Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Red Wheelbarrow

"The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams is an interesting poem because I believe that it is utilizing the colors red and white to possibly signify a good vs. evil theme. The red wheelbarrow is symbolizing the evil while the white chickens symbolize the good. I believe that the rain comes in to the poem to kind of "purify" the evil that is the wheelbarrow.

I am stuck on the idea of why he would choose a wheelbarrow to carry an evil connotation. I tink that it is possible he is thinking of how wheelbarrows can carry objects, which means that maybe evil can carry people away, but the white is associated with objects that can fly (chickens). That could possibly mean that once you are cleansed (by the rain) you are free. That is a total stretch :)


This poem ("Marks" by Linda Pastan) really shocked me, even though it is only twelve lines long, she still really drives the point home. She is fed up with everyone constantly judging her and she uses the grading system to show that. The language she chooses (the grading system) shows that she is treated like no more than an object or an inferior human being. Because she does this, we can feel the bitterness and the fact that her words bite at the reader. She is able to convey a message with such few words, it is amazing.

She is very effective when she writes her poem, the last two lines are the lines that really hit the reader. It's like the reader's floor has been pulled from underneath them (or atleast, that is how I felt). I think this really adds to the piece because she is so blunt and to the point. There is no beating around the bush in her poem. She punches the reader with a heavy line, and the fact that it is such a quick sentence shows she's already made up her mind on a subject that is so heavy. That makes people react, she is so cold about the fact that she is leaving, she's clearly had enough.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

To a Daughter Leaving Home

I thought it would be interesting to read the other poem about motherhood as well. The tone in "To a Daughter Leaving Home" is much more focused on the joys of parenting. Although she is a little disheartened that her child is growing up, she is still proud of the fact that she can ride a bike by herself and possibly the mother has taught her what she needs to know to grow up and be successful.

In "Daystar," the mother wants to get away from her children, but in this poem, the mother hates to see her daughter leaving her. She, "kept waiting for the thud," but it would never come. That thud is the symbol of the daughter's dependance on her mother, but she doesn't need it anymore. The mother is saddened by this, she is still trying to hang on to her daughter's innocence, sprinting to "catch up," but the mother feels left behind because her daughter is growing up so quickly.

Both of these poems have very different views on motherhood. This poem inparticular felt as though she would lose her daughter. The tone of the "handkerchief waving goodbye" is a very sad one, leaving the mother behind. While in the other poem, the mother wishes to be alone, and she reminisces happily in the memory of being absolutely "nothing," for even just an hour. With no responsibilities of a mother, or anything. She was just an observer.


Rita Dove talks about how she is overwhelmed with her children in the poem "Daystar". She "wanted a little room for htinking" so she goes out into the backyard. But she only accomplishes peace for about an hour. The tone of this poem really contributes to the situation of this poem.

Her views on motherhood are focused on the fact that it is very tiresome and that she really needs a break every now and again. She needs her own space, so she builds a "palace," which is really the mother mentally escaping from the responsibilities because palaces are things of fantasy. She is creating something to hide in, or to just take herself out of the role of a mother for a while. When she was hoping that she would only see her "vivid blood," I believe that is her talking about peace and quiet, and what she is hoping for, but it is soon broken by her kids again.

However, I think it is important to note that I don't think she doesn't like her kids, she just feels overwhelmed sometimes and she just wants to escape.