Walcott’s “Names”

28 11 2007

After re-reading over Walcott’s poem, “Names,” again it is interesting to point out his isolation of Africans as well as the repeated reference to “nouns.” The very first few lines of the poem state “My race began as the sea began,/ with no nouns, and with no horizon,”. This can relate to the very beginning of men and how language did not play a particularly important role to them. Then in lines 39-40, “except they first presumed/the right of every thing to be a noun.” He again focuses on “nouns” but has changes his views. He believes the change has made them view everything as nouns or the boundaries of labeling and language right then for them. Isolation of Africans begins right away when Walcott separates everyone and particularly states Africans are different then “them.” The line 41-42, “The African acquiesced,/ repeated, and changed them.” demonstrates this. I am unsure if this is Walcott trying to show some contradiction between his title, “Names” and how Africans are singled-out and labeled or if he is saying Africans are different then others therefore they do not have “names” in a sense.

Appreciating Baggott

28 10 2007

So far julianna baggott’s collection has been one of my favorites. I love the perspective of the poet she gives us. The question and answer poems I feel is one of the most interesting approaches to poetry I have seen in a while. The poem we read in class, “Q and A: How do your children affect your work?” really hit me hard. My seminar poetry group discussed the impact and purity of children. It is amazing how children can create a sense of an epiphany within us. I feel children are the purest of the pure because they have not had society’s impact on them. In this Baggott poem, the pureness of the drawing stands out even though it is just stick figures, which shows something like this doesn’t have to entirely resemble a person. I really appreciate how Baggott opens her mind and heart with poetry and life in general to her readers. She is an excellent example of a writer who creates metapoetry, but in my opinion she goes beyond this to a positive effect.

New York poets

9 10 2007

Going over the New York poets and trying to make some comparisons to the other poet genres we have discussed. My group went into more detail about O’hara and felt that he was similar to the confessional poets because some of his poems have the narrative tone as if he was just telling us his daily routine or his emotions about his life. Confessional poets do have more intense emotional subject matters, which the New York poets have more of a process over product angle to their works. O’Hara’s writing in particular has more of a stream of consciousness flow, with no punctuation and steady constant rhythm. I’m just wondering if the New York poets ever really broke the boundary of their writing and confessional poet’s writing and went more in depth with their inner relationships and emotions?

Response to Ginsberg’s Howl

24 09 2007

Since I did my group presentation on the Beat poets I was able to research and get more background and information about Ginsberg, his life, and possible reasoning for “Howl’s” intensity and tone. Ginsberg’s life was a constant roller coaster, in and out of mental hospitals, by looking at numerous pictures and even some journal entries by him it is obvious that this was a man who had many personal and mental issues. “Howl” is meant to be spoken outloud I don’t believe by just reading it to yourself a reader can give the justice the piece deserves. When we read sections out loud Ginsberg’s voice and emotions were visiable. That’s why I love the Beat’s poetry because it is not anything like the standard poetry. It is filled with mass emotion and the poets are not trying to conform to society’s wants and say what they want to say instead.

Bishop: Questions of Travel

11 09 2007

As we said in class, Bishop focuses a lot in her works on objects in nature and geography. In the section we read from Questions of Travel this is very obvious. As I was reading them I fell into them. I really like the poem, “Questions of Travel,” I love the fact that it was in free verse, so i didn’t fall into a robotic rhythm, it read more like a journal than a poem. I really enjoyed the lines at the end

“continent, city, country, society:

the choice is never wide and never free.

And here, or there…No. Should we have stayed home,

wherever that may be!”

I thought these lines really summed up the emotions Bishop was feeling, about whether or not she should be there staring and watching other people’s lives. Throughout the poem she questions her reasons for being there, but justifies it because she wouldn’t have seen all the beauties. She questions humans and their ability to use their imagination, instead they must travel to these exotice places to fill that void in their lives. Overall, the imagery and lack of strict form really stricts this poem with me.