Grass On The Riverbank Never Dies: An Interpretation Of 'Wild Grass On The Riverbank'

Grass On The Riverbank Never Dies: An Interpretation Of 'Wild Grass On The Riverbank'

People have the ability to learn from their experiences and further grow themselves as unique individuals just as plants can overcome obstacles of their own.

"Wild Grass on the Riverbank" by Hiromi Ito is a poem that highlights the experiences of a young girl who travels to a new place called the Wastelands to visit her father. Her differences from the natives in the area are apparent, and she is marginalized for not being like everyone else. In spite of the problems she faces, she keeps going, pursuing the course. She concludes that people like herself can bloom into someone new and begin a fresh start despite past hardships. Ito successfully uses repetition, comparisons to nature, personification and a burdened, yet enlightened tone to effectively prove how obstacles can be overcome in light of troublesome circumstances. Here is my interpretation of the poem.

Firstly, by implementing the repetition of phrases and sentences throughout the poem, Ito gives the poem's lines more effect. The repetition helps to emphasize the connection that Ito creates between man and nature. By frequently claiming, “The ground was covered, blooms spread across the earth” (line 92) three times, Ito makes the reader reread that particular line and better engrave the image into his or her mind. The blooms spreading over the face of the earth and expanding their reach are a sign of new life that was not always abundant there. This can be attributed to the speaker and the situation that she and the other immigrants are in. For the many people travelling to the Wastelands, they have the opportunity to start anew. The very lines written in the poem are repetitive, continuous and abundant because they are a reflection of the blooms covering the earth, meaning the syntax used also furthers the meaning of the stanza. Ito also used repetition as a means of accentuating hope within dark times, demonstrated by the way the author repeated phrases and lines that were primarily optimistic in tone, in contrast to some of the other unhappier lines.

By the end of the poem, the speaker comes to the realization that life will carry on no matter the difficulties she and people like her may face, as “living is more commonplace than dying for plants” (Ito 94) because they have the capacity to grow through rain or sunshine; good times and bad times. The endurance of the speaker in trying times is established through the adaptability of the plants that represent man. The metaphorical relationship between plants and people continues to be reinforced as the poem goes on. The speaker compares herself and others to plant life with the intent of having nature represent strength and rebirth, thus attributing that same characteristic to man. Because Ito is consistently making this contrast in various stanzas, it becomes clear that there is an underlying theme of enlightenment due to the way the author stresses how, like the plants, humans are able to undergo change or persecution and still overcome the issues that they once had to deal with.

This idea is further established and proven by the speaker’s use of positive diction in the final stanza. In addition, the speaker manages to persevere through the “...piles of dried up corpses...” (line 90) found in new places as she immigrates to the wastelands where people like her are expected to give up their culture. She is also pressured to conform to the norms of the new place she travels to. This can be seen when she first reaches the Wastelands and is expected to be silent and leave behind her old language which is a major part of who she is. This emphasizes that she is different and unwelcomed because there, such differences are not to be embraced. Instead, people such as herself are told to “...shut their mouth...” (Ito 90) and return to where it is they came from. This adds to the list of burdens the speaker experiences, which influence her ultimate understanding of the idea that she can continue to surpass such obstacles and prosper just as nature continues to bloom and grow continuously. These events help her to reach this conclusion, rather than tearing her down. By maintaining this theme, the poem takes on a more positive deeper meaning, despite the unfortunate instances on the surface that the speaker faces.

Because of the continuous comparisons being drawn between greenery and people, plants are personified within the poem. They are given the ability to speak and think in order to portray the words and action of the other immigrants that the speaker is amongst. She is able to “...[hear] the different types of grass on the riverbank whisper...” (line 89) as they speak of the trials and misfortunes they have gone through after the fires. The grass is personified as the earth itself speaking up about the situation which works to show how different aspects of nature can be closely attributed to humans and the society they live in as well. The grass discuss with each other like people would in order to convey their resemblance.

The speaker finds hope in the fact that after such difficulties she is still “wearing the open flowers and withered flowers upon [her] body” and “continued to grow stems” (Ito 96). Her withering flowers are meant to depict past hardships or scars, resulting in a battered soul. But in spite of such, she still proceeds to grow stronger each day. This is the burden she overcame and what helps to demonstrate the optimism weaved throughout the lines of the poem. By including diction such as “flowers” and “grow,” the poem takes on a sanguine tone that has the purpose of creating a more high-spirited situation in contrast to the bad experiences of the speaker. One of Ito’s main purposes with the poem is to convey the ways in which struggles are something that do not last forever because like the grass on a riverbank after a fire, people can start over, turn a new leaf and grow with a fresh start and a new beginning.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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9 Eligible Princes You Need To Know About Now That Prince Harry Is Off The Market

You too could have a Meghan Markle fairytale

Prince Harry's royal wedding is officially over and there won't be another British royal wedding for quite some time now, as Prince George is way too young to start thinking about that. Fortunately, there are plenty of other countries with plenty of other princes that are still eligible bachelors at the moment. Lucky for you, I did my research and compiled a list of all the eligible princes you need to know about know that Prince Harry has tied the knot with Meghan Markle.

1. Prince Louis of Luxembourg (31)

Prince Louis is the third son of the Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Theresa of Luxembourg. He has recently become a bachelor again after his separation with his wife of 10 years, Princess Tessy.

Fun Fact: He graduated from Richmond, The American International University of London with a BA in Communications. He can also speak Luxembourgish (the fact that's even a language is fun fact by itself), French, German, and English fluently.

2. Prince Sebastien of Luxembourg (26)

Prince Sebastien is the youngest child of the Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Theresa of Luxembourg, so if you marry him, you'll probably never actually be queen because he's pretty far removed from the throne. However, he's relatively young and single, so best of luck.

Fun Fact: For some bizarre reason, this prince actually went to college in Ohio. He played rugby and graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2015. Now, he is back in his home country and is an officer in the Luxembourg Army.

3. Prince Phillipos of Greece and Denmark (34)

You read that correctly, Prince Phillipos is the prince of not one, but two countries. He is the youngest son of King Constantine and Queen Anne Marie of Greece and Denmark. Unfortunately, Greece abolished their monarchy, so he's a prince in name only there.

Fun Fact: Like Prince Sebastien, Prince Phillipos also went to college in the United States. He earned his B.A. in foreign relations from Georgetown University in 2008. Fortunately, for us American girls, he is actually still living in the US and he works in New York City as an analyst at Ortelius Capital.

4. Prince Albert of Thurn and Taxis (34)

Ever heard of Thurn and Taxis? No? Me neither. Anyways, Prince Albert is from the House of Thurn and Taxis, which is essentially a very old German aristocratic family. He is the son of Prince Johannes XI of Thurn and Taxis and Countess Gloria of Schonburg Glauchau. His family is well known for their breweries and castles, so unless you're gluten-free, you can't really complain.

Fun Fact: He's not just a prince. He's also a racecar driver and 10 years ago he was ranked 11th on Forbes Magazine's List of The 20 Hottest Young Royals.

5. Prince Mateen of Brunei (26)

Prince Mateen is basically like all the guys you already know, except he's royalty. He's the prince of Brunei, which is a small country on the island of Borneo, south of Vietnam. He is one of the five sons of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, and he also has seven sisters. Maybe that's a little different than the guys you know, but one thing he takes very seriously, just like most frat guys, is his Instagram.

Fun Fact: Mateen enjoys playing polo, flying in his private plane, cuddling cute wild animals, and keeping up his Insta game with 890k followers. You can follow him @tmski.

6. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai (35)

Sheikh Hamdan also has a killer Instagram with 6.3 million followers. Anyways, Sheikh Hamdan is the billionaire crown prince of Dubai and the second son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and essentially the king of Dubai (Emir). He's actually next in line for the throne because his older brother died in 2015.

Fun Fact: Hamdan's hobbies include skydiving, zip lining, and diving, just to name a few, so if you're an adrenaline junkie, Sheikh Hamdan is the prince for you.

7. Prince Hussein of Jordan (23)

Prince Hussain is the son of the extremely beautiful, Queen Rania and Abdullah II of Jordan and next in line for the Jordanian throne. At 23, he's already a second lieutenant in the Jordanian Armed Forces and he was the youngest person ever to chair a UN Security Council Meeting

Fun Fact: Like Prince Phillippos, Prince Hussain also graduated from Georgetown University in Washington D.C.. Also, like Prince Mateen and Prince Hamdan, he's Insta famous with 1.3 million followers and you can follow him @alhusseinjo.

8. Prince Constantine-Alexios of Greece and Denmark (19)

Like Prince Phillipos, Prince Constantine-Alexios also has two countries. Lucky for us though, he is also living in the US right now attending Georgetown University in Washington D.C. (like pretty much every other prince, amirite?) He is the oldest son of Crown Princess Marie-Chantal and Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece.

Fun Fact: He's Prince William's godson, so that's pretty neat. However, if that wasn't cool enough, you might like to know that this Greek/Danish prince was actually born in New York. Oh yeah, you can also follow him on Instagram @alexiosgreece where he has 88.7k followers.

9. Prince Joachim of Belgium (26)

Prince Joachim of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este is the third child of Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este and Princess Astrid of Belgium. Although he bears the title, "Prince of Belgium," he is also Archduke of Austria-Este, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, and Prince of Modena. Unfortunately, he'll probably never actually be king in any of these countries as he is ninth in line to the Belgian throne.

Fun Fact: Prince Joachim has degrees in economics, management, and finance, but he decided to join the Nautical School in Brugge after completing college and is currently an officer in the Belgian Navy.

Hope is not lost for all you girls dreaming of finding a Prince Charming that's literally a prince. After reviewing the data, my best advice is to transfer to Georgetown where princes are basically around every corner.

Cover Image Credit: @meghantheduchessofsussexstyle/Instagram

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Your Summer Nannying Experience, Explained By 'iCarly'

If you've never felt like Carly trying to keep a wild Sam under control, you're not a nanny.


Nannying is one of those jobs that people either love or hate. If you love the kids you watch, you enjoy the activities you have them do, and you work hard at making their summer memorable and amazing, nannying is usually pretty awesome. I love, love, love nannying in the summer.

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