Posts Tagged ‘what could she have done being what she is?’

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.

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.

For Monday

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

New Walcott  readings, replacing White Egrets:

The Sea is History

A Far Cry from Africa

Sea Grapes (or listen to DW read)

Dark August

 

Midsummer, Tobago

The Schooner Flight

on your bed, a Helena Rubinstein smile.

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

In case any of you were wondering, here’s what Helena Rubinstein’s “smile” looks like

disclaimer: I don’t understand technology so a link will have to do…and honestly, I’m not sure if the link will even work.

 

daM goD

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

During Monday’s discussion of “Looking a Mad Dog Dead in the Eyes,” Sarah’s comment about reading “Mad Dog” as an anagram blew my mind.

I believe the speaker is criticizing man’s relationship with God. Furthermore, I think the speaker is calling on man to take back control and suggests that man should assert his power over God.

I think this has to be a myth, or at least partially a myth, but growing up I was always told that there was a simple way to establish dominance with a dog (granted, I was terrified of dogs much of my young life so there’s a good chance this was a lie adults told me, thinking I might find it comforting). I was told that one must look a dog dead in the eyes and hold its gaze to assert power until the dog ultimately looks away.

I think it’s interesting to think that this poem is criticizing the way we have been trained to worship God and calling on us, instead, to train God…even if this all does sound a bit Mad.

Shadows & Ghosts

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Alright, Komunyakaa loves talking about shadows & ghosts (& he really loves ampersands- by the way).

“Gray-blue shadows lift/ shadows onto an oxcart.” (Starlight Scope Myopia 1-2)
“unaware our shadows have untied/ from us, wandered off/ & gotten lost.” (A Greenness Taller Than God 20-23)
“We’re men ready to be fused/ with gost pictures, trying” (Seeing in the Dark 14-15)
“with a platoon of shadows” (The Edge 7) also, not techinically a shadow/ghost, but still: “to the charred air, silhouettes of jets” (27)
“Ghosts share us with the past & future” (Jungle Surrender 1)
“Sometimes I wrestled their ghosts” (Short-timer’s Calendar 14)

& the list goes on…

I’m not sure what point I’m trying to make, but I guess I’m just wondering what you make of this repetition. Obviously, I can understand why ghosts & shadows would appear in a collection of poems about war, but I feel like Komunyakaa has to be more brilliant than this. Beyond lost souls what do you think these figures represent?

another burning question…

Garrett mentioned to me the other day that Vollmer used the ampersand exclusively and that he had meant to ask her about why she made this choice. Now, I can’t help but notice that Komunyakaa also uses the ampersand exclusively. I really want to know whether this was an editor’s choice or if this was the poet’s preference and their reasoning. What do you think?

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! 

Ariel: Sylvia-Ted Smackdown

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Poems that are RED were not in Plath’s original manuscript, but were added by Ted Hughes for the 1965 edition of Ariel.

  1. Morning Song
  2. The Couriers
  3. Sheep in Fog 
  4. The Applicant
  5. Lady Lazarus
  6. Tulips
  7. Cut
  8. Elm
  9. The Night Dances
  10. Poppies in October
  11. Berck-Plage
  12. Ariel
  13. Death & Co.
  14. Lesbos – (This poem is censored in some conservative publications)
  15. Nick and the Candlestick
  16. Gulliver
  17. Getting There
  18. Medusa
  19. The Moon and the Yew Tree
  20. A Birthday Present
  21. Mary’s Song  (only in US version)
  22. Letter in November
  23. The Rival
  24. Daddy
  25. You’re
  26. Fever 103°
  27. The Bee Meeting
  28. The Arrival of the Bee Box
  29. Stings
  30. The Swarm  (only in US version)
  31. Wintering
  32. The Hanging Man
  33. Little Fugue
  34. Years
  35. The Munich Mannequins
  36. Totem
  37. Paralytic
  38. Balloons
  39. Poppies in July
  40. Kindness
  41. Contusion
  42. Edge
  43. Words

Plath’s version (on your syllabus).  Poems in BLUE are not in the Hughes version:

1. “Morning Song”

2.“The Couriers”

3. “The Rabbit Catcher” 

4. “Thalidomide” 

5. “The Applicant”

6. “Barren Woman”

7. “Lady Lazarus”

8. “Tulips”

9. “A Secret”

10. “The Jailor” 

11.  “Cut”

12. “Elm”

13. “The Night Dances”

14. “The Detective”

15. “Ariel”

16. “Death & Co.”

17. “Magi” 

18. “Lesbos”

19. “The Other”

20. “Stopped Dead” 

21. “Poppies in October”

22. “The Courage of Shutting-Up” 

23.“Nick and the Candlestick”

24. “Berck-Plage”

25. “Gulliver”

26. “Getting There”

27. “Medusa”

28. “Purdah” 

29. “The Moon and the Yew Tree”

30. “A Birthday Present”

31. “Letter in November”

32. “Amnesiac”

33. “The Rival”

34. “Daddy”

35. “You’re”

36. “Fever 103°”

37. “The Bee Meeting”

38. “The Arrival of the Bee Box”

39. “Stings”

40. “Wintering”

 

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.”

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…