On “Nocturne” by Javier Zamora

Click here to read the poem.

Throughout history, alcohol has been a main source of addiction across the globe. Human beings have been affected by its powerful effects for hundreds of years. In the poem “Nocturne,” by Javier Zamora, the reader is given a glimpse of the harsh and dangerous reality of an alcoholic. The baggage one may carry from a life of torment can cause irreparable damage to themselves and those around them.

This specific poem shows great evidence that alcoholism can cause some adults to make a bad impression on kids because of the violence that can sometimes go along with it. The thirteenth line of the poem, “I was four. I saw Mom between his gun and Grandma. I was four,” shows that the narrator has remembered the events that occurred to him as a kid because of the severity. The narrator harbors feelings of anger as he thinks back to those moments that are engrained in his memory forever. It is evident that the narrator feels anger because of the use of the phrase “I was four,” twice.

In addition, the narrator feels guilty that he was unable to at least make an effort at halting is grandfather’s alcoholism. There are examples of times where he felt he could have made a dent in his grandfather’s addiction. “I need to forgive the coins he placed in my hands to buy him vodka.” These coins that the boy ended up spending on alcohol is just one of the many instances in which the narrator feels regretful about his response.

If a child is exposed to the effects of alcoholism to early, it can affect the way they think about things for life. “I’m sorry. I drank too much. I drink too much.” Once the narrator became old enough to drink, alcoholism reared it’s ugly head again. This quote shows just how powerful alcohol can be. The power that this addiction has is like no other. Even though as a child he told himself he would never be like that, experiencing such abusive events led him into trouble in the future.

One of the most common misconceptions about relationships that include an alcoholic is why the other person doesn’t just leave. Most of the time it is due to the fact that they don’t want to go through the stress of leaving and would rather put up with it. This scenario is reflective of what takes place in the poem Nocturne Javier Zamora. “No one understands why Abuelita never left him.” Uncertainty clearly occupied the grandma’s mind when trying to make her decision on this challenging subject matter.

During several parts in the poem, it seems as if Grandma is threatened by her husband and it doesn’t seem like their relationship is very strong. “Venus and Mars the closest they’ve been in 2,000 years, but I’ve never seen grandparents hug, or hold hands.” In this example, the Venus and Mars comparison represents just how rough their relationship was. The narrator clearly saw importance in his grandparents holding hands because that symbolized to him how far a part they really were. These unstable circumstances are almost certainly due to Grandfather’s persistence in consuming alcohol. This poem does a fantastic job of demonstrating the effect that alcohol can have on a relationship.

The poem “Nocturne,” by Javier Zamora displays just how incredibly powerful alcohol can be not just to the people who are addicted, but to the people that surround them. From the first line to the last line, the narrator made it clear that even though he knew alcoholism was bad, he still took part in it because of alcohol’s incredible effects on the human body.


While reading the poem “Nocturne”, by Javier Zamora, I immediately noticed that it was about alcoholism because of comments like, “I’m sorry I drank too much, I drink too much.” The next couple lines really opened my eyes to what the true meaning of the poem was. The narrator discussed how he needed to learn how to deal with his grandfather’s alcohol problem. He mentioned how his grandfather was constantly using bullet shells, and breaking chairs and bottles. These statements displayed the immediate effects of alcoholism, but didn’t clearly show the effect that it had on the people around him. The narrator then went on to discuss how he had a “loss of innocence” when he was exposed to harsh events at such a young age. “I was four. I saw mom between his gun and grandma. I was four.” The evidence in the poem clearly led me to believe that even though the narrator wasn’t the one consuming alcohol, he still was affected by his grandfather’s actions.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.