Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Response to "My Papa's Waltz"

The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mothers countenance
Could not unfrown itself.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scrapped a buckle.

You beat time on my head,
With a palm caked hard with dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.

Response: Today in class, we debated over whether or not this poem was about a father abusing his child. My group was neutral, and really, I think this poem could be about an abusive dad, or just a drunk father waltzing and having a good time with his son. We know the father has been drinking in the poem, but it is debatable whether or not he is actually drunk. Some people in my group think that "waltzing" could represent the father stumbling around and possibly harming his kid. Others thought that when waltzing is stated in the poem, it just means waltzing. Again, it could be either, but it does seem like the speaker of the poem (the child) is having fun. If he was getting harmed, the poem would possibly be more grim, and the child would most likely be trying to avoid his dad.  Personally, I think that this poem is just about a drunk dad dancing and playing with his son. This poem could be just that, or it could have deeper meaning. I think that this poem was possibly written to have two meanings. As for which one is right, it just depends on how you read it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Narrative Poem With Rhyming Scheme

I ran
I shouted
the sky was dark black
my brother was missing
I couldn't go back.

People sat excited,
 food being shared,
while I remained searching,
saddened and scared.

At last (BAM), the sky lit up bright
people cheered, and I cheered
for I could see through the night.

I began to run faster
"I'll find him!" I said,
and of course, there I saw him,
his four year old head.

I called to my family,
we rejoiced with glee
as he turned and smiled,
 looking at me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

An Incident Poem

I remember the sun,
shining bright in my eyes,
the heat sticking close
to my skin
the feeling of freedom
so great inside me
I truly felt like a good kid.

I rode on a bike,
so proud and free,
for it was the first time
I remember
Everything was new
everything a first
I wished I could be there forever.

I heard a call to start coming home
and turned around with my friend
Though I wished not, I really wished not,
the fun was ready to end.

Now my friend rode her bike
slow and uncertain,
while I rode proudly and free
Feeling quite lucky and smart, I did,
I decided to ride around she.

I turned onto the grass
and fell right on over, bringing
my bike right down too
There was a crash and a crack,
I lay on the grass,
stunned and unable to move.

My arm was broken,
and my chance of bike rides,
all because of my young thoughts and pride.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Response to "Incident"

Incident, by Countee Cullen

Once riding in old Baltimore,
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee,
I saw a baltimorean
Keep looking straight at me.

Now I was eight and very small,
and he was no whit bigger,
and so I smiled, but he poked out
his tongue and called me, "nigger."

I saw the whole of Baltimore
From May until December,
of all the things that happened there
That's all I remember.

I found this poem very interesting.
I noticed that the poem does not express very much emotion or mood, which I think may have to do with the character being eight years old. At the beginning of the poem, the character seems very happy and innocent. As we talked about in class, he is young, and life for him probably is easy and carefree. In the next stanza he encounters a little boy about the same age as him, and is friendly toward him. The boy responds by calling him something. In this moment, it seems like the character is sort of hit by reality. This is his first encounter with the real world, not the world that might be seen through a child's eyes. The fact that there is not much mood expressed by the character in the poem makes me think that maybe he was feeling confused. He was pulled out of childhood into a position which he may have not understood completely. It is also possible that the boy who the character encountered was confused too. They were both young, and he may have just been saying it because he had heard other people say it, and he thought it was alright.
This poem is on a very serious issue, but is written in a way that does not seem very serious. The poem has rhyme and rhythm, which add a childish factor into the poem. I think that if this poem had been from the point of view of an older person, maybe an adult, there would not be rhyme and rhythm, and the poem would be more serious and emotional.
This poem was written in the 60's.

Poem about Committee 2000

Swimming swimming around my head and on the page.
Lining up, marching into battle.
I see them dance across the paper
in such unison, such beauty
yet at the same time
contrasting, fighting for what seems right.
This is a war.
A strangely elegant war between color and shape.
They clash and collide
until battle ends.
Neither one a winner.
All that remains are scattered troops
in an artistic confusion

Monday, January 10, 2011

Art Response

Andy Warhol, Committee 2000
I saw this picture for the first time today and immediately liked it. I was not really sure what it was a picture of, though I had a few guesses, and I still don't really know.
I really like the contrast between shapes and colors in the painting. When I look at it, I feel like I'm looking at the remains of a battle between shapes and colors. I also like the fact that I don't know what it is a painting of. You don't need to know what it is a picture of to know that it is modernly beautiful. In my opinion, growing up is confusion. Growing up, we don't know what we will be like later in life, or who we are. Confusion is beautiful. Life is full it, confusion is what makes life more real.
This painting is now one of my favorite paintings.