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

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Harp of Ireland

Since the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the harp became synonymous with Irishness, an association most notable today in the Guinness Beer Company’s trademark logo (est. 1759).  For next Friday (4/28), students will write a blog post on the symbolic significance of the Irish harp in ONE of the three assigned poems for that week: Thomas Moore, Sydney Owenson, or Henry Derozio.  How do these poets use the cultural history of the harp to convey their nationalist message?  Explain how their poems extend, rewrite, or complicate this history. To help you answer this question, I’ve inserted a link to a scholarly website that traces the long and complex history of the Irish harp in Britain:

 

 

The poem by Thomas Moore “Harp of my country” utilizes the Harp as a form of Nationalistic Pride. When there is darkness Moore states he found the harp and thats symbolic of the Irish that are now controlled by the English. And in a way Moore is expressing his reminiscent outlook on the drastic changes that have come about as well. The Harp is the pride and  Joy of the Irish and now he feels as though it has been tainted by the foreigners that don’t really appreciate it which he expresses when he states ” Til touch’d by some hand less unworthy than mine” . This extends history in that it is drawing attention to the changing of the times. Where once the Harp took on a message of freedom and joy it is now the thing that keeps the Irish people bound to the English as almost a form of slavery. It is not used to express freedom and Joy but to entertain the new foreigners diminishing the original feelings the Harp once brought.  The Harp is something that had been mastered and specialized by the Gaelic people for many generations and now it is being glorified in a sense for the wrong reasons. Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.10.32 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.10.21 AM.png

US in 2017

From England in 1819


An old, mad, despised and, unfortunately, striving Thing;
the dregs of their dull race, who can't admit
The lack of anything moral or logical is not just acting.

Rulers who are oblivious to the problems, addressing only the comments
on screens and saying its all fake news
But in his one "good deed" to protect others far away, bombs were sent

We've been warned, once those drop there, some will come here
Because of this Thing that acts like a child,
World War III is near.

The Thing attacks people based on religion, sex and country of origin
but there are others who follow, blindly just as he
and it's become masses attacking masses, but we don't see what we're in

But then it comes to me,
we've all got bird eyes pinned to screens
not only do we neglect knowledge, but we don't want to see.



-Luz Palacios

East LA, 2017

For my creative poem I decided to take inspiration from Wordsworth’s London, 1802. While the poem itself does not directly mention my hometown it still has key elements that would apply to my hometown. East Los Angeles is a city that is known for it’s high population of low-income households. For many of its’ residents it can be challenging getting by day-to-day when the opportunities of financial success are close to being nonexistent. The poem underlines a call to God because I wanted to address a highly viewed figure in my community and, at least the way I grew up, God would be the first thing or “solution” I’ve been told would listen. Additionally, the means of production was included in the poem because in a city where its’ citizens have to work nonstop in order to survive it becomes unfair when our “leader” gets to enjoy the benefits of financial success. While our leader enjoys these luxuries there are communities such as my own that have a hard time breaking this cycle of manipulation because it’s unfortunately all we see. Overall, the poem was intended to address that issue and the beginning of the poem was also meant to captivate the audience’s attention. It’s not a literal death occurring but rather a figurative death due to our placement in society. The placement of a community that has difficulties breaking away from our leaders’ policies because it’s what we have grown familiar with.

 

God! When will thee resurrect?

This world is pure chaos; one too many slaughters

A contemporary world full of red waters

So many sins that I can’t correct

Without the possibility of some misdirect.

You may be weary but we are not corrupt

We promise to not be abrupt

What we need now is guidance and equal trust

Because it has gotten too far

One too many scars

So many lives that can be pure

But instead they turn into manure

In a world where our leaders are obscure

About policies that result in destruction

We need to seize the means of production

Before God decides he no longer wants to provide

Any sign of stride in order to survive

 

-Kristy Frausto

Life without Nature leads to Despair

The poem I chose to interpret is Last of The Flock by Wordsworth and Buttermere Lake, A Shower by Turner. One thing I noticed in the poem was that in the first few stanzas the readers are introduced to the shepherd and how he got his sheep, but in the final stanzas we see how he lost his sheep. And it seemed to be like a cycle because he gained sheep and then lost them. While looking at the painting and the white rainbow, I started to see the Ying-Yang symbol because on the side with the white light everything is light and on the bottom portion it is so much darker. I also chose the image because there is a lonesome man in the lake away from civilization and in the poem it reads, “My pride was tamed, and in our grief
I of the Parish asked relief. ”

I believed it was fitting because the shepherd went to town to ask for help but received none and so the man must feel as if society and the people have abandoned him. The poem also reads “And oft was moved to flee from home,
And hide my head where wild beasts roam.”

I also believe this is fitting because the man is in the lake all alone. It seems that he has no home just like the man from poem and all he has is what he carries in his boat just as the man in the poem only has his dead sheep.

The poem also has the sheep represent nature and as the man loses his sheep he loses his nature in the same sense. This loss causes the shepherd to be driven mad as evident from the lines, “Alas! it was an evil time;
God cursed me in my sore distress;”

The shepherd believed he was being cursed since he was losing his sheep, but when he gained his sheep, the poem was more light. In the beginning of the poem he had gained his sheep, had gotten married, his sheep were flourishing, and he had kids. As soon as he lost his sheep, he lost his livelihood, his house, his love for his children seemed to dwindle. In the painting if you start from the top half its light, it depicts clouds sunlight seems to be coming through, but as you start to move downward the image gets heavier and darker. The clouds become mountains and the colors become darker. I believe that one of the messages of the poem was that with the loss of nature comes despair, and the image goes well with this message because it depicts a man all alone.

-Andres Quezada

Transcendence

 

The picture below relates to the mad mother in that at first it seems depressing and sad but the more you think about it the more it seems to tell a tale of hope. In this picture it seems to be depressing and ominous but there is light in the window that signifies hope and hints that once there could have been a great castle or something there but time has taken its toll. There is a cross and what appears to be graves and so the building may have once been a place of worship. Just like in the mad mother where she says

“Dread not their taunts, my little life!
I am thy father’s wedded wife;
And underneath the spreading tree
We two will live in honesty.
If his sweet boy he could forsake,
With me he never would have stay’d:
From him no harm my babe can take,
But he, poor man! is wretched made,
And every day we two will pray
For him that’s gone and far away.”

She too was once worshiped and now forgotten, and the nature of this poem is sad in itself but it gives hope just like the light in the window. She left her husband and the baby may be dead (not clear) but she wants to for a new life and change from the past. Like the light in the window her baby is her only hope in such a sad and depressing time.

 

 

 

  • Haley H

A Beautiful World of Ethereal Places and Ephemereal Wonders

Their colors are distinct as those of the sun and regularly and obviously blended, though less vivid, fine specimens may be found any night at the foot of the upper Yosemite fall, glowing gloriously amid the gloomy shadows and thundering waters, whenever there is plenty of moonlight and spray.

– John Muir

Dear my fellow venerable peers and aspiring scholars, I present to you a plea.

Awaken your slumbering reverence of nature within. This world that we share asks for our appreciation now more than ever. The strength of a movement is determined by the collection of the will of its individuals. Wordsworth intuitively composed his poetry at a time of boiling industrial forthcoming, but do not hesitate to relate its antiquity to the pertinence it has in a world of modern environmental peril. Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads is as contemporary to our present problematic endeavors with Earth as you could possibly imagine. Their words continue to speak for a voiceless mother Earth, the most beautiful of all planets we have ever encountered. As students of the University of California, Merced, we are granted an opportunity to embrace a pioneering spirit that has fueled and characterized the United States of America for centuries. Considering our proximity to the greatest wilderness of them all, Yosemite, we are living embodiments of Frederick Jackson Turner’s Frontier Thesis, which spoke to the roaring passion for Western expansion and human inquisitiveness. Go forth and revel within the temples of awful (awe-inspiring) natural wonder, avoid the temptation and distractions of modernity, as they serve no true purpose to your free-spirited soul.

Wordsworth and Coleridge have me lost in a world of beauty and pain. Romanticism speaks to me like a siren-wailing fire truck calls to a lonesome canine to howl incessantly. I’m enamored by this imaginative prose, delicate as a rose, insinuating thoughts of philosophical scorn, like an unforgiving thorn. I have literally and figuratively lost myself in the forests of the Sierra Nevada, blanketed by chilling darkness, but it was then, that I had ever felt more alive. I was young then, and my eyes scrambled in the twilight in fear of black bears. I know now, that these lovable bears in comparison to fearsome grizzlies of the north or population dwindling from receding landscapes of polar bears, are not to be feared. Fresh mountain wind,  towering sequoias revived me from my past loathsome troubles that lay insidious within my mind for so long. The landscapes of this breathtaking mountain range lay etched in my thoughts even with my eyes closed, and are now ingrained in me for the rest of my existence.

The painting “Buttermere Lake: A Shower”, instills moody thoughts in a gloomy overcast. I initially see a bleak landscape of melancholy, that speaks of a desolate past. The rainbow from the painting reminds me of Lower Yosemite Fall’s moonbows. We are within 2 hours of North America’s tallest waterfall. An exciting thought to contemplate itself. I look within these dark clouds of anguish and uncertainty, however, and I find hope. Just as I once lost my wallet and my keys in Yosemite and panicked for my life, I would eventually calm down and see that they were exactly where I had placed, underneath a pile of my belongings. There is always hope even in death and absolute remorse. Even if you cannot see it, there is always light somewhere within or somewhere far beyond the twilight zone. It is only in darkness that light truly shines. Be courageous in the face of overwhelming odds. Fight on until your last dying breath, and submit to no oppressive force. I reference another poem that carries my sentiments. “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” – Dylan Thomas

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

Joseph William Turner’s painting carries multiple aspects of Romanticism within its frame. It is an encapsulation of the feelings and emotions of The Lyrical Ballads. Expostulation and Reply discusses enjoying nature even if its morals and lessons taught are not as direct as a lecture of philosophy or a laboratory session of science.

"You look round on your Mother Earth,
          As if she for no purpose bore you; 
          As if you were her first-born birth,
          And none had lived before you!"

William is expostulated by Matthew. Why does he seem to mindless observe the world with his mind adrift in solitary rumination?

"Nor less I deem that there are Powers
          Which of themselves our minds impress;
          That we can feed this mind of ours
          In a wise passiveness.

William explains his penchant for wonderful Mother Earth. He feels that he assimilates notions of patience and lessons of wisdom in the stillness of meditation and deep contemplation.

Landscapes like the one Turner paints and the ones that you can come across after hiking to a viewpoint are so powerful, that you can’t help but lay speechless. I recall the times I’ve been such amazing views like Glacier Point and Angel’s Landing, and I sat startled and comforted by the immense grandeur for hours.

I make one last reference to another one of Wordsworth’s poems. I ask that you consider your lifestyle and your attachments to materials, just like Wordsworth attempts to convey the contempt of materialism. A life is meant to be fulfilled with experience, and not meaningless objects.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers
.

The World is Too Much With Us

William Wordsworth

Earth day is on April 22. Also, National Park Week is April 15-23. On April 15 and 16 and again on April 22 and 23 you can visit any national park in the country free of charge. As the heavy snowfall from this year’s dramatic winter begins to recede in the Sierra Nevada, I encourage you to take part in experiencing our world within its raw natural boundaries, rather than dwelling within unsatisfying cities. The following link is a website that has been instrumental in my transition from childhood to young adulthood. It has guided me with a knowledgeable content of incredible hikes in Yosemite and also carries a comedic and informative style of prose. Check it out! http://www.yosemitehikes.com/hikes.htm

One last note. Last winter I explored Zion National Park, and after embarking on a notoriously scary but enjoyable hike, I found a drone sitting atop Angel’s Landing. Flying drones are strictly prohibited in these National Parks, and I felt obligated to find the owner before a ranger confiscated it. I’ve been looking for the owner ever since. After a considerable amount of time debating with myself internally over ethical matters, I decided to examine the footage of nature. I was absolutely blown away, and I feel compelled to share. I hope that everyone has the desire to embark on their own expeditions. I recommend the HD setting for enhanced theatrics.

 

Sincerely,

Thomas Pham

DAMNATION

romantic image 2

In Caspar David Friedrich painting, “The Abby in the Oakwood” resembles the poem “We Are Seven” from Woodsworth’s Lyrical Ballads. Firstly, analyzing the image of Friedrich it is clear that there is a religious message. There are at least two clear depictions of crosses. The cross on the ground to the right appears to be a mark of a buried person. While the other cross appears underneath the ruins of what seems like a church. In addition, there is a visual contrast from top to bottom as the top represent the light of life, while the bottom represents the darkness of death. There is also a religious aspect of life and death such as heaven (enternal life) and hell (damnation).  Taking a look into the text of “We Are Seven” the Romantic imagery of the following two lines clearly depicts the poem in the painting  “Two of us in the church-yard lie,  Beneath the church-yard tree.” (31-32). Like the people in the church yard the trees are dead. The ruined church building leaves us with the feeling of death to its assumed beauty. Similarly to the poem the theme of death appear on the painting.

Moreover, the beauty of the young child is romanticized with the imagery of the woods. “She had a rustic, woodland air, And she was wildly clad:Her eyes were fair, and very fair; –Her beauty made me glad.” (8-12) The painting is a rural countryside woodland and the air above the woods are beautifully clear. The description of wild her garbs are like the wild branches of the trees. However half of the tree appears in the beauty of the light.  Her very fair eyes are the pale light above in the painting. Her fairness and light are associated with the innocence of a child.

 

-Dario Lomeli

Similar or Not?

Within Samuel Coleridge’s poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Iron Maiden’s heavy metal version of the poem I believe the song does the poem justice. From a first impression it seems like the song may be too “aggressive” or “satanic” to even compare to the aesthetic of the poem but on the contrary, the heavy metal genre fits well with the aesthetic of the poem and it also tackles the idea of what romanticism means.

The more I listened to the song and read the poem I notice not only a lot of the dialogue similarities but how both work well with one another to illuminate the concept of the poem. The song begins with the lyrics:

“Hear the rime of the Ancient Mariner

See his eye as he stops one of three

Mesmerises one of the wedding guests

Stay here and listen to the nightmares

of the Sea

 

And the music plays on, as the bride passes by

Caught by his spell and

the Mariner tells his tale”.

 

Not only is the song straightforward with the idea that the Ancient Mariner will tell a story but what it will revolve around, a nightmare. This is important to notice from the song because the sound of the song, from beat and rhythm, suggests a nightmare and the poem itself illustrates the imagery of these perspectives by Iron Maiden.

In Samuel Coleridge’s poem he further elaborates on the nightmares by discussing elements of religion and death. The speaker of the poem displays himself or herself as someone vulnerable by stating:

“Alone, alone, all all alone

Alone on the wide wide sea;

And Christ would take no pity on

My soul in Agony” (59)

This kind of diction not only humanizes the person but also paints a picture into what extent their suffering looks like. As readers this idea of what suffering looks like differs but because we’re all envisioning a nightmare the emotions are mostly the same and that’s where romanticism chimes in.

A characteristic we may find within romanticism is a predilection for the exotic, the monstrous, the diseased, and even the satanic and if this holds true then it goes back to my argument that the heavy metal genre is well-fitted to the poem. Also, finding an interest in this poem despite its’ dark elements is another form of beauty because just as life is a natural thing so is death especially when concepts of religion start surfacing. Lastly, the idea of emotion over reason is crucial since romanticism strives us away from the literary structure forced upon us and encourages us to focus on other elements that are not merely the text such as the beat and rhythm of a song.

-Kristy Frausto

The bigger Picture in Equiano’s narrative

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 12.35.09 PM.png

In the picture above the first thing that catches the reader’s eye is the quaker looking man holding a picture directly into the telescope which is directed at a merry black tribe. Beneath that picture is a man that seems to be in charge of picking out the pictures for ‘Negro Slavery’. The contradictory nature  of a quaker holding a picture of slaves being between paralleled with a nice calm looking village (even the weather is calmers and brighter over there), demonstrates a pro-slavery propaganda type of picture. As the quakers are holding their anti-slavery posters (they disagree with slavery) there are poor Irishmen and children on the streets. This Quaker holding the large sign in the middle saying “buy only West India Company Sugar” but also has a ‘East India Company’ tag in his back pocket also indicates he may be payed off and dishonest. The point of this picture may be to demonstrate that those who are against slavery are a bunch of hypocrites because as they preach to have anti-slavery they have white men on the streets (although Irish) and their children signing forms probably against their will. This relates to Olaudah Equiano’s narrative when ‘Equiano’ states

“ I was so enraged with the Governor, that I could have wished to have seen him tied fast to a tree and flogged for his behaviour; but I had not people enough to cope with his party. I therefore thought of a stratagem to appease the riot. Recollecting a passage I had read in the life of Columbus, when he was amongst the Indians in Mexico or Peru, where, on some occasion, he frightened them, by telling them of certain events in the heavens, I had recourse to the same expedient; and it succeeded beyond my most sanguine expectations. When I had formed my determination, I went in the midst of them; and, taking hold of the Governor, I pointed up to the heavens. I menaced him and the rest: I told them God lived there, and that he was angry with them, and they must not quarrel so; that they were all brothers, and if they did not leave off, and go away quietly, I would take the book (pointing to the Bible), read, and tell God to make them dead. This was something like magic. The clamour immediately ceased, and I gave them some rum and a few other things; after which they went away peaceably; and the Governor afterwards gave our neighbour, who was called Captain Plasmyah, his hat again.” (Equiano 2875).

This demonstrates that while Equiano may be scrutinizing the whites for their position on slavery and they treat him, he too also is focusing too much on the smaller picture than the larger one. In this case Equiano is trying so hard to be like the British (mentioning someone they would know of and talking sophisticatedly while tricking people)  that he fails to see he too does everything he hates. Right before this passage he went to help pick out slaves from his village, choosing the ones from his village because they ‘would’ be the best workers, although he just sentenced them to be slaves. The point being in both of these scenarios the person being depicted is failing to see their part in helping the encourage slavery and not abolish it.

 

-Haley H.