Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Although this poem seems like one massive block of poetry, it is marked by structure with the reducing of the father's life. Starting with the mother kicking him out, then his divorce from his family and finally his firing from work. The layers of this unknown characters life are being peeled away, as the poem progresses. "Now I pass the bums in doorways...and I wonder who took it from them in silence until they had given it all away and had nothing left but this." Summing up the disintegration of their father's life, by relating it to a bum's empty life, shows the true emotional anger and hurt the child still feels. With the beginning of the poem being in the past, it ends with the child seemingly in present day and safely without their father.
Sharon Olds on her autobiographical poetry:
I also noticed how there were only two stanzas in the poem. This I thought was interesting because the speaker is meant to be "between two rooms." The first stanza is the observation of the people in one room and the second stanza, is the speaker observing the people in the other room. The different language used in the second stanza and second room, helps make the two rooms even more of seperate worlds. Throughout these observations, the speaker seems to be comparing and contrasting both worlds.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I love the poetry of Billy Collins so, I chose a funny and cynnical poem, for an outside of Norton choice. This one begins with, "Smokey the Bear heads into the autumn woods with a red can of gasoline and a box of wooden matches." This statement is funny for the ironic imagery Collins uses by placing the fictional flame-fighting bear with the proper equipment for starting a forest fire. The tone starts funny with this picture but with the next line, "his ranger's hat is cocked at a disturbing angle," this turns the tone to a more dark one because the idea that Smokey would actually start a fire becomes realistic. (Although the entire poem is fictional, smokey's intentions become clearer here). Collin's outlines Smokey's thoughts, "He is sick of dispensing warnings to the careless," his true feelings show with the description of "half-wit campers" and "dumbbell hikers." This playfully ironic poem boarders on reality by exposing Smokey's true annoyance for the many forest fires, started by idiotic people. "He is going to show them how a professional does it," this statement truly shows Smokey's bitterness and intentions of creating a fire for the desired effect of cruel irony.
I like this particular poem mostly because of the tone of irony and sarcasm that Collin's is known for. The imagery he creates with the descriptions of Smokey's, "brown fur gleaming in the sun" and "paws, the size of catcher's mitts" give the reality of Smokey the Bear being fed-up and literally going out to start a fire. Collin's light language, clearly sends the sarcastic message of retaliating against the idiotic people of the world, albit in a silly way.
Near the end, she seemed almost to hear me--
After reading My Papa's Waltz in the Norton I really liked Roethke's style of poetry and researched some more of his work and found The Geranium. The situation of this poem isn't clear in the beginning, its very ambiguous. The first line, "When I put her out, once, by the garbage pail, She looked so limp and bedraggles, so foolish and trusting." This description doesn't immediately point to the subject being a simple potted flower. The way Roethke describes the Geranium makes it take on a human persona, the reader feels the speakers feelings for the plant. Althought the speaker points out his mistreatment of the plant, "The things she endured!" He seems to feel guilt for his bad care for the withering plant. He refers to the geranium as "she" which attributes to the speakers idea of the plant being a woman. "Near the end, she seemed almost to hear me, and that way scary" This observation by the speaker shows the reader how deeply the speaker believes the plant is really alive, human being. Even though the owner of the plant seemed to not care much for the geranium because of the way he treated it, at the end he gets back at the maid who threw the flower away by firing her. "I was that lonely", is the last statement the speaker makes about his life, without his geranium. This simple sentence sums up the speakers true love for the flower and how sad he is that "she" is now gone.