Posts Tagged ‘tall ginger kid’

Isun’s Bridge to the Blog (Late)

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Based off of the queries in class as to why these three stones were named by H.D., I decided to look them up and see what superstitions, powers, and/or myths were associated with them.

Onyx – Onyx was very popular with the Romans and Greeks, and anything that is popular in the classical world had a myth created to explain its existence. Onyx is not apart from this tradition. It is said that Cupid once cut Venus’ nails with one of his arrow heads while she was sleeping, and littered them across the sand of the Earth. The fates, seeing this, turned the nail clippings into stone so that they would not lose their divine quality. The name itself comes from the Greek word for claw or fingernail. It was also a material heavily used in Egypt for creating pottery and in Greece for making cameos and the like.

Onyx also is one of the founational materials in John of Patmos’ vision of New Jerusalem in the apocolyptic text of the Book of Revelation. There are twelve gates into the city, there are twelve materials used in the building of the city – jasper is the first material mentioned (I’m saying this because she speaks of her walls maybe being built of jasper), and onyx is the fifth. In newer translations, however, the fifth is agate, and onyx is not mentioned… Interesting, huh? Who knew stones were important in the Bible? (Answer: Not me. Sorry. I’m quite ignorant on the whole matter, hopefully to be fixed over the summer!)

Another fun fact about New Jerusalem – there is a New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ on Moravia Street in New Castle Pennsylvania. I found this from trying to see if New Jerusalem was at all important in the Moravian sect. Then again, it kind of fits even if it isn’t something that may have been emphasized in H.D.’s religion. A post-apocolyptic city that comes down after crises (“end times”) with walls made of jewels – jasper, onyx, agate, sapphires, emeralds… with walls that will not fall. A sacred, heavenly place.

Opal – While the etymology of the word is debatable, “Opal” seems to have come from either one of few places. The first would be a namesake of Ops, the wife of Saturn and a goddess of fertility. The widely celebrated Saturnalia festival (celebrated around modern-day Christmas way back when) had an Opalia built into it to celebrate Ops. There are two other potential origins – the word for “seeing” (like where we get opaque from) and the word for “other”(as in an “alias” or an “alter” to vageuly synonymize). In Russian superstition, Opal does indeed represent the evil eye like was mentioned in class by Kristen(sp?). But, it was also associated with luck and bringing luck because of its many colors during the Middle Ages.

Obsidian – This stone can be found wherever there have been volcanic eruptions, generally. It is easily shaped, carved, and very sharp; it is common to find obsidian arrow heads, plates, etc. from the past. The material is even used to make scalpels today. Obsidian would also be used to make amulets and talsimans from – they were believed to keep away negativity. Obsidian can lessen stress, suppress aggression, and protect from mischeif; more specifically, it protects from the “evil eye” (I know, right?). The material was considered very strongly protective of women, especially.

Based on all these things, I believe H.D. put a great deal of effort into this single line (she seems to have put a great deal of effort into every line, actually). Materials that can be alchemized, precious stones, multi-colored, protective, evil, volcanic, and/or apocolyptic, they all have some relationship to what is really going on in the poem. Every time I read another lyric from this book I’m more and more in shock and awe of how much I’m reading in a single page.

Scoobeedoopadiddilydeebadoobadeebabebopmop

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

A couple things: I am really excited to focus more on the poem and what’s on the page in in our reading of Hughes as opposed to the genre theory and macro analysis of the Long Poem. I know the cloud analysis is important, but I really like looking at what the landscape is doing to so I’m super ready for that 🙂

Secondly, I wanted to say a bit about why I read Dream Boogie the way I did. I already explained the optimistic spin on it, but this is about why I read it at a quicker pace. It has to do with the voices that I said I heard in this poette (poette? a smaller poem that is part of a bigger poem? I just made it up… but I think I like it. So yes, poette). — Something I learned doing the musical last semester, is that people fight for the right to talk. Even if you are having a conversation with your closest friend and you aren’t clamoring to interrupt each other, you still have a response to what your friend is saying and are waiting to say it. As soon as your friend is done talking, don’t you jump right in and speak your piece? (Unless, of course, you generally take longer to think about what you’re going to say, but I think you understand where I’m going with this.) That’s how Professor Stull would tell us to talk to one another on stage – there are no lulls, there is action. People want to be heard.

I believe this can be tied into the way I see the “titles” of the poettes, too. Motivic in function, but sequential(?) in an inner-ear understanding of things… at least to me. Different topics, ideas, or thoughts, all trying to follow as soon as possible the topic, idea, or thought that came before it.

I also want to post later about titles I like, and to shed some light on the meaning of certain things that I don’t believe are common knowledge – jargon and this and that – to see if I can help, even if it’s just a surface definition of things. BUT, for now that’s all I have time for… I’m very excited to spend time on this poem! 🙂

Unreal City

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

In the mentions of the Unreal City… the first time, the line directly afterwards puts the city at dawn. … the second time, the line directly afterwards puts the city at noon. … the final time, “Unreal City” comes after a list of famous ancient cities, however about ten lines later there is mention of moonlight.

Does this remind anybody else of that riddle, “What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?”

Another part that reminds me of this riddle are lines 28-9: “Your shadow at morning striding behind you / Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;” Could the Unreal City just be all the world that has come before us? There is a painting that this reminds me of, although I can’t remember what it was called and I can’t find it online… So, I’m going to ask one of my old Governor’s school teachers for the name of it and I’ll try and upload it soon. Anyway… Food for thought that I’ve been chewing on for some time now… food I can’t quite figure out!

A Game of Chess

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

I think the view of women in this poem is something to be paid attention to, and this is something I did not get a chance to focus on last Thursday, but something I think is important. Just as a starting point – in the section A Game of Chess, there are three specific allusions to powerful and intelligent women made weak and essentially destroyed due to men. More specifically, these women were torn apart because of their determination to not give themselves wholly to their mens’ missions or to not just be a pawn in their mens’ games of chess…

Beginning with Cleopatra – intelligent woman, relationships with strong men, and independently powerful. She ruled Egypt, you guys. EGYPT. She also committed suicide when she realized she could no longer protect her kingdom from Rome through her seduction of men. Let’s face it – she seduced Caesar, Antony, and when she could not seduce Octavian, she knew her time as ruler was gone and she, supposedly, poisoned herself. Leaving behind her son to be executed and her kingdom made subservient. Woman destroyed in position of power because she was a demigod – but she still could not make it cohere. Lesson: Woman should not be in power? Maybe. Woman should bow down to their male superiors? Perhaps. Woman is incapable of honesty? Hm.

Then Dido, Queen of Carthage. Powerful, supposedly beautiful, strong. Queen of the people that would grow to fight Rome in three different wars. And yet, commits suicide when a man leaves her. She wants him back – she doesn’t fully support him leaving and in her protest of this grieves and kills herself, leaving her queendom without a queen. Lesson: Woman is weak? Maybe. Woman should be subordinate to man’s wishes? Perhaps. Woman should not be in power? Hm.

Philomel, Queen of the King Tereus. Tereus who rapes her sister, Procne, and cuts out Procne’s tongue so that she may never speak of this ill doing. Procne weaves a tapestry telling the story of what happened to her and the sisters team up to get revenge. They kill Itys, Philomel and Tereus’ son, and proceed to cook him in a stew (but they keep his head seperate). They feed this stew to Tereus and after he is done, they show him Itys’ head. He chases them out of the house and the two sisters are changed into birds by the gods, one a nightingale and the other a swallow. Philomel is the nightingale referenced by “Jug Jug”. Lesson: Woman should be blindly subservient to men? Maybe. Woman should not seek revenge? Perhaps. Woman should not be in power? Hm.

These women were intelligent queens. They could be vicious, seductive, and manipulative. They seeked some sort of revenge be it their own tragic death or someone else’s. But in all of these cases, they did not die to protect their king. They did not die fully supporting the decisions that the men made around them. They died fighting in the ways they knew how and in the ways history has given them – one way or another.

And isn’t it so, that in chess, the queen is the most important piece? The fighter, the defender, the offense, the protector… her entire job is to serve the king. I know we talked about the premise of the play that the line is a reference to… but nevertheless.

Just a thought.

And now, just a question: What are you trying to say, Eliot?

“Sloppy is a beautiful reader of a newspaper”

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Come on, Lorentzenites, explain this post title.

In class I mentioned quickly at the end that I had found a website from the University of Toronto that is using digital technology to analyze the voice(s) of The Waste Land.  The site has clear info about its approach, and you can see how the class identified the voices, can see the results of their computer algorithm (what?! crazy idea) and can even identify and name the voice(s) yourself.  It’s interesting to poke around on, but this last feature is my true interest and I’d love to see any of you who are interested have a go at it.  If you do it, annotate your own text also so you can share with us (I’m especially curious about the “naming” aspect).  Might be fun to do with a classmate or friend also.

Concept/Vocabulary List from Keller: A Summary in Fragments

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

All of the following are quotations or ideas from Keller’s “The Twentieth-Century Long Poem.”  Feel free to add, comment, annotate, question.

“desire to reclaim for poetry the range and significance it had ceded to the novel”

“reach beyond the inward perspective of the postromantic lyric to include sociological, anthropological and […] historical material”

“collage epics”

“lyric sequences”

“poetic meditations”

“continuous verse narratives”

“cinematic montage”

“musical form”

“Indeed, the lack of restrictive generic conventions is crucial to the identity and coherence of the long poem.”

fragmentation—coherence

“poem-as-process” can “incorporate private and public statement, individual self-construction and communal identity, social criticism and nationalistic celebration, epic breadth and lyric intensity”

Juxtaposition “without connective material”

“reinterpret inherited myths”

“symbolic patterns”

multivocality

“epistolary, dramatic, and essayistic forms”

“lines developing with apparent spontaneity in response to immediate apprehension and […] extended forms with no predetermined shape”

“the hero […] is in part the poet himself and in part a mythicized aggrandizement”

“didactic intellectual exploration”

quest

“lyrics can accumulate without any fixed end”

“diary or notebooklike forms”

“meditative, apolitical uses of the long poem to record acts of the mind”

“experimental vehicles”

“revived interest in narrative”

“incorporation of found documents”

“the tendency toward change essential to the American long poem’s paradoxical tradition of innovation”

“revisionary mythmaking”

“fusing its predominantly Anglo-American traditions with forms and languages distinct to particular minority cultures”

“arbitrary structuring systems” and “nondiscursive patterns”

“a liberating mixture of genres”

More Cow Bell!

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

This semester is my first in the Music History sequence as part of my Music Major here, and something that was focused on in our Grout was how citizens of the classical world believed that music and poetry were essentially the same thing. A piece of performance art was not generally complete without music, text, and dance. Recitals for solo instruments existed as well, but true entertainment to be appreciated was multifaceted and comprehensive in the arts.

So, when I first began reading with the care that one usually has when first starting a text, I paid a lot of attention to rhythm and musicality. I marked a few lines for their vowel lengths, and others for their stress/emphasis. But I also established that I would never finish this poem in any decent amount of time with that much attention, so I stopped (I will go back, though. The human brain functions on and in patterns, and I’m determined to figure out Walt’s.) and from there, certain lines stood out to me. I really want to focus on just one today, though, and it’s the one I spoke about in class.

This line still warms up my ears just reading it or replaying it in my head, I just love it so much. Line 77 (pg 10):

“Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice.”

The repetition of the “l”s in the first five words, tapping against the back of your teeth? It reminds me of the first lines of Nabakov’s Lolita, “Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.” Yum, right?

Then, you’ve got your “the hum of”. Mph. It is as if the line is just telling you to take your time, really “lull” yourself into it – the hummm of. And did you notice that the “v” of “of” sets you right up for “valved” two words later? I’m not saying Whitman did all of this on purpose, but isn’t it nice when you’ve got a musician or a poet improvising (because isn’t that generally how anything that needs to be created is created in the first place?) and whatever they create just ends up perfectly pleasing (or not pleasing)?

The way he keeps this line right on the tip of your tongue, moving towards your lips every few words is just artful in my opinion. And the “v”s. Really? Is it weird how much I love this? It just feels so good in my mouth! It’s a warm line.

So… that was me “fan-girling” over a single line of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”.