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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.