Lines From Above the Griffith Observatory

Four long years have passed; the summer never ending
And again I hear the cars zooming
The actors, immigrating from their small towns

All with the same hope- Once again.

I look upon these concrete rivers
So wild and connected they boast

Thoughts of connections and collusion
The landscape molded with our hands
And sky colored by our minds
The day has come when I recall
Here, under this great palm tree

The sprawling urban print

Always in season, you can find it all
Clad in a heavy haze, never to see a fall
I see again the rows of hedges, trimmed in perfect geometry

Fairies take care of them all

Sent up, in silence, among the trees!

Where they dwell, no one knows
Uncertainty is evident, in a sanctuary
We are so connected, I see you in my hands
Neighbors sit alone  


Now, with my attention waning
As I sit here in traffic, in wait
What comes to mind is my beloved city

She thrives and pulses with energy

I recall all about that career

The food drove around with life

The concrete unchanged from our last affair
The gentle brown dust floats above

And kisses us all

From the Valley to Santa Monica
I drove endlessly through the pathways
Over the Great River, her character and resilience so apparent    

Wherever business travels, they will follow

The 405 rumbles with excited and mystery
haunts me to this day

The vibrations of the motors, the plastic bag floating through the air carelessly
And the smell of industry, were then to me

An imperilment, a feeling of love

It oozed with a crowded glamour

Gripping the world’s interest, it’s time surely has not passed

For those dreamers who seek to find meaning
Join the game in all of its magic

For I have learned to look on the concrete

Not in my high school days
At all of the people I could help

Tents and blankets line the way

The beat of the machine, so powerful and mighty

Will have some unfortunate casualties

I have felt a presence that fills me with desire

Of calculated thoughts, a sense of invincibility

Of something deeper in my history

Whose origins are mixed and messy
And the fresh ocean and the heavy air

And the tinted sky, and in the mind of us all

A goal we all desire

All cultured factions, all people of greed
All go through the motions. Therefore am I still

A lover of PCH and Hollywoods
And mountains, all that we infect

From this concrete land, an all powerful world
Of importing, of communicating- both what they half create

And what is celebrated and acclaimed

The anchor or my industrial thoughts, the promoter

The model, the keeper of my wallet, and soul

Of my moral being

 

  
Dear Red Hen,

The choice to name the poem after the Griffith Observatory is very meaningful when you compare it to the work this poem is parodying. This beautiful building is a place of worship for the modern Angeleno, their religion is science. They look up to the heavens and are struck with awe at the ever expanding and powerful universe.This relates to the underlying theme of power in the poem as it is secretly what every citizen is truly after. There is also something very curious about how a godless society treats their environment. The environment cities have today is very manufactured and has little to no nature in it.  If you compare this to Wordsworth’s poem about the natural phenomena he observes one must question how much of that is inspired by the faith demonstrated in that period. The problems that face the environment and society are swept under the rug as charms of the magical town where dreams are made. The fascination with LaLa Land and its objectification as a mecca for industry causes people to fetishize it. Los Angeles is no longer a city it is a flawless destination. In reality there are issues with smog, traffic, and immigration. The concept of sanctuary cities is mentioned and is an incredibly important topic many fortunate individuals can afford to look over. There is also a large homeless problem that has led to the development of shanty towns beyond the infamous Skid Row. The root of these issues is suggested to be people’s overwhelming desire for power and fame. The city is being used to facilitate people’s selfish desires and as a result it is being destroyed. The author of this poem stays true to the conversational tone of Wordsworth’s poem as even uses some of his original lines to display irony. This poem is a critique on the careless mindset of the power hungry Angelenos.

-Maya Gonzales

Dudeee… How Long was I asleep?

So I was chillin’ with my shorty right, it was the summer of 1997. Everything was aiiight, we were hanging out in Yosemite, camping next to some family.  Then we started talking about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie that we had seen at the drive-in theaters two years ago. She starts saying how Tommy, the white ranger is sooo cute, yadda, yadda, yadda. So then I proceeded to talking about how Tommy was not as cute as Kimberly, the pink ranger, she’s da bomb! So then shorty hits me with an “as if” seeming offensive now. She has the audacity to say that Tommy is better than me because he is always being heroic and what not meanwhile I’m lazy and don’t do anything.

So whatever, she’s trippin’ big time and it bothered me cuz she’s always nagging about SOMETHING, even while we’re in nature trying to mellow out and all that. I felt dissed but it’s cool. So I grab my cassette player, tell her my bad, and that I’m going to walk our dog, Coyote, for a bit just to get away from her for a minute. My plan worked, wickeddd. Everything is cool vibes and I’m walking for like 30 minutes through this trail Coyote was pulling me down. Then I see this wavy bro with this gnarly hat that looks like Raiden’s from Mortal Kombat. Turn’s out he’s a park ranger for Yosemite National Park! The bro is like totally 29 but looks like a young pup. Said his name was John Muir and that he knew the park like the back of his hand. Great vibes I felt from ’em. John Muir then takes out a cigarette pack full of joints and offers me one. Man, this dude is way more dope than shorty back at camp. She could totally use a joint to calm that damn attitude. So we’re chiefing now and I go ahead and offer him a listen to N.W.A’s cassette on my cassette player. He was totally vibing to it even though he didn’t really know what it meant.

John Muir then asks me if I could be a bro and help him carry a keg up the trail. He said some other ranger buddies of his met up there on Fridays to sip some brews so I was definitely down. I would just tell shorty later on that Coyote ran away and that I was looking for him. We get to this dope opening that overlooks the entire valley, mindblown… There are a bunch of his buddies with those wicked hats just chilling kinda awkwardly but whatever, I have the honors of doing the first keg stand… and that’s the last thing I remember. When I woke up, I was by myself. I had no idea where Coyote was and my cassette player was missing and I had this dinky vinyl player. How the heck am I going to play music on that? When I get back to the camp I see these frickin’ kids on these boards that are hovering! What kind of witchcraft is that!? They ask me why I am so dirty and I told them I was raging hard– they were cool dudes. I asked them what they thought about the Power Rangers movie since I wanted to get my mind off of those sorcery hovering board things. They said it was ok, but thought the CGI was kind of bland and thought it would have been better if their phone screens were bigger.

I start laughing because there is no way someone can watch a movie on a dial phone. The kid starts getting sassy, so I start to argue with him. I pushed him like a good 20 feet before his brother stepped in. That kid sure had an attitude for a 7 year old… The brother proceeds to taking out this piece of plastic from his pocket and SHOWS ME THE MOVIE! This is DEFINITELY witchcraft. The older brother then mentions something about the Wi-Fi being spotty up in the mountains so the video is not going to stream in HD which is such a pain because he is used to 4g. I had no idea what this kid was saying and I was at a loss for words. He told me the phone was the 2017 Samsung galaxy! I flipped– 2017?! I Started running hysterically down the road as I could not believe anything– and then this car that makes no noise (a Tesla) with a driver that was texting, hit me. Dead.

 

Review:

There are various reasons for me wanting to write this particular parody. The first is that the era resonates with my childhood. I was born in 1992, so I have slight memory on what occurred in 1997ish time. I am somewhat older than most of my classmates, so I can write with faint tones of humor that would usually only be appreciated from someone that lived through the 1990’s. With Washington Irving’s story, there is the gap where he sleeps for 20 years. With that gap, I felt a lot has changed in our present day, 2017, to 1997. That is why I am fond of what I am writing. I try to capture the retro-modern depiction of a college “bro”. I felt my voice spoke through the writing more as this creative writing allowed me to express my humor more in comparison to other analytical readings we have needed to do. I tied in to what would interest my friends or classmates if they were to read it.

The additional significance is with the finer details used in the writing. I made sure to tie  in obsolete things like walkmans or cassette players or in our modern things like hoverboards and smartphones and how we are practically dead without Wi-Fi. The other neat thing is that they did a remake of the original Power Rangers movie that came out in 1995, so I was able to compare that to the one that just came out in 2017.

A Tesla is something that represents how we have changed what a car can be. I tie in the fact that a driver was texting as humor although it is a serious issue our country and many around the world face. I hope that with the humor, readers are in agreement that texting while driving is a very dangerous act.

Lastly, I use my deep love from my older cousins to inspire me. Most of them are in their early-late 30’s. I have always looked up to them since I was young and so their slang and ways would influence how I behaved. Most younger people tend to look up to someone older than them that is still cool. As a result, I use a lot of 90’s slang, especially in the first paragraph. Another fine detail I use, is John Muir. He was considered one of the first explorers of Yosemite National Park. Of course, by 1997, John Muir has long passed. The intent for making John Muir alive in the story is that he is supposed to be a ghost or legend similar to when Rip encountered what would be Henry Hudson and the Dutch-dressed men, when trekking through the mountains.

037-Rip-Van-Winkle-port.jpg

 

-Daniel Estrada

A captive Narrative

The supreme power and greatness of the Mother, together with the faithfulness of her promise displayed, being a narrative of the captivity and restoration of the good dog jade, commended by her, to all that desires to know Mother’s doings to, and dealings with her. On the tenth of February, came more of the “people” with great numbers upon the land: Their first coming was at sunrise; hearing the neighing of the horses, looking out; our grass lay place was being trampled, and the horses were whipped sometimes leaving scars, they’re blood seeping into the land of the great Mother. They took 5 of my brethren dogs, and a puppy, and threw them into the river. My Alpha they took and slit his throat, he had attempted to help the others. I, and my two pups hid but soon they came and took away them both, oh well.

When I saw the two dead pups, the women bowed their head but kept moving, there was no howling or pawing, they did not care, and I too walked away because I had lost my pack. They were wild animals that had no morals.

When I woke I was alone with my ‘owner’.  These strange creatures were hostile, eyeing me often, but then also coming over to rub my head.  Their Alpha wore all black and commanded the others on what to do.  I was on my own with these feral creatures and I thought, “Great Mother give me guidance on what I should do”. Mother was our divine ruler that we worshipped and he was clearly testing me to make sure my faith was real.  We were no longer in the grassy woods where they had first begun to make these odd structures, but in a place with irregular trees put together in what I would assume is their way of shelter. There were no trees around and the smell changed, the land looked ravaged. They were hideous to me, they would feed me what they called ‘bread’ every day, instead of fresh killed meat, and then they would throw a ball and ask me to retrieve, begrudgingly I would while they laughed in joy.  They didn’t circle their food, sniff, and lick it, but nothing happened and either way the food was consumed. The betas and submissive people did not honor their Alpha, when he walked by they did not sniff his butt or bow their heads, they lacked class and respect.

There was one other loyal dog like myself around, they kept a contraption on her mouth. If she lifted her head they would smack her and eventually she would just whimper with her eyes closed.

When the full moon finally arrived after my never ending stay, they stayed in doors, I tried to explain that we needed to be out and run under the moonlight to honor Mother; to find food and honor the great Mother, but they neither cared or understood.

I knew that although this was foreign, If I were to make it out, away from these vial beings, Mother would reward me for my faith and servitude.

 

 

 

In this narrative I choose to follow the syntactical style of Mary Rowlandson in that most sentences I use are long and complex similar to Rowlandson. The diction used to critique the ‘people’ in the narrative are similar to Rowlandson’s choice in that here I use “owner”, and other terms that are familiar to a dog and not a person, similar to how Rowlandson defines most her narrative with terms and ways that only the Puritans would understand which could be creating a narrative bias as well. The events I choose to discuss are in a way mocking Rowlandson’s narrative in that throughout the whole narrative of Rowlandson she acts as though her captors were so terrible although they treated her better and took care of her. In this I choose to make her into a wild dog so as to express this notion of understanding other cultures and the ironic nature of the captive narrative. Rowlandson judges for the differences in culture although there is clearly a structure of class which is why I mention the absurd and incredulous tone of how the people don’t sniff each others butts. That is meant to mock the fascination with class and social etiquette that Rowlandson is obsessed with. In this Narrative, Mother, or more symbolically Mother Nature represents God and the powers and faith needed to believe in such a powerful thing. When the blood spills into the land of mother it’s a reference to when the smoke in the book went up to the heavens. Every part of the narrative is religiously charged.  I also choose to utilize formal diction to emphasize a religiously charged feel as Rowlandson does while simultaneously attempting to mock what little feelings towards others she appears to have. When bad things happen she states it rather than expresses her grief.

 

 

-Haley Halsey

The Thoughts of a Forsaken African Woman

I decided to mimic “The Complaint Of A Forsaken Indian Woman” by Wordsworth but make it my own. I wrote this poem in the perspective of my mother. She has gone through hell and back, however, she kept it together for myself and my siblings. We are from Somalia and we had to leave the country due to the constant warfare that has been going on for decades now. Like the Indian woman, my mother did not have anyone to comfort her as my father died during the time. She had myself and my two older sisters to protect and stay strong for. There had been many times my mother wished death would come and in many instances, it was a relaxing or comforting thought when she had no one else to talk to or comfort her.

Every night before I close my eyes,

I stare up into the sky.

The stars, shining bright

But my mind focuses on the darkness of midnight

The darkness that surrounds my life

conquers all of me, should I end it with a knife?

My tears drip onto my breast,

as he decorates me with bruises on my chest

He lays on me

I want to scream

The blood and lament of my people chill the air

I look around and dead bodies lay everywhere

I close my eyes as I recite prayers in my head

Asking to myself, when am I going to be dead?

Suddenly, thoughts fill my mind

There’s a idiom I never understood.

“I felt all the weight lifted off my shoulder.”

Maybe I understand it, but I can’t really understand it until I feel it.

See, it’s not the words that I can’t define, it’s the concept.

The feeling that I am forsaken, and I’ll never be able to utter the words.

The weight of an African woman is not just her own. Her hips are wide with the struggle of her children, her heart heavy with the tears of her mother, her breasts plump with the rage and death of her husband.

The weight is everywhere, creating a life where looking forward to feeling lighter shoulders is nothing but an impossible dream because that’s an idiom that we can’t reach.

They say women are weak, but who came to document the struggles of an African woman. Stripped of our natural resources, twisted and turned into corruption, and judged for the same standards you mimicked.

We are a product of Mama Africa, a victim of oppression, a fighter against colonization, a keeper of traditions, a storyteller of culture, and a child of God. We are the originals. One of a kind.

So in a way, it’s okay;

We can keep our strength and you can keep your idiom.

Because history repeats itself, karma isn’t a sweet girl, and we have a saying that goes like this: when sleeping woman wakes; mountains move.

Let this be a warning, enjoy your weightless shoulders. We are burdened from head to toe, but only come out stronger.

For the greater battle is waiting ahead. A forsaken African woman in this world, only deserves the best in the next.

This is not a cry for revenge. It’s a promise. The only way the world can feel weightless shoulders is because the weight of the world is on ours.

-Rahma K

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hartly House, College

iMessage

Yesterday 3:16 AM

Hey Arabella….are you up?

Yeaaah, why?

How is life back home? I miss u! ❤

Awh me too! Are u not having a good time at school?

Well yeah! HONESTLY COLLEGE IS THE BEST THING TO HAVE HAPPENED TO ME OMG

Yeah? How so?

Okayyy everything is soooo different from high school and being back home

I get to just do anything that I want. The campus so beautiful in the fall because it’s packed with autumn leaves. The air is so fresh as if I were at sea. Walking around campus is so peaceful with people walking around trying to get to class or just simply hanging out

Oh but the classes are so fun

Like in one of my classes there is like a gazillion kids, it’s like a frat party but in the day time

Ehhh sounds gross. Everyone being jammed packed like sardines

Yeah but I don’t mind because the are some caaaayute boys in there

Honestly

THESE BOYS

Totally different from high school boys JUST gonna say that

What do u mean?

Like they’re just different. If you were here you could just see the differences. OMG I wish you were here! We could be dorming together and going to parties, but u just had to stay home. U would love college parties, sooo different from high school parties for sure.

Yeahhh…but I had to put off school for bit to help out 😥

It’s just so great here. I know you would have loved it!

Like there’s this guy who lives across my hall and he sooo caaayute and the other day I saw one of his friends and I just know you would like him too!

Yeah that sucks 😦

Yeah I know 😦

College has just been such a good experience

I feel so different, but in a good way

I’m just freer ya know?

There’s just so much information to take in

And so many people to meet

Picking a major

I don’t think you have to worry about that

A lot of people say to worry in ur 3rd year

Everyone knows what they want to do

And they love their major

I just want to like what I do

You’ll find something

If you could pick a major what would it be?

English. I love English!

OHH

I forgot to tell you about this guy

I only remembered because you mentioned English

Well he was an English major

I think a second year

And OMG he was so cute

Like Ezra from Pretty Little Liars, caaayute 

Ooohh that’s so cute!!

What happened?!?!? Are u dating him?

No lol

I’m barely a first year

I just wanna explore

College is about being selfish, ya know?

Yeah I can see that

Hey but ttyl

I have to get back to my assignment

I have a creating project due tomorrow 😥

❤ ❤

Dear Reader,

In Hartly House, College, I attempt to parody Sophia in the contexts of a first year college student. In Hartly House, Sophia addresses her letters to her best friend Arabella who is in Britain. Sophia informs Arabella about her encounters in India and what “that” place is really like. In my version, I changed the format in which Sophia and Arabella are having a back and forth conversation. Instead of sending letters, people send texts, we text everyone, especially our best friend because you would want to be in contact constantly. In this modern representation they would be talking to each other, rather Sophia being the only one talking. However, I still tried to capture and maintain Sophia’s personality throughout the texts. For instance, as seen in Letter II, Sophia starts off the letter by describing the “splendor of the house, as it is modestly styled, is of itself…sufficient to turn the soundest European head” (Gibbes 7). In Hartly House, Calcutta, Sophia had a superiority complex, so college Sophia also feels superior because she is in college while Arabella is home. Also, throughout her letters, Sophia jumps around from thought to thought because she is informing Arabella of the events. I tried to capture that as well with her jumping around subject to subject, such as classes and boys, while still being able to capture a few detailed moments, such as the details of campus. Sophia was also snobby so she would always end up making the conversation about herself and what she is doing at college. If Sophia were a teenager in our time who was entering college, a different environment that is considered to be a different world (like Britain and India); she would be very vague on some of the things she would talk about because she is somewhat naïve. She treats the idea of the “perfect” and stereotypical college experience as if it were common knowledge. For instance, she tells Arabella that “college is about being selfish ya know?”. Here, Sophia comes off as if she knows what she’s talking about in a vague way because she’s not even sure herself, which is why she says, “ya know?”. Although she attempts to appear like she knows it all in comparison to Arabella, Sophia is just a teenager. Thus, Sophia is privileged teenager who is lucky to attend school, which a lot of people can’t do because they don’t have the means due to class status.

 

-Nancy Sanchez

The Complaint of a Forsaken College Student

Review:

One of my favorite poems of the semester was William Wordsworth’s poem “The Complaint of a Foresaken Indian Woman”. I sympathized with the tragic situation that was at hand for the speaker of the poem, and I could not imagine the amount of grief, nor do I wish to know. The forsaken “Indian Woman” is dealing with her probable death, and in her hour of death she is lamenting leaving her child. However, the diction of “complaint” in modern language sounds as if the woman is overreacting, and simply complaining. I’m sure that because of the change in connotation of words, maybe it wasn’t originally intended to sound insignificant. Nevertheless, I was inspired to write an actual complaint about a situation that isn’t nearly as tragic, or tragic at all.

My poem is about party culture within colleges. Often times, some of the smartest people on paper are the dumbest when it comes to self-preservation. I’ve tried to write about a funny/light hearted situation that turns into self analyzation for the speaker. I could think of several ways to turn this poem into a tragic occurrence, but instead I want to just focus on a good time (unlike Wordsworth’s poem that is very serious and sad), and how hyperbolic people are.

I emulated the form of the original poem, following the same end rhyme sheme. However for the last two stanzas I changed the rhyme scheme in order to give it my own personal style. 

I also wanted to satirize Wordsworth’s poem because I think that often times in the middle of our lives and our privilege, we fail to remember that we are fortunate enough to have fun/leisure. This can apply to a modern audience because everyone within the classroom has probably encountered guilt over living comfortable lives while others suffer terribly. During the aftermath of the election I was especially bitter towards everyone having fun even when a fascist was in office or when people I knew weren’t talking about what was going on. Although, I’m still mad, I understand that there is a lot to be done, but I can’t blame some people for having fun…including myself. I also garnered inspiration from a new show I’ve started on Netflix called Dear White People. The show is essentially about Black Students at a prestigious university that still navigate towards racism within the campus. One of the characters in particular, is named Reggie and he deals with guilty feelings that he’s not doing enough for the cause because his father was black panther, and he wants to live up to the standard even when he is just having fun and being young. I hope my poem isn’t read in the way that it sounds as if I am not taking the actual misery of the mother seriously, or the pain of others who are going through actual misery.

Poem:

The Complaint of a Forsaken College Student

[When a Drunken College Student, from pure intoxication, is unable to continue their party night with their fellow idiotic friends; they are left on their couch, supplied with a water bottle and dreams of redeeming what is left of their dignity. The unfortunate fool is left with an idea of how they accidentally spilled their drink all over a freshman, so it is, after all, forgivable. There is hope that they will regain their strengths, and shot gun just one more beer. Highly unlikely though, most of these people are left to wake up with a major hangover on Sunday, or as the ancestors named it ‘Homework Day’. Hopeless and docile, they think: this is totally like that poem by Wordsworth. It is not.]

Before I see another angry text about how I am usually wrong,

Let me play just one more round of beer pong!

In my drunker hour I heard the loud screams;

The red and blue lights still in my dreams,

Wait… who drinks this much? How’d I survive,

They wont tell me,

Yeah I’m definitely still alive,

I have to pee,

Before I hear another badly remixed song;

Let me have some water, I haven’t had some in so long!

 

My liver is probably not okay; it knew no bright day,

Yet it’s sort of okay, Guys, I’m on my way,

Full of watered down alcohol, the cups still lie;

And they have been abandoned, as will I,

When I was sober, I wished to not do this to myself every week;

But that was a distant time, before I had a drink,

Maybe it isn’t the alcohol that tastes so bleak,

I ignore the negative thoughts and instead hear cups clink,

I’m dizzy and there is more fun to claim than to feel;

My parent help me pay for school, for what?, for me to be a misdeal:

On a couch I lie;

In a room full of people laughing, while others in the world die

 

Alas! It was my friends who dragged me here;

With promises of another fun night like those I used to hold dear,

It’s too soon for me to be bitter,

So I go on the dance floor as I am not a quitter,

I watch the room move in slow motion as I trip and fall on the floor,

Oh hey Denise!

My drink is no more,

I wish I could make peace,

Still dizzy I sit;

Why am I still lit?

 

My bottle! Who gave it to another,

Another who didn’t go through the work of sneaking it out of a party of another,

When from the couch they took my sweet bottle;

It was probably that guy in my class about Aristotle!

 

I want to go home, my little bottle is gone,

I’m no longer having fun;

I search for a friend,

I feel as if I have been stolen too, by the end

My father fought for our rights;

And all I do, is party and waste my nights

 

-Beyanira Bautista

The Symbol of America: The Eagle or Dollar Dollar Bill Y’all?

* Eagle: PicsArt_05-03-01.10.31

The American Eagle

Oh soaring Eagle, flying high

Where have you gone?

Your country needs you.

Come from your nest, where you rest

To help us remember what once we were.

Once you represented freedom, justice, pride—

Soaring on the breeze of revolution,

Representing democracy,

A new nation.

Flying over tyranny—

Guiding this fledgling nation.

But where are you now?

Can we fix what we have broken,

Can we reclaim you, oh beautiful eagle?

Why do you slumber—

Why do you remain high above?

Are you still our symbol?

Perhaps we are no longer worthy.

Slavery exists, in the land of the free

Tyranny goes unchecked in the land of the brave

The eagle sleeps a deep slumber.

America forgets her nest.

Dear Eagle of my Country

Dear Eagle of my country! I found thee

High above in the cliffs,

Where the chains of capitalism have bound thee

You cannot fly for us anymore

Your wings are clipped

So you cannot soar

You no longer fly for us

Weighted down by consumerism

Retire you must.

We have not your beauty, grace, and pride

Have we lost you, oh glory—

Has the precious eagle died?

Dear Eagle of my county! Farewell to thee

As you retire to your mountain top.

Your sheltering wings, we no longer see

Your pride your honor, live in you alone.

And this is something that we cannot own

*The Dollar: PicsArt_05-03-12.54.31.jpg

The American Dollar

What is our symbol?

America, once the land of the free

And the home of the brave.

Now is the land of the consumer,

A capitalist’s amusement park.

The seller the buyer the window shopper.

Money talks.

And it does just about everything else too—

Money is what makes the world go around.

No money,

No power.

America land of the dollar—

The American dream.

Even the little guy can strike it rich,

Scratch the right lotto ticket

And you’re set for life.

Living on easy street—

Live by the dollar

Die without the dollar.

America is money—

The dollar is our symbol.

Dear Dollar of my Country

Dear Dollar of my country!

You are always needed and often missing.

Where are you little dollar—

Our wallet is so empty.

Without you we are hungry,

Without you we are naked,

Without you we are unsheltered.

The dollar symbolizes our great country—

Is this really what we stand for?

Dear Dollar of my Country!

So many things we can do with you

And without you we suffer.

Great dollar of our country

Please fill our wallets.

And fulfill our American dream—

Or better yet, leave us to our silliness

And let us find a better symbol.

Dear Dollar of my Country!

You are a sad symbol.

Who are we?

The consumer, the capitalist.

What happened to freedom—

Or democracy?

Was the American dream ever real?

Money talks,

But we should not let it speak for us.

Response:

Obviously, I took inspiration from the poems, The Irish Harp and Dear Harp of my Country. So I wrote several poems about the symbol of America. I did not worry about following the rhyme schemes of the poems though I parodied the titles. What I was trying to do was channel the idea of a country’s symbol, and I tried to mimic the tone as well (at least in the eagle poems). I focused on the theme of the Irish harp, by doing instead the American Eagle/ Dollar.  I really enjoyed the blog about the Harp of Ireland. I started thinking about what the symbol of the harp meant to Ireland and  what it said about Ireland. Harps are instruments and they promote music and language. This got me thinking about America, and what our symbol might be, and what it would say about our country.

The first thing that came to mind was the eagle. The eagle is a symbol that is on our money and a common brand logo (for example the clothes company American Eagle). So at least at some point, I think that America was represented by the eagle. What does the Eagle represent? Freedom, pride, power, the eagle is a very majestic symbol. Our fledgling nation who was rebelling and breaking free from oppression may have been worthy of the eagle. Now however, in our consumerism obsessed society, I think the dollar bill (or money in general) is the new symbol of our country.

We are a capitalistic society and this is both a good thing and a bad thing. However, money has become so important in this country that a lot of people sacrifice their morals just to make a buck.  We live in a plentiful country and yet people starve. Money makes or breaks you in this country and our symbol is no longer the eagle but the dollar bill. I am afraid this does not say very flattering things about our country.

*(images edited by Katie Oswald)

-Katie Oswald

Dear Woke of my Country

 

Dear Woke of my County

Dear woke of my county, darkness engulf all that we see.

The orange leader is killing us slowly.

I want to be proud of this nation, and it to be free.

All we do is give to this nation, but we lack equality.

Stay bright and loud to fight our way through this.

Have you woken up yet? This country was never great.

This country is spiralling into the abyss.

We need to clean the executive slate.

Dear woke of my country, be the light that we need.

Spread love and cleanse hate.

Don’t give up, we can succeed.

We must “Win”, because our county is at stake.

The pulse of the muslims and the mexicans,

Throbbed for the glory of this country.

We must unite Americans.

And get rid of this orange junkie.

Analysis

For this creative writing project I choose to imitate Thomas Moore poem, “Dear Harp of My Country.” Moore’s poem is centered around Irish nationalism, he writes to preserve and protect his culture. Moore want Ireland to be free from the choking grip of the United Kingdom. Britain’s imperial conquest during the 18 century effective began to silence Ireland’s culture. In 1763, Britain won the 7 years war, causing the formulated of the United Kingdom. Irish literature illustrates how the Irish were rebelling against the expectations to assimilate into British culture. This caused the tensions between Britain and Ireland to only rise. Moore is of Irish descent, meaning, that this poem is his attempts to preserve his culture in a time of “darkness.” Moore is proud to be an Irishman and his poem calls upon his countrymen to join in and fight for Ireland. I wanted to take this idea of use it for the basis for my intimation poem. Instead of uses it in the original setting, Ireland, I instead choose to use modern day America. I did this because I see that the Message in moore poem is relevant now in america because of the current presidency. Both Moore and I feel that our voices are not being heard our in politics. Trump seeks to minimize the people’s voice. We can not become silent to the wrong we see, because if we go silence and stop fighting we normalize the behavior and allow it to become culturally acceptable. Trumps hate is  harmful on what it means to be an American. I Call upon the America’s to stay “Woke” and continue to fight against inequality and hate that the White House is trying to force us to subscribe too. We need to be loud. We need to fight against President Trump  and prevent him from running this country into the ground. The term woke, is modern day slang about staying socially conscious. So if you’re “woke” spread the message and stay loud. The authorial voice I used for this poem was built in the context of modern day America. While I did want the voice of my essay to my own, I did want to keep it similar to the original. So I went through the original and picked out terms I liked and used it in my poem. Also, I kept the same structure and rhyming pattern as the original poem. my format choice were to more accurately imitate this poem. While my poem is similar to the original, it is still very different. The biggest difference between the two people is the seen in the voice and language.  When i was creating my poem, I choose a different setting than moore. This difference caused the caused the language of the poems to be different; but the similarities in purpose of the creation of the two poems  causes the two poems moods to be similar.

  • Conor Morgan

Savage: Creative Writing Project

 

Savage

 

A woman and her children are held captive by foreigners

These foreigners are bloodthirsty, ravenous for flesh

Destruction is the only thing they see, in her eyes

 

Savage

 

Blood spills into the night, leaving no hope for survival

Heartbeat races for hope, hope is nowhere to be found

Where was hope for the foreigners?

 

Savage

 

Who are they? What do they want? What are there motives?

Destruction, Destruction, Destruction

All that is surrounding them is violent blows and foreign ways

 

Savage

 

Hope fades into despair

Despair engulfs the captives, Despair already consumed the foreigners

Who captured who?

The only thing that lies ahead is more bloodshed and tears

The tears didn’t begin here, they had to have started long before this

 

Savage

 

Something was stolen, something greater than their land

Something that was part of them

Something that was born in their grips

Something that was stripped from them

Something embedded in the very fabric of their being

Something integral to the understanding of who they are

Something that is now gone, gone forever

 

Savage

 

These savages are merciless

Why don’t they have mercy on the woman and her children?

Why are they so livid?

Why is peace forgotten?

Who are the true victims?

 

Savage

 

People are merciless

The people are dominating, forgetting the existence of difference

Difference is bad

Variation is bad

Nothing can intertwine

Harmony is an option that no one can afford

 

Savage

 

Where is God?

Is God present for her? Was God present for them?

His omnipotence could save her, why did it not save them?

Please get on your knees, clip your hands together and sing the swan song

This must have a guarantee on her fate, right?

 

Savage

 

A rush of hope floods the captives

Freedom arrives at just the right time

Time is of the essence, where was time for the foreigners?

Was chance ever by their sad?

Were they always vulnerable even though their bonds were strong?

 

Savage

 

Luck is present for her, but is absent for the savages

Hope is present for her, but is absent for the savages

Mercy is present for her, but is absent for the savages

Faith is present for her, but is absent for the savages

Safety is present for her, but is absent for the savages

Solace is present for her, but is absent for the savages

Peace is present for her, but is absent for the savages

Home is present for her, but absent for the savages

 

Savages

 

How did they become like this?

Is this what happens to beings when all hope is lost?

When everything you know is taken in a flash

A flash is all it takes for the destruction of a society

A community that was woven together in harmony

The stitches tearing, string by string, body by body

This community of fathers, daughters, sons, children, elders

Torn apart by the greed of others, by the thirst of another breed

How could this happen?

This is the origin of the savages

 

Who are the true savages? Are we?

For my creative writing project, I was inspired by the captivity narrative “The History of Captivity” By Mary Rowlandson. I began the poem with very condensed and minimal lines and had the lines grow throughout the poem. This is done to show how as readers we believe a certain perception, the narrators perception, but slowly realize that this plot and picture is far bigger than we imagined initially. It is reflective of the story itself and the experience of the reader. When I read the story for the first time I felt compassion for Mary and her children due to the fact that she was being held hostage for no reason. As I continued to read the story my perception began to shift from having compassion for the captives to realizing that they are not the only victims in this story. A constant word that encapsulates the poem that I noticed in the story is savage. Savage is a potent word that I believe, carries a significant amount of meaning in the story. The narrator uses the term savage to describe the ‘enemies’ several times, so I imitated the term and decided to repeat it throughout the poem so the readers’ perception of the word changes as they are reading the poem. The term can begin as a very negative word to describe these people and eventually transforms into questioning who the savages are and finally realizing that the settlers were the actual savages in the story. Writing this imitation as a poem rather than a story, I believe was important because the elongated story gives a lot of detail about the captivity and not so much about the situation as a whole. I believe the poem format, even though it doesn’t imitated the structure of the poem, shows a more objective view of the story as a whole.

-Anthony Miller

Poor Sam

At the corner of Heartbreak Avenue, when the clouds overhead begin to clear,

There lies a girl sitting there, waiting for the bus every day for 3 years:

Poor Sam has passed by the stop and has never seen

In the silence of morning the splendid scene.

 

There’s a text of enchantment; what bothers him? He sees

The bloom of flowers and the budding of leaves on trees:

Spring has come, and with it, the couples too,

Holding hands and taking pictures, memories anew.

 

Cheesy coffee dates he views in the midst of the mall,

Remembering he enjoyed them too, when he was small,

He arrives at the movies, his favorite place to spend his time,

The only place he goes by himself, always a quarter past nine.

 

He looks upon the screen, and his heart in memories that have faded,

The couples look unhappy, the single ones are jaded,

Flowers begin to rot, the clouds begin to form,

The colors have gone dull, he didn’t wear a jacket for the storm.

Review:

The poem above is based on”Poor Susan” by Wordsworth, in an attempt to mimic the rhyme scheme of the original poem while also paying homage to the ideas of romanticism and bittersweet nostalgia. My rendition of “Poor Susan” is meant for the modern audience as well as the simplified version of Romanticism among the youth. The story tells of a man who is oblivious to the opportunities of love; he romanticizes couples and relationships due to theatrical representations of love but ultimately views a film and gets a text that changes his perspective. He starts to see the grim, the faults and imperfections within couples. It’s sort of a slap of reality that hits him in the end that he wasn’t prepared for. This choice was meant to speak to the values of young people in the 21st century who romanticize realtionships and idealize them to an unattainable standard.

-Daniel Corral