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The Power of the Mind

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    The Power of the Mind

    “Suicide Note”, Janice Mirikitani’s poem express the depression of a girl that killed herself, because she thought was not good enough to her parents. Mirikitani use the simile in the poem, (2) “ink smeared like bird prints in snow.” The simile itself serves to compare the black words she is writing on the paper to the footprints a bird would leave as it walks through snow. In other word she is leaving her prints in that note. By reading the first stanza I noticed how Mirikitani is letting the reader know this has not been the first time the speaker had tried to kill herself, (1) “How many notes written…” the speaker wanted to do it in many occasions, but this time she finally had the courage to do it, but before killing herself she wrote the exact reasons why she took this horrible choice; first of all the speaker thought she had disappoint her parents, and in some way the speaker thought she was not what her parents wanted her to be. She did not consider herself good enough for anything she did. Mirikitani emphasized the phrase “not good enough…” by repeating this phrase over and over thru the poem.

    I believe this phrase has a strong meaning in the poem, I believe the problem with the speaker is that she wants to pleasure her parents so much, but her parents are making her feel rejected and not good enough for them, for example: (5-9) “I apologize for disappointing you. I’ve worked very hard, not good enough harder, perhaps to please you.” the speaker is giving her apologies to her parents for not being what they wanted her to be, also the speaker is specific with the wishes of both Mother and Father by saying that having a son was her parent’s dream, (10-14) “If only I were a son, shoulders broad as the sunset threading through pine, I would see the light in my mother’s eyes, or the golden pride reflected in my father’s dream”. The way the speaker describes herself make me think she has a weak mind and a low self-esteem (3) “not good enough not pretty enough not smart enough”, the speaker has a melancholy tone, it reflects someone that needs help, also the words that are used in this poem describe someone that consider herself or himself not useless and not important to anybody. In my perspective the speaker is depress, either because has not been receiving the sufficient attention nor love by her family which in this case are Mother and Father.

    The speaker uses the phrase “not smart enough” for what her family is asking her to handle, “Tasks do not come easily”, implying that she struggles with assignments that she is expected to complete quickly and with easiness but are hard because she is a girl and cannot finish them as quick as a guy would. The speaker uses tragic comparison, such as “Each failure a glacier. Each disapproval, a bootprint. Each disappointment, ice above my river” each one meaning the difficulties she is facing as well as her struggle to have the qualities a Man has. The speaker compares her body with a male body, wishing to be a guy, for example; (10) “If only I were a son” (10-11) “shoulders broad as the sunset threading through pine” (17-18) “I would swagger through life muscled and bold and assured”, she was wishing to be as strong as male, to have muscles as a male, she thinks being a male would give her the “confidence” she needs to live. (25) “ice above my river” every time she makes a mistake or does something that her parents look down upon, her self-esteem and confidence are lowered and it leaves her with another scar.

    She expressed the sorrow in that piece of paper. by saying (45) “the snow burdens my crippled wings,” she gave up, she cannot continue with that pain inside of her, the pain is stronger every time she is rejected by her parents, (46) “my tears drop like bitter cloth” she is crying disconsolately because she is leaving this world by killing herself that way she can disappear and make her parents happy. the speaker took the jump to the death, (66) “Choices thin as shaved ice” her depression made her do it, she was not satisfied for what she was and wanted to be different or at least appreciate by her parents. The poem concludes the same way it started, with a glum tone, with tears from the speaker and wailing. The speaker’s mind never changed about killing herself she never regret it, she never overthink what she was going to do, she did not describe how she was going to die, but gave the clue of cutting herself “notes shredded drift like snow on my broken body “the last verse “over this white and cold and silent breast of earth” indicate she kept that pain in silent and took it until she died.

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