Poetry in Motion: My words to you by Jean Valentine

The poem I found is called “My words to you” by Jean Valentine and I saw it on the R train on my way to work. The first thing that I noticed after reading this poem was the image right next to it.  This is because they were flowers and the sun above them, and I had thought about why these specific images were chosen before I read the poem. The title of the poem didn’t really indicate anything about anything emotional. After reading it a few times, the theme of the poem to me seemed to be about love. The last line “love not gone anywhere” (line 5) gives me that idea. The speaker also seems to be talking about someone they love very dearly. “My words to you are the stitches in a scarf/ I don’t want to finish” (lines 1-2) mean to me that the speaker is making a conversation seem like an unfinished scarf. The speaker doesn’t want to finish the scarf because they do not want the conversation with that person to ever end . Even though this poem is short, it took a couple of times to understand it and see that is it just a one long sentenced poem. I think this poem was chosen for the subway because it would seem to make people forget that they are on the train for a bit and read the poem. They would interpret the poem is about love and hopefully think about a loved one rather than the ride to their destination.

3 thoughts on “Poetry in Motion: My words to you by Jean Valentine

  1. Elizabeth Castillo

    I agree with your idea of the theme. I, too, believe the poem is about love. Lines 1 and 2 speak about her words being like the stitches of a scarf she doesn’t want to finish. I disagree with your interpretation of these lines. I believe the speaker means to say that her words describing her love are can be unending. In other words, she can go on and on about her lover. The artwork attached to this poem, I feel, is appropriate and matches the first line of the poem. The patterns look like flowers that can be stitched. Also, the pattern of the flowers can be tied to the last line where she states love not gone anywhere. If you follow the pattern of the lines in the flowers, they lead nowhere but back to where you started.

  2. Mei Ling

    I also think that the theme of the poem is love because line 3-4 states “maybe it will come to be a blanket/ to hold you here.” To me this seems like the speaker of the poems wants to stay with the other person forever as hint by line 4 “to hold you here”. The patterns in the artwork looks like it’s never ending. This could mean that the speaker’s love for the other person is endless. Also in line 2 of the poem “I don’t want to finish” finish means to be done with something but the speaker does not want it to finish so it could be endless.

  3. Ilknur

    I agree with the theme you choose for this poem that justifies the reader by saying, “Love not gone anywhere.” (Line 5) I like how you thought of the poem is about a relationship based on two people’s emotions. When the narrator expresses the part where it says, “My words to you are the stitches in a scarf” “I don’t want to finish” (lines 1-2). It is basically tells the reader that the conversation they have with each other and the love they have between them doesn’t wanted it to end.


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