Letter to a Playground Bully by Andrea Gibson

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Andrea Gibson’s’ poem ‘Letter to the Playground Bully’ is an unforgettable poem about bullying. She cleverly crafts a poem from the perspective of an 8 and a half year old girl who is trying to confront the playground bully through a letter. The poem’s sole purpose is to expose the hardships and reality for victims of bullying. She achieves this by making the speaker a younger version of herself. She wrote this poem in order to perform in front of high school and elementary school students to try and stop bullying. Gibson explores unfamiliar territory related to bullying in a straightforward, sweet, yet different approach.

Andrea Gibson has been on the receiving end and on the defender’s side of bullying. ‘Letter to the
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She switches tactics often from passive blows to direct accusations concerning the bully’s behavior towards her “but you absolutely missed when you told the class I have head lice” (Gibson, Poems 8). She wins the hearts of the audience through the forgiving nature of the speaker but also through her naivety. Victims of bullying are seen as the dredges of society, they are viewed as deserving of their torture and considered to be invalids. Bullying is rarely seen as what it actually is, the alpha group/student ganging up on people who are different or weaker. Gibson destroys all the stereotypes and exposes the harsh reality of it all, that the victims are people who are not in control of the outcome of the situation. She also makes the audience realize that no one deserves this treatment by making the victim relatable. Gibson displays the victim as the helpless lovable child that they are while kindling emotions of sorrow, anger and compassion from the audience through the melancholy low points of the poem.

A guest speaker once said that in order to be an inspirational person you need to be able to do the right thing, think of others and see things through a new perspective. Andrea Gibson has fulfilled all these requirements by expounding a powerful argument through her fluent and effortless weaving of her personal memories of bullying with a bittersweet

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