P.O.M.E (Product of My Environment)

By ZF

I from where what you see is what you get
most things I’ve seen I want to forget
But I’ll remember this forever!
Sunny shining and it’s still bad weather
Think it’s a dream but it’s a living nightmare
growing up in the hood made me want to get out of there
But it’s hard to get out of the trap!!
It’s a set up to end up dead or in the system
Most people are either suspects or a victim
Some took another route and beat the odds
They learned how to play their cards
Even when dealt a bad hand
At a early age I was turned into a man
Everything that I went through made me who I AM

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19 Comments

  1. Roy on February 8, 2024 at 8:59 PM

    Hello! Thank you for sharing your work. I enjoyed reading about your perspective and how one’s environment can shape who they are, and potentially who they become. Those who are out of touch with the hood may think that its a cool lifestyle and aspire to be like those they see on the street. I love that your words speak a deeper meaning and encourage others to not be blinded by the hype. I hope you continue writing and expressing yourself. I also love how you wrote in a manner that speaks to your voice, it’s nice to hear work that takes a nontraditional route.

  2. Noriko Bell on February 16, 2024 at 9:57 AM

    Life is a struggle. For you more than others, perhaps. Your struggles made you who you are? I hear you looking for the positive, and landing in the same spot. It’s a struggle to seek out the good in life when you’re circumstances feel bleak. But, you can tell yourself, “I Am A Man”, a declaration made by another artist. Please keep writing. I will keep reading.

  3. Claire on February 16, 2024 at 10:32 PM

    This poem is so raw and powerful. It vividly portrays the struggles of growing up in a tough environment, where every day feels like a battle against the odds. The imagery of sunny weather contrasting with the living nightmare captures the complexity of the situation perfectly. The lines about feeling trapped in the hood and the constant struggle to escape really hit hard. But amidst the hardship, there’s a resilience shining through. The determination to beat the odds and rise above the circumstances is truly inspiring. And the final line, “Everything that I went through made me who I AM,” speaks volumes about the strength and character forged through adversity.

  4. Emily on February 17, 2024 at 12:38 PM

    This poem is so powerful and moving. It captures the resilience and strength of your spirit in the face of adversity. It is a reminder that even in the toughest of circumstances, one can fing the inner strength to overcome and thrive. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Bella G on February 17, 2024 at 3:22 PM

    Hi there,

    I think you did a great job conveying the influence an environment has on a person’s childhood, experiences, and future. Even though not everyone will be affected the same way, like you mentioned, it is difficult for most to escape the path created for them by their surroundings. I like the rhyming you did in the poem and how you conveyed so much within a single paragraph! There’s a few grammar mistakes (the first line put “I am from…”; the second line maybe put “Sun’s shining…”; the thirteenth line say “At an early age…”), but other than that this is an awesome poem!

  6. Pranjel Hajare on February 18, 2024 at 12:52 PM

    I believe this poem is very motivating. It reminds every person who reads it that not only do you have your good days and bad days and not only do you go through some difficult moments in life everyone does. Everyone has their fair share of struggles but at the end of the day, like the author said, these conflicts shape you into the person that you are today. I needed to see this today.

  7. Tanzil Quddus on February 18, 2024 at 5:12 PM

    I believe the reference to “Sunny shining and it’s still bad weather” symbolizes the difference between outward appearances and internal hidden struggles. Despite the brightness of the sun, there’s still an underlying sense of hardship..

  8. Rhythm Chaudhary on February 18, 2024 at 11:36 PM

    This poem felt very raw and emotional to me. I like the shifts in tone as the poem goes on and the acceptance at the end, what a great way to end it off. Love this poem!

  9. Kay R. on February 19, 2024 at 1:01 PM

    Wow, ZF! This was such a touching read. You did a great job of describing your feelings about your past and tying them to your present experiences. Your resilience and strength is shown through your words. Your poetry is touching, and you did an amazing job.

  10. Erica L on March 6, 2024 at 2:18 PM

    I love your title of your poem and it immediately caught my eye. It is true- we are naturally a product of our environment and we must take active steps to leave harmful environments and grow from them. I loved “Everything that I went through made me who I AM.” This is powerful. I see you reclaiming any power or autonomy you lost from the cycle and system. I see you grasping it back. Keep on growing through this life, thank you for sharing your words.

  11. Sierra on March 23, 2024 at 10:30 PM

    When scrolling through the available poems, this one really caught my eye. You can tell this poem was written with so much emotion, and passion. I took a lot of time to digest each line, and think about your story and how it has affected you and the many other people living a similar life. This poem really symbolizes your strength even in such little words, and my heart goes out to you. “Sunny shining and it’s still bad weather”, really stuck with me. When things feel hopeless, even on your best days, it’s hard not to feel defeated. You can achieve anything you dream of, and you will get far. As you said it best, everything that you went through made you who you are, and you should feel proud for being so transparent and willing to discuss your struggles. This was a deep, emotional, and important poem to read, and I am thankful to have read about who you are. If poetry is what you love, never lose sight of it!

  12. Grace on March 31, 2024 at 12:46 PM

    This is a great poem that really allows others to see your perspective and feel your emotions. I really like how you are able to be vulnerable and raw in your writing. I also love that you are able to reflect on your life and where you grew up. The points you make in this poem bring up really important issues and inspire me and others to work on fighting these issues. Thank you for sharing your voice!

  13. Jamie on April 2, 2024 at 9:45 PM

    Hi! I think your poem expresses a poignant emotional journey and reflects on the experiences and challenges you have faced growing up in a difficult environment. ​The main theme of the poem seems to revolve around struggle, resilience, and transformation. Confronting memories you wish to forget, yet emphasizes the enduring nature of certain impactful experiences. The juxtaposition of “sunny shining” with “still bad weather” creates a powerful contrast, symbolizing moments of hope amidst ongoing adversity. Keep up the great work!

  14. Hannah on April 5, 2024 at 3:15 PM

    The poem provides an honest and unvarnished depiction of the difficulties encountered while growing up in difficult situations, where optimism and despair coexist. The contrast between pleasant weather and a terrifying nightmare captures the contradictory feelings felt in these kinds of situations. The reader connects strongly with the depiction of the hood as a trap, where survival is a never-ending struggle against the odds. But even in the face of hardship, there’s a sliver of resiliency and will shown by individuals who overcome the obstacles and forge their own route. The speaker’s path from adversity to self-realization emphasizes how life experiences have the ability to change a person’s identity and character.

  15. Gaby on April 30, 2024 at 1:43 PM

    ZF,
    This poem holds a lot of truth and raw emotion. You write so clearly and descriptively about your experience while growing up all while showing that just about everyone is a product of their environment. Life is difficult, and some people are given an environment that does not have great odds of succeeding. This is an issue that must be spoken about, as we as a country will never be able to fix the discriminative and broken system and cycle if it is not spoken about. Keep writing!

  16. Katie on May 7, 2024 at 10:04 PM

    Thank you for sharing. The title of your poem captured my attention right away. Through this poem it’s evident that you’ve done some serious self-refection and thought hard about what got you to your current state. Generational trauma and repetitive patterns of behavior are no joke, but it only takes one person to break that cycle. Those things may have made you who you are today, but you have the power to control who it is you become. You get to have the final say. Keep writing, processing, thinking, and growing. We are rooting for you!

  17. Emma on May 8, 2024 at 2:10 PM

    This poem is very raw, powerful and emotional to me. I loved the line “ Everything that I went through made me who I AM”, It really touched me and made me think. Love this poem.

  18. Lena Singer-Delius on May 15, 2024 at 5:33 PM

    I love this poem. This poem beautifully describes the consequences of having a harmful environment, and how it can force people to grow. I loved the way you gave specific connections to yourself, while still allowing room for the reader to see their own experience in your writing. This is a really powerful poem, and you can feel your determination and bravery through the words.

  19. Maren on June 11, 2024 at 3:07 PM

    ZF, this poem is powerful and contains a strong message that although people beat the odds and escape the conditions of their environment, it ultimately is a struggle and people come of age in those environments, and that it is a systemic issue that is “a set up to end up dead or in the system.” I enjoyed the rhyme scheme throughout the poem as it separates your different thoughts and admire your overall craft.

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