Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nobody even stops to think about my side of it...

The speaker in Hanging Fire seems to feel as though she has never been good enough for anything. She is always worrying and complaining. I believe that the author (Audre Lorde) was trying to catch the feeling of puberty in a poem. Always self conscious, always worrying what other people will think about her. She is worrying that she might "die before graduation," which shows she dramatizes situations, which is what teenagers do sometimes, she makes claims that "nobody even stops to think about my side of it." They exagerate a lot, and I know I've exagerated from time to time as well, so the poem is relatable in way.

Audre Lorde captures the awkwardness of purberty in this poem, for example, how she is worrying that she can't dance or why her knees are always so "ashy." I think the speaker is effective in relaying these feelings of self consciousness to the reader.

Oh, I can smile for you...

The speaker in A Certain Lady could possibly be Dorothy Parker, it is hard to say, but it is apparent that she is not happy with the man she is talking to. Even the first line of the poem, "Oh, I can smile for you, and tilt my head," allows the reader to see the bitter tone of her voice. The use of the word "Can" makes it apparent that she is pretending to feel happiness when she really is a little bitter towards whom she is talking to. She is putting on a mask, the target of this poem will "never know...the straining things in [her] heart," because she hides them.

The title also suggests the idea that she is putting on a different identity because she could be trying to act like a "Certain" lady when really, she is something else.

The speaker of this poem is hiding something, possibly an affair that "goes on, my love, while you're away, you'll never know.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'll only--fat chance--live it once.

My second tone poem is by Andrew Hudgins and it is titled Mostly My Nightmares Are Dull. I read both of the poems in the Norton by him (pg. 856-857) and I found that this poet's thoughts on life are very depressing. The tone throughout Nightmares is clearly regretful and almost self-degrading in the way that he chastises himself for his "bourgeois nightmare" and the fact that a "little fear" breaks him. When he meets his family members in his dreams, he realizes that he doesn't really feel anything for his dead family members. The tone is careless by the end, he talks about waking up from such a powerful dream he describes that would certainly move other people to feel something because it is about their family members, but to this man, it doesn't do anything. He just lives life carelessly. None of this phases him.

We told ourselves he had just wised up...

For my first blog entry, I chose the poem Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminal Insane. The first stanza has a tone of admiration, to an extent where you could call it child-like. It is like a kid talking about his favorite comic book superhero, "Hard Rock was 'known to take no shit from nobody.'" The narrator builds this image of Hard Rock for the reader that is almost superhuman and larger-than-life. The tone of this first stanza also bites at the reader, putting the reader in their place so they know that they would never want to mess with Hard Rock.

The second and third stanzas have a tone of apprehension to them. The narrator and the other prison mates are waiting and wondering about what happened to Hard Rock. They talk about the "WORD" and they are all very anxious to see if the "WORD" is true. They are reminiscent in the third stanza as well, talking about his past "exploits" like the way he smacked the captain with his dinner tray. They talk about him as if he were a legend, almost untouchable.

The fourth and fifth stanza's tones slowly decay into dissappointment. From the build up of the first couple of stanzas, the reader and the narrator expect this event to unfold from the incident with the "hillbilly" but nothing happens. It is a giant let down to both the reader and the prison mates because they knew this amazing hero that was once a ruthless inmate, but now he "just grinned and looked silly." It is a loss of hope for the inmates, they feel as though they have lost their voice, Hard Rock was the "doer of things" and now he has lost that, so they feel as though they have lost their strong hero as well.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008