Maxine Tynes' poem, "Reach out and Touch" - poem analysis

Essay by mikke038High School, 11th gradeA-, May 2007

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With Maxine Tynes' poem Reach out and Touch, the title suggests that the poem literally is about a person reaching out and touching objects or people. Tynes suggests that the more mature generation should reach out and help others more often, and maybe touching someone's heart should be all worth it.

The first 6 lines of Tynes' poem, describes how the curiosity of a child. Line number 6 "to see if it comes off" proves that the child's intentions were purely curiosity. The use of "electric" in line 3 was a very descriptive and vivid word to describe the poet's bouncing curls. The author used these specific worlds and quotes to tell us that we should learn the innocents of a child and reach out to learn about the people around you. Without the "reaching out and touching"(2 & 3) part, the child wouldn't have known that the person's curly hair was electrifying (great curls).

From lines 7 to 11, the mother, fear of bothering the person sitting in front of them, slapped the child's hands away. With line 9 "hush-up of your questions" the poet is trying to make an analogy, as if "slapping hands away" (8) is what adults usually do. They don't want their children to meddle into other people's business, and in order to do that, we must not reach out to others. "What if reaching out in turn could cause the children pain", is usually what the parents are thinking about. But children are too naïve to think that way. In line 11 "why it doesn't come off" proves this innocence.

The remaining lines of the poem started out with poet's attitude shifting towards sympathetic/empathetic, when they were playful and unaware of the characters to begin with. The shift starts on line...