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A Journey Through Footprints

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FC: A Journey Through Footprints Vaishnavi Vaidyanathan

1: A Journey Through Footprints Poems Selected and Arranged By: Vaishnavi Vaidyanathan | Stillwater, OK November 23, 2009 | Photo taken by: http://images2.layoutsparks.com/1/94786/footprints-man-beach-morning.jpg

2: Please note: All backgrounds are from Mixbook (not photos)

3: Dedicated to God who has carried me during the lowest and saddest parts of my life.

4: Table of Contents Footprints by Carolyn Joyce Carty......6 Walk a Little Slower Daddy by Anonymous......8 Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden......10 My Papa's Waltz by Theodore Roethke......12 Who Makes the Journey by Cathy Song......14 The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus......16 Follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadow by Thomas Campion......18

5: The First Step by Collin McCarty......20 The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost......22 Fifteen by William Stafford......24 Mother's Worry by Vaishnavi Vaidyanathan......26 Pain by Vaishnavi Vaidyanathan......28 Works Cited......30 About the Author......32

6: Footprints by Carolyn Joyce Carty One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD. Scenes from his life flashed across the sky and he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to him and the other to the LORD. When the last scene of his life had flashed before him, he recalled that at the lowest and saddest times of his life there was only one set of footprints. Dismayed, he asked, "Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. I don't understand why, when I needed you most, you would leave me." The LORD replied, "My precious child. I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering when you saw only one set of footprints... That was when I carried you." | 6

7: This is my favorite poem of all time. I love the universal theme that can be applied to any religion; I can apply this poem to my own spiritual life as a Hindu. There have been many times in my life when I have been very depressed, and when I remember this poem, I realize that I am not alone. This poem gives me the belief that I have a lifelong partner who is walking with me throughout my life. | Praying in the God's room, India Photo Taken by: Nirmala Vaidyanathan | 7

8: Walk a Little Slower Daddy by Anonymous "Walk a little slower Daddy," said a child so small, "I'm following in your footsteps and I don't want to fall. Sometimes your steps are very fast, Sometimes they're hard to see; So walk a little slower, Daddy, For you are leading me. Someday when I'm all grown up, You're what I want to be; Then I will have a little child Who'll want to follow me. And I would want to lead just right, And know that I was true, So walk a little slower, Daddy, For I must follow you." | 8

9: Father and Daughter Photo Taken by: http://basketballmedicine.blogspot.com/2008_05_01_archive.html | I really liked this poem idea because it is a very cute poem for a father. I liked how the author spoke to the “daddy” from the child’s point of view. I can remember telling my father the exact same words. I always used to like to walk with my appa, or dad, and he was my role model. My favorite line was, “And I would want lead just right.” I liked this line because everyone, including me, wants to be a role model for someone else. I also liked this poem because the thoughts of a small child are espressed in the form of poetry. | 9

10: Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden Sundays too my father got up early and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold then with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him. I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. when the rooms were warm, he'd call, and slowly I would rise and dress, fearing the chronic angers of that house, Speaking indifferently to him, who had driven out the cold and polished my good shoes as well. What did I know, what did I know of love's austere and lonely offices? | 10

11: This mood of this poem is very sad and depressing. However, the truth is that the poem reflects modern-day life. I regret to say that I am sometimes not thankful for what my parents do for me like the boy in the poem. I chose this poem I really connected with the father who polishes the boy's good shoes even though the son is not thankful. I loved the descriptions of the cold day, and it brought up very strong images in my mind. | Winter, Oklahoma Photo taken by: Ranji Vaidyanathan | 11

12: My Papa's Waltz by Theodore Roethke The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. We romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother's countenace Could not unfrown itself. The hand that held my wrist Was battered on one knuckle; At every step you missed My right ear scraped a buckle. You beat time on my head With a palm caked hard by dirt, Then waltzed me off to bed Still clinging to your shirt. | 12

13: I was disturbed by how the father was treating his son, and I wanted the man to stop abusing his child. I realized that the son is so afraid that he is going to be killed. There was a feeling of reluctance was present from the beginning, and the word choice used by the poet made me, the reader, uncomfortable as well. When researching, I learned that the poem was in approximate three-quarter time, which is the standard time signature for a waltz. I am not familiar with what this boy had to experience, but I was able to relate to this because I play the violin, and I have played waltzes before. | Playing a waltz, Oklahoma Photo taken by: Ranji Vaidyanathan | 13

14: Who Makes the Journey by Cathy Song In most cases, it is the old woman who makes the journey; the old man having had the sense to stay put and die at home You see her scurrying behind her newly arrived family. She comes from the Azores and she comes from the Orient. It makes no difference. You have seen her before: the short substantial legs buckle under the weight of the ghost child she carried centuries | ago like a bundle of rags who turns in front of your windshield, transformed in Western clothes. The grown woman stops impatiently and self-consciously to motion Hurry to her mother. | 14

15: The journey that the poet is talking about is one that all immigrants have to take; even my parents immigrated to the United States twenty-four years ago. I really liked the second verse of the poem because regardless of where someone comes from, the poem applies to all. Although the last paragraph was not very long, I was amazed at how much the poet was able to convey. This was something that I liked about the poem. This is one of the very few poems that have made me cry. I was so sad that the mother who brought her child to the new country was now an embarrassment to society. | Vaishnavi about to embark on a journey to North Carolina Photo taken by: Vaishnavi Vaidyanathan | 15

16: The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! | 16

17: Statue of Liberty Photo taken by: http://www.inetours.com/New_York/Pages/photos/Liberty-NY-Harbor.html | This poem reminded me of the many stories that I have read and heard about immigrants coming to the United States by ship. I remember my great-uncle telling about his ship adventures while coming to the United States. Something that he remembers seeing was the Statue of Liberty. So, I find a connection with this poem. I liked how the poet compares the poem to ancient harbors in Greece. I was able to tell that this poem was written before September 11, 2001, because the poet describes how the harbor is framed by the twin towers. When I read this poem, I could imagine the harbor because the poet used very good imagery. My favorite image was the description of the Statue of Liberty; I was able to bring up a clear image in my mind. | 17

18: Follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadow by Thomas Campion Follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadow, Though thou be black as night And she made all of light, Yet follow thy fair sun unhappy shadow. Follow her whose light thy light depriveth, Though here thou liv’st disgraced, And she in heaven is placed, Yet follow her whose light the world reviveth. Follow those pure beams whose beauty burneth, That so have scorched thee, As thou still black must be, Till Her kind beams thy black to brightness turneth. Follow her while yet her glory shineth, There comes a luckless night, That will dim all her light, And this the black unhappy shade divineth. Follow still since so thy fates ordained, The Sun must have his shade, Till both at once do fade, The Sun still proved, the shadow still disdained. | 18

19: Sun and its Shadow Photo taken by: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/sun-and-shadow-road-in-summer-imp-wc-lyle-crump.html | The description of the unhappy shadow made me think. I have always taken my shadow for granted, and I never thought of the situation from the shadow’s point of view. I liked how the poet used the “eth” at the end of each line in the middle three verses. I liked the last line of the poem the best; I liked how there is more than one meaning to the line. It can mean that good always wins over evil, or it can also mean that that the shadow has to follow the sun regardless of what the shadows feels. | 19

20: The First Step by Collin McCarty There is a world out there waiting for you... a world that you've only dreamed of. But you're the only one who can make it come true Use the strength you've got inside you to open the door Use the courage you hold deep within to take a step in the right direction. Use the knowledge that you really will make it if you try. | Just take the first step, in the direction of whatever you want to do, and soon your fears will all be past; you will put them behind you and know you made it through Just take the first step... and then another... and before you know it a more wonderful world will begin to show itself to you | 20

21: Just open the door... Photo taken by: Vaishnavi Vaidyanathan | This poem was very inspiring. I liked the advice that the poem was giving. I am able apply this knowledge to my own life. I agreed with the statement that taking the first step is the hardest. For example, the hardest part of my dance recital is always the beginning item because of my nervousness. The last time I performed, my hands were shaking, and I was unable to dance the first few seconds of the dance. Once I “warmed up,” I was able to execute my routine without any flaws. My favorite part of the poem was the second paragraph; this was the most inspiring part. I agree that only I can be the one to take the first step. | 21

22: The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost Two roads diverted in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. | 22

23: I love this poem because of the deeper meaning that Frost is trying to convey. I felt like the two roads represented the decisions that everyone has to make in life. Of course, the decisions will be very difficult to make; there have been times when I have had very difficult decisions to make. I liked the last five lines of the poem; I have felt the same way before. Eventually, I feel that I made the right decision, and I have been glad that I did not take the other decision. For example, the hardest decision that I have taken is to move to Oklahoma. Although I miss Arizona, I am glad that my family and I made the decision to move. This decision has “made all the difference.” | A Road Not Taken Photo taken by: http://reezmy.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/the-road-not-taken/ | 23

24: Fifteen by William Stafford South of the bridge on Seventeenth I found back of the willows one summer day a motorcycle with engine running as it lay on its side, ticking over slowly in the high grass. I was fifteen. I admired all that pulsing gleam, the shiny flanks, the demure headlights fringed where it lay; I led it gently to the road and stood with that companion, ready and friendly. I was fifteen We could find the end of a road, meet the sky on out Seventeenth. I thought about hills, and patting the handle got back a confident opinion. On the bridge we indulged a forward feeling, a tremble. I was fifteen. Thinking, back farther in the grass I found the owner, just coming to, where he had flipped over the rail. He had blood on his hand, was pale-- I helped him walk to his machine. He ran his hand over it, called me a good man, roared away. I stood there, fifteen. | 24

25: The reason why I was able to relate to this poem was because the boy was fifteen, which is the age that I am. I was able to understand the boy’s actions. I thought that it was ironic that the boy who was intending to steal the motorcycle was called a good man by the injured motorcyclist. I was wondering what the last line of the poem meant; I have read this poem at least five times, and I still do not understand why the poet added this line. I like the way that each of the stanzas ended with “I was fifteen.” I think that William Stanford want to emphasize that fact that the boy was a teenager, and this was why he took the motorcycle and rode it around. | Motorcycle picture Photo taken by: http://www.pursuitofadventure.com/calendar.html | 25

26: A Mother's Worry by Vaishnavi Vaidyanathan Every mother waits for her baby's first step she has so many fears will her baby not be able to walk? all that she can do is patiently wait watching the baby crawl gives hope for that moment Waiting... observing the baby stand against the wall creates a yearning for the first step Waiting... | At last on the seventh day of the eleventh month the mother sees her baby walking without the wall oh what relief she experiences! her baby can walk after all finally the moment is here Rejoicing... | 26

27: I have encountered many babies before, but I had a different experience when it came to watching him or her taking the first step. It is something that everyone is anxious about. Rather than speak from an older sister's point of view, I decided that a mother would have a stronger voice. Although every baby takes his or her first step, every mother is excited to see her baby take the first step.I recall that my mother had so much fear that my sister, Kamakshi, would not be able to walk, so this is why I added the lines about the fear that the mother experienced. I remember that when Kamakshi began to walk, all of us were very excited. | Vaishnavi's sister learning to walk Photo taken by: Nirmala Vaidyanathan | 27

28: Pain by Vaishnavi Vaidyanathan Pain car crash on the way to a concert Loss will never see my family again Helplessness unable to walk and in a wheelchair Desire wanting to move my legs again Jealousy seeing no one else paralyzed | Decision life death the better choice Why me? Patience relearning everything one step at a time slowly Joy little movements normally taken for granted Hope that I may be able to walk someday | 28

29: I received inspiration from the book that I read recently about a girl who becomes paralyzed because she is in a car crash. Similar to this character, she lost her family and has to learn to do simple tasks all over again. This poem exemplifies my favorite part about writing poems; I am able to place myself in a situation that I have never experienced before and see what he or she may be thinking. Although I would never be able to imagine such pain and suffering, I decided that there were some emotions, such has pain, loss, helplessness, desire, and jealousy, that any car crash victim would possess. I also added good emotions in the end because a character does not always have all negative thoughts. | Car crash picture Photo taken by: http://www.car-accidents.com/pages/accident_story/12-22-04.html | 29

30: Works Cited Author Unknown. “Walk a Little Slower Daddy.” Once Upon a Name. 22 November 2009 Campion, Thomas. “Follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadow.” Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest T The Anthology. Ed. Dan Stone and Stephan Young. United States: Science Press, 2005. 18. Carty, Carolyn Joyce. “Footprints.” Explorelove.co.uk. 19 November 2009 Frost, Robert. “The Road Not Taken.” Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest The Anthology. Ed. Dan Stone and Stephan Young. United States: Science Press, 2005. 43. Lazarus, Emma. “The New Colossus.” Literature. Ed. Janet Allen, Robert J. Marzano, Arthur N. Applebee, Donna M. Ogle, Jim Burke, Carol Booth Olson, Douglas Carnine, Carol Ann Tomlinson, Yvette Jackson, Mary Lou McCloskey, Judith A. Langer, Robert T. Jiménez, and Lydia Stack. Evanston, Illinois, Boston, and Dallas: McDougal Littell, 2008. 932. McCarty, Collin. “The First Step.” Always Follow Your Dreams. Ed. Susan Polis Schutz. Boulder, Colorado: Blue Mountain Press, 1985. 64-65. | 30

31: Roethke, Thoedore. “My Papa’s Waltz.” The Top 500 Poems. Ed. William Harmon. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. 1035. Hayden, Robert. “Those Winter Sundays.” Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest The Anthology. Ed. Dan Stone and Stephan Young. United States: Science Press, 2005. 53. Song, Cathy. “Who Makes the Journey.” Literature. Ed. Janet Allen, Robert J. Marzano, Arthur N. Applebee, Donna M. Ogle, Jim Burke, Carol Booth Olson, Douglas Carnine, Carol Ann Tomlinson, Yvette Jackson, Mary Lou McCloskey, Judith A. Langer, Robert T. Jiménez, and Lydia Stack. Evanston, Illinois, Boston, and Dallas: McDougal Littell, 2008. 933. Stafford, William. “Fifteen.” Literature. Ed. Janet Allen, Robert J. Marzano, Arthur N.Applebee, Donna M. Ogle, Jim Burke, Carol Booth Olson, Douglas Carnine, Carol Ann Tomlinson, Yvette Jackson, Mary Lou McCloskey, Judith A. Langer, Robert T. Jiménez, and Lydia Stack. Evanston, Illinois, Boston, and Dallas: McDougal Littell, 2008. 723. | 31

32: About the Author Vaishnavi Vaidyanathan is a sophomore at Stillwater High School. She plays the violin in the high school orchestra. She is a participant of the Youth and Government program. When she is not working on her homework, Vaishnavi loves reading books and spending time with her sister, Kamakshi. | 32

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  • Title: A Journey Through Footprints
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