• Writing a sonnet is torture compared with writing a ghazal. I tried all that I could to make writing a sonnet interesting: writing a Spencerian since they aren’t as common as the Shakespearean and Petrarchan forms, using enjambment to hide the obvious end rhymes, and writing about an exciting topic to break with tradition. None […]

  • The most challenging aspect of developing my final project’s contract was deciding on a topic. It was difficult for me to imagine not being bored by writing multiple poems on a single subject matter. I wanted the topic to avoid this constraint while still enabling my collection to feel… collected. Contributing to this was my […]

  • I have always been told that to be a good poet one must read lots and lots of good poetry. To be honest, up until 2 years ago I didn’t really take that advice seriously. I naively thought that reading lots of poetry would prevent me from developing my own voice as a poet. I’ve […]

  • The English 255 course description as listed on the CUNYfirst website is as follows: “A historical study of the diversity of modern and contemporary Anglophone literatures and related literatures translated into English encompassing the complex transnational an postcolonial nature of much modern writing in English.” When considering how this course should have gone, it seems […]

  • jspinosa wrote a new post, Tall Tales, on the site Jess Spinosa 9 years, 5 months ago

    Maxine Kingston’s “The Woman Warrior” is different from any work I’ve ever read mainly because of its constant allusion to the spiritual / mystical realm. The American ghosts, for example, refer to anyone not of Chinese ancestry. Also, Maxines mother swears in this last section that she slit her daughters tongue to prevent her from […]

  • jspinosa wrote a new post, Clash!, on the site Jess Spinosa 9 years, 5 months ago

    Culture shock is represented as an impossible thing to survive in the last two sections of Woman Warrior, ”Shaman” and “At the Western Palace.” The titles themselves are hints at how different Maxine’s mother was perceived in China and in the west. In “Shaman,” the story of her mothers success in school and eventually her […]

  • On the last page of “White Tigers,” Maxine Hong Kinston explains that she is like a swordsman because “the idioms for revenge are ‘report a crime’ and ‘report to five families.’ She is not the woman rushing out to behead those that stand in the way of her ambitions. She does what she can. In […]

  • There once was a time when we all wanted to believe in Barack Obama. His passionate tone, the gleam in his eyes, his eagerness towards change. And looking back at the section on Chicago in Dreams From My Father we can see what motivated him to be this way, and seeing that his motivation was […]

  • jspinosa commented on the blog post Hard to choose. 9 years, 6 months ago

    I think you’re right in saying that Diaz’s prose does a better job of really flushing out characters and of creating really memorable narratives, but that isn’t the point of “How to Date a Browngirl…” The conversational tone he employs in this section is meant to draw the reader in and keep them fixated, much […]

  • jspinosa commented on the blog post Junot Diaz #2 9 years, 6 months ago

    I got a different impression of Yunior’s mother when we read that she left her kids just after her husband left because she couldn’t handle their crying all the time. You never see too much intimacy between son and mother until he is much older, taking her to buy clothes. Before this point, she is […]

  • jspinosa commented on the blog post Drown. 9 years, 6 months ago

    I totally agree with your point that it was disgusting what the father got away with in “Negocios,” however it isn’t too hard to level with the man. My stepmom is Ecuadorian and her mother had to marry in the US in order to get her citizenship so that her kids could come over with […]

  • jspinosa wrote a new post, Comments, on the site Jess Spinosa 9 years, 6 months ago

    I commented on:
    John Stippell’s “Hard to Choose”
    Haani Karim’s “Junot Diaz #2”
    and Caitlin Machicote’s “Drown.”

  • My favorite story from Junot Diaz’s collection, Drown, is “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl or Halfie.” But how could it not be? People are all self-absorbed, really. What they most like to read are stories they can forge some sort of connection to, and this piece works best at this due to the fact […]

  • jspinosa wrote a new post, Brave Realism, on the site Jess Spinosa 9 years, 6 months ago

    Much of the literature I enjoy is born out of struggle. Whether it be personal, national, or even galactic (Hitchhiker’s Guide, anyone?) struggle, I feel that the only works worth reading are those which are written in such a way that they make it easy for the reader to truly understand and empathize with what […]

  • jspinosa wrote a new post, The Fury, on the site Jess Spinosa 9 years, 6 months ago

    When I first began reading William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury”, I was truly impressed by the author’s stylistic choices, in terms of giving a voice to what seemed, at the time, to be each of the lead characters in the book. This, I felt, would give a reader a real sense of the […]

  • jspinosa wrote a new post, Revelations, on the site Jess Spinosa 9 years, 6 months ago

    In Jason’s section we find out that Quentin really has killed himself and that Jason senior has recently died from complications of his alcoholism. It also becomes apparent that Caddy’s marriage fell apart due to her illegitimate child whom she has named after him. Jason, then, lost his job her former husband promised and now […]

  • Cassy, I totally agree with your idea that Quentin wants the weather of the world to mirror his state of mind, which is quite suicidal since his beloved Caddy is getting married.

  • jspinosa wrote a new post, Damaged Goods, on the site Jess Spinosa 9 years, 7 months ago

    I agree with Cassy Prime’s idea that Quentin wants the weather to mirror his current mental state, which is cloudy, to say the least. Quentin says, “Let Jason have it. Give Jason a year at Harvard.” because he is a sore loser. In some sick twist in the novel, it becomes apparent that Quentin loves […]

  • On page 34 of The Sound and the Fury, we see that even from Benjy’s affected perspective, Caroline is an awful mother. Most of this episode is dialogue Benjy remembers involving a battle of wills between Caroline and Caddy. When Caddy asks Benjy to hush, he hushes and she knows exactly what to do to […]

  • It must be impossible to immediately fall in love with Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury.” Personally, I had never been more confused by a work of literature in my whole life. However, without giving away the details, the point at which I began to appreciate the work was when I had an accumulation of […]

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