“Running on Empty” – Robert Phillips
This poem relates to the theme of memories and struggles of childhood because it is about a young man’s rebellion against his father. The father tells his son to always keep the car’s gas tank half full. The son ignores his advice and drives until the gas tank is almost empty for the thrill of defiance. The car eventually runs out of gas and he is stranded for the night. The need to defy one’s parents is part of growing up. It is part of the struggle between listening to one’s parents and making one’s own decisions. The poem is part of the writing trend of “New Narrative” because the poem tells a story and it does not follow any rhyming pattern or meter.
“I was stolen…” – Charles Simic
This poem relates to the theme of memories and struggles of childhood because it is about a child’s struggle to find their identity. The child switches between a gypsy lifestyle and a high class lifestyle. This contrast in settings could confuse a child and leave them without a sense of who they are. This poem shows the struggle of finding one’s identity while growing up. The poem fits into the writing trend of “Language Poetry” because it contains very simple sentence structure and has no structure of rhyme or meter.