Wednesday, February 24, 2010

George Saunders

"Sea Oak" I think portrays the life of most families that are deep in poverty. I think the family thinks this is the best they can do or just doesn't know how to move on to something better. Obviously Aunt Bernie comes back to help the family move forward and on to better things. I think the part about her fulfilling her sexual desires could have been left out. She still is able to help them see what they can accomplish rather than just get through the day. I think everyone needs a little help sometimes, because we do get blind to the future by what is going on today. I know I do anyway. Sometimes things seem so stressful, and never ending that I have no idea what my future is going to bring. Help from loved ones is a good way to make it through.


T.C. Boyle

I read T. C. Boyle's "The Tortilla Curtain" and after reading "Chicxulub" I see many similarities. Both were very interesting to read, but were so sad. Chicxulub kept me interested. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I didn't really like the inserts about meteors because I wanted to know what happened to his daughter, but it was very interesting the comparison. It makes sense that tragedy will one day happen maybe not right now but one day. I think it is something that I do not really want to think about. The story shows that it can come at any time. They were just sitting at the house having a good time and all of a sudden it seemed that the whole world had come to an end. I wonder what the other couple was doing when they got the call that it was their daughter instead of Maddy. They were probably having a normal night as well when their world came tumbling down. I guess Boyle is saying that we will not know when it is going to happen and it will takes us off guard.


Adrian Louis

"Without Words" is a sad poem. The first four lines bring a whole new meaning to crying to me. The way it is described like pulling water from a well is very visual. I imagine pulling water from a well is difficult, but a task that has to be done. I guess in the same sense crying is something that is hard to do, but it has to be done. Some things may be easy to cry about, but others may not. They might be hard to cry about because you don't want someone else to see you cry or you don't think you should be crying about. Either way crying cleanses the soul, and a lot of times makes you feel better just like drinking a cup of water from a well.


Martin Espada

I think "Bully" was basically saying that even though Roosevelt was clear about how he felt toward the Spanish, he obviously failed. Roosevelt led a group in the Spanish-American War, and also showed his feelings while he was president. Roosevelt was basically a bully to the Spanish, but it did not seem to do any good. I think this poem is somewhat a ha ha ha toward Roosevelt or anyone else who had a problem with Spanish people. The Spanish still came to America and are in the schools and surrounding him.


Sherman Alexie

"Evolution" sounds like the way any crooked business owner would do business. I wonder if this was the idea Buffalo Bill had all along. Did his store start out as a regular pawn shop and then realized what treasures he had in it or did he think of this before he even opened. I also wonder why the Indians were pawning everything. In the second line it says Buffalo Bill opened right across from the liquor store. So were the Indians going in to sell things so that they could buy liquor. If this is the case then I would think that Buffalo Bill knew what he was doing. He knew they would sell everything they had to keep buying liquor. I wonder what the title means. Of course Buffalo Bill's pawn shop evolved into a museum, but how did the Indians evolve.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Louise Gluck

Reading the title "Parable of the Hostages" made me think I would be reading a poem about hostages, but the Greeks were not actual hostages of war. They had not been captured, but I guess in a way they were hostages because they were stuck on the beach to wonder about their families. They had to wait and wait for ten years for the war to end. Some made it and others did not. The soldiers wondered about what would be like to be in Troy just to explore or if they would even be permitted to be away for a long time. I think that this may show that in a war everyone is in a way a hostage. No one really has control over the situation and everyone is captured in some way.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

This story sounds like a conversation I have had with some of my friends, except no one is hoping their ex gets killed by a swarm of bees. But the conversation about love. I think everyone has their own idea about love. When the woman was talking about the man that beat her. In his eyes he might have loved her. I am not saying that it is ok to beat someone, but I think everyone loves in different ways. You love someone the way you were taught. With that in mind I think that sometimes you have to teach someone how you want to be loved. In my opinion love is not a feeling but an action. If you love someone then you accept their flaws and you cater to their needs. If your spouse likes something then you do it because you love them. This is how you teach someone how you want to be loved. You let them know what makes you feel good.


Monday, February 15, 2010

John Ashberry

Ashberry was very hard to understand. I read the poems over a few times and still did not seem to understand what he was saying. I looked at some analysis about the poems and I think that confused me even more. "They Dream Only of America" was said to be about runaway children or about gay relationships. I am not sure. When I first read the title I thought the poems was going to be about immigration, but after reading the poem that idea was gone. "The honey is delicious" makes me think about the Bible and the land flowing with milk and honey, but then the poem says "though it burns the throat" and that throws that idea away too. I also wonder what the signs were. Are we talking about signs like something is wrong or something is going to happen. You know sometimes you may take something as a sign of good or bad. And what were the signs telling him. I am not sure.

Dianna Duhon

Adrienne Rich

Obviously the poem "Power" is talking about Curie, but I think the writer may not have just been talking about her but talking about anyone who has made great sacrifices to accomplish something. Rich says "her wounds came from the same source as her power". She had great ideas and accomplished a lot, but in order to do that she basically gave her life. Her power was her intelligence. I think everyone sacrifices something to accomplish what they want. Many of us sacrifice time with our family in order to work and go to school, so that we can get a degree. That is not near the extreme of sacrificing life, but I think we can all relate in a way. The power may be referring to the power to sacrifice. How much is someone willing to sacrifice? I guess it would depend on the results that would come out of it.


Philip Levine

I get the feeling that Levine is talking about people destroying the earth. "Earth is calling in her little ones" and "all that was hidden burning on the oil-stained earth" are the phrases that made me think this. I could be very wrong, while I was reading this that is what I thought of. And the phrase "they lion grow" makes me think that Levine is referring to the need for more. People always want more, and will get it even if it means destroying the earth for it. We tear downs trees, and allow cars and factories to pollute the air, and the more we have the more the want grows.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Robert Lowell

"Skunk Hour" seems to be talking about a small town that has lost a lot of it's people and seems now that the only life you see is a skunk. It could be that this is a tourist town and it is out of season so there are no tourists right now. Or it could be a town that has just went down economically. The line that says "the season's ill" makes me think that it is a tourist town and it always seems dead and dreary when there are no visitors. I am sure there are many towns like this that are very lively during the season, but then seem so dead that even the skunks aren't scared to come out.


Donald Barthelme

"The Balloon" was a very odd story. I have no idea what the balloon symbolized. There was one phrase in the story that said situations imply sets of circumstances leading to a resolution. The author says that the balloon was not a situation. I think that it would have been a situation. I am sure that people were trying to find a resolution to the circumstance of the balloon. Even though the people did not understand the balloon. They even realized that they would never understand the meaning of the balloon.
I think I completely understand how the people felt. They did not understand the meaning of the balloon or what to do with it. I do not understand the meaning of this story. And just like the people in the story some will interpret the balloon differently or not at all. Some people who read this story will have a meaning for it. No one really knows for sure except the person who wrote it(or the person who placed the balloon in the city).


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

John Updike

I thought this story was kind of crazy. At first I get this picture in my head of this old man looking at these young girls, and I thought who would write such a creepy story. After I figured out that the man was a young man, I still thought the story was creepy. The way he described the girls and just really watched them. I seemed to still picture them to be very young. I guess this is what goes through every man's mind when he sees some girls in bathing suits, but he was almost obsessed with them. He even quit his job at the end to sort of defend his honor. I just thought the whole story was odd. He only quit because he was hoping that the girls would see it, but the girls did not see it so his quiting was in vein. It would have made more sense to talk to the boss about the way he handled it, if he really felt strongly that it was handled in an inappropriate way. I think this story proves the point that a man will do anything for a pretty girl.

I also thought the part where he said the chubby girl looked better from behind was hilarious. It was just so blunt. It just goes to show that you never really know what someone is thinking.


Sylvia Plath

I actually found this article when I was researching Plath's poems. I took a literature course last year and that was my first time reading Sylvia Plath's poems. My instructor told the class that Plath took her own life by sticking her head in the oven. I thought that was just a horrible way to kill yourself. I found this article about her son who committed suicide in 2009. He was also a poet. He suffered from depression and attempted suicide before just like his mother. I also found out that his step mother also commited suicide and killed her own daughter six years after Plath killed herself. I have to imagine that these are horrible memories, but I wonder why it seems to be a never ending cycle.

I also noticed that many of these poets committed suicide. 3 of the 4 confessional poets we are reading right now committed suicide. I wonder why. I know all of them suffered from depression and some of them were heavy drinkers but what pushes to the edge. These are very intelligent people so how do they get to the point of killing themselves and even in such horrible ways like Plath.


Anne Sexton

After researching "Her Kind" I found out that it started out as "Night Voice on a Broomstick" and went through several revisions. Some of the analysis I read talked about how Sexton was comparing herself to a witch because of her depression and the things it caused her to do. She may have felt the things were evil or that she was not accepted for them. Just like a witch would be. She is not the same as women of society's standard. Witches were outcasts, feared, and disliked. I guess this is how she felt. She felt misunderstood just like a witch.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Eudora Welty

I thought the story "Why I Live at the P.O." was very interesting and funny. I think that what these two sisters went through was something that every child that has siblings go through. I have an older sister and there were times during my childhood that I felt my parents favored her over me. I don't think we went to that extreme, but I am sure many do. Children really need and want attention from their parents and most will do anything to get. Obviously you see many adults just like Sister and Stella-Rondo that need attention from family and will do anything to get it. I like how the title of the story ties in so well to the actual story. I think this story was a lot of fun to read especially considering all the depressing poems we had to read this week.


Allen Ginsberg

I am going to be honest about "Howl". I had a very hard time reading it. I think there were too many footnotes and I was really unsure about what was going on. I get the idea he is very upset about the way people are doing things at this time. I reseached it to see what I was missing and it seems most of what I read is about how when this poem came out it gained a lot of media attention. The poem had abscenity in it and I assume it made many people angry. Even though most of it was probably true, but most people do not like to hear the truth especially if it is something negative.


Theodore Roethke

The poem "My Papa's Waltz" seems to be talking about the abuse of a father. The first line mentions whiskey on the father's breath and it seems that the boy and his father are dancing the waltz. The words "such waltzing was not easy" makes me think he was not talking about dancing. I also felt like the tone was not a happy one when he said "the hand that held my wrist". If you are talking about a memory of you and your father dancing even if your father had been drinking,then it would have a happy tone. The words battered and beat also make me think of abuse instead of dancing.The papa's waltz must have been when he had to much to drink and he went after the son and then put him to bed.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tillie Olsen

I enjoyed reading the story "I Stand Here Ironing". Although it was kind of sad. I imagine many women went through the same thing during the Great Depression, and even many women going through it now. Many women then and now have to work very hard and do not have the time to give their children the attention or even the affection they need. One part of the story that really caught my eye was that Emily was the only one of her children to be beautiful at birth. I thought after reading this part that Emily was going to be shown some favoritism. It was not like that at all. I think the mother wanted to but circumstances caused her not to be able to. Even so she seemed to decide right then at the ironing board that she wanted Emily to strive for better and that she is more than what has happened in her childhood and that the past does not make her. I think sometimes people use their past as an excuse. I think the mother in this story was saying that. When she said "She is a child of her age, of depression, of war, of fear." It was almost as the mother was making excuses for her, even though the mother knew Emily had much in her.


Elizabeth Bishop

I really like the poem "One Art" because I think everyone can relate to it. Who hasn't lost their keys or wasted an hour doing nothing. And I do think I have mastered the art of losing (losing my mind). I constantly lose things some of the time it seems like disaster and other things don't matter. I even usually find everything I have lost in the first place. I think when she talks about losing houses and continents she is talking about moving away from them. So now it is not necessarily misplacing something, but actually having to leave something for whatever reason. Then finally she loses a person, which in the eyes of most people it is a disater. You can lose people in different ways. You can leave them, or they leave you, or they can pass. Either way it seems that actually losing a person is a disaster, but losing material things is not.


Frank O'Hara

The poem "Why I Am Not a Painter" seems to compare a painter and a writer, but in my opinion they are very similar. O'Hara seems to point out these similarities in this poem. The painter and the writer took a long time to create their masterpiece. Both of them named their masterpiece a title that did not have much to do with the actual work of art. In the beginning he says he would rather be a painter, but I do not feel like he gives a reason for this in the poem. My opinion is that they are both very similar. The only difference I seem to find is that the painter takes something out because it is too much, but the author just keeps adding words and pages to his writing.


Gwendolyn Brooks

The poem "The Boy Died in My Alley" seemed like a way of saying that if someone knows about a murder then they should speak up. I don't know if the author went through something like this or witnessed it happen. Many times there are murders and people know things but do not speak up. The part that says "I joined the Wild and killed him with knowledgeable unknowing." That seems like the author is saying that they heard something and may have been able to do something but just ignored it. Even though they did not actually do the killing. I think if you see a person heading in a direction that may hurt them or kill them you should say something.