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

 

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Now or NEVER

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Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels.com

Day 1: 2:48pm

 

As I snached a teady bear from a little girls arms I can not care less about her outburst cries. She enters into my country without permission and I am supposed to show her mercy. She is so tiny but I have to be strong for my family. Her people come in hundreds and thousands seeking refugee but how will my country support their needs. They seek jobs, shelter, and support. Our system can not even afford healthcare for everyone. It hurts me to say that I pick my own country over her people. I take her to the children’s side and direct her parents to the adults section. The little girl asks me how long will it be until she can see her parents. I am unable to answer. The truth is that I do not think she will ever see them again but I can not tell her that.

 

Day 2: 10:00pm

 

Peeping through the door there are two children waiting to come into my office to discuss their living situations. I invite each of them in and they immediately start complaining. Juanito can not help but cry because he was finally able to get through to an operative. He murmurs that he is starving and dirty. He smells of dirt and I can see the residue build up beneath his finger tips. I am in disbelief because our system is made to separate families in order to meet their basic needs until we send them back to their original homes. The tiny boys name is Jose, he does not speak much but he too smells and across his cheeks are stained with dirt. Juanito met Jose in the camp and has taken him under his wing. The two stay together to protect themselves from inside the camps. I want to help but I don’t know how. I can see in their eyes that they are telling the truth.

I quickly snap out of this thought because I know what means most to me. My country does, I send the two children back to their assigned stations and urge them to stay calm and that soon they will be taken care of.

 

Day 8: 1:48am

 

Today a wall will be built in honor of our safety. A ceremony was held today in our courtyard. Bernardo our president gave a moving speech about patriotism and loyalty. This movement is the best possible outcome for our country. We will all have a home and there will be enough jobs for all of us. No more immigrants. Days have passed since I have spoken to Juanito and Jose but not a moment passes that I do not think about their whereabouts. Are they still alive? Are they still stationed in my unit? I will never know because our system lacks a stable record of all of our undocumented immigrants.

 

Day 9: 6:00pm

 

Supplies: water, food, clothing, sleeping gear, beds.

Needs: water, food, clothing, sleeping gear, beds.

Everyday our system is failing these people and our resources are running low. Soon there will be too many to manage. If this happens mmy executive has suggested the idea that we give each group of people enough supplies to make it through the dessert in order to make the long journey back home. They made it here they have to be able to make it back. Some way families are destined to reunite so it makes sense to send these people in groups. This is wrong but there is nothing I can do, I have pledged my loyalty to my country, we are left with little options.

 

Day 20: 3:24pm

 

Our system failed, broken families, starving children, and more to be expected. I can no longer be apart of this. It is time for me to resign from my position. I will not be a bystander and watch these innocent live be wasted. We all have a right to live and this is not the way. We hold people against their will and take children away from their families. No longer will I be loyal to a tyrant.

 

Review:

I have chosen to make a modern twist to Mary Rowlandson’s Narrative of the captivity restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson. I decided to follow the same format as the original piece because I think it is easy to read and gives a diary approach. I chose to roleplay as an operative at the southern border for a stationed camp for immigrants. My position in this parody is not a position that I truthfully believe in and therefore should not be taken as a documentation of my political views. My position as an operative is strictly for parody purposes and are not my own beliefs. This is a situation I feel passionate about because my father is an immigrant, he came to America over twenty five years ago. This is an event that is taking place currently and until there is relief for those suffering at our borders there will be no justice. These are people with families that are being treated like bugs and diseases. My role focuses on the inhumane actions from an authoritative stand point. In this parody my character realized that her role as a loyal operative caused thousands to suffer. She knew that in her heart she had to help those that were suffering. She believed that there is a way that these people can be taken care of without entering the country. The point of my parody is to show that we can all help those that are treated unjust. We as a community must stand together, we must extend a helping hand to those in need. I think in order to be considered human we must show empathy. We must be understanding. Above all we have to be genuine.

By: Maricruz Solano

A Symbol of Hope

The writer of Dear Harp of my Country, Thomas Moore, uses strong emphasis on the harp on order to bring attention to the hope that it symbolizes for himself and for his country, and even delves into the harp’s background connecting to Ireland;

“The warm lay of love and the light note of gladness; Have waken’d thy fondest, thy liveliest thrill”

This quote from the poem embodies the affect that the harp has had in Moore’s home country, focusing on how the harp uplifts those in their darkest times, and how the harp acts as a conductor for happiness with its tune.

-Jody Omlin

It’s about more than a Harp!

The harp very clearly played an important part in the development of society in Ireland. It was a clear marker of dedication and commitment both for the instrument and the the beloved country of Ireland. Not only were many Irish patriots committed to learning the harp for the sake of patriotism but many literary works were created in honor of the harp.

One such work of literature is DEAR HARP OF MY COUNTRY written by Thomas Moore. In my analysis I found there to be many levels to the poem.

First and foremost, Moore begins his poem as an ode of sorts. He states:

“The warm lay of love and the light note of gladness
Have waken’d thy fondest, thy liveliest thrill” 

he invites the reader to feel how lovely the instrument is and reminding all of how much it means. It means freedom and love and light and patriotism and so many critical things to the Irish culture. However the poem quickly turns as the narrator realizes the harp no longer “belongs” to them. I can only imagine that Moore is addressing the colonization of Ireland by the English. In his poem he states:

“Go, sleep, with the sunshine of Fane on thy slumbers, 
Till touch’d by some hand less unworthy than mine”

in this instance he shows the level of love he has for not only the harp for for his country. The narrator not only wishes well to the harp but also that the hands that gain access do better than he could – he is a martyr for the harp (Ireland).

I believe that Moore showcased just how much devotion he had for Ireland and he did it beautifully in his poem.

-Maricruz Rivas

809 Clinton St.

(Inspired by London 1802)

Rise up to the heart that beat on 809 Clinton St.

To the house that gave home to any soul that roamed

In and out of chaos,

Up and Down areas of lost.

These streets know too much of me from you.

Sirens, Street Lights, Concrete Rumbles grow in your rear view.

Rise up to the life that lived in 809 Clinton St.

To the stories it fostered and the love it breathed.

I wonder what happened to the children who played,

Who grew up and grew out, there’s not much else I can say.

There once was a street with a house, that was a home.

Now there’s just a street with drifting memories that touch my heart in the cold.

To walk by is to see a world frozen in time.

Long live the lives whom on 809 Clinton St. would shine.

-Angelica Costilla

 

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.

 

Love in Twilight

imageWhen I first witnessed the beauty of Théodore Gericault’s French painting “Evening: Landscape with an Aqueduct,” the first emotion I began to feel was love in twilight. The painting contrasts modes of darkness through the entering dark blue clouds as a bright light of sun begins to set, shining over the existence and relations between what appears to be one man and one woman. In this painting, one will find softness amongst rocky grounds, green amongst high mossy bridges, and heightening structures (trees, buildings, etc.) amongst low settling figures.  The painting is formatted in a way that appears almost as if given a peek into a secret world. It is angled off to the side, so that the viewer of the painting not only receives glance of the two people talking but also of the soft light in which shadows upon them and their atmosphere.

I feel as though “Love” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge can be greatly reflected within Gericault’s painting. The poem begins by describing a place of ruins with the speaker of the poem residing on rocks in which overlook moon lit darkness. While the painting isn’t necessarily lit in the moonlight yet, it represents a transitioning moment to the love and atmosphere Coleridge describes. In the poem, the speaker is having a conversation with his lover, relaying to her a story about a knight who experiences heart break. The knight remains heart broken until her saves a woman who in turn happens to fall in love with him.

Coleridge writes,

“’Twas partly love, and partly fear,

And partly ’twas a bashful art,

That I might rather feel, than see,

The swelling of her heart.”

This “love,” Coleridge speaks of is found in fear, in between rocky matters, and along tall mossy stakes, which is exactly what is captured in the painting.

-Angelica Costilla

 

 

The Most Powerful Drug of All; Love.

image

Poetry can be analyzed in different ways, it can even be analyzed differently by the same person based on whatever is occuring in their life at the moment. Similarly, the concept of love is also analyzed differently by different people. For some, this could be the love between two people, for others the tight bond of family, and for some the beauty of nature.

When Love begins the reader is transported to a place of ruins. The speaker of the poem, is sitting on some rocks overlooking the darkness. When I took a look at this image, I immediately though of the poem Love because of it’d depiction of a ruined manor in the background. In the ballad, the speaker is having a conversation with his lover, whereas in the painting the man on the left is also having a conversation with the woman. We soon find out that the speaker in the poem is telling his lover a story about a knight. This knight was heartbroken, until he saved a woman one day, and she fell in love with him.

I think that Love was trying to express just how powerful the emotion of love can be. If we look back onto ancient literature, love is the driving force for tons of characters in history. Love is what started the Trojan War, Love is what kept Odysseus from going insane, but also Love is what inevitably killed Samson. In the painting, we see several breaks between the darkness and the light. Similar to how love works. Love can feel like a beautiful thing, yet it can also tear you down. Both the ballad, and the painting show a representation of the emotion of Love.

– Arturo Raudales

A Peaceful Space: Create Yours Today – An AD for Fathers

Given that romantic themes are surrounded by the focus on feelings, including inspiration and the use of imagination, William Woodsworth’s, “Anecdote For Fathers: Shewing How The Art of Lying May Be Taught,” fits in perfectly. There is encouragement and room for inspiration from the beginning, starting with the title, a story for fathers. From the very beginning, the setting becomes a journey involving a father and son and a glimpse of their relationship involving listening, appreciation and love. Through the repetition of the word, “thinking” (“To think, and think, and think again”), we are aware of the freedom to do so, as well as the creation of a vast place for possibilities. This is shown with the painting above, where the large amount of space lies between the water and mountains. In addition to the endless possibilities, there is a constant mentioning of words like, “pleasant.” Although the father was bringing up two different places throughout the poem, the space he was currently in with his son was a mixture of both Kilve and Liswyn farm: “pleasant, delightful, sweet.”

This painting precisely captures two people indulged in the space around them, that from our perspective they might seem small, but to them the space around them is a part of them. There is also a way in which this relationship process is accepted due to the delivery of the message through the poem. The ABAB rhyme scheme aligns perfectly with a melody in order to create this peaceful atmosphere where there is a lesson behind the song, but it’s so catchy, the listener doesn’t notice. Instead, they’re so busy enjoying the rhyme of the song and the love and appreciation coming from the father towards the son, that the listener is able to feel inspired to do the same. The darkness that takes over part of this space parallels to the uncertainty of the son who is not sure why he prefers his original home (Kilve) over where they are. But the light of the rainbow is part of the inspiration that the father is receiving from his son when he says, “…my heart/For better lord would seldom yearn,/Could I but teach the hundredth part/Of what from thee I learn.” Also, the fact that the rainbow is above and surpasses all the darkness is shown specifically when the father ends the poem with a conversation about how much he has learned from his son and the appreciation he has. This reassures the message that Woodsworth is trying to give throughout the whole poem, this relationship between father and son prevails through appreciation and love, and the listener can practice that.

 

Ruth Serrano

Day N’ Night

A word is worth one thousand pictures. The Lyrical Ballad of Love can be different to anyone who chooses to interpret it. Everyone shares different perspectives and ideals when it comes to the concept of Love. Love itself can be represented as an emotion, amongst many others. It can paint way more than what it lets on. In the painting above you see light and darkness split in two. You see darkness standing over light as it wears bright and vibrant colors. The further away you stand from this painting the more you lose focus on the two individuals shown in the painting. The more you stand further away from the painting the more you see the world in which these two individuals live in. The beauty, the sky as it intertwines with the brightest yellows and the lightest oranges. As Love begins, the speaker is illustrated sitting near some ruins. The individual in this painting sits in darkness on some rocks.

As the ballad goes on the speaker is seen to be sharing a particular story with his lover. In the painting, the individual seen on the left seems to be sharing or informing (based on the hand gestures being shown off in the painting) their significant other. The speaker shares the narrative of a Knight who was heartbroken for a long period of time. That heartbreak slowly came to an end when the Knight saved the woman and she fell in love with him because of it. Through this narrative I see that the speaker was attempting to make the reference of love being one of the best feelings in the world and also the worst. Throughout his many years of being heartbroken the Knight finally looked love in the eyes. This word is worth a thousand pictures. Love is the thing that keeps you up at night. As shown in the painting it can bring you as high as you’ve ever been, build you, complete, or it can tear you apart, destroy you, and make you question everything you know.

You’re split between light and dark. You’re split between the good and the bad. Everything good that comes with love can be overshadowed by the bad, by darkness. The Knight stayed up all night wondering what went wrong for years. Love is sacrifice, it’s respect and selflessness, love is the thing that makes your world worthwhile. Your days without them seem so much longer and your years with them seem so much shorter. The colors being used in the painting symbolize romanticism. Everything that is further away from both individuals are out of focus while everything closest to them is bold and significant. In a way it shows their travels and how far they’ve come from the past as two separate individuals joining as one to clean up the mess they’d left behind without context. Both in the poem and in the painting we find two individuals coming together after a long time of self reflection. Both the ballad and the painting share the isolation between both individuals represented in both pieces.

by rosalinda flores