Animal Behavior. Found Poem: Isabelle Pastore

Shortened version of Maroon 5- “Animals”

“Baby I’m preying on you tonight

Hunt you down eat you alive

Just like animals

Animals

Like animals-mals

Maybe you think that you can hide

I can smell your scent for miles

Just like animals

Animals

Like animals-mals

Baby I’m

Yeah you can start over you can run free

You can find other fish in the sea

You can pretend it’s meant to be

But you can’t stay away from me

I can still hear you making that sound

Taking me down rolling on the ground

You can pretend that it was me

But no, oh

But you can’t stay away from me

I can still hear you making that sound

Taking me down rolling on the ground

You can pretend that it was me

But no, oh

Yo,

Whoa

Don’t tell no lie, lie lie lie

You can’t deny, ny ny ny

The beast inside, side side side

Yeah yeah yeah

No girl don’t lie, lie lie lie (No girl don’t lie)

You can’t deny, ny ny ny (You can’t deny)

The beast inside, side side side

Yeah yeah yeah”

(End of shortened Maroon 5 song, “Animals”)

My Found Poem:

I’m preying on you tonight

Hunt you down. Just like animals 

animals-mals.

You think that you can hide?

I can smell your scent

for miles. 

You can run free, but you cant stay away from me.

You cant deny the beast inside.

No.

Oh,

Just like animals

Animals animals-mals. 

(End of original found poem)


My Artist’s Statement: Found Poem

Isabelle Pastore

I chose to create my found poem using a song by Maroon 5 that is about 5-6 years old. The song is called “Animals”. I remember when this song came out and I would listen to it all the time because I loved Maroon 5. The meaning behind the song is mostly inappropriate, so I’m not sure why I was listening to it 6 years ago. Recently, I heard the song again and I interpreted the lyrics differently than I did when I was younger. Instead of hearing a fun and meaningless song like I used to, I heard a song that was very disrespectful towards women. The lyrics imply that women are similar to objects or prey that can be hunted, caught, and/or shown off like a trophy. 

In the lines of “Animals”, the singer professes that the woman can’t hide because he can smell her scent for miles. Instead of aimlessly listening, I began to analyze the lyrics of the song. 

Obviously, this is some sort of game to the speaker and he claims he will find this woman no matter where she goes. She is a challenge, she is a game, and she is his trophy. As a listener, I am unsure if the woman enjoys this behavior or if she’s just being stalked. The lyrics not only objectify women, but they also imply that men are dominant and women are to be “found” or “captured”, and essentially just treated like animals; hence the song’s title. 

To physically create my found poem, I chose the most descriptive and important words from the song’s lyrics. I picked the words that I thought represented extreme masculinity and objectification. For example, I chose to include the word, “beast”. Nothing shows hypermasculinity more than a man calling himself a beast. The speaker is telling the woman that she cannot stay away from him, proving that he will not give up until he finds her. He constantly compares her to an animal and declares his supposed dominance over her. Again, we are unsure of her involvement in this clearly toxic relationship. While I worked on my poem, I felt relieved that I was able to analyze and understand the meaning behind this song. My thoughts may not be correct, but that’s why they are thoughts. We are meant to wonder, imagine, and learn from our mistakes. I took a song from my past and let myself interpret it the way I would now. During this activity, I learned that I enjoy doing things like this. I enjoy picking apart literature and sharing my own ideas. This will help me see literature, language, and “Zong!” in a clearer way because I will take the time to understand what I’m reading. I can now find more interest in learning more about this creative, philosophical, and intriguing writing that I enjoy so much. I hope that I can do more activities like this in the future.

Works Cited.

https://songmeanings.com/songs/view/3530822107859489233/

(2014) “Animals” by Maroon 5

The Power of Words – Isabelle Pastore

This section of Claudia Rankine’s novel Citizen takes on a different approach using a more poetic significance on lines and line breaks. I felt that Rankine’s use of “you” in this section was more powerful than others. Rankine writes, “the worst injury is feeling you don’t belong so much to you-” (146). She delivers such a compelling line to help the reader feel and understand the effects of racism. Rankine is comparing racism to feeling like you don’t even belong within yourself. Not only does the act of being discriminated against negatively affect your feelings about others, but feelings about yourself as well. Another dominant statement by Rankine is when she says, “You are not sick, you are injured- you ache for the rest of your life” (143). She describes the effects of racism as something you can’t unfeel, something that stays with you forever. By using the word “you”, she is putting us in a hypothetical situation, giving the reader a slight feeling of discrimination. She wants her readers to understand what it feels like to face racism and live as a black citizen. Her writing is so powerful because she is proving that this discrimination still occurs everyday and it can be happening to anyone. 

Similar to the rest of the book, this section continues to have a gloomy tone, until Rankine adds a burst of laughter into her writing. Rankine states, “When the waitress hands your friend the card she took from you, you laugh and ask what else her privilege gets her? Oh, my perfect life, she answers. Then you both are laughing so hard, everyone in the restaurant smiles”(148). I found this statement very ironic because it shouldn’t be funny, but it is. Our society is so used to racism that we can be unphased by an obvious racist act. The people in the restaurant are smiling because they see people laughing, without knowing that the friends are just amused by a racist microagression. 

Not only are the waiter’s actions a microaggression, it also connects to one of Rankine’s themes of “new racism”. Today’s society claims to be “post-racial”, which means “having overcome or moved beyond racism : having reached a stage or time at which racial prejudice no longer exists or is no longer a major social problem” (merriam-webster.com). We, as readers and residents of the United States, know that this claim is not entirely true. Racism isn’t as big of an issue as it was, but clear acts of racism occur every day. Throughout the novel, Rankine uses examples of Serena Williams and Trayvon Martin to prove that we are still living in a world of racism. Instead of direct racist acts, such as separate bathrooms for different races, she shows that we are now confronted with microaggressions. Rankine intends to make it known that racism, even in the aparent “post-racial” America, still exists. Although, today’s racism is subtle and often joked about, Rankine proves that it still hurts. 

Rankine ends the section with a metaphor when she says, “It wasn’t a match, I say. It was a lesson”(159). Again, she makes the reader think back to Serena Williams and remind us of everything she was put through to prevent more racism in our society. With this quote, Rankine uses the mention of sports to express the metaphor of overcoming adversity, however she knows the goal is not to win, it is to learn. Unlike a sports game, there is no end to racism and Rankine knows that we need to keep playing and fighting. 

Discussion Questions

  1. Did you feel Rankine’s use of “you” was more powerful in this section? Why or why not?
  2. If you were really the one in the restaurant, how would you react to the waitress’ microaggression? 

Works CitedRankine, Claudia. Citizen: An American Lyric.                         Graywolf, 2014.

Hi! I’m Isabelle

Hello, I’m Isabelle Pastore. I just switched into ENG252 Intro to Multicultural Literature. I am a Sophmore from Long Island. I’m still a Pre-Major trying to find what I’m passionate about.