On “Future Memories” by Mario Meléndez
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In the poem “Future Memories” by Mario Melendez the main themes that are represented throughout are childhood innocence and simplistic dreaming. A brief summarization of this poem would be that it is a pure moment between two sisters early in the morning. The older sister comes into the younger sister’s bedroom and wakes her up telling her that she must come outside because the ocean is filled with stars.
As people get older, they start to doubt themselves more and more and start to depend on written facts instead of just going with their gut. The narrator’s simplistic outlook is proof that she is younger because of the way she does not look for a factual explanation to her statement “ I must take the first flight/and collect all the fish from the sky.” (8–9) She believes her answer to the situation to be right without needing proof from anyone else. Instead, she takes her sister’s word for what is going on.
The themes are simplistic dreaming and childhood innocence. For example, when the narrator thinks, “delilghted by the revelation;” (5) this is one of the best lines in the poem because it idolizes that her thought process is that she has revealed a whole new way that the world operates. When you’re a child, everything is a new discovery. If you don’t know what something is, than nobody else knows what that thing is either. Everything is a new experience for you, and everything is something that you are finding for the first time. When she has this revelation, it is like she has uncovered something brand new about the universe and she must go outside to investigate it. She nevers stops to break down what she is thinking and try to look for the flaw in her thought, she is just excited.
The narrator is shown to be a young child because of the way she finds simplistic and straightforward answers. This is proven again when she thinks “ If the ocean’s filled with stars/then I must take the first flight/and collect all of the fish from the sky.” (7–8–9) This represents how her mind can find a simple explanation to something without needing to look for any facts of that idea being real. Instead, she takes her sister’s word for what is going on.
Then the little girl decides that she is going to be the hero of her own story. A line that proves this is when she says “I must take the first flight.” (8) Proving that this is her moment and that she can do it all by herself. She does not need her sister to come with her on this flight. The impression that the reader gets is that she is racing outside to take the first flight offered and go and save the fish; that have now been placed into the sky by this rare occurrence. Her mind does not doubt itself for one second even though if this situation were real there would be no possible way that she could save all of those fish in one small amount of time. Although, she doesn’t doubt herself, she just accepts the task at hand and takes it upon herself to save the other fish; she has no self-focus. She does not see this as a daunting task, she only knows that she wants to help the fish. As you get older you start to look out for what benefits you more and what helps you better your own life. This little girl has no concept of self-focus yet, she is just living her life and doing what she feels is right.
The thing that I most wanted to figure out about this poem was what message the author was truly trying to get across; I asked myself the question “What is the author really trying to tell the reader in their choice of words?” In my research, I found one major theme throughout the poem that I wanted to elaborate on and learn more about. This theme was childhood innocence. I found this theme in many lines and references throughout the poem. I also found it very interesting how this poem was not overly complex. The author had a message that pinpointed the theme of childhood innocence, and how it is one of the only purely simplistic times in someone’s life. I found this poem important because it was straightforward, and didn’t try to get across a message that wasn’t supposed to be there. The author told you what they wanted you to know and didn’t try to make it anything more. My process was to first read the poem and then try to draw out the conclusions and themes that I found most important. Then I broke down the poem line by line trying to find what specific words the author used to really bring the point across to the reader. I then took these lines and wrote detailed notes about each of them so I could easily craft those notes into an essay. I kept repeatedly asking myself “what does the author mean when they say this?” I figured out that this author created a piece of writing to bring us back to a simplistic world, one where not everything had a double meaning and was extremely complicated. He wanted to share a story that may have meant something to them as a child and he wanted to share it with the world. The author wanted to say that sometimes you have this amazing moment when you’re not worrying about other people’s opinion and what they think of you; you are just living. I think my conclusions matter because we live in such a complex world today, that people rarely get the chance to appreciate the moment and just live their lives. It is important for everyone to sometimes just take a break and look around at the life they’re living and not be constantly in a state of worry about what will happen in there life tomorrow.
Melendez, Mario. “Future Memories.” Poetry, Translated by Eloisa Amezcua, September 2017, Poetry Foundation, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/143948/future-memories Accessed 25 Sept. 2017.