The Art of Description

Option #1—

Read this poem by Brian Turner

The Baghdad Zoo

Is the world safer? No. It’s not safer in Iraq.
—Hans Blix

An Iraqi northern brown bear mauled a man
on a street corner, dragging him down an alley
as shocked onlookers shouted and threw stones.

Tanks rolled their heavy tracks
past the museum and up to the Ministry of Oil.
One gunner watched a lion chase down a horse.

Eaten down to their skeletons, the giraffes
looked prehistoric, unreal, their necks
too fragile, too graceful for the 21st Century.

Dalmatian pelicans and marbled teals
flew over, frightened by the rotorwash
of Blackhawk helicopters touching down.

One baboon escaped the city limits.
It was found wandering in the desert, confused
by the wind, the blowing sand of the barchan dunes.

Brian Turner served for seven years in the US Army and was an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.  Before that, he deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina with the 10th Mountain Division.  In short, he clearly has the authority to write about the horrors of war.  But as we see in this poem, Brian Turner does not stray from an objective view; rather, he is a witness to the details of Baghdad in a time of war.

Please write 50-100 words about (1) how this poem and these descriptions make an argument about war, without him directly saying it.  (2) What do you think the argument is?  And finally, (3) what is the most compelling image of this poem to you and why?

Option #2—

Read this poem by James Wright:

Lying In A Hammock At William
Duffy’s Farm In Pine Island, Minnesota

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,
Asleep on the black trunk,
blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year’s horses
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.

Write a poem in the style of this poem.  You should use specific details to describe your location, as he does, and end with a declaration or THESIS.  Your title should be in the same style as this poem.  For example:

Sitting on My Balcony in Athens, Georgia

The poem needs not be longer than 8-15 lines.  But remember– be as detail specific as possible.  Make sure your reader can SEE what you are seeing.

EXTRA CREDIT (5 POINTS)

If you take your poem home, work on it over the weekend, bring it back next week (Monday or Tuesday) and read it to the class, I will give you 5 points extra credit.

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62 Comments

  1. Madison Davis said,

    January 29, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Lying on the Sands of Hawaii

    My eyes squint as bright rays of sun shine
    The salty air blows refreshing breezes
    An ice cold glass of lemonade beads with sweat in my hand
    Rainbow colored kites, trailed with long tails, use the sky as a dance floor
    Blue water, matching the skies, crash and tumble at the shore
    Birds fly in flocks, flapping their gigantic wings
    Sand as white as snow leaves a gray dust on everything in sight
    My skin darkens the longer I lay
    Hawaii is the most peaceful place on earth

    Madison Davis
    English 1101/ 1718

    Madison, I LOVE your description of the kites using the sky as a dance floor. That was very clever and surprising!

  2. Samantha Willis said,

    January 29, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Option #1 1718
    The poem “The Baghdad Zoo” shows how similar a zoo is with the Iraqi war. The people and things involved in war are compared to that of a zoo. The poem also shows how horrible war can be by comparing it to the animal world One man is carried away to prison while inlookers throw rocks. He shows how many people are starving by comparing them to skeletal giraffes. He shows how many fear army planes and helecopters. He compares another to an escaped baboon who becomes lost in the desert. The author is arguing that war is horrible. It causes confusion, death, and torture. He sees that people are starving and running wild like animals. The most compelling image to me is the man being mauled by a “brown bear.” Emotions are involved as you picture a man being attacked then stoned.The horrors of war are very vivid in this poem.

  3. kelley mcwhorter said,

    January 29, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    This poem makes an argument about war by using animals as people to show how ridiculuos some of the things that go on in our society today actually are. For example in the line where he says the griaffes are too fragile and graceful for the twenty first century because of how violent our societly is today. I think his argument is that we are destroying all of the beautiful, and gracefull life God intended to create for us. The most shocking image for me is when he speaks about the baboon wandering in the desert confused because the war and its armies have ran them out of their natural habitat.

  4. Brandon Richardson said,

    January 29, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    In this poem the author relates to scenarios that are actually happening in the war by playing them out with animal characters. I think what the author is trying to get across is that the reasons for us being over in the middle east is out dated, and there is just so much confusion and mayhem that no one really knows what to do to help the situation out. The most vivid image is that of the Iraqi brown bear mauling a man on a street corner. This image just relates its self to true events that happen over seas in the war, its just all to real.

  5. Hilary Bragg said,

    January 29, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Reading this story, a fearful picture arises in my mind of what pain and suffering all of the soldiers in Iraq go through. Each day they see more and more terrifying acts against them in which brings a heroic effort upon them. As I simply wonder through my life day to day wondering what I will watch on t.v. tonight, or what I will wear tomorrow I am not realizing the strength that these men have. How selfish of me to not reflect on them everyday as I should. This poem truly describes only a slight image of the damaging and appauling tragedies they are faced with everyday which makes me only wonder what it must really be like living in a war. The poem mentions a giraffe that has been eaten down to its skeleton and he states that it is too fragile for the 21st century, which in my definition means our world today is far too used to such vulgar scenarios.

  6. Bryna Delmendo said,

    January 29, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    The poem shows that war is harsh in most areas. He talks about all the animals that are present and how it is a war over there even if they’re not involved in a war. The most compelling image in this poem is the bear dragging the person through the street. Some of the animals are starving to death and some get trapped in the harsh desert. He also talks about the effects of war in the area. Like how there are heavy tank tracks going up to the museum and, the birds and other creatures are scared of the helicopters.

    Bryan Delmendo
    1718

  7. Dawn Vickers said,

    January 29, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    The words and descriptions in the poem “The Baghdad Zoo” show that things in Iraq are not as peaceful as everybody wants to believe. He used animals to explain things that are happening with the people. I feel it was his way of showing us that people are still acting out and hurting each other.
    The most compelling image is “Tanks rolled their heavy tracks
    past the museum and up to the Ministry of Oil.
    One gunner watched a lion chase down a horse”
    This is saying to me that so much is happening and that you can only help very little. Something’s you have to just watch and let happen because you can’t fix it all.
    Dawn Vickers
    CRN1718

  8. Emily Noordhoek said,

    January 29, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Option #2
    Laying in my Bed at my House in Dawsonville, Georgia

    Soft sheets beneath me comfort my body.
    The smell of Downy filling up my nose.
    Above me, the light shines like a roaring sun.
    The heat makes my eyes drift into sleep.
    I look out the rectangular window to find freedom.
    My books are scattered, unorganized.
    My face wrinkles as I cringe to the sound of yelling.
    The electric green walls keep me awake.
    There is too much emptiness around me.
    Lonliness overtakes me as the deep black sheets swallow me.
    I am a stranger in my own house.

    Emily Noordhoek
    English 1101
    1718

    Emily, I really like how you start to use the colors of the bedroom images to explain what you will eventually declare–being a stranger in your own house. That’s a very interesting way to do it.

  9. Jennifer Wheeler said,

    January 29, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Sitting at Hollywood Tans in Buford, GA
    Running back and forth like a bat out of hell
    I hear a faint ding, when someone else arrives
    Alone, with enormous responsibility
    In each glowing fluorescent booth,
    The smell of burning flesh lingers,
    Mixed with the sweet scent of coconut oil
    Looking forward, I see bumper to bumper traffic
    Blaring music devours the honking horns
    White freshly painted floors at my feet
    I collapse onto my lonely hardwood stool,
    I hate my job

    CN1718

    Jennifer, I really like your declaration at the end! Especially after imagining the smell of burning flesh. yuck! But using sensory images are a very good strategy, so nice job!

  10. Robert Epps said,

    January 29, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Turner, in his poem, makes an argument that aside from all of the known effects war has on man, it also negatively effects nature. Animals that would otherwise live their lives were driven into the cities in search of food and shelter. Turner argues that if wars will not be stopped on behalf of man they ought to be stopped on behalf of all the animals who are also effected and are caught in the middle. The most compelling image is that of the baboon who “escapes” the city limits and seems confused when it finds itself in nature. The baboon was so used to the city because of being driven there that it didn’t quite know what to do with itself when it left the city.

  11. Sara Garmon said,

    January 29, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Option #1:
    I think that Brian Turner is trying to covey the idea that war, while it affects people who are in it and around it that it also affects the animals that involved also. War affects everyone and everything. It has a ripple effect. The animals in his story were directly affected by the war in Iraq. In his first line of the poem, a question is asked, “Is the world safer?” It is answered by, “No, It’s no safer in Iraq.”

    In this poem I don’t see an argument; I see an actual account and the undeniable idea that the war has caused so much damage to everyone.

    The most compelling part of this poem to me is the first paragraph about the man getting mauled by the northern-Iraq brown bear and the image of people shouting and throwing stones at the bear. It was a terrible situation for the man and the bear also.

    CRN: 1718

  12. Candice Wilson said,

    January 29, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    The poem by Brian Turner is almost repulsing to imagine. The poem tells all the morbid and heartless events that take place in Iraq. It seems as though he allowed his reader to make their own judgment and arguments on what they may be believe Iraq is. The argument to me would be that his description of his reality is a nightmare to us and is it really necessary to be over there? The whole poem is compelling but the last few lines said something to me. When talking about the baboon wandering in the desert was to me a metaphor for Brain Turners life at the moment. As though Iraq was not his normal environment, he is out of place as well as the baboon.
    Candice Wilson
    CRN: 1718

  13. Chris Zywica said,

    January 29, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Option #1

    I feel this poem describes how war can be chaotic for other living things in the world other than humans. The animals in the Bagdad Zoo have had their lives thrown upside down along with the human inhabitants of the city. Like the residents of Bagdad, the animals of the zoo have been introduced to an unfamiliar and unpleasant environment. The animals are running loose in the city without the proper natural instincts to survive. This poem is full of compelling and frightening images to support this. The escaped animals are feeding on the other animals from the zoo as will as the human population of Bagdad. The most compelling image to me is that of the monkey; confused and lost in the unfamiliar desert, the monkey is nowhere close to its natural habitat. He must survive in a totally different world than he is used to.

    CRN 1718

  14. Heather Lasseter said,

    January 29, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Sunday afternoon,
    I awake to the burning sunlight on my face,
    As I lie in my lamb soft P.J.s,
    I feel frozen in time.
    My bed absorbs every inch of my body and
    I never want to leave.
    I lie in a cloud of feathers,
    Watching the sun slowly pass my window,
    I think about all the things I don’t have to do today.
    Sundays are my kind of days.

    CRN:1718

    I can really imagine the softeness of the PJs. There are a lot of soft images in here that really contribute to the tone and your assertion that “I never want to leave” (5). Who would want to leave a cloud of feathers?! Not me!

  15. Melissa Jones said,

    January 29, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    The Baghdad zoo
    The way the animals escaped is like the whole country just gave up. I don’t like the idea of war I don’t think It has changed anything, but the way that someone would go and help someone they didn’t know and fight for them shows their heart. Its so sad the way the animals are wondering around I think of a group of people. It seems like everyone is lost and wondering around just looking for an answer of whats going to happen next. The thing that really caught my attention is the babboon, the way hes just out roaming the desert makes me want to cry because you know hes not going to survive. Reading this shows me the truth and it really opens my heart to everyone over there.

    Melissa Jones
    English 1101
    Crn 1727

  16. Gilberto Nanclares said,

    January 29, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Option #1

    The poem shows us how the war in Iraq has affected, not only the people in and around the country, but also animals. The poem pictures some of the changes that the war has created in our lives. The poem is just an example of the many conflicts that this war is creating.

    CRN1727

  17. Jason Simms said,

    January 29, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Sitting on my veranda in Charleston, South Carolina
    Drinking sweet tea, in the smoldering summer heat
    Listening to the clumping sounds of horse’s hooves…
    As a carriage full of tourist rolls by
    They are captivated by the stories of this old historic town
    Just beyond the moss draped oak trees that line the street
    Sit the Gullah women making their sweet grass baskets
    Every hour church bells ring in the near distance
    Just as they have for hundreds of years in this “Holy City”
    Living in this town is gracious, easy-going living at it best.

    Jason Simms
    CRN – 1735 / Secret

  18. Lisa Albano said,

    January 30, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Laying In My King Size Be in Cumming, Georgia

    Laying in my King size bed in Cumming, Georgia
    Snuggled in faded, worn, red flannel sheets,
    Walls so white, like the freshly fallen snow,
    A blanket so full, you can hardly tell there is someone in the bed,
    The fan nearly echos the walls are so bare,
    A warm angelic babe fast asleep, in the middle of the bed,
    Surrounded by king size feather pillows,
    A faint sigh comes from next to me,
    I will not sleep alone tonight!

  19. Raquel Hill said,

    January 30, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Sitting On the Sands at Key Biscayne, Florida

    It was windy morning.
    While I was looking at the sky
    The birds were flying.
    The wind was pushing against them.
    They could not go far;
    They were stuck in the breeze.
    Over my head
    I could see the clouds
    Like cotton in the fields.
    The were spongy and puffy,
    One was boat shaped.
    The wind was pushing it,
    Navigating in the grey sky.

    CRN 1727

  20. Linda Felbaum said,

    January 30, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Lying in my bed in Buford, Georgia.

    As my family sleeps peacefully,
    I am a reluctant audience
    to the howling winds that are screaming and crashing over my head.
    I fear the windows may explode!
    Shadows of trees contort angrily, in an unnatural tilt,
    as they perform a strange dance on my wall, as if on stage.
    I envision the mayhem the storm is causing just outside
    my bedroom walls.
    As I snuggle under the safety of my warm, fluffy down comforter,
    sleep finally finds me.
    The storm is no longer able to hold me captive.

    Linda Felbaum
    English 1101
    CRN 1736

  21. Holly Colgan said,

    January 30, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Welcome Home

    Pulling into a grey paved driveway in which I once scraped my tiny nose down.

    Slowly opening the red barn colored gates and stepping up on to the porch I once helped build.

    Finally reaching the old beige door pushing it open to hear the laughing of little girls and the clicking of dishes being laid out for what I smelled to be the most mouth watering dish ever to be served.

    The freshly baked smell of garlic seeped through the whole house making any full stomach feel like it hasn’t been fed in days.

    Drawing closer and closer to the smell finally to reach a room full of smiling faces overjoyed because of my arrival.

    “Welcome home” was spoken in many different pitches around the table in which several meals had been severed at for years and hopefully for many more to come.

    1735\ secret
    English 1101
    Holly Colgan

  22. Jessica Dowdle said,

    January 30, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Standing on the balcony of a Carnival Cruise Ship Mystery, Alaska.

    The frigid air cuts through me like a knife.
    I pull my wool coat tightly around my body.
    My appearance now resembling that of an Eskimo
    preparing for a long day of ice fishing.
    I hear the sound of the ship horn
    as it echoes out into the unknown.
    The shadows of the setting sun
    tease the waves as they cascade across the massive ocean.
    In the distance I can see them, the blinding beauty of the lights,
    As they intertwine in the darkening sky.
    Breath taken I stand watching as the purple fades to pink
    And the blues clash into the greens to become one.
    I stand frozen, not from the bone chilling temperatures,
    but from the magnificent display of the Northern Lights dancing above me.
    I blink my eyes to forever capture the intellectual Polaroid
    Of the most beautiful sight I have ever seen.

    Jessica Dowdle
    1735 secret

  23. Jessica Dowdle said,

    January 30, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Standing on the balcony of a Carnival Cruise Ship Mystery, Alaska

    The frigid air cuts through me like a knife.
    I pull my wool coat tightly around my body.
    My appearance resembling that of an Eskimo
    preparing for a long day of ice fishing.
    I hear the sound of the ship horn
    As it echoes out into the unknown.
    The shadows of the setting sun tease the waves
    As they cascade across the massive ocean.
    In the distance I can see them, the blinding beauty of the lights,
    As they intertwine in the darkening sky.
    Breath taken I stand,
    Watching as the purples fade to pink and
    The blues clash into the greens to become one.
    I stand frozen, not from the bone chilling temperatures,
    But from the magnificent display of the Northern Lights
    As they dance above me.
    I blink my eyes to forever capture an intellectual Polaroid of
    The most beautiful sight I have ever seen!

    Jessica Dowdle
    1735 secret

  24. Renee Banks-Seawell said,

    January 30, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    My Parent’s Golden Wedding Anniversary

    The room is magnificent.
    Wooden paneling bronzed by age cover the walls.
    Twenty round tables are scattered throughout the room, each proudly displaying dainty rose petals, white and gold.
    In the windows, beautiful topiaries covered with white lights twinkle like stars in a heavenly sky.
    As I stand admiring the setting I smell the wonderful aroma of fresh roast beef, milk chocolate cascading elegantly down the chocolate fountain among the sweet smell of plump strawberries, white sponge cake, yellow pineapple. I turn to admire the long tables, covered with white linens and filled with luscious food for the quests.
    Among all of the beauty I turn to see the reason for it all.
    My parents, married 50 years, standing lovingly next to each other.
    My father looks at her with a gaze of love and pride that a groom has for his bride.
    My mother adorned in her sparkling golden evening gown proudly wearing a corsage of white roses on her arm, neatly tied with a golden ribbon.
    My father, still handsome but aged by the years, his hair that was once the deepest ebony now white like the newly fallen snow stands strong a tall in his black suit, black tie and wearing a boutonnière that signifies he’s the one she belongs to.
    More precious than gold, the way they look into each others eyes.
    My father reaches out to take my mothers hand and whisks her away to the dance floor.
    They slowly dance to a song from their youth, a 1950’s love song as they float around on the dance floor as if they were dancing on a cloud.
    Tears well up in my eyes as I watch them.
    I ponder their Golden Years and I am overcome with emotion.
    I cannot speak, I cannot take my eyes off of them.
    I’m am filled with pride and thankful to God that I am their daughter.

    Renee Banks-Seawell
    English 1101/1736

  25. Jonathan Poff said,

    January 31, 2008 at 5:12 am

    He explains that even the presence od the American soldiers do not make Iraq safer. Wild dangerous animals killing people in the streets of a countries capitol city does not sound like it has much order for things of that nature to happen.

    I think he’s saying that whether the United States occupies Iraq or not it’s going to be chaotic and usless. So the US should go back as quickly as they came in.

    I think when he says, “Eaten down to their skeletons, the giraffes looked prehistoric, unreal, their necks too fragile, too graceful for the 21st Century.” It is eluding to the fact of how un-smoothe the American occupation of Iraq is going and how it seems that it’s made things alot worse in Iraw and not better.

    1735\secret
    English 1101
    Jonathan Poff

  26. Dana Farmer said,

    January 31, 2008 at 8:48 am

    Sitting on the beach in Mazatlan, Mexico

    Lying under the beaming golden sun, my body absorbing the heat
    Sounds of the crisp clear blue ocean rolling onto the shore relax me
    The gentle breeze blowing through my hair
    At a distance a climbing picturesque mountain reflects off of the water
    The clouds are like a feather bed that captures me
    Palm trees stretching to the sky swaying back and forth as it becomes their dance floor
    The sparkling white sand beneath my feet scrunching between my toes
    This is my paradise and I never want to leave

    Dana Farmer
    CRN#1735/Secret

  27. Alex Seburn said,

    January 31, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Standing On The Deck
    Of Bogan Park Pool, Buford

    Straight across from me, I see another lifeguard wearing
    A Bright yellow shirt and blue shorts,
    Scanning the water as I am,
    Blowing their whistle at Naughty kids
    that have disobeyed the rules.
    Happy kids follow and splash each other while laughing.
    Other kids race each other to the slide and force me to blow my
    Whistle at them to slow down.
    I turn my head and see adults swimming with a sloppy freestyle,
    I’m constantly waiting for hours for my next break,
    while no one is even close to drowning.
    Either way, I’m making money.

  28. Amy Thornton said,

    January 31, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    I read this poem many times and each time I read it, I could see the desperation of the soldiers and the animals. As I imagined myself in Baghdad I felt helpless, disgusted, isolated, and most of all I felt lost.

    Could Brain Turner have watched these animals as he was running through all these emotions personally? I believe he was trying to correlate his emotions through the imagery of the animals. He painted a picture with words of the many cause and affects that war has. I visualized the soldiers had reverted to pure animal instincts to survive with his portrayal. The soldiers like the animals were taken from their home and brought to a remote battle ground to fight their own personal survival war.
    Amy Thornton
    English 1101

  29. Juliana Medina said,

    January 31, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Taking a nap at Sardis Park in Gainesville, Georgia

    Laying on my back in the cool damp grass,
    looking at the blue sky and white clouds.
    Feeling the warmth from the sun on my skin
    and the cool breeze softly caressing my face.
    Letting the sounds around me become a lullaby
    like children playing, crickets chirping and birds
    singing, I slowly begin to close my eyes and
    fall asleep. Then I awake and realize that it was
    all a dream.

    Juliana Medina
    English 1101
    1735/secret

  30. Amy Thornton said,

    January 31, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Option #2

    Sitting on my Sofa In Flowery Branch

    The violins murmur soft and velvety
    from a melody of long ago.

    My well used indigo leather sofa is familiar,
    as I slump into its large soft pillows.
    The cherry hardwoods squeak
    with a clumsy chocolate wrinkled puppy.
    My fingers are numb,
    with the cold creamy Carmel delight.
    In the distance I hear the boom, boom,
    vibrating bass intruding on the peace.
    The front door opens,
    thump, one backpack, thump, then another .

    Will I really miss them when they leave?

  31. Angela Patterson said,

    January 31, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    Lost in the tranquility of my personal happy place

    In the open meadow, I see a rainbow of wildflowers,
    The fawns stand dazed and the butterflies swarm hysterically,
    Lost like a seed in germination.
    Through the field in the open meadow,
    The trickle of water flows
    Into the still pond.
    Directly in front of me,
    In the evening sunset among open pasture,
    The pond glistens
    Touching the earth with golden rays.
    I sigh deeply, as the darkness approaches.
    A fawn pauses from sipping at the babbling brook,
    Gratefully saying sweet dreams.
    I have found a reason to live.

    English 1101
    Class # 1727

  32. Lucy Terrones said,

    January 31, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    My grandma’s house in Mexico

    I would wake up on the sound of the noisy trucks coming in and out from my grandma’s store.

    As I stood up I felt the cold floor after loosing my socks while I was sleeping.

    Out side the window, I smelled the wet pavement from the side walk that my grandma wet and swept.

    Running down stairs to get the best seat at the breakfast table, I make sure I beat my cousins every time.

    Tasting the fresh home made orange juice that grandma made.

    Finally, helping my grandma with the customers, and enjoying the great weather.

    I love my summer vacation.

    English 1101
    CRN 1735/Secret
    Lucy Terrones

  33. Allison Brock said,

    January 31, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    Up high in my room,
    I’m sinking into the black hole that is my bed.
    Scarface guards the left side like a soldier.
    To the right – pictures of friends and family smile down.
    My one window frames the backyard.
    Movies and books are arranged in neat rows on a shelf.
    The T.V. is always on and casts dancing shadows across the room.
    CDs are stacked tall like the windows of a skyscraper.
    My treadmill is still, silent and dusty.
    The dog is barking downstairs and my mom is yelling at me to clean the kitchen.
    I can’t wait to be done with school.

    Allison Brock
    English 1101
    1735/ SECRET

  34. Charles Thornton said,

    January 31, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    The Baghdad Zoo
    To me the importance of the story was how the plight of the animals mirrors that of the soldiers. The animals were taken from their natural habitat to a land that was not familiar to them. They did not know what to expect at first, it was not so unpleasant; there was food and adequate housing after all. Then what seems like a moment it all changes, they see friends die, their bodies lying on the ground motionless. Now the animal instinct to survive any way they can takes over. They were in a land they did not know, had new and terrifying experiences to deal with. Some fought for survival and some just got lost.
    Charles Thornton
    English 1101

  35. Kamilla Araujo said,

    January 31, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Lying down at Hilton Head beach, South Carolina

    My eyes are closed
    I feel the thin sand touching my feet
    The sun is shinning but the wind’s cool breeze doesn’t let me feel the heat
    I get up and walk a little closer to the shore
    There I lay on the wet sand letting the water touch my skin
    The smell of the ocean is now even stronger
    The small waves break as they meet my warm skin
    Water slashes all over me and I start to taste the salt on my lips
    All of a sudden I feel something on my feet
    Then I realize I got stung by a jelly fish

    Kamilla Araujo
    CRN#1735/ Secret

  36. Stirling Ricks said,

    January 31, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Picking pecans at my grandfathers South Georgia orchard Stately and still as English guards, the trees all in perfect rows. Their bounty is waiting before me. Heat waves dance on the horizon as the sweat burns my eyes. The ponds calm glassy surface is calling me, begging to be broken. With buzzards circling above I better start moving. Stirling Ricks English 1101 1735/secret

  37. Joseph Hall said,

    February 1, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Laying On The Couch In My House

    In front of me the Television is on,
    Judge Judy fusses at the defendant.
    A mountain dew condensates on the end table,
    No longer cold like it was when I got it from the fridge.
    The dogs squeek their toys.
    The day passes slowly.
    My wife comes home,
    She begins to clean up the house.
    I had done nothing.
    My day had passed by completely wasted.

  38. Carolina said,

    February 1, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Waking up in my Room
    in Dahlonega, GA
    Receding dreams swing their fainting swords.
    Time and space make their gradual appearance.
    Cold air sits upon my nose.
    A golden ray sneaks in,
    While crooked steams wind their way to meet him.
    A playful being, of violet scales, dances in a crystal planet.
    I am alive

    Carolina Carrion
    1735 secret

  39. Rick Sakal/secret said,

    February 1, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Sitting In a Duck Blind On Lake Erie

    As soon as I turned off the flashlight the darkness was upon us.
    It wasn’t just dark, but pitch black every where
    No street lights shining through cherry wood blinds
    No starlight or moonlight, just black.
    I can feel the snowflakes hit my exposed face
    Freezing in my mustache and beard.
    Rubbing my eyes, I try to see, it does not help.
    It’s that time of morning when everything is dull, blurry, fuzzy.
    Colors are undefined; objects and shapes melt into one another.
    As I look to the East, where the water meets the sky, it begins,
    With a deep, dark red, followed with shades of orange and yellow.
    The Sun is rising behind the falling pure white snowflakes,
    Creating a surreal feeling of hot and cold.
    As we await the arrival of our feathered quarry, with their emerald heads,
    I look at my buddy, covered in at least an inch of powdery snow
    I realize that life doesn’t get better than this.

  40. Sabrina Mccollum said,

    February 2, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Sitting In The Living Room
    Watching Four Faces

    Looking at the four faces,
    As they play in the room.
    Thinking of who they will become,
    And how they may change the world.

    All of them so different,
    But yet they are the same.
    To me they are my hero’s,
    To them I am a saint.
    Their eyes so focused,
    Their minds so wondering.
    No need to think about tomorrow,
    They just play for today.

    As I look at my boys,
    I see four great kids,
    Who will become great men.
    But for now I will sit and watch,
    And enjoy watching their laughs and smiles.
    I Love My Boys!

    Sabrina McCollum
    English1101
    CRN 1735/secret

  41. Tony Beatty said,

    February 2, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Sitting on my deck

    I look up, I see the stars,
    Shining like ambers on a wildfire,
    I hear the neighborhood dogs howling,
    Howling at the moon,
    Crazed over its large beauty,
    I feel the cold breeze running up my neck,
    Running up my neck like silk scarf,
    The bitter air is nearly gone,
    I wonder were the winter has gone,
    I have forgotten the beauty of the season.

    Thank you for reading.
    Tony Beatty English 1101 CRN#1735

    WHY didn’t you read this in class?? It’s wonderful. I love the idea of the big-ness of beauty.

  42. Mindy Boswell said,

    February 3, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    The poem written by Brian Turner compares the effects of war in a unique way. He seems to compare the soliders to animals. We see the war has effected both the soilders and the animals. He shows how the baboon is lost in the sand dunes, perhaps his enviroment has changed and is confused about what use to be his home. Or perhaps he is implying war can turn you into an animal overtime in the sense of needs for survival. The most compelling image to me is the solider watching the lion attack a horse. If he is implying this realistically this would be a disturbing event to watch. If he is imlying the lion to be a soilder attacking a innocent savillian or a iraqi solider this would also be a disturbing event to watch. The effects of war are brought out in a unique way seeing as how the reader can imply different images.
    -English 1101/CRN 1736

  43. Dustin Carter said,

    February 3, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    This poem shows how horrible the war was during this time. The way he describes the things that happenes makes you realize what we are doing. He is making the argument that although we are there doing what needs to be done we are also hurting a lot of innocent people. the most compelling image is the one about the bear mauling the man. That is just not something you see everyday

    1736
    Dustin Carter

  44. February 3, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Brian Turner’s poem makes an argument that war causes havoc and chaos. He describes the disorder of the zoo, but is really reflecting on the disorder and confusion the war creates. The most compelling image was “one gunner watched a lion chase down a horse’. To me, this could symbolize an armed force chasing down a helpless civilian, while another armed force merely watches and does nothing. This poem shows the chaos war creates.

  45. Natalia Gaviria said,

    February 4, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Night of Fourth of July

    The partial gleam of the sizzling sun.
    The refreshing breeze of green pine trees.
    Sharp waves of clear fresh water splashing the rocky shores.
    Deserted, rocky, slightly sandy beaches with no sign of animal life.
    Isolated empty boats lying tilted by the dry cracked shores.
    Long waves of high pitched voices would approach us as we dropped anchor.
    Darkness had arrived and the bright,luminous stars reflected on the rippling of still water.
    Dozens of boats surrounded us as if we were captured in a jungle full of tiny lightning bugs
    Shortly after, beautiful colors of a rainbow began exploding in the sky.
    Cheering,clapping and whistling filled the lake by the joy of the viewers.
    As the last spark of the bonfire reaches the sky the celebration slowly ends.

    Natalia Gaviria
    1736

    I love the image of the empty boats on the cracked shore. Bravo!

  46. baileyknott said,

    February 4, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Walking into work

    Early morning darkness still surrounds me as I walk through the door
    As the door opens i hear loud barking and howling
    I can smell all of the overnight accidents that the animals had
    The phone is ringing off the hook
    As we prepare everything we will for the day
    The grouchy early morning clients come in to drop off their pets
    I brace myself for a long, stressful but rewarding day of work

    It’s interesting how there is quietness still around you, but you are preparing for all of the “loud” stuff of the day!

  47. Tiffany majors said,

    February 4, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    In Miss Moore’s Algebra II Class

    The hands of the clock slowly creep
    Towards 3:20 pm as Ms. Moore
    Rambles on about integers, variables,
    Functions and equations.
    To me it seems like
    She is speaking another language.
    I sit in the second desk
    In the third row
    Of the white-washed classroom
    And I stare at the olive green chalk board
    Wondering what the teacher is talking about.
    I can hear the rusty white chalk scratch across the board
    As she continues on but I do not understand.
    I draw on my paper
    Miss Moore plus math equals boring.

    Tiffany Majors
    CRN 1727
    English 1101

    Tiffany, this is the best ending I’ve seen yet! I also love how you’ve pulled the reader away from what the narrator understands and let us focus instead on the specific details of the room. Very cool!

  48. Amy Holcombe said,

    February 4, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    I think that the most compelling image that Turner used was when said “Eaten down to their skeletons, the giraffes looked prehistoric, unreal, and their necks too fragile. He does a very good job of being objective and just presenting the facts. I believe that Turner is against war because he talks about the devastating effects of the war and not the possible benefits of the war. I think that his argument is that the war is doing more harm than it is good.

    Amy Holcombe
    924180228
    1736

  49. Casey Willis said,

    February 4, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Sitting in my rocking chair on the porch

    Over looking Lake Burton

    It’s still early in the morning

    With my coffee in hand

    I can still smell the crisp fresh air of the mountains

    You can see all of the lake from up here

    As the sun starts to make its way over the blue hills

    Not a cloud in the sky

    I can feel the warm rays on my face

    The sun glissoning off the smooth water

    Not a ripple to be seen

    It makes me envious and then I think

    Only a few more months till summer

    And I can’t wait

    ~Casey Willis~

    CRN 1736

    I love the idea of the hills being blue. It really locates it in a certain region. Also, I love the quietness of this poem.

  50. John Mcbrayer said,

    February 4, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Sitting In The Office Of My Psychologist

    I sit patiently listening to the explanations
    Of my behaviors and thought processes.
    His voice is monotone and shows no
    Sign of life whatsoever.
    Combined with the bland colors
    Surrounding me I wonder if this was
    Designed to keep me in a state of melancholy.
    The couch is tattered and torn as if it’s
    Original home was on Gilgamesh’s ship.
    What the hell am I doing?

    John Mcbrayer
    English 1101
    CRN1727

    I love the idea comparing the couch to Gilgamesh’s ship. It’s such an interesting idea, also, to bring into another location somethign from history, especially since the narrator’s perspective is one of such blandness.

  51. Kaye Cox said,

    February 4, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Option #2
    Lying on the beach at Ocracoke Island

    I drifted into a light sleep reading “Sullivan’s Island” by Dorothea Benton Frank.

    I was awakened by the cry of seagulls gracefully floating above us as if suspended by strings.

    My beautiful daughter was throwing bread crumbs into the air and the seagulls would swoop down in the wind to catch them. The wind was blowing just enough that the seagulls gray, white, smooth breast were exposed and their wings expanded as if they were flaunting their feathers.

    I looked to the left and then right. The oceanfront was deserted as far as my eyes could see. The sound of the waves gently rolling on the shore creating tranquil music with the wind. The wind carrying the rich salty scent of the ocean.

    The sun was covered by white billowy clouds, warming the smooth sand beneath me. Everyone should read a good book on Ocracoke Island.

    Kaye Cox
    English 1101 CRN#1727

    This is wonderful. It’s almost what we would call a “prose poem,” where it operates much like prose, but with the attention on the sound of the words, the sound of the language. Very lovely.

  52. Juan Gomes said,

    February 4, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Dawn in the sand
    In Key West, Florida

    The singing of the birds wakes me up.
    I am trapped between the blue sky and the golden sand.
    I can feel the wind roaring in my ears.
    The palm trees sway their trunks,
    And the brown coconuts crush down.
    As the sun starts to blaze my skin,
    People start to pour in.
    In the horizon, glamorous and fancy boats
    Glide the water as I look on.
    All this comfort and beauty
    Makes me not want to go home.

    Juan Gomes
    CRN# 1727

    I love your image of the palm tree trucks swaying. This poem makes me wish I were in an exotic locale right now!

  53. Maria Elia Hernandez said,

    February 4, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Option # 1

    The description given in this poem takes the reader on a visual vivid journey. In these horrendous scenarios you can almost experience the torture that the people and the animals are put through because of the war. You can visualize how the food chain command is being abolished. It’s almost like you’re in a slow motion caption movie experiencing first hand how war is like. You can see the giraffes fleshless and you’re hoping that there just art pieces in a New York art museum. You so much hope that the incidents with the bear mauling a man, the lion chasing a horse, pelicans and teals afraid of the helicopters, and the baboon confused by the winds in the dessert were only documentaries in the Geographic Channel.

    I would argue, why is it that all God’s creations are being demolished by man? Why can’t we respect the circle of life the way God intended? In all this destruction the most compelling image of this poem to me was when the northern brown bear mauled a man. This gave me a sense of hopelessness and sadness. The onlookers tried to save the man by throwing stones but to no avail. This was a very disturbing situation to imagine.

    In this poem Brain Turner was very explicit and translucent. Almost as if he wanted us to really experience the war in Bagdad with out being there. He made me realize how fortunate we really are in this side of the world.

    Maria Elia Hernandez
    English 1101
    CRN 1727

  54. Renee Banks-Seawell said,

    February 4, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    Their Golden Anniversary

    The room is magnificent.
    Wooden paneling bronzed by age cover the walls.
    Tables scattered throughout the room proudly displaying dainty rose petals, white and gold.
    In the windows, beautiful topiaries covered with white lights twinkle like stars in a heavenly sky.
    The wonderful aroma of fresh roast beef, milk chocolate cascading elegantly down the chocolate fountain.
    Tables covered with white linens, filled with luscious food for the quests.
    Among all of the beauty, the reason for it all.
    The couple, married 50 years, standing lovingly next to each other.
    He with a gaze of love that a groom has for his bride
    She adorned in her golden gown, smiling at him.
    More precious than gold, the way they look into each others eyes.
    He reaches out and whisks her away to the dance floor.
    Slowly they dance to a song from their youth.
    They float around on the dance floor as if they were dancing on a cloud.
    True love, unending, like the golden wedding rings they wear.

    Renee Banks-Seawell
    English 1101/1736
    Reposted after editing.

    I love how you’ve used sensory images in this poem. It can be experienced from all of the different senses, which is so important in poetry.

  55. Landon McDonnell said,

    February 4, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    The cave unnatural

    I walk on to an ill lit passage
    Something inside me stirs
    As I push through the hardness around
    An odor bits the eyes, invades the nose, and scrapes the tong
    The insects crackle as they rush to their crags and lips of soaked rock to avoid my step
    Darkness surrounds, yet the sickly light remains
    Bacteria filled water drips from above
    It slides in between 100% cotton and my skin
    Bathrooms are unnatural

    very surprising ending! I really like how you’ve used one sense, such as odor, to address a sensor–the eye.

  56. Jung Oh said,

    February 4, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    Sitting at Bus stop bench in Korea.

    Red and Green lights are switching as

    One man switching his position, Walking and Standing

    People’s heads are facing same direction,

    like they are sunflowers waiting for the sun to come up.

    When they see the glimpse of the sun,

    sunflowers stand up to find their own sunlight

    Sometimes there were some pink sunflowers

    with attractive smells,

    But Sunlight always comes with the wind that takes

    them away. And my neck automatically falls with

    smoke of shadow as the sunflowers lost its light.

    Jung Oh
    English 1101
    1735 / Secret

    Wow, I LOVE how you’ve compared the turning of the heads witht he movement of the sunflowers. What an interesting image!

  57. Chris Napolitano said,

    February 5, 2008 at 9:54 am

    the poem “the baghdad zoo” reflects many horrors of war. it shows that because of the war, many people and animals are getting starved because of insufficient supplies to feed the country. it also shows that many people get taken from thier families and put in prison. when the line “One gunner watched a lion chase down a horse.” comes around it makes me think that the soldiers of iraq take people away that are much weaker and have no self defense and all the US soldiers can do is watch in horror as all of this unfolds

  58. Sarah Hackney said,

    February 5, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Sitting In My Driveway In Flowery Branch, Georgia

    Beyond the road and neighborhood I see the lights from the highway billboards,

    As if to remind me my home is growing along with me,

    Never getting dimmer, only stronger and more vibrant.

    The tower in the distance stands no longer by itself,

    But still blinking that same red glow onto its diminishing evergreen fortress.

    A car zips by often,

    Each one running fast as if to be chasing and being followed at the same time.

    Looking directly upward I see a crowded city that dies at the break of day.

    The dark woods to the right of me are frightening,

    but the lights on the other sides of me are there for sake of comfort,

    how could i have overlooked them this whole time.

    I really love how you’ve evoked mood in this poem. Nice job.

  59. Amanda Cronan said,

    February 5, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    The View From Hell
    Amanda Cronan

    The liquid lake of gleaming glittery fire,
    Burns brighter than a thousand suns.
    Brilliantly burning bright brimstone covers the layers of thick lava.
    Souls tying desperately to cling to the solid stone surface.
    Deep despairing darkness is draped over this entire pit of pain.
    The disgusting stench of burnt charred meat covers the despairing underworld.
    Piercing and heart reaching screams cover the dry dusk like air.
    How did anyone ever come to be here?
    The exhausting pain that swells my bitter soul,
    Is grater than any one could know.

    Very Dante-esque!

  60. Yvette Allison said,

    February 5, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    LOOKING OUT MY KITCHEN WINDOW AT THE HILLS IN THE BACKYARD
    BY: YVETTE ALLISON

    While I stand looking through small panes of glass
    at the day lights end.
    Trying to catch small glimpses of creatures as they scurry on their way
    before the night envelopes them.
    Seeing the beautiful greens, reds, and yellows of the trees and shrubs and sunlight
    marking its spot here and there.
    Knowing in just moments the scene will be enclosed in darkness and waiting
    to see one of God’s creatures wonder through the scene.
    I know tomorrow will bring a new scene,
    a new vision to see.

    Yvette Allison
    ENGL #1727

    I LOVE the idea of the sun marking its spot. What a cool image.

  61. Maria F Diaz said,

    February 5, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    A Walk in The Beach in Clear Water, Florida

    In a warm and sunny day
    The sun was a shiny as gold.
    As I was walking along the bay shore
    I felt the soft and white sand through my toes.
    I heard the waves crushing on the rocks.
    The waves were deep blue and high.
    I saw grey and brown pelicans flying above my head while
    Serching for food.
    I felt the ocean breeze washing my face and blowing my hair.
    As I was walking by the coast I said to myself what a beautiful day
    Here at Clear Water bay.

    English 1101
    CRN 1727

    Great job with your 7th and 8th line and the use of the line break. It really emphasizing the search for food.

  62. Chasiti Walden said,

    February 5, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Lying Under the Stars in Dahlonega, Georgia

    Above me, the dark sky filled
    with bright sparking lights
    Beside me, the tree’s are
    swaying from a light breeze
    I hear the faint roar of
    a car passing by.
    In the distance a dark
    cloud is rolling in.
    Dahlonega is the best place for stars

    I really like how quiet this poem is. Also, it seems ominous, because while you’re looking at the stars, the clouds are coming in.


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