Regarding my job as a student in the class of Modern Poetry i would say it was good considering the facts that i did them all on time. Also, in each and one of the assignments I posted a few more extras like pictures or videos of the related topic which I consider to be a good way of capturing the attention and a way to understand better the meaning of my interpretation of each assignment. When it comes to feedback to others i didn't deliver on time making me impossible to fulfill my task but the postings will be there on each of the required terms. If where grade myself i would say it will be an -A.
Jaymar Velazquez Ortiz
Prof. Leonardo Flores
Monday, May 17, 2010
Analysis: “Alberto Rios”
When talking about poems the Latin community has many different exponents that really changed the world and how we look at poems. Poets like Pablo Neruda, one of the most important poets of all time, and others writers like Gabriel Garcia Márquez are inspiration for many contemporary poems. Alberto Rios is no exception to these poets that have changed the way Latin American poetry manifests in a unique way of expressing each other’s feelings in their poetics.
Alberto Rios was born in 1952 in Nogales, Arizona in the border line of Mexico. While his father was from Mexico his mother was from England, a combination that made him what he is right now. From his mother’s side the rhetorical of English and from his father side the culture and the heritage of a Hispanic country in addition to a repeated use of reference to his past is the key to his poetics. While looking at two of his famous poems like “Madre Sofia” and “Mi Abuelo” we can clearly see how this elements shape his style.
The Poem “Madre Sofia” starting from the title you can rapidly detect that he has knowledge of the Spanish language coming from his father figure. As we continue reading Alberto Rios starts narrating an event of his past in a quite unique way using a very straight forward composition using a story like poem. This story develops as we read in a place not described yet he gives in full detail of a woman very particular among the Hispanic culture, a fortune teller. This is a key to understanding Alberto’s poetics.
Not only his father heritage, while the poem starts giving detail, we can admire his mother side looking at the selective and specifics words he chooses in English to capture perfectly the moment and the experience. If we look again at the “Madre Sofia” poem, his description of this woman is so accurate that you can even smell her. For example if we look at the verses from fifteen to seventeen we can clearly see how he uses our senses to convince the atmosphere of the story. Using verses like “…smelled of smoke, cigarettes, / but a diamond smoke, somehow; I inhaled sparkles,…” suggest the sensation of this thick smoke and unpleasant feeling giving that special touch to his poetics.
In the poem “Mi Abuelo” we can see again some of this poetics as well at that heritage of his family right from the beginning. Once again taking a step into his life trough the poem we find that his memory is the one guiding us, describing with full details what he believes to be his grandfather. For example if we read the verses nine to ten we see that it says: “…Mi abuelo is the man / who speaks through all the mouths in my house” referring that everybody in his house talks about him. Reading ahead we start reading events of his grandfather but because of the quoted earlier we see that this are stories told by others in the family making the use of this typical in his work.
His work while being mainly about his past and family the uses of words keep being very meaning full yet very simple. In the poem “Mi Abuelo” he uses simple yet loaded description to perfectly fulfill his intensions. Looking at the verses thirty-one and thirty-two where it says: “I see an old picture of him at nani’s with an / off-white yellow center mustache…” we see how he describes his grandfathers picture in a simple yet well constructed image. This same style makes us believes that this poem is just about his grandfather but if you take a look at his past he is actually describing how his grandfather was absent in his house.
Like any other poet Alberto Rios uses figures of speech to his advantage to create that magic feeling of really being in the poem yourself. Using similes like: “words coming like red ant stepping occasionally / from a hole on a summer day in the valley,” from “Madre Sofia” and “where you can hear the future / like an Indian with his ear at the tracks.” from the poem “Mi Abuelo” that really captures the reader attention. Knowing that he uses memory or events, these elements are what makes his work like poems.
Alberto Rios is an excellent poet who’s poems
reflect his past. Not only they reflect the past but also expresses situations
and moments in his life while using different techniques. Techniques like very specific
description to open up you sight to his world and feelings. Also uses his
heritage to grasp the two worlds he was raised in, not forgetting his great use
of figures of speech and his great vocabulary. All of these is what makes the
poetics of Alberto Rios.
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the popular trees.
Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.
The African American culture has suffered a series of historical events that have change the way they manifest to the world with their poems and lyrics. One of this events was slavery, that destroyed many families and disrespected a lot of African American abusing from them in many ways. This caused a major impact on how African Americans expressed themselves against this practices and changed the way they write, speak, speak and manifest against any kind of situation. While analyzing “Strange Fruit” in forms of poetics, you will notice the strong connection to the events that marked African Americans forever.
Strange Fruit has a basic “AA/BB” rhyme scheme throughout the whole poem with some assonant vowel sounds giving a sense of unity and calmness. While the sound gives you a calm mood the images presented in the first stanza acts like a complement of death and suffering changing that mood to a repulsive and sad atmosphere. In this first stanza the author tries to describe a fruit a “strange fruit”. The third verse of the first stanza is our clear statement that this is about racism because it says: “Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,”
While the author keeps describing
this fruit we start to see the allusion she is doing comparing this fruit with
African American is even more repulsing letting you see little by little that
she is talking about dead bodies of African American people. More than describing
these corpses with detail on how they are being burned and hanged in the last
stanza we see an allusion to how they treated them. Clearly as for poems of
African Americans this events where one of the many that where important for
creating this African American Poetics making racism one of the key factor to
African American poets and song writers.
English 3325: Modern Poetry
Prof. Leonardo Flores
Spring 2010 Midterm Exam
Name: Jaymar Velazquez March 19, 2010
Instructions: Write a concise response for each question, making sure you address it thoroughly. Print out and turn in your responses on Wednesday, March 24, 2009. (40 points)
1. Analyze the use and effect of allusion and symbolism in Byzantium. Your discussion must be informed by a clearly stated interpretation of the poem. Note: the textbook has potentially useful footnotes for this poem in pg. 129. (250 words - 10 points)
W. B. Yeats takes the poem to another level using methods like symbolism and repetition of words to emphasize the use of allusion to another meaning in the poem “Byzantium”. If we see throughout the poem he takes this allusion and emphasizes them with the repetition of a word. In addition he also connects the verses with this method. Most of this allusion is of mythology and of Christianity probably criticizing this subject in a matter of a quest that is presented in the poem. Explaining one of the possible interpretations of the poem I will show where you can found these allusions and the elements he uses to fulfill the message.
First the title starts giving you a hint of what the poem it’s about. If we look the definition of Byzantium, the definition was an Ancient Greek City founded by a king. This can tell us that the author is talking about a city alluding it’s this city. If we keep reading on to the first stanza we see that the city is impure when it says: “unpurged images of day recede”; also the allusion to the church we it says after a cathedral song in verse 4 stanza 1. In the second stanza the narrator talk about a man that is more dead or alive. And emphasize the character repeating shade.
In conclusion the poem is about this city that it’s ruined by blood spilled and the corruption of men. The allusion of Christianity may lead us to the inquisition when the poem says a lot of blood in his poem. Also the repetition of word more than being part of the rhyme it could be the repetition of these things in the future. The Greek mythology gives us the sense that the gods could have destroyed the place.
2. Analyze the use and effect of alliteration, consonance, and other sound devices in Moreover, the Moon---. Your discussion must be informed by a clearly stated interpretation of the poem. Note: the textbook has potentially useful footnotes for this poem in pg. 129. (250 words - 10 points)
This poem really makes you think on how this author does these poems. Mina Loy takes the imagery and mesmerizes you with an unusual rhyme as she describes something that not usually is used as subject. Using alliteration she involves you in this flow of words that moves you from the fact that she is talking about death. Also the rhyme although not forma but very similar in tone also involves you in her poem.
The poem stars with imagery of a pretty sky over us very beautiful using Skies, presides, wonder; words that allude to beautiful and peaceful and great stuff. Then the image of heaven draws in front of you then a silver circular corpse as if the color silver could be the allusion of a dead body. Little by little the poem stars deteriorating and becoming darker as we read. If it weren’t for the sound in this poem you wouldn’t pay attention to the greatness that it starts and only to the death, but if thanks to the choice of words and to the rhyme scheme we first think is a poem of a sky.
3. How is Wallace Stevens defining Modern Poetry in this poem? Compare and contrast his definition with how Ezra Pound describes Modern Poetry in "A Retrospect" (929) (250 words - 10 points).
Wallace Stevens defines the poem has a way of describing something of union between the poet and poem. It says that it’s something freer and not judged but exactly how you should say it. IF we see some of his early verses he also compares it to an act of a play where everything is set but then you don’t know what is going to happen. And that this poem it has to be about something living like in the second stanza, second verse where it says “It has to be living,” and other literary forms like free verse, using the same structure of the poem to be a definition.
Comparing the poem “Of modern poetry” and “A Retrospect its has its pros and contras. While the Ezra Pound describe modern poetry as something not to be defined and that there’s not a clear argument on how to define it but there’s some rules, while Stevens gives a more poetic and more free type of definition. Ezra Pound states that we have to talk only about the subject, not using different languages only the one of the subject and that the sound has to be in form of a melody but not as in a metrome situation.
In my opinion both have a valid argument but Ezra Pound has rules and I think that rules are a little bit to controlling. In modern poetry instead of a ruled regimen of metrics and theme it was characterize as a more free way of writing. Although Ezra Pound gives another sense with the imagism still his definition is more controlling. In similarity they have the fact that they leave the readers the possibility of different perceptions.
4. How are “Byzantium,” “Moreover, the Moon--,” and “Of Modern Poetry” Modern? Describe at least three characteristics of Modernism present in the poems and provide examples from each to support your response. (250 words - 10 points).
The poems “Byzantium”, “Moreover , the moon” and “of modern poetry” have a peculiarity of having subjects more personal but also different from the original form of doing poetry. Before modernism began the traditional poems where very symmetrical and with a lot of romanticism involve. These 3 poems goes to another level by using a lot of images that is one of the characteristics of the modern poetry.
Talking about the theme these poems have, they are quite more intellectual than usual. The main idea of these poems are in relation with society, personal situations and of how to define the same movement implanted are the themes these 3 poems. The way they illustrate, being away from the romantic influences but barely present its very clear.
A big influence for poets was the use of rhyme, when in modern poetry the rhyme isn’t that important but in some poets is still present. In these 3 poems the rhyme is not so present braking the usual making them modern but what is important is the sound. The metric in the poems also breaks and actually utilizing this on favor of the poem.
Jaymar Velázquez Ortiz
Prof. Leonardo Flores
March 12, 2010
“My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke
Theodore Roethke was a great poet, known for his two best poems, “My Papa’s Waltz” and the sequel “The Lost Son”. He was born in 1908 in Saginaw, Michigan and a change of faith made him lost his father in which you can see clearly how this affects Theodore’s poems. He died out of a heart attack in 1963 where in that year he wrote sixty-one poems that where published after his death.
Although the death of his father was subject of the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by him using different poetic forms, rhythm and sensory imagery he achieves balance in the poem. From the poem’s title to each one of the stanzas we see how he mixes these two subjects into a perfect poem. Also he manages to take something beautiful like the waltz and put it with a different connotation. This and more are what Roethke’s uses in his poem to make you experience his feelings, agony but also an opening for the reader to identify with the poem.
From the start the title of the poem puts two images in your head that will play around with you throughout the whole poem. The word Waltz makes you think in a dance with a perfect melody and a certain rhythm, moving a going in circles. The word “Papa” alludes to a dance with your father in this rhythm or a dance involving the father. Not only the title evokes dance but also the structure of the poem. If we see other poems of Theodore Roethke, we can see that he has very variable poems but there are very few of them that have such an elaborate metric and melody to the poem.
Referring to the sound of the poem, it has a very simple but elaborate sequence involving ABAB pattern in ending rhyme in the first and every stanza. Also the poem it's composed in a iambic form in periods of three giving the sensation of movement like melody like the waltz. As everybody knows the waltz it’s made for you to dance in periods of three steps like the poem’s iambic form. This gives you an image of movement that goes well on what is happening in the text in the first stanza.
Starting the poem the first stanza verses one and two we have that the author says “The whiskey on your breath/Could make a small boy dizzy ;” This two verses with the use of the word dizzy and whiskey makes you think it’s an unbalanced relationship tormented by alcohol making the author unsteady referring to this boy dizzy as himself. Also it could mean that they were having a good time because the author is talking about a waltz. In verses three and four could reinforce this fact when he said “But I hung on like death” meaning that he hold on forever. But then again, the allusion to death could mean a double sense of his father death and he had to "hung to death" because his father left him.
In the second stanza we have another round of images and sounds that are in favor for a dual interpretation but keeping the same rhythm. Verses one and two, gives a big image of a movement so intense that things fell off the shelf and maintaining the sense of movement. Analyzing these two verses we can come up with a conclusion that this is a violent moment with his father so big that even the pans from the kitchen fell. Reading further into the rest of the verses we might think his mother was angry at this incident or that the trouble was with her because it says: “My mother’s countenance/Could not unfrown itself. In the Merriam Webster dictionary online one of the definitions for the word countenance is; “face, visage; especially : the face as an indication of mood, emotion, or character” which means her expression was important to that moment.( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/countenance )
Next in line comes the third stanza in which we get more of this words that make reference to the waltz like “the hand that held my wrist”, “every step”, etc. In addition to the sense of dance and movement we see also a matter of illness. The second verse of the third stanza evokes this feeling, but it’s a pain that the father has suffered or fights that had made his father ill. Moreover in the 3 verse it says: “At every step you missed” giving a sense of unbalance or not capable of dancing well.
In the last stanza the father figure is really reinforce and expressed by various words still without losing the presence of the waltz. First we see talking about time on your head like a typical father telling his son it’s time to do something particularly at a certain rhythm, in this case the waltz. Then it says “With a palm caked hard by dirt” as if the father was someone that has worked so much for his son. Finalizing with two verses that says: “Then waltzed me off to bed/Still clinging to your shirt” that really opens your mind that this poem is not about a bad father, is the love of a father in good times and bad times and that he is so attached to him that when he goes to bed he doesn’t want to separate from his father.
In conclusion the poem is a fascinating thrill of love and joy dancing at the rhythm of the waltz in the way of his father did. It’s amazing how he uses the iambic form to make the movement similar to the dance. In my opinion although it has some connotations about abuse at the beginning it actually doesn’t have to do anything with that. It has to do with a real love of a father and how attached he feel about his father. The uses of word to resemble the dance also the sound of the word allude to each and every one stanza, making each one of them a full image.
THE NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY POETRY:, THRID
EDITION. Vol. 1: Jaham Ramazani; Richard Ellmann; Robert O’ Clair, Theodore Roethke
W. H. Auden is an interesting poet who gives poems a different touch. In his work, some of them have connotations that may seem to have certain meaning and also have another meaning. Who’s Who is one of those poems that you could interpret with two different perspectives. W. H Auden, using accurate adjectives and verbs makes the poem full of images in a dual interpretation.
In the first stanza the first word that causes this double interpretation is “Father”. This word is the one that changes the perspectives. First the poem sounds like if it’s about an experience with a father and describing how this paternal figure is when you see images like when it says in the first stanza 5th verse, “Of how he fought, fished, hunted, worked all night,”. This line really makes you see a resemblance of a father. Another image of a father is in the second stanza line 3 where it says; “Did little jobs about the house with skill” where father is supposed to do little jobs on a house.
The real ambiguity is in the second line of the first stanza where it says “How Father beat him”. You can deduce this is like if someone was talking about a father (paternal figure) doing something to someone or to a child. Looking at Auden’s biography and tendency of writing in a prayer style the other way we can also interpret that this is about a Father from a church.
In conclusion the poem makes you see it has a dual interpretation. The use of sound of certain words reinforce the fact that it’s a about a paternal figure. Some other lines like when it says “what acts Made him the greatest figure of his day” firms to another point. The poem also has other lines that could be misplace with different meanings.
A shilling life will give you all the facts:
A Broken Appointment
You did not come,
And marching Time drew on, and wore me numb.
Yet less for loss of your dear presence there
Than that I thus found lacking in your make
That high compassion which can overbear
Reluctance for pure lovingkindness' sake
Grieved I, when, as the hope-hour stroked its sum,
You did not come.
You love not me,
And love alone can lend you loyalty;
-I know and knew it. But, unto the store
Of human deeds divine in all but name,
Was it not worth a little hour or more
To add yet this: Once you, a woman, came
To soothe a time-torn man; even though it be
You love not me.