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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.