Labels – Barbara Dorsey


  • Grace Cho December 6, 2018 Reply

    I like your poetry it’s really nice . If I were you and I couldn’t communicate with my dad I would be 😭.

  • Dorothy Molnar December 6, 2018 Reply

    I love how you described your feelings and congrats on the 6! 😃 i liked your poem. It’s really nice and touching. My mom would definitely cry. It’s beautiful.

  • Bubu Sun December 6, 2018 Reply

    I also had an experience simmer as you, i know did feel but are you feeling better today? Thanks for sharing you story!!

  • Brooke Bywater December 6, 2018 Reply

    I think that this poem was very touching. I loved it. I understand how you felt, when I came to China all I heard was rapid Chinese and construction. I didn’t know anything about the language. It was really strange

  • 20mn01 December 6, 2018 Reply

    Your poem is amazing. I got really into your personal story and was surprised to know new thing about you. I thought I already know you well but it was shocking. I could feel empathy by listening to this poem because I had communication problem with my dad too. It would have been really difficult to tell other people about your private stories so I’m impressed about you taking risks! Good Job 🙂

  • Kyle December 6, 2018 Reply

    As I also have a similar experience with you, I was able to understand your feelings. Also, I really like how you related to your father. It absolutely helped me empathize to your situations.

  • Faye Krouse December 6, 2018 Reply

    Wow, what a powerful poem. I really admire how you put yourself out there, how you show your vulnerability. That takes courage, and as an IB student, your definitely have demonstrate being a risk-taker. The tile “Labels” captures your journey, a journey that begins with you feeling whole as a young child who was confident with her mother tongue, to being splintered and confused as to what language will become the dominant one, to becoming whole again. What an amazing journey you have expressed with such emotion.

  • stevewen December 6, 2018 Reply

    Very good.

  • Emma December 6, 2018 Reply

    Oh Barbs, I really, really love your poem. I admire your courage – being so honest while sharing your story is not an easy thing to do, and yet you’ve done it. Your story is touching and I cannot emphasize how humbled I am to get to hear your story, Thanks for sharing! 🌺

  • Sunny Kwon December 6, 2018 Reply

    Hello Barbara, this is a very wonderful poem!
    I especially like the metaphors you put in to describe your experience between the two languages. Your transition from being monolingual, to bilingual, then back to monolingual interested me, and your poem engages listeners into your story! As a bilingual speaker, I had many connections to your story, but I also learned about a new perspective and experience in a very interesting way. Your emotions throughout the transitions were very smooth and strong, which further intrigues listeners. Thank you, good job overall!

  • Chloe Chang December 6, 2018 Reply

    I really like the vulnerability in your voice. You really captured the conflicting feelings as you grew up. Being a bilingual student, I can relate to being torn between learning 2 languages, speaking Chinese and English. Though Chinese was my mother tongue, as I grew up in an international school, I began adapting to the English language, thus losing touch with my roots. You really put this feeling that was previously so hard to explain, down in words. I hope more people get to hear this poem because it is really powerful!! 😀

  • Aneri Jadhav December 6, 2018 Reply

    I loved your poem; it was really touching. I could relate so some parts of it as, I am Indian but my first language was English so Hindi seems very foreign to me making me feel like a fake Indian. Thank you for taking risks and sharing a story so close to your heart.

  • Alisa December 6, 2018 Reply

    Hi Barbara,

    I love how brave and open you were, talking about something so personal. I really liked how you poured so much emotion and feeling into your poem, it really helped me further understand your poem! Great job!!!! 🙂

  • Brendan H. December 6, 2018 Reply

    Hey B,

    I really respect your courage, sharing your personal stories of your childhood. Especially, when this you consider a ‘flaw’, you were brave enough to share and talk about it throughout your poem. I really liked how you made the title of this poem “labels” Showing people would identify you by where you’re from, what languages you speak etc… Thank you for sharing your childhood and all the stories that have brought you here and made you the person you are now. Good job!

  • Josie December 6, 2018 Reply

    I loved that the order of languages in your poem corresponded with your journey in learning them. Also, I totally connected with your story as I too have experienced loosing a language, which for me is Chinese. I really enjoyed your poem and thank you for sharing!

  • Ms. Baci December 6, 2018 Reply

    Hi Barbs. There is such an openness to how you intro your poem. That’s beautiful. “Everything was blank Until you drew me.” — Wow, what a way to begin. It offers imagery, but also makes the reader curious to understand more. Your poem, like you, is so authentic. Your ending speaks of power and strength. Beautiful.

  • Eve :) December 7, 2018 Reply

    I love your poem and it was really cool to see your transformation as a person through your life and how language and communication played a role in that.
    I can definitely relate to your story a lot as my French has gotten a lot worse ever since I switched to taking Chinese instead of French. I always have to ask my mom if my writing is correct before I write something to someone in French and my grammar has gotten really bad. I feel like I’m slowly losing a language that is a really big part of my life and my relationship with my mom and her side of my family.

  • Joao December 7, 2018 Reply

    Your poem is wonderful. The susceptibility of your voice really speaks for itself and sets a tone to the poem as a whole. The idea of experiencing the transition from your home country to a foreign one can be scary at times and you explained the most minimal of details to demonstrate how you felt during this transition. As a bilingual speaker, I related to this poem at multiple points, as I was also torn between 2 languages when I first moved to China. This poem sends a message that many cannot put down in words, it is extremely powerful in meaning!

  • 21em01 December 7, 2018 Reply

    Being in an international school, I believe that many people can relate to losing their native tongue to English. I certainly relate to this, growing up I had been studying my native tongue only to lose it after becoming fluent in English. Your poem is so raw and authentic that we see so much of your youth and your history, amazing job !

  • Yijoo Choi December 7, 2018 Reply

    Hi Barbara, I really really really love your poem. Thank you for sharing your deep story, and I was able to make so much empathy when I was listening. The title ‘Labels’ really attracted me, because I also believe sometimes people just label me base on what they think on me. Culture is a really valuable and tough thing to talk about, and I think we really explained your life journey well. Your starting and ending sentences are so strong, make me know more and listen to your story more. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful poem, and I love you!

  • Caden December 7, 2018 Reply

    Your poem was filled with deep emotions and I think that is very good that you were able to share these. I really liked the many literary devices that were used in your poem. I also find your ending to be very special the way you said “And in the end labels are labels, but to me the language I speak will not define me”.

  • Boey December 7, 2018 Reply

    Hi Barbara,

    Your poem was really moving and it was really interesting hearing your experiences and losing your mother tongue. I really relate to your experience, as my Chinese skills are worsening even though it’s my mother tongue, and I too am afraid to lose it. Thank you for sharing such a personal and authentic story.

  • Sujin December 7, 2018 Reply

    Hi Barbara,
    I loved your poem, and first of all thank you for being open to share your story! I could hear much about you but also your profound thoughts of what it means to be monolingual with multiple identities. I’m not as strong in my second or third language but I could relate to you when you talked about how changing environment affected your language. Your poem was really touching and beautiful. Great job!!

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