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A Black Man, a Noble Sight

by auliq


In the land of sun and sand,

Where the world burns hot and bright,

Stands a man with skin of onyx,

A black man, a noble sight.

He walks with purpose and power,

His stride firm and unyielding,

For he knows the weight of history,

And the challenges of his being.

Through the centuries of oppression,

His people have persevered,

From the chains of slavery,

To the fight for civil rights revered.

But this man is not just a symbol,

Of the struggle and the pain,

He's a person with a story,

And a heart that beats the same.

He loves, he dreams, he creates,

With a passion and a fire,

And though the world may try to break him,

He stands tall, his spirit higher.

For he is more than just his color,

More than the stereotypes that bind,

He is a son, a brother, a father,

A man with a brilliant mind.

So let us celebrate this black man,

And all the beauty he brings,

For in his strength and in his love,

Our world is truly enriched.


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Wed Jun 07, 2023 10:37 am
Liminality wrote a review...



Hi there auliq! Welcome to YWS! Lim here with a short review.

General Impressions and Interpretation

The first few lines are vivid and immersed me into the scene of this figure standing in a desert. That’s how I interpreted the “sun and sand” imagery, at least. I thought the poem ended on a hopeful note. In terms of rhythm and rhyme, the following lines stood out to me:

But this man is not just a symbol,
Of the struggle and the pain,
He's a person with a story,
And a heart that beats the same.

I also really like the phrase “not just a symbol”!
One theme I noticed and thought was interesting was that of the collective and the individual. The poem seems to recognize both, celebrating the individual black man also acknowledging the history of his people. I think the poem could also be read as a call to acknowledge the humanity and fullness of individuals, with phrases like “a person with a story”, and with the lines that describe the man’s multifaceted roles: “a son, a brother, a father”.

Structure

I thought the structure of the poem was very cohesive. The rhyme scheme was basically consistent and regular throughout, and I thought it sounded natural when read aloud. I thought the regular rhyming was fitting for this poem as well, as odes tend to be written with more regular, traditional poetic structures and I thought this poem read like an ode.

I really like how you’ve organised the ideas in groups of four lines. Even though there are no stanza breaks, the punctuation still divides them into groups of four in my mind (since there is only a period/ full stop at the end on every fourth line). I like how the first four lines focus on establishing a scene, and the next continues the scene and begins to introduce the themes. I thought that was a smooth transition. The last four lines are focused and cohesive on the call to celebrate as well, which is a good way to end the poem.

I also noticed there was this repeated structure using “and” throughout the poem: “hot and bright” “purpose and power” “the struggle and the pain” “a passion and a fire”. I liked the rhythm of these phrases and also how doubling up on descriptors helps emphasise the message.

Imagery

Something I noticed was that in the second half of the poem, the word choices became more abstract rather than concrete. While in the first half, there are more concrete images like “sun”, “sand”, “walks” and “stands”, there are more abstract conceptual words like “love”, “mind”, “stereotypes” in the latter half. Because of this, I found myself more able to picture the scene in the first half of the poem compared to the second half. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if you’d like to make the poem as a whole more vivid, it might be good to think of ways to add concreteness to the second half. Maybe returning to the images of the “sun and sand” somehow?

I thought the image of the black man striding with purpose in the beginning was powerful. It doesn’t take many lines to describe and it does the job of conveying the praising tone of the poem and draws the reader’s attention to the poem’s central figure.

Overall

I thought this was a solid ode with a balanced voice and structure. It manages to praise the subject without feeling too over the top, as some odes can feel, and also containing quite a lot of nuance even in such a short poem. My main suggestion for revision, as I said, would be to consider playing with the descriptions, word choices and imagery in the second half of the poem, to see if making it more concrete helps you convey what you want to convey.

Keep writing!
-Lim

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Tue Jun 06, 2023 1:39 am
Valkyria wrote a review...



Hello auliq. I hope you're having a wonderful day (or night), so let's get on with the review!

After reading this poem the first time, the rhyming caught my eye and held it. I love poems that rhyme, so this was fun to read. The scheme follows abcb, and it flows nicely until the end.

Speaking of the end stanza, that kind of broke the flow of the poem. It's a really nice ending, but the rhyming doesn't work out for me. Even if you had to choose another word than "enriched", another word can still either rhyme exactly or near rhyme to "bring" and still end the poem in a satisfying way.

The poem has a beautiful message, and the imagery you chose speaks volumes. I love how you described him as having onyx skin. I didn't know what that word meant until I looked it up, and it fits very well. I would recommend capitalizing "black" to add a little more power to the poem.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this!




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Tue Jun 06, 2023 1:31 am
OrabellaAvenue wrote a review...



Hello! This is a random weirdo here to review.

First, I just want to say how nice it is that you wrote about this. Racism is a real problem, and not everyone is willing to change their views or admit it exists. But this one fights that and is just so heartwarming! ^^ It also talks more about the individual person and what it means to him, not just the overarching problem. (Though the problem is very important too)

I love your use of rhymes, and they are perfectly placed, when used. However, not every part has rhymes which kinda throws me off.

Only other advice I have is to separate the lines into stanzas, so it's easier to read.

In all, this is a beautiful piece of work. Keep writing!

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Sun May 14, 2023 11:10 am
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Broady771 says...



Sheesh, that was such a wonderful piece of poetry I've ever read in a long time! And one that really encompasses the struggles of African Americans. Unfortunately I'm not too experienced in the field of poetry, so I can't write a legitimate review here, except leaving a comment. Keep up the good work!





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