42 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. White devils with pitchforks Threw black devils on,

      Even in Hell racism seems to persist or it is Hell because racism exists. Hell as a reflection of Earth or is it Hell on Earth? There does not seem to be a distinction.

    2. They taught you the religion they disgraced.

      This line confuses me. I assume the religion is Catholicism but the 'disgraced' part confuses me because of how important religion was considered. Is this line referring to how slave-owners ignored certain doctrines taught in religion and the sins that they committed? Perhaps this is referring to the hypocrisy in teaching slaves Catholicism only for the slave-owners to conveniently disregard certain teachings such as the commandment 'love thy neighbor as thyself.'

    3. “Ma Rainey”

      This makes me think of what Hughes would see as a poem by a Negro poet. It discusses African American culture and matters and the language used in the poem does not conform with standardized American English.

    1. “Harlem”

      I feel like Harlem is representative of change and an artist's hopes and dreams. The first line "What happens to a dream deferred?" makes me think of the many people who went to Harlem to achieve their dreams but were unable to or disillusioned.

    2. Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?

    3. I, too, am America.

      This poem seems to reflect how African Americans were shunned by whites even though they were also Americans. The speaker is told to eat in the kitchen to avoid being seen similar to the treatment of African Americans as they were seen as lesser beings and shunned.

    1. It holds for the children beauty, morality, and money. The whisper of “I want to be white” runs silently through their minds.

      This is definitely still applicable today where the white or European look is held in high esteem. I remember reading The Joy Luck Club where the characters tried to be more "American" or white and reading First They Killed My Father where the characters talks about how lighter skinned people are considered prettier. In many Asian countries today, lighter skin is more desirable and things like whitening creams exist to help make one's skin tone look lighter.

    2. But let us look at the immediate background of this young poet.

      I think this paragraph says more about Hughes than it does the unnamed young poet. This seems more of a projection of himself and his own life.

    3. “I want to be a poet–not a Negro poet,”

      I, like some of the others have mentioned, read this as the speaker not wanting readers to focus on his skin color but on his poetry. I think this is a more modern view similar to how we now discuss authorial intention and whether or not an author's biographical information is necessary in regards to reading and understanding a text and how their information shifts our understanding of the text.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. climate

      This amused me because my brain kept supplying "comment" and I would keep having to pause because I kept wanting to read it as "No comment." The use of the word climate here just amused me when I think of it as a substitution for "comment." I like this poem because there doesn't seem to be a specific meaning behind the lines and each person supplies each phrase with their own meaning or associates them with different things.

    2. Nicely.

      Splitting the precious sentence like this seems to make a passive-aggressive statement with the emphasis shifted heavily on "Nicely."

    3. Murmur

      I found the use of the word "murmur" incredibly amusing (it made me laugh) because it made me picture someone petting their dog & murmuring nonsense to them. The repetition in the sentence made it especially amusing for some reason as well as the fact the it's "murmur pet murmur" as though the person keeps stopping their petting to start murmuring at their dog and then continues on petting when they are finished.

    4. philip

      I was confused by the lack of capitalization and went to the OED to make sure there wasn't another type of "philip" besides the name Philip. The way this sentence is phrased made me assume it was a verb because the other words in the sentence are all verbs & commands. The repetition of the word made me associate with "mush." .

    1. By constantly tormenting them with reminders of the lice in their children’s hair, the School Physician first brought their hatred down on him

      The reminder of the lice seems to be a reminder of their poor or impoverished condition and in trying to help them the School Physician also constantly reminds them of their situation and distances himself from them.

    2. the contagious hospital

      The use of the word "contagious" to describe the hospital is an interesting choice and something that really stuck with me. One doesn't normally think of a hospital as contagious even though it is true that many people that enter hospitals can contract illnesses from there and there were times where people sent to hospitals were considered as good as dead. This might have to do with time as I think hospitals are typically described as sterile or clinical as opposed to what they were in the past.

    3. that she’ll be rescued by an agent— reared by the state and

      This stanza makes me think of the Native American boarding schools where children were taken from their families and sent to be "civilized" and "reeducated." The use of the word "rescue" in particular brings to mind the idea of the colonizer trying to save the souls of the indigenous peoples by introducing Catholicism.

  3. Sep 2017
    1. He was a natural linguist, and he kept notebooks, making a scientific study of the workers’ slang or argot, until he could talk quite intelligibly

      Quite ironic and makes me think back to Adams and how the more he learns the less he actually knows. Here the narrator becomes less intelligible to become more intelligible to these groups of workers.

    1. Strive not to speak, poor scattered mouth; I know.

      As someone mentioned, the way that the line abruptly ends makes you wonder if the speaker really does know. The transition at the end with the semi-colon seems abrupt as though cutting off a thought midway and ending with "I know." What does the speaker know? The reader doesn't know and in this way I feel the man is silenced once again. The speaker assumes they know his thoughts and this assumption cuts the man down again.

    2. Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath, Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone; Yet many a man is making friends with death Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.

      I found this to be a very scientific view of love; it brings to mind the argument that love is the result of chemicals released in the brain. The speaker is focused more on the physical and how love cannot actually physically hurt someone and yet people have died from a lack of love. However, there is also a fact that humans, for the most part, are social creatures and isolation and lack of affection can greatly affect a person's health. The speaker might not see it as essential to a person's physical health but I think it definitely plays a big role in mental health.

    3. Before his prime, even in his infancy Cut down, and all the clamour that was he, Silenced; and all the riveted pride he wore, A rusted iron column whose tall core The rains have tunnelled like an aspen tree.

      These lines make me think about how easily people can be torn down by others. The first line especially brings to mind how societal expectations can tear a person apart and greatly affect them in their youth; the man was silenced and torn apart before his prime. The pride he wore sounds like a flimsy facade that attempts to cover up the damage done.

    1. No memory of having starred Atones for later disregard, Or keeps the end from being hard.

      My immediate thought to this was the bitter sweetness that memories can bring us. Those that fall from fame might have trouble moving on and remain stuck trying to reclaim a past they can never get back. These lines seem to suggest that it is better to have no memory of their fame because it keeps them from being forgotten and from remembering something they can never reclaim, making it easier to live in the present if they move on from the past.

    2. The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

      The poem seems to become particularly haunting at the end. "The woods are lovely, dark and deep" makes them sound alluring but the speaker has "promises to keep,/And miles to go before I sleep". This makes me think of death. The imaginary of snow and resting in the woods which are "lovely, dark, and deep." They seem to beckon to the speaker to stay and rest in the snow but the speaker is until able to because they still have "miles to go before [they] sleep." This sounds as though the speaker cannot rest, or die, yet because he still have many things to do; that it is not his time to die yet.

    3. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both

      This poem makes me think of choices and the situations where we have to pick one option or outcome over the other. Often times we have to make choices, big and small, and each choice results in a different outcome. This poem makes me think of times when I have wondered about the various other outcomes that could have occurred if I had made different choices, some of these reminiscences are tinged with regret and others just the curious wanderings of my mind. Here the two roads lead to two separate outcomes and the desire to travel, or know both, is what makes choices hard because we can only pick one.

    1. “Well, Mr. Flood, we have the harvest moon Again, and we may not have many more;

      It seemed to me, throughout this poem, that Mr. Flood was the personification of a flood/or water especially this line referencing the harvest. This line makes me think of the harvesting of crops and drought since "we may nor have many more" makes me think a lack in both harvest & water.

    2. Below him, in the town among the trees, Where friends of other days had honored him, A phantom salutation of the dead Rang thinly till old Eben’s eyes were dim.

      Again this reinforces in my mind the idea of Mr. Flood being a personification of flood/water and people's attitudes towards water especially in times of drought, I think of the Nile and how heavily the Egyptians relied on it as a source of life. Water was held up to a divine level as people would perform ceremonies for rain, worship rain deities, and even perform sacrifices in desperate attempts to bring about water. Water was worshiped and floods during droughts were welcomed and brought life (despite the destructive nature they can have). Time has changed and so have people's attitudes towards water; while it is still important it is also no longer held to such high esteem. We don't worship it in the same way. The line "Where friends of other days had honored him" makes me think of the past.

    1. WHEN I died, the circulating library Which I built up for Spoon River, And managed for the good of inquiring minds, Was sold at auction on the public square, As if to destroy the last vestige Of my memory and influence.

      Death is inevitable, yet we continue to try to find ways to immortalize ourselves. Writers hope that even after death their works will continue to live on. Here we see the speaker's life's work torn apart immediately after his death-essentially showing that his life amounted to nothing and that his efforts were in vain. We see in this poem that the phrase "you can drag a horse to water but you can't make him drink" holds true, that regardless of the speaker's intentions, people will continue "choosing their own good and call it good" and nothing can persuade them otherwise.

    2. Choose your own good and call it good.

      I really liked this line because it directs our attention to the fact that "good" is just a vague idea defined by the majority and people can have varying definitions of what is "good." It makes me think of the binaries white/black and good/evil and how the world is not only white and black but grey as well. What is good? People don't seem to care about other people's idea of the "good" but their own.

    1. this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face.

      I think that this struggle to merge the "double self" is something that can be applied to people in general as we are multifaceted individuals with different "selves" or ways in which we identify. This struggle is something that can be seen in the history of America as people have struggled against their multiple selves (especially in the face of racism) and often attempted to sacrifice certain aspects of themselves in order to fit in what society deems acceptable. It is interesting because many people try to pick one over the other without even thinking of merging their "double self into a better and truer self." I think that Du Bois makes a very interesting point about how we should seek to merge our separate selves as opposed to picking on over the other because each part is an important part of us.

  4. Aug 2017
    1. he would risk translating rays into faith

      A lot of the others have mentioned Adams' religious allusions and the connection between faith and "rays." Adams lived in a time where new discoveries were being made and it is interesting how he relates these new inventions as objects of veneration. It makes me think of times of death and disease in the past where a lack of explanation led to a stronger reinforcement of faith and people turned to religion as a way of explaining the inexplainable. Thinking of Adams connection between faith and science, "translating rays into faith," and looking at the present we see how right Adams is. We turn to science to explain the mysteries in life and put our faith in the facts it presents us the same way people in the past put their faith in religion. I find Adams' connection between faith and science to be not only interesting but applicable to our world today.

    2. Historians undertake to arrange sequences,–called stories, or histories–assuming in silence a relation of cause and effect. These assumptions, hidden in the depths of dusty libraries, have been astounding, but commonly unconscious and childlike; so much so, that if any captious critic were to drag them to light, historians would probably reply, with one voice, that they had never supposed themselves required to know what they were talking about. Adams, for one, had toiled in vain to find out what he meant. He had even published a dozen volumes of American history for no other purpose than to satisfy himself whether, by severest process of stating, with the least possible comment, such facts as seemed sure, in such order as seemed rigorously consequent, he could fix for a familiar moment a necessary sequence of human movement. The result had satisfied him as little as at Harvard College. Where he saw sequence, other men saw something quite different, and no one saw the same unit of measure.

      I found this paragraph interesting and it made me think back to the beginning of this chapter when Adams writes "Yet Langley said nothing new, and taught nothing that one might not have learned from Lord Bacon, three hundred years before..." It made me wonder about the necessity of historians, the fact that they retell things that already have been told, as well as the difficulties of being a historian. Adams points out that historians arrange histories based on "a relation of cause and effect" taking facts out of context without viewing the whole as well as repeating what others before them have (not that this is always the case but it has happened before). The phrase "History is written by the victors" comes to mind and the dangers of biases and the silencing of other voices. Even in history books, there can be notable differences between them based on the authors' choices. According to Adams, it seems that historians look at data and pick out patterns and sequences among the data that they deem significant and that different historians have different ideas on what is important. The danger is in omitting events outside these patterns and what defines an event as "important."

    3. dynamo

      I had no idea what a dynamo was nor have I heard the term used before this and the only thing that came to my mind were dynamic electrons. According to the OED, a dynamo is "A machine for converting energy in the form of mechanical power into energy in the form of electric currents, by the operation of setting conductors (usually in the form of coils of copper wire) to rotate in a magnetic field."

    4. the Exhibition dropped its superfluous rags and stripped itself to the skin, for Langley knew what to study, and why, and how;

      I really liked this line because it makes me think of all the specifics terms found in various areas of study where only people within that same field of study are able to grasp their meanings. At some point one must question if these terms are actually necessary or needless ornamentation that limits the audience to a selected few similar to how the "superfluous rags" are "stripped...to the skin" for Langley but not for Adams because Langley "knew what to study, and why, and how."

    1. Out of the bones’ need to sharpen and the muscles’ to stretch,

      I find this phrase interesting, particularly Levine's choice of "sharpen." Bones do not need to be sharpened, usually we talk about strengthening or breaking bones but we only sharpen bones when we use them as tools/weapons. I find this word choice unusual when paired with the second half of the sentence "muscles' to stretch" because stretching muscles is something that actually needs to be done to prevent us from pulling or hurting them. Bones do no need to be sharpened in the same sense muscles need to be stretched. This gives the phrase an ominous feel to it and brings to my mind the image of broken bones with jagged, sharp edges poking through skin and muscles being pulled far beyond their limits; It brings to mind the image of a broken body or the snapped neck of a hanging body.

    2. They Lion grow

      Reading this sentence aloud, it sounds like "They lie and grow." The word "lie" in this line can either mean to "lie down" or to "lie" as in the act of telling a lie. The dual meanings of "lie" result in two different sentences. The sentence can either be read as the undefined "They" growing through the lies they tell or them growing by lying down, similar to how flowers grow out of the ground. People can build themselves up through lies or they gain growth by taking things as they come, by lying down.

  5. May 2016
  6. annotatingausten.sfsuenglishdh.net annotatingausten.sfsuenglishdh.net
    1. Caractacus

      A king of ancient Britons during the Iron Age who ruled from 43-50 AD, his successful attempts at expansion are believed to be the catalyst for the Roman invasion of Britain (Hill).

    2. Alfred the Great

      Alfred the Great was king of the southern Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex and was known for social and educational reforms as well as military success. He is also the only English monarch known as "the Great" ("Alfred the Great").

    3. Agricola

      Agricola was a Roman statesman and soldier that governed over Britain and conquered large areas of northern England, Scotland, and Wales ("Agricola").

    4. phaetons

      "A type of light four-wheeled open carriage, usually drawn by a pair of horses, and having one or two seats facing forward" (OED).

    5. hallooing

      "To shout in order to attract attention; to holla" (OED).