Max Richter

  • Jeremy’s interpretation of the page that contains words written consecutively after each other was very interesting and a cool perspective on why the lines were blurred the lower it got. To me though, the font of the text and the boldness reminded me of a man writing in a prison and the bottom of the page could be smudged due to tears that…[Read more]

  • Many of the aspects Kaylin said about “The Idea of Ancestry” I fully agree with. I, too, believe this poem shows the isolation this prisoner feels and how he doesn’t feel connected to his family. An idea that jumped out at me was that the narrator is nervous he will be connected to his uncle, who seems to be a disappointment to the family. The use…[Read more]

  • 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…[Read more]

  • To protest is to strongly oppose something and act upon that disapproval. Protesting can be used in many different forms, such as a hunger strike or a mass petition. In Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich’s cases […]

    • To answer Max’s first question I think Rich promoted the idea that it’s bad that one’s words can be used differently but ultimately she shows that you have to speak up regardless of the consequences. Rich writes out “Everything we write will be used against us (11-12) with this in mind one should be conscious of what they are writing.” Like max points out “Rich expresses the fact that writing down words “become responsible and this is a verbal privilege” (25-26)”. Here Rich portrays that it is the responsibility of the writer similarly to one who speaks. Like Winston Churchill brilliantly puts it “We are masters of our unsaid words but slaves to those we let slip out.” Rich gives the option to choose to “remain silent”(43) but a person will not be able to make a difference if they choose to keep to themselves. So Rich is promoting the idea that its bad one’s words can be used differently. However, since they can be used for good, in the last line Rich writes “and I start to speak again.” Showing us her conscious decision the harm is worth it because there is much to gain.

    • I think Rich is saying that it is bad how words are used against a person. This is common today with social media. Because people write so much online, it has been used against them in crimes, politics, and even employment. Even though Rich did not use facebook, a persons words still held a lot of responsibility. In section V of her poem, she is making a statement to the over analysis of a person’s words and how without every detail, it could be troublesome. This idea of verbal privilege is strong. It tells us that what we could say what we want as long as we own up to the consequences. Even though words can be used for good, Rich is saying that there is a held responsibility for when they are used against you.

    • In “North American Time,” Rich presents an interesting problem: the misconstruing of words. She states, “Everything we write will be used against us or against those we love,” and she doesn’t place much emphasis on the benefits of the written word. However, one thing that is interesting is that despite the seeming pitfalls of expressing oneself with words, Rich ends her poem with, “and I start to speak again.” With that, it can be concluded that Rich believes it’s worth the risk to express oneself with words and although she doesn’t focus on the benefits of doing so, it clearly outweighs the downfalls of doing so.

    • In my opinion, Rich is protesting the fact that written words, especially in the form of lines from poetry, often take upon a life of its own as far as its meaning or original intention. Rich views this as unfair since the poet is still held responsible as being the source of an idea the poet may not have intended to convey to the readers in the first place. She emphasizes this by repeating the line “Everything we write will be used against us” (11-12). Although there will also be times where a poets writing may take on some great meaning or cause an important movement, there will always be times where the poet’s words will be skewed. Whether the result of these varied interpretations are good or bad, the poet is always held responsible for words he or she writes.

    • In “North American Time” I found that Rich was not so much saying that changing words from the original meaning is bad, but rather that words written by a poet can be criticized or scrutinized by a people that wish to oversimplify the art. When Rich writes “Everything we write will be used against us”, she is alluding to the fact that her art cannot stay hers forever, and that people will look at her art and scrutinize and theorize why she wrote what, what agenda she had, how she is outdated etc. She does not have so much of a grudge against analysis as she does to being irrelevant.

    • In addition to racism, I think Lorde is also protesting her reaction to the racism and the mistreatment of blacks. Rather than raise awareness of these injustices, the speaker seems to turn away from these issues. Although she describes the murdered African Americans, she describes the narrator and her friend as “leaving their dead behind them”. I think the fleeing of the narrator and her friend represent the ignorance of the white community due to the media’s failure to report on such issues. Rich is examining the detrimental relationship between words and negativity surrounding the English language. Words can be used to hurt others, including friends and family. But I think she thinks of herself as a messenger to revolutionize the negative connotations surrounding words. She describes herself, saying “I have felt like some messenger/ called to enter, called to engage/ this field of light and darkness”. The field may be a metaphor for the English language, and the messenger would be her and her various works.

    • In answer to the first question Rich is worried about what will happen to the words after the poet has written them down. At that point the words are no longer the poets as they are out for the general public to analyze and determine the meaning of. Everyone will have a different way of interpreting it and despite their best efforts some will ‘ruin’ the poem by interpreting words or style wrong thus taking all of the intended meaning out of the poem. Rich seems to be worried that his work won’t be interpreted correctly.

  • After reading “Full Fathom Five” a second time, something I kept noticing was the narrator constantly describing how tremendous this old man is, but that it wasn’t necessarily a good thing. I agree with Rani that the father was “overpowering her” and that could be seen from the tone of how this narrator was in awe and fear all at once. Also, the…[Read more]

  • I agree with Deborah and really love the point she made with the first part of the poem consistently containing “who”, and suddenly this line starts with a different beginning, showing that we should “pay close attention here and focus on what is being said.” It does seem that Allen Ginsberg shows self disclosure when he says he feels “rejected”,…[Read more]

  • “who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine until the noise of wheels and children brought them down shuddering             mouth-wracked and battered bleak of b […]

    • I found Max’s explanation as to why they stopped at a zoo as symbolic very interesting. “The zoo represents the fact that at the end of the subway ride, him and his friends ends up as mindless as animals.” I agree that it is symbolism that it says the “drear light of zoo” that it was not by chance. They are experimenting with different drugs all over the place and I think in these lines Ginsberg is trying to portray the effects of benzedrine specifically. I think there was a “ Drear Light” which represents an alteration in their mood to a dull lifeless state which the drug is known to do. The Benzedrine has side effects to get people nervous just like people get nervous from certain animals, therefore choosing to end up at the zoo.

    • 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 freedom does not force him or her to think of anyone else, but only himself in having the best possible time. When they hear the “noise of wheels and children” I think it takes them away from this freedom and brings them down because they do not want to think of the responsibilities that are present in life.

    • Howl by Allen Ginsberg is a long and at first glance, overwhelming poem. The first section of the poem seems to describe (paraphrasing) “the best minds of the generation destroyed by madness.” This is noted by the first line, “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness” (I 1). The speaker then goes on to say “Who” before every following line; the “who” being the “best minds.” The second section describes what destroyed the minds. The first line being “What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?” (II 79). The speaker claims the answer to this question is “Moloch”. Moloch, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, is a Middle Eastern deity to whom children were sacrificed to. In each line in the second section the speaker describes Moloch and what Moloch has done. In the poem Moloch seems to represent a force that takes the youth from those described in section one. The entire poem is for a man named Carl Solomon. The poem itself seems to almost read as a letter. The first and second sections being as one would describe their current circumstances in a letter and the third where one would turn their mind to the circumstances of the one they are writing to.

      Max asks “Why do you think Ginsberg points out that the subway ends at a “drear light of zoo”? Is it symbolism or it just happened to be that was the last stop” in reference to Section I, Line 14;

      “Who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine until the noise of wheels and children brought them down shuddering mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance in the drear light of Zoo”

      The Who of this line rode the subway from Battery in Manhattan to the Bronx on “Benzedrine.” Benzedrine, commonly known as “bennies,” is a stimulant drug. The speaker describes the Who as “shuddering mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance.” This description is probably due as resultant of the drug. Someone on a stimulant drug would be attracted to the sights and sounds of a zoo. Going back to the second section, viewing Moloch as a force that takes away youth; exploring a Zoo is a youthful activity. In this sense, the drug gives back youth to the riders.

    • “who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine until the noise of wheels and children brought them down shuddering mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance in the drear light of Zoo,”
      When I read this I wonder if Ginsberg is criticizing the drug use, or if he is matter-of-factly explaining that something about the noise of wheels and children can cause them to react poorly. When I think “noise of wheels” on the subway, I think of the wheels screeching as it comes to a halt. An end to something, maybe even a death. Then that is sharply contrasted with the mention of children, of youth, of beginning and birth. Ginsberg’s friends find themselves somewhere in a place sandwiched between death and birth. And perhaps that place is what causes their harsh awakening to reality.

    • Stopping subway cars brings one thought to mind. The ear splitting screech that is the rapid cessation of motion by a rather heavy procession of metal cars. The sound brings even the most avid subway rider to cringe, if only slightly. I think that is what he is saying in this line. The comparison of the noise of children to the stopping train is a rather bold statement about children and their ability to take someone off a high of a rather potent drug. I think that he specifically had it end at zoo, but is unclear why as zoos are typically thought of as happy places. Perhaps it is a comment on his past that a zoo has a negative place in his mind.

  • Miriam writes that Mike Goldberg “rejects that whole painting”, speaking of Goldberg painting over the word sardines in his work of art. It doesn’t seem that he’s rejecting the work of art, but I think he’s actually building from the word sardines on. The painting would be nothing without that word and if he used a different word the painting…[Read more]

  • I think Tara’s view of white’s being kind of afraid of other whites so they act racist is a very interesting way to look at this poem. I didn’t really consider that at first but it does make sense. Why have him around when alone and not when company is there? I read this in a similar light as Tara, more positive and optimistic. Reading multiple…[Read more]

  • 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…[Read more]

  • After reading “If I Told Him” the first time, I wasn’t really sure what was meant with all the repetition. It just seemed extremely irritating and eventually after trying to figure out what each line actually said, gave me a massive headache. Marc brings a great point about how the repetition can be seen as nervousness from Stein which can answer…[Read more]

  • This whole time I thought that this speaker was at her own funeral and was describing the sequences that occur when going from this life to the next. She was at her funeral and the speaker can sense that mourners were passing by his body. The speaker first speaks of the physical things happening around her, then in the line “Then Space- began to…[Read more]

  • Many of the points Yoni brings up, I struggled to understand as well. For example, the references from sirrocos to chancel. I didn’t know prior to this poem what these words meant and after looking them up, both terms seem to be either a way just to portray some kind of physical imagery or there’s something extremely personal and intimate about…[Read more]

  • To me, the Raven seems to be not only in the narrators imagination, but he actually sees the Raven representing himself. I agree with Steven when he says “this could be a drunken imagination”, but I also think that he uses alcohol as a way to escape his sorrows. Furthermore, he sees himself in the Raven when the Raven sits upon the head of Pallas,…[Read more]

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