Crazy Courage Argumentation

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Crazy Courage: An Expression of Individuality in the face of Conformity
The persona in the poem Crazy Courage by Alma Luz Villanueva highlights the bold expression of
the self-reflective artistry of a transgendered poet to an idiosyncratically diverse audience. This
representation is achieved primarily through the arrangement of stanzas one and two where Michael is first
introduced as a man dressed in mens clothes in a fiction class then as a man under womens clothing in a
poetry class. The setting of these two comparisons (the fiction class and the poetry class) implies that the
subjects biological identity is merely a façade he does not feel as though being a man is a character he
relates to it is his fiction. The poet prefers a different identity a female identity; and his art reflects this
duality. The fact that the author of the poem chose to highlight the strength of Michaels femininity in the
poetry class, wearing, among other things, a miniskirt, high boots, and bright purple tights (lines16 and
17) more than she highlights the gentleness of his masculinity implies that Michael is a transgendered
It is important to acknowledge that the author is talking about a transgendered woman; however, the
meaning of the poems title, Crazy Courage, only acquires full meaning when one considers the sixth and
seventh stanza. The subtle assertion is that Michael presented his living, red rose (line 26) inperfect
dignity (line 25) to an audience with varying responses to his presumably self-reflective art. Michael
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presentation to the seen-it-all MTV crowd (line 22), reflects his maturity as an artist and the silence as he
introduced his act mirrors the extent to which the audience had been awe-struck. The choice of imagery in
the red rose too, is of vital significance to the plot: the red rose could be interpreted as a symbol of courage
courage to stand up for ones individuality regardless of the outcome. The life in the rose represents the
vibrancy of the poet being able to project his persona through his work of art. The conclusion of the poem,
therefore, tends to point out that embracing the pain and the joy of this kind of personal divergence is the
actualization of crazy courage: open, set apart, the pain of it, the joy of it the crazy courage (lines 33 and
34). The adoption of a non-conformist lifestyle requires courage crazy courage.
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Works Cited
Rich, Adrienne and David Lehman. The Best American Poetry, 1996. New York: Scribner
Paperback Poetry, 1996. Print.

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