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If You're Stronghearted

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by

Amanda Chapman

on 19 October 2012

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Transcript of If You're Stronghearted

If You're Stronghearted If you're stronghearted look at this Island;
Red gouges of creeks at low tide and
the stronger red which spreads behind plows:
Don't hold your tongue too long, it'll swell
with so much good and so much bad to say.

If you're stronghearted look at the clouds
growing and raising heads to look themselves,
opening mouths to say what should be said.

If you're stronghearted ripple your way
up and down over low green-patched hills.
You can look from twenty feet and be unobserved
except for the fire of your eyes
Strong eyes...they've seen such beauty
that a nerve runs from each to the heart.

If you're stronghearted put your ear to the ground
to hear the lilt and cut of soft voices
discussing enemy moves without fear. Milton Acorn Intellectual Appeal If you're stronghearted look at this Island;
Red gouges of creeks at low tide and
the stronger red which spreads behind plows:
Don't hold your tongue too long, it'll swell
with so much good and so much bad to say. Metonomy: Plows is used to represent the farmers of P.E.I. "Red" symbolizes the sand on the island. There are millions of grains of sand in every beach, just like there are people in every country. The "stronger" of those are the ones who are stronghearted, the ones that have the drive and are capable of plowing their own path in life. They are in charge of their own journey. Juxtaposition: The use of good and bad indicates that our lives our full of good and bad. We cannot have one without the other and we must learn to accept this. Holding your tongue is when you remain silent, even though you wish to speak. Acorn is saying that there are times in life when we must speak up. If we do not, we risk losing the opportunity to be heard, or your tongue will swell and you will be unable to speak. Speaking up for yourself could be thought of as a test/trial someone goes through during their life, as it is difficult for some people. An example of this would be Marguerite from Mrs. Bertha Flowers. If you're stronghearted look at the clouds
growing and raising heads to look themselves,
opening mouths to say what should be said. Clouds are often seen as pure and soft, however they can quickly turn to storm clouds. Clouds, in this poem, are used to symbolize those in our lives who hold us back, or try and force us to be something we are not. This could be a parent, a teacher, the government, or even society in general. An example of a "cloud" would be the creators of the Matrix. The clouds in our lives grow and raise us, much like farmers do with their crops. However, some take it to an extreme. They raise us from the beginning to share their values and opinions, rather than allowing us to discover our views on our own. "Opening mouths" gives off the idea that they are forcing us to do and "say what should be said". They are forcing us to be what they see is right. This is much like how Tante Rose treats Hannah in The Bicycle. The writer is telling us to look at the clouds, to see them for what they truly are. If your are stronghearted, you have the strength within you to see past the illusion and get a full understanding for the situation. This could be seen as another test/trial a hero has to go through on their journey, as they are learning to challenge what they once thought was true. This could also be a call to adventure as they are taking a step to change their views, which could then lead them to their journey. If you're stronghearted ripple your way
up and down over low green-patched hills.
You can look from twenty feet and be unobserved
except for the fire of your eyes
Strong eyes...they've seen such beauty
that a nerve runs from each to the heart. When somethings ripples, it sends off waves. This is like what happens when a person goes on their journey. As you make your way through life, you will often make decisions that will affect the people and things surrounding you, leaving your mark. These "ripples" can be seen as the elixirs that are left behind in a hero's journey. The "fire in your eyes" symbolizes a persons dreams or the drive they have to do something. More often than not, it is that determination to reach those dreams that allow a person to begin their journey in life. This nerve connects our eyes to our heart. This connection means that what one experiences, the other does as well. What our eyes see, which can be the beauty in the world or the evil, influences our feelings and who we are, which is what our heart represents. We often base our decisions off of what we see and experience. If you're stronghearted put your ear to the ground
to hear the lilt and cut of soft voices
discussing enemy moves without fear. In the old days, Cowboys would often put their ears to the ground to hear those who are ahead or behind them. This would help them get a better understanding of their surroundings. In the poem, the idea is that if you are stronghearted, then you must try to gain a full understanding of what is going on. Putting your ear to the ground could also mean that you are listening to "real people" or distancing yourself as far from the "clouds" as possible. "Discussing enemy moves" is thought to be their first step at fighting against their ultimate enemy. At this time however, the dicsussion is quiet, showing that they are not ready to fight head on, however they are preparing for that moment, or the climax of their journey. This discussion could then be thought to be the crossing of the threshold, as they are now planning and committing to an attack against those who constrain them. In the Bicycle and The Matrix, we see the hero's first planning things out before they act. Sensory Appeal "Look at this Island;
Red gouges of creeks at low tide" The author, Milton Acorn, was born and raised in Prince Edward Island. He creates an image in the readers head of what the island looks like in his eyes as he describes it. Imagery "Green-patched hills" ` "Don't hold your tongue too long, it'll swell" This line allows for the reader to feel as though their tongue was swelling, making them as uncomfortable as the person who had been holding their tongue. "put your ear to the ground
to hear the lilt and cut of soft voices" Appeals to our hearing, as we can envision placing our ears to the ground and listening carefully to hear the hushed voices. Repetition "If You're Stronghearted" Each stanza begins with this phrase. It helps show that this will be a main focus in the poem. The repetition is also used to show that throughout our lives, we will be put in situations that test the strength of our hearts. Definition: When you are stronghearted, you do not give up. You fight for what you believe is right and let nothing hold you back. Emotional Appeal Rhythm When reading the poem, the rhythm is very smooth and flows nicely. This gives off a relaxed, laidback feeling, although the meaning is anything but. Diction The writer's chooses to use words that are easy to understand which helps give the poem an almost childish simplicity. Connotation & Denotation "look at the clouds" Clouds are typically recognized as fluffy white cotton balls in the sky.
However the clouds, as already mentioned, represent the people in our lives who hold us back. In the poem, Milton Acorn is telling us that we should see things for what they truly are and base our opinions on that. If we are stronghearted, we possess the ability to take control of our situation. "the fire in your eyes" Fire is typically associated with anger and power. However, in the poem the word fire is meant to represent our drive to follow our dreams. Milton Acorn is telling us that if we are stronghearted, we are capable of going after what we want. Theme The theme, or overall meaning of the poem is that every one of us are capable of taking our life into our hands. We need to learn to overcome the people and things that hold us back so we can "plow" our own path through life. The first steps we take may be the hardest but once we do our journeys are in our control. Thesis Statement In Milton Acorns poem, If You’re Stronghearted, he suggests that if a person chooses to be stronghearted and never back down, they are capable of speaking up and challenging those who confine them in order to regain full control of their lives.
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