into the abyss of the bizarre.

I'd rather be unseen, and if
then shunned by everyone,
than to be a pleasant-smelling flower,
growing in clusters in the fertile valley,
where they're praised, handled, and plucked
by greedy, human hands.

I'd rather smell of musty, green stench
than of sweet, fragrant lilac.
If I could stand alone, strong and free,
I'd rather be a tall, ugly weed.

I.                   ON THE LINES: Directions: Check the statements that you believe say what the author says. Sometimes the exact words are used; at other times, different words may be used. You should be able to point to one section of text that informs your response.

_____ 1. The poet would rather be a weed than a flower.

_____ 2. The poet is willing to be shunned by society.

_____ 3. The poet wants people to like them at all costs.

_____ 4. The poet refers to "greedy human hands" as a good thing.

 

II.                   BETWEEN THE LINES: Directions: Check the statements that you feel represent the text’s implied meaning. You will have to connect text information to information in other sections of this text, other texts, or your life and world knowledge.

_____ 5. It is better to define who you are on your own terms.

_____ 6. Pretty people have the more desirable life according to the poet.

_____ 7. True strength comes from going against the crowd in order to be yourself.

_____ 8. The poet longs to be beautiful over being self fullfilled.

_____ 9. The poet sees weeds as something that should be plucked and thrown away.

III.                   BEYOND THE LINES: Directions: Check the statements that you agree with and be ready to support your choice with ideas from the text and your own knowledge. You will need to think about the issues raised in ways that are generalized and go beyond this text to other situations in the world.

_____ 10. People should be careful when they judge others by what we accept as the norm.

_____ 11. Beauty has many different faces.

_____ 12. Most people are superficial and buy into media's idea of beauty.

_____ 13. Being pampered, and adored is better than being yourself.

_____ 14. People control others for their own pleasure.

_____ 15. You should feel sorry for the pretty people in life.

_____ 16. I would rather be a flower than a weed.

_____ 17. All freedom has a cost.

 

Beauty Venn