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.