By Claire Yu
This poem depicts a dysfunctional relationship in which the protagonist feels constricted by the person they love, but nevertheless wants to be with them. The color schemes and backgrounds used heighten the emotional complexity as well as the aesthetic of the piece. This poem was inspired by many books I have read in which the characters have an unusual romantic relationship, and I wanted to show the intricacy of the emotions the characters feel.
I wanted to challenge myself to incorporate a visual element in my poetry, and I decided to use Canva to create different backgrounds and color themes to match the mood of each verse of my poem. It was surprisingly easy to use Canva, and I was able to experiment with the app and find new things I could do with it. I was more satisfied with my end product than I expected, and I think that combining my writing with digital media was really valuable.
Meet the Pair
Mentee Claire Yu & Mentor Jesse Chen
Claire’s Anecdote: Jesse and I bonded on the first day we met when we found out how similar we were. Talking to Jesse, I found out that we both write poetry, dance, and play(ed) the flute! It’s honestly been so reassuring to know that I have someone to talk to who understands and can get advice from someone who has been through everything I’m going through now. Our weekly meetings at a café in downtown Manhattan always seem to go by so quickly when we chat about my writing and our lives.
Jesse’s Anecdote: Claire is what would happen if you took high school me, made her Gen Z, notched up the work ethic to 200 percent, and took a few inches off the top. We’re both poets, flutists, former ballet dancers turned hip-hop dancers, Asians, women, the daughters of immigrants, sisters, wearers of round glasses, resistant to the idea of ever leaving New York City; the list goes on. I’m thankful to get to work with someone so intelligent, articulate, and ambitious, and to cultivate her voice as one of a growing number of Asian women of color in the writing community.
Claire Yu is a junior from Queens who attends high school in Manhattan, NY. She enjoys writing poetry and memoirs, dancing and playing the flute. She has won regional and national awards at the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.