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In his anthology, "Still Standing".

Michael Pintard used his poems to address many prevalent social issues experienced by teenagers today such as drug abuse, fornication, teenage pregnancy, discrimination, and peer pressure. It is for this reason that I would recommend the poems, "Still Standing" and "I Ain't Turnin' Back" to people of my peer group. In addition to raising critical issues, they encourage perseverance and self-improvement. Pintard employs a plethora of literary devices including allusion, metaphor and repetition to present the issues and compel readers to make the changes within themselves that will inevitably lead to a better society. In Pintard's poem, "Still Standing", the major recurring themes are discrimination and perseverance. Pintard tells readers about his experiences of being ridiculed and stigmatized and of his endurance despite all else. Due to the fact that Pintard is speaking from experience, teenagers will be more inclined to listen, as he is not preaching, but instead imparting learned wisdom. Pintard's use of literary devices such as metaphor helps to display and emphasize the emotion and severe effect of his ill treatment. Pintard compares the insults and snide remarks pointed at him to "fiery darts to pierce (his) back (and his) heart". This emphasizes the amount of pain this treatment caused as it forces readers to imagine the pain such an attack would bring. He also compares the reprimand dealt to him "in the spirit of love, the guise of friendship" to a physical strike. This further emphasizes the pain he felt. Most teenagers can relate with this pain as they all have experienced some form of bullying, discrimination or verbal attack at some point in their lives. Pintard also uses this poem to encourage readers that they can persevere through difficult situations. He makes an example of himself by recounting his past battles with defamation, commotion about his personal appearance (i.e. matted hair) and betrayal by friends. Through the repetition of the phrase, "I am still standing", Pintard proudly proclaims that he overcame these difficulties. These words are repeated at the end of each of the poems stanzas. This emphasizes to readers that despite anything they experience, the key is to persevere. It also encourages them to follow Pintards example and endure. From his use of the word 'still', we can assume that Pintard has had to endure this treatment for quite some time. He compares this journey of perseverance to a walk, which further emphasizes the time it took. As the poem progresses, this walk continues, though difficulties are encountered. The fiery darts did not hinder Pintards confidant walk, and the rebuke from a supposed friend was meant to cause him to falter and break (his) stride. Unfortunately, there came a time when he fell, but he got up. Pintard confides in his readers about the struggle

he had rising. rising, wobbly, shivering, aching, heartbeat racing, past 170 and counting, mind not wanting to stop Here we see an assonance of the -ing sound, which serves to emphasize the amount of effort expended to recover from this fall. Nonetheless, he rises and reasserts that he is still standing. From this, readers can learn that we only fail to overcome something if we stay down after a fall, although getting up may be difficult. In the poem, I Aint Turnin Back, Pintard addresses many issues that teenagers face everyday such as drug abuse and fornication. He admonishes readers in earnest to turn away from these things and not to turn back. He does this using repetition of the phrase, Dont turn back! In this poem, he talks from his personal experience with these social ills, which also ensures teenagers will be more inclined to listen, as he is not preaching, but instead imparting learned wisdom. In the first two stanzas of the poem, he says, I aint turnin back! Pintard addresses drug abuse by talking about the adverse effects it had on him. He relates to readers the affect of drugs on his appearance and mind. He says, splif in my mouth, reddin up my eye, scared to die, sadstupid enough to believe I could fly. Later in the poem, Pintard hints at the addiction these drugs cause by talking about people putting them in priority over responsibilities duckin child supportlookin for coke to snort. Pintard goes on to address fornication by telling readers about the worries it caused him. fornication, degradation, worrying bout pregnancies and disease, my reputation By listing these ill effects, he is discouraging youths from trying and/or continuing these practices as it instills in them an appropriate awareness and fear for the risks involved. Pintard further discourages readers from failing back into these bad habits by making it seem absurd to do so. He does this through the use of rhetorical language such as Back where? ...please! In conclusion, I would recommend the poems, "Still Standing" and "I Ain't Turnin' Back" to people of peer group, because there are many valuable lessons that can be drawn from them. I believe that these lessons, if learned and applied, can lead to a better and more moral Bahamaland.