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"Along the East River and in the Bronx Young Men Were Singing," by Ariel Francisco

Author: Ariel Francisco

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I heard them and I still hear them
above the threatening shrieks of police sirens
above the honking horns of morning traffic,
above the home-crowd cheers of Yankee Stadium
above the school bells and laughter
lighting up the afternoon
above the clamoring trudge of the 1 train
and the 2 and 4, 5, 6, the B and the D
above the ice-cream trucks’ warm jingle
above the stampede of children
playing in the street,
above the rush of a popped fire hydrant
above the racket of eviction notices
above the whisper of moss and mold moving in
above the High Bridge and the 145th Street Bridge
above mothers calling those children
to come in for dinner, to come in
before it gets dark, to get your ass inside
above them calling a child who may never come home
above the creaking plunge of nightfall
and darkness settling in the deepest corners
above the Goodyear blimp circling the Stadium
above the seagulls circling the coastal trash
along the East River and in the Bronx
young men are singing and I hear them,
eastbound into eternity even
as morning destars the sky.

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Jun 7
Kheriya A (Jun 07 2019 1:28PM) : The message of what the poet was trying to say was not that clear
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Feb 4
Mbathio M (Feb 04 2021 10:48PM) : There is a lot of rhythm in this paragraph because of the continuous “above”
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Feb 4
Mbathio M (Feb 04 2021 10:49PM) : Thus poem has a low informal style. I can tell because of the everyday language
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Feb 5
Laquawn L (Feb 05 2021 10:38AM) : This is about the life of living in New York City and what happenes through out the city more

In the first 4 to 5 stanzas they story teller is remembering what she heard through out the whole theme she heard police sirens

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Feb 8
Alexander w (Feb 08 2021 9:54AM) : There is a good representation of the word "above". The poem keeps a steady flow by using "above" at the beginning of a lot of sentences. The poem uses rhythm . Rhythm makes language musical emphasizes ideas creates moods, and contributes to tones. [Edited] more

It causes a reader’s body experience the text phisically.

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Feb 8
Alexander w (Feb 08 2021 9:59AM) : Some of the sentences shows a lot of traits of the Bronx. I really like that the author does this he shows how the Bronx is and sometimes in poems or story's the reader cant really imagine the things being said happening. But I can imagine this happening
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Feb 8
Alexander w (Feb 08 2021 10:24AM) : Parts of this poems shows different parts of nyc. It shows 145th bridge and high bridge.
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Feb 8
Alexander w (Feb 08 2021 11:00AM) : This overall poem kind of has the nyc vibe to it. And this is significant because it shows the importance of how a place can spark pleasure in someones heart.
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Apr 15
TYLER V (Apr 15 2019 11:10AM) : Who can the speaker hearing? [Edited] more

Is the speaker talking about someone who had recently past or are they talking about someone who actually might live in the apartment above them?

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Apr 18
Terren V (Apr 18 2019 9:25AM) : who is them? is the speaker referring too? Is it someone that hes close to or shared a bond
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May 1
MALCOLM P (May 01 2019 9:59AM) : WHO exactly? more

It isn’t all that clear who the poet is referring to? Who do they hear? Did a tragic event happen and are they trying to express they’re haunted by it?

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May 7
ERALD H (May 07 2019 9:50AM) : what do you hear [Edited] more

do you hear someone

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Feb 3
Mbathio M (Feb 03 2021 1:45PM) : Who can they hear? Why did their actions have such an impact that the speaker can still picture it (assumingely) after all this time?
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Feb 23
SSJ_ V (Feb 23 2021 9:12AM) : just hearing your surroundings form where you live and your city, which i can relate too more

just hearing your surroundings form where you live and your city, which i can relate too

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Apr 10
Mariely P (Apr 10 2019 9:48AM) : hearing the kids living in moment even with police sirens that clouds nyc everyday [Edited]
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Apr 15
TYLER V (Apr 15 2019 11:23AM) : I can relate. more

I personally feel like I can relate because I think that anyone, no matter who you are, deals with things like this. I think that anyone who lives in New York long enough, gets used to these type of things.

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May 1
ARIEL L (May 01 2019 2:00PM) : Relation more

I can also relate to this because walking down from my apartment almost everyday I can hear and or see police cars or hear sirens.

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May 8
ERALD H (May 08 2019 9:54AM) : I see that Francisco uses the word "above" over and over again. Above why is that ? [Edited] more

What kind of poetry is this? I heard from Kiran that this repetition of the beginning word in line after line is called anaphora.

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Feb 8
Alexander w (Feb 08 2021 10:48AM) : I feel like the author is using a hyperbole because he says shrieks. He is relating the police sirens to shrieking which is exagaration to a say how loud the sirens are.
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May 1
KARLA T (May 01 2019 10:04AM) : relateable more

i could relate to this because back then when i use to take the school bus there will be a lot of traffic

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Feb 3
Harry C (Feb 03 2021 11:05AM) : This reminds me of the Cross Bronx Expressway during morning rush hours.
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Feb 8
Alexander w (Feb 08 2021 10:53AM) : I feel like the tone the author has in this sentence is stronger. Or more aggressive.
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May 1
KARLA T (May 01 2019 10:20AM) : location more

im guess he lives in the east bronx since i know where the yankee stadium

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May 1
ARIEL L (May 01 2019 1:49PM) : Personal Relation more

I can relate to this sentence because where I live in the bronx I can also hear the cheers of the Yankee Stadium.Most of the time I cant sleep because of it

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Apr 15
TYLER V (Apr 15 2019 11:13AM) : Were they important? more

It seems like the speaker and this other person have this very important relationship wether or not it was romantic or not.

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May 7
ERALD H (May 07 2019 9:53AM) : im from the bronx and i know the trains make the most noise on the block [Edited] more

the building i lived in you could hear and see the train go bye it was very loud but also calming in a way.

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Apr 24
cristin t (Apr 24 2020 11:59PM) : you right cause i live in the bronx also.
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Feb 3
Harry C (Feb 03 2021 11:07AM) : The MTA train lines cross the borough of the Bronx.
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Feb 3
Mbathio M (Feb 03 2021 1:47PM) : Since the trains are so loud especially in certain parts of the Bronx, what was so loud to the speaker in his head? What was the thing that above all else he could hear?
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Feb 3
Luisa P (Feb 03 2021 2:04PM) : even if your in your apartment you can hear the train because it so noisy and if you live near a train station even worse.
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Feb 23
SSJ_ V (Feb 23 2021 9:22AM) : relateble because i take the b all the time
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May 21
Jada J (May 21 2019 3:36PM) : Kids,Activities [Edited] more

You could probably hear the kids playing outside or playing hopscotch. This line adds a lot of feel and imagery of children on the move to get ice cream.

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May 17
ARIEL L (May 17 2019 11:27AM) : Personal relevence more

I personally have never seen kids playing in the street near my neighbourhood.

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Apr 25
cristin t (Apr 25 2020 12:01AM) : exactly i never saw kids playing in the street which is a bad things cause there is cars.
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May 30
Ikaika B (May 30 2019 3:45PM) : This reminds me of when African Americans were non-violently protesting and they were sprayed with fire hydrants. Its also never normal for one to be popped.
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Apr 15
TYLER V (Apr 15 2019 11:42AM) : From personal experience? more

Were these things that he had to deal with? Maybe this poem is based off of his personal experience.

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Apr 16
Mariely P (Apr 16 2019 9:36AM) : a personal experience that everyone goes through more

many go through this experience particularly living in the south and the neighborhoods due to the economy and how rent bills gets higher and higher as the months goes by ,leading parents even kids to take desperate measures

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May 16
loreanny p (May 16 2019 9:12AM) : Really this happens that much?!
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May 21
Jada J (May 21 2019 3:38PM) : Poverty more

People tend to get alot of eviction notices especially in new york. due to new york being expensive. The more companies move, The more people move. and the more prices rise

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May 30
Ikaika B (May 30 2019 3:47PM) : This is a very subtle yet poetic figure. Something you yet don't want in, yet it whispers, because you don't want to get rid of it.
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Apr 16
Mariely P (Apr 16 2019 9:30AM) : mothers worried about their child's being out in the streets more

due to many incidents that happens everyday mothers need to make sure their kids come back home

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Feb 3
Mbathio M (Feb 03 2021 1:50PM) : I think the author here is talking from personal experience and perspective because this is all really accurate.
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Feb 3
Luisa P (Feb 03 2021 2:05PM) : I think the mother are calling for their kids because most of the time kids hang out around the building and the mother are calling them back home it is getting dark.
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May 16
loreanny p (May 16 2019 9:13AM) : Expierence we all go through.
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May 7
ERALD H (May 07 2019 9:58AM) : i know the feeling of the late night talks with ur fam [Edited] more

my mother was also worried for me coming home late while living in the bronx.

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Feb 3
Harry C (Feb 03 2021 11:10AM) : Before the dark is that where it is not safe to walk in the street? So mothers are curious for their child to come back home safely.
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Apr 16
Mariely P (Apr 16 2019 9:27AM) : insinuating what happens constantly and many can relate more

many can relate by loosing a family member or a friend to the streets who may never come back home due to many reasons especially living in a neighborhood

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May 1
KARLA T (May 01 2019 10:18AM) : relateable more

around my block, all you use to hear is moms telling the kids to go home in the summer cause its to late

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May 7
KARLA T (May 07 2019 9:51AM) : who really? more

is he talking like he s experienced or has in while he walks home he hears people say that..

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May 16
loreanny p (May 16 2019 9:15AM) : This is a bit of thinking outside the box line because some of these kids actually really never come home the street becomes their home until "there home" really dosen't protect them and kills them.
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May 21
Jada J (May 21 2019 3:40PM) : missing children more

Some kids never come home because they might’ve gotten into an incident. So this line may be referring to missing kids

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Feb 3
Luisa P (Feb 03 2021 1:44PM) : I think it refers to kids missing because kids like to hang around the block playing with kids and your parent telling you to be careful.
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Feb 5
Kiran C (Feb 05 2021 1:46PM) : Or maybe a child to whom something horrible happens, so the parent is calling and calling for them and getting worried, or wailing their name. more

This poem is an indictment of the poverty that the Bronx suffers. It has dark and light in it.

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May 6
Jessica H (May 06 2019 9:20AM) : This is my favorite line of the poem. more

All of the sensory details reach me. I can hear the creaking, see the night plunging into darkness.

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Apr 15
TYLER V (Apr 15 2019 11:31AM) : Same person? more

Is this the same person that the speaker is talking about because when the speaker says that “I heard them and I still hear them” and in the beginning it was never mentioned.

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Feb 3
Mbathio M (Feb 03 2021 1:52PM) : Is this who the author could hear in the beginning above all else? There’s a lot of ambiguity in this paragraph. [Edited]
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DMU Timestamp: March 29, 2019 18:11

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May 21
Jada J (May 21 2019 3:35PM) : Bronx, Crime,poverty [Edited] more

The Bronx are known for where poor people live and where there is a lot of crime.Even though I don’t live in the Bronx, I can relate to this poems because it reminds me of when I live in Louisiana.

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Jul 30
Jacob T (Jul 30 2020 3:11PM) : General Meaning [Edited] more

I think that the poetry idea of the poem is describing what the Bronx really is. The poet keeps on stating things that he hears outside such as children playing, the ice cream truck and the school bells and laughter. This helps to show that the Bronx can be a nice place but the poet is also realistic and knows that it is not a utopia as shown by him saying that he can also hear sirens and the voices of children that may never come home. And while the Bronx is all of that he makes sure to use the word “above” before mentioning all those things he hears in the poem to show that above all that it is really the young men singing by the river that comes to mind when he thinks of the Bronx. Which I think represents that the Bronx is always heading for change but Im not sure.

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Feb 3
Mbathio M (Feb 03 2021 1:54PM) : I agree Maybe the author was trying to get at Bronx isn’t the dirty way most people see it. There is happiness and men singing and that’s what makes the author feel good and think about often
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Feb 3
Luisa P (Feb 03 2021 1:51PM) : literary Element- Mood or tone [Edited] more

The poem talks about what it like living in the Bronx. But also saying how even though bad things have happened in the Bronx, the Bronx is changing is still is people homes/ community.

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Feb 3
Luisa P (Feb 03 2021 1:54PM) : sound technique more

The author use repetition she uses the word “above” before talking about what happens in the Bronx. Kinda showing how even though this has happened the Bronx is above this and changing

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Feb 4
Luisa P (Feb 04 2021 1:15PM) : Diction- middle neutral style more

The poet uses everyday language but sometimes uses simple higher vocabulary that easily understood.

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