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A Person, A Paper, A Promise

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by

Conner Song

on 7 December 2012

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Transcript of A Person, A Paper, A Promise

By Earl Reum A Person, A Paper, A Promise Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it "Chops"
because that was the name of his dog
And that's what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and a gold star
And his mother hung it on the kitchen door
and read it to his aunts
That was the year Father Tracy
took all the kids to the zoo
And he let them sing on the bus
And his little sister was born
with tiny toenails and no hair
And his mother and father kissed a lot
And the girl around the corner sent him a Valentine signed with a row of X's
and he had to ask his father what the X's meant
And his father always tucked him in bed at night
And was always there to do it Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it "Autumn"
because that was the name of the season
And that's what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and asked him to write more clearly
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because of its new paint
And the kids told him
that Father Tracy smoked cigars
And left butts on the pews
And sometimes they would burn holes
That was the year his sister got glasses
with thick lenses and black frames
And the girl around the corner laughed
when he asked her to go see Santa Claus
And the kids told him why
his mother and father kissed a lot
And his father never tucked him in bed at night
And his father got mad
when he cried for him to do it. Once on a paper torn from his notebook
he wrote a poem
And he called it "Innocence: A Question"
because that was the question about his girl
And that's what it was all about
And his professor gave him an A
and a strange steady look
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because he never showed her
That was the year that Father Tracy died
And he forgot how the end
of the Apostle's Creed went
And he caught his sister
making out on the back porch
And his mother and father never kissed
or even talked
And the girl around the corner
wore too much makeup
That made him cough when he kissed her
but he kissed her anyway
because that was the thing to do
And at three a.m. he tucked himself into bed
his father snoring soundly That's why on the back of a brown paper bag
he tried another poem
And he called it "Absolutely Nothing"
Because that's what it was really all about
And he gave himself an A
and a slash on each damned wrist
And he hung it on the bathroom door
because this time he didn't think
he could reach the kitchen. Earl Reum was born in 1931 and died at age 79 in 2010. Dr. Reum worked with kids, giving speeches and workshops for over 50 years. He challenged millions of teenagers to dream big and was adorned the nickname “Mr. Student Council.” - Alliterations
- Imagery
- Parallel Structure Stanza 1: Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines (Type of Paper)
he wrote a poem (Always the same)
And he called it "Chops" (Title)
because that was the name of his dog (Reason)
And that's what it was all about (Always the same)

Stanza 2: Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it "Autumn"
because that was the name of the season
And that's what it was all about

Stanza 3: Once on a paper torn from his notebook
he wrote a poem
And he called it "Innocence: A Question"
because that was the question about his girl
And that's what it was all about First Stanza Second Stanza Third Stanza Author Information Final Stanza Literary Devices and Meanings Lines 1-5 The meaning of the poem the life of a child into young adulthood and his decline into depression and self-harm. Lines 6-13 Stanza 1: And his teacher gave him an A (Teachers/grade)
and a gold star
And his mother hung it on the kitchen door (Mother)
and read it to his aunts
That was the year Father Tracy (Father Tracy/religion)
took all the kids to the zoo
And he let them sing on the bus

Stanza 2: And his teacher gave him an A
and asked him to write more clearly
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because of its new paint A
nd the kids told him that Father Tracy smoked cigars
And left butts on the pews
And sometimes they would burn holes

Stanza 3: And his professor gave him an A
and a strange steady look
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because he never showed her
That was the year that Father Tracy died
And he forgot how the end of the Apostle's Creed went Lines 14-21 Stanza 1: And his little sister was born (Sister)
with tiny toenails and no hair
And his mother and father kissed a lot (Relationship between mother and father)
And the girl around the corner sent him a Valentine signed with a row of X's (Female interest)a
nd he had to ask his father what the X's meant (Societal standards)
And his father always tucked him in bed at night (Bedtime routine)
And was always there to do it

Stanza 2: That was the year his sister got glasses
with thick lenses and black frames
And the girl around the corner laughed
when he asked her to go see Santa Claus
And the kids told him why his mother and father kissed a lot
And his father never tucked him in bed at night
And his father got mad when he cried for him to do it.

Stanza 3: And he caught his sister making out on the back porch
And his mother and father never kissed or even talked
And the girl around the corner wore too much makeup
That made him cough when he kissed her
but he kissed her anyway
because that was the thing to do
And at three a.m. he tucked himself into bed his father snoring soundly
Full transcript