38 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2015
    1. last furnished room emptied down to the last piece of mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted on a wire hanger on the closet, and even that imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little bit of hallucination

      This reminds me of something Dumbledore tells Harry Potter in The Deathly Hallows, “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

      Which concludes the point that mental representations can be more powerful than physical representations of events. That these roman candles are more justified in their hallucinations than of the "sane public"

    2. I’m with you in Rockland where fifty more shocks will never return your soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a cross in the void

      These artists, with their crazed minds, search for the mortal necessities and higher truths and thus were considered mentally unstable in society of that era. The subjects families and possibly the state condemned them to mental facilities where electro-shock therapy was a common treatment. However Ginsberg says that shocks make the metaphysical journey the artists already make becomes the permanent residence for their souls. In this light, could Ginsberg be claiming that in this state, the subject has elevated to supreme understanding and thus in a better position?

    3. Blake-light

      I think Ginsberg is referencing the Romantic poet and artist, William Blake who wrote poems about the dualistic elements of life. Songs of innocence and Songs of Experience. Nothing can be true without it's opposite counterpart.

    4. who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after night with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls,

      Fire and turpentine are destructive elements but are described as something of "paradise" and they fulfill the "dreams" of the subjects. It could also be described through the motif the beautiful and the sublime. The subjects search the vastness of life with the beautiful drugs, alcohol and experiences.

    5. El and saw Mohammedan angels

      "El" is the hebrew word for God, and "Mohammedan angels" is reference to the prophet Muhammed of Islam.

      The poor bear their brains to the heavens, but gain no solace from either form of religion.

    1. the new forces were anarchical, and especially that he was not responsible for the new rays, that were little short of parricidal in their wicked spirit towards science.

      Adams compares the new technology, dynamos, as divine because how incomprehensible they were for even the most accomplished scientists. His quest to unravel its mysteries almost seems like quest for something as weighted as the holy grail.

  2. Oct 2015
    1. Rome.”

      Rome is a city in Georgia yes, but it is also the site of the Vatican in Italy. The references to Catholicism are profound, as one of the characters is St. Peter and another, the Devil. There are references to the Church Steeple and Slim saying, "Lawd, Lawd Lawd".

      I wondered if the purpose was to show an empty belief in God because with overwhelming evidence of hardship and evil surrounding the black community.

    2. “Reserved for whites only” You laugh. One thing they cannot prohibit — The strong men . . . coming on The strong men gittin’ stronger.

      The double consciousness is apparent and also seems to be the driving force of growth out of discrimination. It rightfully angers Brown, but gives him faith that his people will progress to a position of power.

      This section also resembles Hughes' poem "I, Too, Sing America" when the whites tell the speaker to leave. The speaker "laughs". The laugh seems to be a way to cope in the moment or is it foresight to what they have faith will happen?

      They will grow, without permission, without control.

    3. Dey comes to hear Ma Rainey from de little river settlements, From blackbottorn cornrows and from lumber camps; Dey stumble in de hall, jes a-laughin’ an’ a-cacklin’, Cheerin’ lak roarin’ water, lak wind in river swamps.

      Sterling Brown depicts the poorer community of the African American population much like Hughes describes them, "But then there are the low-down folks, the so-called common element, and they are the majority—may the Lord be praised!"

      They live by the riverand use it of a natural resource, free from any gas or electric company. They aren't playing the "white man's" game, not reading "the white newspapers and magazines" because " they do not particularly care whether they are like white folks or anybody else. Their joy runs, bang! into ecstasy."

      This poem suggests that this is how the black man should live. Unapologetic and true to their nature.

    1. And I can’t be satisfied.

      Is the speaker saying the blues, the music, is the only way he can express his dissatisfaction? Does the emergence of jazz and blues music in this era help the African American population become aware of their struggles, does it help them understand it?

    2. raisin in the sun?

      This line was used as a title of a play. It is about a middle class black family who struggle with the meaning of wealth and happiness and what it means to be successful. It's a comment on this poem, of the effects of poverty on an entire social class.

    3. Tomorrow, I’ll be at the table When company comes. Nobody’ll dare Say to me, “Eat in the kitchen,” Then.

      Tomorrow is meaning future, but the attitude this line carries shows the speakers faith that his race will one day be held in the highest regard, that the roles will be reversed. The attitude this line hold also reveals the contempt that the speaker has for the current state but since he is not in a position of power he must, "Laugh". Does this mean he has to "play a part"? He must play into the hands of the more powerful, bide his time and return, almost reborn, like a phoenix?

    1. “What is that noise?”                       The wind under the door. “What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?”                       Nothing again nothing.  120                                               “Do You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember Nothing?”

      T.S. Eliot’s , “the Wasteland” is a true representation of the modernist movement. It is fragmented and anti-realist style drawing from the power of natural forces. Eliot discusses fire, thunder and water as prevailing entities that have a hold on life. However Eliot also makes references to wind, they are few and far between but are consistently referenced to be silent or nonexistent throughout the poem.

      The wind is an invisible subject, and seemingly keeps bugging or reminding the speaker of something unpleasant much like a ghost. In a critique of the piece, it is stated, “Most words for spirit, ghost or mind and soul have evolved from words that once meant only wind or breath”(Brooker). http://bit.ly/1OUJsDt

      The wind can be perceived to be the voice of an agent of fate or God. However the disillusion that “the wind” is doing nothing, saying nothing can infer the speaker’s disbelief in higher beings, that he takes the wind to be literal wind. For example, “There is the empty chapel, only the wind’s home.”

      Image Description

      The speaker believes that the chapel is empty of a divine influence. It reveals the speaker has presumably lost faith in God and purpose. As Vanessa says in her post, this poem reflects , “the effects World War I had on both the land and the people”. That after such loss and tragedy the idea of God and Fate seems to be an empty voice, an empty idea and belief system that left a generation abandoned.

      Image Description

    1. After the frosty silence in the gardens After the agony in stony places The shouting and the crying

      Eliot pairs the frosty silence with the gardens. Gardens, though they are natural, are a place where nature is manipulated by man. The voices of shouting and crying are is response from being controlled by society. This is similar to Frost's The Road Less Traveled.

    2. Picked his bones in whispers.

      Whispers have the connotation of intimacy and closeness but the action of picking reflects a harvest of sorts. Is the death a harvest of bones?

    1. singing
    2. fiddled whisper music on those strings
    3. What the Thunder Said

      The natural world deciding to make its opinion known

    4. frosty silence
    5. shouting and the crying
    6. Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled, And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.

      The speaker says that he had not thought death and the war would have such a profound effect of the people left in its wake. Is this imagery of frustration of the surviving men, show that they wish they had perished too?

    7. arch-duke’s,

      Is this a reference to Franz Ferdinand? His assassination triggered the beginning of World War I, in which the Germans were blamed.

    1. Put something down. Put something down some day. Put something down some day in. Put something down some day in my.

      Is Stein saying it takes time to learn the significance of the things that happen to us? Whatever happens may be hard to accept or understand, and over time, she says she writes about it.

    2. It was a chance to preach Saturday. Please come to Susan. Purpose purpose black. Extra plain silver.

      Death and grief are both alluded to throughout the poem. Especially in these lines where a funeral is happening for Susan, with 'blackness' of death being the reason for going to church on Saturday. I am not sure the significance, possibly to juxtapose the highs and lows of life, since most of the other lines are of happy and pretty things.

    3. Page ages page ages page ages.

      the repetition of these two words shows how Stein sees cycle of history. Events happen, they are recorded, similar events happen and are recorded. And her comment that things never change.

  3. Sep 2015
    1. No one to witness and adjust, no one to drive the car

      Does the reference to driving the car, represent the motif of "the road"? Do the people never change and adapt?

    2. addressed to cheap jewelry and rich young men with fine eyes as if the earth under our feet were an excrement of some sky

      Have these women lusted after money and status so much that they have disregarded the earth as useless and "excrement"?

      Could it possibly the author's comment on the desire for economic prosperity a la the 'American Dream'?

    3. some Elsie

      The poem is addressed to a specific person named Elsie, but here the speaker addresses some woman like her. This makes me think she is a dime a dozen, and represents a much larger grouping of people that William Carlos Williams is commenting on.

    4. with gauds from imaginations which have no peasant traditions to give them character

      With no connection to the traditions of the people or Elsie specifically, are these "showy and purely ornamental" things seen as divine to them? Is it to show how desolate and mundane this low social class has become?

    1. And you that ache so much to be sublime, And you that feed yourselves with your descent,

      We want so much to live in happiness, but we are always preoccupied and wallow in our faults and our fates (death) rather than focusing on the positive or the sublime.

    2. Poets and kings are but the clerks of Time, Tiering the same dull webs of discontent

      No one is exempt from experiencing dullness or dissatisfaction in life. Poets try to express their discontent, Kings try to control it. This does nothing for them in the end, much like the latter poem, you should just "ebb and flow"

    1. the cynical ignoring of the better and the boisterous welcoming of the worse, the all-pervading desire to inculcate disdain for everything black, from Toussaint to the devil,—before this there rises a sickening despair that would disarm and discourage any nation save that black host to whom “discouragement” is an unwritten word.

      I just watched the movie, 'Straight Out of Compton' and if this was true during Du Bois's era is sure as hell true during the 80's and 90's and systematically generated the genre 'gangster rap'. N.W.A.'s beloved song, "Fuck tha Police" is a direct reflection of society's treatment and "disdain for everything black".

    2. Nevertheless, out of the evil came something of good,—the more careful adjustment of education to real life, the clearer perception of the Negroes’ social responsibilities, and the sobering realization of the meaning of progress.

      As terrible as the crimes endured by Africans, Du Bois believes that the entire race has learned "the meaning of progress" humbly through this process. He is saying that African consciousness has elevated to a purer truth and are essentially better off for it, as hard as that may seem.

    3. The shades of the prison-house closed round about us all: walls strait and stubborn to the whitest, but relentlessly narrow, tall, and unscalable to sons of night who must plod darkly on in resignation,

      Du Bois uses very strong visuals of prison, shadows, light and darkness to emphasize the hopelessness he feels for his own race.

      He describes how racism is perceived by whites, as something "strait" in other words: honorable, right and "stubborn" which has the connotation of something that is pesky or a nuisance.

      Juxtaposed to how the reality of the situation is for blacks: "relentlessly narrow" contorting an entire people, "tall and unscalable" showing there is no escape and "plod darkly on in resignation" revealing all attempts to change the status quo are futile.

  4. Aug 2015
    1. I think someone wrote above that the pig could be referencing cops, and then I read the third stanza again and now I concur.

      I see a parallel between the oppressed and the oppressors in this poem to that relationship between whites and blacks in the antebellum south.

      I think this is a stretch, so I will explain. There is a constant motif of generational turmoil, "mothers hardening like pounded stumps," and "from my children inherit," or "out of buried aunties". Which makes me think of the generations that were born and died within slavery.

      There is a strong emphasis also on religion. As someone pointed out earlier, "They Lion grow" could be a reference to Jesus. Phrases like,"pig driven to holiness," and , "all my white sins forgiven" to show the emergence of christianity within the slave population.

      Lastly, there is a deep connection to the earth and nature throughout the poem. If the lion is a reference to Jesus, it should be noted that he is represented by an animal, the oppressors are pigs and hams respectively. I get the sense that nature is a driving force and on some level, worshipped, in it's own right by africans who live off the land.

      Like I said, a stretch. To wrap it up, I would say that the poem creates the idea that we are slaves to waste and pollution.