Posts Tagged ‘and so it begins’

Sermon / Spoken Word

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

 

This is a snippet of one of my favorite spoken word pieces called crucifixion type love this was the only video that was a performance and not a production.

 

He doesn’t get “preachy” but he does incorporate religion into his piece.

Def Poetry

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

I love def poetry and I’m so excited to hear it and learn about it in class. I watched the videos that Dr. Scanlon posted on the blog and my favorite was the one by Gina Loring, Somewhere There is a Poem. It is so cool how she intertwined history and touched on major historic events and people and it all flowed so well when she said it. I’m always amazed by how def poets speak their poems so well and so fluidly. My favorite part, well I have two. The first was when she sang the beginning of Amazing Grace-incorporating different spoken art styles into the reading is one of my favorite things and it really added to the poem, it gave it even more of a musical flare. I also loved how she used repetition to transition from one subject to the next and how it made her sound as if she was rapping. The poem flowed so so well and I loved her voice as she recited, the intonation and changing speed with which she spoke was beautiful. I found the written poem online and pasted the lyrics here because I loved them so much 🙂  This was so great!

Somewhere there is a poem
And I want to write this poem
I want to speak this poem
I want to feel this poem
I want to experience this poem
Cradle it in my arms
Feed it a good meal
And send it on its merry way

I want to sing this poem
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound”
Somewhere there is a poem screaming
Get up, stand up
Stand up for your rights
Human beings, human beings
Beings being so
Caught up in the tangible material surface
Or that they never actually feel
Their touch is liquid and grazes right through
But misses the core
This poem whispers to me
And rocks me to sleep
And tells me stories of indigenous people
Diseased and tricked and slaughtered
And made to be extinct
But this ain’t no pterodactyl
Or tyrannosaurus rex blood flowing through my veins

I am a Creek American Indian
I exist
I am an African
I am an old Jewish woman muttering prayers in Yiddish
As my name is replaced with a number on my arm
I am a little Japanese girl
Staring in horror
As my village is bombed and burnt to the ground
I was born in India, but not to the right caste
So regardless of what I accomplish
I will always be a peasant
I died in Mexico three feet from the border
Gunned down by evil troops
Who shoot for a living
Who sacrifice their souls for
The man-made boundaries of these Americas
Somewhere, there is a poem somewhere
Dozing in subway stations
And flying high on a 405
And taking the L to Brooklyn
The 15 to Vegas
And the Marter through Atlanta
And cruising down a dark street in Oakland is a poem

This poem comes from somewhere deep
Somewhere where the angels sleep
Where pixies dance and mermaids weep
Where hymns are hummed
So God will keep us all in mind on Judgment Day
This poem warns, but does not sway
For what you do is up to you
Where you go and who you know
If you close up, or if you grow

Somewhere there is a poem about the insanity
Of war, Hiroshima, Hiroshima
Hero, hero, war hero
Hero-, hero-, heroin is
Crack cocaine is
The systematic genocide of my people
Brown skin behind bars
Locked up behind bars
Trapped behind bars
And slaves behind bars
Kept in lines behind bars
Counted behind bars
Bars, there are more bars
Selling alcohol on a single reservation in Oklahoma
Than in all of Ventura county, county
Counting me in ‘cause I’m down for the revolution
Which may not be televised
And may not get radio play
But it will be told through poetry
‘Cause somewhere there is a poem

This poem speaks to me and draws me in
Like an amusement park to a kid
I want to freak this poem and dream this poem
And share it with y’all
Hold up, shhhhh
I just did

Spoken Word Videos for next week

Monday, April 15th, 2013

1.  For Monday:

Go to Def Poetry on channel musikslove (81 videos) and watch the following:

  • Black Ice, “Imagine” #16
  • Gina Loring, “Somewhere There Is a Poem” #19
  • Sunni Patterson, “We Made It” #76
  • Suheir Hammad, “First Writing Since” #77

Go to urbanrenewalprogram (80 videos) and watch the following:

  • Linton Kwesi Johnson, “If I was a top notch poet”
  • Staceyann Chin, “If only out of vanity”
  • Jessica Care Moore, “I’m a hip-hop cheerleader”
  • Erykah Badu, “Friends, fan, and artists”
  • Danny Hoch, “Corner Talk, September”
  • Amiri Baraka, “Why is we Americans”
  • Beau Sia, “Give me a chance”
  • Taylor Mali, “What teachers make”

2. For Wednesday:

Videos are student choice.  In Comments on this post, provide the name of the artist, the name of the poem, and the link (paste it in and it will go live when you post the comment).   RULES:

  • The poem must be recorded in a performance, and should NOT be a video production.
  • Each student may post only one video, so choose wisely!  It is NOT mandatory that you choose a poem.

POETRY READING ON APRIL 4

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

UPDATE: PLEASE SIGN UP ON THIS GOOGLE DOC BY TODAY AT 4:30. IT’S OKAY IF YOU’RE LATE, BUT WE’D LOVE YA IF YOU WERE EARLY!

Or copy and paste the URL below:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KcRMPSYGGmvg9_LE-uKJdcOXugGom2ybdWZYMezOC4I/edit?usp=sharing

So far, we have 12 of you (including myself) interested in reading. Regardless of what you decide to read for Thursday Poems, please make sure you do not go above 2:30. It will not be fair to the rest of the participants. If you have any questions, please let me know or post ’em onto the Google doc!

Thank you

I BELIEVE IN YOU! 

From “Memories and Thoughts on Adrienne Rich”

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Did you know Adrienne Rich passed away last week on the 27th in California? I did not. Writer Cathy Park Hong wrote one of the most beautiful memoriam pieces I have read yet for Poetry Foundation this past weekend.

While Hong discusses her own personal meeting with Rich filled with warmth and compelling conversation, she tackles the same question that Rich and even we grapple with as readers of poetry: “is poetry political?” Poetry may seem “flimsy” when discussing “war, class, sexism, racism, terror” and all the other social intersections that surround society. What Rich and Hong communicate, and what we saw Brooks trump, is that whether or not poetry seems useless, there is an “ethical responsibility” to be engage in a “historically charged moment to write it.” There is an “urgency” that writers and readers both usurp to resolve any uncertainty. The first step that seems to be taken is to read or write these poems.

Hong then discusses a “courage,” both public and private, that poets take when writing. Rich did examine this courage and use it if not to catalyze, then identify a revolution:

Then I turn to Adrienne Rich and her essays, her poems, become a call-to-arms, a reawakening of my fatigued consciousness: “We may feel bitterly how little our poems can do in the face of seemingly out of control technological power and seemingly limitless corporate greed, yet it has always been true that poetry can break isolation, show us to ourselves when we are outlawed or made invisible, remind us of beauty where no beauty seems possible, remind us kinship where all is represented as separation.”

A nice companion blog post to this would be Abbie‘s “Where’s the poetry in today’s Climate Movement?” from February. Here’s to you, Rich.

I’m a line! I’ll do WHATEVER I wanna do!!

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Lines do what they want to do?

  • Focus of process and form
  • Not on depth
  • Form grows out of the content

Do you agree or disagree?

Emerson’s work often requires that we trace etymologies?

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Do you think it’s necessary in bettering or understanding of the poetry itself? (not only with her work) but with poets in general?

Experiments=lack of flow?

Monday, March 25th, 2013

When you experiment with the form of a poem does it disrupt your intended flow?

Q: What do Babies, Fungus, Oppressed Women & The Cold War have in common?

Monday, March 25th, 2013

A: Sylvia Plath’s 1959 Poem “Mushrooms” has been speculated to be written about each.

When I first read this poem (on page 139 of our Collected), I was struck by how simple, hopeful and almost childlike it was (at least in comparison to the other works we had assigned last week). Of course, my initial reading was a literal one,  encouraged by the objectist voice Plath uses. For 11 stanzas, she speaks from the mushroom’s perspective…

Overnight, very
Whitely, discreetly,
Very quietly

Our toes, our noses
Take hold on the loam,
Acquire the air.

Nobody sees us,
Stops us, betrays us;
The small grains make room.

Soft fists insist on
Heaving the needles,
The leafy bedding,

Even the paving.
Our hammers, our rams,
Earless and eyeless,

Perfectly voiceless,
Widen the crannies,
Shoulder through holes. We

Diet on water,
On crumbs of shadow,
Bland-mannered, asking

Little or nothing.
So many of us!
So many of us!

We are shelves, we are
Tables, we are meek,
We are edible,

Nudgers and shovers
In spite of ourselves.
Our kind multiplies:

We shall by morning
Inherit the earth.
Our foot’s in the door.

Consider some of the following interpretations as you reread. What’s your take?

  • Women seen as purely domestic objects by men:  ‘We are shelves, we are Tables..”
  • “Overnight very whitely, discreetly, very quietly”: is this a description of conception?
  • Similar description of birth: “Perfectly voiceless, Widen the crannies, Shoulder through holes”
  • “Diet on Water, On crumbs of shadow, bland-mannered, asking little or nothing. So many of us! So many of us”: description of lower class struggle, buttressed by last line “our foot’s in the door.”

Who’s foot? WHO’S FOOT?!

Thoughts on Vollmer

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 12.35.32 PMI google mapped Boulevard of te Allies in Pennsylvania and here is a picture of what I found. I like that there is actually a bridge, but the water is so murky you definitely wouldn’t be able to see “the windows silver-foiling their reflections of the Hot Metal Bridge”. I like the idea of New Black Dress and the different places you can take it as the reader, but some lines are too ambiguous for my taste, like the first line on page 5, “where otters slide on their backs/in the deep Monongahela”. Why would you bring in otters to a poem about a black dress? If she’s referencing those fur scarf-things, “a deep black dress/holding another creature also/silk and fur and bone”, then usually those are minks or foxes.

Overall I’m conflicted about Vollmer’s poems. Sometimes her form works and sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t think the specific references work with her poems, but I think some of her poems are to abstract. I’m excited to hear her talk about her book of poems, maybe that will shed some more light on her process.

Also:

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