Posts Tagged ‘Finally making a post because I’m actually in the class’

That’s a Wrap

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Some notes for the final stretch:

  • I will hold regular office hours this Thursday, 11-12.  On Friday, my office hour will be moved from late afternoon to 10-11 because of Kemp Symposium.
  • This blog will CLOSE for graded business on Saturday, April 27, at midnight.
  • You should check the blog before our final exam slot (Wednesday, May 1, 12-2:30) in case there are any announcements.
  • The final recitations/celebrations will be held in the Parlor of the Mansion.  Yummies are welcome.
  • Apparently the syllabus says that at the final exam you must recite a poem from the Norton anthology that is not on our syllabus.  ACK.  I blew that.  You may recite at least 14 contiguous lines from any poem of our primary authors or from the anthology.

The Sea = History

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Walcott is very awesome and I disagree that he is sexist for all you ladies out there who perceive his work as sexist.  I just think that he, like most poets transcend the notion of gender and if he loved a women then he loved her but he does consider the veil over people and he will not let a women trick him through lust for her.  On the other side of that a women could, rather than continue to feel trampled on by society, see themselves as having power over men because of the tools they possess-brains, seduction, being oppressed- women are the double edged sword, but please slice for good  and not for evil.  The man is a weak race that feels empowered when they belittle your powers so don’t be discouraged and read literature through the masculine lense that will always be there for you since the Man wrote History his way. Speaking of History I’d like to discuss “The Sea is History” because it brings in colonizing, Religion, and a bit of gender and I’m sure it could link to the long poem “The Schooner Flight” in several ways I just haven’t taken time to make the connections yet.  The Sea is Deep and so is “The Sea is History” but once you jump into the deep end you always wonder what it would feel like to touch the floor of the pool so I didn’t stop swimming until I felt something solid. What I retrieved from this piece has a lot to do with the search for Truth, a lot to do with the beginning of the Earth, a lot to do with The New and Old Testaments, a lot to do with Jesus, a lot to do with bodies of water.  When we think of bodies of water we think of people like Christopher Columbus and other Spanish colonizers who colonized and justified it through the spread of Christianity.  Walcott talks about “Sir’s” in this poem. I believe the “Sir’s” in this poem could possibly be colonizers(white male Dominance, enslavers, capitalists, chasers of gold, chasers of Truth by any means). Consider the questions that the Sir’s are asked: “Where are your monuments, your battles, martyrs?/ Where is your tribal memory? Sirs” After addressing the Sirs Walcott takes us the notion of heaving oil- drawing oil from underground or even under water which is a capitalist effort nowadays. Walcott takes us through the Old Testament, starting with Genesis when God creates the world and appoints man as his regent, but man proves disobedient and God destroys his world through the Flood but preserves a righteous man, Noah, and his family. The new post-Flood world is equally corrupt, but God does not destroy it, instead calling one man, Abraham, to be the seed of its salvation(Wikipedia). The capitalist ship has set sail in the Third stanza “Caravel(spanish or Portuguese sailing vessel)/ and that was Genesis). However, there is some negativity associated with those caravel’s some packed cries, a little shit, some loud moaning and what not. Exodus, the second book of the bible is next when Moses leads the people out of Egypt.  Bone is addressed twice in this poem, first in the fourth stanza as being soldered by coral to bone but “benediction of the shark’s shadow” is even more interesting because the shark is similar to the whale in its uniqueness in how it is a massive scary creature but the difference is that it does not come up for air and that it is a predator of the water and must continue to swim to survive similar to capitalism in a way. Capitalism and business is ruthless and could care less about poor individuals. The better the fruit is for your health the more expensive it is. If the fruit is healthy and tastes good, double that. The Ark of the Convenant and the Ten Commandments are addressed in the fifth stanza (I would go line for line but I’m hoping you’ve read this far haha) “Then came the plucked wires of sunlight on the sea floor the plangent(loud) harps of the Babylonian bondage, as white cowries(the highly polished, usually brightly colored shell of a marine gastropod of the genus Cypraea,  as that of C. moneta (money cowrie)  used as money in certain parts of Asia and Africa, or that of C. tigris,  used for ornament(Dictionary) clustered like manacles(handcuffs) on the drowned women- so in the sixth stanza we have money and bondage, I’m not fond of math so you do it. The “drowned women”  could be women in general and their preoccupation with shiny things because the first line of the next stanza begins, “and those were the ivory bracelets” or we good escape the surface level interpretation and says it is in fact the Song of Solomon or the  Song of Songs (Old Testament) has often been interpreted as a parable of the relationship of God and Israel, or for Christians, Christ and the Church or Christ and the human soul, as husband and wife(Wikipedia).  In the tenth stanza capitalism is addressed again and so is the Flood: “of the tidal wave swallowing Port Royal(In the late 17th century it came to serve as the base of operations for buccaneers and privateers who raided the Spanish islands and ships. When the notorious Captain Henry Morgan(a Sir) established his headquarters there, the plundered gold poured in, followed by merchants and artisans who eagerly catered to all the appetites of the pirates (dictionary).)/ and that was Jonah(swallowed by the large fish for three days and then lived to tell about it) Question to the Sirs in the last line of the tenth stanza:”Where is your Renaissance-a renewal of life, vigor, interest, etc.; rebirth; revival (dictionary).? This questions is answered: “Sir, it is locked in them sea- sands out there past the reef’s moiling shelf, where the men-o-war floated down; strop(nautical word for strap) on these goggles, I’ll guide you there myself(Shabine like). I’ll now just point to major words that speak to my interpretation cause this is getting long:”Colonnades of coral”, “Weighted by its jewels”, “Gomorrah”- wicked place, please look up what the book of Lamentations was about in the bible!

I skipped to the major turn in the poem at the 18th stanza where “the spires lancing the side of God.” A spire is like the steeple at the top of a church or one could interpret this as the crucifixion of Christ on the cross. The next stanza is “as His (God’s) son set, and that was the New Testament. Women are brought back up, “White sisters clapping to the waves progress, and that was emancipation(equality between races, genders, etc.). Still no History, “only faith”-belief that Jesus rose from the dead, “then each rock broke into its own nation(Pangaea), “then came the synod(laws of the church, assembly)”

“with their sea pools, there was the sound like a rumor without any echo// of History, really beginning”- His Story or History.  I think Walcott is suggesting that the enslavers and colonizer’s History or Culture is that they were prophets for God even though they were enslaving people and stealing their land for capitalist reasons. Slaves were taught Christianity and were also abused on the bases of Christianity. Christianity became their only Hope for Freedom.

 

Dying/in love with Komunyakaa

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Okay, so if there is one thing to always remember about me, it is that Eliot and Ginsberg are in an eternal war over my poem-lovin’ heart… only they’re both dead and neither one of them will ever know it. Which is why I don’t feel so bad about cheating on them with Komunyakaa… because I’m definitely falling in love with his poetry, too.

I’m actually embarrassingly emotional about this right now, so I won’t go into too much detail about it, except to say that piece after piece, I keep noticing his line breaks more than anything else… in a very good way! I think “Jasmine” in particular provides an excellent example of this: if you get a chance, go back and check out the line breaks of “I thought my body had forgotten the Deep/South…” (4-5); “My mind is lost among November/cotton flowers…” (12-13); and “The trumpet’s almost kissed/by enough pain…” (23-24). They’re really exceptional, in my humble opinion.

While you’re still messing with “Jasmine,” by the way, you should totally check out “Duke” and “Basie,” a.k.a. the famous jazzers Komunyakaa is referencing in this particular piece. Duke Ellington and Count Basie were two super-influential jazz pianists, and if you don’t know what they sound like, you should seriously look ’em up. 🙂 Additionally, “Clifford’s/shadow” refers to Clifford Brown (I’m guessing), who was a brilliant up-and-coming jazz trumpeter who died way too early as a passenger in a car accident, shocking and devastating the jazz world. He was incredible, too, and would have definitely had a stunning career if not for his death, hence the “shadow” and “ghosts” in the poem. Just fun jazz facts for your musical edification. 🙂

Also, “Returning the Borrowed Road” totally killed me, if not for the sole reason that my dad is spending a lot of time in Missoula, Montana, nowadays. It just really hit home.

I can’t WAIT to talk about him/all of this tomorrow.

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?

Response to “It Is Not Necessary”

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

I enjoyed reading “It Is Not Necessary” because I’m positive loneliness is universal. The first line is a great lead in because making your own music is necessary to keep in rhythm with the world when you are wandering about.  I love when the first stanza establishes the poem as if it’s a movie or something it’s a nice segue/Segway we can ride into the poem. Being in a crowd and still being alone is what I consider the limit of our lives as human beings. “Public Pedro” and “adequate Bernice” really brings the temporaryness(<—not a word) of the moment Pablo is discussing almost as if we are used by society for a little while and then thrown out of the moving car. Pablo answers much confusion within the poem. He refers to a crowd as a “wide sky” and revisits it or answers it when he says, “Eyes don’t close only in order to sleep,/but so as not to see the same sky.” I always worry about repeating words in a poem but if you are doing it so the critics will get off your back, it’s tactful.

 

In the third stanza we see how the form and the content of this poem correlate. During the second stanza the “Hidden flower” was truly hidden but by adressing the “hidden flower” in second stanza he brings it into view and now it is only “half-hidden.” “There we suddenly are”, is what i meant when I suggested that we are thrown out of a moving car or moving Czar. I have a hunch that the speaker of the poem, who is Pablo, is single. The best line in the poem, in my opinion is, “Within the four walls of our singular skin”, because Emerson suggests the body as being not “us” but just a vehicle of our “true being.”

 

I’ll end with one of my soul mate’s quotes Ralph “Where’s Waldo” Emerson:

 

“Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul.  Strictly speaking, therefore, all that is separate from us, all which Philosophy distinguishes as the NOT ME, that is, both nature and art, all other men and my own body, must be ranked under this name, NATURE.”

The Naughty List: February 3 Edition

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

Allison

Chris

Eric

Gigi

Karina

Nico

Ty

Reports

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Groups, dates, topics now uploaded under the Assignments tab.

Audre Lorde

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

This is my favorite Audre Lorde poem, because as you can tell from your reading, she is pretty amazing.

“For Each of You”

Be who you are and will be
learn to cherish that boisterous Black Angel that drives you
up one day and down another
protecting the place where your power rises
running like hot blood
from the same source
as your pain.

When you are hungry
learn to eat
whatever sustains you
until morning
but do not be misled by details
simply because you live them.
Do not let your head deny
your hands
any memory of what passes through them
nor your eyes
nor your heart
everything can be useful
except what is wasteful
(you will need
to remember this when you are accused of destruction.)
Even when they are dangerous
examine the heart of those machines you hate
before you discard them
and never mourn the lack of their power
lest you be condemned
to relive them.

If you do not learn to hate
you will never be lonely
enough
to love easily
nor will you always be brave
although it does not grow any easier.

Do not pretend to convenient beliefs
even when they are righteous
you will never be able to defend your city
while shouting.

Remember our sun
is not the most noteworthy star
only the nearest.

Respect whatever pain you bring back
from your dreaming
but do not look for new gods
in the sea
nor in any part of a rainbow.
Each time you love
love as deeply
as if it were
forever
only nothing is
eternal.

Speak proudly to your children
wherever you may find them
tell them
you are the offspring of slaves
and your mother was
a princess
in darkness.