A Story Like Mine

For my poem I chose to use Halsey’s poem “A Story Like Mine,” of which she recited at the 2018 Women’s March. While reading and going through this poem, I chose the most provoking words and phrases and pasted them into a time line almost. I specifically used pink paper as my background, as this is a speech supporting women who have been sexually abused. I scattered and tapered the words, only putting the year of each story all the way at the beginning of the page and the end phrase all the way at the end of the page, to show how hectic panic and frazzled thoughts were for these women in times of figuring out what happened to them and how to handle it.

When I first saw this poem recited on tv, it made me very upset. The fact that many women go through this and keep quiet or keep it very low just as Halsey did for the longest time breaks my heart. As I was reading this poem, I specifically pulled out provoking words and phrases like “he held her down” and “I’m too young to know why it aches in my thighs” in order to bring to light the fact that these assaults are happening to women at such young age and forcing them to grow up way earlier than they needed to. I then proceeded to use phrases like, “take it as a compliment” and “I can’t tell anyone at all” to further bring to light the stigma that women are supposed to keep quiet about these assaults that happen to them. I then finish with more positive phrases, like “love your neighbor and “be a voice” to encourage women to speak up, just as Halsey did at this women’s march. This encourages women that you can win the battle against these assaults and that it is okay to speak up against these assailants, which is why I end my poem with her final phrase, “there’s a war to be won.”

-Sophia Chimenti

4 Replies to “A Story Like Mine”

  1. Hi Sophia,
    I really enjoyed reading your poem. I also remember watching Halsey recite this speech but I had totally forgot about it until reading your poem. I like how at the beginning of the poem, it’s all concrete facts that you used, such as “I’m 14” and “the stairwell”, and then it progresses to more abstract concepts like “beginning, not the finale” and “war to be won.” I think this poem and the speech it originates from are especially thought-provoking because it wasn’t just one experience Halsey had. She had several, and then she also became involved in a friend’s situation. It’s important for us to talk about it so we can remove the stigma, making it more comfortable for victims to speak up about what they need and what needs to happen to prevent sexual assault from happening.

  2. Hi Sophia,

    I really enjoyed reading your poem and your blog post. I’ve listened to Halsey’s music before and truthfully, I’ve never seen or heard Halsey recite this speech. I thought that was just another cool thing to know, so thanks for choosing that!
    In your poem, I really like how you scattered all the words and phrases from the women who had been abused across the page, as well as the pink paper to go with it. I thought it was a really great idea and symbolism!
    I also wanted to say that I think you did a great job of analyzing the poem, and I really like how you chose to talk about a sensitive topic like this.
    Although these words were scattered across the page, “he wants to have sex”, “blood”, and “we rally” stood out to me the most and I think these words from my perspective stood out to me the most because they are the most crucial and terrifying parts of this experience, and we need to rally together in support of these women.

  3. Hi Sophia,
    I loved your poem and the way you arranged it on the paper. In your description you talked about how girls are forced to grow up faster than they need to and I feel that line really pulled everything together. It shows how age plays a huge factor is situations like this and how their innocence is taken away before it should be. Having celebrities speak up like this is a step in the right direction for helping victims speak up about the trauma they’ve experienced. It is a long and painful battle, but like you ended your poem we will win this war no matter how long it takes.

  4. Hi Sophia,
    I really loved your interpretation of this poem! Halsey’s speech upset me as well and made me see how horrible women can be treated. Your choice of words to use in your found poem were spot on and perfectly chosen. This speech was so deep and you brought it to life with your poem. This spoke to me in more ways than one and it showed how powerful words can be. Society thinks it has control over women and how they are perceived, your poem shows that there is a chance for change. I enjoyed your poem and the speech you chose.

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