The poem uses some imagery, and a metaphor is used “shimmered behind the arguments”, demonstrating how they were all aware of the depressing news of her mother’s death, and that it was a major problem that she was going through. Despite this the poet regains Heidi’s justice and strongly states his firm and that by dying her hair blue was not to rebel against her mother’s death, “It would have been unfair to mention your mother’s death, but that shimmered behind the arguments.” The poet however, manages to evoke the reader’s feelings, such as to feel what Heidi is going through, having to face her mother’s death, “The school had nothing against you; the teachers twittered and gave in.” From this we can see that the death of her mother may have caused the school to back out of pity, yet the issue of her mother’s death remained hidden. The poet also manages to evoke the reader’s feelings towards how the school rules are to some extent, unreasonable, and how the headmistress does not accept different styles- Heidi’s hair being dyed blue was an unusual thing and this can be seen in how Heidi’s father explains that “She’s not a punk in her behavior, it’s just a style”. This clearly shows that it was unusual that one would dye their hair blue. The poet also manages to convey a message that it is not right to judge a book by its cover.
The poem is written in six stanzas, each of which contains five lines. The poem does not rhyme, but the style of the poem is enjambment. This can be seen in how the author phrases each line of the poem, and how none of the lines in the poems were complete sentences. The poem uses four voices, Heidi, Heidi’s dad, the headmistress and the poet himself. The poem is written from an outsider’s point of view, to Heidi’s herself.
The poem uses alliteration in this poem and this can be seen in “the teachers twittered”. By using the alliteration, the poet manages to make the teacher’s comments seem silly. The poet also uses sarcasm in the poem, “You wiped your eyes, also not in school color”. This was obviously referring to either the color of her eyes, or the makeup, and shows how the poet was trying to obtain justice for Heidi, and that it was not fair for them to judge her base on her appearance and individual taste of dying her hair blue. Dialogues in the poem are made use of to convey certain messages, such as in “She’s not a punk in her behavior; it’s just a style.” From this the author manages to question the readers whether the appearances could clearly present the personality of a person, and how sometimes one should not be judged by his or her appearance. In stanza 2, the poet states “although dyed hair was not specifically forbidden”, from here the poet again raises the question of whether or not this is really a rule or an excuse. In the last stanza, the poet uses irony, by having Heidi’s friend color her hair “in grey, white and flaxen yellow” which were “the school colors precisely”.
Through the many literary devices and the poem, the poet tries to convey the message that it is not right to discriminate people because of any abnormal preferences or tastes. Just because someone is different from the normality, does not mean that they are necessarily bad in the heart. People have been so used to being conformed to the normality in the world that they have judged people because of the differences, without actually knowing the true personality of a person. The poem also deals with human rights, where people should be given the right to choose their dress code and hairstyle. The issue symbolizes individual’s freedoms and rights in the conflict between the teenager and authority, whether it is at school or at home. The poem manages to depict the conflicts between school culture and youth culture in different aspects including looks and attitudes. I myself agree with the poet’s message that he is trying to convey to the readers. I think it is important that we do not criticize people just because of the way they look, or because they are dissimilar from the others.