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A Poetry Analysis


In the piece “Justice”, the author included victims of notorious crimes in the Philippines who encountered at least any f the following: kidnap, rape, hazing, manslaughter, massacre, and murder. The literary piece “Justice” by Christine Caramel Villain is a poem written in the form of concrete poetry known as Carmen figurate, in which the words are typographically arranged in such a manner that a visual image is formed. In using shaped verse, the poet creates an illustration of a lifeline.

The rises and falls, or the peaks (to represent the highs) and valleys (to represent the lows) of the fluctuation of the lifeline, which in electrocardiography (a noninvasive medical procedure for recording electrical activities of the heart) indicates that a certain individual is still living as characterized by his/her active heartbeat, are composed of names of victims murdered in the Philippines. The linear portion of the lifeline after a series of waves, however, is made up of iterations of the word Justice, which is written in a repetitive way for emphasis and further retention to the memory of the readers.

In electrocardiography, the flat line implies that the beating of the heart has already terminated, thereby causing death. According to the author, the reason for the placement of the names within the yeoman part of the lifeline is to depict that the cases pertaining to the concerned people are yet unsolved and unclosed, or still withheld and hanging. As a result, the memory of the demise of the injured party lives on in spite of them being already deceased. On the other hand, the author has committed some minor mistakes in writing the names of the victims by way of misspelling a few of them (I. . , Chris instead of Crisp in Crisp Mended, Stateliest instead of Easterlies in Easterlies Eviction, Rockwell instead of Rachel in Rachel Groaned, and Regis instead of Regales in Marvin Regales). Other name entries are also mistaken for the reason that in one case, the surname linked to the first name is incorrect (Chapman instead of Hellman in Maureen Hellman) and in another, the first and second names are interchanged Cohn Roland instead of Roland John in Roland John Chapman).

As for the organization of the names, the following sequence is maintained: Marjory Aching, Jacqueline Aching, Maureen Hellman, Roland John Chapman, Jesus Lenin, Nadia Blanch, Crisp Mended, Easterlies Eviction, Carmela Eviction, Jennifer Eviction, Geraldine Palm, Given Grace Sibilance, Ray Bernard Appearance, Rachel Groaned, Marvin Regales, and Marc Andre Marco’s. However, the author failed to be consistent with the order of the names at the endmost part of the lifeline in which the last input is Marvin Regales instead of Rachel Groaned, provided that the order of the name list is the basis for succession.

Other errors marked in the work include the failure to insert Roland John Chapman in between Maureen Hellman and Jesus Lenin at the first sequence of the names. Other names are as well deficient such as Biz [-coned] at the second sequence, Men [-des] at the third sequence, and Erg [-Los] at the latter sequence mentioned. Space fillers are also added so as not to ruin the figure and to discipline the use of names t fit the form (such as “ma” after Groaned at the second sequence and “sad” after Given at the third sequence).

But this does not actually suffice and is not proper since the text should be as important as the shape, hence being called Carmen figurate (visual poem) and not merely Carmen (poem) or figurate (image) alone. If fillers are supplied, the main purpose of the poetry, which is to preserve congruity between the figure and the content, is by all means defied. As for the spatiality of the poem, however, commas or spaces are not used to separate one person from another. The names are keyed in one after another and without interruption.

Even the seven-time repetition of the word Justice at the flat segment of the lifeline is written with no pauses at all. Punctuation marks are not even utilized per SE. On the other hand, although names are written repetitively to signify importance, the poem might have been more effective if it is appropriately punctuated with the aid of commas for short and slight pauses, or semicolons for the intention of a caesura or an extended pause before shifting from a thought or idea t the succeeding one. However, if the aim is to establish a complete stop, a period can be employed.

Also, it would be of assistance if the initial letter of the names is write in capital letters to show that each person is important. Moreover, the upper and lower ends of the zigzag lines should entirely carry the names of the victims instead of breaking then placing them in separate lines. Aside from the order of the names, however, “there is little attempt at [the] harmonious arrangement” (Holcomb, 2007) f the poetry. There is no other particular pattern observed than the mere arrangement of the names. The author, in this literary work, used run-on lines that are suggestive of continuous reading.

Lastly, the objective of the poetry, which is to find meaning and explanation yet not in the literal sense is accomplished, since the concept of Justice is embedded within an illustration of a lifeline. This suggests, as represented in the graph, that Justice in the Philippines is dead, as the cases of the abused involved in murder have still not progressed over the years. This may also mean that criminal Justice in the country is already limping, for some witnesses of the crimes are “unwilling to lodge complaints, support prosecutions,” (Asian Human Rights Commission).