Posts Tagged ‘we real cool’

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.

MORE Judith Vollmer

Sunday, March 31st, 2013


I was very impressed with Vollmer…so naturally I did a little stalking after class on Friday. If you didn’t get to ask all the questions you wanted to, then check out this interview! I found it on

Response to “It is Not Necessary” Cont. and in Connection with Sweet Joel

Friday, March 15th, 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.

Ooooh, who’s that lady…Lazarus? ;)

Monday, March 11th, 2013

All right, I’m gonna be really original and blog about the piece we discussed in class today, just like everyone and his/her mother has already done…

Just a couple of religious/lingfuistic things I wanted to bring up in class that we didn’t really have time to address:

  • Lucifer rhymes with Crucifer. Not significant for the poem’s purpose, but I love wordplay and this just occurred to me.
  • Speaking of wordplay, the last line, “I eat men like air” takes on a whole new meaning if we substitute it for “I eat men like Herr”–! In and by consuming men AND deities, the speaker becomes the monstrous “dark power” that has the power to destroy and rise all the more powerful regularly…every ten years, to be exact.
  • Jesus raised Lazarus in the Bible…who is “raising” the speaker here? By “performing her own miracle,” is she, as she describes, becoming Jesus, i.e. God?

Just some stuff to mull over…

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”?

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.”

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?

we real cool we real cool KIDS!!

Friday, February 22nd, 2013




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: