Can someone help with the tone of this poem please !    Title: To you who would wage war against me there are many lines you have not traced on my palms still you think you know me , when i...

Can someone help with the tone of this poem please !

 

 

Title: To you who would wage war against me

there are many lines you have not traced on my palms still

you think you know me , when i speak you nod knowingly as if 
you've read my mind and are only politely acknowledging the confirmation of my spoken words

 

but you cannot possibly know what i've been contemplating these days
my head is full of blood but you show no fear and i do not trust my hands which feel to me like stones

you do not cower when i approach though i am like a runaway train
and i can hear you voice cool and steady while my brain screams profanities into the air around your ears , our past had 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 control 

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 forgotten us for our stupid little war

knowing in the incandescent light that anger will never move me as delicately as she has moved me this night 

---

Thanks :)

 

 

Expert Answers
kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The beginning of the poem is charged with a tones accusation, tension and conflict. The direct title ‘You who would wage war against me’ is personalizing a major disagreement that is certainly significant to the narrator.

The narrator is so infused with violence that s/he is aware that they have lost control ‘I do not trust my hands’ and the lack of regular punctuation suggests that the narrator is beyond focusing on conformity. The use of free verse supports this idea also

By saying-

 ‘i am surprised you cannot see
the danger burning brightly in my eyes’

The narrator further expresses frustration that the other person is seemingly unaware of the turmoil s/he is experiencing.

 

The defiant, violent and desperate initial tone of the initial stanzas of the poem shifts by the fifth stanza at the entrance of the narrator’s daughter ‘frightened by what she cannot see’. The narrator is calmed as s/he clings to the daughter, feeling her heartbeat and realising that there are other, more important channels for such energy. The original conflict has faded with the desire to nurture and protect the daughter.‘i have forgotten us for our stupid little war.’

 

The final stanza expresses a revelation that the narrator will never be as moved by anger as s/he is moved by the bond with the child. There is now a calmer tone (although the ‘incandescent light’ still suggests an aggressive power) as the narrator recognized the value of family over conflict.