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Saturday At The Canal Analysis



Author: poem of Gary Soto Type: poem Views: 37

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I was hoping to be happy by seventeen.

School was a sharp check mark in the roll book,

An obnoxious tuba playing at noon because our team

Was going to win at night. The teachers were

Too close to dying to understand. The hallways

Stank of poor grades and unwashed hair. Thus,

A friend and I sat watching the water on Saturday,

Neither of us talking much, just warming ourselves

By hurling large rocks at the dusty ground

And feeling awful because San Francisco was a postcard

On a bedroom wall. We wanted to go there,

Hitchhike under the last migrating birds

And be with people who knew more than three chords

On a guitar. We didn't drink or smoke,

But our hair was shoulder length, wild when

The wind picked up and the shadows of

This loneliness gripped loose dirt. By bus or car,

By the sway of train over a long bridge,

We wanted to get out. The years froze

As we sat on the bank. Our eyes followed the water,

White-tipped but dark underneath, racing out of town.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

Gary Soto’s “Saturday at the Canal,” utilizes a variety of different literary elements to convey the central purpose of the poem. Gary Soto, age 60, is a Mexican-American poet who has experienced a lot in his lifetime. Gary Soto grew up in Fresno, California. He is the author of eleven poetry collections for adults. Soto writes from a vast amount of different views to relate to people of all ages and races. He is an extremely enthusiastic poet. The literary elements of his poems are what allow him to develop certain images across to the reader. One might choose this poem because it demonstrates how Soto has the speaker as a high school student, so they could relate to the point of view. In the poem “Saturday at the Canal,” the poet Gary Soto speaking as a high school student questioning life, uses the literary elements of imagery, tone, and point of view to demonstrate the central purpose of showing that even though there is a vast majority of obstacles in our way if we forget the negative effects and focus more on the positive we can do whatever we want.
The first way Soto illustrates overcoming obstacles is through imagery, which is the use of vivid or figurative language to represent objects, actions, or ideas with the use of the senses. From the view of a high school student, Soto uses imagery to achieve a certain level with the students (1).Line number one lets the reader relate to the way and feelings of high school students. This means that he can use imagery to help someone else visualize what he is describing and the symbolism behind his words. By saying this lets the reader feel and see the same things Soto is explaining. Soto’s speaker, a high school student, states, “The hallways stank of poor grades and unwashed hair” (6-7). This means that it was a high school where most of the students do not care about keeping themselves clean or doing their work. It is important for the simple reason that life in general is boring unless one makes it fun and interesting. Gary Soto writes poems that focus on daily life experiences (“Soto”). This means that he likes to address real-life situations, whether it is from his perspective or Soto speaking as a different character. The speaker and his friend come across as uninterested. They “hurl large rocks at the dusty ground” (9). This image captures the meaningless, disappointment of the thoughts the boys are having. The imagery helps us identify the daily experiences that the student did such as: going to school and hanging out with friends. Imagery helps set the stage for this poem because without it we would not be able to face the things in life that we go through.
The next way Soto acknowledges overcoming obstacles is through tone. Tone is defined as a particular quality, way of sounding, with reference to its quality, pitch, strength, source. From the perspective of the student, Soto uses tone to get a point across (10). This means he would use a certain quality in his voice. The tone of this poem is very soft, mellow, and dull. It is important because it makes one want to feel a certain way when he is explaining how he feels. The tone used makes you want to feel sympathy for him. Soto’s speaker, the high school student, explains “I was hoping to be happy by seventeen” (1). This means when he was seventeen it was not as pleasing as he thought it would be. It is important because the tone of this line makes oneself wonder what went wrong in his teen years that seventeen was not a decent experience. Soto uses tone to make his poems heartening and achingly believable (“Soto”). This means he knows how to change the tone when he wants to obtain a certain idea or achieve a certain reaction. It is important because it adds mystery to why he uses the calm, hopeless, dull tone he does. Tone is always important to the reaction or point that an author wants.
The third way Soto illustrates overcoming is through point of view. Point of view is the view from which the story or poem is written. “Saturday at the Canal” is written in first person piont of view. From the view of the student, Soto uses point of view to show it is about the speaker (1). That means this poem is about his high school years, which is important because we get a close up view on the feelings of Soto’s character. Soto’s speaker, the high school student, says “We wanted to get out. The years froze” (19). This means him and his friend wanted to get out of their town, but timed seemed like it would slow down. It is important because it helps the reader understand the feeling of the speaker. Soto uses point of view to discuss real life issues (“Soto”). This means the point of view this is told from is very meaningful to the poem. It is important because it is the main part of the poem. Point of view is very important to anything in life the view of something can change the whole visual trying to be portrayed.
“Saturday at the Canal” by Gary Soto is a magnificent poem. The feelings of the speaker were clear, which helped the reader better understand what was going on in the poem. The speaker is considering what it is like to live somewhere else instead of his or hometown. The theme of this poem can be whatever the reader portrays the words to mean. The way the speaker feels about his hometown is the same way one who grew up in Oklahoma might feel. Numerous kids from Oklahoma cannot wait until they graduate so they can get out of this small town. Soto uses tone to help better understand the poem with the tone being used we get a sense that the speaker is dreadfully uncharismatic and careless. He uses imagery as a way to represent the word choices he uses in the poem .He illustrates point of view to provide us with a view point from which the poem is told. The use of those literary elements demonstrates the central purpose of showing that even though there is a vast majority of obstacles in our way if we forget the negative effects and focus more on the positive we can do whatever we want.

| Posted on 2012-12-06 | by a guest


.: :.

Gary Soto’s “Saturday at the Canal,” utilizes a variety of different literary elements to convey the central purpose of the poem. Gary Soto, age 60, is a Mexican-American poet who has experienced a lot in his lifetime. Gary Soto grew up in Fresno, California. He is the author of eleven poetry collections for adults. Soto writes from a vast amount of different views to relate to people of all ages and races. He is an extremely enthusiastic poet. The literary elements of his poems are what allow him to develop certain images across to the reader. One might choose this poem because it demonstrates how Soto has the speaker as a high school student, so they could relate to the point of view. In the poem “Saturday at the Canal,” the poet Gary Soto speaking as a high school student questioning life, uses the literary elements of imagery, tone, and point of view to demonstrate the central purpose of showing that even though there is a vast majority of obstacles in our way if we forget the negative effects and focus more on the positive we can do whatever we want.
The first way Soto illustrates overcoming obstacles is through imagery, which is the use of vivid or figurative language to represent objects, actions, or ideas with the use of the senses. From the view of a high school student, Soto uses imagery to achieve a certain level with the students (1).Line number one lets the reader relate to the way and feelings of high school students. This means that he can use imagery to help someone else visualize what he is describing and the symbolism behind his words. By saying this lets the reader feel and see the same things Soto is explaining. Soto’s speaker, a high school student, states, “The hallways stank of poor grades and unwashed hair” (6-7). This means that it was a high school where most of the students do not care about keeping themselves clean or doing their work. It is important for the simple reason that life in general is boring unless one makes it fun and interesting. Gary Soto writes poems that focus on daily life experiences (“Soto”). This means that he likes to address real-life situations, whether it is from his perspective or Soto speaking as a different character. The speaker and his friend come across as uninterested. They “hurl large rocks at the dusty ground” (9). This image captures the meaningless, disappointment of the thoughts the boys are having. The imagery helps us identify the daily experiences that the student did such as: going to school and hanging out with friends. Imagery helps set the stage for this poem because without it we would not be able to face the things in life that we go through.
The next way Soto acknowledges overcoming obstacles is through tone. Tone is defined as a particular quality, way of sounding, with reference to its quality, pitch, strength, source. From the perspective of the student, Soto uses tone to get a point across (10). This means he would use a certain quality in his voice. The tone of this poem is very soft, mellow, and dull. It is important because it makes one want to feel a certain way when he is explaining how he feels. The tone used makes you want to feel sympathy for him. Soto’s speaker, the high school student, explains “I was hoping to be happy by seventeen” (1). This means when he was seventeen it was not as pleasing as he thought it would be. It is important because the tone of this line makes oneself wonder what went wrong in his teen years that seventeen was not a decent experience. Soto uses tone to make his poems heartening and achingly believable (“Soto”). This means he knows how to change the tone when he wants to obtain a certain idea or achieve a certain reaction. It is important because it adds mystery to why he uses the calm, hopeless, dull tone he does. Tone is always important to the reaction or point that an author wants.
The third way Soto illustrates overcoming is through point of view. Point of view is the view from which the story or poem is written. “Saturday at the Canal” is written in first person piont of view. From the view of the student, Soto uses point of view to show it is about the speaker (1). That means this poem is about his high school years, which is important because we get a close up view on the feelings of Soto’s character. Soto’s speaker, the high school student, says “We wanted to get out. The years froze” (19). This means him and his friend wanted to get out of their town, but timed seemed like it would slow down. It is important because it helps the reader understand the feeling of the speaker. Soto uses point of view to discuss real life issues (“Soto”). This means the point of view this is told from is very meaningful to the poem. It is important because it is the main part of the poem. Point of view is very important to anything in life the view of something can change the whole visual trying to be portrayed.
“Saturday at the Canal” by Gary Soto is a magnificent poem. The feelings of the speaker were clear, which helped the reader better understand what was going on in the poem. The speaker is considering what it is like to live somewhere else instead of his or hometown. The theme of this poem can be whatever the reader portrays the words to mean. The way the speaker feels about his hometown is the same way one who grew up in Oklahoma might feel. Numerous kids from Oklahoma cannot wait until they graduate so they can get out of this small town. Soto uses tone to help better understand the poem with the tone being used we get a sense that the speaker is dreadfully uncharismatic and careless. He uses imagery as a way to represent the word choices he uses in the poem .He illustrates point of view to provide us with a view point from which the poem is told. The use of those literary elements demonstrates the central purpose of showing that even though there is a vast majority of obstacles in our way if we forget the negative effects and focus more on the positive we can do whatever we want.

| Posted on 2012-12-06 | by a guest


.: :.

This mayWaaaasaaaas yup
only be an analysis of the writing. No requests for explanation or general short comments allowed. Due to Spam Posts are moderated before posted.

| Posted on 2012-04-28 | by a guest


.: :.



The Restless Dreams of Youth

Regardless of class or place in society, all people dream of a better place; some dreams are unattainable. [p1] In Gary Soto’s poem “Saturday at the Canal[p2] ,” the speaker and his friend sit by the edge of a canal, dreaming of a better place. High school holds no meaning for the speaker and his friend. They desire to be away from the set expectations of their hometown and dream of all things new. [p3] These boys, this voice of discontent, express a deeply honest theme. Essentially, some dreams cannot be fulfilled during the teen years. Soto creates this thematic landscape through the use of metaphor and vivid imagery. [p4]

Through the use of metaphor, Soto brings the poem to a symbolic level, going beyond the literal image of two friends and their desire to leave town. [p5] In the initial reflection of the speaker, high school is decribed as “a sharp check mark in the roll book…”(Line 2). Here, the image of a sharp check mark captures the sameness of the speakers experience at school. Kids are not individuals, they are merely marks in a teachers book, meaningless in the long run.[p6] Additionally, the boys’ dream of escape. Soto writes, “San Francisco was just a postcard / on a bedroom wall” (Lines 10-11). San Fransisco is set up at the place, the dream, the boys want to attain, a place where “people …knew more than three chords / on a guitar” (Lines 13-14). The postcard metaphor turns a city into a bit of paper and ink rather than an actual possibility for the speaker and his friend. [p7] These metaphors develop the depper message of the poem—the message related to unattainable dreams.

Imagery, vivid words written to engage the senses, is present throughout the poem. The speaker and his friend are described as unsatisfied. They “hurl large rocks at the dusty ground” (Line ). The image of a pointless activity captures the pointless, frustration thoughts the boys are having. Another image is that of “loose dirt” (Line ). The loose dirt seems to suggest a poor foundation, a place where the inhabitants are looks to lose the weak foundation in order to find new ground. The desire is unavailable.

In conclusion, the image of boys and their unfulfilled dreams is powerful Finally, Soto ends with a summative image or metaphor: “Our eyes followed the water, / White-tipped but dark underneath, racing out of town” (Lines ). Like the water the boys look the part of seventeen-year-old students, but their true selves remin dark below the façade of the teen image.






| Posted on 2007-05-11 | by a guest




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