Thursday, April 3, 2014

Adapting a Heart

Poetry has never had a very large part in my heart unlike other forms of literature. To be totally honest, I have spent many years, and many literature classes, avoiding anything having to do with poetry. The only real exception to that rule was poetry by Edgar Allen Poe. Therefore, when I saw on the syllabus that we would be reading "Annabel Lee" this semester I was super excited. In fact, I was so excited that I went ahead and read the poem and the adaptation before class even started. However, no matter how much I love Poe it was actually the adaptation of Ted Kooser's "The Giant Slide" that actually impacted me. 

Upon first reading the poem that inspired this comic strip adaption, I found that I was left with the normal state of confusion that reading poetry typically grants me. I sat on my bed, staring at my computer screen wondering what it was that I had just read. I honestly just held on to the impression that the poem was about a slide on a playground where no one went anymore. Because I was stuck on the playground theory, I failed to really grasp what the poem actually meant.

When I moved onto the comic strip adaptation of the poem everything really fell into place. I was finally able to see the longing and loss that is part of this poem. This poem that is about a giant slide, however, this slide has so much more meaning than one realizes. This poem is really about the loss of childhood and possibly even innocent happiness. Also, this poem shows how not only people grow and change, but the things around them do as well. At one time, this giant slide was a place of happiness for many people, but over the years it has transformed into a place where no one goes anymore more; a place with a fence around it so that people are no longer able to enter it. 

This poem is a perfect example of how something can be enhanced by adapting it to a new form of media. Once I saw the meaning of the poem in the adapted comic strip, I was able to re-read the poem and see the actually beauty of it. I was able to see the longing, and the poem even stirred up past memories in me about a giant slide from my own youth. This poem made me think of all the times when I was younger, when I used to love sliding down the giant slide at Geneva's Grape Jamboree. Now, it is my daughter that loves to slide down that slide, and every time that I hear her squeal of delight, it reminds me how I used to make that same sound when I was her age. This poem reminds me of that beauty, and how objects can be just as much a part of home as people can.


  1. This is a good interpretation....

  2. Excellent perspective. Makes me remember my dad teaching me how to pump my legs and swing up real high. Maybe the poem is just that; remembering the childhood we all eventually have to let go off.

  3. I wonder if this poem was made into a song just how much more the emotional aspect would be felt. Taking one piece of work and adapting it to multiple different mediums is a great way to further expand on the emotional content of the original piece.