Disclaimer: I don't own any Azumanga Daioh characters.
Note: I don't really like poetry, but I do like to play with words sometimes. These are my attempts at expressing huge chunks (but not all) of a character's personality while using as few words as possible. They suck and I already know that I'm going to regret posting them, but whatever.
There, opposite palm.
Short, black hair.
Just one more.
Then one more.
Ah, the Pirouline.
Same field, different game.
A perfect 'Q'.
Behind the pedestal.
The world ended today.
Or maybe yesterday.
The golden mirror.
Opposite the glass,
Note: Below are the interpretations for the above pairs. These are only my takes on the characters and certainly they are arguable. Feel free to debate my opinions. :3
1. Ayumu: On a hand, opposite the palm is the back. 'There' places the topic of interest at the back of a hand, and the pair plays off the idiom of knowing something like the back of one's hand. We see the backs of our hands every day and so we know them very well. However, by definition, a 'stranger' is someone we don't know very well, if at all. Simply put, to have a stranger on the back of one's hand would mean to see the stranger, become acquainted with them, yet never really know anything about them. I think that this is the case with Ayumu. We know her well, and yet we don't.
2. Chihiro: Not much about this one. A caricature of words to emphasize that there's not much to know about Chihiro beyond her looks aside from being a friend of Kaorin's, having trouble in class, helping to make Chiyo's penguin suit, and twisting her ankle at the sports fests.
3. Yukari: For this one, 'dream' more refers to one's goal in life rather than the night time kind of dream. I can't help but get the feeling that Yukari is not all that satisfied with her life as a teacher and I wonder what other plans she might have had for herself if she had been willing to work a bit harder. She is unsatisfied, yet at the same time she is unmotivated to do anything about it. I see her as the type to lay in bed all Saturday simply because of a lack of other things to do with her time, which could be why she seems to play off of Nyamo's activities (i.e. following Nyamo to the pool, doing whatever Nyamo's doing for dinner, etc...) For the most part, she doesn't seem to be gearing her life towards anything and instead lives her days one at a time, intellectually inactive, or 'asleep'.
4. Kagura: Probably Kagura's most distinguishing characteristic is her drive. Unlike the others, she has a definite goal (swim team nationals) that she works towards. The only problem is that she doesn't seem to know how to reign in the force that pushes her forward. It's almost as though she's pushing herself for the sake of her pushing herself, not necessarily to win but to see how far she can get. An example of this would be when she challenges Sakaki to a flower-naming competition, even though she admits to knowing nothing about flowers. So on the same hand, when her body might say 'Just one more lap or else you might throw up', a voice at the back of her mind might say 'And then one more just to see if I do'.
5. Sakaki: This one was a bit more difficult. For those who might not know, a Pirouline is some kind of tall, cylindrical cookie with a crunchy outside and creamy center. The allusion is obvious, as Sakaki has an exterior that doesn't match her interior. When I thought about what might be going through Sakaki's mind at most any random point in the series, I could only conclude that it wouldn't be much. She's a daydreamer, easily distracted by cute things, and nothing beyond the 'cuteness realm' seems to catch her attention. There is more to her, but this is aspect is what the pair is about. 'Field' is used to refer to the physical, empirical world. In other words, Sakaki is living in the same world as everyone else. However, because her train of thought is guided along a railway of cuteness, the 'game' that she is playing is different from everyone else's. An example would be the scene in which she takes no notice of the many clubs vying for her attention. The crowd compares her to a lone wolf, and her stereotype of the animal is something completely different from what most people would conjure.
6. Chiyo-chan: A 'bull's eye' is used here to refer to something at the center of something else. In a way, Chiyo-chan is very much the central point of attention for the series, though I admit to not liking her very much. She's a character that seems to have everything handed to her, including wealth, cuteness, popularity, and general appeal. Despite this, she is not exactly Little Miss Perfect, which is why comparing her to 'a perfect circle' wouldn't have been accurate. Instead she is more of a Q, which is a circle with just a little bit of a flaw. In Chiyo-chan's 'case, that flaw would be her issue with her size, or perhaps her psychological scarring given by the Yukari mobile. Either way, she still ends up as this perfectly appealing image of perfect imperfection, a 'perfect Q'.
7. Nyamo: 'Pedestal' here is used to refer to something that supports something else. Nyamo is kind of a pedestal for the other characters. The series indicates that she is known for listening and helping students with their problems, along with taking care of her best friend. With the exception of one or two instances, she is a responsible, capable, and self sufficient woman. Despite this, there's something about her that makes her seem as though she's not comfortable in her own skin. I see it as a bit of a self-esteem issue. She's twenty-five and, for arguable reasons, is not yet married. She has only five more years until she reaches the taboo age for single women. Yukari doesn't seem to be so worried about this, and that Nyamo does worry about it says a lot of things about her. First, that she is a lesbian is arguable. She really seems like one with her boy's haircut, less feminine style of dress, P.E. teacher stereotype job, etc. Yet for some reason, she wants a husband. I've mulled this over a lot, but there's too much to put here. 'Withered leaves' ('withered' being a word that has a negative connotation) might bring to mind leaves that have fallen from a tree because of the usual seasonal change, a representation of passing time. Time is the most powerful force in the universe, and it is an obvious concern of Nyamo's. That this concern is 'behind' her pedestal is to say that the concern not in primary focus. When the other characters look at Nyamo they see the pedestal, and they might have to look a bit harder to see the leaves.
8. Tomo: I couldn't help but notice that Tomo is particularly odd about where she places things on her hierarchy of priorities. Things like grades and exams which are placed on the top level of everyone else's hierarchy are nonchalantly brushed onto the bottom level of hers. I don't think that she genuinely doesn't care, but instead it seems like she has perfected a keen sense of detachment that she uses as a method of self defense against stress and feelings of failure. An example would be when she notices how hard the others are researching possible career paths. For a moment she acts as though she's not even part of the process. I imagine that she did this because she was very behind on her own research, and rather than admit to falling behind and allowing the stress of the matter to consume her, she simply treats the matter as though it doesn't even pertain to her. So, while the end of the world is a very big stressful thing that would immediately be placed at the very tip top of everyone's hierarchy or priorities, the pair is meant to express Tomo's habit of placing important things in odd places on her own hierarchy. Anyone would know what day the world ended (given that they're alive), but to say 'Or maybe yesterday' means that the speaker didn't really care enough to pay much attention. Very exaggerated, but just an example.
9. Yomi: This one should also be more obvious. 'Heavy' has a negative connotation and implies a difficulty to maintain. 'Gold' is a representation of something of value, and of course mirrors are used to reflect images of those who look into them. A mirror made of gold implies that there is a lot of value placed on an individual's self image. Self image is important, but Yomi seems to have a hard time bringing this into a balance that she can live with. She's not fat, but her body is a concern to her. Having a 'friend' like Tomo doesn't seem to help her self esteem much either. I don't believe that Tomo actually thinks that Yomi is fat. Rather I think that Tomo teases Yomi simply because of Yomi's insecurities with the sadistic intention of making them worse. With Yomi's self esteem perpetually in the dirt, Tomo maintains her position at the top of the girls' social group (the structure of which is another matter). So the valuable aspect of one's life, Yomi has a hard time getting a hold of. I imagine that one day she's going to drop that mirror altogether and that she'll be better off because of it.
10. Kaorin: The astronomical references should have made this one more obvious. 'Satellite' by one of its definitions is an object that orbits another. To 'orbit' implies fixation, and of course Kaorin does have one very big fixation on Sakaki. To say that the orbiting satellite is 'opposite the glass' is to imply that the words are spoken from the perspective of 'this' side of the glass, this side being that of the object being circled. 'Glass', often a material through which we observe, acts as a barrier between the satellite and the object. The glass allows both to see each other clearly, but also keeps them very much apart. In this way, Sakaki is figuratively set into a glass box through which Kaorin examines her. As long as Kaorin continues to idolize Sakaki, that is to say, as long as the 'glass box' exists, Kaorin will always be separated from her. So close, yet so far.