35 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2015
    1. Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstacies! gone down the American river!

      Mixing drugs and religious/spiritual experiences. But I wonder if he means the literal American river in California or if it is a metaphorical river. Like, this stream where all things American just whoosh on down someplace.

    2. Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!

      Interesting. The boys sob in the armies while the old men weep in the park, but shouldn't it be the other way around? Don't boys belong in the park and men in the army? I wonder what Ginsberg is trying to say here. A comment on how warped society is?

    3. floating

      Another drug reference?

    4. angry fix

      to just say "... looking for a fix" would have worked well, I believe, but to say "angry fix" creates a sense of urgency and desperate and violent need for the drugs.

    5. starving hysterical naked

      I find the lack of punctuation here interesting, and I question why Ginsberg wouldn't separate the three.

  2. Oct 2015
    1. He did a lazy sway . . . He did a lazy sway . . .

      I wonder if the repetition is to give life to the "sway"? A kind of back and forth, maybe?

    2. Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore— And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over— like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?

      I like the juxtaposition: the optimism / pessimism; the either-or. With the title, it feels like Harlem during this time could either make a person or break them.

    1. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. Winter kept us warm, covering          5 Earth in forgetful snow, feeding A little life with dried tubers. Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade, And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,   10 And drank coffee, and talked for an hour. Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.

      Image Description In the poem, “The Wasteland,” T.S. Eliot wastes no time in creating imagery of the fragmented / ruins. Just the very form it is written in fragments the poem as a whole. Eliot mixes the motif of the fragmented with the ruined, and the first instance of the ruin in the piece comes from section I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD. Burials and death are both forms of physical destruction or disintegration, and Eliot sets the tone for the beginning of the poem with this theme.

      Death is fragmented in the sense of its decomposition. In the second line: “Lilacs out of the dead land,” Eliot continues the theme of ruins by juxtaposing life and Nature with death. The land is dead, fragmented, and ruined.

      “Memory and desire,” he says in the third line. Memories are a fragmentation of the past, and desire can often end in ruins. Image Description

      Eliot continues the motif of the fragmented in that stanza, but he switches from nature and life and death to a fragment in the language with the shift from English to German: “Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.” This translates to "I am not Russian at all; I come from Lithuania, a true German." The line suggests the woman can identify herself racially, and socially, but not spiritually, and there lies more fragmentation within the individual. There is also a doubleness or double consciousness that was presented in the reading by Du Bois. Although composed or influenced by different cultures, the fragment comes with not having just one identity.

    1. This young poet’s home is, I believe, a fairly typical home of the colored middle class.

      I wonder if only "colored" middle class african-americans can be poets because they're educated or can read and write as opposed to the poor african-americans?

    2. unconsciously a symbol of all virtues

      I find it interesting that Langston Hughes uses the word "unconsciously," here. A lot of what we talked about with De Bois dealt with double-consciousness, and Hughes very much as the same tone.

    1. When I count, there are only you and I together But when I look ahead up the white road There is always another one walking beside you


    2. gardens
    3. Death by Water
    4. Nothing?

      "Nothing" seems to be referred to as a noun in this stanza. Could that be unnatural?

    5. we stopped in the colonnade, And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten, And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.

      who's we? the cousin?

    6. brown fog

      why is the fog brown? Is it because of the pollution from the city?

    1. Humming does as

      There is no period here. This was the only line without a period. why, Gertrude, why?!

    2. I am not missing. Who is a permit.

      The punctuation of the poem is interesting. I wonder why the period after every line? How common is this in poetry?

  3. Sep 2015
    1. No one to witness and adjust

      I wonder if this is about God? A comment on the lack of a higher power, maybe?

    2. bathed in filth from Monday to Saturday

      Sunday is excluded. Could this be because it is the Christian day of rest and worship? Maybe those who attend mass or a service of some sort are "washed" of their sin?

    3. throw up a girl so desolate so hemmed round with disease or murder

      I wonder if this is a reference to the genocide of the Natives in America? In the last line of the previous stanza Carlos Williams says "Indian blood," but I thought Eastern Indian. Now I'm thinking Native American / Indian.

    1. I doubted if I should ever come back

      What did he have to come back to?

    2. perhaps the better claim

      how did he determine this was the better claim?

    1. Spoon River

      I looked up Spoon River, and apparently it's a river in Illinois which gave its name to a fictional town in an Anthology written by the guy who wrote this poem.

    2. you

      who could "you" be? is the narrator referring to a specific person or the reader in general?

    1. He laughs at me so about this wall-paper!

      The wallpaper feels like a reference / metaphor for her illness, so by having the sentence start off with "he laughs at me..." seems to go along with what everyone else is saying about John being patriarchal and critical of her illness. John says they lease the house for her; it's an attempt to cure her, but his kindness and treatment doesn't feel genuine.

    2. securely fastened now by my well-hidden rope

      She is still tied down by her anxieties and illness, but she's managed to hide them well enough to seem cured, or back to normal.

    3. There are only two more days to get this paper off,

      By "get this paper off," I think she means to become "cured."

    1. co-worker in the kingdom of culture

      I LOVE this phrase. The use of co-worker in this line reads rather harsh and coldly. Co-workers can be great friends and have fun, but this specific usage implies (to me anyway) that it's simply a job, a matter of clocking in and out, and that's it. There's no commodore that co-workers can share.

    2. say

      I find it interesting that he uses "they say" as opposed to "they ask." Could this imply that "how does it feel to be a problem?" is more of a statement instead of an actual question; as if they don't actually care, they're just putting it out there?

  4. Aug 2015
    1. fecund

      "Fecund" - able to produce many babies, animals, or plants.

    2. Great men before great monuments express great truths, provided they are not taken too solemnly.

      I think there is truth to this. Monuments are created by men, but like the monuments, men too were built and shaped by other forces.

    1. They Lion grow

      I kept reading this as "they lie and grow," but I don't see how or why that'd work in this piece; can anything grow from 'black bean and wet slate bread' or 'Acids of rage, the candor of tar...'? And if it does, nothing good can come from it. We learn the 'lion' grows, regardless of what its being fed, but I wonder why - is it for the sake of having something over nothing..?