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The poem, “Suicide Note”, by Janice Mirikitani is about a young
Asian-American female college student who commits suicide
by jumping out of her dormitory window. This note written in
the form of a poem, allows the reader to see what induces an
individual to take her own life.
• The poem describes the emotions and true feeling of a young
girl student who thinks that suicide is the only way left for her
to please her parents and to escape the pressures of student
• The reoccurring line in this poem, “not good enough, not
pretty enough, not smart enough”, is emphasize this aspect
of her psyche.
• This poem also mention how the girl failed to get high grades
in exams. Her parents were more concerned about the
grades not their love towards their daughter.
• At the moment, she wishes she were born a son, which
would have a better in dealing with the challenges in her
• The words “Each disappoinment, ice above my river”
indicate that her mood is down after those “perceived”
failings. She feels that she will never find success in
school, and she is never able to please her parents.
• Therefore, she jumps the conclusion that suicide is the
only way she get rid of these problems.
Example: “not strong enough’’, “not good
enough” and “not smart
~ To emphasize on how she feels.
Example: “Each failure, a glacier.’’
“Each disapproval, a bootprint.”
“Each disappointment, ice above
~To help the readers understand better
on what she is going through.
Compare the girl to “this sparrow ”
Compare a son to the “pine ”
~ To express her thoughts about herself
and a son.
“ Fragile as wings”
“ My tears drop like bitter cloth”
~To make the readers have a greater meaning
Tone and mood
( sad and depressing )
„‟ I would swagger through life
muscled and bold and assured,
drawing praises to me
like currents in the bed if wind, virile
with confidence. „‟
The girl thinks that she is not able o accept
Cannot deal with life
Begins to fantasize about what it would be
like if she were a son
Feels that men do not have such problems
and are stronger to weather any kind of
Her parents expect the unexpected
The phrases „‟ not good enough‟‟ , „‟ not
smart enough‟‟ , „‟not pretty enough‟‟
which are repeated over and over again
To prove to reader that she was never
subject DEATH and
The phrases “not good enough”, “not smart enough”,
“not pretty enough” made her believes that her parents
view her as a weak and imperfect daughter in doing
“How many notes written” that they are just like
“birdprints in snow”. She can‟t change the fact that her
parents look down upon her as being failed in attaining
high grades in exams.
She stops struggling and fighting the “air” with
her “crippled wings” and she falls “softly into the
gutter below” indicates she is committing
Through a quote from the poem “perhaps
when they find me, they will bury my bird bones
beneath a sturdy pine and scatter my feathers
like unspoken songs or this white and cold and
silent breast of the earth” depicts she jumped
from her dormitory window.
“I apologize for disappointing you” that seen in
poem portrays how disappointed when her parents
come to know her failure.
“Each failure , a glacier.
Each disapproval, a bootprint.
ice above my river.”