Monday, December 22, 2008

Internal Structure

Pat Mora

I live in a doorwaybetween two rooms. I hearquiet clicks, cups of blackcoffee, click, click like factsbudgets, tenure, curriculum,from careful women in crisp beigesuits, quick beige smilesthat seldom sneak into their eyes.I peekin the other room seƱorasin faded dresses stir sweetmilk coffee, laughter whirlswith steam from fresh tamalessh, sh, mucho ruido,*they scold one another,press their lips, trap smilesin their dark, Mexican eyes.

The most significant piece of the structure here is the poem seemingly being cut in half. In the first half, the reader sees the sort of reserved, more serious side of some women, and in the other half sees the lighter side of other women. What caught my eye was that in the first half Mora says that the smiles "seldom sneak into their eyes" and in the second half says that they trap smiles "in their, dark, Mexican eyes". Why does he distinguish the ethnicity in the second half. I think he uses the contrasting stanzas to show that the second stanza is the Mexican way. He highlights that they are indeed Mexican, and mentions their laughter and "milk coffee". Even the coffee offers a contrast to the "black coffee" of the first stanza.

Internal Structure

The Dance
William Carlos Williams

In Breughel's great picture, The Kermess,the dancers go round, they go round and around, the squeal and the blare and thetweedle of bagpipes, a bugle and fiddlestipping their bellies, (round as the thick-sided glasses whose wash they impound)their hips and their bellies off balanceto turn them. Kicking and rolling about the Fair Grounds, swinging their butts, those shanks must be sound to bear up under such rollicking measures, prance as they dance in Breughel's great picture, The Kermess

At first notice, the most significant piece of the structure of this poem is that it begins and ends with the same line. This gives the poem a circular feel, as if it ends just where it started. I think that this quality is Williams commenting on "the dance". The poem resembles the dance that it depicts by ending where it started. This could be as simple as attempting to explain the dance or it could mean that the dance is insignificant, it is performed and nothing changes at all, everything is the same as when it started. This parallelism is certainly the most imporant piece of internal structure here.

Monday, December 15, 2008


"Slim Cunning Hands"
Slim cunning hands are at rest, and cozening eyes-
under this stone one loved wildly lies;
How false she was, no granite could declare;
Nor all earth's flowers, how fair.

The language in this poem is important because it conveys the speakers emotions towards the deceased woman. Nouns like stone and granite emphasize the finality of her death. Stone is unchanging and enduring. It does not change and there is nothing humans can do. I relate the use of stones to the death in that manner. The words "loved wildly" show tremendous emotion involved with the death of a person that was clearly cared for. As I see it, love is common, wild love is not. One adjective greatly alters the emotion that the reader feels while reading this poem.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Setting/ Situation

by: Robert Frost (1874-1963)
ALWAYS--I tell you this they learned--
Always at night when they returned
To the lonely house from far away
To lamps unlighted and fire gone gray,
They learned to rattle the lock and key
To give whatever might chance to be
Warning and time to be off in flight:
And preferring the out- to the in-door night,
They learned to leave the house-door wide
Until they had lit the lamp inside.

I really liked the first Frost poem, so I figured I would pick another one. In "House Fear", the setting is at night, at a house which is lonely and dark. The situation being that the residents of the house had been out for the night. The feeling that I get from this is that when the people leave the house, either some kind of "spirit" lives in the darkened house or the people fear that there is a burglar. Whichever it is, the people have great fear for it and want, "to give whatever might chance to be warning and time to be off in flight". The darkness of the setting puts fear in to the reader so that they can relate to the owners of the house. I think this is more effective than the situation because it brings the reader closer to the story. On a side note I think these people should just leave the light on when they go out for the night :)

Setting/ Situation

by: Robert Frost (1874-1963)
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

My first choice was "Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost. The situation presented by Frost is the end of the world. He says that the world will either end in fire, or ice; fire being representative of desire and ice representing hate. Making the situation the end of the world shows that Frost believes these two human emotions are tremendously dangerous, and should be avoided. However, he gives his personal opinion and states, "I hold with those who favor fire". Frost believes that desire is the greater of two evils. By putting these human emotions in a situation involving the end of the world, Frost illuminates what he believes to be the worst that we as humans have to offer. - Fire and Ice lecture on youtube (not long)