10 Things I Hate About You is a poem about adolescent love and frustration. It is told from the perspective of a young woman who is struggling to find the right words to describe her experience.
10 Things I Hate About You, by Katerina Stratford
I hate the way you talk to me
And the way you cut your hair
I hate the way you drive my car
I hate it when you stare
I hate your big dumb combat boots
And the way you read my mind
I hate you so much that it makes me sick
It even makes me rhyme
I hate the way you’re always right
I hate it when you lie
I hate it when you make me laugh
Even worse when you make me cry
I hate the way you’re not around
And the fact that you didn’t call
But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you
Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.
About the Poem
The song is based on the 1999 American romantic comedy film of the same name. It was directed by Gil Junger and starred Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Larisa Oleynik, among others.
The plot is based on William Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew. It is mostly set in a high school.
The film was moderately successful when it was released on March 31, 1999. It has since become a cult classic. The film was recently adapted into a television series of the same name. It lasted twenty episodes.
Summary of 10 Things I Hate About You
The speaker, Kat, addresses Patrick in the first lines of the poem, telling him about all the things she dislikes about his actions and habits. Some of these are more serious than others, such as how he lies to her, his boots, and his hairstyle.
The poem’s second half is more emotional. There, the speaker addresses the issues at the heart of their relationship, as well as the fact that she does not, in fact, despise Patrick.
Themes in 10 Things I Hate About You
Love and relationships are two of the most prominent themes in 10 Things I Hate About You. The speaker and her intended listener are clearly at odds, as evidenced by the poem’s brief but emotional lines.
They are unsure of the type of relationship they have and want to have. They may be in love, but their youth and very different personalities make it difficult for things to progress smoothly.
The poem itself attempts to reconcile, or at least clarify, their relationship and set it on a new path.
Structure and Form
The poem 10 Things I Hate About You is based on the 1999 film of the same name. Because the poem is read aloud in the film, the formatting is somewhat open to interpretation.
However, there are sixteen statements and some obvious end-punctuation placement. The poem contains several examples of rhyme, though there is no consistent pattern. For instance, “hair” and “stare” in lines two and four and “call” and “all” at the end of the poem.
10 Things I Hate About You employs a number of literary devices. Anaphora, repetition, alliteration, and allusion are examples of these. The first of these, anaphora, is a kind of repetition concerned with the use and reuse of words at the beginning of multiple lines of verse. For instance, “I hate it,” which starts at least nine lines out of approximately sixteen.
There are also other instances of repetition in the line formatting. For example, the majority of the lines are about something the speaker despises about the intended listener. The speaker uses “not even” three times in the final line, or lines, depending on how the poem is divided.
Alliteration is a type of repetition. It is evident when the speaker uses words with the same consonant sound. For example, in line five, “big” and “boots” are used, as are “mind,” “much,” and “makes” in lines five and six.
Finally, there are a few examples of allusions. Kat, the speaker, refers to earlier in the film when she speaks to Heath Ledger’s character, Patrick, about his treatment of her and their relationship.