Miriam Kaplan

  • “I DO NOT ALWAYS FEEL COLORED…” and “I FEEL MOST COLORED WHEN I AM THROWN AGAINST A SHARP WHITE BACKGROUND.” In these lines, she does not only tell but shows us what she is saying. She becomes very creative with the lines on these pages and writes over sized and bolded so the black/ white contrast is even more obvious. This seems to show how she f…[Read more]

  • In Knight’s “Idea of Ancestry” the speaker talks about his family and tells how they are so similar but can also be so different. It seems in a way that he’s lamenting the fact that he is so different from his family. He says, “I am all of them, / they are all of me, I am me, they are thee, and I have no children / to float in the space between.”…[Read more]

  • 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…[Read more]

  • Rich explains that once words are taken out of context they can be used to manipulate what the author intended and even to manipulate history. With this knowledge of the power of words we are cautioned to be careful of what we write down as in the future they may “be used against us or against those we love”. I agree with Mika’s inter…[Read more]

  • I think that the purpose of laying everything out so neatly was that she wants the readers to understand that she as an author, as a person of the present, is going down to experience firsthand a thing of the past. Yes, in a way it seems like she is trying too hard, but she is also trying to explain the transition from past to present, from merely…[Read more]

  • I agree with Deborah that in these lines Ginsburg appears to be baring his soul in some sort of confession. Ginsburg seems to be confessing something to us, the audience. He tells us that he is coming to “stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul”. It is interesting that Ginsburg see…[Read more]

  • Tara speaks of “the great minds” that Ginsburg describes as “destroyed by madness” and asks if this could be saying that possibly the best minds of the generation have been “destroyed by madness”. I think he meant this literally and believe that this is very possible true. If these young minds would have been given the chance to grow and develop…[Read more]

  • In Frank O’Hara’s poem, “Why I am Not a Painter” he compares himself, a poet, to his friend, an artist named Mike Goldberg. O’Hara compares Goldberg’s techniques as an artist to his own poetic techniques.

    When a […]

    • 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 left is just letters” (15-16) meant. I decided to Google the painting, and after quite a few seconds of staring at the image, I noticed that the word sardines is actually spelled out onto the canvas, in place of where the fish should be. I think the painter is playing on the ambiguities of words and images. Just like poems are a form of art, this piece of art takes the form of a poem. Writing out SARDINES is also an image, and therefore, might just deserve to be the title after all.

    • Miriam explains Goldberg named his painting Sardines “he put it in his painting because “it needed something there” (9) but then a few lines later Goldberg takes it out since he though “It was too much” (16). In the end though, the painting is named sardines even though there are no sardines in it.” ” Answering Miriam’s question as to why I think Goldberg named his painting Sardines after he rejected the sardines, is it sends an important message to the audience. We learn how its not necessarily about the finished piece Goldberg finished and named Sardines. Its about the journey and the inspiration which helped him create his art and it is therefore named after the Sardines even though they aren’t present. So to O’Hara names his writings after his inspiration- Oranges and not after their true content. Its not necessarily where you end up but how you got there.

    • 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 would be completely different. That’s why the painting is named “SARDINES”, because the main part of the painting was the word sardines. O’ Hara seems to be saying that poetry and painting are extremely similar in the fact that, in this case, they both take one word and build from that. The difference O’ Hara may see, though, is that in poetry, once you write something, you build from there and can’t erase what was already written. In painting, you can still erase the past of what was painted by simply painting over it, similar to what Goldberg did in his painting “SARDINES”.

    • In response to Miriam’s second question, I don’t think O’Hara is saying that his way of writing poetry is better than Goldberg’s method of painting. I think what O’Hara is saying is that every artist or writer has a method or a process that they follow in order to create their masterpiece, but this method is not set in stone. They may go back and change something, they may switch the order of what they’re doing, or their ideas may lead them in a completely different direction than they originally started off in. I think O’Hara found it interesting that he ended up following the same path as Goldberg; they both had an idea, moved away from it, and then titled their piece after their original idea, which no longer seems to connect to their final products.

    • I think O’ Hara is saying that they are equal but different. O’ Hara starts with a word or idea and builds upon to create a piece of poetry. He does not care if what he originally thought of is present in the work, he is only interested that it is a good piece of work. This is the same thing Goldberg has done in his art. He put something on the canvas and built around it. At final inspection the original idea seems to be missing from the work. In his actually painting, “Sardines,” you can see the word at the bottom if you knew what it was, which could be the same with O’ Hara’s poetry; knowing the original idea, an individual can see that Oranges is there, but it is not prominent anymore.

    • I think that O’Hara considers his method of poetry and Goldberg’s method of painting equal, yet producing distinct products. While O’Hara’s poetry relies more on verbal interpretations, Goldberg’s painting depends on visual interpretations. I agree that the original sardines of Goldberg’s painting served as the muse for his new painting, hence the title of the painting “Sardines”. He relies on the viewer to visually derive the source of his inspiration from the title of his work. However, O’Hara approaches the method by which he pens his work in a different manner. He constructs his work around a singular idea, and strings together words to express his thought on the subject. Because he never explicitly says “Oranges” in the work, he depends on the reader to discern that the work focuses on the color orange. However, it is interesting to note that both O’Hara and Goldberg use the title in order to relay an important factor of their work.

    • I don’t think O’hara is necessarily saying one is better than the other. I think he is trying to make a very nuanced point about what it is that makes a “real” poet. It is interesting he even uses that terminology because most artists would shy away from openly classifying themselves as such. But perhaps the point he is trying to make is that it is the flowing process from sardines to whatever, and oranges to whatever, that make a poet/artist a poet/artist. His repetition of “days go by” seems to signify this. An artist should take the time to develop, and let the mind flow, rather than having one specific notion and not straying from it.

  • I agree with Tara that although racism did exist, Hughes was trying to equate both the whites and the African Americans. I think in the second stanza he takes this idea even further saying that though it may appear now that the whites have the final say and are the ones who “send me to eat in the kitchen” in the future the African Americans wil…[Read more]

  • Throughout Gertrude Stein’s poem, “If I Told Him, A Complete Portrait of Picasso”, many of the lines and sentences are repeated. Stein even acknowledges her repetition in line 19 when she writes “now actively repea […]

    • Stein often repeats the same phrase using varying forms of syntax throughout the work. In my opinion, she uses this inimitable syntax to address Picasso within the confines of their friendship. Picasso strove to explore new mediums of art and revolutionize the artistic community though his creation of cubism. Cubists cast away the conventional approach to art and focus on the two dimensional shape of figures. Similarly, Stein approached a similar path as she delved deeper into the world of poetry. She endeavored to create a form of poetry by casting away the conventional “time-orientated” poetry of the time and creating her own unique form. By writing this poetry for Picasso, she seems to be offering recognition and support of his own undertakings by sharing with him her own. She titled this work “If I told Him”, and it is difficult to tie this into the second half of the work. It is my belief that she uses Napoleon as an example because he was a great general of his time, and was among the few to come close to conquering Europe. However, his major crucial mistake was underestimating the harshness of winter. By alluding to him in her work, she means to compare both Picasso and Napoleon. Both were great pioneers in their field and encountered hardships along the way. It is possible that this work served as a warning to Picasso to avoid making the same mistake Napoleon did by going too far with his innovative methods.

  • When I first read “I felt a Funeral in my Brain” I would have agreed that the narrator must be crazy, but, on my second time reading it I stating thinking that maybe the poem was about thought. As the poem starts with the funeral that is going on inside the speaker’s brain, I thought it may be a reference to something other than insanity. Dicki…[Read more]

  • I agree that this poem is about the restriction of her creativity by the mysterious “they”. It appears from the title that her poems and creativity were “shut up” and she was forced to only write in standard prose. In the third stanza, I believe her to be saying that, as “Himself has but to will”, she was able to break out of the standard pr…[Read more]

  • As I was reading the poem, “The Raven”, I too saw that there are many references to many different gods as well as the afterlife. Poe places the raven “upon a bust of Pallas…” “Pallas” is a reference to a Greek Titan, god of war (41). Similarly, in line 47, Poe makes reference to Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld. Poe also makes referen…[Read more]

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