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Poetry Response: Heritage

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The poem “Heritage” describes how the author James Still feels about his hometown. Initially this poem seems to be a simple tribute to one’s hometown, but the underlying descriptions prove otherwise. The poet uses a first person point of view to create a personal connection between the audience and the speaker, and then uses beautiful imagery to describe some ugly events. The poem is memorable because, although most people are proud of their heritage, some need to realize that heritage is often destructive and that no one can stay in one place forever. This poem brought up some mixed feelings for me. On one side, my family is all from a small town so I understand the connection but overwhelming desire to get out. On the other side, I am preparing to leave for college and have some mixed feelings about leaving my home town. My mom grew up in a little small town called Idalia, CO.

She graduated in a class of a whole ten kids, and that was a huge class for that town. I still have family from that area, so I seemingly grew up with a small town background. I would spend all of my free time there: summers, winters, long weekends, and holidays. This has provided me with the understanding of why someone would feel trapped in a small town and have the desire to get out. But when I think about moving away for college, my stomach churns. I have lived in Loveland my entire life. I am incredibly excited about going to the University of Denver for college, but damn, am I really old enough to live on my own? I am so worried that a small part of me is still going to ache for my little, boring hometown of Loveland. I have always been so sheltered and safe here. Am I really ready to go off into the real world, alone and unsupervised?

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