Archive for February, 2013

Pablo Neruda- “It Is Not Necessary”

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

It is not necessary to whistle
To be alone,
To live in the dark.

Out in the crowd, under the wide sky,
we remember our separate selves,
the intimate self, the naked self,
the only self who knows how the nails grow,
who knows how his own silence is made
and his own poor words.
There is a public Pedro,
seen in the light, an adequate Bernice,
but inside,
underneath age and clothing,
we still don’t have a name,
we are quite different.
Eyes don’t close only in order to sleep,
but so as not to see the same sky.

We soon grow tired,
and as if they were sounding the bell
to call us to school,
we return to the hidden flower,
to the bone, the half-hidden root,
and there we suddenly are,
we are the pure, forgotten self,
the true being
within the four walls of our singular skin,
between the two points of living and dying.


Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Also, I know this is super last-minute, but if you are free at five o’clock, you should go listen to Amanda Rutstein read her own poetry in the mansion for Thursday Poems! She is a great writer and, if I may say so, a friend of mine. 🙂 I can’t make it unfortunately, because I am helping run an event that is happening at the same time, but I want her to have a huge audience so please go go go!

That is all.

Incidentally, if you were going home early tomorrow…

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

…what kind of sweet smackerel would you miss partaking in the MOST,cookies or brownies?

With that, see you ALL tomorrow! 😉

PS- This is a sacrifice, you realize: using an oven while studying Plath seems vaguely barbaric to me…

Just wanted to share this photograph…

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
KKK child with state trooper

Bittersweet and Tragic: KKK child with state trooper

It was taken by Todd Robertson at a KKK rally in 1992.

This image came to mind while we were discussing Brooks today.  This child is innocent and curious, oblivious to the significance of his or her garb and the color of the trooper’s skin.  The 2-in-1 expression of the trooper is profoundly saddening to me.

Hope you all enjoy it, if you haven’t seen it before.

Anne Sexton reads “Her Kind”

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

So I just finished the reading for Friday and there are so many poets I like! I especially enjoy the Lowell and Sexton poems. I loved this poem “Her Kind” by Anne Sexton so I attached a link of her reading it so we could get a feel for how she sees the poem! Her reading of this poem is very eerie and not how I imagined it so it was very interesting to hear! Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

I love how she used this poem to represent the sonnet.


What do you think of her decision to make the I “children of the poor”?

Title!!!! Too much or too little?!?

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

I love how Brooks uses her titles to convey the messages and themes within her poems. I feel like with her longer poems she wants you to know exactly what she will be referencing in detail, and with her shorter poems she consciously chooses the two words that are most important.


Agree or  Disagree?

Old Mary don’t you weep!

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

I think the strongest lines in the poem are

My last defense

Is the present tense.

To me those lines signify that as an African American woman her only opportunity for her voice to be heard is “now” in time.


What are your thoughts?

we reeeeeall cooooool

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

What did you guys think of her formatting? Do you think it was a conscious decision to start out with two words and a period, the We and an indentation to the next line?

We real cool. We

Left school. We

Lurk late. We

Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We

Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We

Die soon.


What do you think about her alternations between using consonance and the ending with Die soon? How effective was this in relation to the success-fullness of the poem?

The Bean Eaters…

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

…reminded me of that one part of “Kaddish” where Ginsberg tells his mother, “There, rest now. No more… (hands, relatives, etc.)”

How does that relate to Brooks and The Bean Eaters might you ask? Because I think the listing of objects/loss thereof has much more to do with the process of aging than it does the person him or herself. So the bean eaters, who lean over “in their rented back room that is full of beads and receipts and dolls and cloths, tobacco crumbs, vases and fringes” (11) are simply aging in the stead of their belongings, because their abiotic objects cannot.

Brooks puts it well when she says earlier in the poem that they are “Two who have lived their day, but keep putting on their clothes and putting things away” (72). This suggests that motion is what keeps us alive, and keeps us if not sane, at least functioning. Even on a useless level, where these two have run out of things to do with their lives except for put their clothes on and “put things away,” their existence is validated by the fact that they keep moving.

In contrast, Naomi of Kaddish is lobotomized and later dies, and in doing so, escapes these mundane reasons behind being alive. She does not keep moving, and so it is therefore unnecessary for her to be alive, from this point of view. Anyway, I hope someone else sees a connection here, because it struck me very strongly as I read the poem, but I’m having a hard time expressing why here.