Explication of a Poem





Explication of a Poem


The selected poem under analysis is Saturday at the Canal by Gary Soto. The author employs diverse literary elements to express the core function of the verse. Soto is a Hispanic poet with a vast background in the American culture and his writing borrow heavily from these different perspectives to connect with a wider demographic. He uses contrasting imagery to illustrate free will and life and vividly explains the fact that for one to live a free life, it is compulsory that some of the rules will be violated. Acquiring a new perspective on the state of the current lifestyles in the 21st century reveals the motivation of the author, Gary Soto in his poem.


Modern contemporary life has the ability to entrap an individual in its claws of work and social benefits. Although Soto acknowledges the complicated reality, he nevertheless harbors a vision of living in San Francisco when he says that it is a place where “people… knew more than three chords/ on a guitar”. Children are judged based on their academic performance; a benchmark that is worthless when examined later in life, especially considering that it does not determine success. Arguably, through the application of vivid imagery and symbolism, Gary Soto converts the poem into beautiful scenery. The voice of dissatisfaction communicates a deeply sincere subject where the poet, like any other young man, relays the need to attempt new things and acquire freedom. Vivid vocabulary that constantly engages the reader’s senses is implemented in the poem repeatedly. Soto progresses past the lighthearted feeling in the current generation to dream about the prospects using sequential syntax and raw imagery illustrating the importance of living a carefree life devoid of worries and pursuing the flow in a manner similar to the canal.


Saturday at the Canal is an excellent work of art that summarizes the current state of life in the 21st century. In his poem, Soto talks about life in San Francisco especially how the city symbolizes his deepest wishes. Indeed, all young people dream of avoiding the customary mold and venturing into something unique and different from what is evident in the hometowns.

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