Monday, December 22, 2008

Internal Structure 2: I, Too, Sing America - Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

A lot of organization can be seen in this poem. First off, chronology is used as well as framing, and contrast. Hughes uses a young African-American to show the contrast of how the African-American thinks and how the white folks think. He mentions that he'll "be at the table", which shows this chronology. It is showing forwards progress, which indicates the internal structure of the poem. He/she see's himself/herself as equal and he/she mentions that the whites will be "ashamed" which shows the contrast of thinking between the races. This poem, in the end, is framed by "America" which is key to the poem. In "America", everyone eats "at the table", and no one is left out. He associates America with Confidence and freedom. This organization shows the internal structure being used in this particular poem.

Internal Structure 1: The Dance - William Carlos Williams

The internal structure is obvious in this poem. The Kermess, a painting by Breughel, is the image in which Williams writes his poetry. He encloses the poem by mentioning The Kermess in the beginning and end. It is as though he is framing the poem. This also led me to believe that Williams did this to show the "internal structure" of the poem. Williams uses somewhat a list, which shows his description of the poem. It is as if he is just describing what he sees as he sees it. He mentions "a bugle and fiddles tipping their bellies" and "kicking and rolling about the Fair Grounds" to describe the painting.
His plan was to make the picture come to life in his words. I personally did not think it worked. He was helping the reader visualize The Kermess, but I just feel that his poem was to simplistic to capture the reader. Though I didn't enjoy the poem, it does have a precise beginning and end, which encloses the poem as if to say, that is all that matters. Also, his use of "and" magnifies the gravitas of details within the painting. Now that I re-read the poem, I can see the painting. The poem just has to be read carefully I guess.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Language 2: Rorschach - Jeane Marie Beaumont

Rorschach: A projective test using bilaterally symmetrical inkblots; subjects state what they see in the inkblot. (Psychology)

Beaumont uses language to guide the reader to what her rorscach of everything is. She uses mundane objects such as the "stain on a linen napkin left by lip" and "a man's tattered bow tie" in a way that it gives such depth to the meaning of the poem. Her language, enhanced by her diction, brings the poem to life. Without the ordinary objects she mentions, her rorschach wouldn't mean anything. She states what she sees in the object just like a person at a psychiatrist's office would do.

She uses language to explain to her reader the importance of these things. In a rorschach, a psychiatrist is able to grasp the patient's past, just like in this poem, we are able to see glimpses of the speaker's past through her statements about the objects. She compares "cabinet" to "casket" which may indicate that someone in her family had died in the kitchen or something of that sort. Her use of diction, using words of similar sounds, (I forgot what that literary term is), shows the depth of the situation. She keeps the reader wondering who she really is.

Language 1: This Is Just to Say

This poem's simplicity goes a long way. The author, who is unknown to us, uses very simple diction to show an apologetic mood. The crispness of the diction and syntax goes further to show the youthfulness of the speaker. The language in this poem gives the reader a sense of a small child apologizing for something that isn't that big of a mistake. The child asks the person he/she is talking to, to "forgive" him for something he/she has done.
The language also conveys a sense of urgency and fear within the speaker. The sense of a rushing of words is displayed through the syntax. Every line seems to have two to three words, which is very short. The poet also uses the title to show the simplistic style of the poem. "This" in "This Is Just to Say" is very vague. So vague that only a child would say this. Without the syntax and simple diction, the reader wouldn't get this feeling of a child's asking of an apology.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Situation and Setting 2: Miles to Go Before I Sleep - Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow. =

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there's some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

I remember reading this poem in fifth grade. Like my other poem, setting is only the base of the poem. The situation is more important than the setting. In this poem, the speaker is in the woods on a winter night. The setting gives it a depressed feeling, and the situation is derived from this feeling. The speaker mentions that he has "promises to keep" before he sleeps. The promises he has to keep is his life that he has to keep living before he dies. In this poem, death is a topic. The woods and the dark of the winter signify his encounter with death and his perseverence and will to leave, the horse, lead him out of death. As it is seen, setting is used to create the mood of the situation at hand.

Situation and Setting 1: Summer Love - Marilyn Chin

The setting and Marilyn's past may affect "Summer Love". She grew up in Portland, Oregon where she gets the "bay oysters". The setting, though not defined, is any place near the sea. The situation is more important than the setting. Marilyn talks about the intimacy that the two lovers had the night prior to the breakfast and how she is afraid that her lover "might walk away". Her connection with her lover is strong bceause she fears "there will not be another like" her love.

Marilyn uses setting to give the intimacy needed in this poem. The sea and the "field of floss and iris" gives it the romantic feeling that summer love is about. The situation is supported by the setting in this poem, because without this romantic setting, the poem would have a lesser meaning. This is just my opinion though. The "heart of the vulva, vulva of the heart" gives the real image of the poem. (Vulva - External genital region of a female)The speaker is pouring herself to her lover. She says "nothing worse in the morning than last night's love" because she is saying that the intimacy was special and it should not just happen spontaneously all the time. That is how the setting is used as a scaffolding of the situation of the poem.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Speaker 2: We Real Cool - Gwendolyn Brooks

I only read this poem because I thought the title was humorous. The speaker of the poem is a rebel that plays hookey. He/she is talking about all the rebellious things they do on the streets. They "thin gin" and "sing sin" which shows that these people are real anarchists. The speaker of this poem portrays one of those people I see in Grease. It seems like the speaker roams the streets snapping his/her fingers and whistling horrible melodies.

Also, this person "left school" and "lurks late" so I assume that they have had a rough past. When a poem is based on the speaker, there are a lot of things I have to assume I feel. I can get the feeling of the poem. This poem is showing the power and superiority the speaker has because he/she breaks all the rules. "We" refers to all those people who waste their lives I feel. Gwendolyn uses this speaker to show how she feels. Towards the end of the poem, this superiority comes to an end with "we die soon". It shows what Brooks really thinks about this lifestyle. She uses the opposite to portray her feelings.

Speaker 1: The Changeling - Judit Ortiz Cofer

This poem leaves a very strong message to me. The speaker's point of view makes it very intriguing. First off, this would be completely different if it were told by a little caucasian girl. The speaker being of probably Cuban descent makes this story what it is. The speaker is this little girl that can only get her father's attention by pretending to be a boy. She changed herself to impress her father. She went into her "brother's closet" and changed into his "dungarees". This action hinted that her father gave her brother attention, and the only way she could win his attention was if she was like her brother. She would tell her father of the "tales of battles and brotherhood" which she would no nothing about because she is a young girl. She would have to be this changeling that tried to win approval.

Her mother didn't approve of this because she, from what the speaker hints, wants her to be "invisible". The mother doesn't want her daughter to be seen by anyone and the only way to do that is to make her be a young girl. This scene defines what kind of culture this little girl is in. It is when women were not equal to men, and they were to just be invisible and forgotten.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tone 2: Elena - Pat Mora

Interview of Patricia Mora :

This poem really caught my attention. It is about foreigners learning English, and I feel bad for the mother and my mother because I do the same to my mother as this woman's kids do to her. Her tones are depression, frustration, and self degradation. The mother says shes "embarrassed at mispronouncing words" and how she feels "dumb" and "alone". I feel as thought I can sympathize with her because sometimes I also mispronounce words and I have seen these things happen so close to me. When people sometimes make fun of my mother's accent, I attack them verbally. I try not to, but this poem explains how I feel sometimes.

The mother is "embarrassed at the laughter of [her] children, the grocer, [and] the mailman" which is just horrible. How could anyone be put through so much. The use of tone changes the whole meaning of the poem. Without the depressing, frustrating tone, and self degradation, the poem could just be humorous. This was the only poem where I saw a great contrast from having the specific tone that is used and the use of no specific tone because in this poem, it was easy for me to capture the tone at the beginning, and it just wouldn't be the same without it. It's very hard to explain how I feel and I am probably going in circles, but this poem has just caused me to have a revelation.

Tone 1: Mother of the Groom - Seamus Heaney

This is on page 851 of the Norton

The tone is a bit nostalgic in this poem and I sense the jealousy in the tone. The mother is talking about her son when he was younger and how she remembers how he was. In the first stanza, she reminisces the past when she was the only woman in his life. She had the "ring" with his boot, and her motherly love was the "soap" that surrounded him. Heaney mentions when the son broke away from the mother's soapy hold and connects it to the daughter in-law which shows the jealousy. This jealousy is also carried to the end when she is talking about the "soap [...] eas[ing] off", but the wedding ring his wife has lasting "forever". It shows the sorrow and jealousy of the mother because she compares it to the past when she was the only woman he had and there was no one in between mother and son. She wishes to return to that past it seems, because she wants the "soap" to not ease off of the groom.