Identify one of the Essential Questions the poet explored in the poem:
To what degree can an individual’s choices and actions influence the direction of his or her life?
Why is it important to be responsible to others on a personal, local, global, and digital level?
What does it mean to be successful, and what role does failure play?
How does an individual’s perspective of, and response to, a crisis define him or her?
Select three poetic techniques (e.g., tone, mood, figurative language, sound devices, poetic structure, imagery, diction) and examine how the poet used them to enhance the theme.
to you who would wage war against me by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm
there are many lines
you have not traced on my palms
you think you know me
when i speak
you nod knowingly
you’ve already read my mind
and are only politely acknowledging
the confirmation of my spoken words
but you cannot possibly know
what i’ve been contemplating
my head is full of blood
but you show no fear
and i do not trust my hands
they look to me like stones
you do not cower when i approach
though i feel like a runaway train
and i can hear your voice cool and steady
while my brain screams profanities
into the air around your ears
our past has given you no reason
to be afraid
but still i am surprised you cannot see
the danger burning brightly in my eyes
the fire i am struggling to controliii
as i sit stewing in the kitchen’s false light
with tears my daughter
comes to me
frightened by what she cannot see
afraid tonight to sleep
i hold her in my arms
singing soft words of comfort
feeling her heart quickly
beating against my chest
knowing before i can think that
i have forgiven us
for our stupid little wars
knowing in that incandescent light
that anger will never move me
as delicately as she has moved me
Akiwenzie, Kateri. “to you who would wage war against me.” Viewpoints 12. Ed. Robert T. Dawe. Toronto: Prentice Hall, 2002.
Last Updated on March 22, 2018 by EssayPro