Surveying the Literature of Power

Pretend scenario (10-15 minutes):

You are an instructor for English 102 responsible for preparing a course survey reading list that extends from the mid 17th century to today, May 2019.  You must pick ONE of the three authors (listed below) who best fits the English 102 course description and learning objectives.  In other words, you, the instructor, must choose ONE representative reading that tests De Quincey’s idea of the literature of power according to three key questions:

“What is literature?”

“What makes literature English?”

“How did some of this literature become good?”

Please explain your choice in terms of the learning outcomes listed in the 102 syllabus.  The author with the most votes will win an English 102 prize certificate for mastering the literature of power!

Three authors to choose from:

1. Joseph Rojas:

2. Christopher Ingle:

3. Hongxi Su:


Mary’s Trip

Campfire story: A trip of a life time

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Maid: Oh dear, she smoking again. Let me wake the poor baby.

Maid leaves to the nursery

Mary R: Is my child ready for his bed time story? I must prepare for my narrative.

Baby Joseph wails loudly in the corridor

Maid: with a crunched up face  Yes Mistress, your child is ready for your story, but ma’am please do tie your hair back, the odor does disturb the poor babe.

Mary R: What is that you say? The smell of the herb brings forth blessings and sweet water from the Palms of Egyptian lands. My child clings to my breast in want for more, please watch your words.

Maid: Yes ma’am

Mistress walks of towards nursery, and approaches crib, there lays Joseph crying and flustered from being woken up.

Mary R: Oh dear, do not cry my love I know you have been waiting for my story time. Now the time has come for my tale.

Picking up the child and sitting down in the rocking char. Mary drapes her long budded hair around the child, whom immediately starts to cry louder.

Mary R: Once upon a time, there was a little girl surrounded by her loving happy  family. When she got a little older her father let her go forage in woods knowing if she went too far his brother,  Joshua, would watch her. She went outside in the woods to play and find herbs for her parents. There was plenty of berries for her mom and  special tobacco leaves for her dad to get for them. At the end of her day in the woods she come home empty handed and with lots of scratches. She told her family the Indians attacked her and took all her goods. The little girl’s father went and burned down the Indians Wigwams as punishment for hurting her. The next day the little girl went to collect her goods and came home empty handed and bruised up. She told her father the Priest beat her up and took her food, as a result the father burned all the churches as punishment. With no one else in the woods to hurt his daughter, he let her go out and play. When she returned home bruised and scratched up she hid from her parents. When her mom discovered her scratches, she said it was more Indians. So her father set the whole forest ablaze trying to drive out all the Indians. When the fire reached the other side of the forest it burned down her uncles home too. Her father was too late to save Joshua, lying next to his badly burnt body was all the dried berries and tobacco leaves stolen from his daughter. In the end the father killed the Indians and Christians over hurting his daughter when truly, it was his own flesh and blood instead. That day the little girl confessed her sins proclaiming she did hit the “stinking pipe” and never returned home with the goods because she smoked it all. She learned not to lie, because more people died then necessary. The End.



My story is a parody about Mary Rowlandson’s and the three little pigs. I wanted my story to insinuate that Mary was actually high during her captivity with the Indians and does not remember the real results. The introduction before Mary R, begins her story the maids smell her smoking and understands this is a queue for a bed time story. Mary R uses her bed time story with her son to practice drafts for her narrative. Instead of her being held captive by the Indians she was actually hanging out with her uncle Joshua getting high. She got so high during her time with him she forgot the true events of the story which is why her narrative puts the Indians in such a bad light. As the story concludes the Indians were cast in a better light, that is because she vaguely remembered it was not the Indians fault after all. Referencing directly from the Eight Remove, Mary’s son randomly comes to her and talks about the bible, this experience is reflected in her accusation of the priests. During class we discussed the idea if Mary “hit the stinking tobacco pipe” and my story is about how she did. Overall her long narrative was actually a foggy childhood memory she is now telling her son.


A Narrative of Captivity: A Take on Youth Imprisonment

I can see picket fences, smiling sun faces

I can feel all traces, the golden tongue laces

Feeling like running races is all I’m good at

Picking paces and anxiously waiting post stamps.

The hood claps

And I wish I could hear it

Who woulda thought confinement would make you death to hearing

Took death to living

Still waiting for an answer

Praying God’s Forgiving

Forgive him

Forgive me

Forgive survival through sinning

Forget the lies they bidded

When they told me I had chance

Facing life in prison

When they told him raise hands

While I’m cuffed in system

When they took my own homie in a PE Lesson


When they spit at my family in a language undressed

How could I /forget the fuckin language they pressed.


Another hearing where we never ever heard

Still I hear the word through a bird


Who sings a song through wood and steel/


I know why the caged bird don’t kill

I know what the caged bird knows – REAL

I fly high through the strife of my bill

Praying family sees me for what I am- REAL.


Cause Lord knows those power in sure don’t

Making an image outta me for

Struggle they Never had to post


Amounts raised as if my family could post




I’m in this cell but I’m not the only one living in hell.


I’m in this cell trying to maintain relations through mail

Trying to keep my soul alive and make sure my mom stays well


But my mind state swells – and I enter different realms.


Been in since I was 14, I’m 26 and already done 12.


So watch what you’re saying when you speak about my name

Watch which side you’re playing when you enter this game


I sit and wonder when I’ll see my family again.

I sit and wonder how fast time can pass and how to deal with a lost past within.


But I keep on.

‘Cause no one can take what’s inside this muscle.

What survives this struggle.

What shines through this hustle.


You can lock up a body, but you cannot touch this mind


And shit can kill-

But it can’t redefine or affect the resurrection of what’s mine

The divine is within-

So even without,

We find a way to make it through homie,

I’ll see you on the outs.



Mary Rowlandson in her Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, describes her experiences as being held captive by Indigenous Native Peoples. She describes the trauma she underwent, while also softly speaking against certain stereotypes of Native Indigenous tribes. Rowlandson in her text depicts fear, a sense of helplessness, but also documents the intimate interactions she witnesses as captive amongst populations she had previously never been as close to. Rowlandson story became a best seller throughout the colonies, aligning with a traditional American tactics to put white endangerment at the forefront of all that’s important in America. When a young black boy gets shot by the police, it means nothing to white America. When a 14-year old Latino boy and his high school friends get sentenced to life without parole in prison, as a minor, it does not face headlines. Yet, when a white, wealthy person from a prominent background, faces the slightest threat to prison, it makes headlines and lawyers are there to rescue.

This poem is dedicated to the thousands of American youth who have been held captive in the American prison system with no proper rescue, and whose stories are never heard. This poem reflects a captivity narrative that audiences might not be so welcoming to hear as they were with Rowlandson, for it reveals the problems within our broken judicial systems that intertwine childhood well-being/ safety, while also addressing broken sentencing laws that create large amounts of disparity amongst our youth, men, and women of color. This poem is written in 1stperson perspective, however I find it important to acknowledge that while this piece was written in 1stperson to depict and imitate the narrative style of Rowlandson, this is not my experience and I will never know what it’s like to go through this. This poem aims to honor the resilience of the youth whose stories this poem attempts to reflect and hopes to shed light on the struggle of surviving freely within a nation of policing and imprisonment.

There are men and women sitting in prison for things they did as a child who are still fighting for their story to be heard, for the justice they deserve. This is for them.

-Angelica Costilla

Status Update- Road Trip Log!

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♥iLoveDeQuincey and 10 others

captaincooklover1768 Happy College Signing Day! Excited To Announce That I Have (FINALLY) Picked My School! As Of Fall Of 2019 I Will Be A Proud Gaucho! So Excited Of The Adventures To Come! I Will Keep You All Posted On My Adventures As Well As The Struggles Of Being A College Student. #UCSB2023

May 1



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♥ iLoveEnglish102 and 12 others

captaincooklover1768 Happy Weekend Everyone! So Excited And Sad To Leave My Hometown Of Merced To Go To School Down In Santa Barbra. Will Be Keeping You Guys Posted How Things Are Going As We Drive There. Not Excited For Such A Long Drive, However, I AM Excited To Go Explore A Whole New Chapter Of My Life. Follow My Journey Both Of My Drive And School Year On Here!

September 22

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♥iAmJohnDryden and 14 others

captaincooklover1768 I am finally settled into my new home for the 2019 school year. The views are beyond breathtaking and my roommate is pretty cool too. I am so excited for my first day of school. A little homesick but I think it will get better as time goes on. I really want to be focused on my studies so I may not be as active but I will try to keep you guys updated on how I’m doing.

September 27

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♥WilliamApesssss and 14 others

captaincooklover1768 Halfway through my first quarter and so far so good. Sorry for not posting as much like I had promised! Been busy keeping up with my classes and clubs. Still missing home but it has gotten easier. After all these midterms I am trying to stress relieve myself by reading my favorite book and enjoying a cup of coffee. I’m definitely not ready for finals. I could barely handle midterms as its. However I am very confident that I will do well this quarter. I hope everybody is doing well with midterm season. I’m so glad that it’s finally over for me. Not to wait for finals. Happy fall everybody.

November 3

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♥AlexanderPope and 14 others

captaincooklover1768 These last few weeks I feel like I have been living in the library. On the bright side, I just took my last final for the quarter.  I am really excited to go back home for the winter holidays to see my family and friends. So far UCSB is everything I thought it would be. However, I am in desperate need of some family time and a proper meal. Perhaps even proper sleep. With that being said see yall next quarter. Happy Winter break everyone!

December 15



I wanted to attempt in recreating John Cook’s Travel Journal. I found it really interesting that although this particular piece of work was not very interesting for us to read, back in Cook’s day this was something that was really interesting for everyone to read. This was basically a very entertaining sort of literature full of journeys and stories beyond anyone could imagine because nobody had been to the places he had been and up until this point travel logs like this one was really the only source of telling anybody what was out there. And to try to put this idea of logging what is going on in someone’s life in modern day, I figured taking a role as a new college student going away from home and logging really important milestones so to speak of your first year as a college student. Picking your school, going away from home, your first day so on so forth.  in order to put John Cook in a modern-day perspective for more modern-day readers, we have to put it in social media or in a way where it is easily consumed by the public. By this I mean John Cook was basically already blogging, however, his was the old fashion way through pencil and paper. He had a harder time getting his work out into the public versus if you did his travel log nowadays we would see it in the form of a blog or a YouTube video so to speak. I think being able to capture that idea of capturing these important moments of your life when you travel or just, in general, is something that Cook did in order to be able to capture what he experienced and trying to let others live that experience through him. And we still see that a lot today with on social media.

-Diana Moreno


Sarah always hated poetry in her classes.

The words always jumbled up together, making her want to bury her head in her arms and take a long, deep nap. Long enough to end that particular class, at least.

A loud slap on her plastic desk jarred her, and Sarah shoved herself upright to glare at the one who had rudely interrupted her quick nap. Standing over her was the familiar shape of the class’ A+ student, who was oh-so-perfect at almost everything; Jackson. “I know this class is a bit early, but I’m not sure that means it’s a good time to sleep whenever you’re feeling drowsy.” An easy grin slipped across his face as his attention jumped between Sarah’s blank face and the blank notes that sat in front of her.

“You say that every week, you know.”

“I know. Whatcha got, there?”

Around the duo, the other classmates chatted excitedly about the last poem they had read, called The Mad Mother. For Sarah, the poem had no other meaning than the tale of some crazy croon who stumbled around a forest… So why was everyone else so excited about it?

Jackson plopped down in front of her and held his hand out. “May I?” He asked, and wordlessly she handed over her book. He scanned his eyes through the text only once before laying it down between them, ready to explain.

“I just don’t understand. It’s a crazy woman, so what?”

Jackson chuckled. “That’s the point of poems; to hide meaning throughout its words. Look here.” He pointed to one of the stanzas. “This woman isn’t just crazy; she’s grieving. There’s plenty of examples that run through the poem that prove so, like ‘My little babe! Thy lips are still’. The child that you think she’s carrying is not alive, and she doesn’t understand how to cope with it. The father is probably also dead as well.”

Sarah sat there with her jaw dropped. “But how could you even think of that? Only from a few stanzas?” Another chuckle from Jackson as he leaned back in his seat, his eyes darting up towards the ceiling.

“For me, it’s all about perspective. This woman thinks her child is with her, but what do other people see around her? Does that make sense?”

“Ugh. That’s too difficult.”

You’re the difficult one here, you know.”

Sarah glances down at the poem in front of her once more. “You’re good at this, you know.”

“It’s based off of experience, not just intelligence, you know.”

Sarah glances at him just in time to see a sad smile flitter across his lips. Just as she opened her mouth to pop out another question, professor quickly announces the end of the class, and Jackson is packing away his belongings and rushing out the door.


I decided to use this creative writing project to really focus on my time in this class, as well as the idea of perception when it comes from one another. For this piece of writing, I was inspired by my own difficulty in reading the class’ poetry, since it was in such an old-fashioned language that I am not used to. The Mad Woman is a perfect example to use, since throughout this poem, the woman is seen as a crazy person who is obsessed with finding her husband in order to complete their family. However, with certain stanzas, it can be interpreted that her child is dead, and she is carrying around his carcass in grief, since she is alone and has no one to console her during this hard time in her life.

This is relatable to many, especially those who have lost someone close to them, such as a friend or family member. Without the help of others, one may lose themselves to grief, ending up in them appearing crazy as they try to find a way to accept their loss and continue on with their lives. The protagonist in the story above doesn’t understand that concept, or the concept of what others see versus what you may see. That’s the reason why poems are so influential; they can hide a story that you didn’t even realize was being told. The Rine of the Ancient Mariner is another great example, using metaphors and imagery in order to help the reader visualize the scene and actions throughout the poem, forcing the reader to create their own story as they interpret the poem in a way that they can properly understand.

-Jody Omlin


From the Journal of Captain Pir Van Wilken: A Parody of Rip Van Winkle

Log Entry 24: 7/13/2156

Captain Pir Van Wilken

If there’s one thing I have learned recently, it’s that times change and society always moves forward. I was one of the first to be part of the cryogenic flights exploration program for long range space exploration. To put it simply, we’re frozen while our ship travels and thawed out once it arrives. We do our work and do the same thing for the flight back. Sounds easy enough, but what high command forgot to tell us was that a lot happens when you’re expected to be gone for nearly twenty years.

I wasn’t expecting a hero’s welcome when the auto pilot landed the ship back at the old military base, but I did expect more of a reception than just the robot sent to greet me. At least they were kind enough to sent transportation with it so I wouldn’t have to walk. Looking out the windows of the transport, I took notice of how much the colony had grown since I had been away. Red rocky landscapes had been replaced with the green of nature and the grey colors of industry and life. Different, but no unexpected.

The central hub of the base finally showed signs of activity, and as I walked through the doors inside, I noticed many other people stopping to take a look at me. I suppose I did stand out in comparison to the rest of them given that my uniform was a dark blue while they wore colors of dark red and black. When I finally managed to stop someone and ask where I might find the commander of the base, he silently pointed me towards the officer’s mess hall before walking off. There were to many thoughts on my mind at the time to lecture the young man about his etiquette given my higher rank, but I was in too much of a hurry to give my return report to bother.

Stepping inside the officer’s mess hall, it didn’t take me long to notice that I didn’t recognize any of the officers sitting around a large table in the center of the room. They seemed too caught up in their conversation to take notice of me, but I couldn’t help listen to them fiercely debate each other, talking about things such as divine rights, constitutions, parliament, the crown, and other terms  I was not familiar with. Finally noticing my presence, one of the men called out to me asking if I was a Parliamentarian or an Absolutist. I figured at this point they had been discussing politics, so I informed him that I had been a member of the Terran Progression Party and was loyal to the Terran Republic of Earth, which resulted in a massive uproar from the officers at the table. They began calling me spy, traitor, republican, and any other insulting term they could think of, until finally the first man took notice of my uniform and called for silence from the others. He asked me if I was the one who had arrived on the ship that had landed not long ago and I told him yes. He told me to sit down and began to explain what happened while I was gone. After years of rising taxes and unjust laws, the people of Mars, in defiance of Earth’s government, declared their independence and chose to crown the great General Alexander Washington as their king. After many years of fighting, the crown forces of Mars were victorious. This news was shocking to say the least, but I was also concerned and began asking him about the fate of other officers and commanders from the time that I left. Colonel Dornan passed away before the war even started after getting so furious at a new recruit that his heart finally gave out. Captain Tio he told me died in an airstrike early in the war, but that Captain Hernandez had been promoted to major and was serving at another base. Perhaps most surprising to me was learning that lieutenant Alexandrov, known for being inexperienced and often though of as unskilled, had survived and was serving as a member of parliament.

The man, whose name I finally learned was Colonel Royer, leaned back in his chair, finally finished answering my questions and telling me what had happened during the twenty years I was gone. The rest I would have to figure out on my own, but at this point I wasn’t sure what to do. Many of those I knew before had moved on with their lives and while I did still technically have a place with the military, I didn’t know what differences existed between Earth and Mars’s military structure, or if there were any differences. The colonel offered to assist me should I wish to join the Mars military. Perhaps I will take him up on that offer, but until then, I have received many requests from junior officers from the base to tell them about mars before its independence and about the old lands of earth which many of them have never visited. I wonder what the other men and women who went on the cryogenic exploration flights will think of this new world we have returned to and if we will integrate into this new system we will become a part of.


The story of Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle involves a character falling asleep for twenty years and waking up in an independent America that has started to develop its own sense of identity. This short parody journal entry is meant to be similar to the second half of the book and I wanted to try to keep certain details of the original story similar, but also framed in a different way such as Mars declaring independence, politics seeming to be an important part of this new independent identity, although I did choose to reverse it this time by having the revolutionary state be the monarchy rather than the republic this time. I also wanted to try to not have the Mars from before Pir leaves to be completely different from the Mars that he returns to. The America that Rip Van Winkle leaves and the one he enters into are different, but America hasn’t really developed a completely distinct culture in the book. People may be talking about politics more and may act a bit differently, but Rip is still able to adjust himself with relative ease. Similarly, I tried to add small details about uniform differences and Pir being unsure of how different Mars and Earth really are, but I tried to show that politics are starting to shape discussion and the direction of Mars. Maybe I didn’t present some details from the story in as much detail as I would have liked due to wanting to keep the length a bit limited, but I wanted to try to show these details in a different context. I think that Rip Van Winkle questions what it means to be an American and looks to answer that through politics and the politics of America while I wanted to try to present an identity for Mars as well that is also shaped more by its politics rather than a new and sudden cultural shift.

-Ryan Bucher

The Average College Student Curse

A Narrative of the Captivity of the Average College Student

The Sovereignty and goodness of GOD, together with the faithfulness of his promises displayed, being a narrative of the captivity and restoration of the average college student. Written by the hand of the average college student, for their private humor, and now made public at the desire of other average college students, and for the benefit of the average college students college loans.

On the 16th of September, came the college recruiters with great numbers upon different cities, their first coming was about junior year of high school, hearing the noise of sold dreams. They came and sold dreams about a better life and financial freedom. They took the students that had earned high SAT and ACT scores, there were five students taken in one house; carried away alive. Thus these money hungry recruiters, went on recruiting and promising empty dreams.

I am an average college student, they came and beset our own classroom, and quickly it was the “littest” day I saw. A year and a half later I arrived to my next destination, a college campus.  A city foreign to my own, it was freezing cold and I wasn’t prepared. The scenery was dead, the first thing I had witnessed was the cows everywhere. About a mile we went that night, and we ended up at the dorms. I asked them whether I could have my own room, which they refused. Putting us into rooms with 3 other average college students. Oh the screaming, and singing ,and dancing of the other college students in their dorms. Not everyone made it out of that first year of college, those were the 7 academically dismissed by the system. They were dismissed in a barbarous way, now owing the university thousands of dollars. 

They said we were sentenced to 4 years in this system, but it wasn’t always 4 some other average college students were sentenced to up to 6. Years would pass and the loans kept coming, adding more time to your sentence. Even if you were able to leave you were shackled to the institution. In the past I had often before this said that if college recruiters should come, I should choose to reject their advances and their promises of a better life. But my mind quickly changed when they screamed their promises of financial freedom and a better life. I chose rather to go along with those (as I may say) money hungry college recruiters, than that moment end my days in a town where better lives weren’t promised. And that I may declare what happened to me in those 4 years at the institution.


I chose “the Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson” by Mary Rowlandson herself because I felt like this would be the perfect piece of literature that could resonate with modern times. College Institutions could be considered modern day captivity because we are brought here from different ways of life and different paths to the same place. Everyone leaves everything they find dear behind and comes to a new place to start over. Students are promised the opportunity of creating a better life but they never add how you risk being in debt for many years to come. My imitation covers how I view the average college student, after talking to many people about their experiences and also my own I thought this parody would be the most sensible for me. I attempted to follow the style of writing in the texts but tried adding a modern touch to it. The reason I started my story in 11th grade is because I feel like as college juniors we are pressured to apply to different schools with the hopes of if you get in you will create a better life for yourself. After getting into UC Merced I was very naive about what was to come next, at times I did feel trapped in this new life. Merced was very different from where I grew up and was familiar with but the thought of going back was no longer an option for me. Another reason that made me want to write this imitation was because I feel like at times the university doesn’t necessarily let students know what they are signing up for. As a first generation college student I oftentimes felt more trapped because I didn’t feel like the counselors really helped. A lot of people see college as a scam so I thought that writing in the point of view of an “average college student” would be humorous but yet as real as I could be. I used the “average college student” as a way to show how that’s really what we are viewed as when we step foot at the university. There’s so many of us that at times not everyone knows your name, they just know you as another college student. I felt like writing in that point of view allows other people to resonate with me. Finally, I felt like this specific text was the one that I could relate to most because although it hasn’t been to such a literal sense as a college student I did feel to the system captive at times.

– Eugenia Brumley

Rip Van Winkle’s Diary


I’ve had enough today! My wife is constantly nagging me. It seems like nothing is ever good enough for her. Am I good enough? I know I am. All the neighbors love me, so why can’t she?!. I swear I have the worst of luck with everything. First, my kids and wife hate me, then my crops won’t grow, and now I never want to be home. The only thing I actually look forward to throughout my day would have to be fishing and hunting. I hope I catch something good today. Maybe then Dame will appreciate me a little more.

-Rip Van Winkle


It’s another bad day, unfortunately.  I was just out with my friends and guess what? You guessed it. MY WIFE CAME NAGGING AGAIN!!! I can never catch a break with her. I’m probably just going to go to the woods and do some hunting or something so I can get my mind off all this.

So, I went hunting with Wolf and I brought my gun. When I was about to head home some random guy called my name. I’ll be honest I was a little scared at first, but all he needed was a little help so of course, like the good person I am, helped him. When I helped him to his destination his friends were drinking. I think they want me to drink with them and I don’t want to go home just yet. So I should just stay, right? Nothing bad is going to happen, right? I should be fine, I helped him he won’t hurt me. Oh well, I’m staying. If anything happens to me don’t show my journal to my wife.

-Rip Van Winkle


The craziest thing is going on right now. I have no idea what to do except sit here and collect my thoughts. Okay, so I woke up today with what I was thinking I was just having a very bad hangover from “drinking the night before” with my new buddies. I wake up in the grass (which I expected to be), drink some water, take some Advil that I packed. And when I look down I see MY BEARD HAS GROWN A FOOT LONG! MY GUN IS RUSTED, WOLF IS GONE, AND I CAN’T FIND THE GUYS I WAS DRINKING WITH ANYWHERE! So I head back home because of course my wife is going to be very upset, but everything has changed. I don’t know what to do my neighbors aren’t here anymore, the weather is odd, the president is no longer Bill Clinton, it’s an orange guy named Donald Trump. WTF is going on! How long have I been asleep was all I could think about, so I check the news and I’ve been asleep for 20 YEARS! I’m not even me anymore, my home isn’t even my home anymore, my dog doesn’t recognize me, nobody knows who I am, my kids probably still hate me. I’m going to ask someone where my wife and kids are. I’m so confused. Why didn’t anyone come looking for me?

Update: Apparently I got scammed and now everyone hates me. Fortunately, people recognized my son and Judith, my daughter is letting me stay with her. My wife is also dead, I’m still not too sure how I feel about that. Anyways, I feel like my life is no longer mine and I don’t know how long it will take until I start getting used to everything. I have a lot of catching up to do.

-Rip Van Winkle

I had chosen to do three journal entries based on Rip Van Winkle. I did two before he was in a twenty-year deep sleep and one after his twenty-year deep sleep. I chose to do journal entries because I feel like a lot more people are into writing in journals and just expressing how they feel through writing. With that being said I thought Journal entries would be the perfect modernized way to describe what had happened to Rip Van Winkle. To relate this back to Thomas De Quincey’s term “knowledge of power” we are able to read and perhaps even feel the anxiety Rip Van Winkle goes through as his whole life changes right in front of him. It’s as if his life isn’t even his anymore. His wife is dead, his kids are all grown up, and different people rule his village. To even think how my life would be in a year is crazy, so to think two whole centuries? I could not even begin to imagine how Winkle could have felt in the slightest bit. Imagine waking up from a 20-year coma? As I was Reading through Rip Van Winkle he had been miserable with his wife but also had bad luck with his crops. So had this been his getaway? It’s interesting how through “literature of power” we can interpret short stories, such as the one I am analyzing right now, however, we’d like. For example, some may say they would feel some sort of sentiment towards Winkle, while others could care less due to the fact that he had been careless towards his family.

Carmen Ibarra


A Tribute To Nipsey Hussle (An Imitation of William Wordsworth “London, 1802”)



I created a presentation that resembles a modern tribute video that imitates William Wordsworth poem “London, 1802.” The original text is a sonnet, yet with an octave and sestet. The rhyme scheme is aabbaabbacdecde. The author wrote this poem around the 1800’s for an English audience that was blind and fooled by the English men tyranny and stupidity. The setting is in London and the poem describes the hardships of living in a society that lacks manners, freedom, and artistic work. Wordsworth decided to include John Milton as the hero and savior for the English society. However, I made some alternative choices to the work of Wordsworth poem by using my poem from the previous blog post. First, I decided to keep the same rhyme scheme because I wanted the poetic virtues of Wordsworth poem to transcend and create meaning over time. Second, I chose to create a tribunal presentation video (slides) that would adhere to a modern 21st century audience instead of a regular poem or analysis of the poem. I believe this decision is reasonable because the modern audience desires images, media, and graphics as a form of communication. Next, I chose Nipsey Hussle as the person I’m dedicating this tribunal because he was a great community leader and rapper in South Central, Los Angeles and advocated for the empowerment of black youths. Also, I chose the community of South Central, since it lacks government funding, hectic police brutality, poverty, and high rate crime. I wanted the message to be clear about the hardships and changes that South Central needs in the community. Then, I decided to incorporate an inspirational video of Nipsey Hussle that might resembles Milton’s admiration of literature. I used pictures that depicted police brutality, Hussle’s achievement and social justice movement, poverty in South Central, etc. Since the original text consists of an octave and sestet, I used that separation frame to include the octave lines as the problem in South Central and the sestet lines as the mere achievement of Nipsey Hussle. I thought it would resemble Wordsworth poem scheme and create a modern version for the 21st audience. The switching of the colors such as the royal blue and the dark background with a splash of blue resonates Hussle’s colors and emergence of South Central. Lastly, I added music like the tone of wind/breeze to demonstrate the peace South Central needs to restore. Furthermore, this presentation should be televised because it’s a modern alternative message that captivates the audience to make changes in the community.

-Priscilla Ortega

For Thomas and Emmalee

By Christopher Ingle

Inspired by William Wordsworth’s “We are seven” and “The Mad Mother”

For Thomas and Emmalee

Every Sunday, since years gone by

I have taken to stroll through the local wood.

A chance to be among the earth and sky

To contemplate life like a good boy should.


I found my way to my favorite spot

a willow that would never die.

Its branches invited deeper thought

To existential questions, like “why”?


When as I came upon my willow green

I saw a mother resting beneath its grace.

Along her side was a boy, so clean

And a smile of contentment upon both their face.


She had a lunch sack in her hand

Her child was holding one as well.

But a third was sitting on the tree so tanned…

It was a chicken lunch I could smell.


I asked the mother “how do you do?”

She simply nodded back.

Her smile increased as her child did chew

From the lunch within his sack.


I asked the mother if she was waiting

For her husband or a friend.

She said that she was celebrating

But an invitation to sit she did extend.


I sat up upon the grassy knoll

Besides the mother fair.

Her clothes were that of someone prole

Except for the flowers within her hair.


I asked her what the occasion might be

For her to come this way

To spend her time beneath this tree

On such a wonderful Spring day.


“It is the twins’ birthday” she said

With confidence and pride

As she stroked her child’s auburn hair

Her brushes were long and wide.


“So where is the child’s other half

On this day of their birth?”

She looked at me and did simply laugh

“She is resting within the earth”


“But she is here right now you see,

and Beside me everyday

she plays with us and joins for tea

she is alive in every way.”


“I am both a mom of two and one

And that I shall always be

For both my daughter and my son

Sit for lunch with me”


“Forgive me for I do not get

How you can be a mom of two

I do not attempt to beset

With a topic that’s so blue”


“I carried two, and only they

Who sit beside us now

Call me mom and then they play

Underneath this lovely bough.”


“But ma’am forgive me as I ask

If your other child’s time is done,”

I took a swig from my water flask

And said “you are a mom of one”


I expected her to shriek with anger

And destroy me in her wake

But she made no such fraughtful clangor

Nor did she even shake.


She simply looked upon my face

With contentment and with certain glee

With no hesitation and god’s good grace

She said “sir….yes indeed”


“I am both a mom of one

And a mom of two,

this is fact, and now we’re done

on this is need not review”


But anger I still did not see

Upon her lovely smile

Her child stood up with baited glee

For they had been sitting for quite a while.


The mother placed her lovely child

Inside a stroller made for two

The mother and son were so beguiled

As the little one kicked off a shoe.


As they began to walk away

I noticed they had left behind

The untouched bag lunch of the day

On the bag a name was signed.


“Mary” it said carefully written

Upon the bag in pencil black

Inside was some crispy chicken

But something else took me aback.


Two notes were found inside this meal

Folded in half and again in two

Beneath the tree I started to kneel

And read the notes, honest and true.


The first said “To whom may find this”

And I opened up the note

My tears I could not dismiss

And now the letter I did quote:


“Remember my sweet lovely Mary

Though she left us far too soon

Hug your child and be merry

For from time we are not immune.


Remember my daughter as I do now

A child of love and grace.

Beneath this tree and its flowing bough

I ask you think of her face”


Inside the other note you see

was a drawing of a girl

and tapped to it were pictures three,

more tears began to unfurl.


They were pictures of lovely Mary

Auburn hair and a flowy dress

She was happy, innocent and airy,

My own feelings I began to assess.


The meaning of life is not defined

By such things as current existence

But by the memories we hold, forget,…. and find

They never die with time and distance.


I was wrong when I said that mother she

Was only a mother of only one

For two she has, and two they be

This can be seen by anyone.


This poem is a personal story. Not my story. But an amalgamation of many women’s stories. Each of these women each lost a young child in their lives. As a father, when I first read “We are seven”, I was inspired. The story reminded me of a blog post I read years ago from one of these women. As she was going through the process of grieving, she asked herself how she was going to go from being a mom of two to a mom of one. She realized that she will always be a mom of two. I was then reminded of “The Mad Mother” who would not let go of the idea of being a mother with a child, even when the child is clearly dead in her arms. Though I did not bring it to that extent, I wanted that idea that a mother never forgets her child to be present. I believe that death does not define existence, but life does. Existence is much more than a physical, living body. It is the memory of that person, that can live on far beyond the passing of the body. We see this everyday in literature. The writers we read that have long past still exist with us because we get to read their thoughts, their experiences, their emotions through the page. It is the legacy and the true meaning of our lives here on this planet. It is to help change the world into a better place. We do that through our actions, and people remember us for those actions and are inspired to do the same. Legacy is what it is all about. When I interviewed all these mothers, the common theme they spoke about was remembering their child always. They wanted to remember, they want others to remember. They want to talk about it. Not all women do or are ready to talk about it. It is very difficult to lose a child, much less for me, a man, to tell a woman’s story. I can never love that child the way they do. But as a father of two girls, I hope I at least got a glimpse into that.

As for the correlations between the inspirations and the creation. I was clearly inspired by Wordsworths “We are seven” and “The Mad Mother”. I liked the lyrical nature of “7” but I liked the mother’s perspective from “Mad Mother”. I wanted to tell a combined story of Mom’s today who have lost a child, and how they view themselves. I also wanted a reflection by someone not the mother, as that is something we do not get in either poem. I also had this poem take place in the middle of nature, beneath a willow tree. Willow trees are often seen as comforting, secure trees. There branches reach down to the ground, almost as if they are covering or protecting those that sit beneath it, kind of like a mother and child. I didn’t want to focus on the innocence of the child in We are 7 as I didn’t originally interpret that poem that way. I saw the child as confident and wiser than the man asking her the questions. She knew her answers and saw the world better than we see it. I also did not want a mad angle from the “Mad mother”. I wanted to portray a woman who celebrated her child and acknowledged the existence, even though it wasn’t physically there.