Voyage of the Bermuda

He sat down recounting the events of the night before. A night he could not even believe with such an unfortunate end that even he still stood shocked as no man would believe the things that he had lived through. His pale white skin looking like transparent sheets on top of the bone that held him together. All he could do was shiver at the thought of the wreckage that lay before him. Where he was? He did not know but he could remember them, the thoughts that filled his head that night.

He had come from Europe picking up shipment from the Caribbean with promises of spices, bootleg alcohol, and equipment that seemed to fit the needs of a fisherman. His great grandfather had been a mover of sorts, a personal voyager ever since he had made the boat from the fallen oak tree that had been struck by lightning. It was salvaged by the rain and durable enough to carve out the Atlantica. That is what his great grandfather called it although to him, it was the Marina.

He had decided to set sail and head to what is known as Florida but he was running behind on schedule. He had intended to reach it a couple days ago but the crew just had to swash buckle their way through the taverns and maidens who became introduced to them. If he could transport everything on his own he would but the need for a crew made him stay. He was not strong enough to command and they were not the smartest of the bunch but their brawn was enough to go on.

Instead he was thinking about crossing the dreaded triangle. The three points every voyager knows not to cross, the Bermuda Triangle. The crew advised against it saying those who entered never came out. The tales of women, mermaids, sirens of the sea beckoned their vessels into coming to the end. He had enough he steered the ship and entered without warning, the crew in utter fear for the madness to come.

He heard them straight through the mist. The voices trailed through like waves of the ocean crashing to his ears. They sang the fearful tune

Walk through the gates of the darkest seas

Enter the realm of the forbidden fruit

Women of the unnatural and forgotten breeze

Sick of this voyage follow our voice let go of the brute

Become ours to entice and forget the reason

As he went through he felt it the agonizing deaths of those who had advised him not to go. Their screaming bleeding them dry to their ends as the unnatural women took the remains to the depths.

He sat alone remembering the slaughters, the deaths of his fallen crew. All he could do was become lost in the seas that once called his name. The perils that called to him so enticingly had now endangered him. His wish had been granted, his voyage was over and the crew was all gone. Their blood stained the sands of his wreckage. His vessel was gone. His journey was over.

 

Dear Readers,

The conception of the “Voyage of the Bermuda” came from reading the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” for the purpose. I however took a different approach to writing it and rather than create an epic poem from it wrote it out as a story. I wanted to play with the form instead and parody how the two actually can contain the same message no matter the form. As they both seem to tell the same unfortunate tale of a sailor being left behind to warn those others who seem to be heading down the same path they are. It appreciates nature and romanticizes the seas as something that is beautiful to watch. Nature however when not give the right appreciation and ends up turning on humanity. It is dangerous and the wraths that come from it are understandable because people will take it for granted.

The ideas of madness are touched upon here but not fully explored as the reader knows that the captain is left alone and shipwrecked. It drastically leaves him altered in perspectives and it also makes him remember that inadvertedly this was his fault because he blamed his crew and he also did not care to listen to them when they warned him no to go. It shows the consequences of what could happen if people go against their natural nature. Human nature is complicated within itself and the reversal of it makes people think twice about changing who they are.

The change in form does not truly change the message that a story is trying to convey. A poem and a story although do not share the same qualities that tend to send a message, they do end up changing the ways that people perceive things. A poem is structured and has different rules to it depending on the type of poem but a story has little structure. This restraint does not allow the message stop. So keep the message in mind when reading and do not let form stop you.

-Alexis Blanco

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The Harp of India

Colonization is a continuous theme that reoccurs around the world and India going through colonization was another issue that occurred within the poem “The Harp of India” by Henry Louis Vivian Derozio. The first line poses the question “Why hang’st thou lonely on yon withered bough?” The question describes a harp as “withered” something that has been untouched for days and has slowly become dilapidated.

Unstrung for ever, must thou there remain;

Thy music once was sweet – who hears it now?

It just shows that there was once this idealistic tone that made the music sound like a beauty. The beauty that was before the arrival of others who wanted to take control of them. They started to feel as if lost by the oppressor and stopped practicing their ideals. It kind of highlights the importance of culture before the arrival of the oppressor. They have their ideals that many people find foreign and different.

Unstrung for ever, must thou there remain;

Thy music once was sweet – who hears it now?

Why doth the breeze sigh over thee in vain?

Their culture has been lost and all they can do is adapt to the ways that the settler have brought up to them in order to assimilate. There is nothing left to do but allow themselves to go and strip their identities into that which others are forcing them into. They will become like the oppressor in the sense that they are no longer who they said they were.

Silence hath bound thee with her fatal chain;

Neglected, mute, and desolate art thou,

Like ruined monument on desert plain:

The “neglected” and “mute” help to highlight the stop the Indian people were unable to regain their lost identity. Instead they are being slowly trained and kept away from the truth that they told themselves. They were saved and transitioned into that type of salvation however they knew they were being brought to ruin. They were starting to become nothing but shells of the things they are trying to contain.

-Alexis Blanco

 

Life of a Man

There was a man who walked about in a mantle of gold

His life seemed bright and enchanting at most

Till he decided to go forth and be bold

But here is the truth, many people should not boast

 

He lost it all the house, the boat, the greens

His wife and kids left before the scandal hit

That he had hit the streets and traded in gold for beans

Yet this small portion of food could not just fill his pit

 

He told himself he was camping just for a day or two

He would go home in time and everything would be forgotten

His home slowly turned into that big tent of blue

However his life of luxury had by someone been bought-en

 

He slunk away into his poorly lit house tears dripping

His face forgotten lost to all who stared at him

Meanwhile those others sit there in greatness sipping

Letting him rot away and waste the life he once had.

 

For this blog post I decided to think about the poor neighborhoods in Los Angeles and talk about the people who have been forgotten. The homeless have become such a big important part of Los Angeles that they seem to be just an object. They are no longer people who probably have backstory to the moment in time that got them there. I wanted to created a short poem detailing the life of a very expensive man who all of a sudden out of a twist in fate has lost everything. I followed the rhyme scheme in William Blake’s poem, London, so that there can be some sort of commonality. However the last line did not follow the rhyme scheme because I wanted to show that eventually when your life has come to the situations that have brought people to their lowest, there almost feels to be a pointlessness to following the rules. This man had it all and in a split second loses everything. In another line there is a made up word “bought-en” one it was meant to fit in the scheme of the rhyme but it also helps to serve the losing mentality that this person is going through. Through the poverty they start becoming this nothingness that people cannot seem to fit. It all goes back to major changes in employment and the decisions that jobs take into firing their staff.

-Alexis Blanco

 

Beauty in Darkest Places

Caspar David Friedrich painting, The Abby in the Oakwood, (1808-1810) depicts the wickedness of twisted trees in a clearing. There is a darkness that sweeps through the bottom half of the image as if making sure to shroud objects. Objects that from closer looking, seem like marked graves . In between the image stands a ruin of some sort as if a building had stood there many years ago. These trees and the ruin stand tall and extend to the top of the image but as the image goes up there is a clearing of color. The darkness subsides and light can be seen for there is beauty in darkness. From darkness comes a beauty that can never been seen unless the transition from light to dark is seen, the in-between that serves as that transition shows that there is difference in what they do. It is a change that envelopes the human soul and twists it just like the trees to change their nature, hopefully for the better, or at least become someone or something new. For you see, change is beautiful. For example in the poem “We Are Seven” by William Wordsworth tells the painful story of a child recounting the death of her siblings. She states that:

The first that died was sister Jane;

In bed she moaning lay,

Till God released her of her pain;

And then she went away
She seems to be retelling the stories in an effort to explain her situation of being in a gravesite and slowly the reader discovers more about the human soul. Jane may have died, a painting of sorrow and sadness with every death that comes. However in this tragedy lives a greater good, a freedom that comes to liberate when things are too rough. She was released of pain and yearning to actually want to live but the soul lives on. An enlightened ideal of wanting there to always be some smudge of good anywhere. The darkest situations always bring forth light even if they seem slightly fixed.
-Alexis Blanco

Romantic Poetry with Rime

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a sort of bewitching tale that sort of entrances the reader especially more coming from the rock style of Iron Maiden. The way the band performs the poem firms a romantic form and the content urges the reader to appreciate life and nature with it. It provides a more visual sensation while also opens up a different interpretation for the reader of the original text of the “Rime of the Ancyent Mariner.”

There is a moment amongst the song that there is a sudden pause from all of the exposition that the singer is throwing at the audience. In that sudden break there is just this soothing transition as it mellows out. It draws in the reader and settles them down for the remainder of the song however it does something else. As discussed in lecture, I took Romanticism to mean poetry that “convey deep and longing emotions” but not just that, emotions that relate back to nature as well.

The last stanza repeats the horror and truth that this song is trying to teach the reader.

The mariner’s bound to tell of his story

To tell this tale wherever he goes

To teach God’s word by his own example

That we must love all things that God made.

 

And the wedding guest’s a sad and wiser man

And the tale goes on and on and on.

 

Because the Mariner has mistreated the natural connection of life, he has been bound to keep spreading the word. Through this serious tone of fear and sudden appreciation, the message is getting across “that we must love all things that God made” however the repetitiveness of the song “the tale goes on and on and on” just to lure the reader in more final. It is a cycle that forces the reader to think about the message while also taking a deep look at themselves. It makes for a self-doubt and it criticizes the nature of who they think they are while also getting a connection to nature.

-Alexis Blanco

 

 

Sarcasm in Nature

Inspecting the second image provided one can see a division amongst race but above all there are some differences in the two portrayals of race. On one side there is a couple seems sad about something as the man is sitting with his head down covering his face in shame. The woman seems to be trying to comfort him while holding a child which I can only assume is their child. The colors on their clothing seem dull and worn out as the background around them becomes gray and ominous as if there is an emptiness filling their void. While on the other side there is another couple with their child playing under a nice painted palm tree and fruitful vegetation surround them. The colors on their clothes are brighter compared to the couple on the left. The difference however being that the couple on the right is of African American descent. The image is sarcastic in nature as the division between the two couples is a pudgy white man stating to think of “the poor suffering African” “that while you sit under the vine of your Reform Bill and the fig-tree of our Magna Chart”. Basically while the white man is over there suffering the African American are clearly blissfully unaware of the things that plague them as a whole. Clearly the image wanted to misrepresent the African Americans in order to make those who saw it feel no sympathy for what they were going through. They wanted to paint the white people as the victims of the growing responsibilities of having Africans being imported into their land. It was forcing them to become malnourished and become increasingly difficult to maintain a job. However in Equiano’s piece clearly he remarks “I had frequently told several people, in my excursions on shore, the story of my being kidnapped with my sister, and of our being separated as I have related before”(85). Equiano’s experience of being a slave has some degree of truthfulness because he went through the experience of being taken away from his family. His inability to communicate with his family and his experiences as a slave contradicts the image placed by the people. However propaganda made it so that the “savage” people would be the ones that are the victimizers, not the victims.

-Alexis Blanco

Gulliver’s Ego

Sophia Goldborne begins the story by referencing “the splendor, as it is modestly styled, is of itself, my Arabella, sufficient to turn the soundest European head” (7). Since the beginning her ego has been high and she only continues to inflate her ego by comparing the “modest” presence of Calcutta to that of her home in Europe. She has this constant need to continue writing to Arabella, which is us the readers, and prove to Arabella just how much she has grown as a person in a sophisticated sense. She is becoming stronger and more knowledgeable now that she has left the comfort of her own home to gain experience from the world. Although literature serves the purpose of educating and critiquing society, the way that literature is being used here seems to almost serve the opposite purpose of educating. Her amazement at insistent quotation of English literature makes her believe that she does have some grasp of knowledge and wisdom that goes above the others. She uses such knowledge for others to connect with everything she sees one such reference comes from the moment she steps into a new surroundings. As evident when she says “I beheld so brilliant, so divine a spectacle-am so dazzled , and so captivated, and, like Gulliver in the land of Lilliput, find all objects around me so diminutive and so mean, that I overlook and disregard them at every point” (269). She is ignorant and cannot see past her own existence because she is only thinking about proving to others that she is just a step higher than all those who do not get to live out the experience that she is living. Like Gulliver she is placed in a position of power in which she can describe to the “unfortunate” what she lives through. The English literature makes her ego grow and she starts to blind her from the realism of her situation. The use of Gulliver here draws parallels to a person lost with the crowd but follows because here is no truth to do. The English literature only forces people to take a closer look at Sophia as a person and how truly “broken” she is by believing her superiority over others, when in fact she could be just as ignorant.

-Alexis Blanco

English the Language

Language is a very convoluted subject as it is already because it is the way in which people communicate with one another. However there are many different languages that scatter the world already that help to send a sort of miscommunications with others who cannot understand the same language. English for starters was thought to be the universal language back in the day, the superior race was to “educate” those who are unable to speak it. The thought of English being a tool of suppression for others has never really occurred to me. I though that it was a means to communicate and expel thoughts but by expelling thoughts, where do these thoughts go to? Do they just become stuck in someone else head or do they become a threat to the mind in which they are being placed in? The English language is a priority as it was then, it is now. When students go to school here in the United States, instruction is always given in English and never in the language of a foreigner say Spanish or Chinese or other. People are expected to know the English language because they are from this place where the norm is English. Any other form just becomes disregarded by the fact that they are . Although the idea was not bad in thye sense that they wanted people to be able to communicate with each other without there being a miscommunication, the miscommunication still happened. They used force and violence in order to “educate” and slowly stripped others of their individualism.

-Alexis Blanco

Reason Trumps Emotions

Houyhnhnms are a race of horses born with intelligence and their way of understanding is based solely on the voice 0f their reasoning. They are horses, beast in nature therefore one of their underlined characteristics is their lack of emotions. Emotions which make humans what they are and therefore not having emotion helps to prevent making decisions with their emotions. The representation for a human comes in the form of the Yahoos which are humanoid in nature but are considered more “beastly” and “savage.” It would be ideal for people to be part of the society that uses solely logic to get through the toughest of situations because they are capable of being untethered to a problem emotionally. However emotions are needed because they are what keep us from being indifferent and becoming mindless drones to the ideals of others who think of their thoughts as superior.

The Yahoos are viewed all through the perspective of Gulliver and they are painted rather plainly. For starters “For I have already told the Reader how much I was pestered by those odious Animals upon my first Arrival. And I afterwards failed very narrowly three or four times of falling into their Clutches, when I happened to stray at any distance without my Hanger”(4.8.243-244). Gulliver naively places himself on a higher social position than the Yahoos only because he is a stranger to the land of the Houyhnhnms. He feels “pestered” and is constantly “falling” to their “Clutches” as if they are trying to sway him to be part of their . They however are truly part of the same type of species because they think alike they have the empathetic connection towards Gulliver. That is why they reach out to him because he is more like the Yahoos than the Houyhnhnms.

-Alexis Blanco

Repetitive History leads to Imperfection

The ideas of genocide are something that are viewed as a cleanse of the race that does not belong with them. It is a constant that happens throughout time and time again because there always has to be “the perfect race.” It is a need to be able to grasp this ideal of perfection and superiority that continues to exercise their decision making skills. When the city upon the hill speech was given there was a sense of superiority and arrogance in which John Winthrop exclusively believed that the “savage” people should be educated and reformed into part of their society. The evolution of this ideal then started to gradually shift and build a social construction of race in which indigenous people would be seen  as less than what they are. Even today these prejudices still exist and hold people down to believe these ideals.

The idea of perfection however is an illusion as perfection is defined as something without flaws. It is a pure concept that cannot be conceived because even now there are many flaws within the world and with people to be able to obtain it. All these mistakes and massacring and people think they are the “perfect race? What gives them the right to be able to believe thy are perfect when they are full of imperfections? Does realizing you are imperfect, make you perfect? That probably makes the step forward to become a better self and learning more about the concept.

-Alexis Blanco