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Poetry and Personal Response – Thumbprint

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    Each of us imprints our own mark into the world, and no one is quite like us. In the poem, “Thumbprint” by Eve Merriam, she discusses the theme of how each of us is unique, and that no one will ever be exactly like us. She uses alliteration and metaphors to demonstrate her theme. I have reached a part in my life where I accepted my uniqueness. The poem “Thumbprint” reveals the celebration of being a unique individual. Merriam illustrates the thumb’s separateness by using alliteration in “whorls, whirls, wheels” These images show us how the thumbprint is unique to itself, and allows the reader to actually picture it.

    Merriam also uses metaphor to compare the speaker’s emotions of happiness and sadness to the words of “my own sun and rain.” She wants to show how she is in charge of her own emotions. “Thumbprint” is actually an extended metaphor because the thumbprint is compared with the individuality of the person. A person has a thumbprint that identifies who they are, and at the same time, it shows how each of us is different. As Merriam states, it is “mine alone” and this emphasizes the sense of pride she feels for her distinctive qualities .

    The poem illustrates the speaker’s celebration of her life. Like the poet, I have examined my life, and now I value my differentness. It was not always this way because when I was younger, I felt badly that I didn’t fit in. I wanted to be part of the crowd, even though in my heart I did not share the same interests.  When I went away this summer, I finally realized that it was okay to be yourself. I no longer feel like a follower trying to keep up with the in crowd, for I now follow my own interests. For the first time in my life although it has only been 17 years long, I really treasure my separateness, and I value my life experience and do things for myself as I am unique.

    This poem tells us that we are all unique, but most people in society just follow in the crowd and do not really consider themselves as something unique. Merriam is trying to tell us that that’s okay, and to be you. But unfortunately with media and publicity it is hard, they make you think that you have to look like that to fit in but you don’t. The media controls all age groups and the younger you learn to be you the better.

    There are poems after poems and books after books that tell you to be you but nothing really over rides the media. Although when I was little I remember ready the book “ Your wearing THAT to school?” about a little hippo that was so excited to start school with her new skirt but her friend who started school last year said no because she wouldn’t fit in. Do you have to fit in? Can you not be yourself and wear what you want even in kindergarten.

    In conclusion Eve Merriam has the right outlook on life. She knows to be herself because if you do not be yourself than no one will now you because there is no one exactly like you, you are unique ! Going through high school it’s hard to be yourself because you want to fit in and be a part of the “popular” kids but if you fake who you are now after high school you’ll find a new group of friends and have to fake a whole you. Be you. Be unique!

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    Poetry and Personal Response – Thumbprint. (2016, Jun 11). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/poetry-and-personal-response-thumbprint/

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