• I like the idea you presented about “Buried” discussing a protest of having to bury children. When i read the poem i was not sure whether it was this or his job is a grave digger. Whichever it is, the idea of it causing PTSD is strong in this poem, especially with the rhythmic, thoughtless process of digging just done mechanically. Also, i did not…[Read more]

  • This poem may communicate something to the advanced reader, but i see nothing. I tried finding some deeper connection, like the fountain and the girl in the excerpt, but it is hard. I found that the poem flowed a little more read backwards, but still no meaning. This could be what Perelman wanted, for the reader to have to work for a meaning. This…[Read more]

  • 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…[Read more]

  • I agree with your observation that her father was oppresive and cruel towards her. The Hitler connection is definitely there, and she also compares him to a devil multiple times in the poem. Her father died when she was young, ‘I was ten when they buried you,’ (Daddy) and he caused all of this pain that stuck with her afterwards. Even though the…[Read more]

  • 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…[Read more]

  • I agree that this poem views the racial tension in a positive light. The speaker seems confident that although today he has to be excused to the kitchen, tomorrow it will be different. There is no uncertainty in this bright future, it is a statement of his confidence in himself and his people. Furthermore, the first and last line show how positive…[Read more]

  • As with everyone else who read this poem, the repetition confused me and left me dumbfounded about the meaning she was trying to express. I like the four words that Marc has pointed out “Napoleon, King, First, and He.” These few words amongst all the others i think help bring out the point Marc was making, Stein is comparing Picasso to Napoleon. I…[Read more]

  • I like the idea of the speaker being crazy, it is an interesting interpretation. I interpreted this poem as someone who is actually at a funeral. I felt that the sadness made the speaker space out so that her body is there but her mind is drifting, as students we know this experience well. All of the sensory ideas she refers to are her senses…[Read more]

  • The poem I have chosen to break down my confusion about is “They shut me up in Prose.” In this title alone we see an interesting use of capitalization and word choice. The ‘they’ is capitalized as the first word of […]

    • 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 prose writing and has become a “star” in the world of American poetry.

    • In response to Steven’s question, who are “they,” I would think that Dickinson is referring to the general public, the people who read her poems. I don’t know her background, or how her poems were received, but perhaps she was shunned or scorned for her poetry at some point. This poem is her reaction to her readers, and she is telling them that she feels constricted for no good reason. As Steven wrote, “nobody would think that a bird would commit a crime, especially treason.” Dickinson seems to be comparing herself to this bird and saying that if you think about it, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with her writing poetry, and she shouldn’t feel shut up with prose.

    • 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 first stanza, “Because they liked me ‘still’,” to be a memory she had of her parents once saying something along the lines of, “Even though we are punishing you, we still love you.” The next stanza shows her frustration with them. I think she feels that her parents believe that there is something wrong with her behaviorally, and the line “Could themself have peeped— and seen my Brain- go round-“ is her plea to them, trying to tell them that she is a good child and is undeserving of their punishments, which she compares to a pound. However, the last stanza confuses me as I am unsure of what it means and why it seems to have an abrupt ending.

    • Marc replied 6 years ago

      Personally, I see the “they” in this poem as the narrator’s teachers throughout her life, beginning from when she was “a little girl”. She feels trapped by these traditional teachers and describes herself as being “put in the Closet”. Her poetic creativity always has been limited because of her teachers’ view of what she should be taught and involve herself with, as her teachers clearly lack an appreciation of creativity. All in all, in my opinion, the narrator seems to feel somewhat regretful that she had not been paired with teachers who could appreciate her talent and even enhance her creative abilities.

    • 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 bird in the poem, however, is quite ambiguous and that’s reflected above me. I agree with Rachel on her saying that birds aren’t associated “with captivity.” However, the bird doesn’t have to be held captive. It can just be an outcast, a lone bird who is away from its flock. A lone bird that can be seen walking the streets of the city looking as lost as myself. “They” don’t have to be the ones that force her to be quiet, “They” can just not exist and in return give her no reason to express herself. I get a sense of sadness and also a sense of a confined freedom. A freedom that is not so free because it cannot be shared.

  • First, I would like to say how this poem reminds me of the beginning of the movie “Strangers.” Similarly to the movie, we do not know why the Raven is there. That is the first problem in the poem, who or what does […]

    • 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, which represents intelligence. Clearly with all the references the narrator makes from Seraphin to Night’s Plutonian, it can be seen he is an intelligent man. He seems to be a reader based on line 12 and perhaps thinks the Raven sitting on a bust of Pallas is a quite appropriate depiction of him. At the same time, he is lonely, missing his dear Lenore. He finally sees that alcohol isn’t the answer to his problems and accepts the fact that “nevermore” will he see his love again.

    • 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 reference to the Judeo- Christian God using words like Seraphim (80), prophet (85), Tempter (86), and Aidenn (93). To attempt to answer Steven’s first question, I believe, based off of all the mention of various gods and biblical references, that the Raven may be a godly sign or message for the narrator and as we see many times throughout the poem, his dilemma is in how to interpret it.

    • Marc replied 6 years ago

      In my opinion, the Raven is part of the narrators dream, since the setting of the poem takes place in the narrators chamber. It seems to me that the narrator has unknowingly fallen asleep and is experiencing an introspective type of dream where the Raven is used as a tool for his thoughts and feelings repressed in his conscience. The narrator even acknowledges himself in line 60 that “no living human being ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door”, however instead of recognizing the situation as fantastical, he takes it for granted as almost all off us do when we are dreaming. While the Raven, which I interpret as his own conscience, does not say much at all, it serves almost as a person who the narrator can open up to, about the death of his loved one, Lenore.

    • Steven asks if the raven represents death, Lenore, Poe’s imagination, or something else. Although there are references to alcohol and hallucinations in the poem, I think the raven is an actual, physical raven that lands in Poe’s house. The fact that he’s alone in his chamber late at night causes a natural fear of unknown noises. Ravens, like parrots, are birds that mimic people. This raven happened to know only one word, “nevermore,” and Poe’s overactive imagination leads him to lend credence and importance to this one word that the raven keeps repeating. Poe himself admits that “caught from some unhappy master…” (75), this bird must only know this one word. I think that given the state of panic that Poe was in, if the raven had only known the word “cookie,” Poe would have driven himself into a frenzy as well.

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