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Ode to Family Photographs

Again another presentation for school. It's called "Poetry Analysis."

Krist Tran

on 4 December 2013

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Transcript of Ode to Family Photographs

Poet's Background
Gary Soto was born on April 12, 1952 in Fresno, California and currently lives in Berkeley, California with his wife and daughter. He is currently still alive and well at the age of 61. He is Mexican-American. He started writing at the age of 20. He was encouraged to write because one day he came across a poetry book in his college and liked it and started to write his own poems. He took his first poetry class in 1972 and that also caused him to start writing. Sometimes, he goes to schools to see and even play with his readers. He usually writes about events that could've happened to us. He now works as a Distinguished Professor at the University of California at Riverside.
Ode to Family Photographs
One literary element that I noticed was rhyme. The poem shows this, "This is a photograph of my sister and a giraffe looking over her shoulder."
Structure and Layout
The structure contributes to the meaning of the poem because a camera has many pictures and this has poem has many verses.
The poet wrote it this way because he's telling a story in each verse.
The poem is 8 stanzas. In other words it's 20 verses.
The speaker is feeling happy and laughing. The poem shows this, "Each of us laughing hard."
The main theme in this poem is taking photographs and
how he likes them even though they aren't perfect, he still
likes them.
The poem shows this, "
By Gary Soto
But we had fun when Mama

picked up the camera." "Each of us laughing hard." The theme means that even though something isn't perfect, you should still love it.
Literary Elements
Another literary element that I noticed was Simile. The poem shows this, "The angles dizzy as a spin on a merry-go-round."
My feelings after reading the poem are cheery because the author sounds so happy and sounds like he's having a good time, that it makes me want to join the fun too.
I also see hyperbole in there. The poem shows this, "The angles dizzy as a spin on a merry-go-round." It is exaggerated because you are REALLY dizzy on a spinning merry-go-round
One verse that stood out to me and that has strong imagery was this verse, "Behind the camera, the snapshots are blurry."
by Gary Soto
Ode to Family Photographs
This is the pond, and these are my feet.
This is the rooster, and this is more of my feet.
Mama was never good at pictures.
This is a statue of a famous general who lost an arm,
And this is me with my head cut off.
This is a trash can chained to a gate,
This is my father with his eyes half-closed.
This is a photograph of my sister
And a giraffe looking over her shoulder.
This is our car's front bumper.
This is a bird with a pretzel in it's beak.
This is my brother Pedro standing on one leg on a rock,
With a smear of chocolate on his face.
Mama sneezed when she looked
Behind the camera: the snapshots are blurry,
The angles dizzy as a spin on a merry-go-round
But we had fun when Mama picked up the camera.
How can I tell?
Each of us laughing hard.
Can you see: I have candy in my mouth.
Also, I think it is appreciating things.
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