44 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2018
    1. Fordyce’s Sermons

      Sermons to Young Women by James Fordyce. Popular female conduct book published in 1766.

    2. indifferent

      "In poor health, ailing, poorly"(OED).

    3. ladyship

      "The state or condition of being a lady; the rank, status, or authority of a lady. Also as a count noun: the rank or title of ‘Lady' "(OED).

    4. condescension

      "Voluntary abnegation for the nonce of the privileges of a superior; affability to one's inferiors, with courteous disregard of difference of rank or position; condescendingness"(OED).

    5. vouchsafed

      "To confer or bestow (some thing, favour, or benefit) on a person"(OED).

  2. Dec 2017
    1. The fiction is that the life of the races is separate

      The fact that the word "fiction" is used to describe what are very real experiences is troubling.

    1. They dragged you from homeland, They chained you in coffles,

      I just found this lines to be so powerful and create such a visceral image for the reader. It was very poignant,

    2. O Ma Rainey, Sing yo’ song;

      I appreciate how the poem attempts to in a way mimic the music by how its written and spoken. This creates a more visceral connection to the subject of the poem and allows the reader to experience it in a way.

    3. Ma Rainey

      Hughes might see this poem as more of a celebration of black culture and an acceptance of that culture and what it means to be part of it. This reminds me of what he said about the young poet and how he saw that man as rejecting this same culture instead of doing what Sterling Brown does here and embracing it.

    1. I, too, am America.

      I like the acceptance and reclaiming of American as a title and label of nationality. This time there is no differentiation between identifying as American and identifying with your race, they are both a part of the speaker and both titles his to take.

    2. Congo

      Invokes the image of a powerful and ancient river but also reminds the reader of the horrors of colonization and how the Congo was taken and controlled by European powers for a very long time.

    3. I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.

      These lines really create a history, a history of human civilization that has been build for centuries along waterways because water was survival. These rivers are ancient and powerful and will let longer than any one human life can even comprehend. By comparing his soul to these rivers Hughes wants to impart that its old and wise, deep and complex as the winding rivers.

    1. smug, contented, respectable folk,

      I find there to be tension with using both "smug" and "respectable" as descriptions of the same type of person. Because to me it seems hard to be smug but also worthy of respect.

    2. the race toward whiteness, the desire to pour racial individuality into the mold of American standardization, and to be as little Negro and as much American as possible.

      The distinction Hughes makes between being American versus being black was really poignant to me. There is a sense of being "other" if you are not white in America even though "American" is a nationality and is a country that was not initially inhabited by European but these settlers have created and shaped the society and societal standards that we all are trained to adhere to.

    3. “I want to be a poet–not a Negro poet,” meaning, I believe, “I want to write like a white poet”; meaning subconsciously, “I would like to be a white poet”; meaning behind that, “I would like to be white.”

      Hughes bringing in the idea of this young poet's subconscious really makes me think about Fanon's "Black Skin, White Masks". The concept of some sort of ingrained, socialized need to fit into a mold that was made without you or people like you in mind is really disturbing but also an interesting way to explore human psyche.

    1. Melancholy do lip sing

      I just thought this seemed really interesting and uncommon. I didn't really understand it but I liked the way it flowed and sounded because it sits so awkwardly on the tongue.

    2. Egg in places. Egg in few insists.

      The repetition of egg again I thought was interesting and possibly serves some higher purpose.

    3. hen

      This stood out to me because it made me call back a few lines to her usage of "egg".

    1. waste of broad, muddy fields brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

      These lines create a kind of ugly and not very lively landscape but with the lines coming after the "contagious hospital" the muddy brown fields seem almost gentile and less threatening then the image of the hospital that was presented at the beginning.

    2. All along the road the reddish purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy stuff of bushes and small trees with dead, brown leaves under them leafless vines—

      This image was very poignant because of the strong descriptions used to create the image. The details allow the reader to easily visualize what is being described.

    3. the contagious hospital

      Calling a hospital "contagious" is interesting and in a way disturbing. Williams take the image of a hospital, a place that heals and saves lives, and in a way perverts this image. He takes the image and makes it sickly and dangerous, suddenly the hospital is no longer a place where one goes to get better but is a place where one goes to get sick or die. This forces the reader to abruptly change their perspective.

    1. Here lies, and none to mourn him but the sea, That falls incessant on the empty shore,

      There is a sense of dissociation and a cynical outlook on humanity's ability to leave a mark on the world. There is an implication that in the ned all people leave the world the same, unremarkable and eventually forgotten.

    2. Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,

      Her usage of the word "moaning" really stood out to me. Its especially poignant that in a poem that should be about love and passion that a word like moaning should serve as adding an element of sexuality and passion, Millay instead uses the word to express pain and suffering. She changes the connotations of the word from something pleasurable to something painful.

    3. Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain; Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink

      These lines are so unique because they go against traditional sonnet themes and values. Where traditionally sonnets show great adulation for love and express the importance of love and its consummation, Millay feels that love is not a necessary or vital part of life. She doesn't find nourishment or material comfort from it. Millay seems to be subverting the expectations of the genre by going against traditions of love and passion. She can't feed herself or take care of herself just on love and emotion. She realizes that its a nice experience and emotion but know that it is not necessary to her survival or her life.

  3. Sep 2017
    1. Too many fall from great and good For you to doubt the likelihood.

      This line specifically reminds me of the line from "The Clerks" by Robinson; "And you that feed yourselves with your descent,". There seems to be an echo of the same message/theme of the Robinson poem here.

    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 woods are haunting, lulling the narrator into a sense of calm but this calm is also sinister and tempts the narrator away from his destination. There is a sense that if the narrator stops in these woods he might never leave them. "Miles to go before I sleep" suggests the idea of living life and accomplishing life goals before giving into Death. This theme of living, and living fully are also echoed in the Edgar Lee Masters poem "Lucinda Matlock".

    1. Life is too strong for you–

      I loved this line. The idea that life and living are not made to be easy but are made to make a person strong, and that only those strong enough with life are able to truly appreciate it. It is more hopeful than the other poems and that stood out, contrasting the tone of this poem with the others.

    2. As if to destroy the last vestige Of my memory and influence.

      This line stood out to me, especially after reading "The Clerks" by Robinson. I noted the similar concept of something diseappering through time and death. The lines in "the clerks" that speak about the futility of building anything lasting in a world that is continuously moving forward, are echoed in these lines.

    1. clerks of Time,

      Th passage of time is a major theme throughout this poem. The writer speaks about how time has changed the people he knows and how it will continue to move forward no matter what one does.

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

      The author's repetition of "And you" really stood out to me. It directly addresses the audience while also speaking of another, highlighting the futility of so many of our actions because in the end all people, kings or peasants alike merely serve to highlight the passage of time and are only as human as everyone else.

    1. And I know John would think it absurd. But I MUST say what I feel and think in some way—it is such a relief!

      The narrator feels so stifled and manic and is begging for any sort of way to express herself but is constantly pushed down and belittled by those around her. Her husband treats as a child and her sister in law only serves to reinforce the concept of her being helpless and sick. As her resentment grows, her mind is fracturing and making her more and more manic. The writing is the only way she knows to not only express herself but to rebel against her husband and the societal constraints placed upon her.

    2. There comes John, and I must put this away,—he hates to have me write a word.

      The narrator feels stifled and restless in her confinement. The resentment for her husband is just growing and he lacks anyway to really express herself to I'm without being dismissed or patronized. Even her personal writing is something she must hide, feeling unsafe even in her thoughts.

    3. before him, at least, and that makes me very tired.

      This sentence really showcases how much of herself that the narrator hides from her husband. She doesn't feel comfortable sharing her true feelings with him because she knows that she will be dismissed. But this effort is tiring and living as something other then her truth takes a strain on her mentally and emotionally.

    1. The Nation has not yet found peace from its sins; the freedman has not yet found in freedom his promised land.

      Du Bois highlights how the struggle does not and did not end with emancipation. How the horrific scars of slavery are not healed and the bloody past of the Nation is not and should not be forgotten. Acceptance and prosperity did not begin with emancipation, equality is a battle that is being fought still to this very day. And it is easy for people today to forget the very real horrors of slavery, of the Civil War and that the shadow of Jim Crow is still very real and follows us in contemporary society.

    2. this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity

      There is a real crisis of identity/ duality of identity that people of color and immigrants feel in western society. DuBois wants to express the strangeness of only being able to identify yourself through the eyes and words of others, how this dualitycan effect a person's mentality and sense of self.

    3. How does it feel to be a problem? I answer seldom a word.

      This was so powerful to me. The idea that people in society can view others in their society as burdensome but at the same time feel to awkward or impolite to bring their prejudices to the forefront. People of color even today have been in similar situations, have felt that unasked question hanging over their heads like a guillotine and have had to smile politely while others talk around them and about them as though they were the ones uncomfortable.

  4. Aug 2017
    1. occult mechanism.

      I like the usage of the word occult" in this phrase. Describe the mechanism as occult underlineds the spiritual or religious iconography presented earlier by comparing the dynamos to the Christian Cross.

    2. . As he grew accustomed to the great gallery of machines, he began to feel the forty-foot dynamos as a moral force, much as the early Christians felt the Cross

      Likening the dynamos to the cross places a heavy religious iconography onto the object and in the subtext. It reinforces the idea of a "new" man made religion.

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

      This line was very striking to me. It really highlights the deficits in the education system and how at times academia can lead to a conformity of thought and a lack of creative thinking.

    1. Of industrial barns, out of rain, out of bus ride,

      This image was really striking to me because of how true it rings for most of the American working class population. It showcases the very day life of working class and impoverished people. People who work hard and long in order to make ends meet and survive. But this struggle doesn't break them, doesn't make them weak, instead it builds them up. Makes them strong and adaptable and more durable then others. They are tested by fire and came out stronger on the other side.

    2. acids of rage, the candor of tar, Out of creosote, gasoline, drive shafts, wooden dollies, They Lion grow.

      This imagery showcases how hard and almost unlivable this life is for the aforementioned "they". But no matter the obstacles thrown at them or the strife presented there is still growth. Theres adaptability and survival in an environment that seems intent on stifling and killing. And not only is there growth but there is strength and evolution to combat and survive the harsh climate.