22 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2015
    1. Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!

      Having dreams, adorations, illuminations and religions be a "boatload of bullshit," Ginsberg is showing that anything that dilutes us into thinking there is something bright about the future is false. To adore something is to see only the good qualities, ignoring the bad. They are just another way to obstruct the truth, that society is failing and the world is being destroyed by capitalism. The only illumination is to become mad, to fall out of society to see the truth.

    2. who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish Bath when the blond & naked angel came to pierce them with a sword

      Arch Angel Michael

      This passage seems to imply guilt about homosexuality. The "giggle" turning into a "sob" shows how the true nature of feelings. The "blond & naked angel" could mean Michael, the angel of punishment or it could mean another man, giving the word "sword" a possible double meaning. At this time, homosexuality was seen as a crime, those who were gay were seen as "sinners" and "deviants."

  2. Nov 2015
    1. —Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden, Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,   40 Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

      Image Description

      Elliot evokes the image of Hyacinth, the tragic divine hero who embodies the death and rebirth of nature. A motif throughout the poem is one of living dead, things that are neither and both. Ovid writes of Hyacinth being immortal, though dead since he rises each year, much like plants in nature. The hyacinth girl, having her "arms full" and "hair wet" are both motifs of life, as we see water is a life force throughout the poem. Elliot juxtaposes an image of a woman full of life against his "I" character who is "neither living nor dead" to show how cruel life is, being so full only to end in death.

      If we look at William Carlos Williams' poem, To Elsie, (written a year later) we see that he deals with similar themes of nature being a cruel reminder. Nature exists outside of the human experience, especially with the rise of industry and the suburban landscape. Nature is constantly growing out of the dead; it in fact needs death to thrive.

      Ovid took Greek myths and retold them, gave dead stories new life; going back to Elliot's undead motif, we see that he looks to literature in addition to nature to understand this concept of living dead. If we think of the time period, Elliot was grappling with constant change in technology and industrialization. It seems as though he was seeking a sense of permanence or understanding of how the world can constantly remake itself.

      Elliot's motif of the undead is almost always paired with nature, as if to show how nature constantly is changing and being reborn. Humans, on the other hand, are in a permanent state of living dead; being alive, but actively dying. "Looking into the heart of light" is Elliot's truth; that humanity is apart from nature. Humanity cannot be immortal in the sense of being literally reborn, but we can find other ways to remain permanent in an impermanent world (The Wasteland).

  3. Oct 2015
    1. Like Lindy in de Spirit Of St. Louis Blues.

      Possibly referring to Lindbergh's plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, which was the peak of aviation technology at the time. If Slim is flying like the Spirit of Saint Louis, he is flying high and full of pride. But why Spirit of St Louis Blues? Is flying away a cause for lamentation or celebration?

    2. Folks from anyplace

      Hughes refers to "folk" as the lower class black people, the ones who are subversive to the white ideal. Brown could be using this term similarly, seeing as he uses vernacular of the country folk. There is this sense of authenticity with the lower class.

    1. If white people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, it doesn’t matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly too.

      This acceptance of their identity, separate from white scrutiny, is the acceptance of their humanity. The fact that they are beautiful and ugly, not just some stereotype or false image, shows progress toward truly seeing themselves as people and not just black people.

    2. Most of my own poems are racial in theme and treatment, derived from the life I know.

      The fact that Hughes feels that writing about his experience is "radical" is telling of the racial problems in his world. White writers write about their experience and it is seen as universal, black (or any people of color) write about their experience and it is seen as the particular or "ethnic" as if it does not speak to the world.

    1. April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain.

      In the way that Williams saw nature (the deer) flashing past him as a cruel reminder of what life could be, I think that Elliot is feeling the same way. In the industrial world, where everything is decaying and dying, nature is a cruel reminder that life outside the city is reborn.

    2. We who were living are now dying With a little patience

      the moment between life and death, living and dying, both at the same time

    3. The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.

      bones = death chuckle = living

    4. “Are you alive, or not?

      Is he the Phoenician sailor?

    5. Frisch weht der Wind                       Der Heimat zu                       Mein Irisch Kind,                       Wo weilest du?

      Fresh blows the Wind/ to the homeland./ My Irish child,/ where are you dwelling? -from Tristan & Isolde

      Why include this in the poem? Is he alluding to tragic death, like the lovers experience? Or is it more literal and meant to function as connecting the lines about fear and hyacinths?

    1. Cunning clover thimble. Cunning of everything. Cunning of thimble. Cunning cunning.

      The repetition of cunning in these lines gives it a sense of stream of consciousness. The way she plays with words is almost akin to how a child uses language, nonsensical and whimsical. Cunning is an interesting word, meaning deceiving to show skill, which is much like the poem itself. We are deceived into thinking this poem has meaning (or no meaning) when shes is merely showing off her word play skills.

    2. Wiped wire wiped wire

      Stein seems to be playing with words and sound. This particular line sounds like a exercise in language, something one does before a performance. When spoken aloud, it has a breathless quality to it.

  4. Sep 2015
    1. He says no one but myself can help me out of it, that I must use my will and self-control and not let any silly fancies run away with me.

      This shows the hopelessness of the mentally ill, especially women, during that time period. Often women were seen as "hysterical" and locked away. She is treated as inferior and "silly" whenever she has a request. If her husband was truly trying to make her well, he wouldn't have isolated her in a room that I'm fairly certain housed other mentally ill patients. Why else would there be bars on the windows and a bold down bed?

    2. He is very careful and loving, and hardly lets me stir without special direction.

      This, along with the fact that he is her primary physician, seems like a red flag. While she sees it has love and care, it seems to me that her husband is controlling, hiding her away from society for and illness he is convincing her does not exist. Knowing that mental illness was (and is still to an extent) a social taboo, it is not a stretch to think that her husband is ashamed, which leads to them moving into isolation.

    1. Work, culture, liberty,—all these we need, not singly but together, not successively but together, each growing and aiding each, and all striving toward that vaster ideal that swims before the Negro people, the ideal of human brotherhood,

      Here we see Du Bois' solution for the alienation of negro society. He points out that merely education or voting is not enough to change their position in America. They must band together and create a culture of change; that together, not separately, they can rise up and become equivilant to white society.

  5. Aug 2015
    1. He made up his mind to venture it; he would risk translating rays into faith.

      This is the moment Adams seeks to find balance; technology (and science) is progressing so rapidly, the only thing he, as a historian, can compare it to is religion, and specifically the power of the Virgin. To him, the Dynamo is as inexplicable in its power as the divine force of the goddess, which is as old as civilization itself. In a way, the Virgin represents the beginning of man.

    2. to them, Eve was a tender flower, and Herodias an unfeminine horror

      This is an interesting idea that America can only see women as feminine or pure if they are not powerful. Herodias, we are led to believe, is seen as an "unfeminine horror" because she took action instead of merely let things happen, like Eve. Once sex (women=sex?) is used as power, it is immoral.

    3. Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.

      Already we see that Adams views the world in terms of force or motion. Education was disappointing because it was inert; the opposite of progress and ingenuity. How is one to learn anything from information that does not reflect the changing world?

    1. Earth is eating trees, fence posts, Gutted cars, earth is calling in her little ones, “Come home, Come home!”

      Mother earth is cannibalizing itself; possibly a connection to the previous stanza, "mothers hardening like pounded stumps," using a double metaphor for earth and mothers, suggesting the violent nature of industrial workers' lives and the violence industry wrecks on nature. Yet, with "calling her little ones," we see a gentleness that goes against the previous images. Levine stacks contradicting lines to build complexity to the poem.