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Analysis Of Remember How We Forgot By Shane Koyczan

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The mood of the poem, “Remember How We Forgot” evokes sincere feelings like self-reflection and strategy that would give the audience goosebumps. This mood is presented to the audience through the poets words and descriptions. Shane Koyczan uses multiple literary devices to accomplish so, including an oxymoron and a rhetorical question as the title, which sets the tone to the audience to start thinking about what Koyczan is going to say. Literary devices, such as anaphora and personification, helped form the poem’s power. For example, Koyczan says, “Like our imaginations were in shape then” which gives another example of “how we used to bend reality”.

In addition to using many literary devices to pull out the theme of the poems, Koyczan was taking his audience as a whole through multiple phases of life, making sure that connections are made through his similes and metaphors, such as “burn like an ember capable of starting fires” when he wanted to explain how to live life efficiency, like the line before, “all we have is the time between the moments we connect each dot so live and remember”. To conclude, the author of this poem wanted to evoke deep connections for the mood of this poem, enabling the vibe of ‘goosebumps’ and ‘self-reflection’.

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In the poem, “Remember How We Forgot”, Koyczan relies heavily on imagery to grant his message across, and to take his audience back to childhood to get the reader to understand the title. When he started his poem off with a thought of war and how the soldiers or heroes that fought for their country, he uses imagery as the best option to portray their thoughts, feelings, and setting. For example, “because each gunshot came from our fingertips”. In addition, Koyczan uses imagery to stimulate senses other than sight, including descriptions of sound, scent, taste, and touch. For example, “No voice to battle the fact that we had no vocal cords” and “we had no chains to rattle” for sound. For touch, the author used words that gets nerves from different parts of the body to activate, for instance in the line, “We had only finger nails on chalk boards”. Finally, the author uses imagery because humans are empathetic. When an author describes an experience or feeling, it’s straightforward and easier to connect to the situation. Koyczan uses the topic of identity as a theme towards this poem, and to explain the title on what exactly is supposed to be remembered that has been forgotten. He makes several points regarding one’s experience with identity, especially since one of the main problems in this society is the loss in the sense of identity to please others since humans strive to feel accepted. Therefore, Koyczan connects this poem and the thematic topic of identity to childhood, where identity is based on a sense of innocence.


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