Sunday, January 31, 2010

Assignment 3

"Why I live at the P.O"

Holy dramatic monologue! The sister tells the story from her point of view after moving away from her family and into a post office. Her claims that the younger sister has turned the family against her seem unjust because we only see her side of the story. This story was just painful to read, and impossible to keep the characters straight. I actually caught myself imagining my dysfunctional family, although instead of the post office, my sister moved to North Carolina. :)

"I Stand Here Ironing"
This story is one that a lot of people can relate too. I actually found myself thinking this was probably how my mother felt some mornings when I was still living under her roof. There were many days when my mother would ask "what did I do so different with your sister" leading me to believe I would never be of comparison to my sister. Although as this story reflects along the life of her 19 year old daughter, she begins to reflect upon her own life. Everyone is able to just get lost in reflection, wondering what happened to put you where you are or what will happen next. I enjoyed reading this and going down that road with the author.

"My Papas Waltz"
FINALLY, we get to debate "My Papas Waltz." For the last 2 years, "My Papas Waltz" has remained a 'hot topic' in Dr. G's classroom discussions.
For ONE- this is not about molestation. lets throw that out there.
People have such wide interpretations of this poem and it drives me crazy! So I'm going to break this down loud and clear.
Stanza One.
The whiskey on his breath, does not make him an abusive alcoholic right off the bat. In this time period labor was a much harder job than it is today and he probably came home to have a drink. He is not belligerent, just having a drink after work. The boy said he "hung on like death" so obviously he wasn't trying to run away from this abusive father people will claim he had, and he called his fathers walk a "waltz" as if his fathers drunken stagger was a dance to the child.
Stanza Two.
The word ROMPED
1. To play or frolic boisterously.
2. To run or advance in a rapid or easy manner.
3. Slang To win a race or game easily.
DOES NOT HAVE "TO BEAT DOWN" in the definition.
so pretty much they played until the pans fell from the shelf, just rough housing like boys and fathers do. Then people will argue the mother is frowning, yes she is because her pans got knocked off, not because her son is being beaten by her husband.
Stanza 3.
the description of his fathers hand "beaten on one knuckle" proves he is a blue collar worker, and his hands are rough from a hard days work. As the two are "waltzing" the father stumbles a little causing his son who is clinging to him "like death" to scratch his ear on his belt buckle.
Stanza 4.
As the father waltzes the son to bed he pats his hand and again the fathers hand is described to further the proof that he is a hard labor worker. The sons emotions at this point are clear, as his father is putting him to bed he is "still clinging" to his father because he wants to play a little longer with his father.
That's it. Non- negotiable. :)

"One Art"
"the art of loosing isn't hard to master" I liked this one, as much as I hate to admit it. But it seemed like she was making loosing everything not sound as bad as it usually is. We have all lost something, or someone at one point in time and it wasn't the end of the world. Next time I start to feel like I'm loosing everything, ill just remember "their loss is no disaster

one great run on sentence. epic win? I think not.
I don't know what he is rambling about, or why he is rambling about it.
Shmoop says..
"Howl appears to be a sprawling, disorganized poem. But it's not. It consists of three sections. Each of these sections is a prolonged "riff" on a single subject. You could even think of the poem as three enormous run-on sentences. The first section is by far the longest"
(Ill highlight what I agree with after reading this)
I just picture some guy spinning around all these words.. possibly on opium? He describes a bunch of weird things, then randomly throws in something that makes sense then throws in the word 'tortilla.' Those poor people burned in flannel pajamas. Why would someone jump off the Brooklyn bridge? Dancing on broken glass?? Finishing a glass of whiskey and throwing up defiantly sounds believable. The word Denver is getting annoying. "crashed though their minds" well this story is crashing through my mind FOR SURE.

"Why I Am Not a Painter"
This was kinda hilarious to me. It was random, and I liked it.
It was exactly what the title said, it describes why he is not a painter. The painter Goldburg worked with O'Hara on his silk screen print illustrations. So he describes what would happen if he was a painter and him and Goldburg were talking about a painting. The different mind sets between a painter and a poet become obvious in O'Hara's point of view.

"of De Witt Williams on his way to Lincoln Cemetery"
"The Boy Died in My Alley"

These were the two works that I chose from Brooks collection. These were my two favorites because they both really showed her character. Brooks was a proud African American woman and she wrote of what she knew. I really enjoyed reading these two and look forward to teaching my lesson on them!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Assignment 2

Assignment 2

Claude McKay

"The Negro's Tragedy"
McKay discusses her bond with the suffrage of her people, and how it "binds me like a heavy iron chain." No one could ever understand what she has gone though or what she has seen or felt, however I feel like everyone has those stories. Although everyone has their story, McKay speaks for the story of her "negro kin." McKays stories come from experience and understand of the suffrage, "no white man could write my book."

James Weldon Johnson

"Oh black and Unknown Bard"
James Johnson's story reflects on the "unknown bard of long ago" (bard- "someone who tells stories through song and music" -Conner LeBlanc) and how they kept them strong. Johnson asks how they knew these bards would be so powerful throughout their history. The slaves used these songs to tell the stories of their hardships and keep them connected. The slaves built their faith on their bards and from "within the dark- kept soul, burts into song?"

"The White Witch"
The story tells the story about a man who feels trapped by "the Witch" or his girlfriend. As the story goes on, all I could think about was the different perspectives interracial couples have on their relationship. He describes her as any man would, with her looks and golden hair, but behind that "the spirit of a vampire lurks" as if he could not stay away from the temptress. However, he never reveals what she has done to earn her reputation. This fact, leads me to believe its one of those stories that you only hear one side of the story. Although he does not inform us of her treacherous actions, he warns to "look not upon her beauty bright, for in her glance there is a snare"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Assignment One.

"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

J. Alfred Prufrock focuses on his insecurities which leads him to struggle with his relationships. Even though J. Alfred Prufrock is an upper-class, well educated man he subjects himself to a cycle of failing relationships. Because his insecurities get the best of him, he spends many "restless nights in one night cheap hotels" with a different woman so he is not subjected to the ridicule from the other upper class women. His unhealthy focus with what others think about his clothes, or bald spot or skinny stature send him into a repetition of one night stands. His lifestyle seems to be making a decision, doubting that decision then spiraling downhill telling himself 'that's not what i meant at all." His constant search to answer "would it have been worth the while" furthers his overwhelming struggle. In the end Alfred Prufrock will always live the life he has lead for many years, he realizes that he can act the way he wants to until one day life will "wake us, and we drown." He uses this mentality to justify his erratic lifestyle so he can tell him self it is okay, and it is worth it.

"Journey of the Magi"

The Three Kings trip to Bethlehem has been told and told again, however T.S Eliot's perspective is not one that most people think of. The truth that is spoken about their trip is often something no one thinks of. People would like to think that the Three kings traveled with pride and joy to see the birth of Jesus Christ, however traveling in this time probably wasn't all that fun. T.S Eliot looks at the real perspective of three Kings traveling across the desert, in December, with three camels, all night long to see a birth. The description of the kings arrival to this "satisfactory" place belittles their entire purpose of bringing the Christ child gifts. The three kings question "we were led all this way for birth or death?" as if they were disappointed they traveled so far to see the cycle of life. People are born, and people die, why do they travel so far to see this?

"13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird."

The profound meaning of the blackbird seems to represent our own thoughts on certain emotions. By looking at abstract emotions in a concrete concept it is easier to get to the root of what you fear is, what your "blackbird" is. What scares you so much, or haunts you so much that you would mistake your own shadow for this thing following you. And no matter what "the blackbird sat" and you cannot escape the black figure that follows you. The poem seems to suggest that the blackbird is not as concrete as you'd think at first glance, "the blackbird is involved in what I know" as if the blackbird is not an outside force, but something that shares the same "brain" as you and sees what you see and knows what you know.

"Study of Two Pears"
A pear is a pear is a pear. I feel like Stevens is making a statement that not everything has to be so abstract. "the pears are not [fiddles,] nudes or bottles. They resemble nothing else." As simple as that sentence is, it is so complicated. I try to find meaning or abstraction in a poem telling me there is not complication or abstraction. Although this is coming from the same guy who wrote "13 ways of looking at a blackbird" because the simplistic style is so out of place. The vivid descriptions and details describe nothing other than a pear, but I try to force myself to think of other things it describes, but it doesn't, it just describes a pear "the pears are not seen as the observer wills."

"Hills Like White Elephants"
I love how the title has nothing to do with the seriousness of the dialog in this. The conversation the two are having depicts the entire mood of the story. The two are negotiating the details of an abortion they are struggling with. While the female wants to keep the child and continue on with the relationship, the man is set on the "awfully simple operation" and they'll "be fine afterward." The woman is concerned about the stance of the two's relationship, but the man is not putting this up for discussion. Also, the concept that the woman does not speak English, puts her at a disadvantage to make her own decisions, she has to rely on her boyfriend for everything. The fact that he has to help her with every conversation helps him control everything she does. Her longing to keep this child so they could "have everything," including the family, weakens her relationship with her boyfriend because he will not give her what she wants and will not let her keep their child. Things could never be the same after he took away the one thing she wanted.

"A Rose for Emily"

This story struggles with the mental instabilities of a woman who feels forced into a corner. Her love for Homer Barton pushes her to the boundaries of a murderer. The town starts to talk about their relationship, people said that “he was not a marrying man” but the town knew that “she will persuade him yet.” Eventually everyone starts to feel bad for Emily and assumes that “she will kill herself” when she goes to town to buy poison, but she was not suicidal, her love for Homer made her a murderer . When Emily was worried that she would not be able to keep him forever she takes his decision into her own hands and kills him so she could sleep next to him forever. Her love for him took over her concept of right and wrong and drove her to do whatever she could to make sure she would not lose anything else.

"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"
Its a horse person thing. When riding through the woods, mostly on other peoples property, sometimes you wonder if they appreciate their land as much as you do, or as much as they should. The narrator of the poem describes the woods "filling up with snow" as he watches and wonders who owns such a pretty forest. The narrators horse stands wondering why they have stopped their traveling, but the narrator dedicates a minute of his trip to appreciate the snowy landscape.

"Gathering Leaves"
The narrator is comparing something as concrete as raking leaves to harvesting. He compares the leaves to spoons and the trash bags to balloons and the noise to deer. He takes the concept of raking up leaves in a natural sense. Appreciating the forest and everything involved in the raking, or harvesting process.

"In a disused Graveyard"
People go to the graveyard for funerals, and think that is what they are used for or what they're used for. However, the narrator points out the fact that the graveyard is not for use for the living, but for the dead. The only people using the graveyard are the dead, so really its never used in a proper way.

"Nothing Gold Can Stay"
This poem can be interpreted as really concrete talking about the four seasons, The leaves turning from green to gold and how they can never stay. Also, the poem can be abstract talking about man and greed, as green would represent.

"Desert Places"
Nature owns the forest. As the snow is falling, the narrator takes into account how the animals home is whats being covered in snow, not his back yard. He becomes so enthralled watching and thinking about the snow covered forest that he becomes "absent- spirited" and becomes trapped in the lonliness. When he realizes his "unawarness" he begins to understand his own fears like the animals do.