Poem Analysis: The Cities Inside Us

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Every moment, every experience, and every single person that someone has come into contact with has affected them and has caused them to be the person they are today. Alberto Ríos grasps this concept through his poem "The Cities Inside Us" by using an extended metaphor and having no rhyme scheme. Alberto Ríos was born in the city of Nogales, Arizona and raised by his parents being half Mexican and half British. Alberto's own personal experiences as growing up in a half Mexican and half British household have influenced the topics of his poems and the different ways he writes them. Having one foot in each culture growing up has definitely helped develop him as a person and a poet. He focuses many of his poems around the different aspects that…show more content…
The metaphor is comparing the building of a person's personality to the building of a city. "We are the secret citizens of the city" and "Inside us, and inside us" are the lines where Ríos is most clearly comparing the human mind to a city. The experiences that we have and people that we meet act as the bricks for our own internal city. Over the course of our lives everything adds up and creates this intricate city that is our thoughts and personality. Everything being moments, people, places, and experiences. "This is where they went. They did not disappear." is saying how nothing in our life really leaves us, it is just stored away in our memories. The faces that we see and signs that we read are not forgotten just placed away in out memory. Cities as well do not disappear. They could slow down or become less busy but the city itself does not go away. The last portion of the extended metaphor says "We have to hope that some of that sound does not come out, that an arm does not reach out in place of the tongue". Ríos is saying how everyone is different but our differences should not start fights. From the beginning to the end of the poem the metaphor is extended. It gives the reader a better understanding of what Ríos is trying to compare and what message he is trying to
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