Debra Zarny

  • The second page of Rankine’s Citizen looks like graffiti spread along the page. However, it looks like the writer placed her arm on the bottom of the page, smudging the words and making them difficult to read. It’s interesting how both pages have this style and I think the words written are physically displayed the same way as what they intend to…[Read more]

  • I had read half of “Skinhead” without realizing who the speaker was. Because I thought it was a protest, I thought Patricia Smith was the speaker and in my annotations I wrote “she.” It was only until she first mentions that the words are coming from a male did I realize that it isn’t coming from Smith, or even a female figure in general. I was…[Read more]

  • The “new sentence,” as discussed by Perelman in his essay, “is more or less ordinary itself, but gains its effect by being placed next to another sentence to which it has tangential relevance…” I found this idea to […]

    • Its good that we understood the “new sentence,” by Bob Perelman before we read his perplexing poem “Chronic Meanings.” I liked how Debra questioned Perelman’s work “the lines really did not connect to each other to form a coherent message. Or did it?” I had a hard time forming any connections of Bobs choices of topics for his stanzas. I think the point of using this writing style forces the reader to think out of the box. It forces the reader to ask themselves am I just following the crowd or thinking for myself, and voicing opinions I believe. I think it says something about the speaker to not be afraid and to write in his own creative style. At first it seemed like an unreliable narrator, I was not able to follow one train of thought. Knowing this was on purpose I think the speaker was trying to make us form connections between things we would not otherwise make any connections to.

    • Perelman takes the idea of the “new sentence” and shows us through poetry what exactly this new sentence is. In the essay before the poem, Perelman explains that the new sentence is both a form of continuity and separation as the period marks an ending, but the new sentence is a continuation of the sentence before. In his poem, each line is a new sentence, as implied by the periods and capital letter, but makes no sense as a continuation of the sentence before. I agree with Debra that at first it was very confusing trying to understand what the poem meant until I realized it was not necessarily what the poem meant but what the poem showed us about sentences. I think that Perelman wrote it this way to show us that though sentences are supposed to be a continuation of an idea or a story they are not always. I also find it ironic that the poem is titles “Chronic Meanings” when in fact the poem has no meaning whatsoever.

    • Similar to Debra saying “but thought about it as a way for the reader to fill in the blanks and really engage in the reading”, I too thought that this was the point of having a poem structured in this way. Even though at first it may seem idiotic, the more you read “Chronic Meanings”, the more involved you get in the poem. The poem seems more like a reflection on the reader than the poet, since the reader has to essentially submit his or her own interpretations to finish off each line. The poem gets the reader more involved and more alert in the actually words of the poem. I don’t think it necessarily says something about the speaker because most of it isn’t very telling.

    • In response to Debra’s second question and her comment that she was able to find themes in some stanzas but not in all, I’m not sure that there is an overall message to find in the poem as a whole in the first place. Meaning, most poems have overall themes that the reader can identify, either easily or not so easily. However, in this poem, the thoughts seem so disconnected and the sentences seem so broken up, that it seems as if the message of the poem is the very fact that it’s discontinuous. Also, “chronic” means something that persists for a long time or is constantly recurring. Perhaps the reason Perelman named his poem “Chronic Meanings” hints to the fact that he wants the meaning of the poem to be something that is constantly recurring. Perelman wants it to be able to be interpreted at any time in any place, however society wants to interpret it. It’s not specific to any one thing, and can be understood under any circumstance.

    • I think that perhaps “Chronic Meaning” by Perelman is the most honest poetry we have read yet. All emotion and tensions of the author are not being obscured with any pretenses about meaning or form. There is nothing holding the words back. It is very much a stream of consciousness. That is what I think the message is, that we are able to glimpse into the mind of the author without having to think. That may seem conterintuitive, because the language is so confusing. But at the same time, it’s not confusing at all. We are there to pick up the words he’s laying out WITHOUT thinking. We take it in and let our minds wander.

    • I was very intrigued by Debra’s idea of “taking the novel or poem that we read for granted and assume that each line is connected to one another”. In one sense the author could want the reader to interpret every single line separately. Perhaps he arranged the periods like that for that reason, to force the reader to stop and analyze. In another sense, the author might have wanted the reader to not take each line so literally or seriously. By leaving it ambiguous, the reader can read the lines backwards, forwards, and upside down. It could be a writing mechanism to allow the reader to interpret it their way, regardless of exactly what the author was trying to convey. Because I had no idea what was happening, I read each line in the stanza backward and actually enjoyed the poem much more. It had more meaning to me surprisingly.

  • One of the things mentioned in Lorde’s short biography that we were asked to read is that Lorde was known to address racism, sexism, and homophobia in her poems. In her writing she was known to deny the oppressive nature of male privilege. After reading this poem, I notice that she never describes a male figure, except for the end of the poem to d…[Read more]

  • While reading “Full Fathom Five,” it seemed that this poem was more descriptive, describing her father’s features and other things noticeable to the outside world, while “Daddy,” a more personal name given to a father, is her description of this more personal relationship of a father and daughter. In the first poem she describes her father as…[Read more]

  • The ending of Part I is definitely confusing, although this might just be because I don’t understand a lot of the references that Ginsburg makes. While reading the poem I did notice the series of “who” that repeat at the beginning of the line, and did exactly what Deborah points out when she says, “By Ginsberg breaking away from the pattern…[Read more]

  • I was also unsure as to why children were mentioned in the section of lines that Max quotes. Throughout the poem, Ginsberg describes his adventures with his friends as ones that allow him to learn about life, and he discusses their freedom to be able to travel all around New York, taking drugs and draining their minds of their brilliance. This…[Read more]

  • While I was reading this poem I couldn’t help but wonder why O’Hara writes “SARDINES,” in all caps. I immediately thought of how we write in caps when sending a text or email to emphasize a point. I also wondered what was left in that newly empty spot on the canvas where the sardines were supposed to be and wondered what the line “All that’s le…[Read more]

  • I really enjoyed Tara’s thought process when reading the lines “eat in the kitchen/ when company comes” (3-4). I think this explanation fits very well with the idea of not focusing on the negatives and instead, looking towards equality. What this line is now saying is that this man isn’t judging this family, he is simply dealing with their thought…[Read more]

  • One of the goals of Hughes’ essay, “Jazz as Communication” is to try to define what Jazz is and how it influences his own writing. The first time Hughes defines Jazz is when he says, “Jazz is a great big sea. It wa […]

    • Hughes’ poem “Harlem” spoke about dreams being put aside and dismissed. Based on the title, this poem seems to be talking about the African American dream of full equality in America since Harlem was one of the biggest revolutionary environments during this period. What Debra describes what Hughes is saying about Jazz and Rock and Roll is that Jazz is soon going to be essentially the genre of music in America. I like to think that Hughes is representing African American’s to Jazz. His dream isn’t just for Jazz to be one of the biggest genres in America, but for African Americans to not be a lesser citizen in America than whites and for the racism to stop. Jazz connects to this poem because the only way for full equality is to not let the dreams get deferred, but to always have the dream in mind, which Jazz so heavily emphasizes in much of its music.

    • I’m no Jazz expert, but I think after reading the essay I would agree that jazz is “what you yourself get out of it.” He write’t that “[jazz’s] heartbeat is yours.” Annecdotally, I do feel this way when listening to jazz. It’s flow and use of syncopation lends to that emotion.Therefore, I’m not sure I agree that mantra (“it’s what you make of it”) applies to all music. A lot of music has specific purpose. I think this is mirrored in the poem. Just like you might not know where a jazz piece might lead (with all its riffs and such), you may not know where a dream deferred will lead.

    • I liked what Debra said how at the end of Jazz as Communication “Finally, Hughes gives a definition based on what Jazz means to him and says, “Jazz is a montage of a dream deferred.” After reading this line I realized why we were told to read the second poem “Harlem.” ” Answering Debra’s first question I think Harlem relates to Jazz because that was one of Langston Hughes dreams. In Harlem by Langston Hughes, Hughes explains what happens when one pushes of a dream and gives different comparisons of what happens to a forgotten dream, drying up, stinking like rotten meat, crusting like syrup. The poem Harlem is saying how If one defers their dream, bad things can happen. Therefore since to Hughes Jazz is a dream he cannot let it be pushed aside or forgotten.

    • I definitely agree when you said that this poem is about Jazz as music, however I think there is a much deeper meaning than that. Hughes states, “To me jazz is a montage of a dream deferred. A great big dream—yet to come—and always yet—to become ultimately and finally true”. This is a very important line to point out. This dream is more than just the music; this dream is a future for the all of the African Americans who suffered segregation, discrimination, and slavery. This “deferred dream” that he discusses remains unclear, but is described as a very vivid image. Hughes describes this dream inferring that these dreams do not just disappear. It might rot in the sun, or bubble over, in other words it takes time to slowly decay. Hughes does not refer to one specific dream, although it is inferred that he is referring to the suffering of the African American “American Dream”. The African Americans are so oppressed that they probably cannot even dream because it will rot or blow up like a heavy load. It’s very interesting how he ties a genre of music with the suffering of people. He might be saying that Jazz is their (African Amercian) voice, their freedom, and their ticket to their dream.

  • The excessive repetition in this poem definitely worried me a bit when I first read it. I was really having a difficult time trying to make sense of it, as I have never seen something like that in poetry before. When I read the second line with the repeating “Would he like it would Napoleon would Napoleon would would he like it” (2), I imm…[Read more]

  • The funeral scene is an interesting choice as a way to display one’s madness. With a funeral scene, there can be two descriptions of madness: one seen from the person who has died and one seen from the people that have attended the funeral. The speaker discusses how she hears “A Service, like a Drum— kept beating-beating” and someone with “Boots…[Read more]

  • It is definitely possible that I am reading too simply into this, but I think the “they” in the first line of the poem references her parents, and that they were not accepting of her writing. Therefore, the rest of the poem can be read as Dickinson linking this disapproval to her childhood, living with her parents. I think of the last line of the…[Read more]

  • The raven only says one line in the entire poem, and this is the word “nevermore.” If the raven is only allotted one word to say, then this is the perfect one. It seems that this word can answer many different questions that the speaker has. It can be an answer to his question of if he will see Lenore again. The raven is coming to finally sol…[Read more]

  • Debra Zarny became a registered member 2 years, 9 months ago