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Friday, June 1, 2012

End of the Quarter Limerick

There once was a man named Bob,
Who searched and searched relentlessly for a job.
One day he drove to the mall
And found a store that sold baseballs.
Too bad that job went to his best friend, Rob.

Artist's Statement

My poems typically consist of simple language, though I try to incorporate as much figurative language as possible. I am a fan of using similies in poems. I would describe my writing as more Americanesque, like Denise Duhamel's work, compared to late 19th century European writers. The endings to my poems are slightly ambiguous and philosophical, which could be good and bad at the same time. My endings are something I'm trying to work on. One of my biggest challenges at the beginning of the quarter was trying not to rhyme in my poems. That's something I have worked on and I certainly don't rhyme in all of my poems.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Do I Live Here?

Left turn
Right turn
Up the stairs
Down the stairs
I'm back to where I started.

It's my first day here
And my mind is full of fear.

I'm a freshman euphonium player,
Who's here at Ohio University,
A week before school starts,
For the Marching 110's Freshman Training Camp.

As if that isn't overwhelming enough.

I'm supposed to be living in James Hall,
that one dorm on West Green.
Too bad there's construction going on over there,
And did I mention there's no running water too?
Just my luck.

Now, I'm stuck in Weld House for the weekend.
Weld House.
What kind of a name is "Weld" anyway?
So far away from everything,
Like when prisoners behave badly,
they're sent to an isolation chamber.
Ya, isolated is how I feel
When I'm in my poorly cooled room.
Sharing a bathroom as small as a shoe
With at least three other girls.

Too bad I've only been there once
And I can't seem to find it.

On my lunch break,
I'm sprinting to find this place,
All by myself.
The sun is beating on my back like a bass drum.
I'm sweating so much, I'm like a waterfall.
I need my music binder,
But I can't seem to locate my room!
I'm going up and down the stairs,
Practically running around in circles.
Like a mouse on a spinning wheel.
Trying to reach for that cheddar cheese,
But can't seem to reach it.

All I see are hideous brick walls
And off-white colored doors,
Just making me even more confused.
I want to break down and cry.
This building's like a maze.
Which is funny, because it's miniscule compared to other dorms.
I feel so silly,
Because it's been 45 minutes of nothing.
I need to hurry back to practice,
Without a music binder in hand.

Left turn
Right turn.
I'm back to where I started.

Critical for Paper

For my final paper, I want to try and work on it for about 20 minutes a day. After looking at my peer review, I definitely want to make some corrections to my paper. I noticed that the person who looked at my paper really liked the quotes I used and liked some of the sentences I wrote. A couple of them were creative. I’ll try and keep that up! I might want to change my topic sentences, since they begin with, “first, second, and third.” Since I am discussing elements of pain in my paper, I may want to look at a fifth poem. The poem, “The Lost Land” by Eavan Boland specifically deals with loss and pain, so I may want to incorporate that poem into my paper.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Critical Assignment

For my final paper, I want to look at the different elements of pain that certain poets convey in their work. The poems I want to look at are, "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop, "Arbor for Butch" by Terrence Hayes, "W" by Denise Duhamel, and "Sick" by Shel Silverstein. In these four poems, the speakers experience some sort of pain. In "One Art," the speaker seems to be missing her significant other. She hasn't gotten over this person, yet she tries to deny this throughout the poem. This is the pain that people feel when they miss someone. In "Arbor for Butch," the poem deals with pain of the unknown and the pain he went through with his parents, especially with the photograph that is duscussed in the poem. The speaker wants to know what happened to the two happy people he saw in that photograph. He didn't know his dad well and the poem mentions that his mom was raped, so he wonders how they lived through that pain. "W" deals with physical pain. The speaker's mother had her hair ripped out in a horrible accident and is dealing with it. There are vivid descriptions in the poem concerning what the speaker sees when she looks at her mother. This type of language in the poem ties in perfectly with W.H. Auden's essay, "Poetry as Memorable Speech." Lines such as, "I face the swelling, the blue and pickled bulges," and "Her head a labyrinth of pus and scabs" provokes emotion in the readers. They won't seem to forget those lines, making them memorable. Like Auden says, "Memorable speech must move our emotions, or excite our intellect, for only that which is moving or exciting is memorable." I also want to use the poem, "Sick" by Shel Silverstein. Though the speaker at the end jumps out of bed and is miraculously "cured," The poem does go to great lengths to mention all of the symptoms the child has and the horribleness of being ill. Since a child is the speaker of the poem, he is more vulnerable to being sick and it's more painful to him, because he's miserable and can't go out and play.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dramatic Monologue

On a crisp Fall morning,
I'm still snug in my king
Size bed.
I feel the panting of my yellow lab,
"Hah, hah, hah"
His warm breath is on my neck
Making me sweat.
I groan.
I roll out of bed.
With a cup of hot coffee in my hand,
Bacon sizzling on the stove,
It's a beautiful day to catch
Me a duck.
I put on my hat, jacket,
And boots.
Then I grab my rifle and Cooper.
Out the door I go.

After walking for several miles
In the deep woods,
I finally get to the duck pond.
I find the perfect one.
I slowly riase my rifle and
Right on target.
Cooper already knows what to do.
He's in and out of the pond like a rocket.
I'm glad I got my first kill.
But as Cooper drops the duck at my feet,
My feelings change.
He's just dead.
Lying there, motionless.
I took its life.
Is that how I'll be in years to come?
Or even my dog, too?
When we die, we'll be soul less.
Forgotten about, like this duck.
I hunted him and death will hunt me.

Well, tonight I'll go home,
Make some duck soup by a fire,
Sleep it all off and forget.

The Day My Coach Gave It Away

The room keeps spinning
And I'm stuck in a whirlwind.
I feel a fire burning inside me
And it's not of passion...
It's of anger.
Anger towards that one person who destroyed
My dream.
My swim coach.
I snarl at the thought of his name.

For years, I worked hard to be a swim captain.
Seven years in fact.
I thought I was a shoe in for the spot.
I guess that shoe fit the wrong

I persevered, held a positive attitude, and
Gave it all
I got.
As a senior, I was shocked my coach believed
A person less motivated,
Less willing,
Is worthy of the spot as team captain.

I feel as though most people won't understand
The pain I feel.
The let down.
But I really wanted this...

I've cried and cried
As much as a waterfall.
The tears wash over me,
Like the water rushing over my face,
Every time I jump in that pool
To swim.

Perhaps when you believe you
Deserve so much and lose it,
All you can do is cry.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Duhamel Critical

With the poems, "Delta Flight 659," "Please Don't Sit Like a Frog, Sit Like a Queen," and "Anagram America," Denise Duhamel uses a from called a sestina. A sestina is a reoccurring line or phrase in a poem. Sestinas usually consist of 39 lines and the word or words at the end of the first line are repeated throughout the poems in certain patterns.

First, "Delta Flight 659" is an example of a sestina. This poem is directed toward actor, Sean Penn, but if you read close enough, you see that every word at the end of the lines has the word, "pen" somewhere in them. The speaker seemed to have a sort of comical and teasing attitude, especially in the line, "Maybe this should be in iambic pentameter, rather than this mock sestina, each line ending in a Penn." This is also proves that Duhamel was writing a sestina poem. I thought this was incredible for Duhamel to do, and it must have taken her a long time to come up with this idea. I found this poem to be very creative and clever.

I believe that the tone of this poem is a little sarcastic, but sort of like an, "I'm not afraid of you, Sean Penn" feeling. When I read the lines, "You probably think fans like me are your penance for your popularity, your star bulging into a pentagon filled with poets who waddle towards your icy peninsula," I thought the speaker was a little obsessed about Sean Penn. This person already claimed to be a fan of his and seemed to know so much about him already. It was almost a little creepy. Another example of the obsessiveness was in the line, "I tried to be your pen pal in 1987, not because of your pensive bad boy looks, but because of a poem you'd penned." The speaker seems to be teasing Penn and appeared to want to be a part of his life.

However, the speaker takes a turn in emotion and comes to her, "I'm not afraid of you, Sean Penn" feeling when she says, "I want no part of your penthouse or the snowy slopes of your Aspen." She seems to only want to write a poem and doesn't want anything to do with him. I thought the speaker went from being Sean Penn's number one fan and then deciding he's simply an actor and that is all. The poem seemed to be a maturation poem and dealt with change in feelings over time.

In the poem, "Please Don't Sit Like a Frog, Sit Like a Queen," the line, "Don't sit like a frod, sit like a queen" was repeated at the end of every other stanza and then repeated at the end of the last stanza. That was the sestina. It emphasized an idea that the speaker wanted the readers or target audience to embody.

I believe that the speaker was poking fun at how women behave and I thought she was trying to give advice. I saw this in lines, "Remember to pamper, remember to preen," and "Keep your breath minty and your teeth white and clean." It seems as though the speaker wants women to be the best they can be. However, I felt a change in tone with the poem, espeically in the line, "Smile, especially when you're feeling mean." I originally thought this meant for women to take the high road in tough situations, but when I looked at it again, it seemed to be a little catty. It's like hiding real emotion and being fake by smiling. This poem has a dual mood to it, with helpfullness and meanness.

In, "Anagram America," Duhamel uses a clever trick again. This poem is a sestina, because at the end of every line, the word "america" is spelled in some way. In some cases, the word is backwards or the letters are jumbled around, out of order. I thought the speaker seemed optimistic about America, because she lists different activities to do, like go to the In Skate-a-Rama, the Dollar-Rama, stay at the Ramada Inn, and watch Hollywood films. The speaker even says, "Now that's America." I thought this was going to be a total pro-America poem, but it didn't seem that way after I read the line, "I watched The Crying Game but not to better understand the IRA." That line doesn't deal with anything American and mentions the IRA. The IRA is in Ireland.

I thought this poem was decent, but it became a little silly and too-pointed. Duhamel appeared to be too focused on the anagram, so the poem became confusing. The sestina had more of an effect than the actual poem itself.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Trudging along single file,
I saw the shorties
Held captive by their adult superiors.
The sounds of small feet
Shuffled on the sidewalk
To and fro.
I tilted my head to the side
And frowned at the looks of them.
Heads hung low to the ground,
As low as they could be.
Those poor, tiny prisoners.
Bound together by rope and cheap fabric,
They were united.
United until the end...
Or until they saw their mommies and daddies.
I'm glad I never was one of those Cabbage-Patch kids.
Trudging along single file,
The ants came marching in.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Window (Definition Poem)

The window lets light into a room
It is transparent.
The window can lock from the inside,
But when it opens, a breeze makes its way through,
Adding fresh air to a room.
It provides images,
From the sunny blue sky
To the neighbor mowing his lawn across the street.
The window is a gateway for daydreamers to gaze,
Or an escape to the outside world.
Through a window, you can see everything.

Ten-Minute Spill Exercise

"Someday my prince will come"
A voice sang in my head while watching a classic Disney movie.
Why can't I have someone to whir me away?
Someone to leave me hanging on cloud 9,
To share blackberry kisses with,
I want a passionate romance,
Like when Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on a needle
Her dashing young soulmate came to her side.
Oh, how life would be if it were a fairy tale.
I cannot wait to fall in love.

Critical 5

Because Terrance Hayes uses descriptive language in his poems, he provokes emotion and imagery in his readers. First, in "Fish Head for Katrina," the Hayes uses emotional language. This poem, I believe, was about Hurricane Katrina and how it specifically affected New Orleans. The poem especially has a somber tone to it, which is shown in the line, "the mouth is where the dead who are not dead do not dream." This just reminds me of sadness. I believe this line meant that there were many people found dead due to the hurricane. Since they're dead, they cannot dream. These people's dreams are destroyed, because they're already dead and have no chance to get to safety. I could also see the "mouth" as the mouth of a fish. The mouths could be gaped open on the dead. (people) The mouth could also refer to the actual hurricane. For example, the line, "the mouth is a flooded machine" seems metaphorical. The mouth is a metaphor for Hurricane Katrina and literally, it could mean Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, destroyed it, and caused major damage. The hurricane is like a "machine" which has no feeling and is destructive. Hayes uses metaphors in his poems and they're shown in this one. Another emotion in this poem, shown by Hayes' language, is despair. The line, "A choir singing in the rain like fish" is a cry in despair. Symbolically, I saw this line as the fish representing people and the rain was the flooded waters causing them harm. The people in trouble are shouting (singing) for help which hasn't arrived, so they struggle to survive. In "Lighthead's Guide to the Galaxy," Hayes language evokes imagery. The word alone, "lighthead" reminded me of someone whose mind isn't grounded. Hayes is a realistic person and Lighthead is his alter-ego who has his own imagination for escape. I saw this poem as someone, other than Hayes himself, in an alternate world or reality. Lighthead is a sexual charatcter, because he says, "I believe everything is a metaphor for sex." I think that is apparent in the line, "moonlight juicing naked branches." Naked is a vulnerable world and juicing is a particular verb not typically seen in serious poetry. I viewed the moonlight juicing these branches as a sexual act, with the moonlight being a dominant force. That line, as well as the line, "moonlight drips from the leaves" is provocative and very descriptive. I can vividly see the essence of moonlight slowly falling from the leaves. These phrases are metaphors for sex. Lighthead seems to be a playful character who likes to explore his surroundings, or the world in general. He is a dreamer and I found this poem to be an introduction to the obscure, creative poems that were to come. Therefore, Hayes' language in his poetry is imaginative and emotional. I believe he leaves his poems up for interpretation. Some poems are about certain events, others may have no meaning whatsoever and are silly. They're poetry simply for fun and appeal to a variety of audiences to enjoy.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Critical Analysis Week Four

After reading W.H. Auden's, "Poetry as Memorable Speech" and Philip Larkin's poems, I came to the conclusion that certain poems are worth remembering and they have particular meanings to them. Larkin is an optimist and writes in a gleeful-mournful tone. His poems typically have lessons to be learned at the end. According to Auden, poetry "must move our emotions, or excite our intellect, for only that which is moving or exciting is memorable." I agree with Auden's statement and I found this apparent in Philip Larkin's poem, "Reasons for Attendance." In this poem, the speaker is observing young girls dancing. Of course, Larkin might find this dancing fun and entertaining at first, but not for very long. By the end of the poem, the speaker realizes that he doesn't need to be with any of the women dancing and finds them useless. They are simply not for him. Obviously, this poem takes place outside of a strip club, although I originally thought the speaker was looking at pin-up girls in a glass window. This poem did provoke emotion out of me and I agree with the speaker's choice at the end. The line, "Why be out there? But then, why be in there? Sex, yes" struck a chord with me. I believe the speaker is saying that life out there in the real world is difficult, but why would you want to stay trapped inside forever? These women convey sex and will probably only be sexual objects in the eyes of men. The women are all under the age of 25, so at that age they seem to have no ambition. Their life will only be dancing for others to enjoy. Like I said before, I agree with the speaker's choice that the strippers are not for him, because who would want to settle with one? These women are trapped and dancing is the only routine in their lives. They have no goals, other than to dance. Auden states, "poetry is not concerned with telling people what to do, but only leading us to the point where it is possible for us to make a rational and moral choice." I believe that the speaker did make this moral choice in the end. He says, "But not for me, nor I for them; and so with happiness. Therefore I stay outside." He doesn't want to "corrupt" himself and cloud his judgment by going into the strip club and staying there. This was the lesson to be learned in the end. I see that this poem is memorable speech, because it deals with women and how they live their lives. These women in particular subject themselves to sex and dancing, so they are only needed for entertainment purposes. Those with rational minds don't need to be there. (like the speaker) There is a line in the poem where the speaker describes the women dancing "solemnly on the beat of happiness." When I read that line, I wondered if the women were truly happy in their positions. Since the word solemn means serious or grave, how can you be happy at the same time? This line is defiinitely an oxymoron. I believe that the dancers are forced to look happy while they perform, when they really, truly aren't. I said that Larkin's speech is gleeful-mournful in general. In "Reasons for Attendance," the speaker seems gleeful in the beginning while he watches the women dance, but then changes direction when he decides that they are not for him. That in a way could be mournful. The title played a significant role in the poem, because in the end, I believe the speaker questioned why he went to the strip club. The conclusion was that it was pointless.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Strange Sound

As I lie in bed fast asleep,
Something starts to creep.
Is it a tree scratching against my window?
Whatever could it be?

The sound is ever so faint,
But grows louder with every second.
My heart starts to pound for what's in store.

I hear the creaking of the floorboards
And I think to myself, "Do I get out of bed?"
"Go back to sleep?" What should I do?

I then hear three words uttered,
"Go see Rachel."
I lie there stiff as a board.

Suddenly the noise stops
And I hear a big thud.

Alas, it is only my puppy on my bed,
With her puffy plastic green toy.
Squeaking obnoxiously for me to play

Oh boy, I'm never going back to sleep.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Robert Frost

Robert Frost says that poems begin in delight and end in wisdom. It is also the same for love, because "no one can really hold that the ecstasy should be static and stand still in one place." Pretty much, Frost is talking about love poems and how they should be exciting, especially in the beginning. He also says that they should end in a certain clarification. I see this especially in T.S. Eliot's poem, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." Prufrock is a semi-boring individual with sexual frustrations who just needs to profess his feelings to a woman. The opening line of the poem, "Let us go then, you and I" reminded me of a date that Prufrock is going on with a woman. The beginning of the poem is kind of happy, and Eliot uses descriptive language. Like Frost said, the poem starts out delightful, but then changes pace when Prufrock questions his motives, and asks, "do I dare disturb the universe?" I believe that Frost's ideas are emulated in the Prufrock poem.

Frost talks about the wildness of poetry. Poems should be fulfilling and not stick to one theme, but possibly go in different directions. For instance, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" could be interpreted in several ways. The line, "When the evening is spread out against the sky like a patient etherised upon a table," one could interpret that as the sky being grey and dull. Someone else could interpret the sky as Prufrock being in a dream like state. Poetry has literal and metaphorical meanings.

Friday, April 6, 2012

New Orleans

I will arise and venture to New Orleans,
French Quarter here I come!
I can shop 'till I drop in the lavish outdoor mall,
Visit the aquarium, or watch the Saints play football.
The possibilities are endless, whatever shall I do?

The seafood in the Big Easy is delectable.
It's fresh and better than the rest.
From lobster to crab or shrimp po'boys,
They're truly the best.
And if I want to be adventurous,
Try something new from the deep blue,
I'll indulge in a gator bite or two.

The Creole spirit is in the air tonight,
When the jazz bands play their tunes all night.
I tap my feet to the beats from the South,
And try to find the right words to come from my mouth.
The music is "magical" and "hits the spot."

At last I reach you, mighty Superdome,
You're quite a legendary place.
On the outside, you remind me of a spaceship,
But I close my eyes and picture the thousands you saved from Hurricane Katrina.
I smiled knowing they were blessed.
New Orleans, you shall not be forgotten.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Poem About Iraq

Easter 1916 Analysis

This poem clearly looks at the war between the Irish and the British, in hope for Irish independence. After I read this poem, I immediately thought of the movie, Michael Collins. That movie was about the Easter Rising in Ireland, as well as the Irish Civil War.

I thought that the line, "a terrible beauty is born" mainly represented war or battles between people. It was terrible that there needed to be a war, since war is devastating and costs many people's lives. However, there was a "beauty" that arose from the terribleness, because the Irish fought for what they believed in. That's always a good thing. I saw "a terrible beauty is born" also as an oxymoron. After simply looking at the words, how can something beautiful be terrible? This line was significant to the poem, since it was repeated three times.

I looked at the poem, " Returning, We Hear the Larks" by Isaac Rosenberg. This poem has war elements too it, but Rosenberg's language is more descriptive than Yeats'. "But song only dropped, like a blind man's dreams on the sand by dangerous tides," is a very powerful similie. Blind men are vulnerable, so if the tides are dangerous, they cannot see and can easily drown. Other lines, like the one about the girl's dark hair is a good similie as well. I think the poem is a metaphor for how vulnerable and scared soldiers can be due to war and that death is unstoppable. Men can fear death, but cannot run from it.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Summer Sonnet

Summer comes soon and I jump with delight.
I swim outside, at the pool or the beach.
It's summertime, there is no need to fight.
Whenever it's summertime, life's a peach.
Grad parties, campouts, bonfires galore,
I want to ride bikes, run and play all day.
I cannot wait to eat a s'more.
Summer should never, ever go away.
When summer starts to fade, I become sad.
I'm not ready for school, to learn new things,
The leaves falling, cold weather, "grr," I'm mad.
I miss summer and everything it brings.
I stare out my window and search for hope.
Without the bliss of summer, I will mope.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

First Assignment

Thomas Hardy's poem, "Hap" is an interesting one. Even though its language is a little difficult to interpret at first, Hardy certainly has a message he wants to get across to the public.

I first noticed the title, which immediately caught my attention, because "hap" isn't a real word. When I looked at it, I thought that hap could have been short for the words, "happy" or "happiness." However, Hardy only left the prefix. Since this poem explains a dichotomy between happiness and sadness, I thought that Hardy expressed that through the title of his poem. The rest of the word, "happiness" is gone, which struck me as a removal of happiness. "Hap" could represent sadness, because the rest of the word, "happiness" isn't there. You remember when you feel depressed more times then you do happy, so I thought that the title represented the lonesomeness or the depression that Hardy was feeling. Being lonely was greater than being happy. The poem reflects uncontrolled emotions and that good things and bad things happen due to chance. The quote, "how arrives it joy lies slain" means that happiness is punished and becomes ruined by an outside force.

Hardy is a pessimist and I found "Hap" similar to "Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave?." Both poems have a certain dark atmosphere surrounding them and both play on the elements of happiness and sadness. In "Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave," death is something that is depressing and sad, but the poem becomes darkly humorous in the end. Both poems lead to a harsh reality. In this poem, it's death and in "Hap," the harsh reality is that good things and bad things do happen to people. Death is uncontrolled and so are chance and time.
This is my poetry blog for spring quarter :)