Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Beloved (Sethe)

She was certainly a character who went through plenty of emotional up's and down's throughout the story. Not only was she reflecting on her days at Sweet Home when everyone was together, but she was on the run making here escape with everyone else in the group. Reading about the condition her body was in when Sethe met Amy was rather disgusting I must admit, but that what the slaves went through to try and achieve freedom I'm sure was worth it to them. During Denver's early years and the beginning days of there home at 124 Sethe seemed to be somewhat stable emotionally until Paul D. enters her life because all the memories of 124 come back to mind especially because she don't know what happen to Halle. At first she seemed like she didn't really have much interest in Paul D. until having sex the first time seem to change her thoughts about the idea of having a man around again. Everything seemed to be going great with them for a while like having sex regulary until Beloved entered the story then their relationship seem to go backwards in a hurry. It was evident that Paul D. didn't like Beloved and Sethe becoming very defensive of her caused them to not last much longer not to mention what took place in the shack. I do wonder if it would have made a difference if Sethe would have told Paul D. up front that Beloved was her daughter because I thought maybe his frustration came from this strange girl who wondered up and all the sudden she's more important than him. As would turn out though Paul D. was right about Beloved because she drove Sethe to her death bed or near it by the way the last section of the story implied. I never read that Sethe died only inferred it, but I think Beloved drove Sethe to the break of insanity, depression or guilt for leaving her behind those many years ago. I never did really understand the parts about her being jail and I thought I read a few times she killed a child or children of her own; therefore I was sure if I maybe misunderstood or misread those parts. If that was indeed true than that really makes me change some of my opinions about her.

Beloved (Paul D.)

At first when Paul D. entered the story my first impression was that he might a vagrant or some kind of bum or something, but I was wrong he turned out to be a good guy after all. I think given the path it took for him to get to 124 I could understand why he seems a bit reserved at first about letting his emotions take over. I thought he done what he could do to prove to Sethe that he really wanted to be at 124, but at the time it looked like Sethe wasn't sure if she was ready to love again yet; however she did come around some and invite him to live with them at 124. I thought it was interesting the things that unfolded between Beloved and himself. There was just something about her he just didn't like the moment she came into the house; however I guess he had some mixed feelings towards her maybe thinking there is something peculiar about her. His conflicted feelings towards Beloved definitely caused some friction between them which led him to sleep in the shack for a while. This was where I thought the story made a bizarre twist when Beloved was sneaking out to the shack to force herself on Paul D. which put him in a most uncomfortable position. I not saying what he did was right, but that is certainly an unpleasant position to be in as a guy when a lady is practically throwing themselves at you its definitely hard to say no regardless of the consequences. Unfortunately, with what happened in the shack and the friction in their relationship led him to leave 124 and strangely ended what they had started prematurely. Given what happened in the shack I thought his feelings towards Sethe were sincere and he really cared. At least at the end their paths crossed again once Beloved was gone, but it looked to be probably according to the last page or two.

Beloved (Baby Suggs)

Baby Suggs the mother-in-law was very important part of the story I thought because she seemed to be guiding light and wisdom that Sethe needed to get her through some difficult times. Throughout the story there was continuous mentions about her during and after she had passed. Being a former slave like most of the characters were she worked and sacrificed for own children as well as eventual grandchildren not only at Sweet Home but other places like the Garniers's place an other's as well. Sethe was technically married to her son Halle so after he went away to never be seen again Baby spent a lot of time with Sethe and the children. It was my understanding that Baby put forth the money for the home at 124 and helped Sethe to that 80 acres of land into a loving home. I was kind of confused about the haunting that were mentioned because I didn't know for sure if it was Baby Suggs spirit haunting the place or someone else that part kind of lost me along the way. Baby Suggs was traveled lady who suffered through the rigors of slavery and never gave up hope of owning some land and being free to do with it as she pleases. She seemed a good mother-in-law because Baby appeared to be supportive and helpful to Sethe at Sweet Home and 124. I think during Baby's time at 124 she was probably the backbone or the inspiration that kept the family going during tough times and she was obviously a loving mother to her own children.

Beloved (Denver)

Looking back at Denver I drew some my own impressions about who she was or what she was like. She seemed like a daughter who loved her mother very much and really cared about her feelings or emotions. I think Denver's emotions may have became somewhat confused when Beloved came into the household because it looked to me like more of the attention may have been focused on Beloved more than herself. I know her emotions shifted back and forth during the story because at first she thought that Beloved was the one that was chocking Sethe; therefore for awhile Denver had a close eye on Beloved every time Sethe and her were together. She seemed very skeptical of Beloved for a while until she found out Beloved was her sister then her attitude towards her seem to change dramatically for the good. She suddenly went from being skeptical of Beloved to being protective and even at one point thought Sethe might kill Beloved even. Of coarse,there were moments when the three of them seem to gel together and enjoy each others company too. I didn't think Denver was ever all that comfortable during the time when Paul D. lived with them either. This was probably hard to understand at first for Denver having Beloved and Paul D. now living in their home neither of which she new very little about at first. I noticed her attitude towards Beloved changed again toward the end of the story when she saw what Beloved was doing to her mother mentally and physically destroying her. I thought it showed a great deal of love and strength for Denver to go out to find work to help take care of Sethe and bring some food into the house. The haunting's were obviously difficult to deal with during her younger days, but it seem like Denver learned how to deal with it as she got older. I believe she may have been the most emotionally stable character in the story with the exceptions of her being cautious or scared at times.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

T.C. Boyle

This was a interesting story the author had me believing that Maddy had been killed, but at the end it was like not so fast just kidding. After reading the story I was wondering who the speaker was I didn't know if the story was written based on personal experience of Boyle's or was it just the husband speaking. I was surprised the ending turned out with Maddy being okay because most stories I've read when the parents go through those kind of emotions the end result is usually tragedy. Not being a parent myself I can't relate to what it would be like to get a phone call like that saying your child has been in a accident, but I'm sure it's news no parent ever wants to hear. I'm sure most parents worry when their kids are gone, but at the same time I know parents don't get much alone time when children are around so its probably welcome moments for them. I imagine parents kind of dread the day when their children are old enough to go out without them and probably worry a great deal,but I believe that all one could do as parent just let them go and hope they come home safe in one piece. After all, you can't keep children locked the house just because of fear that something terrible is going to happen to them because that's just not logical to do. Some people may consider it selfish of parents to react the way Maureen did at the end, but I think it's only our human nature because your glad it's not your child that died; however we always feel a sense or remorse for those whose experience the pain of losing a family member. I wasn't really sure what the reference to the meteor was I'm assuming it meant that any given moment some traumatic phenomenon could happen and wipe us all out; however that may be the wrong interpretation of the authors intent.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Martin Espada

These poems were certainly politically based in context especially "Bully". With the references to Roosevelt I thought from a historical aspect Latin Americans might have a certain level of anger towards Roosevelt because during his presidency he was constantly getting involved in affairs in that region. This poem could also represent immigration to some extent because of the second and third stanzas. "The Skull Beneath the Skin of the Mango" was a little bizarre in context, but still easy enough to read. I thought this poem was focused on the economic stranglehold America had put on Latin America as businessmen found it profitable to establish commerce in some of those countries. I suppose the poem is really implying how America has bullied there way around Latin America imposing there will wherever they see fit. I wondered if the "Mango" was interconnected to El Salvador because I thought maybe that is the cash crop of the region. Not knowing the history of Latin America well I wondered if the "skulls" represented the bodies of people who may have been opposed to American involvement in the region. After looking at some of his other poems the general theme I gathered was immigration, and economical imperialism the US had in Latin America.

Adrian Louis

Just as Alexie wrote about Indian culture so did Louis. The difference between them was Alexie focused more on the past life of Indian culture; whereas Louis focused more on present day life. In "Dust World" I thought this one based on modern day life on a Indian Reservation in South Dakota because of the reference to "badlands". I wondered if this poem was based on his own experience mainly because the use of first person, but the way it's segment leads me to believe this poem is talking about different segments of his life. "Without Words" seems to be his account of how his people and Indian cultures are decomposing across America because the white had taken everything from them including there pride and dignity. "Looking for Judas" at first glance seeing the word "Judas" in the title its easy to assume this a spiritual poem, but in reality "Judas" is a metaphor for trader because of his betrayal of Jesus. I thought this poem was about how the white man has betrayed Native Americans all these years which is most certainly true in most accounts. How can you not feel for Native Americans and everything they have lost after all they were here first and we have taken almost everything there is to take from them I would blame them if there bitter still even today.

Louise Gluck

Her poems were very well organized almost like song lyrics and the language is simple and easy enough to understand. I got the feeling these poems were derived from her own family or childhood experiences even though she only uses first person in a couple of the selections. For example, in "Penelope's Song" I had mixed impressions about this one because one one hand is it talking about her own experience as an adult when her lover was to return, but in some ways I think this poem could be referring to a child who has been bad and anticipating their father's return in order to apologize. For some reason these sequence of poems look to me like they might showing me a layout of her life from childhood to adult because of the choices of words she uses in each poem. Like in the "Reunion" I thought this may have been a return from a husband or lover who might have left or maybe had an affair only to return 20 years later. I thought that way because the context of "Circe's Grief gave me the impression there was turmoil in her personal life.

Sherman Alexie

I enjoyed these poems because it was something different from the normal stuff we read so far and because I've always had an interest in Native American culture. Each one of the works were interesting in there own ways but one thing they all had in common was the mention of white people or as some refer to the dominant culture. In "Evolution" I got the idea this was referring to the way Indians were constantly giving away there land and worldly possessions to the white man and when nothing was left to give but their lives we took them too. What gave me that impression was the pawn shop references and Buffalo Bill being the white man in charge. The only impression I could get out of "Scalp Dance" was a direct reference to Indian cultures because the woman in the picture seemed to be telling me about the culture of Indian life. "How to Write" gave me a distinct idea he was referring to the mingling of races between white women's desire for Indian men and Indian men's desire to have a Indian women. The word hero is the key word used in the passage because Indians believe a hero is a white/Indian mixed person meaning they would be brave and noble and not suppose to cry in front of anyone, but themselves. I was surprised by the reference of Indian women who love Indian men must be half breed from horse culture; therefore I thought that was a rather harsh statement about the women from your own race.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Sea Oak"

I must say that was a rather bizarre story, but I thought it took a little to long to develop. I didn't really know which direction the story was heading until Bernie was back from the dead. I'm assuming that Bernie was communicating with her family from the grave and not so much from the living room. They had troubled life prior to Bernie's death, but I was glad to see they aspired to do better with themselves afterwards. I guess Bernie knew their potential to make a better life for themselves, but they obviously needed some motivation to get them going. I thought Bernie must have been a unselfish person because it seemed like she spent her life always doing for others especially since she never married or had children of her own. I also got the impression that the family didn't really appreciate who Bernie was or how much she meant to the family until she was gone. The was without a doubt a strange story, but I can appreciate the message delivered in the outcome.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

T.S. Eliot

I also realized I never wrote about T.s Eliot and so not wanting to steal any body's ideas I went back to re-read the material. After reading Eliot's poems it was clear he was very much a part of the modernist poets and highly regarded for his works. Just from reading the poems I got the sense Eliot focused on writing about both cultural and religious changes. From the two selections we read "Journey of the Magi" and "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" I took away different thoughts. In the Love Song I felt like this man wished so badly to be noticed and important, but in reality that just wasn't the case. It looked like he was envisioning himself being able to be social and well received by others, but in reality he was really so lonely inside because none of his visions he believed was ever going to happen. He obviously believed he would die a lonely old man with no one even noticing he is gone. In the "Journey of the Magi" the only thing I could get out of this poem was that the "Magi" perhaps represented Bethlehem and the poem was based on the birth of Christ. All the details and descriptions led me to assume that was the message of this poem. Some examples of references were lines 5,11,13-17,and 27; however I think this poem would be a representation of Christ's life and death too. The poem could also be a desire for spiritual rebirth through the faith in Christ. I think it could be said that Eliot was a powerful poet who was highly respected by other literary critics.

Eudora Welty

This was another story I skipped by mistake. I found "Why I Live at the P.O." to be rather peculiar read simply because of the way things unfolded during the story. What was suppose to be a 4Th of July celebration turned out to be nothing, but family turmoil and heartache for those involved. I never really understood the significance of the hat though and why the discussion even came up about Shirley T being adopted. I kind of wondered if maybe Shirley may be considered the outcast of the family. This may be a weird observation, but I wondered if there might have been a bit of incest involved in this storyline and perhaps Mr. Whitaker never really existed. Some of the phrases or comments led me to think that way even though I think Mr. Whitaker may have really existed in the first place. With Shirley going to live in the Post Office maybe that was a place of peace and refuge from the turmoil she has faced within the local community and her family. I thought her family was incredibly rude and disrespectful to Shirley; therefore even if the child is adopted or not why was it made into such a big deal anyway. I think this story would definitely fit a couple of categories as we discussed in class such as, loneliness, betrayal, treatment of women, and moral conflicts.

Tillie Olsen

I skipped this story by mistake, but after reading it I found it to be a good read because I'm sure there are plenty of single mother's who could probably relate. Emily seemed like a child that had rather ordinary desires and just loved her mother very much. Not having children of my own I can only believe that most children cry when their mothers leave them to go off to work during the early years that would seem natural to me. I'm sure her mother only went to work because she had to provide for the two of them being a single mother. Emily obviously commanded a great deal of attention, but I guess she felt frustrated with her mother somewhat for not being available more often to spend time with her. Then when her mother remarried and another child came into the picture that really didn't sit well with Emily, which happens with many children at least at first that's true. I could be wrong, but I can't put the entire blame on her mother for the strained relationship they had because I think Emily could have been a little less bitter about the situation. I thought it was clear that both of them really loved each other very much. I think maybe between her mother working, the birth of Susan, and housework duties Emily may have felt like the forgotten one in the family. I've known guys and girls who have actually gone through similar scenarios in their families too. I'm sure this type situation could have a psychological effect on a child when feeling forgotten or left out from within the family circle. I felt like throughout the story it seemed like her mother felt a since of guilt for the way things had happened, but I'm sure she did the best she could. I would hope in a situation like this that maybe Emily would come to understand everything during her adult years and maintain a good relationship with her mother not bitterness.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Raymond Carver

This story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" was a good read. The four of them brought up some interesting points while they talked. The concept of love can be different to each of us of coarse. Like Terri's relationship with her ex-husband isn't really that unusual, but that's not really the kind of ideal love we think of naturally. Unfortunately, there are both men and women who do think of love in that way even though its not an ideal relationship. I've known men and women who really think like Ed did even though its not morally right doesn't mean Ed didn't love her he just took the wrong approach. Mel's relationship with his ex-wife is probably more common because that is usually the way people feel after a divorce especially if their spouse has the children and house. I imagine that every man or women loved their spouse at first even if the end result was divorce I know I did and just like Mel I found myself wondering what happened or where things went wrong.Then the story about his father's accident was inspiring to because he loved his wife so much that it pained him so much not to be able to look at his wife I would call that genuine love. I took from story the lesson to be learned was that despite how every one shows their love in different ways because not everyone knows how to love through affection and sheer passion for the other. Some take things to far through jealousy and rage, but that doesn't necessarily mean they don't love their mate.

Adrienne Rich

She was an interesting poet because it seemed like who works were all based on relationships between men and women as well as written from a feminist perspective. The poem "Diving into the Wreck" I thought was interesting because she used underwater exploration as a way to express herself. I was curious if the poem was strictly based on a feminist point of view or was she talking directly about her own feelings. I liked array of object's used in this poem on in particular was the wreckage, which I thought may have represented marriage or sexual relationships meaning there was a direct correlation between the two. What gave me this impression was lines 71-77 which read "and I am here, the mermaid whose dark streams black, the merman in his armored body we circle silently about the wreck we dive into the hold". After reading both poems and some about her background it helped to better clarify her thoughts behind the poems. I had read she has been a advocate for gay and lesbian rights during her life and she did have bisexual tendencies too; however I think the poems could reflect heterosexual or homosexual meanings depending on each persons opinion. She was a very detail oriented poet she really paints a vivid picture in the readers mind to help dictate the tone of each one.

Philip Levine

In the first selection "Animals Are Passing From Our Lives" I think the pig may have represented us as humans and how we just go thought the motions in every day life. The imagery used was like the daily operations of a slaughterhouse I suppose a similarity to our routines to how we just fall in line and do the same things as one another. The last line "No Not this pig" I think maybe was a statement that he wasn't going to be complacent and just follow along. The second selection "They Feed They Lion" gave me the impression that the speaker was indeed white even though the poem was more actually about the oppressed workers both black and white. In some of the information I read Levine worked along side a black man in the factory where he obviously gained more knowledge about the treatment of the workers and the black citizens especially. I noticed he also used some spiritual references too like in line 22 for example when he said "from bow down come rise up" and suppose that meant its time for citizen or workers to rise up against the oppression rather than continuing to bow down. In the last selection "Fear and Fame" I think he may have been describing the look on people's faces as we rode a bus or went about the city. Once again I think this poem was dedicated to the blue collar workers who have dangerous jobs and put their future health at great risk only to spent the rest of their days suffering from diseases or sickness related to a certain job all for what.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

John Ashbery

In the first selection "They Dream Only of America" I was curious who the poem was really talking specifically about because the speaker seems to change a few times. I mean in the title "they" is used and "he" as well along with "we"; however with the change in point of view I wasn't entirely sure who the poem was referring to directly. I assumed that Ashbery was talking about family members and himself too. The 3rd-5Th stanzas really made me wonder if he might be talking about his father and the very last line also contributed that assumption as well. I kind of wander if maybe he is reflecting on some fond moments with his father or maybe they are on a road trip together. The one part that really was tricky for me to understand was line 17, which I wondered who Ashbery was referring to in that line when "he" is used. For me, I can't seem to come up with a conclusion on what the "cigar" and the "key" represented because of my uncertainty about the speaker of the poem. The only main conclusion I could draw from "Street Musicians" was perhaps Ashbery observed the daily life's of street musicians in a urban setting watching how they maintain survival. I also thought that he might have gotten some of his information directly from a street musician through maybe a personal interactions if indeed my assumption is correct. I say that only because in some of the lines like 15-22 seems like some of that information probably would only be known by someone who actually experienced it first hand.

Margret Atwood

I liked this story the different scenarios were interesting as they played out. I'm sure the American dream for everyone is probably "A", but most of us probably don't have our life's work out in a story book way like that.I mean seriously who wouldn't hope for their life would play out like "A". I thought "B" was the most common of all the endings that may occur more often due to the fact that the divorce rates are so high today. The next most likely scenario to occur would probably be "C" in my opinion because there is many couples who marry someone with an noticeable age difference and the younger one ends up running off unless their spouse is wealthy. I thought it was interesting how despite how each ending played out in the end both John and Mary died. Maybe this story should have had a different title because none of the endings were really that "happy" except for "A". I'm not sure what the authors purpose for these alternate endings were perhaps she was trying to show the reader possible scenarios to how relationships sometimes play out. I like the statement in "F" when she said "you'll have to face it, the endings are the same however you slice it". I think it would be interesting to see how different these plots would be if the script was "happy beginnings".

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sylvia Plath

After reading some of Plath's poems I thought she seemed to be troubled or depressed a great deal and given the difficult life she had that's understandable. Plath is a masterful poet, but her poems are very gloomy and depressing to read. In "Tulips" I got the impression Plath was either sick and wanted to just be left alone or maybe she was just depressed an didn't want anyone around her. The poem's title I is a representation of people bringing her tulips and maybe she really dislikes them very much at least that's what I thought. I thought Plath made references to that in lines 49 through 59. The other poem was "Ariel" this one didn't have a depressing tone really it seemed more like a release. I was just curious if maybe Plath was having somewhat of a sexual release after her marriage failed and maybe she's ready to put herself out there again. I found the metaphor she used interesting comparing herself to Lady Godiva the goddess who supposedly rode naked and bareback on a horse; therefore maybe she is expressing her emotions and she feels like doing the same thing metaphorically speaking. One common trend I did notice in Plath's poems was her use of metaphors because each of the poems contained several I suppose that is the way of she could best express herself or convey a message to the reader.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Anne Sexton

After reading Sexton's poems I got the impression that she was more of a feminist writer because her poems seem to be geared towards the experiences of a women or her own. Of coarse,the role of women did change in society during the 50's & 60's through new laws in favor of women.In the chosen selections Sexton shows us her different ways of composing poems. In "Her Kind" she compares herself to a witch meaning just like witches have been misunderstood she has too. "The Truth the Dead Know" I thought was partly a reflection or tribute to her parents death and the idea of what it must be like to be dead especially since her parents both died in the same year. That's the first time I ever heard a casket referred to as a "stone boat". Maybe she had been grieving and this was the best way she could express herself or cope with their death. In the poem "And One for My Dame" I thought this one was a reflection of Sexton's relationship with her father on a routine basis and coincidentally her husband followed in her father's career. According to,the poem she lived with father who worked more than he spent quality time with her and now she has married a man who is doing the same thing.

Robert Lowell

Lowell was an interesting poet because as the bio mentions his poems were written in apocalyptic in nature, which proves to be true after reading some of the poems myself. For instance, in "For the Union Dead" was written about an area of his home town that was changing due to economic growth. The Aquarium, and Boston Common I suppose was a place that holds sentimental value to him so he wasn't to happy I guess when those places were being replaced by something new. I could relate to his feelings if something in my hometown, which held sentimental value was being torn down or removed I would me upset as well. I guess Lowell wasn't the kind of person who is receptive to change or progress. I like the historical references he uses to represent the value of the park. Apparently, there is a statue on the grounds of the park with Civil War Colonel who fought along side black soldiers in battle, which may have been a icon for the community for many years and now it's about to be gone. I suppose the theme of the poem would be a bitter sweet end to the statue and the history that surrounds it. Lowell's home town is becoming a booming metropolis and he's just not thrilled about the changes taking place.

John Berryman

After reading Berryman's bio and the chosen selections as well as some of the others it seemed obvious that his father's death tragic death really took a heavy emotional toll on him. I was curious why the poems were numbered in random numbers as they were my initial thoughts are maybe these were representing some amount of time that had past since his fathers death perhaps. In the chose selections I was wondering if maybe he was starting to question himself or wonders who he has become. At this point his seems to be talking kind of crazy like maybe a depressed or angry person might do. For example, in "40" it sounds to me like he's become suicidal or filled up with so much mental turmoil that it's destroying him from the inside out. It just felt like after reading several of Berryman's selections that this was a man who lost his way and never made it back.In the end I suppose Berryman"s emotions got to be to much to handle as he took his own live as the bio mentioned.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I read this story several times and I honestly just don't get what in the world the message is I suppose its just going right over my head. If someone would care to explain that would be great or I suppose I'll find out in class soon enough.

A & P

I liked this story very much mainly because I worked in a grocery store myself and this situation sounds exactly like something that could very easily have happen to me. This story was enjoyable to read I liked how he used animal references when referring to the customers. It was funny once he spotted the girls he followed them all through the store from his cashier position with his eyes. Ironically, I was the same age as this character when I worked in a grocery store too because every pretty girl that came in as a guy you was just hoping they would come through your checkout line hoping to find out more. It was noble standing up to his boss for the sake of the girls but probably not the smartest thing to do considering the girls didn't even see him do it. I think once he realized in the parking lot what he had just happen it must have dawned on him how he overreacted.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Theodore Roethke

After reading the selections of this author they were both interesting in their own way. As his bio indicated I thought some of his poems were perhaps a reflection on lessons learned from his alcoholic experiences.I did like how he described the river in every aspect and it gives the reader a chance to maybe picture what the river really looks like. I thought his attention to detail made the poem easier to understand and visualize the river. As for the "My Papa's Waltz" I was under the assumption that he's was referring to being beaten by a drunken father. I suppose it safe to say that his home life experiences probably had an influence on his own alcoholic problems. While briefly looking at some of his other poems those seem to be very detailed oriented as well and they too describe different aspects of nature or whatever surroundings he happens to be in that inspires him to write.

Allen Ginsberg

All I can say about this guy is WOW! what a drastic change compared to all the others I read so far. I suppose this poem "Howl" was written from the experiences of Carl Solomon in the mental institution with people he evidently meet during his stay. Man! did he have some crazy things to say and I don't think he held back on anything. I mean he just let it all hang out in this poem and it was certainly an interesting read. He certainly didn't hold back on talking about possible controversial subjects. I didn't really fully comprehend his reference to Moloch and what it all meant. In the third segment of the poem when he said to "Carl Solomon! I'm with you in Rockland I wasn't sure if that was the name of the institution or was that a reference of something else.

Frank O' Hara

After reading the chosen selections I liked the casual and relaxed style he used in the poems. I thought all the poems were interesting in their own ways because each one seem to describe a situation he may have encountered at some point or maybe his mental state at a given time I think helped him develop these poems. I noticed he seem to show much interest in New York City due to the fact that all the poems seem to have some kind of reference to New York in the context. To me he just seem like a writer who just enjoyed the simple things NYC has to offer on any given night like fine dining and some good jazz music and visiting the art galleries too. I thought he took those experiences of living in NYC and just expressed his personally feelings in poetry without controversy involved. I noticed he also tends to use colors in some of his work to represent an implied message to the reader maybe the color is an overall symbol of what he's trying to express.

Gwendolyn Brooks

After reading some of her background prior to reading the poems it really helped me to better understand the why she wrote the way she did. I suppose in some ways she was probably considered to be an extension of the Harlem Movement writers because she employed some of their techniques as well as her own. For example, she brings in racial status to some of her selections. I found her style to be interesting though because it was as if she was writing about specific situations within the south Chicago community. In the first chosen selection "of DeWitt Williams on his way to Lincoln Cemetery" I got the impression this was maybe written during the boys funeral possession or sometime thereafter or perhaps this could have been some kind of eulogy someone delivered at his funeral as well. Either way I appeared it be a reflection of his life and the places he most frequently visited during his days. I didn't think this poem displayed an racial comments with the exception the reference to the old slave song "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" or maybe that song is always sung at the funerals in African American communities don't know I can't speak from experience. The other selection looked to be written about someone she may have known who's live was cut short in a tragic way. This poem may have been written based on a personal experience.

Elizabeth Bishop

In the chosen pieces I inferred a sense of depression,loneliness or perhaps self-esteem issues. I noticed she uses some kind of animal references in several of the pieces in the text. Could it be that she uses animals instead of humans perhaps to represent a certain message in each of her selections. I could be completely wrong, but for example in "The Man-Moth" the character acts as though he is suffering from some insecurities maybe of low self-confidence as well. To me this poem signifies a man who is extremely lonely and perhaps is just bored with life because of maybe doing the same routine everyday. The other selection "One Art" gave be a sense of negativity because the whole thing talks about nothing but losing at what not sure maybe life I suppose. If i read this selection while in a good mood it might just bring me down a notch or two due to the depressing vocabulary used. I liked both poems, but they just both seemed so dreary and depressing to me. One thing I did appreciate was her style of writing her works were very descriptive which helps most readers understand the content better sometimes. In reading some of her bio she did have a great deal of turmoil during her younger years maybe that has a direct connection or translates into some of the poems.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"The Ethics of Living Jim Crow" Wright

This was certainly an interesting story to read about the personal struggles of Richard during younger years. These types stories are difficult for me to read because for some reason I just can't seem to imagine how the white folks back then could have really acted that way an been able to feel good about themselves. Richard learned some valuable lessons about Jim Crow laws and he was probably lucky in someways not to be hurt worse or even lynched by some of those morons he worked around. I admired the fact that he was able to keep his composure during those difficult situations he faced. I thought it was interesting how the black folks in his communities seem okay with the status quo and Richard just couldn't believe the things he saw or experienced himself. I can appreciate Richards desire to educate himself through constant reading and he was lucky to befriend a white guy who was willing to let him use a library card. What was interesting was the part about subjects that were taboo from the white man's point of view. Sadly, all these years later some of those same subjects are still taboo to a white man's point of view because of narrow minded thinking.

"Sweat" Hurston

An interesting read despite the dialect was difficult to understand at times. It's ashamed that Delia was married to such a a-hole, but I guess that's just the way it is sometimes in marriages. She clearly was a hardworking lady who was proud of her home an the fact that she earned it honestly. Apparently there were no children involved because there was no mention of others in the household. It took a great deal of courage for her to finally stand up to Sykes after all the abuse for so many years. She must have been respected by others in the community because they felt bad for her being married to such a sorry individual who must have been like a hustler or roughneck of some sort because he never earned an honest living. I imagine he had several affairs with other women during those 15 years and I think the story made some references towards that too. I know it must have been difficult for Sykes from a pride perspective that his wife earned a living from washing clothes for white folks, but at least it put food on the table. That was just low down with him bringing a rattlesnake in the house knowing how much they scared her. She should have probably just bowed up an just whooped the piss out of him somehow many years earlier.Good for her that she ran him off at the end because she clearly deserved better. There is just no excuse for domestic violence no matter the circumstances.

Langston Hughes

He was a very interesting poet because he seemed to be diverse in his writing styles with the ability to connect with a variety of readers. It was clear he was a talented writer able to write some creative works like some in the form of ballads or songs. I didn't know he was so beloved, but after reading his works I can understand why even though the extreme right wing groups didn't approve of his work. I can understand how his critics would consider his works to be filled with racial aggression; therefore like his peers I think he was just writing with the same purpose as his fellow black poets in hopes exposing the political and social injustices that the black Americans had experienced for so many years. After all during his lifetime American went through some dramatic political and social changes for most everyone regardless of race or ethnic background. Even though it wasn't one of the readings assigned I thought "Let America Be America Again" was inspiring kind of poem.

Claude McKay

After reading his works it felt like most of the poems were written based on race relations in America especially because of the race riots in Harlem. I don't think he was writing with the pure intent of hatred toward whites, but for equality for Black Americans. Even though slavery was long since over during this time of course there was still a great deal of oppression in the black communities. It seemed like the mission of his works were to inspire the black Americans not to give up and succumb to the white man's ways without a fight in hopes that one day justice and equality will come for them. I suppose "Look Within" was probably the one that I liked the best because it was a terrible situation for the young black men who were asked to go fight in WWII to help free the nations of Europe from Hitler's tyranny only to come home to oppression themselves. After all they were fighting for a country which at that time didn't allow them a proper sense of justice and prosperity as citizens upon there return home.

James Weldon Johnson

Weldon appeared to be a religious individual I thought from the tone of his works. In "O Black and Unknown Bards" I thought he was not only displaying religious aspects, but perhaps recollecting the sacrifices his slave ancestors made for him and other fellow African Americans. I thought this poem was his way of paying respect to slave ancestors especially when he mentioned the old slave song "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" which to my understanding was a traditional slave song. The best line I thought was when he said "O black slave singers, gone, forgot, unfamed, You-you alone, of all the long, long line Of those who've sung untaught, unknown, unnamed, Have stretched out upward, seeking the divene".

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wallace Stevens

He was an interesting poet because he used an expanded amount of vocabulary and precision in writing his poems. During my research project I learned that according to his critics sometimes he was considered a difficult poet. One interesting thing I learned that about him was that poetry was more less a hobby than a profession because he actually was an insurance executive. He basically wrote poems just for enjoyment not realizing he would be able to make some money.He was already consistently good writer it just wasn't his primary job. His poems were unique some were rather crazy as well as charming and entertaining. Some of his critics believed he also tended to push the envelop a bit with some of the subjects he wrote about.

Robert Frost

Out of the selections from Frost I like "The Need to be Versed in Country Things" the best. I think it sent a message that despite the fact that their burned they still had each other and they would simply rebuild. I also thought there was some comparison's of how nature rebuilds and comes back stronger despite hard times. Even though it hard to get over a fire burning down your home you still have to move on and put the pieces back together and be thankful for friends and family.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner

This was an interesting yet kind of weird story, but Faulkner new what he was doing I'm sure. Apparently, the people in Emily's community thought both her and the family were kind of strange in the way they conducted themselves in society. She must have been lonely I'm sure since no one wanted to associate with her except her hired hand. I never was quite sure about Homer Barron that was a bizarre situation I mean were they married or not and did he perhaps die in the bed. She would grow old, but how long did Homer really live who knows maybe when he passed she just left the body in bed for some extensive and perhaps the smell is what made people want her gone. A truly sad story of a women who was so lonely and probably insane too what a miserable life that would be for someone to experience.

"Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway

Interesting story looks like Hemingway was at it again with delivering another good one. At first I wasn't sure which direction the story going, but as the story progressed I understood the message more clearly.I'm not sure if I had the correct idea about what was happening, but it seems with the references to the bead curtain they may have been at some kind of place where abortions are performed. In the conversation between the two I gathered that maybe she has become pregant and perhaps he is trying to convince her that a child would interfer with their travels, but he did say he would support her if though it probably wasn't sincere. I guess with the train leaving shortly she had a difficult decision to make, but I'm sure she grew up some in the process.