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Emil Todorov

Professor Lisa Orta

English 123

13 February 2017

4 Agonizing Moments

It is always a really hard time for everyone when you lose someone that is close to you.

In the poem 4AM by Gil Cuadros the narrator is put in that position. I connected with this

poem a lot because when I lost my high school teacher to cancer, I felt horrible. He got

diagnosed and he left school in order to go get treatment. In the poem the narrator states that, I

cursed myself for daring to leave his side. i felt the same way because I always told myself that

I would make him happy by going and seeing him, but I was always busy and told myself that I

would just go the next week and the next, until I just never got to see him again. Just like how

the narrator was not there when John died and felt incredibly guilty when the nurse calls him at

4AM and lets him know. I felt the same way when I was at work and a friend texted me to let me

know that he had passed away. At that moment I completely lost it just like how the narrator did

when he got the news. I felt so guilty and I was in denial for the longest time. I started punching

the wall, and almost broke my hand because it swelled up right away. In the poem Gil Cuadros

states, I knocked the ceramic bird off a shelf, smashed my face into the doorjamb, again and

again. Although this does challenge my views as being wrong I understand the way he reacted

because I felt the same exact way and it is sometimes hard to control your emotions.

My views did not really change after reading this poem because it shows him in a really

hard time and where he is in denial when the nurse calls him. I think that that is a normal thing to

do when a person is in pain. One part that made my opinion change somewhat about the narrator
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was when the narrator starts banging his head, because the whole time I thought that he wanted it

to be all over, I thought that he would finally be relieved and know that John is in a better place

without suffering, but instead he has a breakdown. I saw him as a mellow character that did not

really get phased that much, because the whole time he seamed like he was calm in most of the

situations in the past poems, like when he releases John and he starts ripping off the cords, the

narrator does not really try to stop him he kind of just sits there and watches while the nurses

control the situation. This poem does a good job at addressing things that I personally care about

like when they exchange their rings and in the poem it said that they had a small ceremony with

the two of them. In my culture it is some what important to marry and I care about that. Although

it was not official because they are gay it still hit me that to them it really meant something more

than just the rings, kind of how real marriage is. Another thing that affects my readers response

to this poem is my religious values, since I am Christian and in the Bible it states that God calls

homosexuality an abomination, although I am not really against homosexuality, it does say it in

the bible and it does affect the way I respond to the poem and react. If this poem was about a

straight couple, I probably would have reacted or responded in a different day than I did.

I really enjoyed this poem as a work of art because the author does a very good job at

including many interesting poetic devices and applies them very cleverly throughout. There were

poetic devices that I did not find until we went over them in class. An example from this poem

would be when he states, Felt my blood become glass. This particular use of symbolism really

made the poem feel very dramatic because this statement suggests that he became fragile as glass

and could not move. I feel like the inclusions of poetic devices like that make this a real piece of

art. My overall reaction to this poem was really sad and it really hit me because I went through

somewhat the same experience as the narrator and made me connect to the reading that much
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more. I would read more poetry by this author if I ever got the chance, because he does a very

good job of using poetic devices throughout his poems, and I like how all the poems flow from

one to the other. I also liked how they were really dramatic and he did a good job of describing

the situations and the state that John is in. I would recommend this poem to people who have

gone through the same experience and would connect with the text. I would also recommend it to

people who enjoy reading about sad stories because this poem really does hit you and makes you

feel sorry for the narrator.

Work Cited

Cuadros, Gil. City of God, 4AM . San Francisco , CA, City Lights , 1994.