“Pairs of Shoes”, a poem by Nguyen Quyen.
The speaker nervously looks towards his uncertain future but also decides to embrace and express the numerous number of possibilities that could occur.In the first stanza, as the speaker says “My future lives come to me.” he uses a personification to express that his dreams come back. The speaker says “Come silently with torn soles.” The “soles” represent the hardships the dreams have been through.
“I am a skilled shoemaker.” uses a simile, in which the speaker compares himself to a shoemaker, but also uses a confident tone which shows he believes in himself. Him referring to himself as a shoemaker makes him express his belief that he has the ability to help his dreams, which he refers to as “shoes”. There is a connotation present in “Greeting the wandering breath of these feet.”, as the speaker says “wandering” the connotation means he is tired and uncertain of which path to continue to take. The speaker has a smooth structure, which helps strengthen his confidence in himself.
Along with this the speaker uses punctuation at every alternate sentence which shows that they are consistent in their thoughts, as opposed to the coming lines. As the speaker says “Sprawl out to sleep like a litter of puppies.” he uses a simile, comparing his dreams to a litter of puppies, therefore he implies his dreams to be innocent and vulnerable. In the following lines as the speaker says “ashy fur”, “tufts” and “fluffed feathers” the imagery shows the reluctance of the dreams. The words “ashy fur” and “fluffed feathers” also contradict each other as one symbolises roughness and the other symbolises smoothness. When the speaker says “They lie on their stomach pressing against my shadow” he compares them to babies, as babies sleep lying on their stomach, and this again like the “litter of puppies” symbolises innocence and vulnerability, characteristics which a baby possesses. The speaker uses punctuation after every other sentence which shows that he puts some thoughts into his words and is not making brief points.When the speaker says “Pairs of shoes from yesterday will come tomorrow” the “tomorrow” symbolises past experiences that the speaker has been through.
The speaker also uses two completely opposite words, “yesterday” and “tomorrow” to bring to our attention that he is thinking about the past and the future.The speaker uses a completely opposite words again in the phrase “Am I their native land or a land foreign to them?” The words “native” and “foreign” are opposites where native implies home and a place that they are comfortable in, whereas “foreign” refers to someplace unknown. In the phrase “Their house or an inn?” the the uses yet another two words which are opposites of each other. As the speaker says “house” the speaker refers to a place where people intend to stay for a long period of time, whereas when the speaker says “inn” he implies it is a place where people stay for a short period of time with no intention of staying. The question marks in this stanza show that the speaker is doubting their own thoughts and makes them think more about it.
The sentences are short, which also show how the speaker is showing a change in his thinking.