Sunday, April 12, 2009

Free Verse

Morning at the Window - T.S. Eliot

THEY are rattling breakfast plates in basement kitchens,
And along the trampled edges of the street
I am aware of the damp souls of housemaids
Sprouting despondently at area gates.

The brown waves of fog toss up to me
Twisted faces from the bottom of the street,
And tear from a passer-by with muddy skirts
An aimless smile that hovers in the air
And vanishes along the level of the roofs.

Free verse is very self-explanatory. It is the basis of which all poems are created on. Free verse is the bare minimum a poem needs to be considered poetry. All the poem needs is to have it's parts equal the whole of the poem. No rhyme scheme or pattern is needed. Free verse can range from a one line poem to an essay almost. There is no limit for free verse. It just needs to have a story.

In T.S. Eliot's "Morning at the Window" the chaos of a morning breakfast is being described. This poem can also be considered imagism because it conveys a certain image. In this poem, many literary elements are used to enhance the poem. Caesura which is used in almost every poem I have done, is used to separate two different thoughts and images in the speaker's perspective. He mentions streets then girls. His stream of consciousness type of poetry has a certain cacophonic rhythm to it. The short, broken up words are used to intensify the chaos of breakfast and the streets of the city. There never is a soothing flow in the poem because of the cacophony used.

Eliot uses conceit in this poem to compare with the daily lives that we live. The chaos of the daily life of a human being is demonstrated by the breakfast, and the brown fogs indicate sins and mishaps that we all face, and the unclean nature of the streets indicates our unclean views on society. Lastly, the vanishing smiles depicts the superficial society that we live in vanishing behind closed doors or the "roofs". This description can be called "euphemism" because it is describing our secret desires and society's faults in a less condescending manner.

This can be interpreted differently depending on how the reader views the mood and tone. I couldn't find a video or reading of it, so I just assumed it was a very dark and solemn tone and mood.


In a Station of the Metro - Ezra Pound

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

I decided to do a poem that is near and dear to my heart because I couldn't find any other poem to do. I know I have previously looked at the poem, but I wanted to further elaborate on the literary elements used to create the picture of the "Station of the Metro".

Imagery is the clear crisp and sharp language of poetry. It is when poems can create a picture in the mind of the reader. It is associated with modernist poetry. Imagery was created to counteract the flabby, non-conventional poetry that was written without a second thought.

This short poem had a great impact on me. How could Ezra Pound create such vivid pictures in just two lines? His description of the metro in Paris, which I had to research, illuminate how beautiful the people are. The use of the word apparition greatly enhances his awe for the "faces in the crowd". He mentions it as he is astonished by the beauty of these faces, which is indicated with the use of
"petals". When people picture petals, they imagine the beautiful, colorful part of the flower. The petal can also represent the hope for the future in the dark, and weary present.

In his imagism poem of two lines, Pound captures all of this and more. He mentions "the apparition" which may indicate that he might have only had a quick glimpse of the beauty on the metro. With all of these in effect, it is truely amazing that he could explain this "petal" so vividly. (As vivid two lines can be). I keep mentioning this person being a beauty because he mentions the "black bough", which is a contrasting image from the petals. This particular petal sticks out from the rest of the tree. With all these pictures, he explains his emotions. The lack of words doesn't take away from the poem at all.

This poem uses imagery to describe the scene of the metro. The use of euphony in this poem gives greater depth to the poem. It captures the reader by using the alliteration of "black bough" in the end. The use of this euphony calms the reader and brings the reader to his or her "happy place" almost because of the serenity of the poem. This is what Pound tries to achieve the whole time. The mentioning of the apparition of the beauty indicates this inner passion.

At instances, caesura is used to give the reader the feeling that the speaker is questioning himself/herself. Did he/she really see that beautiful apparition? We never really get the answer, but the constant pauses gives insight to the confusion of the speaker.


Luna Lake Haiku - Adrian Green

New moon on the lake.
Your voice and the nightingale
serenade springtime.
Full moon on the lake.
Your voice and the waterbirds
celebrate summer.
Old moon on the lake.
Owls hunting autumnal food -
your voice still singing.

Haiku originates in Japan and that is why some poems do not clearly flow in the English language.

Haiku usually involve caesura and have a seasonal reference. They are known for their three metrical phrases of 5/7/5. It is obvious that Luna Lake Haiku encompasses Spring, summer, and autumn and caesura's are used in this poem to define each season. Euphony is a device used in the poem. "serenade springtime" gives a soft alliteration that gives an airiness to the poem. The flow of the haiku is continued smoothly until autumn. Cacophony is used to describe the crisp, bitter season of autumn but eventually becomes smooth again at the end.

Green uses the well known 5/7/5 concept to achieve his thoughts of the meanings of each season. He also uses the moon to demonstrate the concept that our lives do not change, but they just age and mature as time goes on. The moon, which starts off new, becomes full, which indicates the greatest moments of our lives, and then the old moon to depict our dying days. He emphasizes how much we endure and yet we persevere and still end up singing our song. We never give up.

Slam Poetry

The The Impotence of Proofreading - Taylor Mali

First off, it gets very inappropriate at the end, so if you wish to retain virgin ears, I advise you to not listen to the last minute.

Slam Poetry is associated with spoken word and the poems are not available in text online. It is quite odd. But, with a Slam poem it is always easier to understand the true meaning of the poem because the tone and mood are readily provided.

I do not know the background to this poem, but I thought it would be refreshing to practice our proofreading skills that Ms. Giggie always tells us about.

Marc Smith started the rejuvenation of Slam Poetry in 1986 and now the home of Slam Poetry is in the state of New York. For almost a century, poetry began to decline as an art and wasn't considered a branch of literature. With slam poetry, the rebirth of poetry can be seen everywhere. Today, many skits and raps are all slam poetry. The audience is always the judge and they are critiqued based on their performances. Poetry truly is a performing art.

The topic is always important in Slam Poetry, and the interesting topic of the "impotence of proofreading" is quite interesting. All the Slam Poems I have seen are all satirical or mocking of a certain group. In this poem, Mali picks on student ambitions and their inability to comprehend the true magnitude of education. Student's are always one step ahead, but never complete the task at hand. In reality, Mali is criticizing our society, or the society we are becoming. We believe that we can reach great heights with minimal effort. Mali uses many caesuras to display the incompetence of student's to the greatest degree. Along with caesura, emjambment is used to show the thought process of our society. Together, we stop and think about whats at task, and we break everything up and see if we can do the bare minimum to achieve the absolute maximum.

This theme is carried throughout the poem. Slam poetry, I believe is the back bone of poetry. The true meaning of poetry can be seen through these slam poets who demostrate such strong conviction in their poems. Also, it is very comical and I actually enjoy listening to it.