Posts Tagged ‘BOOM. Brooks.’

Contradicting contradictions

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

No one was more shocked than I was when Garrett opened his mouth for the second time all semester and dropped a bomb on the class, but I think before we all point fingers at him for being so closed minded we should try to consider this from another perspective. From what I’ve gathered, Garrett doesn’t seem to care for spoken word/slam poetry in general. His comment was not unique to Staceyann Chin. I believe he thinks that all spoken word/slam poetry has the tendency to become tantrum-like, so I think it is unfair to make accusations about his response being directly influenced by the speaker’s race and gender. Though these things should not be ignored, I don’t want to put words into anyone’s mouth either. I saw that Julia mentioned that Staceyann Chin is purposefully acting as the “angry black woman” caricature and if that’s the case, shouldn’t we think she is abrasive? Wouldn’t she want us to? Personally, I believe Staceyann Chin gave us a very raw and honest performance and I think that is why it was so shocking when Garrett outright dismissed it. However, no one had a problem with me nearly ripping my hair out when Amiri Baraka hoo-ed like an owl with the most unfortunate saxophone player alive. In the same vein, both poets were trying to get under the listeners skin, to aggravate them, to put them on edge. The saxophone was over the top and so were Staceyann Chin’s high knees.

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?

Brooks essay

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Prompt posted.  Due date moved back to March 15.


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?

Brooks, anything but Babbling

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Actually, the babbling might be done on my part…

I am just very much enamored with Brooks, stylistically in particular. Her half rhymes are brilliant, and she has a great knack for internal rhyme– and those are two of my special favorite parts of reading poetry. In my opinion, one of the greatest delights of reading poetry is that it TASTES like something when the words take shape. Now, maybe that makes me sound like I’m experiencing synesthesia, but seriously, words have tastes, and poems, if done well, are entire meals. And I’m finding Brooks’ more than palatable.

My favorite passage in everything we read for our upcoming class actually occurs in our “first” page of reading, pg. 58, and goes as follows:

Oh oh. Too much. Too much. Even now, surmise,
She rises in the sunshine. There she goes,
Back to the bars she knew and the repose
In love-rooms and the things in people’s eyes.
Too vital and too squeaking. Must emerge. (5-9).

Ironically, this part of the poem, which I think is the most shattering part of the account of Cousin Vit, is written almost exclusively in iambic pentameter. Excepting the first line, which is full of Brooks’ characteristic spondees, it is rhythmically sound and hardly strays from the five even feet per line.

However, after reading further in the book, this is atypical of Brooks’ style: she is definitely a fan of spondees, and these lines could have easily been written more emphatically, with more stressed words and accents. My question is this: by letting us as readers “settle” into the comfortable ka-THUNK ka-THUNK rhyhtm of even iambs, was Brooks intentionally dulling the impact of recounting her cousin’s life in such personal terms, by making it seem “even-keeled” and “normal”? Or is it a slip of the wrist so that we are meant to note the striking discordance between her content and her form at such a poignant time in the poem? Just a thought, y’all. Told you I’m babbling.

The Mother Audio

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

I have to say, I was a little surprised at the way Brooks read this. I had imagined it with more emotion, since I read it with such emotion. Maybe the lack of emotion is the emotion?

Beautiful people write beautiful poetry

This makes me happy

I keep listening to this reading over and over…

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

…and my roommates think I’m losing it.

Press the play button at the top: