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I was very suprised that Jackson’s Java was a 5 minute drive from my apartment. Upon going I was hesitant at first but I was glad that I went. When Tricia and I went over at 7:30 the coffee shop was just starting to get full of people, particularly of poets and UNCC students. When we first went in I was hit in the face by a strong aroma of coffee, the walls where painted in earth tones that kind of reminded me of a coffee shop back home called Dittio’s which was also a small mom and pop shop. I was suprised by the age of the poets, some of them I recall had to use canes to get on stage. I was half expecting to see my Grandpa up there with them. I liked most of the poems read and it was funny that 2 of the poems that we read they read and they where by Sylvia Plath (the name of the poem excapes me at the momment) and Sex Without Love. I really enjoyed listening to them while sipping on my ice coffee and an oreo cookie cake (which to me tasted like stale marshmallow fluff). One of my favorite poems was about chicks hatching and the other poem was a hikau about Osma’s death both where thought provoking. Again, I was very pleased that I went to the reading, except for the fact that it was just Tricia and I at the reading. When I go home I want to go to more poetry readings because I felt very relaxed and inspired to write poetry in a peaceful setting. Who knows this might be my muse for a creative outlet in the future.

#14- Blog Reflection

I personally thoguth the blogging process was going to be hard at first, because we had to post a blog just about every week. I was able to do them without having a problem. Again I thought the blogging process was very well thought out and I enjoyed doing it. I found that it was eaiser to to the blogging than it was to do actual academic essays. I think it is to do with our journals being one long free write and the grammar didn’t matter where on the other hand, the academic essays where well thought out and required proper grammar. Which is my downside, I can’t write well for academic purposes but I can wirte creative without hesatation. I love to write creative as apposed to critical. That is why I signed up for the poetry class. I enjoyed every minute of it. I particlualry liked the smallness of the class room with only having 8 students at the most each class meeting. That made for better one on one time with the teacher. I really enjoyed that. Another thing that I liked about blogging was being able to show our true “colors” through what we posted and what we wrote. I found that blogging helped me destress and become more focused with the assignments. I also liked how we discussed the 3 poems from the chapters in the book. That helped me with my recent academic essay. Again I really liked the blogging process.

I was really impressed by W.S Merwin last night at Davidson College. He had a lot to say to our generation. One  thing that stood out to me was he kept saying Stop and Listen. To me, I thought that hit home with us because our nation needs to open their eyes and ears to see what is happening around the world. Another thing that I found cool was Merwin doesn’t like to use e-mail or cell phones. To me, I whish I could just stop using my cellphone and computer. I can do that some days but not like Merwin has for a very long time. Another thing that I liked was the mixture of people in the crowd at Davidson College. There where people young and old and there where many poets out in the audience as well. Like Tony Abbot that Harmon pointed out to Tricia, Kristin and I. I thought that was pretty amazing. When Merwin walked out on stage the audience probably clapped for a good 3 minutes. My hands hurt after the first minute. Merwin reminds me of an ideal grandparent with his kind smile, snowy white hair and his gold bi-focals. His voice was pretty soothing as well. He has a calming matter about him and it put me at ease along with our whole poetry class. Merwin read a lot of thought provoking poems including Yesterday (which struck home for me in many many ways) and another favorite of mine was Unwritten. I also liked when he said Poetry is ment to be spoken and he couldn’t of been more right. If we didn’t read it out loud, there wouldn’t be poetry at all. Another thing that I liked about Merwin was that he said every human being has an imagination and to not let it go to waste. Everyone has an creative outlet, mine is baking, sketching and writing and some bird watching thrown into there too. I thought it was heartwarming when he mentioned that his youngest grand child likes to talk to animals. I was like that too when I was a tot. It kept me calm and kept me entertained like books to do me now, not to mention I catch myself talking to Pavel (my parakeet) like as if he where a human. I really really liked seeing Merwin, even though I felt like a fish out of water at Davidson college. It didn’t occur to me that JWU is such a TINY college where Davidson is a HUGE beautiful college and it is very hard to get in compared to JWU. But nontheless I had a great time even though Tricias’s GPS took on a wild goose chase after the reading back to our apartment in University. Merwin is an amazing man.

Journal Entry # 12

To me W.S. Merwin is a great poet. To me, we need more people like him. When I was watching the video of him on youtube I couldn’t help myself but just smile. W.S. Merwin is a small old man with tan skin and snow white hair. He reminds me of somone’s Grandpa. He looks like a very laid back man who enjoys life on lazy day at a time. One of the things that I found interesting about him is, he doesn’t like to e-mail people. He would rather recieve a hand written letter from someone or a call from that person. He likes to have human contact, but the funny thing is he lives with his wife and their dog on Hawaii. How remote can you get? In the video he explains that poetry is always around us. We just need to be creative with how we put it down on paper. W.S. Merwin made a point that the worlds literacy rate is going down faster than when he was growing up. He said he doesn’t write to anyone in his poetry, but just to himself. Every poet is a dreamer and a seer in Merwin’s eyes. We need to educate ourselves on how to think creatively and to take life one lazy day at a time. Upon reading his poem “Yesterday” it reminded me of my Grandpa and his son (my father). They didn’t really have a close relationship growing up and my father mentioned to me that after my Grandpa died in 2007 that he was an alcoholic for most of his life. I knew right then why my Grandpa never attended any family gatherings and he always sounded depressed on the phone and come to think of it he never actually left his condo unless it was out to get more groceries and booze. In Merwin’s poem the speaker talks about how his son is not affectionate towards his father, he just ignores him and goes on with his life. The speakers son takes life for granted each day when he doesn’t see his father every week. But for my Grandpa it was just the oppsite, he was the one who closed himself up in his condo and it was my father who begged him to come out to our family gatherings. I remember it was almost like pulling teeth to get his ass out of that chair in his living room. Merwin tought a lesson in his poem by saying to the reader to not take life for granted and to cherish every hour of every day that you have with your family. Because who knows, they might not be there the next day. I am very thankful that I a have a very close relationship with my parents. The relationship with me sister is another story to blog about.

America’s Becoming

 

What Happened to the American Dream?

 

Where is the picture perfect family?

The house with the white picket fence?

The two well behaved smiling children?

The family dog wagging its tail?

The working husband?

The stay at home wife?

What Happened to the  American Dream?

Today’s  America is ran on Sex, Drugs and Lies

Today’s children are exposed to a toxic culture

Girls are faced with self- esteem issues

Boys are being taught that it’s ok to slap a girl across their pretty face

What happened to this so-called “responsibility?”

It’s been lost

Forgotten about

Dismissed

Swept under the carpet

What happened to the American Dream?

We have children and families, who are starving,

Seniors working at Wal-Mart  just to make ends meet,

Our Government is falling apart at the seams like a delicate flower with its petals being ferociously plucked by greasy oil snakes hungry for American Money

What happened to the American Dream?

 

What happened to this so-called “Humanity?”

Have we forgotten where we come from?

Our values have been washed away by the brain-washing media

Telling us to buy, buy, buy

Rarely does the media show the war in Iraq

                With our men and women dying behind the lines

What if that was you behind those lines? What would you do?

America needs to wake up from its deep slumber

Get back on its feet

And start focusing on what really matters like

Education,

Food,

Shelter,

Caring for other people less unfortunate

America needs a hero

Where are they?

I’ll give you a hint… it starts with YOURSELF  to get off your lazy ass

And DO something that would get the world moving

It doesn’t matter if you piss people off

At least you made someone THINK

Stand up even if your VOICE shakes

Journal Entry # 11

Poem #1  Directions for Resisting the SAT (Pg. 278) By: Richard Hague (B. 1947)

  • Don’t listen
  • Rebel
  • Go down with your own ship
  • SAT
  • Don’t give into peer pressure

Poem#2 Alzheimer’s (Pg. 208) By: Kelly Cherry (B. 1940)

  • Old Man
  • England
  • Childish
  • Never forget where you come from

Poem#3 Overalls (Pg. 288) By: Robert Morgan (B. 1944)

  • Overalls
  • Babylike
  • Imagery
  • Older man
  • War

Response:

First off, I would like to say that open form is one of my favorite types of poetry. Why you ask? Because there are no rules to follow. All of your work is your own, you are not following someones rules about iambic pentamiter or writing about a God that you have no clue what they are. In open form YOU are the author and YOU get to do poetry the way you want to do, not from someone who told y0u how to write and when. That is why I like open form so much, it’s because you get to do what you want when you want and no one can tell you wrong, als0 I think open form is more forgiving than others too when you mess up a line or something, you can just say: “It gives your poem character.” The first poem that I chose was by Richard Hague “Directions for Resisting the SAT”. I particularly liked this poem because he is giving advice on how to take the SAT and to not listen to other people fret over on comma or history. He is telling the reader to lie about numbers, go down with the ship. Again, he is telling the reader to say F you to our society and go marching to their seperate drum and to not care about what others think and to believe you can achieve anything as long as you put your mind to it and no one can tell you no or force you to take the SAT test. To me, the SAT test is a load of bull, but that’s just my opinion.  The second poem that I chose was “Alzheimer’s” by Kelly Cherry. To me this poem hit home because I know too many people whose family members are suffering from this horrible disease. The speaker talks about the brief case that the old man carries and it has the few things that he owns, like the piggy bank and shaving cream.  They are memory triggers. The saddest thing about this poem is he can’t remember who is wife is and to me that is absolutly heartbreaking.  The third poem that I chose was by Robert Morgan “Overalls”, the speaker is talking about a man wearing overalls in the time of war. But the way the speaker tells the reader he describes that the men wearing overalls look like babies.  The man is a mechanic during war time.

Journal #10

Poem #1  I will put Choas into fourteen lines (Pg. 249) By: Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

  • Long Stanza
  • Haterd for a man
  • Spoken quickly
  • Sonnet
  • Personification

Poem #2 The Purpose of Time Is to Prevent Everything from Happening at Once (pg. 252) by X. J. Kennedy (B. 1929)

  • Life
  • Sonnet
  • Octave Manage
  • Open Form
  • Einstein

Poem #3 All- American Sestina (Pg. 256) By Florence Cassen Mayers (B. 1940)

  • America
  • One word
  • Powerful
  • Short

 

Response:

I really liked Millay’s “I will put Choas into fourteen lines.” Because the sonnet was very head strong. The way her poem was set up was to say it all in one breath. To me she had an extreme hatred towards a fellow man. Maybe because he raped her? She was very vivid with her word choices and she used high diction to get her point accross. To me also, this sounds like she is trying to get revenge on someone by stabbing them in their back and watching them shrivel up into a thing of muscle. I also liked X. J. Kennedy’s poem “The Purpose of Time Is to Prevent Everything from Happening at Once.” Kennedy used a lot of very vivid imagery to get his point accross about life moves too quickly. He is trying to tell the audience to take a breath and slow down because everything you do can be over in a blink of an eye. I learned from a very early age to appreicate of what I have and to take everything one step at a time. In Florence Cassen Mayers “All-American Sestina” he talks about America in two word stanzas that stand out to the reader and they create a very powerful image of our nation today. I liked how he used slang terms to descirbe America.

Journal #9

Poem #1 When I was one-and-twenty (Pg. 227) By: A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

  • Advice to younger people
  • Rhyme scheme
  • Older man
  • Wise Man

Poem #2 Fox Trot Fridays (Pg. 228) By: Rita Dove (B. 1952)

  • Fox Trot
  • Letting go
  • Smooth
  • 1,2,3 Step
  • Quick
  • Paradise

Poem#3 Tornados (Pg. 239) By: Thylias Moss (B. 1954)

  • Hair style
  • Envy
  • Weather
  • Internal Rhyme Scheme
  • Sarcastic
  • Older lady

Response: 

I liked A. E. Housman’s poem “When I was one-and twenty” because I could picture an older gentalmen sitting on his rocker out on the front pourch talking to his grand kids. He could be giving them advice about love and life. I can remember my own Grandpa (my fathers dad) giving me advice on school and boys, but he would be very crass about it, so I would think of him as telling a joke to me rather than giving me advice on school and boys. The man in the poem gives advice on love and life. Be careful of who you love and don’t take life too seriously, live in the moment.  That kind of advice I can live with and it can make our lives better if we lived in the momment rather than years from now regretting what we did in our younger years.  I also liked “Fox Trot Fridays” by Rita Dove because the poem was smooth just like the fox trot you would find in a ballroom class. The poem is about letting go and just dancing until your heart is content. The rythm for a fox trot is 1,2,3,4 1,2,3,4 ; it is very quick and smooth. With one mistep your partner can be on the floor in pain. I know this because for my first date he took me to his ballroom class and he tried to teach me the fox trot. Did I get it? No, because I have two left feet and I have not rythm at all. But it doesn’t hurt to try though, because you might like it even though you can’t dance your way out of a wet paper bag.  The third poem that I really like is “Tornados” by Thylias Moss, at first I thought it was about a real tornado but upon reading the poem again it is about the “bee hive” hair style back from the 1950’s like the ones you would see from the movie Hair Spray.

I was skeptical

…at first

About trying

real southern BBQ

I was used to eating

          Charred hamburgers, dry chicken breast and over done hotdogs

(You can tell I had a fond childhood memory of not- so- tasty BBQ’s)

Walking up to Gary’s BBQ

I was greeted by a white bulding

with red and white metal awnings and

a giant aged Coke a Cola sign sprawled on the side

Walking through the door

I was met with a  vinegar aroma

Making my empty stomach churn with anticipation

The hostess greeted us,

We followed her to our table

In the back

Sitting down

I felt like we where exciled from the rest of

the customers

Looking at the menu

There was an array

Of mouthwatering items, making my tummy

Yet again, Grumble

Hung on the walls whre

antique signs selling

Soda, Bread and Tobacco

On one wall….way at the top

Bright pink neon pigs where lit up

Marching in a singular line

There was music being piped in through the Speakers

(A,B,C is easy as 1,2,3 Baby why don’t you come with me girl.)

The waitress glided

To the table and took our orders

Before I knew it

The food was in front of us

Sweet Pulled Pork,

Peppery Red Slaw,

Enormus Crunchy Hush Puppies,

Iced Cheerwine,

All served on 2 cardboard trays

With parchment paper to catch the delicious juices

Smell of food woke up my tastbuds

The first bite was pure

pleasure……sweet, smokey, peppery

( I’ve never had pork this good before)

I ate and I ate

Before I knew

I was waving

The white flag of

Defeat

“This is real BBQ”

Journal #8

Poem #1 A Bird came down the Walk- (Pg. 190) By: Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

  • Black Bird on the side walk
  • Personification
  • Feel sorry for the worm being eaten
  • Polite Bird
  • Summer?
  • Imagery

Poem #2 Blackberry Eating (Pg. 194) By: Galway Kinnell

  • Imagery
  • Blackberries
  • September
  • Taste

Poem #3 Restaurant (Pg. 208) By: Maxine Hong Kingston (B.1940)

  • Noise
  • Restaurant
  • Imagery
  • Homeless?

Response:

I really liked Emily Dickenson’s “A Bird came down the Walk-” because she used a lot of imagery and sound. As I was reading her poem I kept imagening what the bird looked like. I thought of the bird being a small black bird because of the line” He glanced with rapid eyes.” To me, when I look at birds they look cautious and they look like they might fly away at the drop of a hat because they spooke easily. I should know because I own a parakeet and the slightest noise can set them off flying or sreeching. I particularly liked how Emily described the bird eating the worm. She gave the bird a personification of being someone who is cautious with their surroundings. I also liked how she described the bird too with the line ” He stirred his Velvet Head.” I think the reason why she captialized the “V” and “H” because she wanted to draw attention to what the bird looked liked. In the poem “Blackberry Eating” by Galway Kinnell, it almost made me want to go out and get blackberries and eat them with the way he descirbed them. And blackberries are one of my favorite fruits to eat next to fresh raspberries and strawberries. In the poem he describes being in the gorcery store or maybe it was a farmers market. With the way he described them it made my mouth water, just thinking about eating the berries with vanilla ice cream and a caramel sauce. In “Restaurant” by Maxine Hong Kingston she describes what goes on in the kitchen by using imagery and sounds. I work in a kitchen back home and reading her poem made me think of it. In the poem the people are making quiches and I particularly hate quiches because they can be a fuss to make and I had to make over 300 one summer and it was not a pretty site. I remember that I was covered in flour before the nights end. My boss still talks about it to her new employees about keeping a clean uniform.

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