JScays

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Materialism

Sorry, this poem is absolutely BRUTAL, but I just had to get out my frustrations about how materialistic the world is. As much as we try to fight it, we get sucked into it all before we know it. What is money and riches going to get us on Judgement Day? I am so embarrassed about how much I desire worldly things.

Rows of utensils shiney and bright,
Set out before you with purpose and order.
Seven different courses to consume through the night;
So much food wasted as others struggle to survive.

Along with the meal, your dress is extravegant;
Hundreds of dollars for a one-time use.
Left to hang in your closet
Like a forgotten memory.

The evening is sheer extravagence,
Money spent on achieving a luxury you cannot afford.
Trying to act the part
Of the desired socialite.

But is this what we are taught to live for?
"Work hard for your money because it's all that counts."
So sad have we become that we desire all of these things;
We think they make us who we are.

Although we know that they won't get us far,
We crave THINGS until we die,
Because we are hypocrites--
We shun those who have it, then try to be like them.


Monday, January 24, 2005

The Power of Visualization in Poetry

I would like to first off appoligize for my late posting. Because of personal reasons, I had to neglect this aspect of my school work--a discouraging thought for myself because I enjoy the format of this class! Anyway, I had wanted to write about Shakespeare (I realize this seems to be a common theme among my past Blogs) because of our recent study of his work in tutorial.

I am reminded of the fact that it was said in class sometime at the commencement of our study of poetry, that poetry is meant to be read outloud. Simply reading poetry quitely to yourself in your head is not sufficient because you fail to hear the poetry (its rhyming, flow and emotion). Listening to poetry being read by someone else is doubley effective becaus it allows for us to absorb the words and their meaning without having to struggle with trying to decifer the meaning of each and every word as you read on. That is to say, it's easier to understand something if it is read to you rather that you reading it yourself.

To take this to an even further extent, however, would be to say that I dont' think that it is very beneficial to merely read Shakespeare's plays outloud. Although the majority of his plays are comprised of a significant amount of poetry (in the form of blank verse), we have to keep in mind that they were written in a time when literacy did not flourish like it does today. As such, the purpose of these plays was to be performed. Therefore, I find that when I'm reading one of Shakespeare's plays, I fail to absorb the detailed meaning of the play. Rather, when I watch an interpretive production of one of Shakespeare's plays, I find it much easier to comprehend the meaning of the play. Shakespeare has the reputation in today's society as being hard to understand because of it's highly metaphoric and 'old' English style, and when we try to read the poem (be it out loud or in our head), we often struggle with the language. When we see it performed, however, the emotion, actions and reactions of the actors help us to understand the language that much better.

I found that this held very true when we watched Henry V in tutorial last Monday. A play that would have been difficult to understand because of its historical content, came to life for us on the television screen. Thank you for deciding to show us this in class Rosita--it was helpful in helping us to see the evidence of poetry in Shakespeare's play, and most importantly, it helped us to really comprehend and enjoy the value of this poetry.

The Power of Visualization in Poetry

I would like to first off appoligize for my late posting. Because of personal reasons, I had to neglect this aspect of my school work--a discouraging thought for myself because I enjoy the format of this class! Anyway, I had wanted to write about Shakespeare (I realize this seems to be a common theme among my past Blogs) because of our recent study of his work in tutorial.

I am reminded of the fact that it was said in class sometime at the commencement of our study of poetry, that poetry is meant to be read outloud. Simply reading poetry quitely to yourself in your head is not sufficient because you fail to hear the poetry (its rhyming, flow and emotion). Listening to poetry being read by someone else is doubley effective becaus it allows for us to absorb the words and their meaning without having to struggle with trying to decifer the meaning of each and every word as you read on. That is to say, it's easier to understand something if it is read to you rather that you reading it yourself.

To take this to an even further extent, however, would be to say that I dont' think that it is very beneficial to merely read Shakespeare's plays outloud. Although the majority of his plays are comprised of a significant amount of poetry (in the form of blank verse), we have to keep in mind that they were written in a time when literacy did not flourish like it does today. As such, the purpose of these plays was to be performed. Therefore, I find that when I'm reading one of Shakespeare's plays, I fail to absorb the detailed meaning of the play. Rather, when I watch an interpretive production of one of Shakespeare's plays, I find it much easier to comprehend the meaning of the play. Shakespeare has the reputation in today's society as being hard to understand because of it's highly metaphoric and 'old' English style, and when we try to read the poem (be it out loud or in our head), we often struggle with the language. When we see it performed, however, the emotion, actions and reactions of the actors help us to understand the language that much better.

I found that this held very true when we watched Henry V in tutorial last Monday. A play that would have been difficult to understand because of its historical content, came to life for us on the television screen. Thank you for deciding to show us this in class Rosita--it was helpful in helping us to see the evidence of poetry in Shakespeare's play, and most importantly, it helped us to really comprehend and enjoy the value of this poetry.

The Power of Visualization in Poetry

I would like to first off appoligize for my late posting. Because of personal reasons, I had to neglect this aspect of my school work--a discouraging thought for myself because I enjoy the format of this class! Anyway, I had wanted to write about Shakespeare (I realize this seems to be a common theme among my past Blogs) because of our recent study of his work in tutorial.

I am reminded of the fact that it was said in class sometime at the commencement of our study of poetry, that poetry is meant to be read outloud. Simply reading poetry quitely to yourself in your head is not sufficient because you fail to hear the poetry (its rhyming, flow and emotion). Listening to poetry being read by someone else is doubley effective becaus it allows for us to absorb the words and their meaning without having to struggle with trying to decifer the meaning of each and every word as you read on. That is to say, it's easier to understand something if it is read to you rather that you reading it yourself.

To take this to an even further extent, however, would be to say that I dont' think that it is very beneficial to merely read Shakespeare's plays outloud. Although the majority of his plays are comprised of a significant amount of poetry (in the form of blank verse), we have to keep in mind that they were written in a time when literacy did not flourish like it does today. As such, the purpose of these plays was to be performed. Therefore, I find that when I'm reading one of Shakespeare's plays, I fail to absorb the detailed meaning of the play. Rather, when I watch an interpretive production of one of Shakespeare's plays, I find it much easier to comprehend the meaning of the play. Shakespeare has the reputation in today's society as being hard to understand because of it's highly metaphoric and 'old' English style, and when we try to read the poem (be it out loud or in our head), we often struggle with the language. When we see it performed, however, the emotion, actions and reactions of the actors help us to understand the language that much better.

I found that this held very true when we watched Henry V in tutorial last Monday. A play that would have been difficult to understand because of its historical content, came to life for us on the television screen. Thank you for deciding to show us this in class Rosita--it was helpful in helping us to see the evidence of poetry in Shakespeare's play, and most importantly, it helped us to really comprehend and enjoy the value of this poetry.

I would like to first off appoligize for my late posting. Because of personal reasons, I had to neglect this aspect of my school work--a discouraging thought for myself because I enjoy the format of this class! Anyway, I had wanted to write about Shakespeare (I realize this seems to be a common theme among my past Blogs) because of our recent study of his work in tutorial.

I am reminded of the fact that it was said in class sometime at the commencement of our study of poetry, that poetry is meant to be read outloud. Simply reading poetry quitely to yourself in your head is not sufficient because you fail to hear the poetry (its rhyming, flow and emotion). Listening to poetry being read by someone else is doubley effective becaus it allows for us to absorb the words and their meaning without having to struggle with trying to decifer the meaning of each and every word as you read on. That is to say, it's easier to understand something if it is read to you rather that you reading it yourself.

To take this to an even further extent, however, would be to say that I dont' think that it is very beneficial to merely read Shakespeare's plays outloud. Although the majority of his plays are comprised of a significant amount of poetry (in the form of blank verse), we have to keep in mind that they were written in a time when literacy did not flourish like it does today. As such, the purpose of these plays was to be performed. Therefore, I find that when I'm reading one of Shakespeare's plays, I fail to absorb the detailed meaning of the play. Rather, when I watch an interpretive production of one of Shakespeare's plays, I find it much easier to comprehend the meaning of the play. Shakespeare has the reputation in today's society as being hard to understand because of it's highly metaphoric and 'old' English style, and when we try to read the poem (be it out loud or in our head), we often struggle with the language. When we see it performed, however, the emotion, actions and reactions of the actors help us to understand the language that much better.

I found that this held very true when we watched Henry V in tutorial last Monday. A play that would have been difficult to understand because of its historical content, came to life for us on the television screen. Thank you for deciding to show us this in class Rosita--it was helpful in helping us to see the evidence of poetry in Shakespeare's play, and most importantly, it helped us to really comprehend and enjoy the value of this poetry.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

The Rights of Women

I think that right now, everyone seems to have love on their minds because of the topics of our lectures over the last little while. I'm quite glad that the professor didn't start off teaching us about poetry by discussing love poetry, because I think that many people have the misconception that love poetry is the only true form of poetry. What I have enjoyed about this class is that is that we have been taught that there are endless forms of poetry! Indeed, one of the strangest topics I have found for poetry has been women's rights. In my minds, this didn't seem like a topic that really fit with the notion of poetics, but when I read one particular poem by Anna Laetitia Barbauld, it reinforced to me that poetry is everywhere! Here is the poem that I found so interesting:

The Rights of Women
Anna Laetitia Barbauld

Yes, injured Woman! rise, assert thy right!
Woman! too long degraded, scorned, opprest;
O born to rule in partial Law's despite,
Resume thy native empire o'er the breast!

Go forth arrayed in pnoply divine;
Than angel pureness which admits no stain;
Go, bid proud Man his boasted rule resign,
And kiss the golden scepter of they reign.

Go, gird thyself with grace; collect thy store
Of bright artillery glancing from afar;
Soft melting tones thy thundering cannon's roar,
Blushes and fears thy magazine of war.

Thy rights are empire: urge no meaner claim,--
Felt, not defined, and if debated, lost;
Like sacred mysteries, which withheld from fame,
Shunning discussion, are revered the most.

Try all that wit and art suggest to bend
Of thy imperial foe the stubborn knee;
Make treacherous Man thy subject, not they friend;
Thou mayst command, but never canst be free.

Awe the licentious, and restrain the rude;
Soften the slullen, clear the cloudy brow:
Be, more than princes' gifts, thy faors sued;--
She hazards all, who will the least allow.

But hope no, courted idol of mankind,
On this proud eminence secure to stay;
Subduing and subdued, thou soon shalt find
Thy coldness soften, and thy pride give way.

Then, then, abandon each ambitious thought,
Conquest or rule thy heart shal feebly move,
In Nature's school, by her soft maxims taught,
That separate rights are lost in mutual love.


The reason that I find this poem so particular interesting, aside from the obvious originality of the topic, is the fact that up until the last two stanzas of this poem, the author is encouraging women to assert themselves within society and to become powerful in their own self, "Yes, injured Woman! rise, assert thy right!" (line 1). There seems to be a distinct positive spin on women seeking equal rights, throughout the majority of this poem, until the end where the author is saying that it is all well and good to have these feelings, but as women, we have no place to act on them because we have a set role within society, and it does not involve idolizing the role of men. As it says in Genesis 2: 18, "The LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'" What I believe this is saying is that is was never the intention of God (referred to as Nature in this poem) for women to be completely equal to men--we are their 'helpers'. That is not to say that women should be completely submissive to men in every way, but what I think that this poem, and subsequently the scripture found in Genesis is trying to say is that women should find security in their position in life because men and women were not created to do the same things, and subsequently do not maintain the same rights within society.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Only a Small Piece

Throughout this past week, I've been remembering what Prof. Kuin noted in class about the authoress, Sappho. How interesting it is that in some cases, we only have small pieces of her works left behind to learn about her from. Can you imagine if, in the case of William Shakespeare or Christopher Marlow, we only had "pieces" of their sonnets or plays from which to judge their capabilities as authors! What if Sonnet 129 was missing all but lines 9-12:


" Mad in pursuit, and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream. "



Surely we would fail to understand him on the same level that we do now when considering all of the work of his that has survived the centuries! Key phrases and ideas have been eliminated, and force us to perhaps draw different conclusions about the meaning of this poem. Furthermore, this sonnet makes no sense metrically--if we didn't know that it was a sonnet originally, perhaps we might not have even deemed it to be a work of Shakespeare and would have given credit for its creation to one of Shakespeare's contemporaries.

Likewise, with respect to Sappho's poetry, maybe we're completely missing the mark on judging who she was because we lack as much physical remains with respect to her work in comparison to Shakespeare. Perhaps why Chris Couto (fellow classmate) found one of Sappho's poems (entitled "I Have No Complaint") difficult to understand in parts--perhaps this wasn't particular poem is not a complete poem created by Sappho; its incompleteness forcing us to become confused!!

How interesting it becomes to study poetry when we only have a small amount of surviving works of a particular author left from which to draw conclusions about that poetry, and about the author aswell.


Sunday, January 02, 2005

Reflections on "The Iliad"

As I have been reading The Iliad, I must admit, I'm really beginning to enjoy it! What I find most fascinating about this epic is that as you are reading along, you almost forget that you are reading a poem. You don't become so conserned with pausing at the end of each line (as we unfortunately have a tendency to do with most other forms of poems), but rather, as you read through this poem, you can read it more like a story. When I read poetry, I find that I'm so caught up in understanding the format of the poem and trying to read it metrically, that I lose all understanding of the content of the poem. Contrastingly, however, in The Iliad, I tend to look at the line separation as mere formality. Perhaps this is because of the fact that this poem has been translated and has lost much of its former 'structure', but nonetheless, I tend to ignore the way the lines are structured. Similarly, I enjoy how there isn't any rhyming scheme to this poem. In all actuality, I sometimes find rhyming schemes in poetry to sound rather forced and irritating. To me, blank verse is a more personal and original way to write because it reflects the author's personality more than their ability to rhyme words together. I have quite enjoyed the lack of rhyming in this poem because I don't feel distracted from the storyline. All in all, I'm happy that we've been assigned this book to read! It has really introduced me to a form of poetry that I can really appreciate.