Posts Tagged ‘I’M JUST SUPER EXCITED ALL THE TIME.’

Slam poetry, Orientalism, and Harry Potter.

Friday, April 26th, 2013

“A Letter to JK Rowling” by Rachel Rostad

I found this while reading Racialicious . Of course, initially reading the headline made me so happy because I’m thinking, “Oh man, Harry Potter AND slam! Ballin’!”

Her delivery is crazy good, nothing too distinctly different from the other videos and performances we’ve seen but you do see her pause for applause. Unusual?

Also, fun fact: after learning about Orientalism, I do wonder whether or not J.K. Rowling was aware of

a. having little to no minority characters (with exceptions like the Patel twins and Cho Chang)

b. depicting a female Chinese character who is meant to contrast with Ginny to make Ginny seem stronger (re: a Chinese woman is supposed to be weaker than a white woman–systematic racism, anyone?)

c. Maybe if Rowling wasn’t aware of these choices, isn’t it still problematic?

Food for thought! Happy CoPo-ing!

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

My Heart is Exploding!

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Allen Ginsberg and Paul McCartney team up for “A Ballad of American Skeletons,” a poem with accompaniment!

Ginsberg & McCartney! <3

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! 

Vollmer Quotables, The Newest Greeting Card Sensation:

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Unknown

“I’m always trying to push the narrative line to it’s greatest intensity.”

“Spring cleaning was a military operation in our house. My grandmother rolled up her pant legs then took her teeth out.”

“It’s OK to have a mundane life, you just have to do the work; make the effort to see things differently.”

“I come from the school of get drunk: on wine, on poetry, on the world–be altered.”

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?

Seesaw

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Mind over matter or lobo

splatter of a readily reached

region, My epicenter.Com

 

Pewter chipped, reprogrammed, reset.

 Regret and now a brain fart, a

tart vegetable. Out of sync

 

With my sweet red beat. They speak of

 chemical imbalances, a

tragic faint foreshadowed until

 

I realize all is fair in this

dense heir. They will not confiscate

 this southern mental state. Hexed by

 

Celexa? or accept fair fate

Visual trifecta. Left right,

left, right, inner sight, stumble, re-

 

 Gain, refrain, play with the toys not

Your organs. Pituitary

playground, cerebellum jungle

 

Gym, true monkey bars, mental hide

 and seek. Close your eyes and count down

from ten. Seek until you hit The

 

Fence. Have a seat on a bench. Be

happy with the inch or take The

 green mile. Strapped in your own elect

 

Tric chair on top of your frame. Framed,

buckled in dimensions, dead dig-

its. Remembering math class and strain.

 vmc03/18/13

More about Frieda

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Erica has posted a really interesting Q&A article with Frieda Hughes already, but I found this article that I thought was really interesting too.

In the article Frieda Hughes is quoted on how she is against BBC’s 2003 movie, Sylvia. The article also includes two verses of her poetic response to the movie, titled “My Mother” (I found the full poem on Tumblr but didn’t want to post it because I didn’t know how accurate it was). The poem uses a lot of images from “Lady Lazarus,” which i think is kind of interesting. In the article one of the verses starts out with Plath’s “peanut crunching crowed,” which Frieda Hughes calls the “peanut eaters.”

Ruminations on Holocaust language in “Lady Lazarus”

Monday, March 11th, 2013

I agree with what Tricia said in class about how “And there is a charge / a very large charge” invokes the abuse the Nazis inflicted upon the Jews and how the speaker in “Lady Lazarus” almost identifies herself as being objectified and tortured. I would go as far to argue that incorporating Holocaust language characterizes the speaker’s own oppression from her external environment, not necessarily equating herself but making it similar to Jews mistreatment in the Holocaust.

I’m still trying to figure this out, and I think we will continue to debunk this when we read “Daddy” amongst other poems. Skimming this article from good ol’ trusty JSTOR, scholar Al Strangeways suggests that Plath’s inclusion of the Holocaust was done to “combine the public and the personal” to “shock and cut through the distancing ‘doubletalk’ in “contemporary conformist, cold war America” (375-76). This motive confirms, for me at least, that the metaphor of the Jews equates to suffering for the speaker.

What do you all think of Holocaust language metaphorized in this manner? Is anyone else disturbed by lines like “My face a featureless, fine / Jew linen”?

“You give it a royal touch when you read a poem. I think everyone does.”

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Anne Sexton reads “Menstruation at Forty,” scolds her dogs, introduces us to her husband, and comes off charming…is that the right word? Maybe I’m charmed at the wrong time.