The Prime of Ancient Catcalling

PART 1

It’s a modern whore

And she’s stopped by one of three

By his short pink tongue and shit brown eyes

“Now why’d you stop for me?”

The Cadillacs doors are opened wide

And I am next in line;

The guests are met, the feast is set:

You can hear the merry screams

He holds her with his skinny hand

“There was a car,” said he

“Hold on! Let me go, he was a maniac!”

His hand drops

He grabs her with his shit brown eyes

Everyone else stood still

We listened like children

And left with our will

She sat on a corners curb

I couldn’t choose, but to hear her weeps

She spoke on the man with shit brown eyes

The bright-eyed, shit brown eyes guy

“The car screeched off, no one is here”

Screaming did she drop

Behind the car, behind the wall

Behind hindsight

The light flickered up on the street

The rain came

And darkness on the right

Went down into the rain

Higher and higher every day,

Until it was night again

She stood with her beaten breasts

He saw the large bruise

She was placed in the corner

Red as the rose she is

Nodding heads before she goes

The screams

She stood with her beaten breasts

He didn’t want to hear her weeps;

So she spoke on the man with shit brown eyes

The bright-eyed shit brown eyes guy

And now the night terrors came,

And he was tall and superior

He struck them with the cane

And chased them south of their escapes

With sloppy men and drooping clothes

They proceeded to yell and blow

She still walked into the shadows of his abuse

And forwards bends her head

The car drove fast, loud roared its blast,

And south it seemed we fled

And now it was raining ice and heavy winds

It grew colder and colder

The ice began to float

Trees as green as emerald

Through the air, the heavy winds

We found a place to sit

No shapes of bad men, nor breasts to be beaten

The winds was all that as felt

The wind was here, the wind was there

The wind was all around:

It roared and howled, and screamed, and laughed

Like noises down a slide

He crossed when we crossed our Utopia

The shadows came near

As if it had been a Christian soul

We hailed it in God’s name

—-

I ate the food that I could never eat

And down and down it flew

The ice did split upon my lips

The nice man told me so

And a good south wind grabbed me from behind;

The shit brown eyes guy did follow

And everyday we ran for food, for a quiet day

I came to the bad man’s corner

In the middle of the rain and winds, on dry days and dark days

I was free for nights

All the nights, through the fog-smoke white,

The glittered eye moon shined

“God saved me, man saved me!”

From evil, from plague.

My imitation of The Rime Ancient Mariner focuses on the modern day pressures of young women that are constantly harassed on a daily basis. The weather warming up seems to be a clear indication to most people that prime catcall season is upon us. As temperatures begin to rise across the country and individuals begin to emerge from sweatpants and sweaters, SOME will be out in public places awaiting for their moment to mumble or even yell some shit as women walk by, as they mind their own business. As a woman, being catcalled is disgustingly unsettling, it’s dehumanizing. It comes with fear especially when there aren’t many people around to witness it. It comes with even more fear when catcalling turns into that individual following you just to talk to you more. What’s even more messed up is when there’s a crowd of people and no one does anything about it (@you if the shoe fits). Catcalling is none other than a bad habit stuck in tradition. From history books and political agendas, men have always been characterized to be followed as the dominant role in society. As a college student, I’m not here to tell grown men what they can and can’t say. That’s not my job. That’d be like men telling women what to do with their bodies. I mean, can you imagine? Women feel the pressure more than one would think. Towards the end of my imitation you can see the shift in which the woman in my piece references certain expectations regarding what she should eat or how she should behave. As she breaks through the long list of expectations created by male dominance. I chose to write this poem in a sarcastic tone, not to mock women, but to convey my audience to pay attention to the ridicule and taunting that most women have been exposed to.

BY: Rosalinda Flores

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Flint Michigan 2019,

A rendition of Willum Blakes’ “London” reflecting how well he capture the sorrowful streets of London.

By Ashley Jackson

Seek I search through each narrow lane

Near the hall of fame

Nay the frame of the fame, failed to persist

For the all left trying to resist

 

With every smack of the lips

Or beg of the babe

Through the dusted shadows

They all cry out in pain

 

Oh how the steam puffs nevermore

Even the priest have gone afar

In search of a whore

With a teat full of water

 

Blasphemy says the orange incumbent

While the children dent their height

Tonight no other shall rest

Till the will for well is recovered

sunset cup water drink

Photo by Meir Roth on Pexels.com

Merced

An edgy parody of William Blake’s London

I drive thro’ each charter’d street,

Near where the charter’d Creek does flow,

And mark in every face I meet,

Snapchat filters, hitting the Whoa

In every cry of every man

In every woman’s ear,

A tiny voice: a tattooed man,

No orchestral taste I hear

How the adolescents cry,

Attention not a dime,

And the hapless adults sigh,

Crocodile tears, on the timeline

But most thro’ midnight streams I hear

How the youthful dunces curse

Blasts the new-born viewer’s ear

Ignorance: with which the world bursts

-Shawn Pintor-Day

The Absoluteness of Death

In The Abbey in the Oakwood by Caspar David Friedrich illustrates a decrepit abbey. An abbey is a monastery that resides an independent community. However, despite its deteriorating condition, it is not abandoned as there are silhouettes shouldering a coffin, entering through the arch of the abbey. A cross representing a grave rests outside the abbey. Furthermore, the oakwood’s longevity is symbolic of life. However, in the illustration, the oakwoods are dead. Everything below the abbey’s window is shrouded in darkness. The illustration invokes death through contrasting the absence of light and life in normally life-affirming things – the abbey and the oakwood. The theme of death in Romanticism is regular because it is a subjective experience that every living being encounters. It is an absolute that is more resolute than life.

In We Are Seven, the rhyme scheme is abab, illustrating the simplicity of the “simple child” (1) conversing.

“Seven boys and girls are we;
“Two of us in the church-yard lie,
“Beneath the church-yard tree” (30-32).

We Are Seven demonstrates the theme of death, as the “little Maid’s” sister and brother are dead, and are buried underneath a tree in the church-yard. The absolute of death is unescapable, even in children, and despite the innocence of the “little Maiden” represented through her simplicity, she is aware of the subjective experience of death. Through reading We Are Seven by William Wordsworth, he illustrates the Romantic theme of death through the innocent child in order to demonstrate the absoluteness of death regardless of age, gender, race, class, etc.

It’s a Mad World

In “The Mad Mother” by Wordsworth, the poem depicts a mother who is admittedly on the brink of insanity. Her only saving grace is the purity and love of her baby. Her husband is not attentive, if present at all, and she is considered mad by all those around her. The poem reads with a heavy air of isolation and depression, though every statement about her sun is like a little light of hope. Joseph William Turner’s “Buttermere Lake: A Shower” uses dark and muted colors for most of his painting. The dark theme is not eerie but rather dreary. There is a lone figure in the lake and in one of the further focal points of the piece, the artist utilizes light and depth with a soft arc ascending from around the lake’s bend. I think this painting is a good visual representation for the woman’s dark mentality. I would go as far as to say that the woman may have suffered mental illnesses in this piece. Depression, PTSD, or perhaps schizophrenia (when she speaks of the “wicked faces” and “fire once in [her] brain”) may be involved in her life.The way she speaks about how she was happy once, scorned at other times and has lost much joy by the time her son is born speaks volumes about potential depressive episodes she may have encountered through her life. The discord she suffers through is recurring, enough to have her labeled as mad and inconvenient enough to push others away. The romanticism, I think, is found in the way that this baby is enough to cease the madness, if only for a while. As mental illnesses are still not fully understood to this day, the era in which this was written would have been a strong romanticism thing. Clearly, she is an outcast but the romance theme of it all is strength in solitude, strength as a woman, and the love and emotions of a mother and her child.

-Asia Reyna

Ways down a river

Readers do not need to read between the lines to have an understanding of the battle between light and dark, in the poem “Lines”. The short fanciful poem “Lines” written by Coleridge, is highlighting a mans struggle to find peace of heart amongst the deafening darkness around him. Similar to the painting made by “Joseph William Turner (1775-1851), Buttermere Lake : A Shower, 1798” there is a fight for the viewers’ attention between all the dark and light shades that add so much depth to deal with. The complexity of this painting with many layers of mountains, a wide to narrow river, including the detailed sky is a lot to handle in one image but it all fits together in a neat shape. All these pieces belong with each other and they all include separate factors that add to the overall purpose of this painting, which in my opinion is the horizon end of the rainbow. I believe this is the focus point of the painting because everything seems to be pointing towards it, all sides of the painting blend in, to finally meet this climax. Like this painting directs attention to a main point, so does the poem direct its readers to follow movement. The way that water is moving physically past the boat, the water is the conductor to move past emotions and futures and the movement of water is the last nose to be made. Clearly it holds importance as it is the main mode of progress for the writer to base most of his metaphors and personification onto. We read “ The boat her silent path pursues! And see how dark the backward stream”, this is the first tangible thing the reader is introduced to and that makes it important. Just as each factor in the painting is important this boat in each image is no exception, because they are both leading us to the main point. Even if someone interpreted the main point to be completely different the real passage steams from the movement of the water.

Buttermere Lake, with Part of Cromackwater, Cumberland, a Shower exhibited 1798 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

-ashley Jackson

Exiting the Enlightenment Into the Realm of Nature

I chose Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth poem “The Dungeon.” I will compare it to the image of Joseph William Turner, Buttermere Lake: A Shower. The Dungeon serves as a metaphor to illustrate the darkness and lack of enlightenment by society. In the image, the darkness that is portrayed before the line of light depicts the dungeon in the poem. Behind the boat that’s center in the middle of the lake, a dark arena with burned trees demonstrates a deadly living space. Yet, the boat keeps proceeding where the light is shining bright and a village seems to appear. Line 1 and 2 states, “And this place our forefathers made for man! This is the process of our love and wisdom…”(113). The “place” is an illusion to the importance and beauty of nature. The man in the boat exits the dark elements of life into the realm of nature that becomes a fascination. Not only is the man in the boat departing from the dark elements of society, but is leaving the Gothic poetic virtues that dismissed the essence of nature. Yet, the narrator in the poem questions the ethics, logic, and sciences, “To each poor brother who offends against us- Most innocent, perhaps- and what if guilty? Is this the only cure? Merciful God!”(Line 3-5. 114). The narrator acknowledges the hatred and rejection of nature by those influenced by the sciences that are meant to enlightened individuals. The dungeon represents the sciences, reason, and logic that holds individuals in captivity. As the narrator questions society of the enlightenment, he/she is knows that many individuals aren’t aware of their entrapment in the realm of sciences, while others are fulfilled by the guidance of logic. Line 10-13 states, “They break out on him, like a loathsome plague-spot; Then we call in our pamper’d mountebanks- And this is their best cure! Uncomforted- And friendless solitude…”(114). The narrator uses the metaphor “plague” to describe the influence of reasoning through individuals that seems to stick into their minds and souls. To cleanse the “plague” individuals do not seek nature, rather doctors or the sciences to fix the problems in society. However, that only leads to “friendless solitude” which leaves individuals without imagination and appreciation of nature. The poem takes a turn into the essence of nature, which the man in the boat seems to row into the lightness. He demonstrates the hardship of arriving and leaving the enlightenment by pushing through the current of the lake. Lines 23-25 state, “Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and breathing sweets, Thy melodies of woods, and winds, and waters, Till he relent, and can no more endure”(114). The repetition of the word “thy” shows all the beautiful aspects of nature and the admiration depicted by the man in the boat. “Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and breathing sweets” expresses the spectrum of colors in the painting, like a rainbow. It demonstrates the greenness, the light, and beauty of nature. The line of light shown in the painting serves as the bridge into the imagination, which the man in the boat acknowledges a new, different world, a different galaxy. Most importantly, the shine of light represents a crossover that departs the dullness of reason into the world of nature.

-Priscilla Ortega

Necessary Darkness

I used Joseph William Turner’s work, Buttermere Lake : A Shower, as a lens for William Wordsworth’s “We Are Seven”. The painting is a very dark work with one single streak or center of light, which could be described as a rainbow. There is what seems to be a man on a boat in a vast lake, seeming to go toward the light. The poem tells of an encounter between what I would believe to be an older man and a young cottage girl. The conversation revolves around the number of siblings the girl has. When she divulges two have passed, the man states that there are only five than and she still adamantly states that in total there are seven. The first stanza of the poem begins quite shakily,

A simple Child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels it’s life in every limb,
What should it know of death?

In the painting we get a sense of mystery and trepidation of what is to come. Something very similar can be felt while reading the first stanza. The very first line is incomplete, almost like as if the narrator took a breath between stanzas. Was he convincing himself that the small child was not to be feared, that she was the light within the darkness that is death? I believe so, it almost seemed that the child left him in shock. He also described her as rustic and had very fair eyes. Much like the man in the boat, it almost seems that narrator took a moment to embrace the lightness the little maid had within her.
The poem is set in a graveyard, a place that can generally be considered dark and sad. Turner’s painting is quite dark, although not sad, it feels quite serious. The beacon of light, or rainbow is what seems to give the man in the boat a purpose and or hope; and it gives us the viewers a sense of tranquility.

Wordsworth’s poem is dark and serious, the little girl is physically alone, she has lost two of her siblings. Her mother is not present, she even foreshadows a possibility of her brother John having been murdered. Yet, her presence is light and happy, she seemingly embodies the ray of light that is in Turner’s art work. Although she is light, she has required of that darkness to be who she is, that is why she embraces her siblings and refers to them as being present. The light in Buttermere Lake would not be as beautiful or as valued if it was not surrrounded by the darkness in the painting.

Sabrina Vazquez

The Ideal Solitude

Buttermere Lake, with Part of Cromackwater, Cumberland, a Shower exhibited 1798 Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851 Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N00460

The painting Buttermere Lake: A shower by Joseph William Turner seems to resemble the words of the poem The Foster Mother’s Tale. The poem talks about the life of a boy whom was found in the woods but rescued by the husband of the woman telling the Tale. As the boy grew up, he wasn’t the best at being outgoing not reading or praying, but he enjoyed the nature the birds specifically as the poem tells us. At some point in the poem, the boy learns how to read, however it is “making [him] think of unlawful thoughts”. As the boy who wanted to go around in nature, he decided to go away alone in to a voyage on the sea, and discovered golden islands, and when he did he decided to live there and “he lived and died among the savage men.” To me the painting clearly pictures the life of the boy and the desires of him wanting to be alone with nature. Although the mood in the painting seems gloomy and a bit scary, the nature scenery is still beautiful. This personal perspective, makes me think of how the way the young boy perceived nature as, to many, being alone between nature wasn’t the ideal place to be at, but to him it was home. The solitude that we see in the painting, in my opinion represents the freedom that the boy wanted, he wanted to fly alone as that’s why I think he loved the birds because at some point of their lives they were going to fly away and find their own path. As we look closely into the painting we are able to see the how on the lake there seem to be two subjects, on the right it seemed to be a boy/man and on the left we are unable to find its identity. The way I relate this to poem is that, when the boy decided to go in the voyage alone on see, I picture him like this, except that the unknown subject on the left is nature, his only companion going away in search of his desires and happiness represented by the light the we see in the paining. In conclusion, the poem seems to depict a romantic idea as it talks about nature and the connection the boy had with it, but the painting seems to depict a “dark romanticism” ideal as it shows a gloomy, and terrorizing perspective of being alone in the middle of nowhere within nature.

Hermelinda Ralac

Isolation

The poem I chose to analyze had been, The Mad Mother, before I go in-depth with how I interpreted the poem I want to talk about the title. I found it interesting how this poem was titled The Mad Mother because she decided to be fully devoted to her baby and mother nature. On lines 7-20 on page 115:

She has a baby on her arm,
Or else she were alone;
And underneath the hay-stack warm,
And on the green-wood stone,
She talked and sung the woods among;
And it was in the English tongue.

Sweet babe! they say that I am mad,
But nay, my heart is far too glad;
And I am happy when I sing

It is obvious to us that she has been rejected by society so the only way for her to remain sane or to feel loved is her child. On lines 31-34 on page 115: we read the satisfaction, love, and calmness she receives as her child is being breastfed by her.

Suck, little babe, oh suck again!
It cools my blood; it cools my brain;
Thy lips I feel them, baby! they
Draw from my heart the pain away.

Buttermere Lake, with Part of Cromackwater, Cumberland, a Shower exhibited 1798 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

Buttermere Lake, with Part of Cromackwater, Cumberland, a Shower exhibited 1798 Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851 Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N00460

As I am reading through The Mad Mother the image that best fits this poem is this one. As I am reading I think of a woman who is away from society but who is connected to mother nature, right in the middle of it, just like this image. Also, on lines, 41-45 on page 116 it says: which is a perfect description of this image. The boat in the middle of that lake is the mother and her small baby and she is comforting it as they are going through the lake.

Oh! love me, love me, little boy!
Thou art thy mother’s only joy;
And do not dread the waves below,
When o’er the sea-rock’s edge we go;
The high crag cannot work me harm,

The darkness of this image represents the loneliness the mother feels. Although she is happy with her baby and mother nature she is still rejected from society so she has to find satisfaction and comfort with what she has beside her which is obviously her baby and all the nature that is surrounding her.