Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sea Oak....

was interesting, if not a little confusing. The family lives in a Sea Oak, and are basically described as white trash. They really didn't realize how much they appreciated Aunt Bernie until she was gone. Bernie seemed to be their motivator and what kept them going. That's why she came back as a ghost I guess. She wanted to teach them that they deserved better then this life that they had. It seems to be an inspirational story.


This story really hit a nerve with me. I had a friend a few years ago, die in a car accident...after leaving my house. The look on his parents faces I will never forget. Boyle relates to what is like to loose a child. It is like their is no reason for living anymore, because everything is gone. He relates this to an asteroid striking our planet. There would be no more sun, clouds, grass, or people. Everything is gone...and that is how a parent feels when they loose a child. They did not loose the child by choice, just an accident something that happened. It's like loosing your complete world, and everything you live for. I can't even begin to imagine the pain.


I find interesting...but I'm not sure I quite get everything he is saying. "The Skull Beneath the Skin of a Mango" struck me. When I see this, I see a scene of chaos taking place. Like everyone is trying to savage all they can. People are running, yelling, there is no order to this place. Everyone seems to be grabbing the mango fruits. A reporter accidentally kicks a human skull on the ground. He seems to notice that it looks much like a mango. He wonders how many of these have been sent to market. This creeps me out. I do not want to eat a skull!...but then I wonder what is this symbolizing and I'm really drawing a blank here. Is it when people are desperate they will take what they can get however unethical? I'm just not sure..but I would like to find out.


I found "Without Words" very interesting. It really reminded me of how an alcoholic might think. "The liquid is pure and irrestible we have nothing to live for, nothing to die for." It is like they do not have anything to do but drink. It clearly states that in America, you do not have a reason to drink. So why would they not drink if it tastes so good to them? Alcohol makes you forget the past the present, and have a good time...usually. But isn't this thirst killing our country? Its like drinking is all this person has, so that is what they do. It does not matter who or what came before them, all that matters is that sip of alcohol in that moment....and that's okay in America...right?


"Parable of the Hostages" really stuck with me out of all of his poems. It made me really think about what is going on in all the soldiers minds. It really reminded me of Vietnam and the hatred people had for our soldiers then, so much hatred in fact that they would spit on them. Soldiers wonder when they come home will they receive a warm welcome or will they be dismissed like that have not risked their life for our freedom? War is exciting and unpredictable, but now they are going back to the lives they once knew. Will these lives be the same?...or will they be different? I could see this thought going through many soldiers heads day by day. They do not know if their life will go back to normal. This is a scary thought, since stability and security is one of our primal needs.

All I have to say about Alexie is...

wow. He really puts the truth out there for everyone to see. He does not sugarcoat what we, the white people, did to the Indians. This was so long ago, but obviously many Indian cultures are still angry....rightfully so. Evolution is what really got me. It is like the Indians gave all they had to the white man and it still was not enough. The comparison here is that the Indians helped the white people all they could and were friendly(starting up Buffalo Bills business), but then we took advantage of that. All we did was take and take from them, until they had nothing left. Once we realized we couldn't use them anymore we took all they had left, their land. The last line is particularly disturbing, because the heart is a simple of life. To me, it means we took the life right out of them, like they weren't even human beings.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

Love and what it means is different to everyone. This can be clearly seen in the story. The man beat her, and Terri sees this as a sign of love. However, Mel does not see any love in this. I see this as a sign of love. The fact that he killed himself because he could not live without her. Haven't we ever heard of dying of a broken heart? You feel as though half of you is gone, and their is nothing to live for because you lost the one you love. This turns people crazy. Mel sees love like the old couple. The man is depressed because he couldn't see his wife. He does not see beating someone as love, understandable. He also says he could go on without Terri. It is interesting the view presented in this story on love. Which one do you choose? I tend to side with Terri actually.


I really like Adrienne Rich poetry. She is a powerful woman in a society dominated by men. She was one of the leaders of the feminist movement. I really like her poem Power. It's like Marie Curie was trying to better mankind and in the end did end up hurting herself. She worked endless hours to help everyone and make a name for herself in the male dominated world. "She died a famous woman denying her wounds denying her wounds came from the same source as her power." She got all these wounds from the thing that made her powerful.


is interesting. I love the language he uses throughout his poems. "To be lost among the thirteen million pillars of grass:" It is interesting in his poem They Dream Only of America" because it seems to change point of view. They is in the title while he is later on in the poem. Is he dreaming of what America will be like?...But then he sees that harsh reality of it? "For our liberation, except wait in horror for it." Is he realizing America is not as equal and as fair as it looks to everyone around the world?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I along with it seems many people of this class did not get this story. Maybe it was over my head...or I just wasn't opening my mind to it. Could someone explain at least the idea to me? If not class should be interesting!


I liked reading A&P because of all the detail. The plot did not keep me that interested, but the vivid details of everything did. It was so interesting how he gave everything in the entire store such interesting qualities. For instance, the top of the girl. Her shoulders were bare, but he made something that was so little and normal into something so imaginative. Reading this, I really had a good picture in my mind of what everything looked liked. It was noble of him to stand up for the girls, but in the end, he realizes he overreacted. Now he is jobless.... I think most people his age do this. It's like you make a big deal out of something, that really wasn't a big deal. Oh well everyone lives and learns....


I really enjoyed her poem "And One for My Dame." The title was what really interested me after reading the poems. It is like the two main men in her life get to travel everywhere around the country while she sits at home looking at places she will never go. Every place they go they say "and one for my dame" it is like their bringing her back something. This little constellation prizes are nothing to the real thing of visiting the places they are going. This really speaks about a woman's role in the household at this time. Though post WWII women had made strides in the workforce, they still mainly stayed at home. This speaks to the limits to what a woman and a man could do. Men are supposed to be the breadwinners while the woman sits at home and has dinner ready. Thankfully, this stereotype though still present is slowly going away.


I feel Plath really wants to give the woman's point of view in a man's world. Tulips is a depressing poem for me. Its like she's in pain and just wants to be left alone, utterly alone, but everyone seems to be bothering her. "Nobody watched me before, now I am watched." It is like no one cared before, but now that she is in the hospital they do. It is like her life is slowly slipping away from her. She has no control over it anymore. I could imagine that this would be a scary thing for anyone. "I watched my teaset, my bureaus of linen, my books Sink out of sight." She is loosing the life she once she sits in this hospital bed day after day.


I really like this poem, because I feel like it relates to small town America. I happen to be from one of those 200 person towns so this poem really struck me. It's like everything the town was special for is going away. It's going away for new improved things...from a small town to a growing metropolis. This is actually what is happening to my town. We now have a grocery store and two mini malls if you will. My grandparents hate it actually. They see our traditions going out the window with every new thing that gets built. This poem really mirrors their feelings. The statue that was once a town motivator is going to be gone. Its kind of like the values and morals are getting torn down more and more each day as a new building goes up. It's a bittersweet poem in the end. He's happy for new things, but the memories of the old way of life will be missed. I understand exactly how he feels here.


These selections to me remind me of that show criminal minds. They profile serial killers, psychopaths etc. I feel like that's what I'm reading the diary of a crazy person. I also read his bio and it seemed that his father's death had a big impact on him as it would anyone. As the lines go on, it seems he is getting crazier and crazier. "but never did Henry, as he thought he did, end anyone and hacks her body up." This is so morbid and creepy...but at the same time interesting. It makes me wonder what was really going on in Berryman's mind as he was writing this. Was he in such great turmoil that this was his only way of expressing it? The numbers on top also made me curious. What do they mean? There seems to be no logical order on them. I wonder if he wrote the poem in parts. He starts with lower numbers and works his way up. Maybe that's how many days it took?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Stand Here Ironing

I do know, I liked this story but then again I did not. I'm not exactly sure why I did not. I feel like the mother is just letting time pass when she could have been more involved in her daughters life. She was a busy mom trying to provide for her family, but if your struggling why are you having more children? I'm not the oldest child but I could see how I my sister would say I was treated differently from her. Most older siblings think that in general and tend to disagree more with the younger child. This mother tried to give Emily all she could, but Emily becomes withdrawn. I think Emily gets the feeling that her mother really does not like her. As the man says to the mother.."you should smile at Emily more." Emily does not realize how much her mother loves her. So in turn she pushes her away. She is a typical girl who analyzes herself based on other people. She compares herself to other people to determine her worth. It is not until she is older and wins the talent show that she really takes off. It is like you see a different person emerging from what she one was. She now has dreams and is not that shy girl she once was. She realizes that just because her mother cannot give her everything, that she can go after it and get everything she wants.


This resonates a lot with the conformity of people to society's ideals and not being their own person with their own thoughts. It's like a person is to afraid of what society will think or do to them if they have their own thoughts and feelings. "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked." The generation of conformity has driven the people to madness. Were so concerned with everyone else, that it has literally driven us insane. "who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes" People get expelled from universities for thinking outside the societies norm, and making people really think. It is like were a brainwashed society. We cannot think on our own. The poem goes through crazy act of people that are trying to not be conformed to society. I wonder is this not somewhat true of our society right now. Do we not get shunned for going against the crowd?...Questions to think about.

One Art

I think Bishop is trying to say that loss is not a big deal in life. It's like she is trying to convince herself that losing things is not all that disastrous. She takes losing as a skill and you have to master it. It is like she is learning to become numb to losing things, or even people. The poem starts out with her losing mundane things such as "lost door keys...mother's watch." These are material things that you can live without. As the poem progresses she losses things that are of greater and greater significance to her, but still she brushes it off. The last stanza is probably the most important one. "Even losing you(the joking voice, a gesture I love)...It's evident the art of losing's not too hard to master though it may look like (Write it!) disaster." She lost someone she loves, and she's struggling with the pain of it. It's like she is trying to rationalize the pain she is feeling by saying the other things I have lost were not a big deal so this is not either. In reality, she's hurting inside so much and really feels lost without this person. Loosing people is not the same as loosing your mother's watch.


Today was written in 1950 just after the war was over. It's like he's grouping random things together in the beginning. These things have always been their before the war, but maybe they are more exciting now that the war is over. People were heavily rationed during the war, so maybe now, today they are appreciating the little things in life, or the luxuries of life again. It then seems to have a more serious vibe when alluding to beachheads and biers. Beachheads being common places to fight during WWII. The meaning is never clear, he could be linking these things that could potentially be in his next poem. He leaves it largely up to the reader to find the meaning of the poem.

My Papa's Waltz

This poem also could mean different things. I think it depends on who you are what and what decade you were brought up in. In our decade I see child abuse. With words like battered and death he leads me to believe it is child abuse. Child abuse is common these days, unlike back then. If you grew up in an earlier time period I believe you see a father coming home after a long day at work. Back then the man worked long twelve hour shifts unlike the typical eight today. He probably stopped by the bar and had a few drinks. The father is drunk so he is clumsy knocking over kitchen shelves. His right ear scarping the belt buckle does not have to be a sign of abuse. This could be a comparison of height from father and son. The boy does not have to enjoy the waltz but he enjoys his fathers attention. As he goes off to bed he is still clinging to his father's shirt. As if he doesn't want the time with his father to end. There's not a clear meaning to this poem, I think it really depends on who you are and what time period you grew up in.

of De Wii Williams on his way to Lincoln Cemetery

The poem gives the first image as a plain black boy, but then as it progresses it is like a funeral fit for a king. "Don't forget the Dance Halls...Where he picked his women, where he drank his liquid joy." It goes from the image of just a plain insignificant man to someone that was very high standing and important. He goes from picking in the fields to drinking in a club. It is like he broke out of the limits imposed by other people. He started out a plain black boy, but made something of himself. He broke the limits others set for him. He could be a rich man or a poor man it is not really clear. I think this is what Brooks was going for. To be able to see something both ways...he could be this or he could be this. You do not really know. Lines such as "Where he picked his women" could be a throwback to living on the plantation.