forum post and 4 forum replies

Forum post.

Part I: The poets chosen for this week are among the leading poets of contemporary American literature; however, there are many others. Locate and read four poems by a Postmodern American author of your choice from the included list. How do you see this author as fitting into post-modernism? Be sure to connect with the poems you selected. Doing some biographical research may also be helpful. Be sure to share the link(s) to the poems you read.

Part II: One contemporary trend in poetry is known loosely as the “confessional mode,” in which the poet’s own life becomes an important element of the subject of his or her poetry. The three assigned poets clearly work in the confessional vein to some extent. How do they keep their poems from being merely about themselves?

Part III. You probably know John Grisham better from his novels than from his journalistic essays. In what ways does his magazine essay, included in our text, seem “fictional” to you–not necessarily fictional in the sense of things being made up, but rather in terms of style or writing technique?

Readings

  • John Grisham: “Somewhere for Everyone”
  • Sharon Olds: “First Thanksgiving”, “Still Life in Landscape”, “After Making Love in Winter”, “The Planned Child”
  • Linda Pastan: “A Rainy Country”, “I am Learning to Abandon the World”,
  • “The Obligation to Be Happy”, “Why Are Your Poems so Dark?”
  • Larry Levis: “Signs”, “To a Wren on Calvary”, “Winter Stars”
  • Locate and read four poems by a Postmodern American author of your choice from the included list

4 FORUM REPLIES

Respond to the reply as if you were me, each reply must be at least 150 words.

Sabra

Part I: The poets chosen for this week are among the leading poets of contemporary American literature; however, there are many others. Locate and read four poems by a Postmodern American author of your choice from the included list. How do you see this author as fitting into post-modernism? Be sure to connect with the poems you selected. Doing some biographical research may also be helpful. Be sure to share the link(s) to the poems you read

The author I chose to explore was Cole Swensen. I believe she was a good fit for post modernism work during her writing period. When it comes to post modernisms most of the writing is related to a sense of anxiety which differs when compared to Modernism. There are fears when it comes to Postmodern work such as illness, criminal threats, adultery and suicide. Typically, this work can include conflict (Lesson 6). The way Swensen shows Post Modernism within her writings can be seen in No Worry, What the Ventriloquists Said, Fade to Light and A Ghost. The signs that Post Modernism shows can be seen in each of these poems by the uneasiness of the main characters or those who are in the poems.

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/ghost-0

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57954/no-worry

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57955/fade-to-light

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/54125/what-the-ventriloquists-said

Part II: One contemporary trend in poetry is known loosely as the “confessional mode,” in which the poet’s own life becomes an important element of the subject of his or her poetry. The three assigned poets clearly work in the confessional vein to some extent. How do they keep their poems from being merely about themselves?

In the poems written by Linda Pasten she is describing the world and her surroundings, she is expressing the little details in each poem which makes them stand out. I like in her poem Why Are Your Poems So Dark? When she stated “When God demanded light, he didn’t banish darkness” to me in this poem is says that he has lit up the world and created each and everyone of us and how the moon has witnessed it all.

This is similar to how I viewed Levis poems, he talked about the world’s creations mostly, the life and death of each item.

As for Sharon Old, I get that she is writing about her family, she is expressing her life, but not merely about herself. She is including what seems to be her family in her poetry.

Part III. You probably know John Grisham better from his novels than from his journalistic essays. In what ways does his magazine essay, included in our text, seem “fictional” to you–not necessarily fictional in the sense of things being made up, but rather in terms of style or writing technique?

There are a few points in the reading where I questioned his story, as he stated that “many homeless people actually work, but not where they prefer” (Grisham, 1998). Another factor he pointed out is 40% of the homeless are substance abusers and how apparently, it is suspected to increase over time. I have a hard time believing that or that cities will criminalize homelessness, I do agree with some of the law he stated such as the public drunkenness, or the public exposure. I do believe that maybe his writing style was extreme in some parts, such as him describing the mother of 3 children, running from someone. He may have exaggerated a bit, although I think he is more trying to get the point across for the importance of homelessness.

Grisham, J. (1998, Feb 09). Somewhere for everyone. Newsweek, 131, 14

Jill

Part I:

The Post-Modern American author that I chose was Barbara Guest. This author fits into post modernism by the way she wrote the poems “Barrels”, “Photographs”, “Roses” and “The Blue Stairs”. The New York Times wrote the following memoriam after her death: “Ms. Guest’s poetry is intended for both the eye and the ear, straddling the border between the painterly and the musical. Her work defies easy interpretation or, in some cases, any interpretation. It is meant to.” I found her work chaotic at times and visually stressful. I completely agree with the New York times reporter who stated that her work defies easy interpretation.

In “Barrels”, Guest’s character has a sense of fear regarding her old lover taking on a new lover. The speaker is unhappy. The speaker alludes to the fact that that new woman is not with him for the right reasons. The speaker has “put in the work” with this man. Guest writes:

I won’t let anybody

take a drink

out of this barrel of tears

I’ve collected from you.

Least of all another woman.

The speaker is a woman scorned and the new woman is the stereotypical rebound girl that Guest describes as promiscuous. The speaker is jealous and fantasizes about choking her. Guest’s use of violence is an example of post modernism. Also, her use of the conflict between these characters (a woman’s life is shattered by the broken relationship) and the sexual undertones is indicative of postmodernism.

The poem “Photographs” is about rejecting of Western traditional values and transitioning changes. Guest starts the poem with “In the past we listened to photographs”. This line references the old and traditional way of living. Listening to photographs can mean, that we are listening to our ancestors and mimicking how they lived life or handled conflicts. The answer was in those photographs. She the writes that “dusk came”, which signified change. The characters were pushed forward, and at night their memories erased. Flash forward to a modern-day city where the old way of living does not translate to the new way. The old “camera” doesn’t work there. There are new pictures taken and the people find it impossible to “see” the old ways. Guest fits into post modernism by the way she rejects tradition and the chaotic style of writing.

“Roses” is about an anxiety ridden life and where to find the air in which to survive. It has a sense of paranoia and angst.

Guest writes:

And there are nervous

people who cannot manufacture

enough air and must seek

for it when they don’t have plants,

in pictures.

The poem is filled with anxiety and worry. She says that there are certain illnesses that require air. She alludes to a nervous mental disorder. The speaker says that there are roses that survive without air. Roses are picked no matter what, even if the sun is not shining on them. Guest fits into postmodernism by the undertone of “paranoia” in this poem.

“The Blue Stairs” shows postmodernism in the way she uses syntax and surrealism. Guest arranges the syntax of the poem in a stair-like way. The words move down and to the right, like stairs on a stair case. The poem is also chaotic and requires multiple reads to understand. The poem is about the workplace and promotions.

She writes:

There is no fear

in taking the first step

or the second

or the third

having a position

between several Popes

The reader can interpret this as meaning, there is no fear in taking one risk or another, or another, and still having the same position. One can reach the top. She writes:

The code

consists in noticing

the particular shade

of the staircase

In other words, she can make it to the top, if she knows the secret to getting in.

The speaker makes her way to the top of the food chain at work and does not want to lose her position. The poem is a guideline of sorts to encourage someone to keep fighting to be successful.

Works Cited

Barbara Guest, Pioneering Poet of the New York School, Is Dead at 85. The New York Times. 2006. www.nytimes.com/2006/03/04/books/barbara-guest-pioneering-poet-of-the-new-york-school-is-dead-at-85.html

Guest, Barbara. “The Blue Stairs”. 2003. www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/blue-stairs

Guest, Barbara. “Barrels”. 2008. www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/53130/barrels

Guest, Barbara. “Photographs”. 2003. www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43456/photographs-56d22233d1553

Guest, Barbara. “Roses”. 2008. www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52765/roses

Part II:

Linda Pastan keeps her poem from being about herself the way that she references the trials and tribulations in life that have occurred in the history of man, not just the speaker’s life. The message is that the speaker is going through a hardship, but all females are burdened by the trials of life. In “The Obligation to Be Happy”, Pastan has the speaker in 1st person, but the way she writes the poem, it clearly symbolizes life as a woman and/or wife.

Larry Levis keeps the poem “Signs” from being about himself by the way he writes in a dreamlike state. The way he references Winter and Spring seasons pulls me away from the confessional mode.

In “The Poet at Seventeen”, Levis not only writes about his experience, but the experience of others. By doing this, he keeps his poems from being merely about himself. His poems have surrealism and they were sometimes hard to follow for me.

Initially when I ready Sharon Olds works, it sounded like she was journaling. But upon a deeper dive into her work, I see she uses psychological processes. In “First Thanksgiving” she is explaining why her daughter left and how it happened. She compares her daughter leaving the home like a bee that was once caught and let go.

Part III.

Grisham’s writing style seems fictional by the way that he starts the first sentence, “In the small southern towns of my childhood”. The beginning totally reminds me of the beginning of a novel. His description of the panhandler and the assumption that the panhandler tormented others is not factual, but reads as fiction. His attitude towards wealthy Americans and their general distaste for homelessness is stereotypical. Grisham also has overly dramatized Americans and addiction. I think that Grisham was trying to raise awareness of homelessness, which he probably did. But the writing style was not factual with hard data, but rather story like and broad.

TIMOTHY

Part I: The poets chosen for this week are among the leading poets of contemporary American literature; however, there are many others. Locate and read four poems by a Postmodern American author of your choice from the included list. How do you see this author as fitting into post-modernism? Be sure to connect with the poems you selected. Doing some biographical research may also be helpful. Be sure to share the link(s) to the poems you read.

I chose the poet Ted Berrigan because when reading part of his biography, it stated he was a soldier in the Army and once discharged, he used his GI bill to attend college at the University of Tulsa. After obtaining his Master’s degree he returned it saying that he was “the master of no art” and he was merely a poet. I think that alone is an indication of post-modernism since he didn’t want to be labeled by something he received from a college, he just wanted to write poetry.

The first poem I read was “Around the Fire” and I think the main point of this work was that he isn’t for anything or against anything and he lived each day as it was. He says, how I feel is how I think and my heart and head feel exactly the same. It’s almost like you just need to take things how they are and not ponder on them or let them control your life, its life.

Ted Berrigan “Around the Fire” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/56123/around-the-fire

The second poem I read was “3 Pages” which is a list of 10 things that he does every day with the final thing being NOT ENOUGH. While I don’t fully get the explanation of this poem, it seems to point toward no matter what you might do every day it could be not enough. I definitely feel that way sometimes when the day is over and I could have done so much more.

Ted Berrigan “3 Pages” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/51624/3-pages

The third poem I read was “People Who Died” and it’s simply a list of those individuals who were near and dear to Ted that have died, their cause of death and the year. I found this interesting because how many people would go back and list all of the loved ones they lost and why as maybe a memento. Makes me think back the last few years of the people I have lost that I wasn’t able to say good bye too because I’m in the military and wasn’t home.

Ted Berrigan “People Who Died” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/56127/people-who-died

The Fourth poem I read was “The Sonnets: L” and to be honest after reading it and re-reading it, I have no real clue as to what it’s about. The poem itself seems to be all over the place from the beginning when it states I like to beat people up to My dream which is gunfire in my poem. The only thing I can really pull out from the poem is Whatever is going to happen is already happening, which I believe refers to destiny in the sense that the choices you make, make the path you will go down.

Ted Berrigan “The Sonnets: L” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/55676/the-sonnets-l

Part II: One contemporary trend in poetry is known loosely as the “confessional mode,” in which the poet’s own life becomes an important element of the subject of his or her poetry. The three assigned poets clearly work in the confessional vein to some extent. How do they keep their poems from being merely about themselves?

In Sharon Olds “Still Life in Landscape”, it’s about a car accident that I think her father caused but the story centers on the women lying on the ground with a leg missing and dead.

In Linda Pastan’s “Why Are Your Poems so Dark?” I think it’s a poem about comments the author might have gotten concerning her poems and the tone. She is trying to reflect that even within light there is darkness so why not write about it. She ends the poem with Ask the moon, ask what it has witnessed because it sees the earth both in the light and the dark.

In Larry Levis’s “Winter Stars” it seems like it’s a story more about the dad who might be losing his memory and when the body leaves home with questions left unanswered since his father and him didn’t really talk, but looking up at the stars like he did when he was a kid, thinks he and his dad could finally finish their talks.

Part III. You probably know John Grisham better from his novels than from his journalistic essays. In what ways does his magazine essay, included in our text, seem “fictional” to you–not necessarily fictional in the sense of things being made up, but rather in terms of style or writing technique?

After reading the essay a few times, I was actually hard pressed to find anything that would make me believe that it was fictional in the way that it was written. The only thing that would make me believe the essay might not be fact is that it seems more like a personal perspective of what one “might” find on the streets when it comes to homelessness vice what actually happened.

Tim

For this week’s forum topic post, I didn’t have time to sit down, perform research and have a deep, personal connection with the writings- unfortunately. I simply started from the top of the list with Mr. Charles Olson. The first poem I read of his was “Maximus, to himself,” because I thought the title sounded cool. It was a little difficult to understand but I think this poem is about a sailor, I’m a sailor, so I guess I connected on a personal level, one for one! Next I read “As the Dead Prey Upon Us,” again, I liked the title and thought that it sounded like a band that I saw at OzzFest in 2008. I finished with “The Kingfishers” and “The Grand Father Poem”.

I’m not sure how exactly this to decide how or where in postmodernism Olson’s works fit but from what I gather is that he resists definitions or themes. However, I saw that he wrote a lot about this Maximus character in his time. He seems to write from experience and ideas, to his mind, then his heart, and finally to paper. Links to the poems I mentioned are listed below.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47494/maximus-to-himself
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/54311/as-the-dead-prey-upon-us
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/54310/the-kingfishers-56d234829d88a
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?volume=106&issue=1&page=105

I think that a way that Larry Levis prevents his poetry being merely and obviously about himself is that his writings seem easy to relate to. Some of the imagery that he uses seems to take place in a small town or in the country and I think that that’s where the majority of Americans live and could best relate to or see themselves in these poems. I think that if a reader cannot empathize with the poem that they are reading then they won’t be quite as interested in one that they can see themselves in or someone that they are close to.

I think that one of the parts that seems fictional, to me, in Joh Grisham’s “Somewhere for Everyone,” is right in the beginning when the panhandler follows him. The two exchange insults for over a block- this doesn’t seem like the behavior of a small-town kid, like he claims in the opening sentence.

 

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forum post and 4 forum replies

Forum post.
Part I: The poets chosen for this week are among the leading poets of contemporary American literature; however, there are many others. Locate and read four poems by a Postmodern American author of your choice from the included list. How do you see this author as fitting into post-modernism? Be sure to connect with the poems you selected. Doing some biographical research may also be helpful. Be sure to share the link(s) to the poems you read.
Part II: One contemporary trend in poetry is known loosely as the “confessional mode,” in which the poet’s own life becomes an important element of the subject of his or her poetry. The three assigned poets clearly work in the confessional vein to some extent. How do they keep their poems from being merely about themselves?
Part III. You probably know John Grisham better from his novels than from his journalistic essays. In what ways does his magazine essay, included in our text, seem “fictional” to you–not necessarily fictional in the sense of things being made up, but rather in terms of style or writing technique?
Readings

John Grisham: “Somewhere for Everyone”
Sharon Olds: “First Thanksgiving”, “Still Life in Landscape”, “After Making Love in Winter”, “The Planned Child”
Linda Pastan: “A Rainy Country”, “I am Learning to Abandon the World”,

“The Obligation to Be Happy”, “Why Are Your Poems so Dark?”
Larry Levis: “Signs”, “To a Wren on Calvary”, “Winter Stars”
Locate and read four poems by a Postmodern American author of your choice from the included list

4 FORUM REPLIES
Respond to the reply as if you were me, each reply must be at least 150 words.
Sabra
Part I: The poets chosen for this week are among the leading poets of contemporary American literature; however, there are many others. Locate and read four poems by a Postmodern American author of your choice from the included list. How do you see this author as fitting into post-modernism? Be sure to connect with the poems you selected. Doing some biographical research may also be helpful. Be sure to share the link(s) to the poems you read
The author I chose to explore was Cole Swensen. I believe she was a good fit for post modernism work during her writing period. When it comes to post modernisms most of the writing is related to a sense of anxiety which differs when compared to Modernism. There are fears when it comes to Postmodern work such as illness, criminal threats, adultery and suicide. Typically, this work can include conflict (Lesson 6). The way Swensen shows Post Modernism within her writings can be seen in No Worry, What the Ventriloquists Said, Fade to Light and A Ghost. The signs that Post Modernism shows can be seen in each of these poems by the uneasiness of the main characters or those who are in the poems.
https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/ghost-0
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57954/no-worry
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57955/fade-to-light
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/54125/what-the-ventriloquists-said
Part II: One contemporary trend in poetry is known loosely as the “confessional mode,” in which the poet’s own life becomes an important element of the subject of his or her poetry. The three assigned poets clearly work in the confessional vein to some extent. How do they keep their poems from being merely about themselves?
In the poems written by Linda Pasten she is describing the world and her surroundings, she is expressing the little details in each poem which makes them stand out. I like in her poem Why Are Your Poems So Dark? When she stated “When God demanded light, he didn’t banish darkness” to me in this poem is says that he has lit up the world and created each and everyone of us and how the moon has witnessed it all.
This is similar to how I viewed Levis poems, he talked about the world’s creations mostly, the life and death of each item.
As for Sharon Old, I get that she is writing about her family, she is expressing her life, but not merely about herself. She is including what seems to be her family in her poetry.
Part III. You probably know John Grisham better from his novels than from his journalistic essays. In what ways does his magazine essay, included in our text, seem “fictional” to you–not necessarily fictional in the sense of things being made up, but rather in terms of style or writing technique?
There are a few points in the reading where I questioned his story, as he stated that “many homeless people actually work, but not where they prefer” (Grisham, 1998). Another factor he pointed out is 40% of the homeless are substance abusers and how apparently, it is suspected to increase over time. I have a hard time believing that or that cities will criminalize homelessness, I do agree with some of the law he stated such as the public drunkenness, or the public exposure. I do believe that maybe his writing style was extreme in some parts, such as him describing the mother of 3 children, running from someone. He may have exaggerated a bit, although I think he is more trying to get the point across for the importance of homelessness.
Grisham, J. (1998, Feb 09). Somewhere for everyone. Newsweek, 131, 14
Jill
Part I:
The Post-Modern American author that I chose was Barbara Guest. This author fits into post modernism by the way she wrote the poems “Barrels”, “Photographs”, “Roses” and “The Blue Stairs”. The New York Times wrote the following memoriam after her death: “Ms. Guest’s poetry is intended for both the eye and the ear, straddling the border between the painterly and the musical. Her work defies easy interpretation or, in some cases, any interpretation. It is meant to.” I found her work chaotic at times and visually stressful. I completely agree with the New York times reporter who stated that her work defies easy interpretation.
In “Barrels”, Guest’s character has a sense of fear regarding her old lover taking on a new lover. The speaker is unhappy. The speaker alludes to the fact that that new woman is not with him for the right reasons. The speaker has “put in the work” with this man. Guest writes:
I won’t let anybody
take a drink
out of this barrel of tears
I’ve collected from you.
Least of all another woman.
The speaker is a woman scorned and the new woman is the stereotypical rebound girl that Guest describes as promiscuous. The speaker is jealous and fantasizes about choking her. Guest’s use of violence is an example of post modernism. Also, her use of the conflict between these characters (a woman’s life is shattered by the broken relationship) and the sexual undertones is indicative of postmodernism.
The poem “Photographs” is about rejecting of Western traditional values and transitioning changes. Guest starts the poem with “In the past we listened to photographs”. This line references the old and traditional way of living. Listening to photographs can mean, that we are listening to our ancestors and mimicking how they lived life or handled conflicts. The answer was in those photographs. She the writes that “dusk came”, which signified change. The characters were pushed forward, and at night their memories erased. Flash forward to a modern-day city where the old way of living does not translate to the new way. The old “camera” doesn’t work there. There are new pictures taken and the people find it impossible to “see” the old ways. Guest fits into post modernism by the way she rejects tradition and the chaotic style of writing.
“Roses” is about an anxiety ridden life and where to find the air in which to survive. It has a sense of paranoia and angst.
Guest writes:
And there are nervous
people who cannot manufacture
enough air and must seek
for it when they don’t have plants,
in pictures.
The poem is filled with anxiety and worry. She says that there are certain illnesses that require air. She alludes to a nervous mental disorder. The speaker says that there are roses that survive without air. Roses are picked no matter what, even if the sun is not shining on them. Guest fits into postmodernism by the undertone of “paranoia” in this poem.
“The Blue Stairs” shows postmodernism in the way she uses syntax and surrealism. Guest arranges the syntax of the poem in a stair-like way. The words move down and to the right, like stairs on a stair case. The poem is also chaotic and requires multiple reads to understand. The poem is about the workplace and promotions.
She writes:
There is no fear
in taking the first step
or the second
or the third
having a position
between several Popes
The reader can interpret this as meaning, there is no fear in taking one risk or another, or another, and still having the same position. One can reach the top. She writes:
The code
consists in noticing
the particular shade
of the staircase
In other words, she can make it to the top, if she knows the secret to getting in.
The speaker makes her way to the top of the food chain at work and does not want to lose her position. The poem is a guideline of sorts to encourage someone to keep fighting to be successful.
Works Cited
Barbara Guest, Pioneering Poet of the New York School, Is Dead at 85. The New York Times. 2006. www.nytimes.com/2006/03/04/books/barbara-guest-pioneering-poet-of-the-new-york-school-is-dead-at-85.html
Guest, Barbara. “The Blue Stairs”. 2003. www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/blue-stairs
Guest, Barbara. “Barrels”. 2008. www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/53130/barrels
Guest, Barbara. “Photographs”. 2003. www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43456/photographs-56d22233d1553
Guest, Barbara. “Roses”. 2008. www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52765/roses
Part II:
Linda Pastan keeps her poem from being about herself the way that she references the trials and tribulations in life that have occurred in the history of man, not just the speaker’s life. The message is that the speaker is going through a hardship, but all females are burdened by the trials of life. In “The Obligation to Be Happy”, Pastan has the speaker in 1st person, but the way she writes the poem, it clearly symbolizes life as a woman and/or wife.
Larry Levis keeps the poem “Signs” from being about himself by the way he writes in a dreamlike state. The way he references Winter and Spring seasons pulls me away from the confessional mode.
In “The Poet at Seventeen”, Levis not only writes about his experience, but the experience of others. By doing this, he keeps his poems from being merely about himself. His poems have surrealism and they were sometimes hard to follow for me.
Initially when I ready Sharon Olds works, it sounded like she was journaling. But upon a deeper dive into her work, I see she uses psychological processes. In “First Thanksgiving” she is explaining why her daughter left and how it happened. She compares her daughter leaving the home like a bee that was once caught and let go.
Part III.
Grisham’s writing style seems fictional by the way that he starts the first sentence, “In the small southern towns of my childhood”. The beginning totally reminds me of the beginning of a novel. His description of the panhandler and the assumption that the panhandler tormented others is not factual, but reads as fiction. His attitude towards wealthy Americans and their general distaste for homelessness is stereotypical. Grisham also has overly dramatized Americans and addiction. I think that Grisham was trying to raise awareness of homelessness, which he probably did. But the writing style was not factual with hard data, but rather story like and broad.
TIMOTHY
Part I: The poets chosen for this week are among the leading poets of contemporary American literature; however, there are many others. Locate and read four poems by a Postmodern American author of your choice from the included list. How do you see this author as fitting into post-modernism? Be sure to connect with the poems you selected. Doing some biographical research may also be helpful. Be sure to share the link(s) to the poems you read.
I chose the poet Ted Berrigan because when reading part of his biography, it stated he was a soldier in the Army and once discharged, he used his GI bill to attend college at the University of Tulsa. After obtaining his Master’s degree he returned it saying that he was “the master of no art” and he was merely a poet. I think that alone is an indication of post-modernism since he didn’t want to be labeled by something he received from a college, he just wanted to write poetry.
The first poem I read was “Around the Fire” and I think the main point of this work was that he isn’t for anything or against anything and he lived each day as it was. He says, how I feel is how I think and my heart and head feel exactly the same. It’s almost like you just need to take things how they are and not ponder on them or let them control your life, its life.
Ted Berrigan “Around the Fire” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/56123/around-the-fire
The second poem I read was “3 Pages” which is a list of 10 things that he does every day with the final thing being NOT ENOUGH. While I don’t fully get the explanation of this poem, it seems to point toward no matter what you might do every day it could be not enough. I definitely feel that way sometimes when the day is over and I could have done so much more.
Ted Berrigan “3 Pages” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/51624/3-pages
The third poem I read was “People Who Died” and it’s simply a list of those individuals who were near and dear to Ted that have died, their cause of death and the year. I found this interesting because how many people would go back and list all of the loved ones they lost and why as maybe a memento. Makes me think back the last few years of the people I have lost that I wasn’t able to say good bye too because I’m in the military and wasn’t home.
Ted Berrigan “People Who Died” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/56127/people-who-died
The Fourth poem I read was “The Sonnets: L” and to be honest after reading it and re-reading it, I have no real clue as to what it’s about. The poem itself seems to be all over the place from the beginning when it states I like to beat people up to My dream which is gunfire in my poem. The only thing I can really pull out from the poem is Whatever is going to happen is already happening, which I believe refers to destiny in the sense that the choices you make, make the path you will go down.
Ted Berrigan “The Sonnets: L” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/55676/the-sonnets-l
Part II: One contemporary trend in poetry is known loosely as the “confessional mode,” in which the poet’s own life becomes an important element of the subject of his or her poetry. The three assigned poets clearly work in the confessional vein to some extent. How do they keep their poems from being merely about themselves?
In Sharon Olds “Still Life in Landscape”, it’s about a car accident that I think her father caused but the story centers on the women lying on the ground with a leg missing and dead.
In Linda Pastan’s “Why Are Your Poems so Dark?” I think it’s a poem about comments the author might have gotten concerning her poems and the tone. She is trying to reflect that even within light there is darkness so why not write about it. She ends the poem with Ask the moon, ask what it has witnessed because it sees the earth both in the light and the dark.
In Larry Levis’s “Winter Stars” it seems like it’s a story more about the dad who might be losing his memory and when the body leaves home with questions left unanswered since his father and him didn’t really talk, but looking up at the stars like he did when he was a kid, thinks he and his dad could finally finish their talks.
Part III. You probably know John Grisham better from his novels than from his journalistic essays. In what ways does his magazine essay, included in our text, seem “fictional” to you–not necessarily fictional in the sense of things being made up, but rather in terms of style or writing technique?
After reading the essay a few times, I was actually hard pressed to find anything that would make me believe that it was fictional in the way that it was written. The only thing that would make me believe the essay might not be fact is that it seems more like a personal perspective of what one “might” find on the streets when it comes to homelessness vice what actually happened.
Tim
For this week’s forum topic post, I didn’t have time to sit down, perform research and have a deep, personal connection with the writings- unfortunately. I simply started from the top of the list with Mr. Charles Olson. The first poem I read of his was “Maximus, to himself,” because I thought the title sounded cool. It was a little difficult to understand but I think this poem is about a sailor, I’m a sailor, so I guess I connected on a personal level, one for one! Next I read “As the Dead Prey Upon Us,” again, I liked the title and thought that it sounded like a band that I saw at OzzFest in 2008. I finished with “The Kingfishers” and “The Grand Father Poem”.
I’m not sure how exactly this to decide how or where in postmodernism Olson’s works fit but from what I gather is that he resists definitions or themes. However, I saw that he wrote a lot about this Maximus character in his time. He seems to write from experience and ideas, to his mind, then his heart, and finally to paper. Links to the poems I mentioned are listed below.
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47494/maximus-to-himselfhttps://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/54311/as-the-dead-prey-upon-ushttps://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/54310/the-kingfishers-56d234829d88ahttps://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?volume=106&issue=1&page=105
I think that a way that Larry Levis prevents his poetry being merely and obviously about himself is that his writings seem easy to relate to. Some of the imagery that he uses seems to take place in a small town or in the country and I think that that’s where the majority of Americans live and could best relate to or see themselves in these poems. I think that if a reader cannot empathize with the poem that they are reading then they won’t be quite as interested in one that they can see themselves in or someone that they are close to.
I think that one of the parts that seems fictional, to me, in Joh Grisham’s “Somewhere for Everyone,” is right in the beginning when the panhandler follows him. The two exchange insults for over a block- this doesn’t seem like the behavior of a small-town kid, like he claims in the opening sentence.
 
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