Rahul Roy

  • Jeremy’s pointing out of the smudged ink is a nice eye-opener for one who does not assume that visual representations are always relevant (me 🙁 ). Aside from the irrelevant I see the smudging of the ink the same way Jeremy does. Smudging spreads the ink across, almost expanded as it loses its prominent shade and becomes a closer shade to its…[Read more]

  • For starters, I definitely do not think narrative need be consistent in order to make sense or even to communicate in that matter. This is a rather distant analogy, but even humans who do not speak the same language can still find some common ground in which they can communicate. That instance does not accurately describe the constant breaks the…[Read more]

  • In my opinion, it is not that Rich is not being sincere as much as she is somewhat inconsistent. As I read this, I found myself lost towards the last stanza when the pronouns in its first line, “We are, I am, you are,” were introduced. Not only then, but also the pronouns in the line “I am she: I am he” leave me utterly confused. The reference to…[Read more]

  • There is, without a doubt, a grave sense of “self” in Ginsburg’s poem. Although it is hidden via the many observational flaws pointed out through the various “who”s mentioned, there is still a self. In all that he sees he also feels, and that is himself. His reactions and his descriptions become the self portrayed. The part that Deborah entails in…[Read more]

  • Ginsberg’s whole poem, as I read it, reminded me of my thought process every time I would travel to high school in the city. It was a two-hour long bus/train ride and I witnessed hundreds of different types of people every day. The specific line referring to the bums “who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy…[Read more]

  • Frank O’Hara’s “The Day Lady Died” presents an I that is representative of a daily life. The constant usage of her “I” followed by a certain routine or action occurring that day displays the voice in O’Hara’s […]

    • I have a slightly different reading. I think O’Hara purposefully chooses to write about the mundane, the daily routines, in order to emphasize the shock and feeling of loss that he (and perhaps some of his friends) felt upon discovering Holiday’s death. O’Hara starts off the poem with it being a typical day in his life, he does not even mention the exact date, just explains that it is “three days after Bastille day” and he goes to “get a shoeshine” because he has this busy day heading off to Easthampton. He is wrapped up in his own life, thinking about the new plays he needs to see, and going to the bank. When he finally sees the New York Post with the story about her death, he is transported to another place, a memory, where Holiday “whispered a song along the keyboard” and O’Hara (and Mal Waldron and everyone) loses their breath, a part of themselves dying with Holiday. The poem is written in present tense to convey a tone of immediacy and shock, letting his readers feel the exact way he did when he thought “The Day Lady Died” would just be a regular day.

    • In reading this poem I too noticed the strange time frame in which the poem takes place. The beginning of the day flies by and it is at the end that O’Hara slows down and elaborates on more of his day. I disagree however with the point that he does this too mimic the readers day but rather that he does this to show the effect of death on one’s day. Upon hearing about the death perhaps he is commenting on the triviality of all the little things he did throughout his day compared to the shocking news he had just heard.

    • I do not think O’Hara tries to replicate the reader’s daily life through his poem. The poem is titled “The Day Lady Died” with “Lady” being Billie Holiday and the poem describing the day she died. I believe the poem speaks of the type of day rather than focusing on whose day it is. The day is described in details, even mentioning the time, “12:20” (1). He, the speaker, speaks first of what he will do, the future, and then of what he is doing, the present. There is a disconnect with the things the speaker must do in the future. He says “I don’t know the people who will feed me” (6) and talks about the minute details of what he must do before dinner but does not offer an explanation for either the dinner of the reasons for a “shoeshine” (3). The present is described with much more detail; such as “the muggy street beginning to sun” (7). The speaker speaks of everyday events such as reading a magazine to “See what the poets in Ghana are doing these days” (9-10). However, he also notices the slight changes of the day such as how Miss Sillwagon “doesn’t even look up my balance” (11-12). The whole day speaks to a state of mind when a person, with whom one is familiar with, dies. The majority of the poem describes a rather normal day, but also shows of emotional decline. I believe the last line “to Mal Waldron and everyone and I stopped breathing” (28) places emphasis on how the loss of someone comes as a sudden impact on an average day.

    • I don’t exactly think that O’Hara wants the reader to replicate anything. He doesn’t seem to have an underlying connection with the reader, it’s more of a poem about him, about the speaker. I think time plays a gargantuan role in the poem since it has to do with death. It doesn’t necessarily have to be time itself but the essence of time, phases, intervals, and especially position. I noticed while reading that in the third stanza there is a big gap between the margin and the first word as if he had tabbed it on Microsoft Word several times. Something that struck me in the poem was the tone. I really could not tell if the speaker was sarcastic or not. Would he really care what the poets in Ghana are doing? Is it some sort of dry humor? His poem seems to be written in the form of a list. He simply lists facts, and I don’t know why he does this exactly. At the end of the poem there is a decline in the mood and tone. Something shifts, and where he says “I stopped breathing” and there is a great deal of loss. It was a very abrupt but important ending.

  • McKay’s referring to America as a “her” is not an unusual concept. But in the case of this poem it does have its strategic advantages. The phrase “motherland” or “mother-country” can often be used to identify one’s homeland or country of background. Since America ended up becoming this bucket of people from mixed European lands and former slaves,…[Read more]

  • In “They shut me up in Prose” we have a self that is reflected through a “they”. The poem itself begins with the words “They shut me up in Prose” which portrays an I in the me and presents us with a “they.” As I re […]

    • I feel like in this case, unlike with Whitman’s poem, the “they” refers to a specific group of people; the narrators teachers who have restricted her creativity throughout her life. Although with this interpretation, Its impossible to derive different voices from the “they” like Whitman’s “I’, we can identify with ourselves the “they” as any people who have restricted out creativity and talent throughout our lives. The “they” in this poem can be identified to anyone’s life as the obstacles that are impeding one from reaching his or her full potential. As for the bird, I think it is just part of an analogy the narrator is attempting to make, showing that her teachers could never have have seen her full potential. The narrator likens the chances of her teachers realizing her talent to the chances that the the police jail “a bird for treason in the pound”; no chance.

    • I really like the idea that the “they” is actually an extension of the persona, and that the persona is choosing to isolate his/herself. I think it makes a lot of sense, especially in light of what we discussed in class about the self in “they shut me up in a box” and the self in “No more then I”, being two different entities. Compared to Whitman, Dickinson is othering the extension of herself, while Whitman seems to confront and invite the extension of himself, referring to is as “you”. In terms of the Bird, I think its unclear how confined the bird actually is, I am not convinced that it does not escape, and does not become the representation of freedom “looking upon and captivity and laugh”.

  • Writing this right after an argument with my parents, I could not help but relate this poem to my personal feelings. The “They” can represent anyone who has pushed her away and held her back from expressing herself. Whether it be her parents (hahaha), her teachers, “friends”, or bullies I feel is irrelevant. The discussion of the importance of the…[Read more]

  • With the accompanying of the first person “I’s” and the constant frustration derived from the ravens nevermore presents a mind that is unstable. In Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” he speaks with a tamed stable voice; he establishes his identity and his views. In “The Raven,” however, the constant repeating of “nevermore” drove the speaker to “[sit]…[Read more]

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