What do you believe to be the message of julio noboa polanco's poem 'Identity'Not everything is about how others percieve us; it is rather on being free, ourselves.

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rareynolds's profile pic

rareynolds | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

Polanco’s poem draws a dichotomy between “flowers” which have exchanged their freedom for human care and love (“watered, fed, guarded, admired / but harnessed to a pot of dirt”) with the wild weeds, which are not beautiful, but are alive in the world (“To have broken through the surface of stone / to live, to feel exposed to the madness / of the vast, eternal sky”). There are several ways you can think about this split—the wild vs. the domesticated, the free vs. the enslaved, the rugged individual vs. society, the genuine vs. the artificial. I think the message of the poem, however, has to do with freedom of expression and the need to be independent of corrupting social influences (the “greedy, human hands”). Although the reality of being a weed may “smell of musty green stench,” there is a kind of beauty in freedom that the flowers lack.

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Noboa Polanco sets forth a strong and realistic message in his Poem identity. Comparing himself to a diversity of plant forms, he compares how he rather be as a real human being, true to his roots (euphemism and allusion to the motif of the plant) than caring about what he appears to be.

Microsoft Word - poetry character develop#C2.doc

Let them be as flowers,
always watered, fed, guarded, admired, but harnessed to a pot of dirt.

This is a clear dig at hypocrites and people who act against their principles for the sake of acceptance. Let them look the part, while still their personas are stuck with the poor principles and low character that limits them as people.

Microsoft Word - poetry character develop#C2.doc

I’d rather be unseen, and if
then shunned by everyone
than to be a pleasant-smelling flower, growing in clusters in the fertile valley, where they’re praised, handled, and plucked by greedy, human hands.

Again, Noboa appeals to the argument that he will not give up who he is, what he is about nor what he believes in. That if people disagree with his views, it is all the more loss to the people, and not to him. He much rather be a real invisible person that a fake known person. Who cares about the opinion of another human being who has the same potential of being fake and limited as well?

On and all, Noboa harshly criticizes the people who do anything for approval; he says that the real freedom is found in one's own belief system rather than in trying to infiltrate in the mainstream and dilute oneself into the values and beliefs of others.

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lentzk's profile pic

Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Julio Noboa Polanco's poem "Identity" contrasts two subjects, weeds and flowers.  The speaker of the poem portrays life as a weed to be exhilarating and free.  He would rather be "clinging on cliffs" than be "harnessed to a pot of dirt." The last lines of the poem suggests that freedom comes with being yourself:

If I could stand alone, strong and free,
I'd rather be a tall, ugly weed
.

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