"Identity" by Julio Noboa Polanco analysis? Please help?

I've read the poem but I'm having a hard time analyzing the meaning in modern day english. Can anyone help me with a line by line interpretation? This is NOT homework. This is a poem I read that I do not understand that I would like help in understanding. Thank you to anyone who can help. Here is the poem:

Let them be flowers,

always watered, fed, guarded, admired,

but harnessed to a pot of dirt.

I'd rather be a tall, ugly weed,

clinging on cliffs, like an eagle

wind-wavering above high, jagged rocks.

To have broken through the surface of stone

to live, to feel exposed to the madness

of the vast, eternal sky.

To be swayed by the breezes of an ancient sea,

carrying my soul, my seed, beyond the mountains of time

or into the abyss of the bizarre.

I'd rather be unseen, and if,

then shunned by everyone

than to be a pleasant-smelling flower,

growing in clusters in the fertile valley

where they're praised, handled, and plucked

by greedy human hands.

I'd rather smell of musty, green stench

than of sweet, fragrant lilac.

If I could stand alone, strong and free

I'd rather be a tall, ugly weed.


I don't think it is necessarily about a woman.

The poem compares a pot plant with a weed growing on a mountain top.

The pot plant is beautiful, cultivated, cherished; but it is owned by someone. The flower is pampered and prized, but it is not free.

The weed (Polanco says) is exposed to the elements, and has to fight to stay alive (nobody waters or feeds it); but the weed does not belong to anybody. It is free.


It is a very silly poem; weeds grow in 'dirt' just as much as weeds do. And flowers are just as much 'exposed to the madness of the vast eternal sky' as weeds are.

(Unless you happen to believe that flowers grow beneath a small, sane and temporary sky).

The poem says the sort of thing people expect a poem to say, and says it in the way people expect a poem to say it.

Real poems never do what you expect.


but harnessed to a pot of dirt? (might be interrogative)

I'd rather be unseen, and if, (and if I'm unseen)

Ya, you're analysis I think is right. It could be about middle class lifestyle that can be boring to some people. Being respectable and constrained vs not getting respect and being carefree


Do any of you know who originally published this poem?